Many in the Gun Rights Movement point out that gun rights are a “civil right”. The idea of tying our gun rights that “shall not be infringed” (but very much are) to the fight for equal protection for everyone’s rights as citizens and human beings isn’t just philosophical, it is very practical. This is especially clear in regard to Financial Privacy Issues around guns. The practical aspect of reminding people who may be on the fence about gun issues is that guns rights are civil rights is that it immediately has a normalizing effect on the conversation. Now there are people commenting in some high profile places that they believe the financial industry should scrutinize people’s spending habits for indicators that they might pose a threat to other… and they are using the emotional trigger of Spree Killings to promote the idea. An article published by the New York Times last week goes as far as to imply that there is responsibility for some spree killings resting on the shoulders of financial institutions.
Gun ownership often carries a negative stigma inside American Culture at large. Even gun owners are often quiet about their gun ownership and hesitate to bring up guns in “mixed company” until the political waters have been tested in any new setting. So few people outside of our movement are likely to stand up to defend us with no vested interest. Everyone wants to talk about “what can be done” to stop spree killings and mass shootings. Take those truths together and a very dangerous idea like have banks and credit card companies monitor (and report) the spending habits of gun purchases could actually get traction. But, all people have an interest in our privacy, especially in regard to our finances and spending habits. The average citizen may need to be reminded that this idea couldn’t executed in a vacuum. In order to scrutinize the purchases related to “gun buying sprees”, all activity would have to be monitored even more closely than it already is. Consumer Databases, privacy issues and security are already a topic of conversation all around the world. Everyone involved has appropriate concerns about how much information private sector companies have about us, how they share it, how they report it to the Government and how they protect it. Those concerns should not be set aside when those with an anti-gun agenda raise the specter of dead children. Those of a libertarian bent might even go a step further and see the influence of those who would simply erode privacy in general using well meaning (but wrong) gun-control advocates as pawns in these conversations to create more Government Intrusion into our lives.
Grassroots activities aimed at ending the stigma of gun ownership are important. The conversation over financial privacy issues around guns could be a great opportunity to show people that anti-gun activities are anti-freedom activities.
-EVP, Second Amendment Organization
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