Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The NRA Has Its Own Gun Owner Database: I Propose Another Conspiracy Theory

According to Buzzfeed:
The National Rifle Association has rallied gun-owners — and raised tens of millions of dollars — campaigning against the threat of a national database of firearms or their owners.
But in fact, the sort of vast, secret database the NRA often warns of already exists, despite having been assembled largely without the knowledge or consent of gun owners. It is housed in the Virginia offices of the NRA itself. The country’s largest privately held database of current, former, and prospective gun owners is one of the powerful lobby’s secret weapons, expanding its influence well beyond its estimated 3 million members and bolstering its political supremacy.
That database has been built through years of acquiring gun permit registration lists from state and county offices, gathering names of new owners from the thousands of gun-safety classes taught by NRA-certified instructors and by buying lists of attendees of gun shows, subscribers to gun magazines and more, . . .
My cynicism prompts a few little question. If Google, Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter have provided information to the NSA, how can gun owners be certain that the NRA didn't provide their information to the NSA? How do they know the NRA didn't build a backdoor to allow the NSA as some these social networking companies did? Even if there was no backdoor, how can anyone know that the servers weren't hacked? Heck, how can gun owners be certain that Edward Snowden hasn't given their names and addresses to the Russians and the Chinese? If that happened, it will be because the NRA had a secret database.

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