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  1. #31
    Senior Member IKEWarrior04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monsterdog View Post
    What do they say? With friends like these, you don't need enemies. If this guy is the best New York Republicans have to vote for..brrrr..scary.

    I'm curious, since the stabber/shooter obtained his guns (and knife) legally and police thought he was a "wonderful human" when alerted to his plans on YouTube, how does Rep. King intend to back up the assertion that universal/expanded background checks would stop these kinds of crimes?

    From : GOP?s Rep. King calls for more background checks in wake of Calif. killings

    Emphasis mine:
    I dont know what more could have been done for this kid. I mean, he was seeing 2 therapists and received a health and welfare check by the police. The system worked as designed the people around him did their best to help him. All i can say is here we go again.
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  2. #32
    Member cutter11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IKEWarrior04 View Post
    I dont know what more could have been done for this kid. I mean, he was seeing 2 therapists and received a health and welfare check by the police. The system worked as designed the people around him did their best to help him. All i can say is here we go again.
    Why didn't the Sherrif's Deputies look at the You Tube videos that Rodger made that the mother alerted them to? Why no emergency medical eval ordered? Why no search of his apartment?

    Sheriff's Dept is in for a huge lawsuit. Just my 2¢.

    Sent from my HTC6435LVW using Tapatalk
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  3. #33
    Senior Member Reathe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutter11 View Post
    Why didn't the Sherrif's Deputies look at the You Tube videos that Rodger made that the mother alerted them to? Why no emergency medical eval ordered? Why no search of his apartment?

    Sheriff's Dept is in for a huge lawsuit. Just my 2¢.
    because he belongs to some one important...if you are nobody they kick in your door for no reason. old friend swung by on his move out of New Jersey. they came in took all his arms for physic reasons...his best friend took his job, girl hes has been with for years left after an affair and so he sought out some depression help. all it took for them to come and confiscate them. but he is a nobody having a hard time. oh rich Hollywood kid that never got his d1ck wet with a football stadium full of red flags slides through...

    not. in. the. lest. bit. surprised... at. all.



    but my friend is doing better. he moved to Texas and a 70 series 1911 he vowed to be is his first buy.
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  5. #34
    Senior Member monsterdog's Avatar
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    Why New Laws Are an Ineffective Response to Tragedies

    This is about the mass stabbing/shooting in California, I chose to remove the suspect's name (and replace it with "pipsqueak" to make it easier to read) from the quoted bits, to deny his deeds any more post-tragedy fame than they're already enjoying.

    The article presents a lot of background and good arguments for why gun-control will never work, so it's worth reading all of it to bolster your arsenal of arguments. I've quoted some of the best bits, but the original article contains more, as well as links to studies, etc.


    From: Why New Laws Are an Ineffective Response to Tragedies - Reason.com


    The idea of laws as deterrents to behavior is an old one; but the escalation in the United States of penalties (now running up against staggering human and monetary cost) for a host of crimes is ample evidence that the laws themselves aren't having the intended deterrent effect. So politicians try to up the ante.

    But as Valerie Wright, a research analyst with the Sentencing Project, put it in a 2010 paper, "Research to date generally indicates that increases in the certainty of punishment, as opposed to the severity of punishment, are more likely to produce deterrent benefits."

    This can turn politicians' efforts weirdly futile. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct.) took the opportunity of the Isla Vista murders to push for background checks (which the murderer, [pipsqueak], passed), bans on "assault weapons" (which [pipsqueak] didn't use), and limits on magazine capacity (which already exist in California, so [pipsqueak] used legal 10-round magazines) in order to deter spree kiilers who, like [pipsqueak], generally don't intend to survive their crimes.
    Last edited by monsterdog; 05-29-2014 at 01:25 PM.
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  6. #35
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    Oh so true, and exactly why we have more and more people in prison every day.
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  7. #36
    Senior Member BigBuckeyeGuy's Avatar
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    being reactive never works.......I don't care in what context......Pro-activeness leads to success!

  8. #37
    Senior Member monsterdog's Avatar
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    Improving the privacy and usability of NICS with gun-owner input


    Disclaimer : No, I've not embraced gun-control or universal background checks! This is a suggestion for how to make NICS anonymous for legal buyers



    I spent a lot of time thinking about this and writing the following. Since I'm not smart enough on my own to consider all the possibilities, lets pool our brain power. Even if you think you have nothing to contribute, write something anyway or ask for clarification if there's something you don't understand

    I'll go out on a limb and say that gun owners in general are not opposed to the concept of background checks. What we have a problem with is the potential for creating an illegal registry if all legal gun sales are logged. And we have a problem with the fact that universal background checks are unenforceable for private gun sales, while making that potential illegal registry more complete.

