There has been a fair amount of discussion recently about the Illinois attorney general ruling that the names of people with Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) cards can be made public.
Some people are saying the release increases the risk a gun owner will have their home broken into by a criminal wanting a gun. Others say it gives a different type of criminal knowledge that they are unlikely to be shot at if they break in while the resident are home. Still others point out less obvious risks and concerns:
“There is some prejudice against gun owners and a perspective employer says, ‘This guy who shows up is on a list, I’m not going to hire him, I don’t want a gun nut,’” he said.
“It kind of resembles the sex offender registry in many ways,” he said. “To create this list feels like the same thing.”
I think those are all valid arguments. But I have not seen anyone make the argument that I would like made.
What if the state required all active homosexuals to be registered and there were HID cards issued? What would the reaction be if someone wanted those people’s names released? I can just hear the Brady Campaign screaming now (they did it before—check out the update), “It’s not the same thing!” Perhaps being a homosexual isn’t something under an individuals control but actually engaging is homosexual acts arguably is something under individual control. If you want to be active as a homosexual sign up for your card and then be outed by the state. After all, don’t your neighbors have a right to know? And don’t parents have a right to know those sort of things about their children’s teachers?
Okay, they are probably right. Being a homosexual isn’t a very good analogy to being a gun owner—because being an active homosexual isn’t specific enumerated right protected by the U.S. Constitution. It’s more like being Catholic, Jewish, or Muslim since exercising the religion of your choice is also a specific enumerated right protected by the U.S. Constitution. Shall we have a little discussion about requiring Jews to get their ID cards from the state and then being outed to people who claim “a need to know who their neighbors are”?