Saturday, December 19, 2009

Counterpoint...

Joanna issues a rebuttal to the Godwining of the whole Carry Permit Database argument:
This is a stupid, stupid, stupid rhetorical move.

Being put on a list (and not even a name-and-address list, just a "Someone in X category lives on this street/in this ZIP code" list) because you choose to own a certain object is nowhere near the same thing as being put on a list because of how you were born or what faith you follow. Jumping straight to "OMG it's like they want us to wear yellow stars!" just Godwins the whole argument, and erases any gain we might have made because now the public has a reason not to take us seriously. "Oh, they're just oversensitive and got their panties in a twist. It's not that big a deal."

RTWT.

25 comments:

Ed Foster said...

I still have to disagree, because the local Democrats wanted to make the names and addresses of all permit holders public information here in CT.

It didn't happen, because the state pistol & revolver association can make any lefty politico their bitch with a single evenings worth of phone calls and several thousand angry but polite, well dressed shooters showing up for the hearing. But it does show what they want.

The left does do incrementalism well when they have to. "X" number of gun owners in area "A" could and would morph into "Freedom of Information Act" access to shooters rolls as soon as they could get away with it.

If it's been tried here, it will appear there. Foot in the door, slippery slope, pick a euphemism.

Please remember, to some pacifist, guilt-ridden would be vegitarian, we shooters are all dangerous psychopaths. Nothing will ever change that view of us.

We are scary, sick, and a constant threat to them until we are forcibly disarmed, removed to a reeducation camp, and fed tofu until every trace of testosterone is flushed from our bodies and psyches. Socialism is to cultures what phytoestrogens are to health.

We're dealing with dogmatic and illogical people, and any action taken by them, no matter how innocuous it seems, is only a step in the pathway to their dream of confiscation. Don't encourage them, and don't enable them.

Nobody's calling you an extremist, but the people on the other side are, and it behooves us to stay watchful and cynical toward any protestations of "reasonable" constraints they suggest.

There are more than enough controls already in place, if the people in charge really wanted to use them. But quite often they choose not to, for reasons that vary from craven to corrupt.

It's easier to deflect criticism by demonizing the opposition. That's us.

dave said...

How about, instead of guns, we publicize the names of women who have abortions?

It's an action, not a state of being, so it's a closer analogy. It's something that has been found to be an individual right (although it's not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, like gun ownership). Like gun ownership, having an abortion doesn't qualify one as a protected class, so the race/religion/etc. canard doesn't apply. Seems like a pretty good analogy.

So, if we shouldn't get upset about posting the names of people with carry permits, then surely we also allow a list of women who have abortions, right?

(BTW: not hypothetical. See http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,580637,00.html?test=latestnews for more details.)

Stranger said...

Publishing the names and addresses of CCW licensees is not a problem - until a licensee comes home, finds his wife and children bound and gagged and every gun except the one he's carrying stolen.

Criminals are not stupid, and guns are money to the drug trade. So publishing even the names puts families in danger. The more information: zip code, street, street number, or whatever, merely increases the danger.

Stranger

Nathan said...

"finds his wife and children bound and gagged"

Or dead.

Midwest Chick said...

Any time that any such list is created, it can and will be misused. For example, they start cross-checking the concealed carry list with the no-fly list.

Having a concealed carry permit is completely legal. People go through background checks and fingerprinting in order to get one. People should also have a reasonable expectation of privacy being as it is completely legal.

Creeping incrementalism is indeed a problem and how such lists are used depends upon the people using them. It really IS that big of a deal. They don't allow public databases of police officers or other law enforcement because of safety issues.

Anytime a specific law-abiding group is picked out to be on a 'list', that's one more freedom that's being taken away from the citizens of this country.

I know this is a bit rambling, but there are so many issues and so many reason WHY it is a big deal, that it's difficult to get them in order.

Will Brown said...

I think, my fellow gunnies, that far too many of us just faced a threat - and flinched. Badly.

