Open Source Defense is an online platform (website/blog/digital newsletter) dedicated to defending gun rights by enlivening, enlightening, and enriching the discussion of guns — and gun culture itself — in the US.
I enjoy the materials they are producing, and recommend them to the gun curious, for a couple of reasons. First, regardless of your political position on guns, they are a good source of information about what a pro-gun position in the US looks like without the additional culture war rhetoric that plagued the now deceased NRATV. No smashing TVs with sledgehammers or burning newspapers here.
Second, they recognize — as I put it in my lunch time talk at the National Firearms Law Seminar last April — that gun owners are normal and normal people use guns.
They resist efforts to stigmatize guns and gun owners by showing the positive face of gun culture. As they say on their site:
Gun owners come from all political stripes, all walks of life, and all colors. To stereotype and criminalize them is not just lazy, it’s morally wrong. We work to be a group that you can be proud to be associated with. A group whose conduct everyone respects, even if they disagree with us.
Here they are perfectly in line with my sentiment that gun culture is inclusive (especially Gun Culture 2.0) and that it should embrace diversity and inclusivity, building bridges not walls.
I have not met any of he principals in person (they are listed here), but I have had some very positive on-line interactions with Jon Stokes and Kareem Shaya. In my mind, Stokes is best-known for his 2013 article in WIRED called, “The AR-15 is more than a gun. It’s a gadget.” That several of the founders come from tech backgrounds is of note and explains the name Open Source Defense.
I first “met” Kareem Shaya when he was promoting his interesting “Path Forward on Guns” in 2018. It was an effort to get beyond the culture wars over guns and find a via media between culture warriors on both sides. Open Source Defense is clearly related to that earlier project.
Follow their blog, sign up to receive their digital newsletter by email, or find them on Twitter (@opensrcdefense), Instagram (@opensrcdefense), or Reddit (/r/opensourcedefense). Whether you agree or disagree with their positions, I think you will benefit from exposure to their ideas.