The argument I would like someone to make

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”?

14 thoughts on “The argument I would like someone to make

  1. Me likey that one. Not that the others are bad, but that’s a REALLY good way of putting it.

  2. I did, in fact, make a similar argument to Ms. Madigan with regards to publishing a list of people who make contributions to a church, and use such as a deduction on their income taxes, this being information that the state would have on file today. Joe’s method certainly puts a sharper (and barbed) point on the argument. I’ll remember that one for the next letter I write to my reps about this issue.

    BS

  3. I’m still looking for the list of Illinois vehicle operator license holders published by the state…

    “I hate Illinois Nazis” 🙂

  4. I imagine a lawsuit, by a criminal’s next of kin against the state, because the registry list was wrong or outdated. “Poor Jimmy was a good kid, he would never home-invade a gun owner. Those bad men in Chicago tricked him with their FOID list, and now he dead!”

  5. dustydog,

    That’s not how it works in IL. If you ventilate a bad guy without a FOID, you go to the big house for a while–possession of a firearm without a valid card is a felony, so even after you get out you’re pretty royally screwed. Even though it’s a state felony the odds of getting your rights back are slim and none, and Slim left town a long time back.

  6. “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”?”
    Careful making that argument– the left just might embrace it.

  7. Tennesee’s handgun carry permit database is still public (courtesy of our wonderful politicians) and searchable (courtesy of the Commercial Appeal). I have not heard any authoritative instances of that information being used for hiring/firing decisions or whatnot else, but something tells me that people who would use that as the basis for a decision would be skilled enough to hide it behind something else…

  8. Think it would be more effective phrased thusly: “Shall we have a little discussion about requiring Muslims to get their ID cards from the state and then being outed to people who claim ‘a need to know who their neighbors are’?”

  9. Pardon my ignorance–I konw that ISP refers to Illinois State Patrol, but what’s a TRO? Temporary restraining order?

  10. I still think that the firearms list should be private, just like driver’s license information in California,

    What harm can having one’s driver’s license information public?
    Or one’s auto license information, like a home address?
    They are public information for which there are legitimate needs by the public, so why should they be confidential?

    Ask Rebecca Schaefer.

    Or will deaths as a result of the firearms list being publically available be journalistically invisible?

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