As I believe is the case in most states that require licensure, certainly when I applied for mine, I did so in the full knowledge that it was not a confidential transaction. That the state (Texas in my personal experience) would indeed maintain a public database regarding my status much like it does regarding my vehicular driving record. As to all of that, nothing about having that data made available in some alternate forum changes my status or condition in any way.

The suggestion of retaliating by publishing abortion proceedure recipient's identities does not equate, IMO, because there is a specific expectation of privacy both in custom and in law in regard to the medical conditions and proceedures we confront in life. Even publicly considering such an action damages the reputations of gun owners and supporters of same, whether or not actually undertaken.

For myself, I decided to carry a gun because I accepted that my safety is ultimately my own responsibility. I knew at the time I made the choice that there were many of my fellow citizens who didn't agree with my assessment or trusted me to act responsibly. That some few of them have (and continue) to act callously with regard to my (or, indeed, potentially their own as well) safety does not justify my, or any other purportedly responsible adult, reacting in kind.

Since taking up guns in self defense, I have trained as well as my circumstance permits in anticipation of confronting just such a potentiality. It has been my presumption that those who decided similarly to myself would do the same. Given the tenor of the present example, I fear that hope is now seriously called into question.

Nothing has changed, people; there are still those who mean us harm and we still accept responsibility to undertake our own defense should some other take the decision to harm us or those we love or simply share a circumstance with, however fleetingly. In my judgement, the more proper response to these annoyances is a stolid look and a "Yes."

Honor isn't just a David Weber character and always exacts some price. I confess some small relief the bill is so diminutive this time.

dave said...

Will,

I didn't mean to suggest that it was okay; rather, I meant to stir a comparable outrage. I'm ashamed to be a resident of Oklahoma, which passed a law mandating that database (see the link).

The point is that the registries are (nominally) harmless in and of themselves, but they are clearly intended to bring shame (or worse) to those included. They really are akin to sex offender registries: "we may have let him out of prison, but he's still a bad person, and y'all ought to shun him." The intent is telling, but even without intent, the potential for abuse is such that we ought not even put it out there.

The Freeholder said...

I understand (but don't agree with) her point. My question is that, if we don't get worked up over something like this,which seems to be a big deal to me, just what should we get worked up over? How bad does the transgression have to be before we're allowed to get our panties in a twist?

I mean, trying to make us into social pariahs sounds pretty bad from my POV.

Will Brown said...

Dave,

No personal attack was intended, but I respectfully disagree with the response you and others have suggested. That enemies attack us is simply part of being who we are. Better, I suggest, to take the opportunities they present by doing so to shame them by classifying their actions as the criminal encouragement it honestly is.

Part of being judged innocent is not looking guilty - no matter how loudly someone squeals and points your way. :)

Joanna said...

Freeholder: The problem isn't that we get our panties in a twist; the problem is how far they get twisted. If "database of public information created by a private enterprise without government sponsorship" equals "Eat your broccoli," then "Why don't you list the Jews while you're at it, huh?!?" equals "Ack urk Mom's trying to poison me!"

dave said...

Will, I think we agree with each other, but we're missing the handshake. I'm not suggesting that we ought to publish names we don't like in retaliation; I'm saying "we" ought to be just as outraged about "our" database as "they" are about "theirs," and suggesting we explain our outrage in terms they can understand. That is, I'm saying that our argument is "if you're in favor of lists, then surely you have no opposition to this other list as well, right?"

Cognitive dissonance is good for the(ir) soul.

Tam said...

Will,

I'm totally cool with this being hashed out in the open, and I'm willing to have my viewpoint changed, even if it hasn't happened yet (although Joanna's carted out some pretty strong arguments!)

John B said...

Actually the very existence of a concealed carry permit is an infringement upon my second amendment right. Shall not be infringed. Not the slightest little bit. A friend once remarked that if the ACLU was honest, they'd force everyone to carry a gun.

But for a newspaper to carry a searchable database of gun owners. next to a database of pedophiles.
I'd say the line has been drawn.
If not now Joanna! When?

Will Brown said...

