Public Records are Secret

The West Nyack Journal-News, which published a map of gun permit holders in their area, have hired armed guards to protect their building after receiving threats, as reported by a competing paper, the Rockland County Times. Competing newspapers sure know how to hate, so from the Times’ perspective, the whole thing boils down to hypocrisy and overreaction. The Journal-News says it’s going to publish more maps so whether the threats were real or not, they’re not working.

The comment thread on the Times’ story is the usual high quality observations found in the comments of most newspapers, so if you want to do some nutpicking, enjoy it.

(Thanks to reader Jerry for sending this in.)

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186 replies
  1. 1
    Cassidy says:

    I wish there was a public registry of firearms permit holders and CC. The rest of us deserve to know if our neighbors are hoarding firearms and ammo. Just think, if we could somehow make licensing and insurance mandatory and then property values are affected, we might actually see people stop placing the fetish over their wallet.

  2. 2
    Woodrowfan says:

    let’s see, they insist that “gun free zones” are “victim zones” and that if the “bad guys” (eyeroll) know someone in a specific place are armed, then the “bad guys” won’t try anything. So wouldn’t publishing a PUBLIC RECORD about gun ownership make the gun owners safer?

  3. 3
    Cassidy says:

    let’s see, they insist that “gun free zones” are “victim zones” and that if the “bad guys” black guys (eyeroll) know someone in a specific place are armed, then the “bad guys” black guys won’t try anything. So wouldn’t publishing a PUBLIC RECORD about gun ownership make the gun owners safer?

    I think this accurately reflects the mindset.

  4. 4
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Cassidy: yeah, that works. Or “bla guys.” 8-)

  5. 5
    Paul in KY says:

    @Woodrowfan: If the bad guys know you are packing a pistol in public, then they can overpower you & take it.

    I guess that would be what they are whining about.

  6. 6
    Ash Can says:

    @Woodrowfan: That’s what gets me about concealed carry. If it’s such a deterrent to be packing heat, then why not go whole hog on the deterrence and fucking SHOW the damned gun? Why hide it? Are they ashamed of it?

  7. 7
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Paul in KY: yeah, but that’s reality. In their minds they’re superheros. “I can single-handily stop a massacre with my deadeye aim.”

  8. 8
    aimai says:

    @Woodrowfan:

    Woodrowfan beat me to it. This is their argument for public carry and for those stupid signs people put on their doors letting imaginary burglars and rapists know that the inhabitants are armed. The only reason for gun holders to freak out about their names being published is because they have a sneaking suspicion that their neighbors and relatives think they are fucking losers and nutcases.

    aimai

  9. 9
    RSA says:

    Whole lotta stupid people in those comments.

    Funny how the editor is all for free speech if it is her speech, but feels threatened by the free speech of others.

    Threats of violence are just free speech!

    But they’ll still oppose armed guards in schools, unless of course it’s where they send their kids.

    I suspect no parents would mind armed guards in a school that was specifically threatened.

    Fancy that, the hysterical leftists finally realize that their epically stupid actions actually have CONSEQUENCES. You put untold people’s lives at risk and you expect no reaction? How incredibly STUPID of you.

    Ah, the consequences of free speech–death threats.

  10. 10
    jon says:

    They don’t want open-carry laws because they know that in a massacre they’d be the first target. They also don’t like being scoffed at by the many adults who can go out in public without their pacifiers.

  11. 11
    keestadoll says:

    Weapons are a huge target of thieves. So, sorry, but I think that the paper didn’t think this through. Would love to hear from some permit-holding Juicers on this one.

  12. 12
    Less Popular Tim says:

    I’m not a gun owner, but that is kindofa dick move, since guns are an attractive target for burglars. That’s why the police tell you not to have NRA stickers on your car. True, it’s a public record, but having it in the paper saves burglars a ton of work. Sure, if they’re home it would be their ultimate fantasy to blow someone away, but if you’re not home, I would be bummed about the increased risk of burglary, even if my guns were in a safe.

  13. 13
    Mandalay says:

    @mistermix

    Public Records are Secret

    Indeed…

    Rather than take the map down following the public uproar, the executive board at the Journal News has decided to “stick to their guns” and double-down on their original decision, as they have said a map listing all pistol permit holders in Putnam County will soon to be posted.

    [update—Putnam County officials have since announced their intention to not comply with the Journal News’ request for the names and addresses of pistol permit holders]

    http://www.rocklandtimes.com/2.....dangerous/

    This looks very promising: local government officials openly defying the Freedom Of Information Act.

  14. 14
    aimai says:

    @RSA:

    I’m confused. What is the evidence that any gun owners received death threats? Criticism of gun owners and gun ownership is, in fact, a free speech issue and protected by the constitution. Death threats, of course (if issued) should be dealt with harshly by the appropriate authorities but it is the gun owners of America who have insisted, by their actions, that they don’t choose to resort to law and the legal sphere to settle their disputes but instead require lethal weaponry. IF they are finding that a gun in the house doesn’t protect them from slander or from contumely, well, that isn’t our fault. They might consider they should have spent more money and time shoring up civil society rather than planning on shooting ever person who looks at them sideways.

    aimai

  15. 15
    jon says:

    If you have a gun, secure it. If you can’t secure it, take it with you. If you can’t take it with you or secure it, you are a danger to the community. And thieves wouldn’t have places to sell guns legitimately if not for loopholes.

    I’ll feel sorry for the responsible gun owners when the responsible gun owners stop being whiny assholes and start acting like adults with responsibilities.

  16. 16
    Ash Can says:

    @Paul in KY: So open carry makes you a target, and carrying a gun doesn’t prevent you from being overcome by bad guys. What’s the point to carrying at all, then? (Furthermore, on the basis of that, I wonder if there are any statistics that show whether or not muggings increase in concealed-carry areas, with muggers hoping they’ll score concealed weapons from their victims.)

  17. 17
    aimai says:

    @Less Popular Tim:

    I’m laughing at this one, too. Yes, people who have weapons or other valuables at home should worry about burglary. If you are really worried perhaps you shouldn’t keep your valuables at home or should insure them. That’s what the rest of us have to do. What’s that you say? You shouldn’t have to stay home and mount an armed guard over your armed guard tools? Too bad, so sad.

    aimai

  18. 18
    gogol's wife says:

    @jon:

    So true. The tone of their comments on this blog is remarkably uniform.

  19. 19
    Paul in KY says:

    @Woodrowfan: Good point. Will mention though that there is a codocil in the ‘concealed carry’ laws that mandate the weapon must be concealed & it not be readily apparent (from visual inspection) that you are packing a piece.

    The reason for this, IMO, is two-fold. 1) Minimize people being freaked out by the presence of a presumably loaded weapon. 2) Ensure someone bent on violence cannot quickly grab the gun themselves & start blasting.

  20. 20
    Paul in KY says:

    @aimai: Just learned a new word: contumely

    Thanks, Aimai!

  21. 21
    Paul in KY says:

    @Ash Can: I guess they feel they will have the weapon to use, if no one has sussed out that they have one & pop them in head right at beginning of crime spree.

    You do have to keep it ‘concealed’, if you have one of those permits.

  22. 22
    RSA says:

    @aimai:

    I’m confused. What is the evidence that any gun owners received death threats?

    My interpretation of the article is that it was the newspaper editors that received threats (and I’m assuming they’re death threats), and that this is what the commenters on the newspaper site are going on about. I haven’t heard of any gun owners receiving threats.

  23. 23
    Mandalay says:

    @Ash Can:

    If it’s such a deterrent to be packing heat, then why not go whole hog on the deterrence and fucking SHOW the damned gun?

    I see your point, but the argument focuses on whether Joe Sixpack should have to show or hide his gun in the bar. I’d much prefer the argument be about whether Joe Sixpack should be allowed to have a gun in the bar in the first place.

    The notion those who need to to carry concealed guns in public are wussies seems to be gaining traction.

  24. 24
    catclub says:

    @Paul in KY: But cannot anyone openly carry? Since then they (non permit holders) have a right to bear arms and all that? Do the concealed carry permit holders violate the concealed carry permit if they actually draw the gun to protect themselves?

    Makes no sense.

  25. 25
    scav says:

    These are the same people that insist it would be a good idea to mandate arming every elementery school teacher in these here U-Nighted States? Wouldn’t that just means all bad guys just burgle a teacher when they need a weapon? Clearly, the baseline rule is anything goes so long as They don’t bear the consequences of their holy principles.

