OPPS

The editor of a White Plains newspaper argued that her paper’s publishing an interactive map showing the names and addresses of thousands of handgun permit owners in two local counties was “important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings.” Of course, conservative pundits as well as many of those targeted cried foul, arguing that they would become “targets” and subject to “public ridicule.” In fact, as is typically the case with those on the left and the right, neither side got it right. A study by MIT and Carnegie Mellon University showed that a similar gun ownership data dump by a news outlet in Memphis, Tennessee in 2008 resulted in a drop in burglaries in those areas of the city with the most concealed-carry permits and an increase in burglaries in areas with the fewest such permits. Violent crimes showed no difference, not surprising given that most violent crimes usually lack premeditation. The study concluded that the “…results suggest that despite activism on the part of gun owners against the publication of such databases, it may actually be gun permit holders who benefited” from publication. So, while the liberal newspaper in White Plains attempted to embarrass and harass gun owners, it unconsciously may have actually added credence to those who argue that possessing a firearm deters crime, an issue liberals continue to vigorously deny. And it remains to be seen why people who own guns would argue that knowledge of such would make them targets when the available evidence shows that even criminals aren’t that stupid when choosing the obvious option to invade a home without the prospect of being shot. And if gun owners are really concerned that they will be ridiculed by some, then they obviously don’t believe that owning a gun is more important than their public image. Somehow, I find it difficult to believe most citizens who own guns are that thin skinned. 

 

 

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