The GameStop short squeeze campaign wasn’t wanton recklessness — it’s cause for hope

WallStreetBets forum on the Reddit displayed on a phone screen and a illustrative stock chart in the background
WallStreetBets forum on the Reddit displayed on a phone screen and a illustrative stock chart in the background
Image: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Give credit where it’s due: The WallStreetBets subreddit’s revolt against short sellers has brought global attention to a problem that has long vexed public company CEOs, myself included. The scrutiny ought to lead regulators to fix the countless issues caused by short sellers.

Short selling, in brief, is when one borrows stock, sells it at the current price, and then buys back the stock later to return the borrowed shares. They’re betting the price will fall, and if it does, they profit from the difference. This can play a useful role in the market: Theoretically, if a company is overvalued…

Dismay, disgust, horror — you can pick your shade of revulsion about what happened on Wednesday in Washington, DC, and to the US Capitol building. It evokes all of those feelings, and more. Of the questions raised in the aftermath, one has received more scrutiny than others: Why didn’t the Capitol Police stop the rioters? Shouldn’t they have met the thuggery, vandalism, and breach of security with greater force? My answer to this: A resounding no. In fact, despite every awful thing that happened yesterday, all of us should be grateful that individual Capitol Police officers showed restraint and deescalated…

The gravest threat to American democracy isn’t a politician, party, or governing philosophy. It’s not Washington, nor the media, nor technology companies undermining our country’s common fabric. No, the menace is both less visible to us and in our faces all the time: It’s an epidemic of anger that has overwhelmed the country and risks tearing it apart.

You don’t have to look far to see it. Anger courses through our news, our social media feeds, even our dinner tables. It leads to snap judgments and shouting matches. Anyone who disagrees with us is labeled and dehumanized—if they’re not on…

I want to share a story of unconstitutional government overreach. It’s one that should make every American wonder if their property could be seized without the protection we all expect: a fair day in court. It’s an effort by a US government agency to seize our company’s intellectual property — 10 years of work by a dedicated team of more than a thousand people.

The story begins 30 years ago. When two high school friends of mine were shot and killed, I started a company in a garage to use technology to prevent unnecessary deaths. Fast-forward to today, my team…

In 1997, my company debuted a product at CES to the kind of acclaim that most entrepreneurs dream about. The product — the AUTO TASER — was designed to end car theft as we knew it. During the mid-1990s, car theft was an enormous public problem, and we thought we had built a brilliant solution.

We weren’t the only ones who thought so. Though we had only built a prototype, the AUTO TASER still thrilled the crowds at CES. Reporters fought among themselves to write about the product. Conference-goers lined up 10 people deep to see it. Sharper Image announced…

Rick Smith

Founder & CEO @Axon_us . Pioneer of technology with the vision of making the bullet obsolete. Join me in the conversation. #EndOfKilling

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