I haven’t written about the fiasco with Mozilla’s five minute CEO because I felt it was stupid but Tam perfectly sums up something that really bugged me:
I’ve seen some pretty interesting rationalizations over the past few days from people nominally on my team for why it was okay for Metcalf and Zumbo to be shown the door for offending sponsors or being out of step with their subcultural zeitgeist, but Brendan Eich’s ouster was just… zomg… FIRST AMENDMENT!
Didn’t we just leave this ducking party?
You know that whole culture thing I discussed? Yeah, this is the type of shit I was talking about. There are still a lot of gunnies that talk about freedom but only mean freedom for everybody who is like them. When somebody does something that opposes gun rights gunnies call for their head. But when somebody does something that opposes their Christian morals they hide behind the veil of voluntary association.
I believe that Eich has every right to give his money to whatever cause he so desires. I also believe that people who oppose his cause have every right to call for his removal. Both acts are exercises of free speech. In the case of Eich the speech of his opposition won out. Whether he was forced to resign or did so voluntarily is unimportant. What is important is that he did something that pissed off a lot of Mozilla’s user base and that was bad for Mozilla’s business.
Imagine if Shannon Watts was appointed CEO of Mozilla. The general shooting community would react exactly as the gay rights community acted when Eich was appointed CEO. But since social conservatism runs strong in the shooting community a lot of words have been spent trying to justify how Eich being forced to step down was a horrible thing and why any good, upstanding, moral person should dump Firefox immediately (I’m exaggerating that last part a bit, I only know three gunnies who were advocating for people to dump Firefox after Eich stepped down).
Voluntary association and free speech run both ways. If an individual or organization is free to stop associating with somebody who is anti-gun then they are also free to stop associating with somebody who opposes legalized same-sex marriages.