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New York Pistol Permit Owner List Leaked 899

Posted by Soulskill
from the time-for-a-mashup dept.
An anonymous reader writes "On Friday, The Journal News caved under pressure of gun advocates and shut down the interactive maps which contained the names and addresses of licensed gun owners in upstate New York. The maps are still visible on the site, however they are simply static images. The Journal News published the interactive maps on December 23 which caused significant backlash. In a similar move, Gawker published the names of licensed gun owners in New York City without addresses. New York state Senator Greg Ball (Republican) called the removal of the data a 'huge win.' On Saturday, an anonymous user leaked the raw data used to build The Journal News maps."
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New York Pistol Permit Owner List Leaked

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 20, 2013 @09:27AM (#42638569)

    i have to say i agree
    all a criminal would have to do is sit there wait till you leave and go get a few

  • subject (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 20, 2013 @09:36AM (#42638607)

    how can one leak data which has been made available through a FOIA request?

  • Re:subject (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Iamthecheese (1264298) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @09:39AM (#42638621)
    If there should ever be a limit to FOIA this is it. The leaks tell every scum in New York where to steal a weapon.

    But you bring up an excellent point.
  • leaked huh ? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by geekymachoman (1261484) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @09:40AM (#42638631)

    Why wasn't it "leaked" .. well.. before all this pressure to ban guns ?
    It's "published", not leaked. Intentionally. Probably to apply pressure on gun owners or to get them into trouble of having a gun, somehow.

    What's next ? We gonna ban hammers as well ? I read there are many people killing other people with a hammer. Maybe we can ban sugar.. Hell, more people died from sugar then from guns (not counting the military or criminals that will still have guns regardless of you ban them or not).

    People, shit happens, it's unavoidable. The world is full of good people and equally full of bad ones/psychotic-violent ones. Whatever you ban won't change that and mentioned ones are still gonna do their own thing.

    In 20 years time you will need permission to go out of the house if the public allows these bans on everything to be carried out.

  • Re:leaked huh ? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ElmoGonzo (627753) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @09:44AM (#42638645)
    Yes, shit does happen, but with a hammer an accident usually results in little more than a bruised fingernail. Check out the Twitter feed for @GunDeaths to see just how many people are killed by firearms every day. And almost every one of those is a case where the gun is being used as the manufacturer intended, not an accident.
  • by Let's All Be Chinese (2654985) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @09:45AM (#42638649)

    Agree with what? With creating convenient maps of information that's already somewhat public and therefore entirely public in the American No-Curtains-So-No-Privacy-For-You view? With protesting that convenient map? With taking revenge on the complainers by, er, dumping the adress of every permit holder whether they're part of the discussion or not?

    There are a few issues here, not least of which is that this approach to privacy isn't tenable in the modern age with its proliferation of convenient data mangling apparatuses--even though there's a risk to trying to burgle a known gun owner. Or how exercising a constitution-enshrined right makes one a target--note that this trend in American Society[tm] bothers me independent of having that right, which I don't.

    But what bothers me most is how the whole gun thing is again diving for the trenches. Much like how "seven bullets" is completely arbitrary, as is the labeling of some kinds of ammunition "cop killer", as are so many silly knee-jerk measures. As is the rallying "strategy" of the NRA, for that matter.

    This isn't a mature discussion. And you're supposed to be the shining beacon of democracy for the whole world. All of you. Grow up.

  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aurispector (530273) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @09:47AM (#42638657)

    Either way, it's really not anyone's business. Should we also be putting people's personal information online for current driver's license holders?

    What if one of those women holding a CHL did so owing to death threats from a jealous ex? They just put her life in danger.

    Or, if you want to up the "obnoxious" factor, what if they published the names and addresses of women who have had abortions?

    "Outing" people is a really low political tactic and needs to be illegal.

  • Re:leaked huh ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stenvar (2789879) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @09:54AM (#42638681)

    And almost every one of those is a case where the gun is being used as the manufacturer intended, not an accident.

    Yes. About 2/3 of those uses are suicides, and the rest are almost all homicides with illegal guns. Gun control has no significant effect reducing either of these numbers. There is a small remainder of homicides committed with legally owned guns and accidents, but many legal products are far more dangerous. Furthermore, there is no justification for creating intrusive government regulation that prevents me from committing suicide with a gun.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @09:57AM (#42638689)

    Because they make any real, useful, gun control much less likely to happen. Their grandstanding is counter productive.

