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What is it about the super-rich that predisposes so many of them to oppose the right to keep and bear arms? We all know about the mostly ineffectual efforts of the former mayor of New York City to convince Americans that guns are bad and the Second Amendment is outdated. Now it’s former Microsoft CEOs Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer along with a smattering of other tech titans stepping up to shovel money at supporters of Washington state’s effort to pass a universal background check law. Gates kicked in a perfunctory $50,000, but Ballmer’s ante’d up close to $600,000. As we saw this week in Milwaukee, billionaire big bucks don’t always translate into victory at the polls. Americans have a deep-seated independent streak and value their natural, civil, Constitutional right to armed self defense. May Gates and Ballmer be as successful in this effort as they were with Windows Vista.

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125 Responses to Former Microsoft CEOs Gates, Ballmer Join Billionaires for Civilian Disarmament Club

  1. Leave it to the 1% to try and tell the other 99% what to do. If anybody is further away from the day to day of John Everyman…

    • Bill Gates has his own private navy as well as a plethora of security on property. Deservedly so. I don’t begrudge him for that. I, however, am unable to afford such. I wonder if he would be willing lead by example and disarm them. Cue the laugh track in 3…2…1…

      • Disarm the guard of Bill’s estate.
        For the first time.
        Next – to detain and shoot any armed accompanying Bill.
        Then we’ll talk.
        The only option which the Bill should have — «911».

      • Thats how ignorance works, its easy if everyone you know just regurgitates what theyre told and never goes and searches for the truth. Nulius in Verba = Never on the word of another.

    • I know advertising is expensive, but there’s no way the recipients actually spend all of this for the stated purpose. Where does what’s leftover go? Where does the money leftover in Wisconsin go? Is it going to be shifted to a big campaign somewhere else to obscure it’s source.

  2. Universal background checks don’t prevent illegal gun sales, they prohibit legal used gun sales.
    I sure hope I don’t get screwed over by this… Living in WA and not being rich means I won’t be able to afford new guns…

  3. The oligarchs who own America will always try to dominate and control the plebeians and everything else. After all, what’s the point in having power if you can’t abuse it?

  4. For the simple reason that guns are a threat to people like this. They have bodyguards and other people who insulate them from the great unwashed, so they don’t feel the need to personally protect themselves (one big reason for personal gun ownership). As for another big reason (ability to resist tyranny), these guys are protected from that. The government will never pass any law that seriously impacts them in a bad way, so they have no need for the “nasty, dirty” things.

    • I think you nailed a large portion of this. Let’s be brutally honest. These guys could afford their own private secret service doing all the things the regular secret service does, they are that rich. So the concept of self defense is completely foreign to them, they just write a check and pay others to protect them. They have no idea that the welder, nurse, claim adjuster, janitor, accountant, hair stylist, or (insert your own everyday job here), can’t afford even 1 bodyguard. They are so insulated and out of touch. Then add on their money buys them special privilege from government, you have the recipe for elitism.

      • Disagree, wealthy people do know the average person is unable to defend themselves. That should be obvious by now. That is the whole point. Why does the average person insist that the people controlling them just never seem to know any better?

    • Very True, they do not think of the little people that SUPPORT this Great Nation, I am One and Proud to be a TRUE AMERICAN for LIBERTY and JUSTICE for ALL.

  5. Glad to say my own personal work computers have run Linux or OS X for the past seven year. I ditched Windows just before Vista, and didn’t look back. The only time I’m using Windows is when I’m booting up an old machine, ostensibly to back it up and put a real OS on it.

    Yes, I’m totally a computer snob. Firearms, I haven’t learned enough yet to be snobby. Well, except for things like “Avoid Hi-Point”, “don’t use ComBloc ammo”, etc…

    And last time I checked, the Ubuntu crowd (located in South Africa) could care less about US politics, and conversely, Apple is known for not donating to much of anything in terms of politics or charity.

    Though I would surmise because of where Apple draws most of their talent pool from, they would lean anti-2A as well.

      • Figures.

        OS X is still the best widely-used OS though, ha ha.

        That being said, with most of the products we use in our daily lives (excepting firearms of course), we could dig and find all sorts of objectionable practices. Slave labor, etc.

        There’s an irony for you. The Apple employees play the “liberal” game but outsource their manufacturing to China & Taiwan, where overworked factory employees have killed themselves from the grueling hours and resulting depression.

        • Hey Pod, your remark about avoiding Hi Point is pretty snobby. They make damn fine carbines for the price.

