Facebook Closes Gun Groups
An open letter from Matt Adika of Florida Gun Classifieds to facebook and Shannon Watts of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America
Dear Mrs Watts and Facebook executives,
I read your interview with Fast Company where you made a comment about how licensed dealers do not sell on Facebook and how Facebook Closes Gun Groups will solve the problem of the groups being plagued with criminals buying and selling firearms illegally. I have to say as a licensed FFL dealer, the owner of Florida Gun Classifieds https://floridagunclassifieds.com which allows users to post ads to buy and sell firearms online, and the administrator of one of Florida’s best gun groups on Facebook, Florida Gun Classifieds, you do not have a clue of what you are talking about or what you have done by closing these groups.
My excellent reputation in Florida is primarily because of Facebook, I have built my entire marketing campaign around Facebook and the gun groups that were hosted on Facebook. I was able to start from nothing at thirty years old to become one of the nation’s largest specialty dealers for high-end firearms within a few years because of the opportunity and reach of Facebook. Now that Facebook and your organization have pushed Facebook Closes Gun Groups, what you are essentially doing is killing the opportunity for small firearms dealers like myself to market directly to law-abiding consumers in their geographical area, and around the country.
You are also removing a significant tool which allows law enforcement and the ATF to find criminals who are buying and selling guns illegally. This eliminates the opportunity law enforcement has to gain electronic evidence of the criminal transfer of firearms. Just like with the sale and trafficking of illegal drugs, (which by the way is illegal yet still dominates the black market in every city in America). The “common sense approach” you have chosen to implement is only going to force the market to go underground and out of the scrutiny of watchful eyes. Not only does law enforcement monitor these groups, but many group administrators such as myself carefully screen all members before allowing them to join our groups.
All these groups have strict policies in place, and those policies which were strictly enforced, such as:
- No under age members permitted
- Anyone who looks like a “thug” prohibited
- Anyone who has pictures of illegal drugs or other illegal activities on their profile was also prohibited
These people were never allowed into our groups. And when it was discovered that someone prohibited had slipped in, or that someone who was prohibited from buying or selling was trying to do so (illegally), they were banned from the group, and other administrators were notified and actively shared this information with their peers. We policed ourselves to keep our groups free of illegal activity. Keeping our groups free of illegal activity is obviously in our best interest. We are also advocates of obeying the law! Do you really think we want criminals obtaining firearms? HELL NO! Criminals target gun owners just the same those who choose to refrain from practicing their Second Amendment Right. The ironic part of this situation is we are actually on the same side of the issue, that is if your real intention is to stop criminals from obtaining firearms. Unfortunately I and many others in the community have a feeling there is a more sinister, ulterior motive behind this move. This is another attempt by the gun control crowd to restrict law abiding citizens from obtaining firearms. The only reasonable explanation as to why you would do such a thing, is if you wanted to incrementally move toward a national registry of all firearms. Those of us who are stewards of history know that registration always leads to confiscation. We all know that this is your ultimate goal, and slowly you are inching toward realizing your goal of disarming the American people. Don’t think we are blind to your plan. Trust me, we are well aware of what you’re trying to do. Just keep in mind we will not be led down the path of surrendering our Second Amendment Rights away FOR ANY REASON. A free society is secured when its citizens keep and bear arms. We will fight to make sure that right will not be infringed, no matter what!
Your rationale doesn’t make sense. Criminals will always find a way to obtain firearms, regardless of what Facebook does with its groups. Even without Facebook’s gun groups, there will always be a way to easily obtain illegal items. History has shown this to be the case with every prohibition enacted. Make something illegal and see how fast that item is quickly and readily available on the black market. And often, for significantly less then what it cost before. This new move by facebook and your organization only makes it more difficult for LAW-ABIDING dealers and citizens to legally conduct lawful transactions with one another which is not the American way.
Do you really think that Facebook Closes Gun Groups, Groups whose primary focus was to conduct lawful transactions between law-abiding citizens is going to stop gun violence in this country?
Are you so set in your liberal ways that you have become delusional to the point of actually believing that your leftist policy will even make a dent in gun violence in this country? Where are the studies and statistics about the number of guns bought on Facebook, legally or illegally, which have been used in a crime? Used to commit assault or battery on another person? Used in a murder?
