Sunday, March 08, 2015

Petty Is As Petty Does

Ages ago, I was a regular on a Guns and Ammo forum. I am not positive, but I suspect that a notable gunwriter who at that time had recently dropped by started grumbling about KeepAndBearArms.com as there were several postings from there that did not present the NRA in a good light. I defended the use of KABA as it was very informative, especially back then, and tried to explain that it was a clearinghouse of firearm related news, though it seems the powers that be were either daft or biased. A new policy was announced that any posts containing links to KABA would be deleted. A few days later, one of my posts was deleted because it contained a link to a KABA story (I forget the details, but I recall it wasn't bashing the NRA or anything - just a bit of news I thought relevant).  I left. Never posted there again. Never bought another G&A magazine or anything from Petersen Publishing.

So it's a bit sad that KABA has resorted to the same petty behavior.



In 2004 ownership of KABA was transferred to Alan Goittlieb. Gottlieb heads the Second Amendment Foundation as well as the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Over the years he has done some good in the court room. When it comes to legislation, he hasn't been that cool. He was supportive of the Manchin-Toomey bill (until the deal went awry). He chose a very flawed strategy to fight Washington's Universal Background Check referendum, and in general seems to support background checks. If one views the disputes betwixt gun owners as a civil war of sorts, Gottlieb seems to be on the other side than I am. Here is a rather long and not-so-flattering article about Gottlieb written in the mid-1990's that I recommend everyone read.

Gottlieb doesn't like Vanderboegh, and vice versa. At Vanderbeogh's personal site he has posted some rather vitriolic things about Gottlieb and those he thinks are allied with Gottlieb in some fashion. Not a big deal in and of itself, but Gottlieb's personal dislike has extended to banning Vanderboegh's mention at KABA. I do not know the details, but I would be surprised if the former proprietor of KABA didn't get some assurances from Gottlieb that the content would still be independent after the transition. I also have heard that JPFO would remain independent content-wise after Gottlieb acquired it.(Also here is another report of Gottlieb stating that JPFO will remain independent - and SAF will even link to them now!)

David Codrea, who writes for The Examiner as well as his own site, The War On Guns, has decided to leave JPFO, citing censorship of a submission of his over at KABA. Since his departure, at least one post of his over at KABA has been deleted.

To put this in perspective, just so there are no misunderstandings, I left a forum where I posted more or less recreationally due to heavy handed censorship (of KABA no less). At a site where he was earning revenue  Codrea left because of heavy handed censorship (from KABA no less). His decision was much more difficult and much more admirable for that reason alone. Codrea has stated that he'll continue to link to KABA and JFPO and all the other Gottlieb owned properties if they have some relevance - in other words, he won't be as petty as Gottlieb when it comes to things that may help to inform gun owners about current happenings.

Did I mention Gottlieb was being petty?

Now, if it were just a case of someone within the gunowner community getting an inflated sense of worth and being an obnoxious little jerk it'd be one thing, but these actions have serious repercussions for the integrity of all the properties that are controlled by Gottlieb. If he's being this small minded about a personal grudge at one site, he's likely doing the same at all sites. That means he's trying to control the message at those sites, despite assurances (at at least one and possibly two sites) that their content would remain independent after he took possession of them.

Every organization has a certain direction they tend towards, and some editorial process will govern that direction. RMGO for example, concentrates on Colorado related issues (though they will delve into national concerns at times). GRNC focuses on happenings in The Old North State. If someone submitted an article their concerning something going on in a county in Michigan, it might not be deemed relevant to the respective organization's audience. That's understandable.

It is also understandable if it's a personal site, such as a blog. If someone refuses to link to me because of some personal animous then that's not all that questionable, it being their own site and all. (Although if someone billed their site as "all the gun related news there is" and refused to mention someone because of a personal grudge then it'd be a little questionable, though still their prerogative).

KABA however is, or was, a clearinghouse. Any and all gunowner related news was written about or linked to. Vanderboegh's speech at a rally would have been the kind of thing that was relevant to that site. But it was not refused because of a relevancy issue; it was refused because of a dislike of the person that gave the speech.

Did I mention what a petty move that is? 

What I take from this affair is that KABA and JFPO - organizations I once trusted, promoted and even defended - are no longer independent entities. They're being treated as personal sites under the direction of Gottlieb. Gottlieb has shown himself to be unprincipled (Manchin-Toomey support), petty (censorship based on personal dislikes), disingenuous (not only his assurances that sites he takes over will remain independent, but his quotes about using fear and crisis to enhance revenue from mailings), and in general an ass (see all of the above).

In my estimation Gottlieb, who supports a UBC bill if he can garner enough concessions he feels are worthwhile, would likely suppress news stories or articles at all of his sites that would tend to question the support of such a UBC.

I do not trust Gottlieb and I would not recommend anyone donating any money to any organization he controls. I'll likely still make mention of any of his orgs that accomplish anything I feel like discussing, but I will probably make reference to this post, or at least insert a reminder about his character (for example, "SAF won in court concerning X, despite having that petty little punk Gottlieb running things")

And one would think that after support for Manchin-Toomey and his very flawed and failed strategy to defeat the UBC referendum in Washington state that Gottlieb would try to shore up his damaged reputation instead of further degrading it.

But the situation speaks for itself; Codrea has always been someone that regards principle highly, and to run him off because you've intruded upon his views concerning integrity is much more damning than any invectives I could write in a single post.

Still, did I mention what a petty, vindictive, arrogant, narcissistic, greedy, untrustworthy, Chamberlain-esque punk that Gottlieb is?

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