Publicly Accessible Information Doesn’t Steal Guns, People Do

So there’s this newspaper that produced a resource where you can see names and addresses of people with handgun permits. People are angry about this. I agree with those angry people, this is not the proper way to address recent events.

A few people have been saying that the information on these gun owners was all publicly available, anyway, so what difference does it make? I think it does make a difference. I think making a place where it is easy to find that information makes a really big difference, actually.

I think that for exactly the same reason that I think changing the availability of guns has an affect on gun violence. I think if you’re going to claim that someone who wants a gun is going to get one therefore restrictions are useless, then you have to take the same stance here: if someone wanted that gun owner information, then they would’ve been able to get it, so there’s no reason to object to such a database.

I think anyone who claims that this database—the sole function of which is to make publicly available data slightly easier to access—has any impact, and does not acknowledge that the availability of weapons has an impact on the number of people who have or use them is being hypocritical.

I also think anyone offended by this database and not offended by the NRA’s suggestion of creating a database of people with mental illnesses is being hypocritical.

You’re offended by this database? Fine. More power to you. Don’t be a goddamn hypocrite about it, though.