Reader John Dingell III writes:
The real issue in the FireClean lawsuit against Vuurwapen Blog is how blog publishers can protect themselves from legal intimidation. While a political blogger can, uh, ‘trump’ his opponents because politicians and public figures have few legal protections, in the commercial sphere targets enjoy far greater legal protections. This is particularly apparent in the financial sphere, where lawsuits against journalists often succeed. This suggests that . . .
critical reviews should probably be conducted from behind the legal shield of a thinly capitalized nonprofit corporation and be attributed to ‘Small Arms Foundation Testing Staff’ or some other construct.
The FireClean lawsuit has very carefully crafted allegations which appear true, but were constructed with much malice aforethought. The core elements of the Vuurwapen stories are correct, but they then got a little far afield embellishing their thesis at the margins. FireClean’s lawsuit cleverly avoids noting the high degree of variability in oils produce from agricultural products to suggest that there is some difference between their product and deacidified rapeseed oil. There isn’t. Agricultural products are typically contaminated by regrowth from the last year’s crop’s (say, soybeans) inadvertent regrowth, and the fundamental differences between different cultivars of the same genus.
Vuurwapen implied that there is something unsatisfactory about rapeseed (Canola) oil as a lubricant. There isn’t. The Germans lubricated everything during WWII with rapeseed oil due to their shortages of mineral oils. Rapeseed oil even solved the premature transmission failures in the Panzer Mark V tank.
If FireClean prevails, the environment in which bloggers operate will be changed for the worse. It’s something bloggers should consider in order to protect themselves and their gun collections. It’s probably prudent to prepare for the eventuality of a Vuurwapen defeat. Bloggers have entered the realm of big businesses.