Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I Think He Was Picked On A Great Deal As A Child

I can hear his petulant, insistent, voice - slightly higher pitched than most other males - demanding the personal information of his fellow citizens.

Let's dissect the first paragraph.

Today is the start of Sunshine Week, the annual week in which we reflect on the importance of open government and public records. To mark the occasion, I want to take you on an excursion into freedom of information land.

An excursion into freedom of information land? Are we going to discover which lobbyists are paying which politicians for favorable legislation? Are we going to discover which politicians have taken which journalists on lavish holidays to remote locales? Will there be cookies and kool-aid?

No.

We're going to find out who in the New River Valley has a concealed handgun permit.

He claims he "...can hear the shocked indignation of gun-toters already: It's nobody's business but mine if I want to pack heat."

Really? He can't think of any other reason why a gun-toter might not want their personal information published? Maybe we can break it down for him.

First question: why might an individual become a law-abiding gun-toter, complete with training and full governmental compliance? They're not all duck hunters and personal defense is a very real concern for those individuals unfortunate enough to have aroused the wrath of a psychopathic stalker. Women in particular.

Second question: why might an individual not want his personal information published? It couldn't possibly be because their first line of defense (so they hopefully NEVER have to fire their weapon in the direction of another human being) is anonymity.

He then responds to his surly, imaginary, gun-toting adversary with the following virile argument.

Au contraire. Because the government handles the permitting, it is everyone's business.

He then goes on to list the types of people upon whom you may wish to spy. Your neighbors. Your carpool. Your employees. For what purposes, he mysteriously doesn't specify.

He then (laughably) insists "[t]his is not about being for or against guns."

Then he writes the the first of the two most disgusting sentences in the entire editorial.

There are plenty of reasons people choose to carry weapons: fear of a violent ex-lover, concern about criminals or worry that the king of England might try to get into your house.

Disgusting because he acknowledges all of the very good reasons private citizens have to utilize their CONSTITUTIONAL right to bear arms, but equates all of them to the bizarre worry that the king of England might try to get into their house.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the essence of propaganda. He is taking legitimate concerns and attempting to reinvent them as paranoid delusions to suit his own agenda (which I would think by now would be quite obvious despite his protestations to the contrary).

He goes on for awhile about the different tactics he employed and the money he had to cough up to get the goods on his neighbors.

Then he writes the second of the most disgusting sentences.

A state that eagerly puts sex offender data online complete with an interactive map could easily do the same with gun permits, but it does not.

Folks, he actually has the gall to equate legal, constitutional gun ownership to sexual predation.

Comparing law-abiding citizens with no criminal backgrounds to sex offenders is insulting, but it is that upon which we should focus in order to destroy his entire line of reasoning. Legal gun owners are not criminals. No amount of wishing and hoping and praying on his part is going to make this so. They are not criminals. Their desire to possess firearms is for self-defense only. I'm going to go out on a limb and argue that this simply isn't the case for sex offenders.

He closes with an insinuation (and notable lack of evidence) that the elected officials who have concealed handgun permits might use them in a violent manner if they are annoyed. And then, without further ado, presents us with the "gift" of his neighbors' personal information. Name, Address, Issue Date, Expiration Date and Jurisdiction. [The list has now been belatedly removed.]

In the editorial and subsequent comments, he conveniently avoids discussion as to whether the government has any Constitutional right whatsoever to keep a list of law-abiding citizens, much less demand concealed handgun permits of it's citizens in the first place (Hint: it doesn't), but he does not hesitate to state in his comments that he would not support the government compiling such a list if the list consisted of gay men. (See comment #17).

So now we have a little something with which to work.

He does not believe that law-abiding gun owners have the same rights as gay men.

This might seem a little silly, but it's a powerful insight into his personal prejudices. And the fact that he published the names and addresses of law-abiding citizens shows that he is willing to subject innocent people to dangers that even he admits exist. Why? Because he can? This does not seem like a terribly good reason.

One of the strangest things about this is that the very gun-owners he maligns are not put in the hot seat by having their names and addresses published. They're not going to care if someone decides not to carpool with them. The ones he puts in danger are the ones who have a palpable, external threat against them. FBI agents for example. Many of them live in VA and have made enemies while in service to their country. Victims of domestic abuse are another. Mr. Christian seems to live in a dream world where women are damsels in distress with no will or ability to protect themselves. Or maybe the threat of physical harm just isn't a problem in "freedom of information land."

Normally, I don't approve of people having their personals published in retaliation for something.
But I make an exception in his case. I hope it causes him a few sleepless nights, but more importantly, I hope it causes him to reflect upon the nature of wisdom, and I'll even settle for common sense.

Hat tips to Big Dick and The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler

1 comment:

Nobody said...

Not to mention, a database like that is merely a shopping list of guns to steal for the real criminals.