    For example you try and say "Hey, we really should register firearms. After all you register your car, why not guns too? It would allow for some tracking and accountability, and in the event someone becomes a prohibited person easier allow courts to determine if they have any guns that need to be surrendered." Well the gun lobby shoots back with "No, unacceptable, if you have a registry it can be used to target gun owners." You respond "That's silly, it would be used only for lawful purposes by the proper authorities."

    Then, this happens, in a place that has a gun registry. Now the gun lobby doesn't have to talk in hypotheticals, or other nations, they can point to something that happened right in America that is precisely the kind of shit they are talking about. Now more moderate gun owners, who might have been amenable, or at least accepting, of the idea hate it because they believe what the gun lobby is saying.

    Gun haters have to accept and get over the fact that guns are NOT going to be banned, period, end of story, unless the second amendment is repealed. All kinds of arguments have been tried and all have failed, the supreme court has ruled that the 2nd does in fact mean that gun ownership is a protected, individual, right.

    As such trying stupid shit to do things that are bans but not in name, or to harass or make things difficult for gun owners are counter productive. All they do is polarize things, convince gun owners that any and all controls are bad because they'll be abused.

    Stunts like this are nothing but harmful.

  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 20, 2013 @09:59AM (#42638705)

    There is no public interest knowing if a woman has had an abortion.

    Unfortunately, there are many people who disagree with you on this.

  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 20, 2013 @10:02AM (#42638713)

    As a member of the public, I am interested in if my neighbor had an abortion because I like to gossip. As a matter of fact, while in high school and college when it was found out that a woman/girl had an abortion there was much public interest.

    The list doesn't say whether your neighbors are carrying loaded guns, it says that they are legally able to carry guns even though they may not even own guns anymore.

  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JakeBurn (2731457) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @10:07AM (#42638727)

    And what would knowing do for you? Your neighbor, instead of hiding the fact that he has weapons like criminals do, follows the law and registers his legally obtained weapons. This information is already available to see. What people are mad about is when some asshat decides to conveniently collect all of this information so that only criminals have a use for it. Oh, criminals and idiots who think law-abiding citizens should be ostracized or treated differently because they are exercising their rights and acting in a responsible manner.

  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oodaloop (1229816) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @10:10AM (#42638737)

    If my neighbor carries loaded guns around I want to know about it.

    And I want a pony. The issue is if you have the right to know. He has the constitutional right to those weapons. We may not (yet) have constitutional rights to privacy, but your wanting to know doesn't mean you have to know. Besides, if he has a concealed carry permit, the whole point is that you don't know.

  • by arth1 (260657) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @10:10AM (#42638739) Homepage Journal

    Thus speaks someone who thinks with his guts and not his brain.

    When did all sex offenders become pedophiles? Most of them are not.

    When did all pedophiles become criminals? Most of them never commit any crimes. You don't commit rapes because you are sexually attracted to women (or men), do you?

    Do you know the recidivism rate for child molestation compared to other crimes? Like, for instance, gun crime?

    Did you know that when you are willing to deny some people their rights, you also say that it's okay to deny you your rights when you disgust enough people?

    All violent/abusive crimes are bad, whether they're sexual or not. But people are capable of changing for the better, which is why we do not give them life in prison, and consider their debt to society paid when they have served their sentence. In civilized societies, at least.

  • by cirby (2599) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @10:21AM (#42638793)

    "That's silly, it would be used only for lawful purposes by the proper authorities."

    Two of the homes listed in the first publication of gun owners' names have had their homes burglarized - and one of them only had their gun safe stolen.

    Meanwhile, there have been calls by leglislators to confiscate guns - by forcing registration and/or using current registration lists.

    Neither of those are "straw men." Indeed, they were mostly just predictions based on knowing how people think and act.

    "Gun haters have to accept and get over the fact that guns are NOT going to be banned," ...then why are some people calling for gun bans? And trying to pass laws that effectively ban guns? And why are there many places in the US with fairly comprehensive gun bans, like Chicago?

  • How about coins? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AndyKron (937105) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @10:27AM (#42638815)
    Hell, why not publish data on who has large coin collections at home while we're at it. This is yet another example why people shouldn't register their weapons with the government.
  • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @10:32AM (#42638837)

    surely this a public service for burglars - now they know which homes *not* to target because they stand a chance of getting shot by the homeowner when they go to in take his valuables.

