A Letter to LifeLock Over its Bias Against the NRA

This is a letter that I wrote to LifeLock after they cancelled their affiliate program with the NRA:

To Whom it May Concern:

I have been a LifeLock member for many years. It is a great service that I have recommended to countless people. However, I find your politically biased discontinuation of the discount I receive as an NRA member unconscionable. As a member of the NRA and an NRA certified instructor, I help hundreds of law-abiding citizens each year to safely and legally keep and bear firearms. The vast majority of my students are people that wish to feel secure in their own homes. In Baltimore, MD, where I live, that is a big deal because it is one of the most dangerous cities in the nation. Many of my students are single moms that simply want to protect their children. One of the classes that I teach for the NRA is Refuse To Be A Victim (see https://rtbav.nra.org). That class has nothing to do with firearms. It is about personal security and it includes a section on cyber-security. I used to recommend your service when teaching that section. I will do so no longer.

Your organization exists to safeguard people and so does mine. We find the actions of all violators of the law, especially those who use firearms in those violations of the law, to be reprehensible. We do not now, nor have we ever, promoted or encouraged any sort of law breaking. The NRA was founded in 1871 and is the nation’s longest standing civil rights organization (yes, the Second Amendment is a civil right). Our existence worked against white segregationists who sought impose unconstitutional gun laws to prevent newly freed African slaves from exercising their right to keep and bear arms as written in our Constitution. They needed those rights so they could protect themselves from the lynch mobs in the racist south. To this date, over a third of my firearms students are of African heritage, far more than the representation they have in the population.

Even now, many gun laws in my state of Maryland discriminate based on race, income, and sex. In the gun store I instruct for, we see a far higher number of applications to buy firearms made by African-Americans rejected than we do for Caucasians. Our city of Baltimore is predominantly African-American and suffers from diminished opportunities and lower income due to social engineering and generations of concentration and real estate redlining. Maryland’s oppressive gun laws force people to pay $200 just to exercise their right to legally keep and bear firearms, something that hits income-deprived people significantly harder. The residents of the city cannot even legally practice with firearms as the city prohibits gun ranges. In our state, women that have been temporarily hospitalized for postpartum depression are prohibited from owning handguns for life. People are stripped of their Second Amendment rights without having been indicted or found guilty of a crime. The NRA fights against such injustice, yet you fight against the NRA.

Having said this, I recognize that LifeLock is a private organization that has every right to choose how to conduct its business, including who it chooses to have as affiliates. However, your company’s actions are profoundly hypocritical in that you have affiliates that sell alcohol such as CostCo. Alcohol causes more deaths, ruins more people’s health (including children born with fetal alcohol syndrome), and destroys more families than firearms in the US ever will. Yet, you have no problem with a purveyor of alcohol being an affiliate.

What exactly has the NRA done that made a single one of these horrible crimes happen? The reality is that you are simply virtue-signaling to try and make your organization, one whose deception in the past led to a $12 million FTC settlement in 2010 and a $100 million FTC settlement in 2015, look socially acceptable. Your company should go the end of pack of virtue signalers. LifeLock is virtue-challenged.

I will find another company that provides comparable services and switch. Furthermore, I will make sure that everyone I know understands the depth of your bias.


Andrew G. Knaster, Ed.S., MIS, MABS
NRA Certified Instructor and Life Member


A Happy Medium on Dealing with Guns and Public Safety

Many people, including a group of Democrats in Congress, are insisting that we include things like No-Fly lists in the decision process before allowing someone to buy a gun.  There is one significant, but not insurmountable, issue with that.  Inclusion on a No-Fly list does not require due process of law.  Owning a personal firearm is a constitutionally granted right.  You cannot take away a constitutional right to life, liberty, or property without due process.  This was initially documented in the Magna Carta and made part of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Nonetheless, we are discovering that if FBI watch lists were referenced during the terrorist’s legal purchase of a Sig Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle and a Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol, he would have been prevented from buying them. (BTW, for those who don’t know about guns, a semi-automatic firearm only can shoot one round per trigger pull whereas an automatic firearm can shoot multiple rounds per trigger pull).  The Republicans are insisting that there are inaccuracies on these watch lists.  There are, but this can be dealt with using existing technology and processes.

The Transportation Security Administration is responsible for the issuance of Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC).  Let’s say that a person needs to get into a federally restricted access area for work.  That person needs a TWIC, which has a picture, a microchip, and counterfeiting countermeasures built in, to enter the restricted access area.  Let’s say that the applicant for a TWIC is on a watch list or has some other potentially disqualifying factor.  The applicant’s application will be denied, but the applicant will also be given instructions on how to proceed with getting that decision overturned (see https://www.tsa.gov/for-industry/twic#quickset-twic_faqs_10).  If the applicant files for redress or requests a waiver, and is still not approved, the applicant can request a formal hearing with an administrative law judge (see https://www.tsa.gov/node/2852).  That is a due process hearing.  Would having to go that far take time and effort?  Yes.  Would a person who was initially prevented from exercising Second Amendment rights possibly be able to have those rights restored? Yes.

I am an NRA Life Member and Certified Instructor.  While I don’t want to run the risk of losing my rights or heading down a slippery slope, I could embrace this approach if the same level of diligence that is applied by the TSA would be applied to present and future firearm owners.

If you like this approach, do something about it.  Write letters to your representatives and senators.  IMHO, we’re focusing too much on firearms and not enough on those who wield them illegally.