Let's Talk About Cody Wilson

in codywilson •  11 months ago  (edited)

Cody WIlson

The Story

Cody Wilson is a 30-year-old, well-known (in some circles) gun rights activist. Many know him as the 3D printed gun guy. He runs a company called Defense Distributed - they produce files that help individuals with the 3D printing of weapons. As you can imagine, he and his company are not popular with the government (or anti-weapon people).

He recently allegedly met a young woman in TX on a website called SugarDaddyMeet(.com) where all members must be over the age of 18. The site boasts "member verification" - however tucked into their service agreement is this:

"SM.com is not responsible for any of the information provided to SDM.com or SM.com during the age, education, photo, occupation, income or any other verification process. In issuing any certification as to a Member's "verified" or "certified" status, you agree and accept that SM.com has not done any due diligence on the materials or information provided, but has simply relied on the information submitted by the Member or user, which may or may not be accurate or truthful. The term "verified" or "certified" is not to be in anyway construed as a guarantee of any information provided by the Member to you or by the Member or user to SM.com."

This young woman claimed to be 18. In reality she was 16. According to investigators "she looks younger", though no public photos of her have been released (and likely won't since she's a minor) so it's not like any of us get to judge that, and I'm not sure I want to base my opinion on an investigator's opinion.

Either way, she presented herself as 18 (therefore a legal adult and over the age of consent in TX).

The two allegedly met in person, went to an Austin TX hotel, had sex, and Wilson gave her $500 (presumably for the sex. SugarDaddyMeet, and other websites like it, strongly encourage "Daddies" to give gifts to their "babies" when they first meet - and some arrangements aren't explicitly or primarily sexual though obviously many are).

TX age of consent is 17. The young woman apparently has been seeing a counselor for a while for something else, and spoke to her counselor about this, who reported it to the police.

Since the young woman is actually 16, Wilson has a warrant out for his arrest for a second degree felony charge of sexual assault (potential punishment on conviction is 2-20 years & a $10k fine). This is not in reference to prostitution, as Reason(.com) reports - "The nature of the charge under Texas penal code 22.011(A)(2)(a) makes consent or payment irrelevant; her being legally a child is all that matters."

Wilson was traveling in Taiwan. The US Government revoked his passport, and police in Taiwan arrested him and he is expected to be deported back to the US for trial.

Wilson's case within the public (or internet) sphere seems to get a lot of knee-jerk response: either "absolutely a gov't set up" or "he's a rapist". As you can imagine, this is not my style.

My Thoughts

Generally a sting is going to involve catching him in the act (or about to perform it) - but I recognize that the US government wants to stop Cody Wilson from his gun activism (and he's been embroiled in legal battles surrounding it, bringing about 1st and 2nd amendment defenses).

I do believe it is totally possible he was set up (entrapment). I don't know it the same way I don't know anything without evidence. But it's absolutely possible.

That being said, since he knows the government would love any excuse to lock him up, I think this was kind of a stupid thing to do (ignoring the age part - just the concept of hooking up with some woman from a sugar daddy site).

I have no moral issue with someone paying for sex, provided that it is consensual. So he may be legally guilty of the "crime" of paying for sex but I would defend him against that being a problem because I don't believe it should be a crime. He's not being charged for that, however.

I do not know if Wilson is or was aware what verification is done to confirm the women on the website are over the age of 18 (though the website uses claims like "verified" and "certified" for members, turns out that means NOTHING).

Since the "sexual assault" being charged isn't actually non-consensual sexual activity but rather the government claiming she wasn't old enough to consent, while she identified herself and claimed to be over the age of 18 (on a site that claims to verify its members), I don't really feel completely comfortable putting the fault totally on him for taking her word for it.

I know I tend to take an unpopular (in some circles) position of believing that people who are 16/17 are capable of consenting. I know I was at that age - and the majority of states in the US have age of consent laws of either 16 or 17. A quick look online shows: 11 states are 18+, 8 states are 17+, the rest are 16+.

I spent most of my teenage years pretending I was over 18 online. I was on Friendster at 15. I wasn't going online for sex (though I was capable of sexual consent if I wanted to have it), but I am aware enough that a young woman going on a website that is FOR dating-for-money, and intentionally claiming to be over 18 in order to use that website, is a young woman who believes herself to be capable of giving consent, and I don't wish to deny her that agency.

For Wilson's part - I have no issue with a man having mutually consensually sex with someone he believes to be at or over the age of 18.

Of COURSE if he actually sexually assaulted her (as in sexual activity without her consent - consent being something I believe she at 16 has the ability to give or withdraw), or if he was attempting to kidnap her or traffick her, then of course that would be wrong and he can fuck off to hell. But there has been neither evidence nor even a claim that he was. Just the technicality of what the government says women her age are allowed to consent to.

My commentary here has nothing to do with his popularity within libertarian circles for his gun rights activism (besides the fact that I'm aware of him because of it). I don't know him personally, I can't comment on him and if he's a great guy or an asshole (as a person or a businessman).

I believe in having a nuanced perspective but ultimately a principled one: and I'm not yet aware that Cody Wilson has done anything against my principles (of agency or of non-aggression).

I don't need to stand "with" or "against" him. I'm standing with my principles, and as long as he hasn't defied them, we're good.

I will continue to keep an eye on the case, as more information regarding his behavior could make him guilty or not of harm. I'll may try to update this post as things come to light.


Thanks for taking the time to read this. I don't know if it changes anyone's minds, or if people who maybe didn't know certain details might benefit from the overview, I've just seen too many quick takes and felt like taking the time to dive in on the subject, as many people have also tagged me on threads on the topic.

...this is a cross-post from my personal Facebook which you can see here, but I know lots of people are no longer on FB.

