Monday, May 16, 2011

Not Sure How I Feel On This One

On the one hand, I don't like anyone publishing my name and email address for all the world to see . . .


The BATFE had a comment period for you to say what you thought of their proposed rules regarding importing non-sporting shotguns (proposed rule: they're all non-sporting and they ought not be imported). The initial comment period came and went and we all missed it. Then the proposed rulemaking got closer and the alarm was raised. ATF opened up another comment submission period. Lots of the People of the Gun pointed out that "sport" is not the same as "things done where there is grass, to animals, to obtain food."

They picked around 500 comments to publish in a .pdf. They published them WITH the submitted full names, e-mail addresses, and in some cases full mailing addresses of the submitters of comments. Because, hey, who needs some email spam? YOU GUN PEOPLE need some email spam! LOL zing that'll teach 'em to speak up!

You know what? We gave them contact information as part of a PUBLIC comment period. If they didn't publish your email address and name, maybe the next conspiracy theory is that they made up your comment. This is a lose/lose for the ATF. Just be glad they didn't publish all the comments they received; lots of people have said their comments weren't in the .pdf.

Sure, they published your name and email. They published mine, too. Should they have done? I don't know but it's rather a moot point now, isn't it? Should we get worked up over the breach of privacy? Would you get worked up if the newspaper published your photo as a participant in a political rally?

Why? Did you do it in public? What expectation of privacy have you when you act in public?


Edit: hey look, SPAM! They apparently have a fun habit of publishing contact information for submitted comments. For kicks I went here and clicked on this .pdf at the BATFE website. It's comments received for their proposal to require multiple (read: TWO) rifle sales to be reported to the ATF. See if you can count the number of times the perzact same verbiage was copy/pasted and counted as an "in favor" comment. Then look at THIS file. The same exact verbiage, times a zillion. Seminar callers apparently have email addresses? or was it just a spambot? Either way, the other side is messing with the system. If you hear of a public comment period, remember they are bombarding the agency with comments the opposite of what you would say . . . IF you bothered to submit a comment.

It's YOUR government. What are you doing about it?

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