  26. 26
    jp7505a says:

    @Ash Can: Or are there any statistics that muggings in concealed carry areas turn out to be more violent with the victim suffering injury or death. Rememeber the mugger has the element of surprise on his side. If he is willing to commit the crime anyway he may feel that the best approach is to physically incapacitate the potential victim before he can reach for his gun first rather than just trying for his money

  27. 27
    aimai says:

    @RSA:

    Sorry, RSA, I didn’t realize the block quotes were from the newspaper comments. I thought they were your comments. I apologize!

    On the subject of whether parents want armed guards in schools at all I can speak to that–I don’t want armed guards and I defeinitely don’t want armed volunteer guards or armed parents taking on the duties of armed guards. Parents and relatives of kids in schools are just as likely to be unstable gun nuts as anyone else just as they are also likely to be ex felons, felons present tense, and pedophiles or scam artists. They run a CORI check on you before you are allowed to work with kids even in your own school for very good reason–just having a kid doesn’t make you safe for other people’s kids or the teaching staff.

    If schools become so radically unsafe that they are in danger of being stormed then they need to be hardened, ingress and egress points need to be hardened, the windows need to be bullet proof and permanent professional armed guards need to be rotated through on a regular basis so they don’t become complaisant and careless. Of cours ewe can’t afford secret service level protection for the entire k-8 school system but that is what it would take for the children to be at less risk from accidental shooting by their armed volunteer guards than at risk from random shooters from outside.

    aimai

  28. 28
    Woodrowfan says:

    “An Armed Society is a polite society”
    “People will hurt me if they know I have a gun!”

    Reconcile and discuss. Show your work…

  29. 29
    Punchy says:

    This is a great post, with lots of background, context, and opinion.

  30. 30
    Rex Everything says:

    “The comment thread on the Times’ story is the usual high quality observations”

    Higher quality than Balloon Juice’s? I’ll be surprised if anything can top the majesty of “quit making personal attacks, you pedophile!”

  31. 31
    LosGatosCA says:

    @aimai:

    The only reason for gun holders to freak out about their names being published is because they have a sneaking suspicion know that their neighbors and relatives think are then aware that they are fucking losers and nutcases.

    FTFY. Nobody likes to be discovered masturbating in the public restroom.

  32. 32
    Paul in KY says:

    @catclub: Depending on city ordinances, etc. sometimes you cannot carry around a pistol like the Wild West days. You generally can in KY (probably a surprise there).

    I’m sure they do not violate the concealed carry ordinance if they have to draw the weapon legally. They can violate it if the weapon is shoddily concealed (I think).

  33. 33
    scav says:

    Gays are getting married and gun nuts are fighting for their right to remain in the closet. Random somewhat encouraging thought.

  34. 34
    Paul in KY says:

    @scav: I guess they could (burgle for the weapon). Any time you are packing, you must (IMO) always be completely committed to not letting that weapon get away.

    Sometimes, it seems to be the reason for police shooting an unarmed person (they were afraid the person might overpower them & take weapon).

  35. 35
    Mandalay says:

    Putnam County officials, who say they will refuse a newspaper’s request to release the names and addresses of residents with pistol permits, would break state law by withholding the data, a state official said.

    The opinion, of state Committee on Open Government Executive Director Robert Freeman, came after an announcement Tuesday by state Sen. Greg Ball and two Putnam officials that they would refuse to release the data requested by The Journal News of White Plains, which sought the records under the state Freedom of Information Law.

    http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.....d-gun-data

    They hate us for our freedom!

  36. 36
    Morzer says:

    @Woodrowfan:

    Liberal fascism!

    I think I should get extra credit for the reference to the work of a great publikk interlickchewall of our time…

  37. 37
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    What are the gun owners so afraid of? I thought owning a gun made you an unstoppable superhero, able to take out bad guys at will and guard elementary schools without any training.

    Snark? No, that’s word for word what the NRA says.

    So what’s the problem?

  38. 38
    RSA says:

    @aimai:

    On the subject of whether parents want armed guards in schools at all I can speak to that–I don’t want armed guards and I defeinitely don’t want armed volunteer guards or armed parents taking on the duties of armed guards.

    I used to be ambivalent about this issue, not having kids myself, but after talking with a fair number of friends online who are parents, I’m now on their side and yours–bad idea. Armed guards in every school would be a good signal that our society is doomed.

  39. 39
    Culture of Truth says:

    The whole issue of just how “public” public records should be is an interesting one, from land records, taxes, voting, public employees’ salaries, etc.

  40. 40
    aimai says:

    @scav:

    I was thinking that, too, Scav, after seeing that Kos piece. I am encouraged.

    aimai

  41. 41
    Cacti says:

    @Rex Everything:

    “quit making personal attacks, you pedophile!”

    Please provide an address for shipping of the internets you’ve won.

  42. 42
    Larry Craig says:

    @LosGatosCA: Speak for yourself.

  43. 43
    Paul in KY says:

    @Woodrowfan: ‘Armed Society is a Polite Society’ trope only works if everyone (and I mean everyone) is armed.

    In that scenario, the bad person already has a gun themselves, so they will leave you alone.

    How’s that?

  44. 44
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    Why hide it? Are they ashamed of it?

    Because a failure to hide the weapon will result in a mess of 911 calls from SHMs and wrinklies at Dunkin Donuts concerned about a probable robbery in progress. 50-bajillion-fold more calls if said person is black.

    As has been said by others, the easiest way to roll back these laws is to hire 50+ young black men to open carry in suburban malls, libraries, and soccer fields. Repealed in less than a week.

  45. 45
    catclub says:

    @Mandalay: This is somewhat related to the release of real estate transaction information,
    which is public record, but the county registrars still did not want to release it in bulk, only to individuals who came to the registrar’s office ( and only had a paper and pencil, no camera or such).

    Similar to the release of court transcripts, which are also public record, by only the licensed company which has a contract to do it and then sells its access to others.

  46. 46
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Paul in KY: nope, sorry. because you might have a better gun that he will want to take away. Nor does it account for the fact that if you have a gun now and the bad guy does not, he’ll be too afraid of you to try to take it.

  47. 47
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mandalay: Notice how the Repub legislator has glommed onto an issue he thinks he can exploit.

    I guess that is sorta dog bites man…

  48. 48
    Feudalism Now! says:

    @Woodrowfan:
    An armed society is only polite if the members are not sure if you are packing heat. Once people are sure that you have a lead spitting totem, they will covet it and try to profane the phallic idol. It has value, therefore burglars will go for the easy armed target.

  49. 49
    catclub says:

    @peach flavored shampoo: “As has been said by others, the easiest way to roll back these laws is to hire 50+ young black men ”

    And I noted there is a ‘who shall bell the cat problem’.

    Would a sane young black man want to get hired for that job, if the location was Bumscratch, Texass, or Tucson, Arpaioizona?

  50. 50

    @Cassidy:
    I’m thinking more and more that the “insurance option” would be a lot more effective (and achievable) than overt gun control laws. Make excessive gun ownership cost money, and let the pricing signals kick in.

    It could even be spun as a Free Market Solution.

  51. 51
    Paul in KY says:

    @peach flavored shampoo: The 50+ black dudes open carrying in public would actually probably work in rolling back those laws.

    I would worry about the safety of the 50+ young men (from the swat teams that will undoubtably mobilize).

  52. 52
    MattR says:

    Intersting. I used to be a delivery boy for the Journal News many, many moons ago. Not even sure what the Rockland County Times is despite its claim to have been publishing weekly since 1888. I have never seen it for sale at a newsstand and would not call it actual competition with the Journal News.

  53. 53
    Mandalay says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    The whole issue of just how “public” public records should be is an interesting one, from land records, taxes, voting, public employees’ salaries, etc.

    Agreed. Perhaps it exists already, but I favor a limited form of Freedom-Of-Information in most cases. For example, if I want to know whether my neighbor has a gun I should be able to find out, but I don’t see why I am also automatically entitled to publicize that information to the world.

  54. 54
    scav says:

    A universally armed society is a polite one until one yahoo assumes he’s better with the bang-stick than the next armed individual and then? Introduce ego and actual human behavior into theoretical nirvana and things get tricky.

