ACLU: Gun Control Bill Threatens Privacy Rights and Civil Liberties

I have to admit, I have a really hard time understanding the perspective of liberty minded folks that lean toward the “progressive” or “liberal” side of the traditional political spectrum when it comes to gun control.  Here is why.

I can understand where their visceral dislike of guns comes from.  Many of them are urbanities and cannot possible conceive the reason anyone would need or want a gun, let alone an “assault rifle.”  I grew up in Manhattan, believe me I get the mentality.  It is very much a cultural phenomenon more than anything else.   That said, many of these people fully understand how criminal our corporate government has become and how these oligarchs are systematically attempting to remove the civil rights of the citizenry.  While this may not be a “right” you agree with, it is a right nonetheless.  I think at a time when we are dealing with such fascist tendencies at the top, we should not advocate for the removal of any rights whatsoever from the citizenry.  This has been my position all along and continues to be.

Yet there is more.  As we see from the ACLU, Harry Reid’s gun control bill is about far more than gun control.  It is about government databases, as well as various other blatant threats to privacy and civil liberties.  From the Daily Caller:

As Senate Democrats struggle to build support for new gun control legislation, the American Civil Liberties Union now says it’s among those who have “serious concerns” about the bill.

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller, a top lobbyist for the ACLU announced that the group thinks Reid’s current gun bill could threaten both privacy rights and civil liberties.

The inclusion of universal background checks — the poll-tested lynchpin of most Democratic proposals — “raises two significant concerns,” the ACLU’s Chris Calabrese told TheDC Wednesday.

Calabrese — a privacy lobbyist — was first careful to note that the ACLU doesn’t strictly oppose universal background checks for gun purchases. “If you’re going to require a background check, we think it should be effective,” Calabrese explained.

Calabrese wouldn’t characterize the current legislation’s record-keeping provision as a “national gun registry” — which the White House has denied pursuing — but he did say that such a registry could be “a second step.”

“Unfortunately, we have seen in the past that the creation of these types of records leads sometimes to the creation of government databases and collections of personal information on all of us,” Calabrese warned. “That’s not an inevitable result, but we have seen that happen in the past, certainly.”

“As we’ve seen with many large government databases, if you build it, they will come.”

“Once you no longer need the information, you should destroy it. Information collected for one purpose shouldn’t be used for another purpose,” he said.

But Calabrese says that Reid’s legislation fails to include those “privacy best practices.” 

I’m sure that’s just an oversight.

“And they come to use databases for all sorts of different purposes,” Calabrese said. “For example, the National Counterterrorism Center recently gave itself the authority to collect all kinds of existing federal databases and performed terrorism related searches regarding those databases. They essentially exempted themselves from a lot of existing Privacy Act protections.”

“So you just worry that you’re going to see searches of the databases and an expansion for purposes that were not intended when the information was collected.”

Reid’s legislation is hauntingly vague about who would physically keep information about American gun purchases, but it’s crystal clear that records will be kept.

There are many other creepy things in the bill that are covered in the article.  Read it here.

In Liberty,
Mike

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5 thoughts on “ACLU: Gun Control Bill Threatens Privacy Rights and Civil Liberties

  1. WELL now this makes my hair stand on end ………how BAD is it when the aclu actually defends there LEAST favorite amendment?

  2. “liberty minded folks that lean toward the ‘progressive’ or ‘liberal’ side of the traditional political spectrum”

    IMHO, there aren’t many ‘liberty minded folks’ on the ‘progressive’/'liberal’ side of the political spectrum. Virtually everyone I know is from that side of the spectrum, and they are mute on the wars, the economy, and the liberty crisis in the US.

    Their hearts are in the right place, but they have been effectively indoctrinated. Their understanding of current events is limited, so their prescriptions for fixing things don’t address reality. And they tend to be extremely close-minded when it comes to being able to hear things that go against their groupthink.

    Acting in ignorance, they fall into supporting the very forces they believe they oppose.

    For example, they tend to believe the government is the answer, and to be blind to, or at least downplay the importance of, corruption.

    Here’s a great illustration of someone’s transformation ‘from liberal to libertarian’:

    http://www.nourishingnation.com/2012/02/02/from-liberal-to-libertarian-food-vaccines-and-freedom/#comments

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