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First POST: Messiness

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, September 8 2014

The latest in NY Democratic gubernatorial primary politics; how the Internet Slowdown protest is gearing up; Reddit as a "new type of community"; and much much more. Read More

Silicon Valley Libertarians Cling to Their Guns: "Gun Control is Technology Control"

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, February 19 2013

Calguns Foundation Chairman Gene Hoffman on his semi-automatic AR-15: "It's normal." Photo: Sarah Lai Stirland

Gene Hoffman, an affable Silicon Valley entrepreneur, speaks rapidly and logically, and his hands whiz expertly around the weapon as he attaches the lower receiver into the rest of his LCW-15, a type of AR-15 rifle. At 38, he is the CEO of Vindicia, a digital subscription payments processing firm. But he's also chairman of the non-profit Calguns Foundation, which is part of a national network of gun-rights activists that are defending Second Amendment rights in court and fighting legislative battles in statehouses.

"It's weird for me to hear about technologists in the wake of Sandy Hook saying that we should ban guns -- gun control is simply technology control," Hoffman says.

I am in Hoffman's office to understand how he, and Calguns, have come to sit at the center of a network of activists that are baffling efforts to roll back the nation's gun culture and stem the spread of deadly assault weapons. Here is what I found out.

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URL Related to Obama's "Organizing for Action" Now Goes to NRA Website

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, January 29 2013

A Web domain using the name of President Obama's grassroots lobbying group Organizing for Action now points to the National Rifle Association's web site. Derek Bovard, a computer technician in Castle Rock, Colo., registered the domain name organizingforaction.net after seeing a report about the formation of the lobbying group on Fox News last Friday. Bovard, a Republican who voted for Mitt Romney in the last election cycle, says that he bought the domain for $10 and would be willing to part with it for $10,000. Read More

Second Amendment Grassroots Advocates Are More Politically Active Than Their Gun Control Peers

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, January 18 2013

Photo: Courtesy Firearms Policy Coalition

Gun control advocates may be grabbing the headlines, but gun-owning grassroots types are more politically engaged, according to survey data. What's more, a look at the online contact-Congress platform PopVox suggests ... Read More

NRA Was MIA On Facebook in Aurora Aftermath

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, July 23 2012

The National Rifle Association's Facebook page appeared to be unavailable from late Saturday night to Monday morning in the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colo. TechPresident called the NRA for comment about the page Monday morning, while the page was still unavailable. Officials there didn't return our call for comment. They returned to Facebook, however, within a matter of hours after our call. A Facebook spokesman referred all request for comment to the NRA. The organization's page is now "liked" by 1.5 million users, some of whom went to other forums over the weekend looking for NRA's stance in the wake of the Aurora incident. Twenty-four-year-old former student James Holmes is accused of using an arsenal of weapons, including an assault rifle available thanks to the 2004 lapse of a ban on assault weapons, during a shooting spree in which 70 people were shot and 12 killed. Gun owners were looking for "leadership" on how to handle this situation, some wrote in online forums, and were disappointed to find the NRA was not active on social media to provide it. Read More