  55. 55
    Paul in KY says:

    @Woodrowfan: Dammit! Man, if only I had my gun here at work, and this ‘Woodrowfan’ happened to work where I did, and he wasn’t bigger than me or already armed, well I’d show him a thing or two…

  56. 56
    MattR says:

    @Mandalay:

    For example, if I want to know whether my neighbor has a gun I should be able to find out, but I don’t see why I am also automatically entitled to publicize that information to the world.

    How would you enforce this? Not that I am completely unsympathetic to that position, but it seems like trying to shove the genie back into the bottle. In NJ, the University of Monmouth put all the property tax records for the state into an easily searchable online database and I do admit it is pretty freaky how easily you can track people down using it.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:

    I wondered aloud when Fox News(1) first started reporting the story if these same people were equally as opposed to publishing the names and addresses of abortion doctors when that started happening 10 or 15 years ago. Anyone? Bueller?

    (1) Don’t blame me, I was trapped with my Fox-watching parents.

  58. 58
    aimai says:

    @scav:

    I’m agreeing with you but I’d put it differently. An armed society isn’t a polite society, its a silent, alienated, society. Why would you even interact with a stranger who carried a gun openly, or who intimated to you that they were carrying a gun? A number of Kossacks have recounted the experience of being in line behind someone openly carrying. The experience isn’t that much different from suddenly finding yourself in line behind a person who is obviously drunk or drugged and carrying any weapon.

    Such a person is by definition threatening to settle some number of personal interactions through lethal force–how can you ever trust that your interaction, be it never so peaceable, isn’t going to be the interaction that they respond to with violence? You can’t. So we all end up avoiding contact with potentially vioelnt lunatics by avoiding public spaces and public interactions.

    aimai

  59. 59
    Roger Moore says:

    @Ash Can:

    If it’s such a deterrent to be packing heat, then why not go whole hog on the deterrence and fucking SHOW the damned gun?

    Because they’re afraid of negative social consequences. They don’t like to admit it, but on some level they know that their view of guns is unpopular. Concealed carry lets them have their security blanket gun without subjecting them to public ridicule or shunning by people who don’t share their enthusiasm.

  60. 60
    Face says:

    Not a gunner, so need some help with the definitions:

    1) Does “concealed” mean mandatory holster, or can someone hold a gun under a trenchcoat and be in compliance with the law?

    2) The d-bag that carried his rifle around Portland, ME last week said he used a sling but could have legally just carried it in his hands. Is this true? Does open carry allow someone to carry guns around in their hands/arms while walking down a jog path?

    TIA

  61. 61
    Cassidy says:

    @Judas Escargot, Bringer of Loaves and Fish Sandwiches: That’s the only way unless we’re a country that’s committed to confiscation. Even if we did a generous buy back program that phased into an outright ban, the reality is that lot of these people see the gov’t as illegitimate and won’t turn in their weapons; that’s if we don’t grandfather all that shit in like last time anyway. For a ban to work, we’d have to commit to taking them from those who aren’t willing to comply and that would lead to some serious difficulties.

    What we have to do is make gun ownership a privilege and an expensive one.

  62. 62
    Culture of Truth says:

    How would you enforce this?

    One possible way is the paper and pencil method referenced by catclub.

  63. 63
    Cassidy says:

    @Rex Everything: Hey, if you want to defend the guy that tried to argue that raping a 12 year old could have been consensual sex, that’s your bag I guess. Lie down with dogs and all.

  64. 64
    scav says:

    @aimai: They can be wrong on multiple fronts simultaneously, no argument there.

  65. 65

    OT but Pete King is pissed that his pals ditched the Sandy Relief Bill and is letting them know it.

  66. 66
    El Cid says:

    Gun nerds just want to feel like they’re a secret force of power, not a bunch of real world schlumps who happen to own a popstick.

  67. 67
    MattR says:

    @Culture of Truth: That might work for keeping an entire database off the internet, but how would you prevent the dissemination of information about a specific individual? If I go to the registrar to look up info about my neighbors, how are you going to stop me from posting it online? Or how do you stop the small town paper from making a handful of visits and copying down the information for the 40 permit holders in the area?

  68. 68
    Cassidy says:

    @Face: 1) I’m not entirely sure. The ban on sawed off shotguns, barrels under 14 inches, etc. is specifically so that people don’t carry concealable long arms. I don’t know how that applies to pistols. I would expect that “concealed” means that people aren’t supposed to know that it is there, in repsect to places that have restrictions on open carry. This is just musing on my part, though.

    2) The argument they use is that open carry is legal or at the very least not illegal anywhere and that they have the right to carry, etc. It’s a pedantic argument on their part using specific language of laws and whatnot. Generally speaking, it’s legal, but you are going to be talking to cops and that’s usually the point: to make a big fuss and show the big gubmint suppressing their rights, etc.

  69. 69
    Woodrowfan says:

    On a side note, when I worked as an election office last November I had several men use their concealed weapons permit as their ID. That’s legal in Virginia, but I did note that all three thrust their ID at me as if to say “TAKE IT!”. Most people just hand you their ID as if to say “is this OK??” And all three had “that look.” You know, the slightly angry, alienated look, that when you see it you move to the other end of the subway car… Travis Bickle indeed.

  70. 70
    Mandalay says:

    @MattR:

    How would you enforce this?

    No idea…it’s a tricky issue.

    The example you provide demonstrates that publicizing certain information is in the public interest. If I think my property taxes are too high then I want to be able to see what my neighbors are paying, and having that information publicly available and readily accessible is entirely reasonable.

    But I am not so sure about the right to publicize the names and addresses of gun owners (or child molesters or abortion doctors or CEOs or famous people…). Malkin’s granite countertops and all that.

  71. 71
    Paul in KY says:

    @aimai: Well, well, what about those old Gunsmoke scenes where everyone is in the saloon listening to Ms. Kitty & they are all armed to the teeth and stuff?!

    People will still have to scurry out to the store to get victuals every now & then. Then you best not break in line…

  72. 72
    Culture of Truth says:

    @MattR: how are you going to stop me from posting it online?

    That would be very difficult, perhaps not impossible. (1st amendment, etc.) There are laws against publicizing social security numbers, and there are invasion of privacy torts, etc.

  73. 73
    Roger Moore says:

    @Paul in KY:

    ‘Armed Society is a Polite Society’ trope only works if everyone (and I mean everyone) is armed.

    Nah. “An armed society is a polite society” means that white people need guns to keep the blahs from getting uppity. That may not have been its original meaning, but it’s an obvious subtext of the people who use it today.

  74. 74
    keestadoll says:

    @aimai: “The only reason for gun holders to freak out about their names being published is because they have a sneaking suspicion that their neighbors and relatives think they are fucking losers and nutcases.”

    I’m also thinking that they had no idea that such information would be published as an interactive map akin to the Megan’s Law id system. Just sayin’.

  75. 75
    Cassidy says:

    they had no idea

    Fuck’em. Their constant refrain is that they have a right and fuck us for being uncomfortable. We’re not allowed to voice our opinion that they’re assholes because, that’s why. So fuck’em. I hope they’re uncomfortable. I hope it kept them up at night and put some fear into them. I hope they were worried that some deranged asshole was going to walk in and start blasting, because that’s how the rest of us feel all the damn time.

  76. 76
    scav says:

    @keestadoll: The old sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander conumdrum.

  77. 77
    MattR says:

    @Mandalay: I actually have a different take. I think it is a bit disturbing that the property tax records are public. I found an ex-girlfriend’s address in a matter of seconds (though I knew the town because we are facebook friends). It is kinda scary that you can no longer unlist yourself and make it hard for people to find you.

    The other groups are less clear cut as you have to balance the public interest with privacy rights. IMO, child molesters, DUI offenders and other criminals should be public. Gun permit data is a middle ground for me. While things like CEO, celebrities and abortion doctors should remain private. But that is a difficult line to draw and an impossible one to enforce.

    @Culture of Truth:

    There are laws against publicizing social security numbers, and there are invasion of privacy torts, etc.

    I don’t think SS info is considered public. Some pieces are (like date and state issued), but I think identity is not. IANAL, but I would imagine invasion of privacy does not apply to any piece of data that is publically available.

  78. 78
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    One of the problems facing local governments is that “public records” have always been so, but there’s been a “security through obscurity” thing going on for decades until the intertubes showed up and made access to all these records much less work than it was before, when you had to trudge down to the county clerk’s office and parse reams of paper to get the nuggets.

