Friday, July 23, 2010

Invasion of Privacy

In the case of Reno Newspaper vs. Washoe County Sheriff, the court ordered that concealed carry weapons holder names be released as public record. I'm not exactly sure what part of this comes across as a good idea. So, to make a long story short, I'll list a few reasons I believe this is a bad idea:

1. It's an invasion of privacy. There are people in the world that don't want people knowing their business. Not everyone talks about politics, religion, and things of touchy subjects openly. For this reason, a lot of people don't want their preference of owning guns and carrying them to be public record.

2. It's an open invitation to crime. Now criminals in the world know you have a gun. All they need to do is look up your address in a phone book and if they find you, they know you have a gun. Guns are valuable. Chances are if you're not home, you probably have other valuables worth stealing. It's almost as dumb as having a bunch of really cool things and placing them in your window for the world to see and then wondering why you get robbed. Its called advertising. It's just a bad idea.

3. It's not safe. Many CCW holders are people who have either been personally attacked, knew someone who was attacked, lost someone or knew someone who lost someone to a murder, are in witness protection, or are just being proactive regarding their safety. To list all the individuals in the county who are armed is now a wake up call to criminals. Now law enforcement officers will argue that this knowledge is good because it will drive down crime rates, but realistically, criminals don't fear the law and they certainly don't fear you or me. All this tells them now is the criminal who would originally rob you with a knife, will now show up with a gun to level out the playing field.

4. There's no tactical advantage. Look, we can open carry, but the whole point people choose to concealed carry is for that tactical advantage. They don't want to notify criminals that they are armed. A criminal who sees an armed person will handle their crime differently if there is a gun involved. They have nothing to lose. They've gone to jail once, they'll do it again.

5. The first letter of CCW is C for CONCEALED. Again, we can open carry, but not everyone wants to do so. We all know that not everyone is on board with guns. Even though we can open carry, not everyone knows it. So many times, people get pulled over for open carrying and sometimes even detained until the officers in their areas realize that it is in fact legal to do so. But a lot of CCW holders get their permit for the specific purpose of carrying without alarming those around them.

6. Discrimination does exist. To sit and say that once this information becomes public record and that it won't affect people directly is a lie. Who is to say that a school won't run the names of all their teachers and staff to see who has a CCW and then fire them because they fear their employees might be breaking a federal law? Or who is to say that someone wouldn't get denied a job with a company because a potential employer feels like checking if an applicant is a CCW holder? Maybe this sounds a little paranoid and extreme but who is to say something like this wouldn't happen? And how does one prove it? With this economy all a company has to do is say, "We had to do cuts" or "We found someone more qualified"?

All around, this is not a good idea. I hope that everyone pays attention to what is going on with this situation and if a class action suit comes up that everyone who values their rights and privacy gets involved. Until then, the best we can do is boycott RGJ and it's affiliates. If they're gonna mess with us within the law, then let's just do the same.

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