Save the Second [Amendment]

Edit: Had I thought this through further, I may have simply just ignored the email. Not so much for my sake, but for those who read this blog. A member at http://www.calguns.net, who’s opinion I hold at high value, hinted at the dangers associated with online petitions. Mike Hass wrote the following:

Without making a comment on this particular effort, years ago I learned of enough problems with unofficial “pro-gun” petitions that I now avoid them – ESPECIALLY online petitions. I hate to rain on an enthusiastic parade, but as has already been hinted at here, they carry no legal weight. And IMO, it’s NOT just the principle of the thing that matters, there are dangers…

Unofficial petitions can be data-farming scams. With official petitions (as approved by a Sec. of State’s office for an initiative), there are severe penalties for misusing the personal information collected. For example, all copies of the data must be destroyed at some point when no longer needed for “official” use. It cannot be used for any other purpose. With unofficial, off-the-cuff “civilian” petitions, there’s nothing that prevents the petition hosters from turning around and selling the lists they’ve collected or worse. Remember, every “pro-gun” petition becomes a list of gun-owners. So who is compiling the list and why?

I notice that NRA doesn’t use petitions, they use postcards sent to their members that target issues/elections. IMO, NRA tries hard not to waste the time or resources of it’s members on tactics that rely on “principle” only. (How many lawmakers have principles anyway?) NRA leaders have also vowed to go to jail before they will reveal their membership lists – THAT’s how important list of gun-owners are.

Lastly, even if an unofficial petition is on the up & up, there’s no penalty for whatever government official(s) you deliver it to simply dropping it in the trash. So, is it worth the risk? The names are unverified and a list can be created by a single nut in a basement. The lawmaker can make an arguiment that the workings of government should not be affected by unofficial, unverifiable input. After all, how angry would *WE* be if we learned that a single government decision had been made based on an online petition from the Bradys?

I did write both Matt Lira and Congressman Cantor for more information. I only received a response from Mr. Lira.

Hey Derek – The petition is that folks want to sign onto the letter, indicating that they value second amendment rights and are disappointed in the Solicitor General’s decision to file the amicus brief that they did.
Their information will not be sold, etc. As for adding more, I don’t feel right about adding things at this point, since so many folks have already signed. Also, I think it is a powerful statement – it is a direct statement by people who believe that the Solicitor General’s amicus brief was outrageous and that our second amendment rights are important.

I can’t really go into details on this next point, but I will say that the petition has already successfully gotten the attention of people around the government. It is helping to advance our rights, and the more people who sign it, the more impact it can have.

I do feel rather regretful for passing on information with little contemplation of it’s consequences. For those who sign it and now regret it, I apologize. Nonetheless, I suppose this will have to be one of those lessons learned. For those who didn’t mind signing the petition, thank you very much. However, I think I’ll just join and start participating at my local NRA council.

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Original Post:

I received an email from Matt Lira notifying me of a petition Eric Cantor is promoting in response to the Bush Administration’s poor decision to ask SCOTUS to not strike down Washington DC’s gun ban law. I know petitions aren’t much, but it’s the principle that matters – so I signed it anyway. How about visiting SavetheSecond.com and adding your name to the list?

Take action today – sign this petition to let the government know that you value your second amendment rights. Together, we can ensure that your rights are protected. For the first time in years we have the opportunity for the Supreme Court to clearly say that the second amendment applies to all Americans and that no government can ban all handguns.

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Categories: Firearms, Guns

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