The PJ Tatler

Shockface: BuzzFeed Reports that the NRA Keeps a Database of Gun Owners!

Perhaps BuzzFeed needs to stick to making cat gifs. When they try real reporting, the outcome can be embarrassing.

WASHINGTON — The National Rifle Association has rallied gun owners — and raised tens of millions of dollars — campaigning against the threat of a national database of firearms or their owners.

But in fact, the sort of vast, secret database the NRA often warns of already exists, despite having been assembled largely without the knowledge or consent of gun owners. It is housed in the Virginia offices of the NRA itself. The country’s largest privately held database of current, former, and prospective gun owners is one of the powerful lobby’s secret weapons, expanding its influence well beyond its estimated 3 million members and bolstering its political supremacy.

That database has been built through years of acquiring gun permit registration lists from state and county offices, gathering names of new owners from the thousands of gun-safety classes taught by NRA-certified instructors and by buying lists of attendees of gun shows, subscribers to gun magazines, and more, BuzzFeed has learned.

Shocking! The National Rifle Association has built a list of people who now own and may in the future own rifles, and other firearms.

Actually, the only shocking thing here is that BuzzFeed had to “learn” this. Anyone with a brain assumed it to be the case. It’s obviously in the NRA’s membership and political interests to know who already owns or may be interested in gun ownership. Its list can also be used defensively, when mainstream media fools react to the actions of madmen by reporting that said madmen had some sort of connection to the NRA. The “connection” usually turns out to be that the madman took an NRA-approved course, not that he was a state chapter president as the media tends to imply.

BuzzFeed would also do well to learn that the NRA is not the government, and its list of gun owners will not be used to violate the Second Amendment, as a national registry of all gun owners surely would.