  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thomasw_lrd (1203850) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @10:33AM (#42638847)

    You can only have pacifism, because someone else has a gun. That gun is not necessarily the shotgun I use for squirrel hunting on Saturdays. It is the gun that the Marine carries every day in Afghanistan, or Iraq, or Germany, or the Azores, or anywhere else our troops have gone, and died to. Peace is a great thing to wish for, but someone else has to be put in harm's way for you to acheive it. Had it not been for guns, the world would be a much different place right now. We would still be honoring Queen Elizabeth as our monarch. It's even possible that some of us would still be the property of the rich people.
    You may not like guns, and that's fine. But don't forget all the good that people wielding guns have done in the world. And don't forget all the evil that men wielding guns have done in this world either.

  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 20, 2013 @10:38AM (#42638863)

    Right back at ya! Knowing who has had an abortion would enable me to know who not to trade with, who not to vote for, and where not to live.

    I can vote with my feet and with my wallet, and my votes go for life.

  • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Sunday January 20, 2013 @10:47AM (#42638901) Homepage Journal

    We are not denying them their rights, when they commit a crime and break the law, they are voluntarily giving up their rights.

    What rights, and for how long? There's a prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment in the Bill of Rights for a reason; the punishment must fit the crime. In the case of sex crimes, the lifelong punishment that comes after all jail time has been served, fines paid, etc. is almost always excessive.

  • Re:Shopping List (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BlueStrat (756137) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @10:59AM (#42638983)

    Some people will argue that because guns are a high value commodity on the black market, they are a lucrative target for theft.

    Isn't it curious that many, if not most, of those same people argue that prohibition simply fuels a black market, like the "War On (some) Drugs" and alcohol prohibition?

    If guns were less-tightly regulated, taxed, licensed, registered, etc, criminals wouldn't find law-abiding gun-owner's homes and their guns such an attractive target, due to the lack of high payoff along with the risk of being shot.

    Not saying that convicted violent felons or those legally judged to be incapable of responsible gun ownership (it shouldn't be because you were given Prozac for 6 months, 15 years ago, after your wife and kids died in a fire) should be able to own guns.

    Why is it any different today than it was 30 or 40 years ago? I remember that US citizens weren't such pansies back then. Guns weren't something that terrified so many people. Bad things, shootings, happened occasionally then as well. But, people didn't get so frothing-at-the-mouth about the guns. They got upset at the person/people who committed the act, and at law enforcement and government, if they screwed up.

    I can guarantee you one thing. More people in this world are killed by governments than by regular civilians shooting each other.

    Government is one thing. It is raw force . That's it. That's all it is. You can draft all the pretty laws, acts, constitutions, charters, whatever you'd like. None of that, in the end, can stop raw force. Only a threat of force from the citizens themselves, if it goes too far and becomes too tyrannical/authoritarian, can keep it in check.

    You want to find out what a boot stamping on a human face, forever, feels like? Remove the only check to raw force. "Checks and balances" isn't only about the three branches of the US government. There's a fourth check, an armed citizenry. Remove that check as a significant deterrent, and balance is gone. When balance is gone, so is individual liberty and freedom.

    Strat

  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ganjadude (952775) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @11:01AM (#42638999) Homepage
    If you need the paper to tell on your neighbors, well I dont think you know how to be a neighbor. In what world does one NEED to know that his neighbor has a gun? And on the same note, if you really NEEDED to know this, why wouldnt you simply ask your neighbor??
  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:2, Insightful)

    by niiler (716140) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @11:10AM (#42639035) Journal
    And the people using said guns to defend our rights are in our military. In fact, in this age of our country, they have chosen to go into our military voluntarily so that our pacifist friends don't have to. This is a very important point in that it means that not every member of our society needs to take on the moral burden of killing others, even if it is for a justified purpose. If there isn't a moral burden, then why are many firing squads mostly issued blanks [wikipedia.org]? The members of our military are in an honorable profession and are certainly needed with many of the nuts (Bin Laden) out there. But please don't denigrate people who chose not to bring violence into their lives. Jesus was, after all, a pacifist, and a great many of the gun users I know are also Christian.
  • by ganjadude (952775) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @11:14AM (#42639057) Homepage
    replace gun with knives. If you were paying attention to australia after they outlawed guns violent crime went up over 30% and home invasions even higher. Just because a criminal does not have a gun does not mean he is no longer a criminal. He is still going to kill you be it with a gun or a knife.
  • by geekmux (1040042) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @11:15AM (#42639065)

    I really don't see how posting this kind of information is harassing, or making things difficult for gun owners. I'm actually pretty pro-gun, AND reside/work in NYC but I see absolutely nothing wrong with this...The argument that this somehow puts gun owners in danger or subjects them to unfair scrutiny is absolutely ridiculous.

