There are more things in heaven and in earth, Patricia, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Such as the YEET CANNON. It’s a joke, but it’s also a very real product. For $199, you can buy an American-made 9mm pistol with “YEET CANNON” printed on the side.
“Yeeting”, by the way, refers to the practice of violent displacement, often with some style: “He yeeted that Mountain Dew can into the trash.” My son tells me that “Get yeeted on!” is considered to be quite the insult among his peers.
The existence of the Yeet Cannon, and the story behind it, suggests that the future is going to be a little more complicated than some of us would like to believe.
The last time I used my long-departed stainless-steel Colt Gold Cup .45 pistol to shoot a bowling pin match, which was some time in 1996, there wasn’t much of a Gun Internet. A few USENET newsgroups and small websites, maybe. The vast majority of the firearms news and information was disseminated through a few color magazines and through the rumor mill that started grinding any time two or three shooters would gather at a smallbore match or sit around the lobby of a target range. It was not exactly what we would call an inclusive environment. As a decidedly non-rural college student, I faced my share of off-putting behavior from various gun store employees and competitive shooters. Nowadays that’s called “gatekeeping”. It was very strong among “gun people”. It was also tough to get reliable information on how well various firearm and/or ammunition offerings actually performed. The old guys would sit around and talk about how a .357 Magnum could shoot through an engine block and stop a car in its tracks — which it absolutely cannot.
In the twenty-plus years since then, the gatekeeping has completely disappeared, replaced with a panoply of shooting-related Internet sites. This has coupled with an uptick in upper-middle-class spending power to rapidly increase the rate at which guns are built and sold, from about 3 million per year in 1986 to more than 9 million per year today. It’s also now possible to build your own serial-number-free AR-15 in the comfort of your own basement, thanks to the Ghost Gunner. Nor is this acceleration in firearms culture limited to the old Baby Boomers who are responsible for most performance-car purchases. An entire generation of young shooters was created by ultra-realistic video games; they’re now buying Desert Eagles and Steyr AUGs as fast as the manufacturers can turn them out.
Which brings us to the Yeet Cannon. Hi-Point Firearms has long been lampooned by serious shooters for the cheap construction and hilariously unattractive design of its guns, even as the hard left has vilified the firm for making “ghetto blasters” available at a third of the price you’d pay for a “serious” Glock or SIG. Yet they’ve done a pretty decent job of engaging with their buyers online, to the point that they realized the business case for allowing those buyers to vote in the name “Yeet Cannon” for their newest pistol. Imagine Apple, or Dell, allowing the Internet to name their newest tech toy the “Yeetphone” or “Yeet Laptop”. You can’t. When gun makers are more responsive to Millennial and Gen Z buyers than “edgy” Left Coast firms… well, that’s definitely a data point to consider when predicting the future.
I’m old enough to remember an era where the vast majority of authority (and authoritarian) figures were conservative or at least centrist. If you wanted to rebel against something — anything — you had to lean left. Which your humble author duly did, casting his first vote for William Clinton in 1992 and running Clinton/Gore stickers on his BMX numberplate. Quite a bit has changed since then. Today’s Establishment is painfully, humorlessly woke. If you want to rebel in 2019, you could do a lot worse than to put on a tie and start talking about family values. It’s worth noting that it takes quite a bit of censorship, often verging on the comically heavy-handed, to keep places like 4Chan, 8ch, and Reddit from leaning, or completely turning, conservative. What does this mean for the future? My crystal ball isn’t clear enough to say for sure, but I wonder if we aren’t on the verge of a New Victorian era. There will be some resistance from the old Gen Xers and Millennials, but truly committed youthful political movements rarely scruple at the forceful silencing of their useless elders. What did Chairman Mao say? “Power grows out of the barrel… of a Yeet Cannon.”
At TTAC, Bark discussed deposits and returns.