    Now you can do this much faster with a computer, and in your bathrobe, and suddenly, the records are MUCH TOO PUBLIC for some.

    This paper has made these once semi-obscure public records much less obscure and much more public, and much easier to understand, and now suddenly it’s a problem. Because, you know, it’s not “public”, it’s “PUBLIC!”.

  79. 79
    KG says:

    @Ash Can: I think the idea is something like this:

    not everyone is going to have a gun or go concealed carry, but if it’s available some number of people will do that. This, in theory, serves as a deterrent against some attackers. It’s also based on the idea that an attacker is going to go after someone they can overpower (some one smaller, more frail, etc), but if that someone reaches into their coat and pulls out Col. Colt’s equalizer instead of a wallet, that significantly increases the cost of a potential attack.

    I used to buy into that argument, but I am less inclined to believe it today. It might work if the attacker is holding a knife (bringing a knife to a gun fight and all), but if he’s holding a gun himself? Or if he’s already willing to kill for the Rolex or Air Jordans or cash in the wallet? Then much less so.

    It also assumes that the person with the concealed weapon is actually willing/able to use it in such a situation. I don’t think most people have the wherewithal to actually shoot and kill another person, even in self-defense.

  80. 80
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    “An armed society is a polite society” means that white people need guns to keep the blahs from getting uppity. That may not have been its original meaning, but it’s an obvious subtext of the people who use it today.

    @Roger Moore: I will note that there are no, as in zero, black characters in any Heinlein novel. He’s the guy who came up with this ridiculous idea.

    I’m also thinking that they had no idea that such information would be published as an interactive map akin to the Megan’s Law id system.

    @keestadoll: I find it interesting that you went there. Gun owners = child molesters. A similar danger to society? I know that if I know my neighbor is armed, I don’t talk to him or her, and watch their moods very, very carefully.

    I know that is not what you said or meant, but think about it: that’s where you went.

  81. 81
    TR says:

    @Paul in KY:

    That’s how it worked in California in the late 60s.

    Huey Newton and the Panthers showed up at the statehouse with loaded guns — all perfectly legal — and then-Gov Reagan quickly signed into law the most restrictive gun control measures of the era.

    Show gun nuts that people who aren’t white, old conservatives will carry guns too and they’ll have second thoughts.

  82. 82
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    An armed society is a polite society” means that white people need guns to keep the blahs from getting uppity.

    DING DING DING DING DING

    Case in point: California, 1967.

  83. 83
    scav says:

    Scale, speed and possibility of integration of publicly available info are a good part of the problem. Phone numbers and addresses can be almost as useful a personal ID / database key as SSN over a short time period and with additional info and logic over longer timeframes.

  84. 84
    Cassidy says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: It makes sense. You don’t want your kids with them. You don’t want your kids playing at their house. You don’t want them alone with your kids. You sure as shit don’t want them near schools. And we avoid them in public.

  85. 85
    dcdl says:

    @MattR:

    When I was looking for houses it was easy to type addresses of houses I was interested in the online database and get info. It’s handy to see about property taxes and see how much they have been going up over the years. Plus, it was nice to see a schematic of the house, the property lines, and any liens on the house. Yes, I could see info on the owner’s and if they even lived there or not. You would have to be a nosy person to look deeper into someone’s life if all you were doing was getting info on the property.

    There are databases for sexual offenders. I guess you can probably do a searchable database on just about anything. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is working on one for gun permit holders.

  86. 86
    Culture of Truth says:

    I don’t think SS info is considered public.

    Yes, I was using those kinds of law an example of law targeted at protecting a specific piece of information, in spite of the first amendment.

    IANAL, but I would imagine invasion of privacy does not apply to any piece of data that is publically available.

    Yes, as I said I think a law preventing online publication of publically accessible info would all but impossible, but if you wanted to try to craft one, those types of laws would be your starting point for a model.

  87. 87
    Mandalay says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    Gun owners = child molesters. A similar danger to society?

    Depends on whether you are in a bar with a drunk showing a gun, or your daughter has been playing at the house of that friendly old man down the road for the past three hours.

    Different strokes for different folks.

  88. 88
    Roger Moore says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Another way of thinking of this is that keeping records on paper added a substantial time and effort cost to looking something up. That kept people from looking information up for frivolous reasons or engaging in large scale data gathering without a substantial reason*. Computerizing the data reduces that cost to close to zero, putting frivolous searches and large-scale data mining in the realm of reason. That’s a major change in the nature of public records, enough of one so that we may want to re-think our ideas about public access.

    *I once met someone who did large scale searches of paper public records professionally, but it was a fairly specialized market. She worked for oil companies, who have both the motivation and resources to dig through a lot of paper to figure out who holds mineral and surface rights to land they want to drill on. About the only other people who are going to do that kind of thing are information professionals (e.g. historians, title companies, etc.). Unfortunately for the people complaining in this case, one group who have historically been willing to dig through big stacks of paper records are newspaper reporters, so keeping the records on paper wouldn’t necessarily prevent publicity in the local paper.

  89. 89
    SatanicPanic says:

    @MattR: It’s not that hard to hide who actually owns a property, most people just don’t bother because they know it’s going to be out there eventually anyway.

    ETA- for places they plan on living in. People who buy property as investments can pretty easily hide it for as long as they wish.

  90. 90
    Roger Moore says:

    @KG:

    The big problem is that a concealed gun is a lot more helpful in coming to the rescue of somebody else than it is in defending yourself from somebody like a mugger. As long as it’s one-on-one, the guy who has his gun out and aimed has a decisive advantage over the one who has it holstered and hidden. It’s only when it’s one bad guy against several good guys, so the bad guy can’t keep all the good guys covered, that concealed carry makes any sense. And in that case, the threat of a concealed gun is going to give the bad guy a very itchy trigger finger, so he may wind up shooting anyone who makes a sudden move out of fear that they’re pulling a gun.

  91. 91
    Mandalay says:

    @MattR:

    IMO, child molesters, DUI offenders and other criminals should be public

    How about people who get speeding tickets, or charged with dangerous driving, or shoplift, or are late with their child support, or miss a mortgage payment? Just asking…I don’t have any answers.

    BTW, this has always bothered me: http://interactive.sun-sentine...../mugshots/

    Newpapers gleefully publish photos of people who have been arrested and charged, but not yet found guilty. I guess they just retroactively unpublish the photos of those who are found innocent.

  92. 92
    MattR says:

    @dcdl: I agree with you about the usefulness of the real estate DB. It was fantastic when I was looking to buy a house for all the reasons you mentioned. But it was also a bit disturbing to see how easily it could be used for stalking someone.

    @Mandalay: So many good but difficult questions.

  93. 93
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Having to go through reams of paper is, as you’ve pointed out, an effective barrier to preventing the frivolous access to these records.

    The paper has taken the paper data and made it graphical (showing, on a map, where the gun permit holder are) and thus making it much easier for human minds to detect patterns. When all you had was thousands of individual addresses on pieces of paper, it wasn’t easy to sort through that. Now with the aid of a computer, it’s much easier to do so.

    One aspect of a paper records system is that it requires on site human beings to respond to requests for the paper records. Because we’re “taxed too much already” to hire and train these vile drones who process these requests, the alternative is a public database that is accessible by anyone with a computer and a ‘net connection that eliminates all those foul do nothing government workers (yay!) but also makes the records highly available to those who may wish to abuse them (boo!). There’s a tradeoff here that the usual fucktards haven’t bothered to think through. And so it goes…

  94. 94
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay:

    Newpapers gleefully publish photos of people who have been arrested and charged, but not yet found guilty. I guess they just retroactively unpublish the photos of those who are found innocent.

    If you’re arrested or indicted, you’re obviously guilty. Just ask Ed Meese!

  95. 95
    Baldand59 says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Definitely snark…just like the days when Tina Fey would do comedy that consisted of nothing other than reading Sarah Palin’s words verbatim.

  96. 96
    MattR says:

    @Mandalay: @Villago Delenda Est: Wait. Your newspaper doesn’t have a weekly “People Who Are Actually Innocent” column? ;)

  97. 97
    Mandalay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Just ask Ed Meese!

    Thanks for reminding us of his gem:

    U.S News: You criticize the Miranda ruling, which gives suspects the right to have a lawyer present before police questioning. Shouldn’t people, who may be innocent, have such protection?

