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Okay, now I'm pissed

I get that people are stupid.  I get that we all base our opinions on sound bites and can't be bothered to think anything through.  But for the love of Pete...

There is now a Connecticut lawmaker fussing that the names and addresses of all Connecticut residents who hold gun permits should be public record and published "so that people can know where the guns are."

I'm going to ignore many, many of the things that enrage me about this, and focus on the most egregious stupidity.  That would be the idea that permit holder = gun owner.

Really?  Having a license for something automatically confers ownership?  If that's the case, there's a lot of newly minted sixteen year olds with brandy-spanky new driver's licenses who are queuing up for that car that *they* own their very own selves.

THINK people.  Do a little research.  That card in my wallet means that I 1.) I took a safety course; 2) I filled out a fairly extensive application; 3) I solicited three character references; 4) I went to the police department and politely requested that they take my fingerprints and send them off to the FBI for an extensive background check; 5) I gave all that paperwork and a fair amount of money to them for the privilege; 6) when the town permit came back, I went through the entire thing AGAIN with the state; 7) every few years I trot myself to the Department of Public Safety for a renewal and a new picture - it's like renewing your driver's license, only there's basically only one place in the entire state to get it done, and the hours are much more restrictive than DMV.  That is ALL that it means.  It says nothing about the ownership or lack thereof of firearms.  It says nothing about how often I shoot.  It DOES say something about my character, because - for pity's sake, I had to submit three credible character references and ask the FBI to check me out.

Firearms are EXPENSIVE.  So is brass.  I would love to do more target shooting, but you know what?  I can't afford it.  The weapon, the range fees, the brass - there's a reason that I only get to go every few years.  So the idea that because I went and got my permit means that I have a house full of firearms endangering the public is patently ludicrous.  There are lots of people in Connecticut who hold Commercial Driver's Licenses.  Shall we assume that they all own tractor trailers?

As for the statement that "if someone's child is going over to someone else's house, they should be able to know if there is a gun in that house," (okay, I guess I AM going there...) - by that logic, before I let my daughter go to your house, I want a list of every prescription medication that everyone in that house is taking, as well as a list of all of the OTC medications that you keep.  After all, prescription drug abuse is skyrocketing among teens, and they're getting most of it from their parents' medicine cabinets.  While we're at it, let's publish the names and addresses of everyone on a psychotropic medication so that we know where the people who might have "issues" are.  It's for the children, after all.

Personally, I'm more afraid of the maniacs and lunatics than the gun owners.  Jessica Short was killed on a crowded street in Middletown during a street fair - by a lunatic with a knife.

I know that I'm asking a lot here, but is it too much to ask people to THINK before they open their mouths?  Times like this I wish I drank.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 5th, 2013 01:13 am (UTC)
Three words
Fall of Rome
Jan. 5th, 2013 01:04 pm (UTC)
Fair enough. Although I have to say, I didn't think permits worked that way. Or maybe they just don't work that way in Pennsylvania. Or maybe they do now but didn't when I was last involved with guns. You see, I never had a permit, but I was allowed to shoot guns at a shooting range or even privately as long as the gun owner with me was licensed. I didn't have a permit so I couldn't go into a gun shop and buy a gun, and I couldn't carry one. But if someone handed me a gun, there was no legal reason why I couldn't shoot it. I never applied for a permit because I didn't need one to target shoot and I didn't really have any need to spend money on a gun when someone would lend me one to shoot.

So in my mind, you get a permit because you want to buy a gun because you don't nee a permit just to shoot in PA. But that's all moot. It's your state we're talking about, not mine. If you have to have a permit to target shoot, that surprises me, but it certainly doesn't make your argument invalid.

By the way, I think publishing the names of gun permit holders -- or even gun owners -- is a violation of privacy, plain and simple. And it's not going to make anyone safer.
Jan. 5th, 2013 03:33 pm (UTC)
Oy. I was mostly done with a reply, hit the wrong button and lost it. Let's try again.

Laws vary wildly from state to state - compare and contrast is always an interesting game.

My understanding, which may be out of date, is that in Connecticut you apply for a concealed carry permit, which allows exactly that - you are permitted to carry a concealed firearm (except where it's not allowed.) At least at one point, you did not need to have a permit to purchase a firearm - you got one carry for "free" to get it home. You still have to have a background check, wait your however many days, and register the weapon with the police, and can't ever take it outside the door of your house.

You can go to the range and shoot someone else's weapon that they have brought with their permit - which the range owner will log.

I got my permit back in the... late '80s, early '90s when then-Governor Weicker was on his "GUNS ARE EVIL! BAN *EVERYTHING!!!*' kick. I truly feared that he was going to ban all carry, and wanted to be sure that I was grandfathered.

The whole publishing thing I have mixed feelings about. This is another area where laws vary. In NY, where this idiocy started, permit information is public as a matter of law. So what that paper is doing is entirely legal, and even I have to admit that they have every right to do it. That said, I think it's invasive, poorly thought out, and criminally negligent. I'm sure the assorted current and retired police officers and correctional employees are *delighted* to be pointed out. One gentleman pointed out that his elderly aunt's house is listed - she lives alone because his uncle the permit holder died years ago.

In Connecticut, that information is confidential. Personally, I think that's appropriate.
Jan. 6th, 2013 07:18 pm (UTC)
Since S. now wants to get hers, I have info. There are 2 "classes" of permits now: 1 is the standard carry permit which allows you to purchase & carry. The 2nd allows you to purchase and bring to your home and to move said firearm directly between your residence and business (like it used to be w/o permits).

Same rules apply for guests of permit-holders; most ranges allow one guest per permit.

Good news from NY is that Putnam County has told that stupid newspaper to go swing and will *not* release the names of permit holders despite their FOIA requests. Go Putnam County!

PS Weicker....the same asshole who gave us a state income tax. :-(
Jan. 7th, 2013 09:53 pm (UTC)
Whoa. Dude. The only "license" I need is my CCW permit; if I'm not planning on carrying a handgun, I don't need to "license" anything. I need o _register_ a "regulated" firearm (regulated by BATF), via some paperwork, a $10 fee, and a five- day waiting period. That's it.
What a pain in ass...
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )