May 24, 2019

Legislation to Protect Concealed Carry Permit Holders

A Maine lawmaker has proposed legislation that would make it impossible for the public to obtain the personal information of those people holding a valid Maine concealed weapons permit. Some favor this and some don’t. As the article points out Maine is only one of fourteen states that still allows public access to this information. Such legislation is not new nor is there any new arguments for or against limiting the public to information of this kind.

This Maine legislation was prompted by the incident in New York where a news agency decided to publish the names and addresses of concealed weapons permit holders in two counties. The arguments for and against this ignorant and violence-baiting move were the same old tired ones. Permit holders declared the list would give crooks a list of where to go to steal guns and some of the non permit holders said it provided crooks a list of homes NOT to go rob because they did have guns and that, they said, made them more vulnerable because robbers would know that. What was NOT readily discussed was the intent of the people publishing the list.

So, why would anyone, coming on the heels of the Newtown, Ct. school shootings and following a few days of emotionally charged debate on the right to keep and bear arms, publish to the public, a list of names and addresses of people who hold a legal right to carry permit? Is it because they want to let criminals know where and where not to find concealed carry holders? Perhaps! Was it to alert crooks as to which houses may not have any guns, therefore making it easier to rob? Doubtful! Or was it a malicious act to provide a targeted address for anyone emotionally worked up over their hatred of guns and gun owners that they would know where to target someone who owned a gun? Absolutely! And that’s the crime that’s not being talked about here.

This is nothing new. Put on your thinking caps or climb aboard the Wayback Machine with Mr. Peabody and Sherman, to a time when this nation was having a great debate about Freedom of Information Access and what should and should not be included in information to be made available to the public and why. If you will recall many stated that there would be abuses and that there would be some who would use this private information for things other than just needing to know. Little did we know back then that news journalists would publish names and address of people they hoped would somehow at least be embarrassed and worse would become specific targets of deranged and hateful people that are no better than the drugged up person who supposedly murdered 26 people at Sandy Hook.

It is the actions of such selfish, non thinking, hateful, unethical, power abusive people that have caused states to formulate legislation in order to stop this. In my mind, there is no other legitimate reason for a person or persons to expose people in this fashion other than to cause them harm, possibly death.

I recall in New Jersey, people who care more about animals than humans, harassed hunters enough that legislation had to be adopted to prevent these mentally ill people from going into the woods and doing harm to the bear hunters.

In Idaho, a man who holds the distinct honor of legally shooting the first gray wolf, during a state sanctioned hunting season, had his name and that of many other licensed Idaho wolf hunters published in order that they would become targets of people wanting to do harm to them. The poor guy received more death threats for killing a wolf than if he had threatened to kill a human. Such sick behavior has prompted the Idaho Congress to pass a law making it illegal to publish this information.

So, you can choose to debate the ins and outs of why its right or wrong to publish personal information about licensed gun owners, but let’s not forget to include in that debate the fact that the real reason anybody would do that is to cause another person harm. And that is wrong and should be dealt with.

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