When the feds reported that 70 percent of people emailed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in support of a new federal long gun registry for over 6500 southern gun dealers, the gunblogosphere issues a collective WTF. In the aftermath of that cyber-battle debacle, onlygunsandmoney.blogspot.com rooted around a bit for an explanation. And found one. “Examining the comments that have been made available on the ATF’s Freedom of Information Act page, it quickly becomes evident that most of the pro-reporting comments were form letters sent by a bulk mailer program. The comments are identical and just strip in the sender’s name and address.” And the group responsible for winning the cyber war is . . .
Mayor Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG). Of course, all’s fair in e-politics, right? Our industrious fellow firearms blogger seems to think so. Ish.
I won’t say I didn’t find pre-written comments opposing the measure – I did – but they were not nearly as common as those from the Illegal Mayors. I would hope that the ATF does not just look at the number of comments in favor of the reporting requirement but rather at the actual comments. While I don’t have any expectation of this, at least Congress might.
It’s not like Congress or the ATF or the OMB or anyone in power has to pay the slightest bit of attention to the public comments anyway. But the more important question re: this long gun commenting misegos: how many comments are from the same IP address? And why isn’t the NRA doing this?
That sort of form letter response is typical basically anywhere the government asks for comments. Web sites on one side or another will put up a web page saying “Click here to add your name to the list” or some such, and there you have it; the end user doesn’t have to think much about it at all. The fact that MAIG was responsible for the most successful form letter doesn’t indicate it was particularly shady in its actions (not that this post attempted necessarily to paint them that color).
The problem with the whole thing is that 1) there’s no way to determine now many comments came from the same person (via IP address or, ideally, some more reliable mechanism), 2) as I said above, “the end user doesn’t have to think much about it”, and most importantly, as was posted above, 3) there’s no guarantee anyone’s paying any attention to these comments after all.
“It’s not like Congress or the ATF or the OMB or anyone in power has to pay the slightest bit of attention to the public comments anyway. But the more important question re: this long gun commenting misegos: how many comments are from the same IP address? And why isn’t the NRA doing this?”
That just kooky. if the comments meant nothing then ATF would’ve implemented the regulation on January 5th, before MAIG even logged a single comment.
Gun bloggers are mad because they got BEAT like a borrowed mule by a carpet bagging New Yorker who hates guns.
NUMEROUS pro-gun groups put out email alerts on this issue with suggested comments. so did Gunleaders.com but the bottom line is that gun owners, gun BLOGGERS, gun writers, gun enthusiasts, gun blog readers and practically every other pro-gun people didn’t treat this seriously. They figured –
“oh heck the NRA will take care of this”…
Here we are.
What wouldn’t a government do that allows weapons to be “walked” across the border, two of which are then used to kill federal agents. The purpose? Well it seems that BATFE now wants to track long guns and needs inflated numbers ( Starting to sound familiar, isn’t it? ) to attempt to justify the tracking and holding of that information. The trouble is that tracking that desire, leads directly to the white house, with a plane change at DOJ.
Don’t forget that these people love propaganda too and the dealers that went along were no doubt, part of the menu. Oh, and by the way, when they got caught doing this, they still pressed ahead to accomplish what they wanted to do in the first place. Because they really don’t care what’s right or constitutional, they only care about what they want to do. They show very little fear at all regarding any of their actions which means that they are comfortable and believe there is no danger to them. I wonder who gave them that idea? Must have come from a pay grade or two above them wouldn’t you think?
Dave Y said: “That just kooky. if the comments meant nothing then ATF would’ve implemented the regulation on January 5th, before MAIG even logged a single comment. ”
They have to post a public comment period because it is law, however you are right in that they don’t have to pay much attention to the comments (but weakens their position if challenged) or that they won’t “rig” the comments in their favor.
For the record, the initial comment period showed a 2-1 against ratio after which time the batf-eces extended the time limit in attempts to alter that outcome. It appears they found willing accomplices to do just that.
Go get them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1