Obamacare and Guns

The Obamacare debacle is more than just government overreach. Beyond the obvious intrusions into what should be private transaction between a provider of a service (whether doctor or insurance company) and their client, the threat to privacy is staggering. The numerous scandals surrounding the abuse of power by various government agencies should send chills down the spines of every American, but especially those who own guns.

Gun ownership is soaring. Gregory Gwyn-Williams at CNS News noted the surge in gun background checks :

There have been 73,441,399 background checks for gun purchases since President Obama took office, according to data released by the FBI. The [sic] background checks that have been completed under Barack Obama’s presidency account for 43 percent of the 170,639,292 completed since 1998.

With millions of Americans buying up guns and ammunition, many of them first-time gun owners, a renewed push by Obama and the Democrats for onerous Federal “gun registration” is more likely than ever. Once that happens, it won’t be long until they use government agencies like the BATFE to collect all sorts of information on law-abiding citizens. But do we really know that they aren’t doing it already?

Even though only a handful of states actually have gun registration, every time any of us wants to purchase a firearm, whether a long gun or handgun, our name is run through a NICS check. This immediately flags us as “gun owners” and while the background check does not include the specific firearm we have purchased, the NICS check does note whether we have purchased a “long gun” or a handgun.  And since handguns are right up there with “assault weapons” in the view of the current administration, that information is likely enough to invite further scrutiny. But what kind of scrutiny might we expect?

In today’s technologically sophisticated world, it would be relatively easy for some big budget government agency to run an algorithm based program to cross-check our names with other data bases, using “key word” searches (just as the IRS has already admitted to doing). It doesn’t take much imagination to envision some mindless government worker bee scrolling though thousands of names of gun owners that his “cool” new program has linked with other “trigger words” like “Tea Party” or “Patriot,” now, does it?

Think of all the other ways that “Big Brother” can now collect data and track your behaviors. Your phone records. Your bank records and credit card history. Your Facebook page. The Internet sites you’ve visited. Even the GPS in your phone or car can now be used for a variety of data gathering schemes. Meanwhile, software that provides the means of correlating the information obtained with other databases and records is expanding in capability exponentially.

You don’t need to be a conspiracy theorist to see the potential for more widespread abuse by overzealous government agencies, especially when it comes to those of us who are labeled as “gun owners” and thus worthy of increased attention. And if these agencies are concerned about gun owners in general, just imagine how much more interested they are in those of us who actually carry guns in public.

Almost everyone has a driver’s license with a photo on it. Now combine data collection methods with ever more sophisticated facial recognition technology and the explosive growth of public surveillance cameras. It won’t be long before a camera catches your face walking down the street, identifies you as a carry permit holder, and begins to track (and record) you as you go about your day. Strictly in the interest of “public safety” you understand.

But the more immediate possibility is that once you and I are identified as gun owners and/or carry permit holders, our names will then somehow just happen to find their way to the IRS, or even to Homeland Security or the NSA. After all, the Obama Administration, especially Attorney General Eric Holder, clearly consider gun owners a threat, perhaps even potential “home grown” terrorists.

Intrusions by government into our privacy should always be challenged by all Americans. And while gun registration per se is not necessary for government to be a threat to us, it should be vigorously opposed on all fronts. Because while being listed as a gun owner is bad enough, having our entire collection of firearms catalogued in some government database is nothing less than an invitation to abuse.

Imagine if the IRS were provided with a complete list of every gun you own. Or worse, suppose the list of your firearms is given to Homeland Security. Now they know that you not only own an AR-15, you are also a member of a local Tea Party group, the NRA, or a subscriber to USCCA magazine. Oh, you’re also a combat veteran? Red flags. And now your health records will be added to the mix…

We should vigorously oppose all intrusions on our privacy, and Obamacare is just the latest, and perhaps the most potentially dangerous, example.

Remember the old saying: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you.”