It’s a testament to Ron Wyden’s good faith that this letter — asking James Clapper for more information about the government’s secret use of the Section 215 provision of the PATRIOT Act — didn’t try to inflame the NRA.
It’s not until the third paragraph in until Wyden (and the 25 other Senators who signed on) say,
It can be used to collect information on credit card purchases, pharmacy records, library records, firearm sales records, financial information, and a range of other sensitive subjects. And the bulk collection authority could potentially be used to supersede bans on maintaining gun owner databases, or laws protecting the privacy of medical records, financial records, and records of book and movie purchases. [my emphasis]
And while Wyden is right that the letter is bipartisan, I really wonder how it is that only four Republicans — Mike Lee, Dean Heller, Mark Kirk, and Lisa Murkowski — signed a letter raising these issues. Seriously. Not even Rand Paul?
I’ll come back to the loaded questions Wyden asks (I’m frankly still working on some loaded questions he asked 6 months ago — it has turned into a nearly fulltime beat).
But in the meantime, why isn’t the NRA screaming yet?