    Meese: Suspects who are innocent of a crime should. But the thing is, you don’t have many suspects who are innocent of a crime. That’s contradictory. If a person is innocent of a crime, then he is not a suspect.

    Meese is a shitstain.

  98. 98
    Paul in KY says:

    @Roger Moore: I just read that quote many years ago when reading Heinlein (or someone like that).

  99. 99
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MattR:

    Furthermore, my local TV news never follows up their “arrested!” mug shots with “well, actually innocent” photos three weeks later.

  100. 100
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay:

    This guy was Attorney General of the United States, too.

    Of course, when HE was indicted, suddenly, it didn’t seem nearly so black and white as that quote would indicate…

  101. 101
    Paul in KY says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Wasn’t there a black character in ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’? Maybe in one of the mob scenes…

  102. 102
    mapaghimagsik says:

    Wow. From super hero to WATB. MAN card revoked.

  103. 103
    jrg says:

    The next person who whines about the “Both sides do it” meme should read this thread. I haven’t seen a single, compelling reason why publishing this map is a good idea, just a heaping, steaming pile of tribal bullshit.

  104. 104
    MattR says:

    @jrg:

    I haven’t seen a single, compelling reason why publishing this map is a good idea

    And I have never seen a compelling reason (here or elsewhere) why this map should not be published.

  105. 105
    dcdl says:

    @MattR:
    Don’t disagree.

    Heck, a friend of mine was buying a house, noted down the person’s name when signing paperwork, and typed in their name into Google and Facebook. The person did not have any privacy on Facebook and my friend was able to see info about the lady and what the lady was going to counter offer.

    You can get info anywhere. I guess all you can do is try and minimize info online.

  106. 106
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @aimai:

    An armed society isn’t a polite society, its a silent, alienated, society.

    The kind of people who want to pack heat in public are also the kind of people who think that “polite” means “shut the fuck up and defer to me”. 1850s Southern politeness, if you like.

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    Gun owners = child molesters. A similar danger to society?

    A similar caution against knocking on their door at Halloween.

  107. 107
    jrg says:

    @MattR: Because it costs money. You could publish the name of everyone who owns a Siamese cat, too. What’s the point?

    You do understand there are opportunity costs here, right? By choosing to spend resources on this, something else isn’t getting published.

  108. 108
    MattR says:

    @jrg:

    Because it costs money. You could publish the name of everyone who owns a Siamese cat, too. What’s the point?

    You do understand there are opportunity costs here, right? By choosing to spend resources on this, something else isn’t getting published.

    What else do you think the Journal News would be spending that time and money on? My guess it would be that somebody was in an accident or there was a fire somewhere. There is nothing important being missed because of this decision.

  109. 109
    SatanicPanic says:

    @jrg: I’d like a map like this if I were buying a house in the area.

  110. 110
    weaselone says:

    @jrg: @MattR:

    Reason Against: Most gun owners in the US have multiple fire arms and they don’t necessarily keep them all in a safe. This map would be a useful tool for criminal looking to obtain guns to sell on the black market.

    Reasons For: 1)During the colonial period essentially all males possessing firearms had to show up in the town square and drill several times a year. Everyone knew if you had a gun, so publishing locations of people with firearms is no more invasive to their privacy than community requirements at the time the Constitution was written. 2) This knowledge may influence who someone interacts with, where they choose to buy property or other behaviors. Because it is something that factors into decision making process, the information should be made available.

  111. 111
    jrg says:

    @SatanicPanic: I’d like a map of dog owners. My neighbor has a Chow Chow. I didn’t know that until I moved in. I have an 18 month old. That would have been much more useful info than if he has a gun.

  112. 112
    gvg says:

    Gun owners are not ALL nuts who are a problem and therefore they aren’t monolithic and always in agreement.

    This info should not have been published and the way it was published implies that every single gun owner is a crazed nut bag. that is rediculous. If it was actually true this country would already descended into war. As bad as our rates of violence are, we aren’t there yet. Most gun owners must be responsible by deduction.

    2nd, the gun “nut” I know best has several 700 hundred pound gun safes, has insurance and still tries to keep it quiet what he has because he thinks he can be robbed when he isn’t there. his collection is valuable and he knows people whose collection have been stolen safes and all. He doesn’t want to collect on the insurance, he wants to keep his antiques and “historic” guns. By the by, he probably doesn’t shoot them much because many of them being antiques have to much value to fool around with. The friends he knew that were robbed, boasted of their collections. If you know someone with a fancy art collection their odds of not being robbed are better if few people know that’s what they have.

    He does have other guns for actual shooting. Marksmanship contests mostly, I don’t think he bothers to hunt much anymore. He was brought up very poor country and hunted for food, then sport as he prospered, but is at least in his late 60’s now.

    I’ve known many people who had concealed carry permits. All of them because of their jobs. Generally they were store or restereant managers who closed shops at nights and made cash drops at banks. Carry large amounts of cash=carry gun. Many of them were required to get those permits. It seemed perfectly reasonable to me and had nothing to do with a gun fetish nor problems we have with needing to regulate the paranoid.

    All public schools have had school officers for decades. It hasn’t generally been much to notice. they do have background checks of course. the Tennesee proposal just shows how out of touch with reality that legislature is I think. Volenteers with nobody in control, no background checks, no special training about being around kids….no way stupid idea.

    The gun hobbists though do think their hobby is more special than say antique collecting, doll collecting or model building. They are probably going to resist any attempt to regulate. they aren’t the kind of nuts that are giving us fits but their egos are very involved. I’d like to repeal the 2nd because I think its been so misinterpeted that we can’t straighten it out but saying so out loud is likely to cause a backlash. I’ll settle for some regulations. It won;t happen if we demonize ALL gun owners just because there are some paranoid nutters out there mixed in the general population.

  113. 113
    MattR says:

    @weaselone:

    Reason Against: Most gun owners in the US have multiple fire arms and they don’t necessarily keep them all in a safe. This map would be a useful tool for criminal looking to obtain guns to sell on the black market.

    This makes theoretical sense, but I don’t know how much of an actual worry it is. If anything, it is a call for better gun safety and stricter liability for owners.

  114. 114
    mapaghimagsik says:

    I’m loathe to go the “compelling reason” route, since most people who demand one will find no reason compelling enough.

    I think publishing the map, for people who want to live in a non-free fire zone, is reason enough.

    Would the owners of firearms be happier with maps of those who didn’t have firearms?

  115. 115
    jrg says:

    @mapaghimagsik: You do realize that map changes, right? You can buy a house based on that info, but there is nothing to stop a guy with a house full of handguns from moving next door the following week.

  116. 116
    SatanicPanic says:

    @jrg: When chow chows become the primary means of mass murder in the USA then they’ll warrant maps.

  117. 117
    Feudalism Now! says:

    Newspapers already publish all sorts of information that lots of people would rather be private. Obituaries are a great tool for burglars. The Police Blotter has plenty of alleged crimes most of the ‘stars’ would rather have private. Publishing a map of gun owners using FoIA is not a grand invasion, I suppose you could do the same with cars with info from the DMV, but we don’t find it as strange when someone collects cars as we do when someone collects firearms. Of course, cars are well regulated and firearms are not.

  118. 118
    jrg says:

    @SatanicPanic: Each year, more than 350,000 dog bite victims are seen in emergency rooms. I have a friend who grew up with a massive scar across his face from a dog bite.

    Concern troll all you want about mass murder. Until we have 350,000 annually in the US, my point stands.

  119. 119
    Paul in KY says:

    @jrg: It’s the ‘chows’ you have to watch out for, the ‘chow chows’ are only a ‘chow’ away from ‘chow chow chow’, so they are getting into dance & all that…

  120. 120
    Cassidy says:

    @jrg: I agree with you. I think a public registry of dangerous breeds would be a good thing. I know plenty of people who own them and fawn over them and claim they are so good when loved, and that’s great, I’m glad they are the kind of perosn that can raise a healthy, happy animal. But, there should be a financial pnealty for people who want to own things/ animals/ etc. that have been consistently harmful to the public at large. Licensing, insurance, additional provisions on homeowners/ renters insurance…the sooner we make it not cool, the better.