    Really? I see. So, you won't mind if I publish a list of everyone who has a jewelry insurance rider for high-dollar valuables in their home, right? Perhaps you have a nice collection of diamonds. I'm certain you won't mind telling me all about them, as you see nothing wrong with sharing this kind of information. Yes, I'm sure you and everyone else would have nothing to fear at all when you leave your house, leaving your valuables unprotected.

    Remove the fact that we're talking about guns here. These are valuables that are now listed online for every criminal to target while the vast majority of citizens leave an empty house behind for hours every day. At least try and think of the bigger picture here. The fact that we are talking about guns as the targeted valuable only makes the consequences of theft even more dire.

  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shavano (2541114) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @11:17AM (#42639083)

    If my neighbor carries loaded guns around I want to know about it.

    And I want a pony. The issue is if you have the right to know. He has the constitutional right to those weapons. We may not (yet) have constitutional rights to privacy, but your wanting to know doesn't mean you have to know. Besides, if he has a concealed carry permit, the whole point is that you don't know.

    Apparently not. They're from publicly available records. If it's in the public interest to keep those records private, they're going to have to change the law to make it so.

  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Worthless_Comments (987427) <anphillia@gmail.com> on Sunday January 20, 2013 @11:20AM (#42639097)
    Why the hell is it any of your business what your neighbor does at all as long as he's not hurting anyone? Let him carry all the guns he wants to, I say. Decide to murder someone? Let em rot in jail. Look at it this way - it's not that crack should be illegal, robbing folks should be. You wanna be a crackhead, that's fine. Want to be a crack head that robs people for crack money? Then off to jail with you. We need to stop blaming actions on inanimate objects and demand that people accept personal responsibility for their actions.
  • by Barsteward (969998) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @11:41AM (#42639219)
    "This isn't a mature discussion. "

    its not possible to have one with NRA supporters, its like arguing with a drunk or fundamental religionist, pointless as they they wouldn't change their mind in the face of evidence.
  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday January 20, 2013 @11:44AM (#42639259) Homepage Journal

    In fact, in this age of our country, they have chosen to go into our military voluntarily so that our pacifist friends don't have to.

    Many chose to go into our military to get free college. Not only did many of them not actually get it (I know too many enlisted and former enlisted to be bullshitted on this account) or appropriate health care for injuries or disorders sustained or developed during their tour but their enlistment is what makes it possible for the USA to project power unilaterally around the globe — and look at what we use it for.

    not every member of our society needs to take on the moral burden of killing others, even if it is for a justified purpose.

    Killing someone is right near the bottom of my list, but permitting someone to harm me or my loved ones when I could do something about it is even lower. Of course, odds are good that even if you have a firearm you won't be able to actually protect someone with it, but I'd rather bear the moral burden of killing someone than bear the burden of simply permitting them to kill those I hold dear.

    But please don't denigrate people who chose not to bring violence into their lives. Jesus was, after all, a pacifist, and a great many of the gun users I know are also Christian.

    A lot of people say they're Christian, but still contribute to violence. And frankly, I'm pretty tired of people citing Christianity as evidence of anything. People have so many different relationships to it that it doesn't really mean anything. I mean, I love Jesus, but I don't consider myself to be a Christian in any way, shape, or form.

  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xystren (522982) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @11:50AM (#42639303)

    There is no public interest knowing if a woman has had an abortion. If my neighbor carries loaded guns around I want to know about it.

    Yet, another example of how information can be misused & misinterpreted - you have equated that a gun owner carries a loaded gun around just because they happen to be on that list; That statement may or many not be true. All that list shows, as some-point in time, a firearm was potentially known to be at that location - it doesn't mean that it is still there, it doesn't mean that your neighbor is packing every time you see them cutting their lawn, and it doesn't mean that you are going to get shot by your neighbor b/c they are on that list.