    • Nothing wrong with com bloc ammo in your surplus com bloc guns. Just hit them with a little windex at the range and then clean as normal at home.

  6. Is this the same Steve Ballmer that thought the Zune was going to eat the iPod’s lunch?

    What, you never heard of the Zune?

    Is this the same Steve Ballmer who said, “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item.”?

    Is this the same Steve Ballmer who said, “Vista is not a failure. Is it something we’d like to improve? Of course. Is it something that with 20/20 hindsight we’d do differently? Sure.”

    Is this the same Steve Ballmer who said of the Surface RF, “We built a few more devices than we could sell.”

    With his track record we don’t have much to worry about.

    • Yes, it’s the same batshit crazy Ballmer.

      Here’s a small sample of his public mental behaviour which makes Canadian Mayor Rob Ford look relatively “normal” in comparison:

      (Note: I have no affiliation with the uploader)
      http://youtu.be/I14b-C67EXY

    • That last week paid TWO BILLION DOLLARS for a group of ghetto numbskulls that play a kids playground game.

      Microsoft (and Apple) prove that getting rich in American is about being lucky (in the right place at the right time).

      • au contraire, Microsoft proved that having a near monopoly by being in the right place at the right time will make you rich. Apple proved that a company can come back from a near-death experience by having excellent design and a focus on the end-user.

        • And a HUGE gift [$$$$] from Bill Gates to get Apple off life support and keep Micro$oft from becoming an actual monopoly.

    • May Gates and Ballmer be as successful in this effort as they were with Windows Vista. With Microsoft’s track record of Windows prior to 3.1, Windows 95a, Windows Me, Windows Vista, Access 1.0, and other duds; maybe it is just as well that they are on the gun control side.

  7. I don’t wish any ill will toward any of these guys but, why can’t just one of them be out shopping without their bodyguards and get mugged? A big fat slap from the reality that the rest of see would be sweet justice. If it could happen to Bloomberg even better but, I’ve yet to see a picture of him without a goon somewhere close by. What a coward!

    • why can’t just one of them be out shopping without their bodyguards

      Dude, the only things that these billionaires go out to shop for are politicians and tropical islands.

    • It would only reinforce their misconceptions. They won’t do the math that the criminal element isn’t walking into a legit gun dealer, browsing for the pistol of their choice, and purchasing it legally. And the ones that DO understand that legal purchases are not the problem are already just in it to disarm the peasants.

    • “out shopping”?! You think Balmer and Gates associate with the hoi polloi? you think they spend their time picking up mega-packs of TP at Costco? they have little people to do their shopping.

      as Ralph and D2 state, the only shopping they do themselves is probably for tropical islands, yachts, and sports teams

    • To be fair, Gates does not walk around with tons of bodyguards everywhere like Bloomie.

      He’s ridden around Seattle on his bike since the 90s.

  8. It’s the “clerisy” folks. Tech magnates, entertainers, academics, government workers and such. They are for the most part insulated from the bad effects of the policies they push, the ones that hurt the middle/working classes.

  9. Didn’t Steve Balmer get fired by the Microsoft Board of Directors?

    Yeah, I’m going to care what a rich tech geek in liberal Seattle thinks…
    He’s right up there with Zuckerberg and Ellison at Oracle, as paragons of whats best for the public.
    Along with the “dont be evil” Morlocs at Google.

    Inspiration for the younger nitwits who are pushing the “Dark Enlightenment” movement…
    http://techcrunch.com/2013/11/22/geeks-for-monarchy/

  10. It will be interesting to see if this bill dies. Of it does it will add more proof to the fact that money won’t ensure a win and two the 1% club members are insane. You know that definition of insanity!
    Dan wow man, Vists was just a misunderstood operating system lol
    Honestly I switched from windows to Mac and Linux 4 years ago. Minus people spilling coffee on them or dropping them, they don’t have issues. I still use it since some of our OOB interfaces require windows IE. I hate that to honestly.

    • Historically, money has not mattered. What has mattered is which side can get more of their like thinking people to vote for their cause. There are plenty of studies that say money does not win campaigns. Feet on the ground, calling pools, door-to-door campaigning, those all work better.

  11. Universal background check has a nice ring to it and boobus will go “ooooahhhhh shiny pretty, me like grunt grunt” in the voting booth. Sorry Washingtonians, you’re screwed.

