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Reno May Demonetized for Aiding Neighbors

It was once said that the internet saved gun culture in America, as it brought many people together even though they lived all across the world. One example of that is Reno May, who continues to drive forward on platforms like YouTube. Living in California, which as a state, continues to be the stuff of memes, Reno May's channel has often centered on helping people in his state learn about the legal path to gun ownership. In what looks like punishment for doing good, YouTube has recently demonetized him.

Reno May Patriotism

Photo by Reno May.

We reached out and were able to get a few questions answered regarding Censorship, the Second Amendment, and what's next for Reno and his channel.

How did you and your channel get started?

Reno May: I got started in 2017 when I was working at a gun store in California. It was in a time period where a lot of laws (regarding firearms) were about to take effect. So rather than having to field 50 phone calls that would each take 15 minutes, we decided to make a video and direct people there. I ran the social media for the store until it closed in 2018 and stopped making videos until 2019. So many of those videos were still being commented on because some laws were changing again, making it more confusing. Shocking in California, I know.

I decided to make an updated video, but figured I’d only make a new one every other week. Things quickly cascaded, as I was hoping to move from 2,000 subscribers to 10,000 subscribers by the end of 2020. Instead we hit it in March (2020). The same day that California started talking about locking down, we launched a video on “How to buy a gun in California in 2020” and it exploded overnight.

This has become a big part of my life now, even though it’s not a full-time job. I’m fortunate to be able to do this.

What's it like working with YouTube?

With YouTube, it’s a never-ending game of cat and mouse. Even if you follow the rules, they can decide they don’t like what you’re doing and demonetize you. While it’s technically not censorship, it removes the potential from the platform. It was a pretty big hit yesterday, when I woke up to an email saying that I was removed from the YouTube partner program.

There weren’t any specifics, but they said they looked at my channel and believed it wasn’t in line with their policies. All they said was that it was related to firearms. All I do (on my channel) is try to describe the legal text and to inform people so that they may make the best decisions they can. I’m looking to get re-monetized to continue with the channel.

Unfortunately, when you get removed from the program, there’s no way to get ahold of anybody. The amount of people who have reached out and said “Hey, I was nervous about buying a gun in California, but your video helped me out.” That’s what makes me happy to wake up in the morning. The amount of Californian gun owners who have come out in 2020 is huge.

The California Department of Justice seems to want to tell people that guns are illegal, or that it’s too hard. It’s refreshing to help people figure out that it’s not the case.

Although it’s not quite censorship, with the demonetization, what other challenges have you faced?

Reno May: It’s hard, because sometimes you find out something that’s going on in the industry that’s unsavory, but at the end of the day you have to talk about it. In California, there’s a lot of bad things going on in regards to gun laws, and it's constant. It can be hard to stay optimistic, and it’s hard to keep people focused, active, and about it. They tend to go on a spectrum: interested in guns, to interested in rights, then they get a little upset about gun rights being stripped away, and eventually they feel defeated, and are no longer interested in participating in the game. Especially in California, they feel defeated and lose interest in trying to change things.

In California, everything that I want to do is more expensive and more difficult. Some people don’t like when I talk about certaing work-arounds, thinking that it’ll be the reason something is made illegal. If we all hide in the shadows and don’t own up that we’re gun owners it’ll just be 20 more years of losing the culture war.  We can’t be silent anymore. There are many people who feel defeated and it’s hard to get them out of that state of mind. We cannot just sit back and try to keep what we got.

What do you mean by the Culture War?

Reno May: When you think about what has been allowed for people to believe about guns and gun ownership, they say things like “what do you need that for, you’re not going to hunt with that thing?” The problem is, for many years, people would say that they own guns to hunt. They said it because that was what they were comfortable with. I think we need to get more people to be comfortable owning the fact that they own firearms fully equipped to keep them from being oppressed by a government or group of people. We forget that during World War II, we put a whole bunch of people in cages because they had some sort of connection with Japan.

Reno May Instagram anon

People need to own the fact that some of their guns are not for hunting, it’s for being self-sufficient and having something to defend themselves with. We need to be more open and honest about when we own guns for self-defense. We’ve all seen people who treat gun ownership like it needs to be kept secret.

Reno May

Where to find him:

YouTube: Reno May
Instagram: @reno.mayguns


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9 responses to “Reno May Demonetized for Aiding Neighbors”

  1. frank p spena sr says:

    Reno keep up the good work to defend our the 2nd amendment and our country. If we loose our right to defend ourselves we are no longer free. You people against guns remember that. Also if you get broken into and can’t defend yourself, it’s to later to think about it unless you have a gun. Just watch Forensic Files and the people murdered and raped and tortured and killed, if only they had a gun. think about it?

  2. frank p spena sr says:

    You guys at you tube stop your foolish thinking. Let Reno back in, free speech is a God given right. Your trying to take us down. We have the right to protect ourselves. Read my first comment? correction above,it is to (late) not to (later).

  3. joe says:

    The government is violating your first amendment rights by sub-contracting the censorship to YouTube; they’re a part of Big Tech that is very cozy with the top of the government. SCOTUS, congress, GOP, they are not really going to help you, despite what they might claim. This is not going to get better.

  4. Steve Kellmeyer says:

    “We forget that during World War II, we put a whole bunch of people in cages because they had some sort of connection with Japan.”

    And what would gun ownership have changed about that? Are you saying the Japanese should have pulled guns on the people trying to intern them? Or that we would fare any better if we pulled guns on government agents today?

    Let’s say the government DID try a round-up of “people somehow connected to X”. Gun owners aren’t going to do anything to stop such a round-up, at least, they aren’t going to do anything with their guns to stop such a round-up. Are you saying you think they would?

    If you’re right, and they did, how would they be different than the Unabomber – who took violent action to defend what he thought was right? Or the men who flew planes into buildings on 9/11?

    No one is going to use guns to defend themselves against the US government. You just aren’t. Stop pretending that you would. No one did so when Biden stole the election, no one will do so if he or someone else steals another one. It just won’t happen.

    • Bob Dylan II says:

      Not against the government… just the stupid cops that show up to enforce govt. edict. I would die before I let them put me in an internment camp… and before I go, my goal would be to kill as many of “them” as possible. Dying to send somebody connected to “X” isn’t what most cops want to do. Hence if the cops know they have a 50/50 chance of getting killed try to enforce something like that, they’re going to be a lot less willing to enforce it.

      “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you’d be cracking the skull of a cutthroat.”

      ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

    • Patriot says:

      You need to do a little more homework. Without armed citizens the government would have walked all over the Bundy family and all of those that supported them. Ultimately the Bundy’s prevailed in court but it started with citizens unafraid of their government because of their right to bear arms.

  5. Humility says:

    It is time I demonetized YouTube.

  6. ronnor says:

    Having no guns means having someone like Joe Biden or Nancy Pelosi for President forever while they laugh in your face and say, “…so what are you going to do about it stupid.”. It’s happened in every country that the People trusts any government.

  7. Fr. James Rosselli says:

    I read, ” not exactly censorship.”

    The thing is, there are “cult phrases” and there is reality. Cult phrases are used for diplomatic or political purposes. Reality statements arer simple and straightforward. Look up “censorship” in your handy Merriam-Webster, and you’ll see that’s precisely what YT is doing.

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