...also, hi, I'm Avens O'Brien, and I've been intending to write an introduction post to Steemit, but I guess I'm just gonna start my Steemit journey with this one.

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Cody is an absolute gun as far as I'm concerned. There is unequivocally nothing wrong with what he did from an objective standard of voluntaryism.

Even if Cody had knowledge that the girl was 16. What right does the government or anyone else have to tell a young woman that clearly
understands the repercussions of the act she's engaging in, that she can not voluntarily have sex with an older man?

It should be self-evident that what the majority within a country or society think about someone's ability to consent to sex has no basis on whether that individual can or cannot consent in objective reality.
Consent merely means having the cognitive capacity to understand what one is agreeing to and accepting these terms voluntarily.

The age of consent is obviously not set in stone so the question begs, what age is acceptable and can we arrive at an objective rational outside of the generalized ethics of a society?
In nearly every culture and society, 13-18 was considered adulthood and it was considered the norm for a younger woman to be married to an older man.

From a biological perspective, most children hit puberty between the ages of 9 - 15. Men are considered capable of procreating upon their first ejaculation which occurs 1-2 years after they hit puberty. If a woman is menstruating, they are ready to have sex and procreate.

An individual being at an appropriate level of self-autonomy or brain development is also not necessarily defined by age.
Many teenagers from the age of 13 display high IQ's well above the normal range of 'Adults' and are responsible for many ground-breaking discoveries e.g. 15 year old Jack Andrake responsible for inventing a pancreatic cancer detection tool and 13-year-old Terence Newton who invented a free energy device under $15.
Should people that are retarded in their mental capacity showing IQ’s lower than 70 be restricted from making decisions concerning themselves?

The current basis we have for Age of Consent laws around most countries are not grounded in objective ethics or science and often reflect values of the Elizabethan era where women needed to be protected from exploitation and marriage outside of wedlock. Although humans naturally have it within themselves to protect their young and those deemed as lacking wisdom, we do not have the right to prevent them from enacting their free will once they become free ages.
If one owns themselves and is capable of exercising dominion over their body and their mind, the harsh truth is one cannot restrict their capacity to make voluntarily decisions about what they do with themselves without violating their rights as sovereign beings.

Consent should not be based on the standard of the arbitary standard of age but on an individal assessments of cognitive ability or whether the said party has the capacity to emancipate themsleves from the Guardianship of their parent or carer.

Despite the often unwilingness of parents to relinquish guardianship of their children, once a male or female is able to excerise their agency and awarness to consent, you can not restrict their free-will
without violating their soverign rights.

Agreed on most points.

" If a woman is menstruating, they are ready to have sex and procreate." --- this isn't actually accurate. A girl may begin menstruating at 9-10, but her hips might not widen until 16 or 17. If she were to have sex and procreate, she's much more likely to die in childbirth or have to have a c-section. Unfortunately menstruation doesn't actually equal readiness to reproduce even biologically.

Women in history usually didn't menstruate (on average) until their mid-and-later-teens. They were sometimes married off earlier, but often didn't have sex or give birth until later. The earlier they had children, the shorter their life expectancy, and the life expectancy of their children. Richer/wealthier/high class women tended to get their periods earlier, presumably due to better nutrition.

Our diets and resource-rich lives (on average) have led to earlier and earlier menstruation - the average first period is now at age 12 (there are indicators that the added hormones in milk, meat and dairy are speeding that process up). It doesn't necessarily mean we're ready for sex/pregnancy.

I had my first period at 14. I also started college, met a guy who was 25 but I had a LOT in common with, and started a friendship that became a courtship - and at 15 I wanted to have sex with him. He refused me due to my youth (and laws), and so we maintained a close friendship that eventually led to a sexual relationship when I was 17. As I say - I was capable of consenting much earlier than I actually had sex. The ability to consent includes the ability to refuse or withdraw consent.

Anyway, I agree with your points generally, and think utilizing hard age lines for Age of Consent laws is a terrible way to go about things.

Thanks for the knowledge. I was writing in terms of what Biology facilitates. I'm obviously no expert on female reproduction but according to a documentary I watched some years back, genetically speaking, the prime age for women having children is (15-19).There is a higher risk of there being genetic defects in a women's offspring the longer she waits after her teens to have children and a women generally reaches sexual maturity at 16. It's interesting to note that the earliest recorded pregnancy was of Peruvian girl born in 1933 who began menstruating at the age of eight months, and was tragically raped as a 5 year old, giving birth at 6. What is possible from a biological perspective however is not necessarily what is 'safe' or moral.

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Excellent post. I knew nothing about the whole subject. You've presented a very balanced consideration of the events. Really interesting read!

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  ·  11 months ago (edited)

I understand that there's a lot of theory of it being a set-up, and there are reasons to believe it was and reasons to believe it wasn't. I wanted to make sure people understood why it shouldn't even matter - even if he was set-up, I don't believe he did anything wrong, and his actions (as they are known) are defensible as they are.

Also, thank you. :)

@avens, I gave you a vote!
If you follow me, I will also follow you in return!

Sad though.

I'm guessing somebody will slip a liberator through the metal detector and shoot her on the stand, denying him a chance to clear his name and justifying a range of new laws.
The arrest is just Act 1.

Police do sting operations the CIA however does the dirtiest tricks in the book to make sure their agenda is observed, take note how fast his passport was revoked meanwhile US citizens come home from Syria to commit acts of terrorism representing ISIS. Their passports still have a green light because it fits the CIA agenda. I live in Ohio the age of consent here is 16 this dude was set up big time he should have thought with his head on top not the one on the bottom.

If they didn't get him on sexual assault, it was only a matter of time before they got him on something else. The average U.S Citizens commits 3 felony crimes a day. If the U.S government wants you, it'll get you.

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They'll use anything they got on him..

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