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Zapp

Social media scrutiny and firearms licensing in Scotland

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PW loves a debate (not necessarily a bad thing).

I think all the rational people who use Facebook should feel very indifferent about whether the police do or don't have a look at what you post. I say this because the flip side is that you either post daft/irresponsible stuff or you wrongly assume you have some level of privacy on the internet. This is simply not true, what you post on the internet is in a domain public enough for people (and certainly authorities) to access.

I've been involved in software development for some time and have encountered a ton of scenarios whereby people thought they were being anonymous and were not, for various reasons. Even on this forum, I may 'feel' anonymous with a fake name but I'm under no illusion that you can piece together the content of my posts to build a pretty detailed picture, the admins even more so (I won't say how since it's clear they'd not like to publicly disclose it which is fair do's).

I suppose my point is that it's not really up for debate whether the police CAN use this material, they even have legislation like the snooper's charter to warrant it. What's up for debate is whether they DO or they SHOULD. In my (personal) opinion, they should (why not?). In my estimation, they probably don't.

Edited by DanBettin

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2 hours ago, walshie said:

Whether you believe you are being monitored or not, if you don't post anything stupid, you'll be o.k. 

I don't see why the cops wouldn't use social media as a tool in seeing if someone is fit to have a gun. It's probably a more realistic view of a person than what he says over tea and biscuits at an interview. 

I would be most disappointed if the police didnt use every tool available to determine 'fitness' to possess firearms.

In this sense, you may have an applicant, who has never been in trouble with the law, or never been caught ! So does not 'flag up' as unfit.
He may have some unsavoury friends in his FB list, or hold extreme views.
He may 'follow' IS on twitter, any number of things that may (in the view of the police) make him unsuitable.

No system is infallible, but hopefully there is some effort made via social media checks, to reduce grants to unfit people.
Thus reducing the risk of another tragedy.

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1 hour ago, JDog said:

My assumption concerning the ‘nutters’ on this forum is that they have neither shotgun certificated nor firearms licences. I base this on the fact that they never post threads concerning their outings whether for pigeons, foxes or anything else.

There have been a few nutters who have posted such stuff. Whether it's true or not is another matter. They lie about everything else. 

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The most prolific shooter I know on here (out 3-5 times per week generally) doesn't post about his outings.  He offers help and advice where he can, which is fair enough.

Conversely, one of the bigger idiots we have had to turf off the forum over the years couldn't seem to touch a rifle or shotgun without posting all about it (before usually insinuating everyone else was a keyboard shooter).  He also used to try by various means to get people in trouble behind the scenes, for example making spurious reports about them to organisations they were volunteering for.

So, one a non reporter and another a prolific one.  I'd say your assumption is ill founded. 

 

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56 minutes ago, Zapp said:

The most prolific shooter I know on here (out 3-5 times per week generally) doesn't post about his outings.  He offers help and advice where he can, which is fair enough.

Conversely, one of the bigger idiots we have had to turf off the forum over the years couldn't seem to touch a rifle or shotgun without posting all about it (before usually insinuating everyone else was a keyboard shooter).  He also used to try by various means to get people in trouble behind the scenes, for example making spurious reports about them to organisations they were volunteering for.

So, one a non reporter and another a prolific one.  I'd say your assumption is ill founded. 

 

How many guesses do we get? :innocent:

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On 06/03/2018 at 14:47, Zapp said:

This is interesting.  We already have a number of FEOs who visit the forum but this could be a first step towards formal consideration of social media activity in the grant/refusal/revocation of tickets in Scotland.....

....What do the rest of you think?

Not before time, but I would also think it is part of Roseanna Cunningham someone`s agenda

On 06/03/2018 at 14:48, fister said:

I agree entirely. PW is mild compared to the idocy seen on Facebook, shooters are just banning themselves and destroying their sports left right and centre. Don’t be deluded into thinking it is done for anything other than self gratification and ego boosting because very few are earning any money from it......so why do they do it? LIKES and ‘friends’

Don`t forget nothing beat plain ole stupid

On 06/03/2018 at 15:14, Delboysparky said:

In reality your PW profile will be difficult to attribute to a person unless you openly declare who you are online along with your username.  Remember that the Police cannot access your online data beyond that which you publish.  

Really, not even to prevent crime etc? Most forums log IP addys so if you are a nefarious type and use methods of obscuring your IP addy then they will track you down ASAP as you appear to have something to hide

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1 hour ago, henry d said:

Really, not even to prevent crime etc? Most forums log IP addys so if you are a nefarious type and use methods of obscuring your IP addy then they will track you down ASAP as you appear to have something to hide

I have said in other comments that you can be identified by the police etc for that purpose. Plus even if you hide your IP you cannot hide your computers GUID, so you can still be identified. 