Ok Tam (and Dave:))

I suppose I would counter by asking whether we are committed to defending our rhetorical position (inflicting cognitive dissonance) or our physical selves from violent attack (to include those who object to our presumeing to do so if circumstance require)? Does our stance on physical self defense truely obligate us to attack in our stead (sorry, I'm intellectually stuck in a historical mosh pit just now and my language choice shows it - to reply to attacks with attacks of our own)? I submit that doing so, however satisfying or even justified that might feel, is a form of strategic escalation of conflict.

We took up the gun (at least in part) because we admit we have viable threats from others; is it really a good choice to intentionally add to the list? :)

I submit that a better way to defeat such attacks intended to undermine people's trust in us or disparage our character is by leading the attacker on into a position that refutes their own initial position. I agree doing so is not nearly as gratifying to the combative spirit, but manipulating the other guy into making himself feel guilty (or at least having others judge him - and thus his argument - to be silly) doesn't create an enemy that wasn't already there and potentially converts bystanders/on-lookers to your viewpoint (or at least active acceptance of your right to hold it).

I suppose my question comes down to, "Do you want to fight, or can you accept the other guy eventually just giving up?" Is this down to winning or being?

To change tracks a bit, I devoutly hope I will make the killing shot should that demand ever confront me. That said, the premise - the philosophy, if you will - guiding my handgun training is defense. There are any number of potential circumstance when the "correct" (ie: consistant with my defense) choice is to not shoot, but withdraw from the confrontation instead.

Similarly, in the present example under discussion here, I judge that our best option is to not shoot. Instead, enlist the societal authorities to question the newspapers activities. File a criminal complaint with the local cops/DA (or the US DoJ maybe) citing apparent conspiracy to inflict criminal harm on your and other's person, for example, and do so as publicly as you can contrive. The courts likely won't really do much of anything, but the effort to stigmatise CHL gun owners will have been deflected and a re-currance very likely would generate the same suspicion in the public's mind automatically.

Whadda'ya tink?

Tam said...

John B,

"Actually the very existence of a concealed carry permit is an infringement upon my second amendment right."

Yes. Yes it is. Now, between that happy land where all our rights are respected and this one, is a big gulf of reality. What are we willing to do about it?

Roberta X said...

Will writes, "To change tracks a bit, I devoutly hope I will make the killing shot should that demand ever confront me. That said, the premise - the philosophy, if you will - guiding my handgun training is defense."

Lemme get all Zen-ish and suggest the best killing shot is the one you never have to make. I might be a big ol' tigress but I live my life by lookin' like a rabbit, gettin' along with the rabbits and not by waving my claws and teeth around.

Putting enough info out for J. Random Badguy to find my house pushes me into a position of having to shoot some schmuck with whom I would have otherwise never crossed paths, let alone swords.

Additionally, it marks me to other persons -- my employers, for instance -- who have no reason to know what I do on my own time and off their premises. They can't ask me what religion I am and can't take my age or gender into account for hiring, promotion or their opposites, but heyyyyy, nothing in the ol' 2A keeps them from doin' me dirt 'cos I own guns; that is an activity as unprotected as drug or alcohol abuse.

"Flinch?" I'm yellin'. You don't have to like it (might I suggest hearing protection?) but this is a dish of yams (I loathe 'em) I am not gonna just shaddup and eat.

First, they stigmatize you. Eventually, you're living under the same bridges as the sex offenders who can't rent or get a home loan -- if you're lucky.

Midwest Chick said...

And I guess that's kind of the point, as Roberta aptly outlines. Just as sex offenders get harassed, such a database can increase the chance that one of us is going to have to take action if some schmuck decides to bring it to our homes.

Since most of the folks I know read this blog basically just want to live quietly (tigers disguised as rabbits), then a database likes this interferes with our rights to be peaceable within our domiciles.

It can, as Roberta also points out, make us the recipients of discrimination because information that would not ordinarily be public, has been made public.

Ed Foster said...

Yay Roberta and Midwest Chick! It's just not something that even should be mentioned.

I admit the word demonization has been overused, but in this case it fits. The direct personal costs to me are laid out quite specifically by both of the nifty ladies.

