Courtesy Arnold Ventures
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Laura and John Arnold arnold ventures
Courtesy Arnold Ventures

By Larry Keane

It seems antigun billionaires think there’s nothing a few dollars and some manipulation of government data can’t fix. Arnold Ventures, run by former Enron traders John and Laura Arnold, is a billionaire philanthropy organization that wants to save us from ourselves through their deep pockets. More specifically, they seek to restrict the freedom to keep and bear arms.

Arnold Ventures wishes to paint a grim picture that firearms are an epidemic much like political activist and gun control billionaire Michael Bloomberg. John and Laura Arnold have commissioned the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago to construct and convene a panel of medical professionals to organize a wishlist of dangerous and overreaching proposals.

These demands are detailed in the Blueprint for a U.S. Firearms Data Infrastructure. With major changes possible in Washington, D.C., it is crucial to not only examine the large, sweeping gun control proposals, but also to look at the less attention-grabbing proposals, like changing how the government collects, shares and presents data.

Gun control advocates in Congress are already turning to items on this wish list in their latest proposals, including the misleadingly titled, “ATF Improvement and Modernization Act.”

Antigun Data Wishlist

One goal of the NORC panel is to implement a semi-annual random household survey of Americans’ firearm ownership. That’s right. Big money wants to look into America’s homes and peer into their gun safes.

The survey would include questions around firearm acquisition, type and number owned and storage method. This would lay the foundation for a national gun registry which is forbidden by federal law.

Gun owners are very reluctant to provide private information about their personal belongings to any level of government, especially when private organizations that advocate for more restrictions on the Second Amendment have access to said data. The violation of privacy advocated by the NORC, unfortunately, continues to expand from here.

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The panel also recommends that the federal government grant access to restricted data including “NIBRS, NVDRS, NICS, NEISS, HCUP, ATF Trace, ATF new firearms and firearm transactions, and the GSS” to advocacy groups and researchers.

The information in these systems is restricted for good reason. The data are collected to aid law enforcement investigations, not create policy and legislation. Securing access to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Trace data, for example, has been a priority of antigun proponents for years. Unregulated access to ATF Trace poses numerous dangers since information about firearm tracing would be available for public consumption, risking ongoing investigations, safety of witnesses and law enforcement.

Contrary to antigun messaging, law enforcement agencies support limited access of ATF Trace data. For instance, the Fraternal Order of Police supports measures, like the Tiahrt Amendment, which would prevent release of firearm trace data to any entity except law enforcement. Even former Mayor Bloomberg’s police commissioner Ray Kelly opposed the release of trace data to the City of Chicago for use in litigation against members of the firearms industry. The Tiahrt Amendment has been the law since it was passed in 2003.

Additionally, the NORC calls for a design of data collection by ATF for incomplete, unfinished firearm receivers as their top priority. Gun control groups sensationalize “ghost guns” to spark fears when in reality they’re unfinished hunks of metal or plastic that must be drilled and machined by the end user to be considered a firearm receiver by ATF, at which point ATF has regulatory authority Creating a firearm for personal use with no intent to sell it is and has always been legal in America.

Undetectable firearms such as 3D printed or any other method are regulated under the 1968 Gun Control Act and the 1988 Undetectable Firearms Act. Every firearm made – including any DIY firearm – must by law contain metal so it is detectable by metal detectors. And, as a practical matter, firearms must have metal components like a barrel for the firearm to function. These are facts that gun control proponents gloss over.

Showing Their Hand

Arnold Venture’s philanthropic outreach sounds well-intentioned, but they’re serving up snake oil when they peddle firearms as a disease. They literally ask to tear off the warning labels such as the common-sense ATF disclaimer on trace statistics that states, “Not all firearms used in crime are traced and not all firearms traced are used in crime.”

One of the key requests made in the NORC’s blueprint is for ATF to “Remove disclaimers prohibiting interpretation of the data.” This very clearly shows Arnold Ventures’ and NORC’s hand. They don’t care what the data actually show and what limitations there are to these collections. They want a blank check to manipulate and misconstrue data from legitimate federal agencies to sway public opinion – precisely why Congress mandated the warning in the first place.

Analysis is one thing. Deliberately shielding the public from what the data actually mean is another. The ability for private entities to ignore valid disclaimers surrounding data sets would fuel the emotional narrative that firearms are to blame for the world’s problems, not those who break the law to misuse them.

The overall NORC action plan uses the public health halo as a justification for extensive information gathering. The report clearly explains that the data are to be made available to approved researchers to drive legislation and policy at all levels.