  121. 121
    SatanicPanic says:

    @jrg: From your own link

    there have been 30 to 35 fatal dog attacks in the USA annually

    I’ll take my chances on the thing that only has a 1 in 10,000 chance of killing me.

  122. 122

    Knwoing who ownes a handgun would be a great tool. Now I know if a bullet could pass through the walls of my cardboard house from next door. More importantly, I also know which houses my kids aren’t allowed to play.

  123. 123
    weaselone says:

    @jrg:

    You don’t actually have a point. If I accept your premise the publishing of a dog map would be useful that does not mean I must reject the publishing of a gun map as not useful. If the paper wants to publish a map of dogs based on license details they obtain through the freedom of information act, more power to them. You cannot compel the paper to create and publish such a map, however.

  124. 124
    jrg says:

    @Cassidy: Yep. FWIW, homeowner’s insurance is impacted by both dog breed and firearm ownership.

  125. 125
    Paul in KY says:

    @mapaghimagsik: I think you should always consider your neighbors to be armed.

    Best to be on the safe side.

  126. 126
    jrg says:

    @weaselone: No, I’m saying a dog map would be more useful, so why publish the gun map, instead? It’s tribalism.
    @SatanicPanic: Unfortunately, stats on being permanently disfigured from a dog attack was left out of the article.

  127. 127
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MattR:

    If these people are not securing every firearm they own, then they are irresponsible.

    End of discussion.

  128. 128
    SatanicPanic says:

    @jrg: Well, that makes it even because being disfigured is the same as being dead? If you want to publish a dog map, do it, I doubt anyone would care since most dog owners aren’t in the business of hoarding and/or concealing their dogs.

    If you’re going to argue that dogs are a bigger danger in our society, well, that’s just silly.

  129. 129
    weaselone says:

    @jrg: Why do you get to determine what is more valuable information? As others pointed out there are about 10,000 gun deaths compared to 35 death by dogs in a given year. You noted that permanent disfigurations are left out of the article your cited. The same can be said of the gun death statistic. Numerous people are maimed, disfigured, and paralyzed each year by guns.

  130. 130
    jrg says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: That’s absolutely true. It’s also what bothers me about this whole discussion.

    We’ve got people on the right, howling about “second amendment remedies”, claiming that losing an election entitles you to shoot the guy you didn’t vote for.

    We’ve got people on the left, who think that alienating gun owners is the right thing to do.

    What’s missing entirely from this discussion is the notion of responsible gun ownership. You can probably convince me there’s no such thing as a responsible AR-15 owner… But there’s no way you’re going to convince me that alienating some abused lady who got a handgun along with a restraining order is a responsible, or beneficial use of the press.

  131. 131
    jrg says:

    @weaselone: OK. Just how many of those deaths do you think resulted from licensed, legally purchased handguns?

  132. 132
    MattR says:

    @jrg:

    But there’s no way you’re going to convince me that alienating some abused lady who got a handgun along with a restraining order is a responsible, or beneficial use of the press.

    Why is she automatically alienated by the inclusion of her name in a published map of all gun owners? She may be. But she may not be as well.

  133. 133
    jrg says:

    @MattR: Oh, you want to pretend this isn’t about alienation?

    As I’ve already pointed out, the publication of this map won’t stop a gun owner from moving next door later (or an unlicensed gun owner from being there in the first place), so what’s the point?

  134. 134
    MattR says:

    @jrg:

    Oh, you want to pretend this isn’t about alienation?

    No. I want you to stop pretending that gun owners are a universal group who all feel the way you do on this issue.

  135. 135
    Feudalism Now! says:

    @jrg:
    That would be a great statistic to have. I wish the NIH or HHS could some in depth studies on gun violence. Oops, we don’t allow that. If you have guns, suck it up and be responsible, safe storage, safety trained, licensed and tracked, like we require for the other big killer cars. Don’t like your neighbor knowing you own a gun, tough titty. How many legal firearms are used in homicides? How many we’re stolen from ‘responsible’ gun owners. Or from the ridiculous loopholes of gun show sales and owner to owner bs. Guns should be treated with the respect they deserve, not the apathy of fetishists and toy collectors.

  136. 136
    jrg says:

    @MattR: Since I said nothing of the sort, I guess it’s time to call it a day. I’m not going to argue with someone who gets to make up both sides of a discussion.

  137. 137
    MattR says:

    @MattR: PS. I am not saying we should aim to alienate gun owners, but I also don’t think that we should tip toe around them either. If a measure makes sense on its own, then it a subset of gun owners are alientated by it, so be it. We managed to make child seats mandatory and greatly curtail where smoking is allowed despite the fact that those efforts alientated some parents and smokers.

    @jrg: You said the old lady would be alienated. I pointed out that you were assuming she would be and you responded by asking “Oh, you want to pretend this isn’t about alienation?”

  138. 138
    jrg says:

    @Feudalism Now!: Follow the link, specifically the graphic titled ‘Source of firearms possessed by Federal inmates’.

  139. 139
    El Cid says:

    If I owned a firearm at present, this should be public information, and if I didn’t like it, too fucking bad.

    Firearm ownership is a responsibility and the notion of a public registry of gun ownership and licensing as some severe and oppressive burden is a bunch of nonsense from lazy arrogant self-involved gun nerd shits.

    And if people want to make sure to know where in their neighborhood the (at least legally recognized) guns are, so as to protect themselves and their loved ones and their children through greater awareness (i.e., in these homes on the map here here and here you’re more likely to get accidentally shot), good.

    And if I didn’t like it, then I could take my faux privacy concerns and shove them right up my ass.

  140. 140
    jrg says:

    @El Cid: Wow. Nope, not about alienation. At all.

    I wonder why some people are opposed to a registry. You (and the The West Nyack Journal-News) are doing such a good job incentivizing licensed gun ownership.

    Hey, I’ve got a good idea… Let’s do the same thing with rubbers. Maybe get some fundies to harass purchasers of prophylactics. Then we can all chime in about the need to practice safe sex.

  141. 141
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Woodrowfan: lolwut? Don’t bring LOGIC in here, this is the PANTS-WETTING ROOM!

  142. 142
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Less Popular Tim:

    I’m not a gun owner, but that is kindofa dick move, since guns are an attractive target for burglars. That’s why the police tell you not to have NRA stickers on your car. True, it’s a public record, but having it in the paper saves burglars a ton of work. Sure, if they’re home it would be their ultimate fantasy to blow someone away, but if you’re not home, I would be bummed about the increased risk of burglary, even if my guns were in a safe.

    Waitwaitwait, so owning a gun INCREASES the likelihood of becoming the victim of a crime?

  143. 143
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @jon: I’ll feel sorry for the responsible gun owners when the responsible gun owners stop being whiny assholes and start acting like adults with responsibilities.

    Seconded.

  144. 144

    Wait wha?

    Increasing the likelihood you will be burglarized because you have a gun = bad.

    Increasing the likelihood your kid will kill themselves/others because you have a gun = good? Indifferent?

  145. 145
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @peach flavored shampoo: Operation Get Behind Darkie?

    What’s the estimated body count for this operation?

    I certainly wouldn’t volunteer.

  146. 146
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @catclub: Similar to the release of court transcripts, which are also public record, by only the licensed company which has a contract to do it and then sells its access to others.

    Yeah, that sounds like an excellent plan to foster goodwill and democracy everywhere.

  147. 147
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Feudalism Now!: Once people are sure that you have a lead spitting totem, they will covet it and try to profane the phallic idol.

    More proof what’s ailing America is that we all need to get laid more. Jesus fuck.

  148. 148
    Pococurante says:

    @Cassidy:

    I wish there was a public registry of firearms permit holders and CC. The rest of us deserve to know if our neighbors are hoarding firearms and ammo.

    Let’s go a step farther – public lists for everyone exercising their constitutional rights. What could go wrong…

    Here is a fair argument, and to turn it around why do the progressives in this community have as much disrespect for the rest of the BoR and the Constitution as the rightist wing nuts.

    Even if we presume that the 2nd Amendment exists partly so that citizens can rise up if the government gets tyrannical, it is undeniable that the Framers built other safeguards into the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to prevent things from ever getting so bad as to warrant an insurrection. Federalism was one such safeguard; the separation of powers into three branches was another; and the balance of the Bill of Rights was the last of the major safeguards.

    Pocket fascism is not the answer. Dial it back please.
    @Another Halocene Human:

    Waitwaitwait, so owning a gun INCREASES the likelihood of becoming the victim of a crime?

