Outing the Owners

Since the Newtown disaster, a newspaper has decided, and some legislation has been proposed, to publish the names of gun owners.

Bad idea, and grossly insensitive.

Actually, if such a list were to be published in my home state (as proposed), I’d rather be on it than not.  Even by mistake.

Why?

Because criminals will tend to invade homes where they expect the least resistance.  Home invasions don’t usually include a preliminary gun battle on the front lawn.

I believe we need to enact tighter controls on firearms, and especially on large capacity assault rifles.  But this “list publishing” approach seems to be intended to antagonize lawful, and mostly responsible people.  Doing it in context with Newtown is deeply insensitive, at best, not to mention tremendously counter-productive.

It is entirely possible that a policy of making names public will actually increase the number of purchases made by people who previously owned no arms.

This approach is wrong-headed, even assuming the motives are well-intentioned.

It will cause folks to circle wagons when we all need to be working together.

 

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