Dumb Gun Laws Help No One!

t i g, Flickr Creative Commons

You know what I really don’t like? When dumb laws take the place of actual reform, and thanks to Rep. Stephen D. Dargan we’re seeing a bit of this stupidity right about now. I’ll let The Courant explain:

The names and addresses of about 170,000 handgun permit holders in Connecticut, now kept confidential by law, could be made public under a proposed bill that pits gun owners against would-be reformers in the aftermath of the Dec. 14 Newtown school massacre.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Stephen D. Dargan, D-West Haven, co-chairman of the legislature’s public safety committee, would make public the names and addresses of permit holders under Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act — and would reverse lawmakers’ decision to protect that personal information from disclosure nearly two decades ago.

Now, clearly there needs to be a database for the police to search — but that already exists. And let’s be honest, the average person isn’t going around putting in FOI requests…so this really only applies to journalists, and nosy-nellys. Let’s go back to The Courant for a moment:

Dargan’s bill also could draw Connecticut into a controversy now raging to the west in New York — where a local newspaper recently used New York’s freedom of information law to publish a “gun map” showing the names and home locations of gun owners in some parts of New York.

So suppose you have this information, and some media outlet like The Courant posts a “gun map”… Now what? Basically you have the equivalent of the sex Offender Registry, where every paranoid parent can find out — without much context — who in their neighborhood owns a gun. Not only will people probably be freaked out by just how many people in their neighborhoods have guns, but what’s worse is that they still have no idea who has illegal guns and are lulled into false complacency.

More to the point, this does absolutely nothing to take guns off the streets. All it does is put basically useless info into the hands of people who — judging by the calls I used to get from parents in hysterics over sex offenders in their neighborhoods — are in no position to be making level-headed judgement about… well… much of anything.

And you know who else can put that “gun map” to good use? Criminals in the market for a gun who aren’t above breaking into your house when you’re not home and swiping the handgun from your bedside table. And let’s not even get into the ammunition that these pointless laws give the NRA nutters.

Thanks, Rep. Dargan for really thinking this through… oh wait…

Now, who is going to step up and actually figure out a useful solution to the gun issue?