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Aside from the technical considerations of monitoring social media there is a bigger issue which is a whole lot more subjective.

If you think about things like safe spaces in Universities and colleges where no platforming speakers with 'opposing' points of views is common place or the ever increasing prevalence of people being offended and triggered by 'non conforming' statements is there a risk that firearms grants become dependent on conforming to the opinion of the 'thought police'?

Without doubt there is a social or collective conscience of what is acceptable to talk about, there are certainly enough posts in the OT section complaining about the same, so would a more invasive approach in monitoring social media run the risk of being a subjective assessment of someone's opinion rather than an objective risk assessment evaluation?

As an example, we have had a fair few discussions on PW about the relative merits, or otherwise, of a change in legislation towards recreational drugs.  It is a discussion that polarises opinion, understandably, but should a firearms grant or renewal consider posts such as that?

I have openly advocated on these discussions that I believe the UK's approach is ineffective and needs to change, should that opinion on public policy be considered as part of my upcoming renewal in Scotland in this year?  Would having an opinion that differs from current public policy be considered as having disregard for the law?

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41 minutes ago, Delboysparky said:

I have said in other comments that you can be identified by the police etc for that purpose. Plus even if you hide your IP you cannot hide your computers GUID, so you can still be identified. 

You can easily mask a UUID of a device or provide another randomly generated one, a really simple example would be running a virtual machine on your PC where the UUID is provided from the VM and not the physical host.

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3 minutes ago, grrclark said:

You can easily mask a UUID of a device or provide another randomly generated one, a really simple example would be running a virtual machine on your PC where the UUID is provided from the VM and not the physical host.

Most people have no idea you can or how. Good point tho

 

Edited by Delboysparky

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30 minutes ago, grrclark said:

Aside from the technical considerations of monitoring social media there is a bigger issue which is a whole lot more subjective.

If you think about things like safe spaces in Universities and colleges where no platforming speakers with 'opposing' points of views is common place or the ever increasing prevalence of people being offended and triggered by 'non conforming' statements is there a risk that firearms grants become dependent on conforming to the opinion of the 'thought police'?

Without doubt there is a social or collective conscience of what is acceptable to talk about, there are certainly enough posts in the OT section complaining about the same, so would a more invasive approach in monitoring social media run the risk of being a subjective assessment of someone's opinion rather than an objective risk assessment evaluation?

As an example, we have had a fair few discussions on PW about the relative merits, or otherwise, of a change in legislation towards recreational drugs.  It is a discussion that polarises opinion, understandably, but should a firearms grant or renewal consider posts such as that?

I have openly advocated on these discussions that I believe the UK's approach is ineffective and needs to change, should that opinion on public policy be considered as part of my upcoming renewal in Scotland in this year?  Would having an opinion that differs from current public policy be considered as having disregard for the law?

Good post. We've discussed this before, especially the alarming growth of non-acceptance of anything but conformist views within Uni' etc.

I have also in the past suggested the banning of alcohol on the same grounds as some drugs are banned, and advocated the legalisation of said drugs, and also the freedom for law abiding citizens of the UK to have the freedom to choose to arm themselves at any time for the purposes of self defence.   I'm bracing myself for a knock on the door. :)

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4 minutes ago, Scully said:

Good post. We've discussed this before, especially the alarming growth of non-acceptance of anything but conformist views within Uni' etc.

I have also in the past suggested the banning of alcohol on the same grounds as some drugs are banned, and advocated the legalisation of said drugs, and also the freedom for law abiding citizens of the UK to have the freedom to choose to arm themselves at any time for the purposes of self defence.   I'm bracing myself for a knock on the door. :)

Yep, you're definitely getting a chap on the door by your licensing head honcho and he is bringing the head of BT with him for backup :P

In the last thread where we discussed cannabis smokers having guns it was suggested to me that "I hope your FEO is not reading this", I then suggested our head of licensing, and mentioned his name, would be very welcome to have that chat with me.  I'm bracing myself for that chat come renewal time this year too :rolleyes:

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I don't do facebook or the like but I'm a member of a few forums. I think just reading how people express themselves is a pretty good indicator as to whether they are decent chaps, Walter Mittys or complete liabilities. 

Obviously licensing decisions or job offers can't be based solely on how people come across on social media but I reckon it gives a general idea as to how a person ticks. 

Edited by walshie

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1 hour ago, grrclark said:

Yep, you're definitely getting a chap on the door by your licensing head honcho and he is bringing the head of BT with him for backup 

In the last thread where we discussed cannabis smokers having guns it was suggested to me that "I hope your FEO is not reading this", I then suggested our head of licensing, and mentioned his name, would be very welcome to have that chat with me.  I'm bracing myself for that chat come renewal time this year too 

:yes:

Edited by Scully

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Quote

In the last thread where we discussed cannabis smokers having guns it was suggested to me that "I hope your FEO is not reading this", I then suggested our head of licensing, and mentioned his name, would be very welcome to have that chat with me.  I'm bracing myself for that chat come renewal time this year too 

Will you be bringing up your views with the FEO? Otherwise, your point is meaningless.

