It isn’t often that the left-leaning American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and right-leaning National Rifle Association (NRA) are on the same page on an issue, but when they are, you can rest assured that it is because the federal government has grossly exceeded their constitutional authority.
That is the situation today, as the NRA files an amicus brief in support of an ACLU case challenging the NSA’s “Big Brother” collection of digital data:
The National Rifle Association on Wednesday filed an amicus brief in federal court supporting an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit challenging a government phone-tracking program that collects the telephone records of millions of Americans.
The brief argues that the National Security Agency’s phone records collection program could “allow identification of NRA members, supporters, potential members, and other persons with whom the NRA communicates, potentially chilling their willingness to communicate with the NRA.”
The ACLU’s lawsuit — which names as defendants the heads of national intelligence as well as the agencies they lead, including the National Security Agency, the FBI, the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice — argues the phone record collection program disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is unconstitutional.
The suit, filed in federal court in New York in June, asks the court to halt the datamining effort and purge phone records collected under the program, claiming the government action violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution.
Frankly, I would find it very surprising if the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) don’t already have detailed databases of every firearms transaction, ammunition purchase, and tactical accessory transfer conducted through FFLs and retail channels in recent years, except perhaps those carried out via cash, or in private transactions.
As a republic, we’ve seen our government expand to the point over the past 100 years to where the government seems to exist to serve the government more than the citizenry. It doesn’t matter precisely when that happened or exactly who is responsible, just that this is our current state of affairs, and both parties in Washington had a hand in getting us there.
Until a third party arises to either take over the Democrat or Republican parties from the inside (more likely) or from the outside (less likely, but still possible), we are going to have to rely upon civil rights groups like the ACLU and NRA banding together to fight for our basic rights.
Get used to seeing this sort of collaboration as we fight to take our country back from Washington.