    • It’ll all depend on mobilization and turnout in central Puget Sound versus the rest of the state. The reason Washington goes blue in national elections is the urban voting blocs in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties. They are overwhelming Democratic and such a high proportion of the state’s population that if they have high turnout, pretty much the state goes their way.

      Outside those areas, Washington is solidly red. Even just crossing Lake Washington into Bellevue gets you into a Republican district. If turnout goes more towards the rural areas, then chances are much better for the good guys.

  12. Universal background checks don’t bother me nearly as much as what they would want to do when that doesn’t work either and there’s another a school shooting. “Grab their guns! We just have to do something, even if it’s stupid”.

    • +100000000. I have literally debated leftists down to the point where they simply shout, “But we just have to DO SOMETHING!!!!” Usually countered with, “Why must we change the fundamentals of our society every time a tragedy occurs?”, then they usually simply shout said line, again…

  13. Wouldn’t want the Resistance having arms when their T-101s begin to eradicate the human race. They’re pushing for a robotized military. They build machines that are a competitor to humans and want humans to be disarmed.

  14. Well, Ambulatory Hawking and his buddy Business Casual Uncle Fester can both take a long walk off the edge of Mercer Island.

  15. So MSNBC will call it “donating to the grass roots effort”.
    Isn’t Gates involved in population control efforts and part of that Ted Turner Georgia Guidestones cult?
    Nothing says compassion like population controlling billionaires who fence off millions of acres to keep the plebes out.

  16. To be fair, I don’t know if Gates and Ballmer understand what universal background checks actually entail. UBC sound like a very reasonable policy to people who don’t know the facts, people who otherwise fully support the 2nd Amendment. So Gates and Ballmer may just be uninformed. Unfortunately, this is the case with some proponents of banning so-called “assault weapons” as well. They don’t know what they are talking about.

    • Not sure if they know or if they even care. Many times these are donations are to buy favors to be named later, influence or for someone to do the same for their cause own personal cause du jour. People with this kind of money could care less about the details of the cause. Many times it is just PR.

  17. Billionaires like Bloomberg, Soros, Gates and Ballmer have been funding the civilian disarmament complex for decades. Without their money and influence, national anti-gun organizations and anti-gun politicians would not exist.

    They do not want to see us disarmed because they are communists. They want us disarmed because they are fascists, in love with their political and economic power. They spend money on propaganda to influence elections and they buy politician’s votes because that is how they increase their wealth and power. An armed citizenry is the ultimate counter to government excess, the very government they seek to control.

  18. These guys haven’t learn from Bloomberg mistakes haven’t they? Go ahead, waste your money! The people of Washington will vote I-594 down!

  19. As mentioned above, the reason that billionaires jump on these kind of bandwagons is that they can feel good about themselves for “doing something”, and because their life and lifestyle will not be affected no matter what kind of gun laws are passed. They will always have armed bodyguards, and they will always be surrounded by ass kissing assistants who tell them how smart they are.
    Essentially, they don’t have to worry about the consequences of such a law passing because all that money insulates them from reality.
    Such is life for the rich

  20. I am worried about this here in Washington. Seattle has a ton of people that are anti gun and have no idea what it takes to get a gun currently. I tried my best to educate my friends on facebook over the last two years, but a majority remain anti-gun. They have said, “even if this won’t work, hopefully it might lower the number of guns available.” Because ultimately, they wish there were no guns.

    • I’ve come to realize over the years that appeals to logic and statistics will not sway the virulently antigun. Furthermore I am of the opinion that of the three major ideological leanings, American liberalism is most emotional this being the case I think we need to argue pro-firearms from a social justice empowerment. I mean, honestly, how can you REALLY call yourself a liberal if you deny the best tool of empowerment for the disenfranchised.

      • emotional people don’t like guns, because they are impulsive and they don’t trust themselves or anyone else to act rationally.

  21. Screw Gates. All that moron was successful in doing was convincing computer aficionados that mediocre software was something everyone needed. When you think about it, if the consumer market was truly who he meant to service, MicroSoft would be setting a superior standard for customer service and demanding licensees do the same; it would be testing their products more diligently before dumping their crap on a captive and unsuspecting market, and lastly, they would have figured out a way to preserve files without blowing the formats out past Pluto’s orbit.

    He made a virtue out of mediocrity.

    • he made a necessity out if mediocrity, once he had a near monopoly.

      Nobody that I know views Microsoft as virtuous. More like a necessary evil in business enterprises.

