What you are describing is more like a fishing expedition: get a list of everyone who has gone through the process to get a permit, then do what? Based on nothing other than getting that license, research their driving record, the organizations they belong to, social media history? Not for anything criminal, but just for things you don’t like?
Like so many gun “safety” laws, this is a bad idea that shouldn’t go exactly anywhere.
A public database could do more harm than good
The Globe editorial board advocates invading the privacy of those with a firearms license. It was a prime example of the road to hell paved with good intentions. I say this as a Boston resident who has both a mental disorder and a license to carry. The editorial’s proposal would put a target on my back with angry neighbors as well as anyone looking to steal a gun – despite the fact that I don’t actually own a gun.
I have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and chronicled the process of obtaining my broadcast license for an article in 2016. Since then I have written many stories and spoken on television and on the radio internationally on gun reform, in large part thanks to my firsthand experience. earned by getting my license. I wish the Editorial Board had followed similar lines of research. While their heads and hearts may have been in the right place, their words were irresponsible. A publicly accessible database with the names and addresses of people with a transport license has the potential to do far more harm than good, especially for marginalized people and – as the editorial notes – victims of domestic violence. , who may have compelling reasons for wanting both security and confidentiality.
This country needs gun reform. The police interviews required for LTC in Massachusetts are far from perfect. But public shame and social media harassment is not the answer.
A right to carry weapons and to privacy
After reading your editorial advocating for disclosure of where and how gun owners get licenses, I ask myself: When did Big Brother join the editorial board?
Where exactly is it written that the public has the “right to know if their neighbors have guns”? I searched the Constitution in vain for even a hint of one. But I found a clear constitutional precept which states that “the right of the people to own and bear arms must not be violated”. If ever there was an “infraction”, the release information on gun owners is admissible.
Using the concern over a criminal’s case to justify the widespread intrusion into the private affairs of every law-abiding gun owner is just another example of accusing them guilty without any proof of innocence possible. If you are concerned about the dangerous items people have hidden in their homes, why not have the right to know if the neighbors have books promoting sinister ideas, such as “liberty” and “liberty”?
You can debate as much as you want as to whether disclosing information about gun owners makes them more or less likely to be the targets of theft, but the bottom line is that that’s not the case. no one, especially the Globe, who owns what or what choices they make for the protection of home and family.
Scott St. Clair
Security must not come at the expense of freedom
Ownership of firearms should be private, and there should be no public disclosure of who owns or does not own them, or the level of the license.
The online caption of your editorial reads: “The Winthrop case highlights the importance of knowing where and how gun owners were licensed.” “
Yes, after a crime, not before.
A state lawmaker said: “Some departments are doing extensive research on social media [on the applicant for a gun license] while others do not.
It is inappropriate for the government to search for an individual’s entries on social media. Why? Because it facilitates discrimination based on the content of entries. Whatever “intention,” a person with any judgment knows that intentions often have little to do with how things are actually used (and remember how the road to hell is paved – a bit. wisdom that the Globe does not seem to understand).
This is really the Globe’s call to curtail the rights of individuals wherever and whenever it thinks public safety could be enhanced. There is more to life than just being “safe” when your freedoms are taken away in the process.
W. David Goble