PRIVACY AND GUN RIGHTS THREATENED: Two Troubling Possibilities in America 2015

Two (more) things that should make you uncomfortable about life in America. 

First, the Facebook app. 

Last Sunday, Mrs. Cummings and I we were watching the Patriots/Jets game through our Comcast cable box (i.e. not via Apple TV, Roku, or other wireless IP box). Mrs. Cummings was on her iPhone, using the app, when right under the area where one would enter an update, the following appeared: 

FB screen shot 1

“Watching Jets vs Patriots — Let your friend know you’re watching” 

We were confused. How would Facebook know she was watching not just any sport, not just any game, but this particular NFL game? We live in the Denver area, neither she nor I visited any Web site related to either team or the NFL, and we were only talking about the two teams. Specifically, Mrs. Cummings’ was commenting on Tom Brady and Eric Decker, but let’s not get into who, beside her husband, makes her heart palpitate. 

This may not be new to you. In May of 2014, FB announced the release of this feature, saying the app “…can turn on users’ microphones and listen to what’s happening around them to identify songs playing or television being watched. The pay-off for users in allowing Facebook to microphone-lurk is that the social giant will be able to add a little tag to their status update that says they’re watching an episode of Games of Thrones as they sound off on their happiness (or despair) about the rise in background sex on TV these days.” Creepy, but ok. If you turn off your microphone, you should be protected. 

The problem is Mrs. Cummings’ microphone was turned off. 

Bottom line: Facebook is listening to you without your permission. If they have this technology, what are the odds others do too? And if, say, various government agencies do, what are the odds someone, somewhere will abuse or is already abusing it? 

I posted this on Facebook, and was mocked for my conspiracy theory. A few ventured guesses ranging from “It’s random” to “You must have browsed one of the teams.” None of their theories held water. If you can figure it out, I’ll be happy to admit I’m wrong. 

The second concern: Obama promises he’s not aiming to take away your guns:

And please do not — some of you watching certain television stations or listening to certain radio programs, please do not believe this notion that somehow I’m out to take everybody’s guns away. Every time a mass shooting happens, one of the saddest ironies is that suddenly the purchase of firearms and ammunition jumps up because folks are scared into thinking that Obama is going to use this as an excuse to take away our Second Amendment rights. Nobody is doing that. We’re talking about common-sense measures to make sure criminals don’t get them; to make sure background checks work; to make sure that to make sure that we’re protecting ourselves.

Considering Obama’s multiple lies — Breitbart‘s John Nolte lists a few big ones here — there’s no reason to believe a single word he says. He’s coming for them, and not in the Australian way so often misreported by 2A- haters in the US. Obama has lied about your healthcare, your doctor, immigration, you name it. He’s coming for your guns. 

Navy SEALs have a saying: “Two is one, one is none”. In whatever you do and in whatever the use, having redundant systems means you’re less likely to find yourself in a tight spot. I’d say something more appropriate for a bar, but you understand. Regarding guns, you can never have enough. 

Hide the redundants, friends. As Ben Carson and many others have said, if the Nazis had been met with firearms during their raids, no question things would have been different for them. Am I comparing Obama to Hitler? No, but ask yourselves what will stop what Alexis de Tocqueville called a soft tyranny, which is what we’re in now (ht: Mark Levin) from converting to a hard tyranny?

Share if reduced privacy and shrunken 2A rights are of concern to you.

About the author: Michael Cummings

Michael A. Cummings has a Bachelors in Business Management from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, and a Masters in Rhetoric & Composition from Northern Arizona University. He has worked as a department store Loss Prevention Officer, bank auditor, textbook store manager, Chinese food delivery man, and technology salesman. Cummings wrote position pieces for the 2010 Trevor Drown for US Senate (AR) and 2012 Joe Coors for Congress (CO) campaigns.

View all articles by Michael Cummings

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