Arnold Ventures and the panel from NORC want to use taxpayer funds to build programs that will strip law abiding individuals of their gun rights. These changes will not reduce crime nor increase public safety, and they certainly do not affect public health. They will, however, have devastating impacts on individual freedoms and the Second Amendment.

 

Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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98 COMMENTS

  1. The Oligarchs want to keep the serfs in line and the second amendment is a huge obstacle. If these Oligarchs made money from the Enron scam they are pretty shady characters suspect in their own rights.

    • Enron and their dodgy dealings touted themselves as “The smartest guys in the room”. Fraud and criminal conspiracy would be better terms.

      • “…touted themselves as “The smartest guys in the room”.”

        Well, they were, right up until the moment the whole shit-show collapsed.

        The investors that lost everything hold some responsibility for what happened to their money. They got greedy by the returns and sunk *everything* into that one company. Dumbasses…

    • The Left demands penance, this will cleanse their “soul”.
      ..
      Harvey Wein stein offered the same when the charges first appeared.

  2. “We are so close to civil war that I can smell the gun oil. Ammunition is flying off the shelves by the billions of rounds. First-time gun owners have stripped the shelves. Anti-second amendment people have armed-up and some say explicitly this is to kill people like me who believe in the 1st and 2nd Amendments, and the Constitution in total. Supporting the Constitution is now seen as radical.”
    Michael Yon
    11 November 2020

        • That wasn’t me. Apparently I now have my own imposter on TTAG. First an All Hail, now an imposter. I suppose I’ve made the big leagues (/sarc).

          Might be time for me to finally get that avatar registered.

        • Always imitated, but never duplicated, the real ‘I Haz A Question’ always has something relevant to say, even when he’s humble bragging to eye rolling, James Campbell-esque levels.

          All Hail.

        • I now have an avatar registered under my name, Hail, so post all you like. Doesn’t matter anymore.

      • It already is happening. They arm themselves in the streets to “peacefully protest” just so when armed people show up to counter they can fire indirectly and hide amongst the innocents like the terrorists they are. I’ve experienced it in multiple wars already, their tactics are no different. They are being closely watched as are we. It will be a much less bloody battle compared to any way, as all wars have been less bloody as time goes on. If you are waiting for the democrats to try and actually declare war, it will never happen. The virtue signal is too strong. They have already declared us the enemy, and some don’t care what their side does, as long as we don’t win. They censor people all over the place. They have already made it very clear they want your means of self defense. They will stop at nothing to win, and here we are playing by the rule book hoping for a peaceful outcome relying on the same system they are manipulating in their favor.

      • @ haz question .Probably not Army against Army..certainly not lining up in rows or anything like that, but a low intensity conflict between groups can happen and just might.

        Attrition would not be the goal, nor to completely destroy the enemies will to resist. Rather, this type of fighting would serve to influence and silence the enemy, to persuade through direct action.

        I thought about expounding on the above but thought better of it. I would not want anything taken out of context and get reported to some OGA.

        • To Progressives and Socialists, utopia will be achieved after the next massacre, and the next, and the next, and the next.

    • “some say explicitly this is to kill people like me” – Yes, people who want to get you agitated so that they can manipulate you will prey on your fears in such a manner. The question is whether anyone credible says such things.

    • Yeah sure.. Da Cival War…yeah sure… Meanwhile States who’s folks are usually screaming about how they will never give up their 2A voted in Uncle Joe. Secondly, it doesn’t seem that you know what a real civil war looks like.

  3. Even my wife isn’t aware of all my/our guns (all she has to do is ask, which she won’t). I certainly won’t ever do something foolish like give my insurance agent an inventory compilation to add them to some policy rider.

    Somehow, our forebears survived owning their guns in privacy. I see no need to declare anything to anyone.

  4. Their money would be better spent funding safety and marksmanship programs at schools all over America.

    Pay for Eddie Eagle training for little kids.

    Buy a whole bunch of single shot bolt action .22 rifles and 10 million rounds of .22 Short, some tonnage of paper targets and other needs and setup elementary and junior high schools with competitive target shooting teams.

    Next we need some high power rifle long range competitive shooting teams funded. There’s one in Arizona, that’s about it.

    Teach them young and they will not turn into criminals and killers. Same formula that worked for generations!

      • You voted against the Second Amendment and all other natural American rights when you supported a wannabe authoritarian for President in 2016.

        Stop trying to duck your responsibility or change the topic. EVERYONE knew Trump would betray us and yet you supported him for the Republican nomination above a whole bunch of actual conservative candidates.

        That is your fault, not mine.

        • Regardless of what you think of Trump, or hell, even Obama… you still voted for everything against freedom by voting for Biden/Harris. Stop telling people to change the subject when you need to practice what you preach to begin with. By your logic, why even vote? You have to be the most confused person I have ever had the displeasure of coming in contact with online, and there are A LOT of them.