I would like to see those statistics. And see if what your organization and Facebook have done has actually done anything to decrease the frequency of these crimes.
I can almost guarantee that your decision to facebook closes gun groups will actually increase gun violence, because it is my belief that when law abiding citizens are legally armed, criminals know, and they are less likely to attack or target an individual that they think might possess a firearm.
Hopefully Mrs. Watts, you will never have to face a situation where a firearm could have prevented a brutal attack on your or your family, and as a result of your unrealistic and misinformed bias against firearms, you become a victim of a crime that could have been prevented by lawfully carrying a concealed firearm.
But Mrs. Watts, you will never face that situation, will you? Because like the hypocrite you are, you have armed bodyguards protecting you 24/7. Isn’t that right?
How can you go around telling law abiding American citizens that firearms are evil and bad, when they are around you everywhere you go? Do you think just because the gun is not carried or owned by you that makes it any better? That’s ludicrous! You should understand the importance of the Right to bear arms seeing as you require them for your daily safety. I’m sorry Mrs. Watts I forgot, you are part of the elite who think the rules shouldn’t apply to you, and because you have money, you can do whatever you please. You may think the world works that way but in reality, it doesn’t. Your fraud is being exposed right here and now, and your anti-American stance on gun control is disgusting.
YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF!
Let’s all keep in mind here that Chicago has some of the toughest firearm laws in the country, and yet that city has the highest murder rate in the country. Why? BECAUSE CRIMINALS DON’T FOLLOW THE LAW! The Obama Administration refuses to enforce existing laws so they can say gun violence is out of control and thereby have cause to enact policies that will lead to the confiscation of legally owned personal firearms.
We are not stupid Mrs. Watts, we know you end game. But let’s just pretend for a minute that you don’t want our guns, what would be better alternatives than for the Facebook closes gun groups option?
How about instead of Facebook Closes Gun Groups and forcing these gun transactions underground, don’t you think following these options may have been a better alternative? I do.
- Creating an Educational Campaign to teach people how to buy and sell legally.
- Lobbying Facebook to help its administrators screen members better
- Lobbying Facebook to provide tools that would help identify under age users
- Launching a “see something say something” campaign in the groups to make members aware of potential red flags that they should look for before buying or selling a firearm to another member
- Give group members a quick and easy way to report a person to an administrator that raises red flags? or even Facebook if needed?
- Names of users matching local arrest records?
I think that any one of these alternatives would have been a more effective approach than closing the groups IF YOUR TRUE intentions were to stop criminals from obtaining guns, don’t you? We are all adults here. We understand that as administrators and group members we have a responsibility to keep our communities safe, for ourselves and for the other members in the group. That is why we already self police and make sure to the best of our ability that everyone is following the law.
I really hope you read this email, because you need to surround yourself with people who actually have real life solutions to the problems you are trying to solve. Instead, it seems like you are surrounded by your political left wing friends who know nothing about what actually goes on inside these groups, especially the fact that law enforcement was using them as a tool to stop criminals from purchasing firearms by monitoring them regularly. Congratulations! You have now made it easier for criminals to stay under the radar with the illegal gun trade and harder for law-abiding citizens and law-abiding dealers to conduct business.
Realize this: Nothing you do will ever stop or deter gun violence in this country. The only thing that could deter a criminal from obtaining, carrying or selling a firearm, would be to impose strict minimum mandatory sentencing guidelines for criminals who are caught possessing or using a firearm. 20 years in prison would make a lot criminals think twice before carrying a firearm, and the ones who break the law and commit a crime with an illegally obtained firearm should be put in jail for a long time. Period. Other than that, good luck trying to combat a problem that doesn’t really exist in the first place.
One more question – Why is it that ISIS is allowed to recruit members for global jihad on the same platform that now law-abiding gun buyers and sellers can no longer use? Which is the bigger threat? ISIS? or two guys legally conducting a private firearms transaction of which 99.99% will never even see the sunlight other than at a local range. You need to really examine your reality.
Thank you for making my years of investment in marketing and advertising dollars go right down the drain, and slow down my ability to make a living lawfully selling firearms on social media. Criminals will always find a way to get what they want. Your actions will only make it harder to detect illegal activity and prosecute it now.
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UPDATE: SHANNON WATTS RETWEETS BLOG POST:
We know she’s listening, our voices will not be silenced!
Florida Gun Classifieds
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