Debate over Public Gun Information Undermines Excuse for Guns

I’m agnostic about but very interested in the uproar over the publication of people in the NY suburbs who have permits to own handguns. It does infringe on the privacy of people who are engaging in a protected activity. But at the same time, that activity exposes others to risks they have an interest in knowing about.

Ultimately, I compare it to websites that allow you to search political donations by address. Political donations are protected by the First Amendment. But no one I know has objected to the publication of it by neighborhood (when I still lived in Ann Arbor, I discovered there was a guy whose last name was Koch who was maxing out donations he apparently couldn’t afford–given his modest house–to Republicans, right in the middle of my otherwise entirely Democratic neighborhood). Similarly, in most cases, petition signers’ names can be publicly released. If your political donations can be made public, why not your gun permit?

All that said, I’m amused by the excuses gun owners make, particularly that public records of gun ownership will make those permit holders the target for thieves.

“Publishing gun owners’ names makes them targets for theft or public ridicule. It is journalistic arrogance to abuse public record privilege, just as it is to air 911 calls for no reason or to publish the home addresses of police or judges without cause,” Al Tompkins, a Poynter senior faculty member, said in a statement Wednesday. “Unwarranted publishing of the names of permitted owners just encourages gun owners to skip the permitting.”

If I’m a thief, I’m going to selectively rob the houses where I know the owner is likely to be armed, rather than the reverse? Really? So guns are only a protection against crimes in schools, but not in a home?

It makes no sense.

One other thing that makes no sense? The same people who railed against publishing gun permit information on Twitter immediately got silent when yesterdays debate on FISA started up.

So apparently permitting the government to collect all of your communications is less intrusive than letting your neighbors know you’re armed?

Again, I see both sides of this debate and am rather more interested in what the debate says about our attitude toward guns. But thus far, it has seemed entirely inconsistent with everything else gun owners say about their guns.

Tweet about this on Twitter10Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook1Google+0Email to someone

58 Responses to Debate over Public Gun Information Undermines Excuse for Guns

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • 32
  • 33
  • 34
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 38
  • 39
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 44
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 48
  • 49
  • 50
  • 51
  • 52
  • 53
  • 54
  • 55
  • 56
  • 57
  • 58

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel So there is ZERO doubt DOJ thinks they can use 215 to get credit card records. Question is only whether and how they use it.
3mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Zoe Lofgren also got James Cole to confirm they could use Section 215 to get credit card records. http://t.co/m61oynzsar
4mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Here's DAG James Cole not denying they could get credit card records using Section 215. http://t.co/ei1RbJHOQz
6mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @tresec29 Football wins and jersey sales are for him, though.
23mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Pachacutec_ What do they call themselves?
24mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Pachacutec_ Maybe Texas' many prominent closet cases will support him.
26mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @AdamSchefter: To be clear, Dallas would like to sign Michael Sam to practice squad, not active roster. First things first. Physical Wed…
29mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @tresec29 Per @AdamSchefter just now--he's going for a physical.
29mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Dallas Cowboys is not the place I'd expect the first openly gay player to end up, but more power if it happens.
31mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Ali_Gharib That's prolly why he was keeping the new gig secret. Sugar guilt. @daveweigel
33mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Ali_Gharib Blame Bloomberg.
35mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @armandodkos Let's just hope whatever decision he makes (assuming it's favorable) doesn't get reversed this time based on DOJ lies to SCOTUS
41mreplyretweetfavorite
December 2012
S M T W T F S
« Nov   Jan »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031