Editor: Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton recently introduced a bill (the Gun Violence Prevention Through Financial Intelligence Act). If this bill passes, it would set the stage for:
•Having all of your personal credit card transactions searched by federal law enforcement agencies to identify any patterns of “suspicious” buying behaviors.
•Being “flagged” by law enforcement (federal, state and local) using a set of criteria which is secret, for a possible crime which hasn’t even been committed yet, for purchases and products that are legal, and
•law enforcement taking unspecified enforcement action against citizens who have not committed a crime.
What could go wrong?
I’m aware that Wexton, the author of this seriously flawed bill, was a former prosecutor here in Loudoun, which I find very troubling given I thought lawyers knew a lot about the law. Purchasing a firearm, or ammunition, is not a crime in this country and is protected under the Second Amendment to the Constitution. However, Wexton wants you to know that if it’s up to her, if you exercise your rights as an American citizen, your financial records will be searched, you may be “flagged” by law enforcement based on that unwarranted search of your legal purchases and may have action taken against you, all for exercising your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
Perhaps she would like her credit card purchases and those of her friends monitored by law enforcement to ensure they don’t buy too many drinks when they are out with friends? (since many more people are killed each year from drunk drivers than by guns). Using real-time data, the police could gather from monitoring the drinks Wexton and her friends charged on their credit cards, the police could be dispatched to Wexton’s favorite watering hole to make sure she didn’t get behind the wheel. Or maybe the Department of Health and Human Services could monitor Wexton’s credit card purchases to ensure that she’s not eating too much unhealthly fast food, even having HHS special agents “flag” her and pay her a visit to warn her about her eating habits, possibly even coming into her home to remove any dangerous, unhealthy food (since many more people are killed each year by heart disease than by guns).
All of the recent light that has been shed on flagrant abuse of the FISA Court warrant process should be a wake-up call to anyone (including Rep. Wexton) who thinks that government cannot or will not abuse the power of surveillance. This dangerous bill, if passed, will force you to hand over your unalienable Constitutional rights in exchange for a false sense of security.
The wise patriot and statesman Benjamin Franklin said,
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
Who do you think knew more about our fragile liberties, Benjamin Franklin or Jennifer Wexton?
Ken Dattilo, Purcellville