    • Have you ever developed a large computer program before? I work at Microsoft. I am part of the reason you can open Office files online. We test the heck out of the products. It is impossible to find every bug before releasing. It is impossible to test a service that will run at scale without incrementally increasing the number of people using the service until something breaks.

      • I don’t work for Microsoft. I used to work at DoD. I installed Open Office on my machine so that I could examine code in infected Word files from our adversaries without infecting the entire Department. I discovered that the OO guys were right – Open Office (and subsequently Libre Office) has better backward compatibility for Word files than Word.

        Testing for knowns is easy; testing for and fixing unknowns is hard. Easy is also LAZY.

        I also resent being an unwilling, unpaid Microsoft Beta Tester.

        • I literally worked on backwards compatibility in the last three versions of Word. I know for a fact, because it was literally my job to verify this stuff, Microsoft Word displays Word documents the best.

          Secondly, if you use any service on the internet you are a beta tester. All services on the internet with more than a few hundred thousand people using it, uses its users as beta testers in order to “test at scale.” TTAG uses us as beta testers as they are rolling out changes. That is the way the world works now.

  22. Microsoft is on a long slide down to gone. There are free replacements that are better for almost anything you can name (except gaming). If it was not for the automatic inclusion of Windows as the OS on most laptops, Microsoft would be in bigger trouble than GM ever was. In parts of the world this is already true. The Netherlands gave Microsoft more revenue than China did in the most recent year reported. By the way Vista was not a true disaster….that was ME (Millennium) which was pulled before the OS it was suppose to replace was.

    Microsoft has already lost the server market, even here in the US, so their success continues to fade. Linux and VMware have completely outclassed and replaced the server OS market for Windows.

  23. What is it about the super-rich that predisposes so many of them to oppose the right to keep and bear arms?

    An insatiable desire to control everything combined with bottomless greed. That’s how they got to be super rich in the first place – they’re psychopaths.

  24. Who is John Galt? Remember when people became successful by earning it instead of by rubbing elbows with the political elite.

  25. I always thought Gates was a soulless automaton. And yeah this would wreck the used gun market. This kind of BS happened in Illinois. It can be a b##ch to be legal…

  26. SCREW YOU, BALLMAR AND GATES, AND ALL YOU OTHER LIBERAL LOSERS WHO WANT TO TAKE OUR GUNS!! YOU HAVE PAID SECURITY, BUT YOU WANT US TO BE DEFENSELESS!! GO TO HELL!! I DON’T SEE ANY OF YOU ASSHOLES GIVING AWAY YOUR BILLIONS TO THE POOR!! IF YOU WERE IN A SOCIALIST OR COMMUNIST COUNTRY, YOU WOULD NOT OWN SHIT!! STOP TRYING TO TURN OUR COUNTRY INTO ONE OF THOSE THIRD WORLD HELL HOLES!! OF COURSE, THEY ARE FOR GUN CONTROL, BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT THE POOR PEOPLE ARE PISSED!!

    • Bill gates has literally given billions to the poor. Developed schools for inner city kids. He also encouraged other billionaires to donate their fortunes to better the world.

  27. A good friend of mine in Seattle recently said he didn’t understand why there’s currently no system of background checks for gun purchases. Yes, he actually believed that you can walk into a gun store (or go online), plop down some cash, and take immediate ownership of a gun–without any kind of a background check. That’s how effective the anti-gun propaganda is. And that’s what we’re up against as initiatives 594 and 591 go to the ballot this fall.

    I tried to explain the difference between “background checks” (form 4473, etc.) and “universal (or expanded) background checks,” and that it’s already illegal to sell a gun to a felon. And I said that if he didn’t believe me, he could visit a gun store and try it for himself–and that there’s even a waiting period if the buyer doesn’t have a Washington State CPL. But I doubt that I was able to pierce the wall of ignorance.

    • You presented your friend with the truth, and ultimately, that’s our biggest weapon. I think you’ve got him thinking.

    • I still think a big pro-gun ad campaign could be effective there. There are a lot of techno-libertarians who are sitting on the fence and need to hear someone other than the limousine liberals whine in their ear.

      • Many of us have donated to Alan Gottlieb’s 591/anti-594 group, Protect Our Gun Rights, but they have yet to produce any public material whatsoever. No commercials, no newspaper ads, nothing.

        In fact, the local Seattle papers would likely not even run an anti-594 ad, as both the Seattle PI and Seattle Times have openly endorsed 594.

        The NRA doesn’t appear to be helping at all.

