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Gun or No Gun is Not the Question.
December 26, 2012 - Theresa Proudfit
While surfing news at CNN.com this morning I came across an article entitled "Newspaper sparks outrage for publishing names, addresses of gun owners". Interested in the head line I clicked on the link and up popped a map, much like the one you would see for sexual predators, with thousands of red dots telling you exactly which homes have LEGAL permits to own handguns in New York's Westchester and Rockland counties.
Sitting speechless for a few minutes I tried to comprehend the reason for this. I understand there are many families hurting after the Newtown, Connecticut massacre. Not just families, the nation has been affected by this terrible tragedy. Seeing the beautiful faces of those children and teachers all week long has made many mourn their loss.
Personally I have many conflicting thoughts about gun control. I don't have an answer to any of the big questions out there and my opinion on gun control is irrelevant to the point of this blog.
The article I saw this morning was outrageous. The red dots are showing the nation who is LEGALLY allowed to own a gun. LEGALLY. Protected under the second amendment. What the heck does that have to do with protecting the society from massacres?
Legal guns owners aren't generally the ones that break into schools and shoot students. If someone wants to plan a massacre there are plenty of ways to do it. If you grab a butcher's knife from your mother's kitchen and stab someone to death is it the fault of the knife that your mother bought legally from a department store?
Law abiding citizens do not commit crimes. This is why we call them law abiding citizens. So why on earth would you point out to the nation where they all live. It seems ridiculous to me.
Yes, there is such a thing as The Freedom of Information Act. So it is public record who owns guns in your town. You could go to the county clerks office and ask for this information and they have to give it to you. But how many criminals are going to go to the clerks house and ask for that information? And now, at least in New York's Westchester and Rockland counties, they don't have to. They can just click on a map and find a gun, or click on the map and find out who doesn't have a gun. I'm sure criminals all over the world are applauding The Journal News for making their jobs so much easier this holiday season.
The Newtown tragedy didn't happen because of a gun, it happened because of a sick mind. We need to focus on helping people with mental illness not taking away guns from people who have a legal right to have them.
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