Campaign Finance Transparency for Thee, but Not for ... Dems
Skadden, Arps represents the inventors of a “firearm safety system,” which adds a biometric activator that links a gun to one owner. The “Summary of the Invention” section of the patent application notes:
The safety system further makes use of a person’s fingerprint data, which is a unique personal property that is highly suitable for tracking and control.
This requires gun registration and owner licensing, tying the firearm to the owner in a centralized database.
Sidley Austin represented the inventors of the “Gun identification kit,” which provides a way for every gun to have a spent cartridge case made available for entry into a ballistic fingerprint database. Of course, such a database is useful only if all firearms are entered into it:
Because the vast majority of publicly owned firearms have not been used in the commission of a crime, they will not show up in [such a] database. It would therefore be desirable to provide a means for increasing the number of firearms for which ... information and data is available.
The inventors’ solution is to pass a law mandating that every gun is registered:
One means of populating [such a] database would be to mandate that ballistic information be obtained and entered into the database for all firearms.
This requires the gun’s serial number, matched with the shell casing, and the owner data all reside on a permanent file.
Such registration would require that gun owners notify authorities when they move or a gun is stolen, with one likely consequence of failure being firearms confiscation, since you are now breaking a federal gun law. In this manner, a right becomes a privilege metered by the government.
Incrementally, registration becomes confiscation. Future legal “enhancements” gradually diminish ownership until people accept a ban, as happened in Britain and Australia, where registration databases made confiscation easy.
Peter Hamm, spokesman for the Brady Campaign, supports registration for this reason:
We think the District has adopted sensible gun laws. If every jurisdiction in the U.S. had reasonable laws and common sense laws ... we would be fine with that sort of system.
According to the money-for-votes premise, two law firms exert more influence in Congress than the entire “gun lobby,” and the Democratic Congress represents businesses with vested interests in profiting from gun control. The Christian Science Monitor estimated that gun rights groups comprise about 12 million members, compared to 150,000 for gun control groups. Placing the Open Secrets campaign contributions in context, the “gun lobby” spent about 20 cents per member in 2008.
These two international law firms total about 4,000 lawyers spread across the globe (Sidley Austin, 1,700; Skadden Arps, 2000-plus). Apparently, the Brady Campaign and Old Media consider $790 per lawyer in campaign contributions to be democracy (small d) in action, but spending 20 cents per member enables the “gun lobby” to undemocratically force members of Congress to bow to the will of 12 million Americans.
Curiously, neither promotes public disclosure of campaign funding during congressional voting.