    • “Teach them young and they will not turn into criminals and killers.”

      I like your idea, but that isn’t the solution to the above problem. It has more to do with an involved, loving family and moral upbringing.

  5. “Arnold Ventures, run by former Enron traders John and Laura Arnold” Everything you need to know right there.

  6. They’d feel right at home in North Korea, eh? Oh wait, their billions would become property of the “state”! And they still dont believe it can happen to them.

  7. You forgot to include the many super rich marijuana billionaires, who are all ant-gun, anti-civil rights. They are as racist as democrat senator, and Klansman Robert Bird.

    1. Meet the Men Marijuana Made Into Millionaires and Billionaires
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-20/meet-the-men-marijuana-made-into-millionaires-and-billionaires

    2. The Marijuana Billionaire Who Doesn’t Smoke Weed
    https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/marijuana-billionaire-doesn-t-smoke-113003851.html

    3. This Top Marijuana Stock Just Minted the First Pot Billionaire – You Could Be Next
    https://moneymorning.com/2019/09/12/this-top-marijuana-stock-just-minted-the-first-pot-billionaire-you-could-be-next/

    The white pot heads are only now demanding their gun rights after working to take them way from black pot dealers. Under normal circumstances this would be considered an attempt to hurt you competition. In the business world.

      • You are projecting. Like so many pot heads do. I know it hurts many people to hear the truth. The drug legalization crowd was founded on racism and gun control. Has it changed in the 21st century?

        When I look at the avocado business, I say no it has not. Are there individual pot heads who support Liberty? They are very hard to find.

  8. “Gun owners are very reluctant to provide private information about their personal belongings…”

    Ok…
    I’ll have to remember that the next time I see a come and take it flag in front of a house or a browning sticker on a back window.

    It’s hard for me to read about privacy with so many gun owners on Facebook/Twitter.

    I’m not sure what anyone thought Enron was but there are reasons why all that craziness happened and it was mostly about the mindset of the people there.

      • I find comfort in knowing that the large lake I had my latest boating accident on will soon enough be covered in three to four feet of solid ice !!

      • Already am the quintessential gray man. Other than a small American flag on my mailbox. If you hate America eff you! Do these billionaire oligarch’s not know they are sitting duck’s?!?

        • They think if they control the revolution they won’t be among the victims. That is what the old Bolsheviks thought when Stalin started the purges in the late 1930s.

      • And make sure you never say anything offensive either, lest a mob of woksters come for you.

        In fact, you know, it’s pretty easy to use the BoR as a guide to life.

        Just follow this simple rule: If it’s listed in the BoR you should never do it publicly. Ever. That way you get to tell yourself how you have rights but since no one ever sees or hears you exercising those rights they can’t infringe on those rights since no one knows you’re actually exercising them in secret.

        Brilliant! Political poetry in motion as it were.

      • No. Being gun owner is nothing bad or shameful, so I refuse to hide the fact that like to shoot. If we gun owners become invisible, we just make it much easier for gun grabbers to dismiss us as just few dying out, bitter old white superowners. That’s not how you win the battle for minds.

        General public needs to see many well behaved, friendly gun owners every day and realize that nothing bad happened to them, even when they were surrounded by armed people, who don’t wear uniform.
        NORMALIZATION, not hiding!

        • This EXACTLY.
          Those who hide the FACT they’re engaging in a Constitutionally protected activity are the true boot lickers. They allow the leftards and lamestream media to mis-define them, and will ultimately allow their rights to be stripped away.
          This result will be of THEIR OWN doing.

    • Spot on!

      Have not had NRA stickers or political bumper stickers for at least 40 years. Advertising you have stuff people want to steal (or confiscate) from you is kinda’ dumb.

        • So what? You voted for Traitor Trump instead of an American in the 2016 Republican Primaries?

          Go ahead, admit your bad deeds and poor choices. it is the first step to getting free of the cult.

        • You can thank you moderate hero, John Kasich for that. He had no chance of getting the nomination, but he won his home state, so he stayed in and took anti-Trump votes and money away from Cruz so that Trump won winner-takes-all states without getting a majority. By the time he dropped out to let Cruz go head-to-head, itnwas already over and Cruz lost.

    • {Enron}

      “…and it was mostly about the mindset of the people there.”

      Neon dollar signs flashing in front of their eyes as they broke investing rule numero uno – ‘Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.”

      They got bit by their own hubris…

      • ” They got bit by their own hubris… ”

        Well, they are billionaires and can afford to burn money on useless shit, so it looks like hubris didn’t hit them very hard.

