Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Don't Publish Concealed Handgun Permit Holder's Names

The Memphis Commercial Appeal has published a database by zip code of people who have a concealed handgun permit in Tennessee. One of the justifications they use is saying that if a child will be "spending the night with" another child, then a parent could check to see if the other parent had a concealed handgun permit. If so, then the parent can call that person, and "have a chat with them." Anti gun employers can also check their employees names for political incorrectness and punish gun permit holders in their own special ways. Of course, criminals can use the list to their advantage too.

The paper also says that when a gun is used in a crime, it becomes everybody's business. That statement is true; however, The fact is that concealed handgun permit holders and their guns are rarely involved in crime. No one can prove the opposite with verifiable facts.

The newspaper also says that the list omits street addresses and birth dates to lessen the chance that the database could be used for theft purposes. It might come as a shock to the newspaper's editors that not all theft is done by total strangers.

Many thieves don't need street addresses to steal. They already have them. Those who do need street addresses can often find them in various internet databases. Its obvious that the thieves would know by checking what houses they should target, and what houses to avoid. God forbid that a burglar should be shot while plying his trade.

A recent story in the newspaper even gleefully announced that "Anti gun groups finally have Exhibit A," after a permit holder shot and killed someone February 6th in a parking lot dispute.

The key words in the article are "finally have Exhibit A." The article, in it's bias, neglects to say that this shooting is the only major incident in the history of the gun permit law in Tennessee. There are bad people in every group. Fortunately, among gun permit holders, the number is minuscule. When they surface, they should be punished harshly.

And, another anti-gun group, the Jamaican government has added a twist to the gun control argument. A Jamaica newspaper reported in January that the government of Jamaica makes it hard for Jamaicans to get gun permits by maintaining a position that thieves specifically target gun owners to steal their guns. This is quite the opposite of the Memphis newspaper's stance. By the way, the concealed handgun permit application fee there is $6,000.00, which puts it far out of each for most.

The Tennessee Legislature has taken quick steps after the newspaper published names to push a bill forward to make those names confidential.

If nothing else, publishing gun owners names has made people feel unsafe. That includes both gun owners on the list who may have guns in the home, and those who are not on the list, who may not have guns in the home. Those not on the list are afraid of their homes being targeted as a safe place to rob. Under either interpretation, the newspaper's actions are irresponsible.

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