    This is yet an example of how data can be misused and I will even go as far as saying abused. You have equated that this list means that your neighbor carries a load gun(s) around. Wouldn't it be far more reliable and valid to talk to your neighbor if they have a firearm or not? And quite honestly, what are you going to do if they do happen to own a firearm? Stop living your life b/c your neighbor is possibly packing heat when they are mowing the lawn? Why do you want to know, what are you going to do with that information, and how does that information make you any more or less safer?

    Take a moment to consider the opposite - by you not being on that list, doesn't that potentially open yourself up as a target for a crime or robbery? Criminals are likely going to say, "Lets target the house with no guns" (or perhaps a lower chance of a gun being present).

  • Re:Shopping List (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Luckyo (1726890) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @11:51AM (#42639311)

    Bad news. If government wanted to crush an armed rebellion, it would succeed. Guns allowed by US laws are generally on the level of Libyan rebels.

    Take a look at success rate of Libyan rebels vs their government until West came in with superior heavy weaponry and special forces teams to direct their fire. They were literally being slaughtered like animals with heavy weaponry when they tried to do something other then running away. It was a blood bath, and one that those guys with their small firearms quickly learned to adapt due to Darwinian selection.

    If you want to win wars against governments, you need heavy weaponry, organised military and preferably outside support. Else, you're just an idiot who thinks his firearm will help him against tanks, artillery and bombers.

  • Re:leaked huh ? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by krisbrowne42 (549049) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @12:35PM (#42639727)

    And almost every one of those is a case where the gun is being used as the manufacturer intended, not an accident.

    Yes. About 2/3 of those uses are suicides, and the rest are almost all homicides with illegal guns. Gun control has no significant effect reducing either of these numbers. There is a small remainder of homicides committed with legally owned guns and accidents, but many legal products are far more dangerous. Furthermore, there is no justification for creating intrusive government regulation that prevents me from committing suicide with a gun.

    Actually...

    In the US, we have no real numbers on gun control and suicide rates, homicide rates, or pretty much anything else because the gun lobby has worked to destroy any public funding for such research, and to end careers of anyone who tries to independently study them.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/us/26guns.html?pagewanted=all [nytimes.com]

    In Australia, they had real, significant reductions in suicides when they implemented their gun controls. Also, they had previously had a number of mass shootings, and have had 0 since.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/opinion/australia-banned-assault-weapons-america-can-too.html [nytimes.com]

    "The Australian Institute of Criminology found that gun-related murders and suicides fell sharply after 1996. The American Law and Economics Review found that our gun buyback scheme cut firearm suicides by 74 percent. In the 18 years before the 1996 reforms, Australia suffered 13 gun massacres — each with more than four victims — causing a total of 102 deaths. There has not been a single massacre in that category since 1996."

    AU suicide stats: http://www.mindframe-media.info/for-media/reporting-suicide/facts-and-stats [mindframe-media.info]

  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jiro (131519) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @12:43PM (#42639779)

    What categories of outing would you ban in your nanny state?

    Any category of outing where the information is only available because of the nanny state in the first place.

    There isn't a database of permit holders because some marketing person decided to figure out who they can best sell gun range memberships to. There's a database because the government--you know, the same nanny state you're talking about--forcibly collected the information in the first place under threat of jail. If the government collects the information against people's will, it's not "nanny state" to prevent them from doing even more harm by releasing it. Anyone who really objects to a nanny state wouldn't want the government collecting the information to begin with, and if they didn't collect the information, nobody would be able to out anyone using it.

  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mjwalshe (1680392) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @01:42PM (#42640225)
    no the public is "interested" but there is no "public interest" as defined in law.
  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sique (173459) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @02:09PM (#42640417) Homepage
    I never understood the burglar example. If I was a burglar, I would at first check if no one is in the house before breaking in. And if I made a mistake, and someone is there, I would try to run as fast as possible. There is really no point in turning an heist into an armed robbery, and the risk of being found out is just to high. If just some glas shards are lying around and some money is missing, the investigations in the crime will be much less intensive as if there were serious injuries or even deaths involved. (Where I live, most burglaries happen during the day, when people are away at work, or during the weekends in the industrial zones, when no one is working there. Buying weapons in both cases is one of the most ineffective ways to fight burglaries -- you just spend money on stuff you will probably never use in a good cause.)
  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cdrguru (88047) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @02:19PM (#42640485) Homepage

    Of course, odds are good that even if you have a firearm you won't be able to actually protect someone with it.