        • I was referring to people working there who moved all of their retirement money into company stock. Some had hundreds of thousands of dollars that turned into zero. Absolutely mesmerized by the returns they were seeing.

          And then, all over in the time it takes for a base-to-final stall, spin, and *splat*…

        • Enron acquired Portland General Electric and forced all 401K money into Enron stock. When the sand began to shift, Enron froze all trading, withdrawals, etc.
          Lots of folks in Oregon saw their 401Ks disappear.
          I don’t think it was GE employee greed that was the issue.
          Also, I only know a few dozen of the lineman and inside employees, but, based on that sample, I would not suggest out loud to any of them that it was their fault.

  9. What possible use besides confiscation would this data have in the practical sense?

    Would anyone with a collection of guns trust researchers with information about their property? How about a data breech that gives lists of guns and addresses to the wrong kind of people.

    Just because there is a record of purchase there is no proof of current ownership. A registry that is updated regularly is what they are really looking for to close the loop on gun inventories nationwide.

    The funny thing is they might be shocked at the number and variety of guns in private hands. Then they should reflect on whether or not they should wake that dog or not.

    • “The funny thing is they might be shocked at the number and variety of guns in private hands. Then they should reflect on whether or not they should wake that dog or not.”

      Not only that, they’d be really surprised WHO has a great number of these guns.

    • Tell democrats that Wall Street and Big Bank, Inc. have favored democrat presidential candidates in the past four elections (including this year), and notice the disbelief on their faces. Big Pharma favored Joe this time around as well. They didn’t care for Trump trying to lower American drug prices. I wonder who the tech giants favor? /sarc.

    • Both parties are parties of the rich. Both want the common not-rich citizens to think they are for the little guy.

      They both lie a lot and their followers buy it all hook, line and stinker..

      • Says the guy who’s salty the GOPe eunuchs are on the way out.

        “I sure miss the good old days when Republicans would whisper sweet nothings in my ear while [redacted] me in the [redacted]. They didn’t cause all sorts of chaos by opposing the left. By God, those men knew how run a dignified grift. Grease their palms a little and they’d roll right over for a nice belly rub from aunt Nancy and the media.”

  10. if you cant speak legalese, you are fucked. there are way in the legal system to always win. regarding guns and inventories and declarations, these people are pissing in the wind. we are in the verge of a shooting civil war. And now people understand why there are those who claim to be sovereign citizens and are killed over it by our government. The guv produces nothing, takes everything through threat or actual violence, extortion, kidnapping and forfeiture. it is coming soon. be prepared. the ATF and FBI are not your friend, your local sheriff, chief of police and so on are enemies of the people when it comes to the bureaucratic power being handed to them for being good little gestapos. make no mistake, anyone in a government capacity will be turned.

  11. None of his fucking business and if he wants them he’ll need to send divers out to the lake where I lost them in that boat crash I had.

  12. “Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms.”

    ― Aristotle

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

  13. Someone in congress should introduce a bill restricting these rich people from influencing policies that affects Everyone’e rights. Billionaires have Extremely more ability and means than an average person to direct influence that’ll harm people, whom have no ability to have any say whatsoever in their future, due to lack of funds, power, nor representation. Congress should step in and do something about it.

  14. OK. Since we have a strong lobbying component, here’s the plan:

    Introduce a wealth tax in the Congress. Everyone with more than $1B in assets gets to keep only $1B in assets. Everything else is seized by the US Treasury. If they move their wealth off-shore, then we seize what is on-short. Make it clear that the NRA membership is lobbying for this wealth tax.

    Billionaires will shut up very quickly.

  15. Federal bureaucracies are snake pits, and any release of gun data would have catastrophic consequences for our rights. These elitist scumbags in the private sector are just as dangerous. With the last election, bad times are coming for those of us who cherish individual rights and responsibility. They will always hide their true plans and motivations, and most of the people, being ignorant sheep, will let them get away with it.

  16. The power comes from the barrel of the gun. The billionairs know damned well that the difference between them and us is 150gr of copper jacketed lead. They know that after they plunder the country and turn it into another Bantustan or South Africa, people will be pissed and coming for them (and rightly so). The more I live the more I realize that BIG MONEY AND BIG CORPORATIONS ARE INHERENTLY EVIL, because THEY WANT CONTROL. Reagan made a HUGE mistake when he gave corporations same rights are private citizens, and now we are all paying for it.

    • Meanwhile, huge portions of the population are demanding iPhones, Facebook, Twitter, Walmart, Amazon, etc. etc. etc.

      All to feed those very same corporations.

  17. These two scumbag crooks made their fortune from the Enron scam and they want to tell us how to live. Hey Arnold’s Fuck Off and Burn In Hell ! ! !

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