I have gotten a lot of questions from readers as to why I’m so opposed to the Herald Times printing a database of handgun permit holders. While there are plenty of reasons, the primary reason that I’m against this sort of thing is that it objectively fails the Jews in the attic test. While Joe’s test of critical thinking was originally designed to be applied to laws passed by the government, it can also be applied to actions by non-governmental bodies, such as newspapers. Simply put, would this action make it difficult to protect innocent life from a populace bent on their eradication? It absolutely would. A database of “undesirables” shows people which neighborhoods have high concentrations of that specific minority group, which can then in turn lead to them being targeted for persecution.
Yes, you can argue that gun owners != Jews, and you’d be correct. However, the analogy is quite correct; because if it’s objectively wrong to persecute someone for being Jewish/homosexual/etc, then it is equally wrong to persecute someone for exercising their Constitutional rights. Regardless of the risk to public safety, or my desire to have my information kept private, I would be opposed to the Herald Times’ database simply because it exposes gun owners to the risk of negative action from anti-gun individuals.
It’s not too much of a stretch – say your boss or someone at work has an ax to grind with you, and they decide to look up your street (since they have that info) to see if you’ve got a permit. Pop over the Herald Times, they see that on AnyStreet Dr, Indianapolis there are 4 houses with permits. Well, that’s facts enough for them! Now you’ve got a permit, and next thing you know, you’re being accused of bringing a firearm to work in violation of company policy…whether or not you did or didn’t doesn’t matter, because someone had an ax to grind, and the Herald Times Online was only too happy to provide them with the wheel on which to sharpen their bit.
What they’re doing is simply stupid. A point you could make would be if they were to do a story, that says something like, “In this section of town there are a high amount of CCW holders. Comparing that to crimes database shows these results…” That opens up the areas and lets them do a story. You should even suggest that they do something useful like this. Showing that areas with higher CCW rates have less crime.
Now, I can see something like that being legitimate news. But not what they’re doing.
Thanks for mentioning the Jews in the Attic Test.
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