For years, the NRA has been held up at the big boogieman for anti-gun lawmakers. They argue that without the organization, they could pass gun control laws by the dozen.
The reality is that the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is a big part of what stops gun control laws from being passed.
And, unfortunately, anti-gunners are waking up to that fact.
It seems that it’s even bad enough that some are concocting conspiracy theories about them. Enter Sen. Dick Blumenthal.
This morning, the Daily Beast published a breathless story exposing the shocking — SHOCKING! — hypocrisy of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Connecticut Senator Dick Blumenthal sent the NSSF a letter Friday afternoon, accusing the trade association of amassing a secret database — a registry, if you will — of gun owner information including personal information and the guns they own.
There’s only one problem. That’s not what happened.
Blumenthal’s letter cites damning details that were exposed when Cambridge Analytica emails were leaked two years ago but received little attention at the time.
“The claim by Cambridge Analytica that NSSF maintains and leverages a database, akin to a registry, of gun owners’ personal information should come as a surprise to millions of law abiding gun owners, many of whom, undoubtedly, would never have consented for firearms manufacturers or retailers to retain, share, and expose their sensitive personal data for political purposes,” Blumenthal wrote.
The claim is that the NSSF hoovers up warranty card registration data from its member companies on millions of gun purchases and they then heartlessly use this ill-gotten information to campaign against good, hard-working, pure-hearted, clean-minded Gunsense™ candidates who are only working for more Gun Safety® laws to save the lives of innocent children.
So what really gives?
Well, it seems that NSSF has a program called Gunvote that tries to reach out to voters. They contract services out to put together lists of voters who might be swayed on Second Amendment issues. These lists use…wait for it…data mining of public information.
You know, just like every other group trying to affect political change in this country does.
So why are The Daily Beast and Blumenthal bringing this up? It’s not like they actually care about the privacy of gun owners. In fact, Blumenthal would salivate at the possibility of a national gun registry. So what’s all this supposed to be about?
It’s simple. Democrats are set o get hammered in the midterms and this is a pathetic attempt at an October Suprise.
The problem is that it’s too easily explained as a big nothing. There is no registry, it’s just a list of potential gun rights voters.
Now, is there likely to be an overlap between those voters and gun owners? Absolutely. However, not all gun owners will pop up in such data mining, and not all who are on this list are gun owners.
It simply isn’t a registry.
But this is an attempt to divide the Second Amendment community. This is like New York Attorney General Letitia James and her attacks on the NRA. She doesn’t care if gun rights advocates are being taken advantage of. She was going after the NRA because they’re in the way of gun control.
In that same vein, Blumenthal doesn’t care about you or me. He doesn’t care about our privacy. What he and The Daily Beast are trying to accomplish here is to sew discontent in our ranks, to make us distrust the NSSF. If we no longer trust the organizations we count on to defend the Second Amendment, it’ll be that much easier for Blumenthal and his buddies to push through gun control.
After all, with no concerted effort to oppose it, it’ll be easy to tell those in the middle that there’s no harm.
What’s more, they might just be right. One of the strengths of the gun community is that we can stand behind strong organizations that will defend our rights.
This is what happened with the NRA and now the target is the NSSF. Don’t let them think for an instant we’re buying it.