Remember when Betsy Riot was a thing? They were another loose collection of gun control groupies who really thought they’d be the end of the NRA and usher in a gun-free new age.

Their tools involved a lot of vulgar language (f**kyerguns being their battle cry), and a lot of inordinate thought given to the, *ahem* “hardware” of strange men they’d argue with online. The latter demonstrated a sort of offshoot of the Godwin’s Law fallacy, which as of yet, hasn’t been officially named, but observes that the longer a gun-issues debate happens somewhere online, the greater the probability that someone will openly air speculation about a male participant’s plumbing. Reductio ad phallum, I suppose.

But perhaps their most unique approach to trying to win the hearts and minds of american gun owners was to print their battle cry on stickers and attach them to public restroom toilets. Given the war over bathrooms that was also raging at the time, I strongly suspect they were gender confusion’s biggest fangirls, if only so they could pursue their preoccupation for plastering propaganda on potties.

And, among the pro-gun circles I traveled in online, it earned them the moniker of the “Toilet Sticker Sisterhood.”

Oh, and one of their number self-published a “book,” whose title further expressed their obsession with OPP and whose content made it a worthy companion of public restrooms, much in the same way Sears & Roebuck catalogs served another purpose in the outhouses of rural America a couple of generations ago.

They made enough of a stink to warrant occasional mention by pro-gun bloggers and pro-gun radio shows and podcasts (I remember Mark Walters mentioning them once on AAR), but not out of fear, nor respect, but showcasing how unhinged they were.

But where are they now?

The book got about 70-something reviews, 70% 1-star, and mostly happened in the couple of months following its publication. Not a big hit. Their website hasn’t had an entry in it more recent than February 2018, the FB page they were running doesn’t seem to be up anymore, their twitter accounts are largely inactive, save for one, and it just sporadically tweets complaints about Trump.

And the NRA, for all its problems (none of which the “Betsies” can take credit for), still abides.

The reason for this is simple: anything solely based on antagonism has too shallow a philosophical foundation to endure. It’s not enough to stand against something; you have to stand for something, and understand why you are standing for it.

The only thing the “Betsies” had going for them was an emotional response to an organization they did not understand, much less how that organization resonated with a larger public’s love for a civil right–something the Betsies, and gun control in general, usually fails to comprehend.

And so, it’s no surprise how quickly the Betsies burned out.

Jeremy Hatfield

Jeremy T. Hatfield has been observing the Great American Gun Debate ever since he got his first handgun and concealed carry permit in 1999. He currently produces weekly Pro-2A videos for his Facebook...

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