June 06, 2022
“In an email to CNBC, [Elon] Musk blamed the media for giving murderers the attention he believes they crave by covering mass shootings,” the basic cable business news channel reports. “He said he supports ‘tight’ background checks for all gun purchases and special licenses for assault weapons.”
The tech billionaire/entrepreneur was reacting to the Uvalde school massacre, and as with all people who are rich and famous, special attention is given to their pronouncements on the issues of the day, whether they know what they’re talking about or not. Their qualifications to weigh in on anything outside their fields of expertise is always conveniently not mentioned.
In Musk’s case, he’s been making headlines over his presumptive purchase of the Twitter microblogging/social networking platform, ostensibly to protect against censorship and leftist “cancel culture.” He then announced in May that he intends to vote Republican because Democrats have morphed into the party of “division and hate.”
Unsurprisingly, hopeful “conservatives” have been hailing him as a savior figure of sorts, the current richest man in the world who is evidently resistant to the “woke” corporate culture, where once staid businessmen have seemingly morphed overnight into not just rope-selling capitalists, but in many cases zealous apparatchiks and “struggle session” leaders.
Corporate America has come a long way from “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit,” with banks that have taken taxpayer bailouts aggressively discriminating against gun companies to financially destroy them (and deprive their customers of arms). Salesforce software employees are demanding – (demanding!) – their CEO cut all ties with NRA, an attack on millions of Americans who believe in Amendment 2 of the Bill of Rights. “Trans” Amazon employees just got done disrupting the company’s “Pride” party, because that’s not enough, with a “die-in” to demand it censor books they claim, “knowingly promote transphobia” (that is, anything that doesn’t exalt their self-identification choices). And let’s not even get started on “family values” Disney, except to note the global entertainment conglomerate has been loudly and consistently anti-gun for decades.
So, here’s Elon Musk, a self-made man apparently big enough to do things his way, rocking the boat and not giving “proper” deference to the leftist sacred cows du jour, to the sputtering outrage of those who normal Americans enjoy seeing get triggered. So, it’s small wonder Musk being a maverick has gotten their hopes up.
Unfortunately, when it comes to guns, their hopes appear misplaced.
“He said in emails to CNBC on Wednesday that he supports ‘tight background checks’ for all gun sales and limiting sales of assault weapons to people in special circumstances, like gun range owners, or people who live in a ‘high risk location, like gang warfare,’” CNBC elaborated. That was followed with a cognitively dissonant statement, or at least one that shows a glimmer of Musk understanding the Second Amendment’s intent.
“I strongly believe that the right to bear arms is an important safeguard against potential tyranny of government,” Musk declared. “Historically, maintaining their power over the people is why those in power did not allow public ownership of guns.”
Realizing that, he still wants infringements on those who have the means to resist totalitarian abuses? The next day on Twitter, Musk doubled down.
“Assault rifles should at minimum require a special permit, where the recipient is extremely well-vetted imo,” he replied to an inquiry “on the AR-15 discussion.” “To be more precise, I mean any semi-automatic gun with supersonic ammo and a large magazine.”
Hey, the guy knows electric cars and rocket ships. That, and he’s from South Africa.
He’s also above it all, protected 24/7 by the finest security money can buy.
“Elon Musk’s security team is a well-trained group of bodyguards for Elon’s safety,” INFOIK reveals. “There are six total guards on events, all visible and easy to spot in the crowd with the white jackets that have ‘Elon’ written across them in gold letters or orange vests.”
That’s just for events. His places of work, his home and other properties he stays at are no doubt damn near impregnable. And that’s fine. His right to do that should not be infringed. But it does make his backing of coercive measures to limit the options of those of us who resort to DIY out of necessity hard to swallow.
Pushback on Twitter was about what you’d expect—some (more politely than others) trying to get Musk to grok what RKBA is all about and others questioning why anyone outside of the authorities should be allowed to own a gun.
“Maybe just require homicide insurance for a gun purchase? Minimum car insurance, which is basically homocide [sic] insurance, is required for car ownership,” Musk offered in response. “I think this would actually work.”
“Ya know, it’s pretty damn great to be able to talk to people from all walks of life and many countries on Twitter!” Musk gushed. “So much to be learned, even from the harshest critics. Basically … I’m just saying I love all you crazy people.”
That’s great, but just because he’s willing to hear the unwashed masses doesn’t mean he’s willing to learn and to do anything about it. And does he love them enough not to sic armed enforcers on them should they defy the edicts he applauds? A guy doesn’t become the richest man in the world by thinking his opinions are wrong, and how he became the richest is something that merits scrutiny.
How is it that, as Business Insider reports, he claimed to work for the Secret Service on Federal Election Commission filings? Sounds nuts, doesn’t it? What’s the story with In-Q-Tel, “the risk investor that gave Elon Musk his first gentle push along the Yellow Brick Road to billionairedom” that “invests in high-tech companies to keep the Central Intelligence Agency, and other intelligence agencies, equipped with the latest in information technology in support of United States intelligence capability”?
Let’s leave going further down that road to its own investigative reports and just agree that there is more to Musk than meets the eye and that what he does and how his dealings affect the public involve more than the interests of a super-rich eccentric.
Let’s also agree that, as hopeful as Musk’s public persona appears to many who identify as “conservatives,” looking to appoint ideological leaders inevitably reveals conflicting self-interests and feet of clay – case in point, Donald Trump, with his gushing in front of NRA members about “the beautiful Second Amendment” followed up with a “bump stock” ban and a recommendation to “Take the guns first. Go through due process second.”
“We need our own version of Michael Bloomberg,” I hear some gun owners complain, rightfully resentful of carpetbagging billionaire elitists and foundations funding anti-gun politicians and measures. Meanwhile, we little guys defending against their well-funded machines are limited to whatever extra we can afford to contribute to the fight – if anything – assuming we haven’t had the willingness to dig deep beaten out of us by “gun rights CEOs” in $3,000 suits.
We don’t need a “hero” to carry our load because doing it ourselves it what makes us strong and becoming dependent is the worst thing that can happen to a free people – just look at the mess the collectivists have made of the Founders’ Republic via “wealth redistribution” and “equity.”
By all means, look for leaders worth following, but as Patrick Henry noted, it’s up to us to keep them honest and on track.
“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty,” he advised. “Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.”
Perhaps Elon Musk can evolve into a friend, a great friend. Just don’t lose sight of the reality that the greatest protector of your liberty and the one you must ultimately rely on when things are darkest is the one reading these words.
About the Author: David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. In addition to being a regular featured contributor for Firearms News he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.