How The NRA Built A Massive Secret Database Of Gun Owners | allnurses

How The NRA Built A Massive Secret Database Of Gun Owners

  1. 0 While the National Rifle Association publicly fights against a national gun registry, the organization has gone to incredible lengths to compile information on "tens of millions" of gun owners-without their consent.
    posted on August 20, 2013

    WASHINGTON-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, BuzzFeed has learned. ...

    ... NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam declined to discuss the group's name-gathering methods or what it does with its vast pool of data about millions of non-member gun owners. Asked what becomes of the class rosters for safety classes when instructors turn them in, he replied, "That's not any of your business." ...

    ... The NRA won't say how many names and what other personal information is in its database, but former NRA lobbyist Richard Feldman estimates they keep tabs on "tens of millions of people." ...

    ... While the organization took great umbrage in December when a newspaper published the names and addresses of gun owners in two New York counties, the group for years has been gathering similar information via the same public records as a matter of course.

    In Virginia, for instance, a North Carolina-based firm called Preferred Communications filed an inquiry with the Virginia State Police in July 2009 asking "on behalf of the National Rifle Association" as to whether the names of concealed carry permit holders could be purchased. The email was obtained by BuzzFeed through a Freedom of Information Act request. ...

    ... Complementing this practice is the mining of data on the thousands who take gun safety classes from NRA-certified instructors. Arulanandam said there are 97,000 of them, a figure that impressed Quinn as a larger "army of organizers" than Obama had. ...

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/stevefriess/...-of-gun-owners
  2. Visit  herring_RN profile page

    About herring_RN

    herring_RN has '>40 years' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Critical care, tele, Medical-Surgical'. From 'California, USA'; Joined Mar '04; Posts: 14,323; Likes: 25,650.

    28 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  TopazLover profile page
    1
    So, I guess the NRA has been tracking me since I took their CCW class. I knew they had my name because I used to get tons of trash mail from them. I don't anymore. I credited it to the fact I sent it back to them Perhaps it is because they have been tracking me and know my views on stupid gun owners and the havoc they create. One can only hope that if they have as much info on me as the NSA, and I do not doubt that nor do I doubt that the info is passed back and forth, that they also get the message that I really do not care. My privacy has been violated so many times by so many things I really don't think there is much more they can do with it.

    I have had my CC skimmed, my body scanned, my mind probed, my clothes patted down. What can the NRA do to me since I will not vote their way, will not support their views, nor will I give them money. They might better scratch my name from their roles.
    herring_RN likes this.
  4. Visit  herring_RN profile page
    1
    What if their data base is hacked?
    TopazLover likes this.
  5. Visit  Elvish profile page
    2
    This is not any less scary than the government having a database of gun owners.
    Not_A_Hat_Person and TopazLover like this.
  6. Visit  azhiker96 profile page
    2
    I find it slightly less scary than the government having a database but only marginally so. It would make sense for the NRA to try to find out who owns/likes guns so they can target them with flyers and attempt to gain more members. More members equals more money and political power. I can't imagine many gun owners being very concerned about that. I cannot imagine the NRA ever publishing their list unless they wanted to lose a significant portion of their membership.

    What is concerning is that the government may one day present the NRA with a top secret order to hand over their list. Of course the order would also stipulate that they cannot say anything about it to the public. The government could get the list and we would never know. We have seen the government recently hit secure email sites with such orders. Adding to the concern is that based on the way the names were collected, it's a very imperfect list. You don't have to own a gun to get on it.

    One girl in my CCW class did not own a gun, she had borrowed one from a friend. You also don't have to own a gun to take a gun safety course.

    If the government wants to figure out who likely has guns I'm sure the NSA can do a better job by mining decades of electronic transactions to see who has purchased guns, ammo, training, or range time.

    I'm not going to lose any sleep over this.
    Last edit by azhiker96 on Aug 23, '13 : Reason: spelling
    VivaLasViejas and Spidey's mom like this.
  7. Visit  Ginger's Mom profile page
    0
    My grocery store has all the information on what I buy, walgreens knows all the meds I take, the state I live in sells my license information to anyone who will pay for it, how is this different than any other database that is kept?
  8. Visit  TopazLover profile page
    1
    Quote from Ginger's Mom
    My grocery store has all the information on what I buy, walgreens knows all the meds I take, the state I live in sells my license information to anyone who will pay for it, how is this different than any other database that is kept?
    The difference I see is that gun owners do not wish to have their gun ownership on any data base. That has been one of the biggest reasons given for why guns should not be registered.

    I think registry is a good idea. If a gun is used illegally there is a trail back to the rightful owner. It could have a positive effect on people who are rather slipshod about their ownership. Getting charged for a crime done by the people who had access to a gun might encourage more responsible behaviors.
    Last edit by TopazLover on Aug 26, '13
    StNeotser likes this.
  9. Visit  azhiker96 profile page
    0
    Quote from aknottedyarn

    I think registry is a good idea. If a gun is used illegally there is a trail back to the rightful owner. It could have a positive effect on people who are rather slipshod about their ownership. Getting charged for a crime done by the people who had access to a gun might encourage more responsible behaviors.
    If I understand this correctly, you would propose that the last known registered owner of a gun should be charged with any crimes committed with that gun. Please correct me if that's wrong.