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9 minutes ago, Gordon R said:

Will you be bringing up your views with the FEO? Otherwise, your point is meaningless.

Why is it meaningless when I use an example to illustrate a point?

The example given by me in then post prior to the reply to Scully was in direct reference to comments made on a social media platform that are fairly polarising.  

Should that sort of post be considered as part of a licence grant or renewal?

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It is one thing to say you would be happy to discuss the matter with the Head of Licensing, in the knowledge that it is unlikely. It is another thing to test the water, by bringing the matter up with your FEO and asking if he thought drugs and licences were compatible.

For the record - I don't think they are.

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6 hours ago, Gordon R said:

It is one thing to say you would be happy to discuss the matter with the Head of Licensing, in the knowledge that it is unlikely. It is another thing to test the water, by bringing the matter up with your FEO and asking if he thought drugs and licences were compatible.

For the record - I don't think they are.

The question was given that subject is being discussed on a social media platform should the feo consider that to be something to be discussed and considered as part of a grant/renewal?

Would having an opinion that differs from current policy be sufficient consideration to possibly deny someone from being a gun owner?

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9 hours ago, walshie said:

I don't do facebook or the like but I'm a member of a few forums. I think just reading how people express themselves is a pretty good indicator as to whether they are decent chaps, Walter Mittys or complete liabilities. 

Obviously licensing decisions or job offers can't be based solely on how people come across on social media but I reckon it gives a general idea as to how a person ticks. 

Agreed

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18 hours ago, Zapp said:

The most prolific shooter I know on here (out 3-5 times per week generally) doesn't post about his outings.  He offers help and advice where he can, which is fair enough.

Conversely, one of the bigger idiots we have had to turf off the forum over the years couldn't seem to touch a rifle or shotgun without posting all about it (before usually insinuating everyone else was a keyboard shooter).  He also used to try by various means to get people in trouble behind the scenes, for example making spurious reports about them to organisations they were volunteering for.

So, one a non reporter and another a prolific one.  I'd say your assumption is ill founded. 

 

Without being facetious I have to say I do not understand your analogies.

One man shoots a lot and posts helpful comments and in your view is clearly not a nutter. The other isn’t even a member of PW.

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48 minutes ago, JDog said:

Without being facetious I have to say I do not understand your analogies.

One man shoots a lot and posts helpful comments and in your view is clearly not a nutter. The other isn’t even a member of PW.

Indeed, but when he was on here he was a devious, obnoxious pain.  

Admittedly this comparison is oblique to the rest of the conversation, which is about people exhibiting concerning behaviour, but it was you who suggested that the amount someone posts about their own shooting outings being an indicator of good character, not me, and it was that assertion I was challenging.

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36 minutes ago, Zapp said:

Indeed, but when he was on here he was a devious, obnoxious pain.  

Admittedly this comparison is oblique to the rest of the conversation, which is about people exhibiting concerning behaviour, but it was you who suggested that the amount someone posts about their own shooting outings being an indicator of good character, not me, and it was that assertion I was challenging.

Then my initial post must have been misleading and for that I apologise.

What I meant to say was that those who in my own mind may be considered ‘nutters’ based on the content of their posts never seem to post about their sporting forays. The intimation being that they spend their time being nutters and not out shooting.

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Social media seems to lull some people into exposing extreme views they hold that they would not dream of showing to the real world, what is disturbing is that some of these thoughts/opinions abide in their mind and character in the first place!

Many people privately hold socially unacceptable (and even illegal!) opinions on issues such as immigration, criminality, drug taking, violence, racism, sexism, sexual deviation etc etc etc, that they would not dare to express in public, but feel able to do so hiding behind the screen of anonymity social media seems to offer............They don't seem able to take in that this anonymity is not as anonymous as they believe it to be!

Apart from the above examples, and more relevant to the fieldsports community, It seems socially acceptable (I can't think of any other reason?) for the police to monitor, provoke, interfere with, control and physically intervene in a lawful, peaceful protest....but not acceptable for police to monitor, interfere with, control and physically intervene in anti hunting protests that involve criminal acts such as threatening behaviour, provocation, intimidation, conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace, trespass, armed trespass, criminal damage, death threats, assault etc etc etc, why do we think that is?

So the answer must be, if you are a gun owner keep any social unacceptable opinions you may have to yourself....or risk losing your licence!

 

 

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panoma 1 - I too wonder why the Police tolerate the behaviour of sabs.  It is clearly criminal, but seems to be ignored.

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