    At the same time we also see some benefits to background checks when gun stores and law abiding gun owners sell to an unknown individual. One of the things gun owners asked for last year was the ability to use NICS without having to go through an FFL. A request which was inexplicably ignored by legislators.

    Now a lot of money has possibly been set aside to "improve" NICS. So maybe it's time for the gun community to chip in with suggestions to trusted legislators, rather than let untrusted legislators and bureaucrats with no personal stake in the outcome decide our fate?

    I was thinking of how to improve the privacy issues of NICS in a way that would satisfy everyone (except ideologues and criminals.) I tried to come up with a solution which might also improve a lot of other things about NICS. Including the ability for private individuals to do voluntary background checks without an FFL. My explanation is somewhat technical, but I've tried to simplify it for non-technical people, while still keeping the overall message of how it works intact.


    How NICS works

    Currently you fill out a form 4473 at your FFL, and some of the data you provide is checked against the data in a list of known prohibited persons. This data is provided directly by the FFL to NICS, either over the phone or via a computer. Since the actual data that identifies you is provided to NICS, you have no guarantee that they adhere to the rule about deleting call logs (ie. registering that you're now a gun owner). On top of that a NICS employee has to compare the data and provide an answer, which takes time, could be subject to individual disposition or human error, etc.


    What I propose

    I've tried to come up with a fairly easy way to avoid this exchange of identifying data, and still be assured that buyer information is checked correctly against the prohibited persons database. It might even save the FBI money in salaries and expedite the process if implemented correctly. It may also have other benefits to gun owners, more on that later.

    If you work with computers you may know what a cryptographic hash is. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, it's basically a way to create a unique series (hash) of letters and numbers from a piece of data. The hash is always the same given the same input data, and two different pieces of data will never result in the same hash.

    I'll use a method (algorithm) called MD5 for demonstration purposes because the output is short, but much better algorithms exist.

    For instance, the name "Prohibited Pete", exactly as written, will always turn into the MD5 hash "04121a77d2876c42c9d456bccf099122".

    It takes a very short time to calculate the hash, but there's practically no way to reconstruct the original data if you only know the hash (even if you know the algorithm used.) This means you'd have to make guesses and compare each guess to the hash in order to figure out what the hash stands for. This would only work for data with limited permutations, like very common names, dates, state names, etc.

    If the FFL generates a hash of a buyer's name and sends it to NICS, who then compare the supplied hash to hashes generated from their list of names of prohibited persons, a validation can be made without ever sending the original data to NICS. If no name can be matched to the prohibited persons list, the buyer must be allowed to purchase the gun, just like today, but now NICS will never know the name, or anything else about the approved buyer.

    Of course, just like today, a name is not enough to approve or deny a purchase. So a hash of each piece of relevant data can be generated and sent to NICS, and then compared to its counterpart in the prohibited persons database.

    Maybe you've spotted the weakness in the above already.

    Since there are a limited amount of birthdays, a list of the hashes of all possible birthdays can easily be generated in a short amount of time. The same is true for common names or combinations of common first/last names, state names, drivers license numbers, etc. This makes it easier to guess what some of the hashes being sent represents. If you know the hash is a state (and you'll have to in order to compare), there are a limited number of possibilities and you can quickly guess which state the buyer is a resident of.

    The solution is to make the hash we send based on more complex data that is harder to guess as a whole, but easy to reconstruct if you already have the necessary data for a match.

    We could combine all the data into a single hash, ensuring uniqueness and making it impossible to match a single piece of data against another, but NICS most likely wants to match at least some data points individually. Also some data is not static, addresses change, some information is optional, etc.

    What we could do as a compromise, is to pick only the data that doesn't change and is always required for a match. Then use it to modify (salt) every other piece of data before we generate a hash to send. The more complicated the data combination used to generate the hash, the less likelihood there is of guessing any single piece of data. We don't need to check any static data required for a match at all now, because it will be implied in every single hash we send, and can only possibly match a prohibited person's record.

    So as a simple case, we can send Prohibited Pete's drivers license number ("12345678") for verification, along with his name and birthday ("01/01/1970"). That way it can only be verified if all the data actually is in the prohibited persons list, but we still know that we're checking his drivers license number (because we tell NICS that when sending the hash):

    "12345678, Prohibited Pete, 01/01/1970" = "9ed77286b7ee0e93f50a6163c1be2925"

    The above hash won't be the same if you change a single number or character of the original data, hence it won't match anything but the exact combination of identifying data shown.