        TTAG barely covers these two initiatives at all. This is one of the few articles I’ve ever seen on Washington. Apparently TTAG crew doesn’t pay attention to anything other than the east coast and Texas.

        Nobody is helping us here in WA, and we may be screwed. If 594 passes, next session there WILL be an initiative to ban high-cap mags or “assault weapons.”

    • I’ve convinced several of my friends that would have voted yes to 594 to vote NO now. The one point that seems to get across to them is if the anti-gun was really interested in universal back ground checks they would open it up to anyone being able to doing one. Not just FFL dealers. Also that any new hand gun transfers would be recorded with the Washington state department of licensing. This fact reinforces that this is NOT about background check but more about gun registration.

  28. You know, for a guy who has himself been the target of a successful, vicious and coordinated pie attack, you’d think he’d be a little more supportive of people’s right to defend themselves from would-be attackers. Just sayin’.

    • because a pie in the face deserves a .45 hydrashok in the face in return.

      Isn’t that a little excessive? Maybe a little tazing and a tune-up with a baton, but c’mon.

  29. Anyone who thinks Vista was the worst Windows operating system has clearly never used Windows Millennium Edition. Just sayin’…

    • naw, Vista was the worst. It got viruses and malware just by being connected to the internet before even going to a website. If Beelzebub Gates purposefully set out to torment humanity, he would design an OS like Vista.

      • You do realize that the Windoze security engine was originally outsourced to the Russians to write. And that Gates sold the Win98 kernel source code to the Chinese for an ungodly amount of money.

  30. “What is it about the super-rich that predisposes so many of them to oppose the right to keep and bear arms?” U R kidding right? They only want their swim team (bald headed guys with bulges on their ankles) to keep and bear arms. They have ascended to rareified air where they are the only ones who deserve the right to armed defense. I worked for one of America’s top 100 richest jack wagons fir 20 years. They think that we (and rightly so) are all stupid because we work for them, making them obscenely rich while we eak out a living. Eat the rich, out of the palace and into the ditch.

  31. Take away one of their freedoms ie 1st amendment see how they squeal. There is no argument against inalienable rights

  32. Bill Gates is top level NEW WORLD ORDER , he is putting billions dollars to disarm and birth control (at the UN )plus is now into secret BIO-weapons development , said in public we need to reduce the earth of 80 % of it’s people… WHAT a SICK-O, and more dangerous that HITLER ever was…

  33. Sooo, I’m sure TTag’s servers are running some sort of Linux right?

    Honestly though rather than saying Linux is da bomb, to actually hurt msft, I would put out this recomendation: “Don’t buy office, use Libre office instead!” Really its a good free office suite.

  34. Gates, one of common cores lieutenants? Or the Gates that was quoted as saying vaccines can help reduce the earths population? The same gates that helped build the seed doomsday vault in the article circle? I don’t think there is any question where this guy stands.

  35. Bill Gates contributing a measly $50K? For a guy with literally billions in cash and assets, and who has already spent billions on other causes (charity, education etc), that sounds more like “here, stop whining and get off” to me.

    • If you mean his charity=vaccine programs with intent to depopulate, and if mean his education=common core, ie dumbing us further down( if possible), then I agree.

  36. Billionaires don’t think like normal people. They think money gives them power and this makes them entitled to rule, either directly or indirectly.

    It should not be a surprise that a notable number of billionaires are advocates of global human population reduction.

    They obviously don’t want resistance as their unwanted subjects are led to the “showers”.

  37. Bill Gates and his cohorts do not have regular contacts with everyday, run of the mill humans. He lives in an ivory tower surrounded and security enforced by firearms. For him to call for civilian disarmament is to be completely separated from reality. His computer programs have more logic than he does making him look as stupid as he looks. STICK TO COMPUTERS BILL, AND LEAVE CIVIL DISCOURSE TO THOSE THAT ARE BETTER SUITED TO THAT ENDEAVOR!!!. If Gates lived in some of the inner city areas with high crime rates or in some rural areas where help is far away and a person is forced to depend on his own resources, he would be singing a different tune. Why is it that it is mostly filthy rich people that call for civilian disarmament? Is fear of weapons a sign of lack of sexual maturity as Freud proposed?

  38. Noah Webster “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed….The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States” 155.dc

  39. “May Gates and Ballmer be as successful in this effort as they were with Windows Vista.”

    Fuck that. May they be as successful as Windows Mobile, Windows 8, Zune…

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