    If you have a gun, and it is loaded and ready to use when someone assults you, your family or your home the difference between having the gun taken away from you or it being used to defend you, your family and your home is training. Owning a gun without any sort of training is like owing a cyclotron - ok so you have one, now what do you do with it? Keeping it in a box on a high shelf and not knowing what to do with it is useless.

    So owning a gun isn't all that important. Having sufficient training to pick up a gun, properly target an adversary and if necessary fire with effective results is important. I would offer that people that cannot successfully complete a training course with some kind of live-fire simulation should not be given permits for handguns.

    Otherwise we are simply increasing the number of guns waiting to be stolen or used in an otherwise improper manner.

  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @02:57PM (#42640723) Homepage Journal

    Anarchist gun nut? I don't get it. Oh - you're just name calling, because you don't have an argument of any type to offer. I get it now. Cool, I guess, 'cause it means I win.

    Let's analyze that name though. Anarchist? Hardly. I'm more of an authoritarian, than I am an anarchist. I'm more of a socialist than an anarchist too, as far as that goes. I LIKE the idea of government. I like the idea of government controlling nutcases, criminals, illegal aliens, and more. What I DO NOT LIKE, is the government infringing on the lives of law abiding citizens.

    Gun nut? Maybe we need to define "gun nut". To me, a gun is a tool. Like any other tool, it has limited uses. You don't use a hammer to clean windows, you don't use a gun to clean windows, you don't use a screwdriver to clean windows - all of these tools would cause more destruction than a window cleaner can tolerate. I'm not a gun nut, or a hammer nut, or a screwdriver nut. I use each tool for it's intended purpose.

    I guess I could return the favor, and call you an anti-gun-nut. I'll refrain though, and just point out that you are naive and uninformed.

  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @03:37PM (#42641009) Journal

    what happens when pacifism meets aggressive violent people?

    We're not talking about the broader scale of one nation attacking another nation here. We're talking about neighborhoods. At the neighborhood level, safe communities very rarely meet aggressive, violent people. Therefore, people living in safe communities rarely feel the need to own firearms for personal protection.

    If I were buying a house, I would see high gun ownership in a neighborhood as a very bad sign, because it means that a large percentage of the people live in constant fear for their lives. It is an indicator of insufficient police protection, gang activity, drug activity, or other serious problems. It is not the only indicator (bars on windows are another good one), but it is a good indicator.

    But even if that correlation did not exist, a high number of gun owners would still be a red flag. There's a reason we create police forces and military forces. They represent an elite group of people with the proper training and psychological stability to use firearms for the public good. They are actively monitored for psychological problems, they are trained to distinguish friend from foe, and they are trained to store their service weapons properly.

    By contrast, out of those registered gun owners, assuming they represent a random sampling of the population, 26.2% will "suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year." (Source: NIH [nih.gov]) Most of them lack any formal training. And their weapons are probably stored in their bedside tables, fully loaded, just waiting to be stolen and used by someone who didn't pass a background check.

    So yeah, there's a very real public interest to having that information. That said, I don't agree with the GP that it should be used when deciding who to buy from or other such nonsense. The individual data points are uninteresting (except when you meet someone, conclude that he or she is nuts, and then find out that he or she owns a firearm). It is mostly in aggregate that the information is relevant.

  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Worthless_Comments (987427) <anphillia@gmail.com> on Sunday January 20, 2013 @04:06PM (#42641181)
    This is one thing I really cannot stand for people to say. We are not a democracy. Democracies are horrible things that allow the trampling of minorities. We should never just got with what the vast majority of people think simply because that is the majority for a couple of reasons. First off, this is the path that leads to tyranny. It is easy to see how a majority could impose their beliefs on the rest of the population: for example look at how much control the Christian fundamentalists have over America due to the majority of Christians. The other problem with democracy is that quite a large number of people are, quite simply put, stupid, evil, and easily manipulated. Are these the people you want deciding what is best for everyone? I don't.
  • Re:Or the reverse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TapeCutter (624760) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @04:43PM (#42641395) Journal
    A dog is way more effective than a gun for keeping the home secure.

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