    Yes who would have thought advertising that own valuables attracts thieves. Next up, advertising on public sites when you go on vacation, listing your valuables at the same, etc.

    Wing nuts come in leftist as well as rightist flavors.

  149. 149
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: There is a legitimate safety issue with addresses. In Florida they exempted the police from having their addresses given out, but not other government workers. The problem is that some of these workers have, you know, domestic problems. I think there is some sort of loophole law where you can go to a judge and get your address blocked, ASSUMING the damn municipality you work for actually complies.

    In reality, a lot of people violate policy and “fail” to keep their address properly updated.

    I know one person with an abusive ex who still gets mail at a property she owns… but sleeps and lives for all intents and purposes at her boyfriend’s house, in another county.

    Also, too, getting stuff adjudicated in Florida, particularly through family court, is a FUCKING NIGHTMARE.

  150. 150
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @weaselone: 2) This knowledge may influence who someone interacts with, where they choose to buy property or other behaviors.

    IOW, it’s a graph of community breakdown, and will effectively redline the wingnutzone. Since money “is just another way of keeping score” this could have a serious public health implication by increasing the suicide rate in white flight enclaves.

  151. 151
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Pococurante: I think you’re the one who needs to dial it back. The paranoia, I mean.

    And as someone who’s had numerous friends get robbed (but personally been burglary free, despite living in “worse” neighborhoods), trust me, they don’t need to know anything about you. In fact, they target portions of zips, just like direct mail. Direct grift/burglary.

    All that info being online is more problematic if you have PERSONAL enemies.

    Which I think should start a conversation about reasonable privacy protections. I think we can balance the ‘right to know’ against ‘right not to have one’s whereabouts broadcast at will’.

    If I’m looking up plats, I ought to be able to find out everything about it without any fuss, but why publish the owner’s full name? What public interest does that serve?

  152. 152
    Cassidy says:

    @Pococurante: Horseshit strawman. The issue is whether firearms ownership, as it is practiced, is a right. I’m firmly in the camp of “No, that’s not, or ever has been, the intent of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.” The solutions put forward is to treat gun ownership as a privilege, much like the operation of motor vehicles and other such inherently dangerous activities. And as a public service, in the interest of public health, citizens deserve to know who is ready to arm a small country in their neighborhood just like I have the right to know who’s a convicted sex offender, etc. This isn’t “Pocket fascism”, so dial it back please.

  153. 153
    Lyford says:

    The map only shows those who have taken the steps to acquire a handgun permit — i.e., law abiding folks who have passed background checks. It does not show long gun(rifle & shotgun) owners, for which no permit is required. And it certainly does not show those who are not law-abiding. It’s hard to argue that it has any great public safety value.

    If the paper had actually done something with the data — compared it to neighborhood crime rates, checked if permits were obtained improperly, etc. — that might have been newsworthy.

  154. 154
    MattR says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    And as someone who’s had numerous friends get robbed (but personally been burglary free, despite living in “worse” neighborhoods), trust me, they don’t need to know anything about you. In fact, they target portions of zips, just like direct mail. Direct grift/burglary.

    Interestingly, I have seen comments (not necessarily on BJ) that worry that gun owners will be targeted because crooks know they have guns they can steal to use in future illegal ventures and comments that worry that non-gun owners will be targeted because crooks know they don’t have guns to defend themselves.

  155. 155
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MattR:

    I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that burglars (as opposed to home invasion robbers) prefer the homes they’re robbing to be empty because they really don’t want to have to deal with the homeowner. So I guess in theory publishing the names/addresses of gun owners could lead their homes to be robbed when they’re not at home.

  156. 156
    Pococurante says:

    @Cassidy:

    The issue is whether firearms ownership, as it is practiced, is a right. I’m firmly in the camp of “No, that’s not, or ever has been, the intent of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”

    That’s quite a qualification.

    Gun ownership is a constitutional right. It was one of the very first such. Now if you want to focus on “well regulated” and how that has been twisted… we agree.

    But you are way off base, you go much farther – the law as currently practiced is actually solid. Closing the gun show loopholes is the smartest thing we can do to harden regulation.

    But that’s not where you went. You allow a world where people are killed, maimed, and robbed because of an irrational fear on your part.

    Objecting to putting a target on someone exercising a constitutional is not a strawman objection – your position has real world repercussions, it puts lives and property at risk.

    It’s pocket fascism. And like all wing nuts you are ok with that because it doesn’t affect you directly.

    So instead focus on true regulation, “well-regulated”…

    Not knee jerk responses that are just like abortion opponents putting public signs on the homes of abortion providers, publishing their home addresses on public websites that suggest vigilante action is true heroism. Crosshair graphics on politicians. Gabby Gifford ring a bell?

    Your current opinion is no different a mindset.

    Most gun owners are responsible. Your comments are criminally, murderously, irresponsible.

  157. 157
    MattR says:

    @Pococurante:

    Objecting to putting a target on someone exercising a constitutional is not a strawman objection – your position has real world repercussions, it puts lives and property at risk.

    How exactly does this put a target on gun owners? It is not being accompanied by any of the eliminationalist rhetoric that accompanies anti-abortion groups that publish the names of abortion doctors.

    @Mnemosyne: Yeah. Just found it amusing to see people arguing both sides of that.

  158. 158
    Cassidy says:

    @Pococurante: Oh go fuck yourself. Gun ownership as practiced today is not a right. It’s not a qualification; it’s a statement of fact. When “responsible gun owners” are only armed with a flintlock then you can try that shit. When “responsible gun owners” actually act like responsible adults and join the gun control conversation than I’ll give a monkey’s fuck what they have to say. Until then, their childish silence lumps them into the same padded room as the gun fetishists. And lastly, making it public knowleged who has a gun, or more importantly, licensed to have a gun isn’t putting a target on ayone’s back. That’s bullshit hyperbole and gun lobby propaganda. What it does is return Constitutional rights back to the majority of citizens who should be able to make an informed decision about who they’re moving next to.

    Shorter version: Your concern is noted.

  159. 159
    Pococurante says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that burglars (as opposed to home invasion robbers) prefer the homes they’re robbing to be empty because they really don’t want to have to deal with the homeowner. So I guess in theory publishing the names/addresses of gun owners could lead their homes to be robbed when they’re not at home.

    You are not wrong.

    There is a reason local law enforcement reminds citizens regularly to minimize their public profile.

    I work for a certain well-known residential security service provider in the US – we like to have our sign displayed on the property. Officially.

    Unofficially we ask them to take it down after a few weeks and to post instead a simple generic sign warning that the property is observed 24×7 – otherwise the bad guys get a clue how to attack the property.

    As most folks do nothing to protect themselves the bad guys are happy to go next door.

  160. 160
    Pococurante says:

    @Cassidy:

    Oh go fuck yourself.

    No need – the SO and I had a very relaxing session this morning.

    It is a right. Go read your Bill of Rights.

    @MattR: Yeah? Test it. Put up a big sign on your property that advertises you are a gun owner. After all you have nothing to lose, and you can tell your neighbors how you are making a fool out of some anonymous democrat gun owner on the web. Only upside for you.

  161. 161
    Rex Everything says:

    @Cassidy:

    Hey, if you want to defend the guy that tried to argue that raping a 12 year old could have been consensual sex, that’s your bag I guess. Lie down with dogs and all.

    Defend him is EXACTLY what I wanted to do, and was EXACTLY the point of my post. (There’s no fooling you, Cassidy!)

    Know why? Because I, too, am a pedophile. A cannibalistic, sociopathic pedophile who doesn’t recycle. And so is everyone else who disagrees with you, differs from your opinion, or just thinks you’re kind of a dick.

    Knew it all along, didn’t you?

  162. 162
    MattR says:

    @Pococurante:

    Yeah? Test it. Put up a big sign on your property that advertises you are a gun owner. After all you have nothing to lose, and you can tell your neighbors how you are making a fool out of some anonymous democrat gun owner on the web.

    Will do. Do I have to make my own or can I buy one of the pre-existing ones that brag about gun ownership? (Here is a pro-gun blog pushing similar signs in 2010 Were they trying to put a target on gun owners too?) And how long do I have to do it before you will change your mind?