    Assuming I read that correctly, really? If I'm on a cruise and someone breaks into my house and steals my guns, I should be charged for crimes committed with those guns? It doesn't matter that they broke open my gun safe and cut off the trigger locks? Wow, that would be harsh treatment for me negligently leaving my guns inadequately secured.

    I've got a kinda radical idea. How about charging the person/people who actually committed the crime?
  10. Visit  herring_RN profile page
    1
    What happens now if someone steals your car while you are on a cruise and runs over people?
    TopazLover likes this.
  11. Visit  azhiker96 profile page
    1
    Quote from herring_RN
    What happens now if someone steals your car while you are on a cruise and runs over people?
    If someone steals my car or steals my gun and commits a crime today, they are charged with the crime. I think that's how it should be.

    I thought aknottedyarn was suggesting something different for guns so I was trying to explore that. Perhaps I misread what was proposed or perhaps aknottedyarn has abandoned that idea since they've "liked" your post but not felt the need to respond to clarify their position.
    herring_RN likes this.
  12. Visit  TopazLover profile page
    0
    No, I just had to make dinner and deal with a few crises IRL.

    If someone has transferred a gun with no paper trail or if they have been negligent in the storage of gun then I do think they are guilty of negligence, possibly conspiracy, and in cases of sales to known felons ( I realize it is hard to track illegal gun sales) they need to be charged with conspiracy to commit the crime that happens. They could also be charged with being an accessory before the crime.

    If a person does not lock their car than insurance will not pay if the car is stolen in many cases. If a person does not keep a gun secured then they are an accessory in the crime committed.

    If we have registration then illegal guns are more easily tracked. We have figured out how to transfer titles of cars in all the situations raised about guns, such as gifts in family, inheritance, trade shows, etc.

    Children's Defense Fund report on kids' gun deaths, new gun laws | The Center for Public Integrity
    The group acknowledges that its analysis found that the total number of children and teens injured by gunfire fell in 2009 to 13,791 from a high over the last decade of 20,596 in 2008.
    Among the report’s other findings:

    • The total number of preschool-age children killed by guns during those years — 173 —was nearly double the number of law-enforcement officers — 89 — killed in the line of duty.
    • African-American children and teens represented 45 percent of all guns deaths in their age group in 2008 and 2009, but only 15 percent of the total U.S. population of children.
    • The top cause of death for black teens ages 15 to 19 was gun homicide, while for white teens it was motor vehicle accidents followed by gun homicides.
    • More children and teens died from gunfire in 2008 and 2009 — 5,750 — than the number of U.S. military personnel killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    • Among 23 high-income countries in the world scholars have studied, the United States is home to 80 percent of all gun deaths, and 87 percent of all gun deaths of children younger than 15.
  13. Visit  azhiker96 profile page
    1
    Quote from aknottedyarn
    No, I just had to make dinner and deal with a few crises IRL.

    If someone has transferred a gun with no paper trail or if they have been negligent in the storage of gun then I do think they are guilty of negligence, possibly conspiracy, and in cases of sales to known felons ( I realize it is hard to track illegal gun sales) they need to be charged with conspiracy to commit the crime that happens. They could also be charged with being an accessory before the crime.

    If a person does not lock their car than insurance will not pay if the car is stolen in many cases. If a person does not keep a gun secured then they are an accessory in the crime committed.

    I do agree that if someone does not store their gun, such as to keep out of children's hands, they should be charged with negligence. I think some states do have that as a law.

    It is illegal to sell a gun to a felon and people are prosecuted for that. Sometimes it's hard to prove, sometimes not. It depends on the individual circumstances.

    I'm intrigued by your comment that "If a person does not keep a gun secured then they are an accessory in the crime committed." Wow, that's a new concept in a free society depending on your definition of secured. Are you talking about an attractive nuisance such as a ladder left unattended, pool gate left open, or a loaded gun left lying on the front steps? Or are you saying if someone enters my house without my permission and steals a gun I am liable?

    Would you extend the concept to knives, cars, and other personally owned objects or are guns a unique entity? Actually, guns are unique among personally owned items in being the only thing whose owning is protected by the Constitution.
    Spidey's mom likes this.
  14. Visit  Spidey's mom profile page
    0
    Quote from aknottedyarn

    If a person does not lock their car than insurance will not pay if the car is stolen in many cases..
    Well .. . depends. We had our Jetta stolen a few years ago. We live in a rural area where people don't lock car doors or the doors to our homes. My son was using our Jetta and parked it in front of his place of business, unlocked. It was stolen by someone who stole a workman's pickup first in a town 15 miles from where my son worked, pulled into the parking lot, got into my son's car and drove away (key was in ignition). He drove it for 200 miles approx. and was chased by CHP until finally they put down one of those spike strips, which he drove through and kept going for a bit . . until stopped by a CHP car that bumped him.

    Car was totaled. We got the $ for it.


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