At either an intellectual or gut level I can't understand or accept anything as flat cold outragious as public branding and eventual "outing".

Excellent summation Ma'am and Ma'am, and I am in your debt.

John B said...

Thank You Roberta! I'm just a knuckle-dragging pseudo-intellectual that barely scraped thru college. I can't frame a counter-argument as eloquently as you. I want to know. Where's our Jesse Jackson, our Al Sharpton. Where are our noisy, annoying, effers, who won't shut up, and won't go away.

That, Tam Darling, is what we should do about it. Cast the left in their true roles. As Bull Whatsisname, the fat, pus gutted, mirrored sunglasses wearing, obstruction of civil rights.

John B said...

Bull Connor was the name I was looking for. The guy Rod Steiger took the look from for the In the Heat of The Night movie.....

Will Brown said...

At risk of losing this entire thread in a stew of mashed metaphors and limp innuendo, so your contention is that attracting further attention to yourself is the correct response to someone taking a shot at you?

More specifically Roberta, I'm not saying that we should just shut up, bend over and like it; quite the contrary. The dispute is over how to respond, not whether.

Let's look at this again, shall we? You suggest that, during J. Random's search for gainful opportunity, he's more likely to select an address that he knows can give him the good news? Without going into why I don't think so, No.

As to your example of The Mark, the 1A doesn't protect your reputation either, in case you haven't noticed. This objection isn't even a little bit logically consistent. Now, I will agree that your employer isn't entitled to private information regarding you, but the only thing stopping any business from mis-using personal data is intrinsic honesty (since doing so is an explicit cheat of the established standard of employment conduct regardless of the nature of the data). They can't say they're firing you for owning property or being a girl, but the only thing stopping them from doing so is their knowledge that such action is wrong.

And Midwest Chick, criminals are officially subject to "harrassment" due to the criminality of their past behavior. If it needs to be said, newspapers don't get to actually write the laws, just about them. And, there exists a mechanism to require their compliance in doing so honestly. Finally, how can some arbitrary stranger (a newspaper editor, say) interfere with your right to be peaceable within your own domicile, absent some overt act of criminality on his/her part?

Think that last bit through to the end; we'll wait.

Sorry folks, the constitution sets out a mechanism whereby we all get to exercise our rights in reasonable cooperation with everyone else (who's rights are equal to our own). It also provides a mechanism to determine what degree of conduct constitutes "reasonable", too. As Tam noted above, it doesn't matter how it ought to be, it is what it is and let's work from there.

We all seem to be in agreement that the newspapers were out of line, our dispute centers around the appropriate response. Better I think (and this is why I prefer Sun Tzu's bing fa and strategy to Zen doctrines) to promote our good citizenship by manipulating this attack to our advantage rather than directly challenging the 'papers themselves. Our reputation needs to be aligned with that of others who actually are vulnerable to J. Random and his/her buddies predations. Point out that we are more irritated then endangered by this but that many other's are also vulnerable to such acts of public irresponsability and it is that which is wrong about all this.

Disregard the direct attack and deflect it onto others not explicitly identified as targets. Students (or anyone who has to work in a "gun free" locale) seem obvious examples, as do rape and assault victim's groups also.

Let our "allies" actually do the attacking.

The Freeholder said...

Joanna, I still disagree that the outrage among many CC holders is out of line. It doesn't make any difference, at least from where I stand, whether the entity that created the database is public or private. It also doesn't make any difference that the information was public (which it shouldn't be).

Off the top of my head, I can think of 3 databases of public information in common use by the public: sexual offenders, property ownership (cars and real estate), legal information/proceedings of various sorts (from real estate transfers through arrests through criminal court records). There are probably more.

I can't think of any of those that are done by newspapers. Newspapers may publish the arrest column, the marriage licenses and real estate transfers, but they don't keep them forever in online databases (web archives of articles excepted). They also don't include much information past name--no addresses and so on.

This makes it appear to me that the newspapers who do this have some sort of ulterior motive that has nothing to do with "the public's right to know". It seems more like they're trying to associate us with some group, and I don't think it's the group of folks who are buying real estate.