    Benefits, checks and balances

    This lends itself well to an automated computer system where an FFL (or even a private seller) can check a prospective buyer without the involvement of NICS personnel in most cases, and without sending any identifying pieces of data to NICS. A simple piece of software that could run on a cell phone or in a web browser is all that's needed.

    The algorithm for generating a hash is public knowledge, because of how it works it doesn't need to be a secret. The seller's software could even be open source, allowing anyone to see how it works. This guards against abuse and allows for easy verification that no true identifying information is sent to NICS. Checks and balances, right? There's no real incentive for a seller to try and falsify the data and send the wrong hashes, since even universal background checks rely on the seller being the honest party.

    At the same time, the prohibited persons list doesn't have to be available to the seller's software. The true list can be insulated from hackers by checking against a pure list of hashes, derived from the original list. Everyone's privacy is better preserved, even prohibited persons who are not attempting to buy guns.

    The NICS server only needs to send a denied or approved answer back to the seller, and NICS will never know who the buyer is, unless they're denied. Even if NICS is the dishonest party, it will be difficult for them to try and guess the identity of the majority of legal buyers.

    The same system could be used for voluntary background checks in private sales between people who don't know each other. Most law abiding gun owners would probably do this if they trusted the system with the buyer's privacy. And if you're personally able to verify that no actual data is being sent, why not?

    Buyers who are unsure of their prohibited status could also run a check on themselves, before going to the gun store.

    If you make it voluntary for private sales, concerned legislators will still see a higher percentage of background checks for gun sales, while sellers still have a choice. A true compromise that might actually make a difference. The rigidity of gun-control zealots are currently keeping gun-owners unwilling to play along.

    It could also be used in place of concealed carry permits and pave the way for Constitutional carry, or at least universal reciprocity. A LEO could use the same quick background check to figure out if you're a prohibited person. Most states will allow you to carry a gun if you can pass a background check, so why issue permits if a background check is quick, safe, and private?


    All this said, I'm not a cryptography expert, or smart enough to be one.

    Even if you're not either, what do you think?

    Can you think of any possible way this type of system could be misused that NICS isn't already subject to?

    Do you think it would still be too easy to guess identifying information?

    Would you trust it more than the existing system, given your ability to verify that no identifying data is sent to NICS?
    Last edited by monsterdog; 06-03-2014 at 11:25 AM. Reason: Short explanation added to original post

  9. #38
    Senior Member monsterdog's Avatar
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    Bad idea?

  10. #39
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    I have a database background so technically I like it and it would be nice to have similar access to a list of stolen guns. My Second Amendment hackles are raised however. My concerns: First, no data available on the Internet is going to stay private, even encrypted data, just ask the NSA. Second, with a access to data for checking it would be just a short leap to have the user enter the serial numbers or the keepers of the list might add a data field to collect the number of times a particular hash name was accessed and the IP number that made the inquiry. Before you know it, some politician is saying, "It's perfectly reasonable to enter the serial number and type of firearm, it's all encrypted." Once the data is collected they decrypt it and bam! We have a national firearm registry. Have I mentioned I do not trust the government?
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  11. #40
    Senior Member monsterdog's Avatar
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    I can definitely appreciate your concern, especially about the whole "well now we can just do this" argument in the future.

    Technically speaking hashes are not an encrypted form of the data, and some form of brute force is the only way to figure out what the hash represents. This particular method is not vulnerable to collisions (when different data than the original matches the hash) since anything but the original data is useless unlike trying to defeat password verification. But at the same time, a combination brute force/dictionary attack is the most likely way to defeat it, unless the data is complex enough.

    The thing is, can we come up with something that is better (for gun owners which at the same time satisfies the stated goals of con-control zealots) than what we have now? At the very least this suggestion is no worse than NICS as it looks now.

    It would be very difficult for the gun-control crowd to reject something like this if it can be proven by technical experts to satisfy their open goals, but at the same time obstruct any possible misuse they may count on in the future. So a denial of something like that would open them up to accusations of wanting to misuse it despite assurances that registration is not in the cards. And just maybe it could be used as a bargaining chip or vehicle for further pro-gun rider amendments.

    There would be no use for putting in a serial number for background checks (couldn't possibly generate a match to a person), so that could be easily countered? As for collecting IP addresses, browser identity, siphoning cookies, etc. in an attempt to pinpoint a seller, that's a concern. But those are at least all within the control of the seller with plugins, firewalling, VPN solutions, etc. But of course it requires the correct knowledge to defeat it.
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