  163. 163
    Cassidy says:

    @Rex Everything: So what? You had a point? I 1) gives a fuck what you think and 2) don’t really give a shit if you want to parse to make a point. Whatever makes you feel better, I guess.

    @Pococurante: And you’re wrong.

  164. 164
    Cassidy says:

    @MattR: Yeah. Kinda lost the plot there and went off script.

  165. 165
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    I will note that there are no, as in zero, black characters in any Heinlein novel.

    Au contraire, Mr Disease.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farnham%27s_Freehold

    In fact, this novel features black characters who hold whites as slaves. Quite a dystopia,eh?

    Robert Heinlein had some libertarian leanings and some survivalist opinions, but don’t smear him via his loose association with these types. He was far more sensible and grounded in reality.

  166. 166
    glocksman says:

    Shit. You’all are looking at the wrong question.

    In which states can I mail order a black powder six shooter with no ID or legal limitations at all?

    Almost all of them, as most mirror the Federal statute that defines pre-1898 designed/produced guns or modern muzzleloading replicas, or modern designed non fixed cartridge guns as ‘non firearms’ under law.

    Granted, most of them can still nail you for actually carrying one under ‘deadly weapons’ statutes, but if you’re an alkie who can’t legally buy or use a Smith .44 still can buy and use an Uberti Colt clone that’s almost as deadly, despite Steve Earle’s claim in ‘The Devil’s Right Hand’

    “My very first pistol was a cap and ball Colt
    Shoot as fast as lightnin’ but it loads a mite slow
    Loads a mite slow and I soon found out
    It can get you into trouble but it can’t get you out”

    If I can’t put you down in six shots from that gun, then I need to start looking into mule carried Gatlings. :)

  167. 167
    Rex Everything says:

    @Cassidy: You should really cut out the ad hominems, you serial killing Nazi with laughable genitalia.

  168. 168
    Golgaronok says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    I will note that there are no, as in zero, black characters in any Heinlein novel. He’s the guy who came up with this ridiculous idea

    Farnham’s Freehold had one, as I recall. Loyal servant to the Mighty White Patriarch, unsurprisingly.

  169. 169
    Joey Giraud says:

    All this talk about responsible gun ownership…

    Everyone claims to be responsible, until they’re not.

    If I could own a thermonuclear bomb, I would promise to be responsible and never detonate it.

    I doubt anyone would trust or believe me about that.

  170. 170
    MattR says:

    @Cassidy: To be fair, gun owners are being targeted in one sense. They may now be mocked or scorned for their gun ownership. In their world, that seems to be the equivalent of a physical threat.

  171. 171
    Ruckus says:

    @jrg:
    My insurance co(a rather large national one) has never asked me either question.
    Do I own a gun or guns?
    Do I own a dog or dogs?
    Never. Not once in 40 yrs.

  172. 172
    glocksman says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    Scale.

    Surely a weapon that has a long history and is widely acknowledged as being worthy of such notice would have been easier to develop if weapons tech was respected as so advanced?

    As it is, not even most (there are the nuts) defenders of the 2A would defend letting any Joe Blow buy a Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR, the military weapon, not the civvie ‘BAR’}

  173. 173
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Golgaronok:

    Farnham’s Freehold had one, as I recall. Loyal servant to the Mighty White Patriarch, unsurprisingly.

    Wrong on both counts. Review:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farnham%27s_Freehold

  174. 174
    Joey Giraud says:

    @glocksman:

    Of course. It’s a matter of perspective.

    Recent events are reminding us that modern handguns really are more like bombs then like flintlocks.

    And no one wants loose bombs in the neighborhood.

  175. 175
    glocksman says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    To a point, I agree.
    The disagreement I suspect, lies to where we each see the point.

    Though if you compare modern long arms, antique long arms, antique short arms and modern short arms, you’d see similar patterns of development for each.

    Then what?

  176. 176
    Joey Giraud says:

    @glocksman:

    My point isn’t that wierd. People use all kinds of analogies to argue that guns aren’t a problem. The analogies are usually far less dangerous dangers like knives or dogs or cars.

    And most people understand that the Second Amendment doesn’t apply to heavy ordinance.

    So as the guns that civilians can legally own begin to merge with the low-end military arms, I think it’s perfectly fine to argue with analogy to far more dangerous things like A-bombs.

    There *is* a line dividing what we can have from what we can’t, and the line needs to move in the less-dangerous direction.

  177. 177
    Ruckus says:

    @Cassidy:
    We already know who has a car, we can see the car. Even if they keep it in a garage, we can see it when they are using it. We have laws which make their use much safer. They have to be followed and we have a system for both controlling that and liability for incorrect use. We have a system for registration so we know who is responsible for the car and we collect fees to help pay for all aspects of both legal and illegal use. We control behavior that is inherently dangerous, example, drunk driving. Gasoline is a highly dangerous substance but we handle it, with safety standards, every day and we tax it’s use. DMV info is available, not necessarily easy but anymore it is available.
    Why is all of this normal for vehicle use but can not be instituted for guns? Neither is more intrinsically deadly on it’s own, it is how either one is used that causes the issues.

  178. 178
    glocksman says:

    Why is all of this normal for vehicle use but can not be instituted for guns? Neither is more intrinsically deadly on it’s own, it is how either one is used that causes the issues.

    Most of it is.

    My bit about black powder/pyrodex guns was just to remind that you shouldn’t laugh if someone points an Uberti Colt clone at you while yelling ‘give it up, bitch’.

    While that is true, US laws make a legal difference between ‘BP’ muzzleloading guns and ‘fixed cartridge’ guns, the practical difference is nil for the first six rounds each :)

    The real problem from a gun control advocate’s POV is that we have a (fictional or non, again based on one’s POV) view of guns in our culture based on Hollywood westerns instead of reality.

  179. 179
    Lyford says:

    FWIW, semi-automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns were in production and available to the US public before the introduction of the Ford Model T. They’ve been here for over a century. Branding all owners of semi-autos as evil seems more than a bit excessive.

  180. 180
    glocksman says:

    As far as the original subject of the thread goes, I have this POV.

    Why the fuck is my ownership of any property that doesn’t have recurring taxes (property taxes, auto registration taxes, etc) the legitimate interest of fucking anyone at all?

    Answer: none unless that ownership needlessly endangers the public.

    To the best of my knowledge, the only legally owned fully automatic (true machine gun) weapon used in a crime in the USA was a legally owned MAC subgun owned by a cop who moonlighted for the mob.

    Of course, others may have more current/correct info.

    My POV is that a single bad guy in 50+ years of registration is a damn good record.

  181. 181
    Pococurante says:

    @glocksman: Because too many “pregressives” are really no different than the wing nuts on the right – both want social engineering that ignores the real problems.

    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
    Then they came for the socialists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
    Then they came for the jews,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
    Then they came for the catholics,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a catholic.

    Then they came for me,
    and there was no one left to speak for me.

  182. 182
    Cassidy says:

    @Rex Everything: Stick it up your ass.

    @Pococurante: Wow. You’re really ramming that martyr stick home. Did you lube it up before putting it in your orifice or are you a little on the kinky side? Get out of here with that freshman shit.

  183. 183
    glocksman says:

    @Pococurante:

    Yeah, there is that.
    Which is why I agree with that other classic free speech statement about while I may not agree with you, I will fight for your right to say it.

  184. 184
    Jebediah says:

    @Cassidy:

    You don’t want your kids playing at their house.

    True! As a kid, I lost two friends to accidental shootings. (I wasn’t present at either incident. Both were kid finds and plays with Dad’s gun.) That might make me a statistical outlier, but still… if I had kids, I would be very uneasy unless I had personally verified a gun safe, etc.
    I own a pistol, and when my two young nieces came to visit, it went to a friend’s house for the duration of their visit. Not taking that kind of chance, no way, no how.

  185. 185
    jrg says:

    @Ruckus: I filled out a questionnaire for home owner’s insurance the other day. It asked about both firearm ownership (how many, what kind), and dog ownership (what breed, has it ever bitten anyone).

  186. 186
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    I will note that there are no, as in zero, black characters in any Heinlein novel.

    Well, there are a couple Kindly Old Uncle Rufus supporting characters in his early juveniles, and Podkayne-of-Mars’s great-uncle is “Polynesian” and “dark-skinned”. And I think a couple of his later fvckbunny sexbots are called Negroes. But not, Lazarus Long forfend, any young virile males, for some reason…

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