The question is how we should respond to this. In order to get the displeasure across, I think that whatever is done is going to have to go past harsh language or a good scolding.

Unfortunately, the options available to us are limited. Those wronged could sue, but in this case they will loose. They can call a boycott, which history shows usually has mixed results at best. They can write advertisers, who will likely, at least in this case, not give a hoot.

Of course, in the case of a CC holder who suffers some provable adverse consequence of this disclosure, such as a house break in where the perp says "Yeah, I got the name from the newspaper," you could sue and maybe get somewhere. Maybe.

So we're really running out of options to use. Out of the ones left, I think what has been done to them so far is about the best we have available to us.

Joanna said...

The question is how we should respond to this. In order to get the displeasure across, I think that whatever is done is going to have to go past harsh language or a good scolding.

Or, as I just posted over at my place, we can say "Wow, you're a tool. I'm going to go exercise my right now. Bye!" Then don't buy their product. Boycott their advertisers if you like; the point is, are you going to let these idiots ruin your day? Or are you going to go do something constructive with your energy, instead?

The Freeholder said...

(I should make it clear that I don't have a dog in this particular hunt. I live in North Carolina, so the discussion is currently more of an academic nature to me. However, it could happen here--you see, our CC permit info is public record here as well. So it's also part research project for me. I hope you folks will indulge me.)

I don't that anyone who is advocating/taking action against the newspapers in question is saying "OMG! They've outed me--I can't carry any longer! Oh, woe is me!" While I'm not totally sure, I don't think that anyone is letting this bunch ruin their day. I know I haven't seen anyone say they aren't going to continue to exercise their God-given rights. They're just mightily PO'd that some morons with precious little sense of decency and access to a printing press have decided to report on them in such a way as to equate them to sex offenders. They're insulted, they have a right to be, and they want to make someone pay. I'm good with that.

I have a saying, not original to me I think. "Stupid hurts, and it's supposed to. The pain teaches you not to be stupid!" The people who are taking these actions you don't care for are trying to impress on the papers that they have been stupid, and they're trying to make it hurt, hoping to teach the papers that "You don't want to do this again".

So far, unless I've missed something, I don't see where any action taken by the pro-gun/pro-privacy side is anywhere near the "tactical nuke" level. By my standards, you people have been a quiet a bit quieter than all us rednecks around here would be. I dare say that, in my bitty neck of the woods, we wouldn't be writing letters to editors and advertisers; we'd be calling on them personally to explain, in polite but unmistakable terms, just why we are unhappy. I suspect that some of those with fewer inhibitions would go further, although I honestly don't think they'd cross the line into doing something illegal or totally stupid.

It seems to me that you would rather shrug, say that "Well, that's newspapers for you!" and then go about your way, doing your own thing. The problem is that gun owners did that for years, and look where it got us. Now, we're having to fight for to protect our rights from bliss-ninnies who would legislate them away just for the appearance of "Doing Something! See! I'm Doing Something!" We may be winning, but the issue is still in doubt. If we slack off, even a little, the momentum will swing back the other way. I don't want to go there again.

We're each a free agent, and if your response works for you, then you're welcome to it and I hope it serves you well. I'm not going to be so charitable if it happens here. Not only will I continue to exercise my right to be armed, but I'm going to exercise several others as well. I'm going to make it quite clear to them that they have crossed a line that they shouldn't have. I'm not going to shrug. Everywhere they turn, I'm going to be there, letting them know, in one way or the other, that they were stupid, until it hurts enough that the message gets through.

And that reminds me, our elected dolts return to the capital next month, and those of us who have been actively lobbying to have CC information made confidential per statue need to start getting ready for our next series of visits. After all, and ounce of prevention and all that.

Anonymous said...

The Memphis Commercial Appeal had published a searchable database of CHL permit owners by both name and zip code on more than one occasion. Shortly afterwards a friend of mine was told he didn't have a job any longer at his firm. A girl in HR that was a friend of his sister's in HS, told him that the company had found his name in the database and decided he was a "risk to the company". Funny how he had just received a promotion and a raise in the last month...