May 12, 2006

Guns and telephones

from - RSA

I've been discussing the current NSA eavesdropping scandal with a dwindling number of half-hearted conservatives, who are less and less willing to defend the actions of the Bush administration. The arguments on their side tend to run along the same familiar tracks: it would be naive to think that this kind of thing wasn't happening all the time; it all started with Bill Clinton; blame the phone companies rather than the government.

In trying to figure out how to reach people who are living with only a toehold in the real world, I thought to bring forward an argument that they might appreciate for its familiarity, one made by guns rights activists. Would you be happy if the government kept a record of whether you own a gun or not? Of course not (we can presume the answer to be). But what's the harm? It's not an infringement of the right to bear arms. But it's the first, necessary step toward such infringement. The possibility for misuse of gun ownershipe records is tremendous. Do you think there's any possibility of the government's misusing records of whom you call on your telephone? Oh.

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Posted by RSA at May 12, 2006 11:48 AM
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