Guns

Gun Owners Have a Right to Privacy

The government has no business infringing on our Second Amendment rights.

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If you own a gun in Illinois, take precautions. The state attorney general, Lisa Madigan, wants to release the names of guns owners in response to an Associated Press request. Publication of that list would tell the criminal class where the guns are, which could be useful to two different sorts of lawbreakers: gun thieves who want to know where the guns are and burglars who want to know where they are not.   

New York City released its list recently at The New York Times' request. It included "dozens of boldface names and public figures: prominent business leaders, elected officials, celebrities, journalists, judges and lawyers," the Times reported. It then named names.

People who want the lists made public say the disclosure is necessary to assure that government doesn't issue permits to felons. They point to an AP report that gun permits were given to hundreds of felons in Florida, Tennessee, and Indiana. So because government is not competent enough to obey its own rules, the rest of us must have our privacy compromised? I don't buy it.

As Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association says: "There is no legitimate reason for anyone to have access to the information. The safety of real people is at stake here. Once this information is released, it will be distributed to street gangs and gun-control groups, who will use the data to target gun owners for crime and harassment."

Good point. One nice thing about concealed weapons is that even people who don't carry guns are safer because the muggers can't tell who is armed and who isn't. Releasing the list of permit-holders undermines that benefit. It's not unusual for a woman who has been threatened by an ex-husband or boyfriend to obtain a gun and a carry permit for self-protection. Why should the threatening male get to find out if the woman is armed?

The anti-gun lobby downplays this danger as though it were inconceivable that someone would get names off a list in order to commit violence. However, we know of cases where people named on sex-offender registries were murdered.

We also know that lawful gun owners in New Orleans had their guns confiscated by government authorities after Hurricane Katrina.

No one should be soothed by assurances that publication of those lists poses no threat to law-abiding gun owners.

Let's take this a step further. This issue is presented as one of those balancing acts: The privacy of lawful gun owners, we're told, must be balanced by the people's "right to know" and the need to hold government accountable. But the only reason that governments have lists of gun owners is that they require licenses or concealed-carry permits. The right to self-defense, and therefore the right to buy and carry a handgun (the most effective means of self-defense), should require no one's permission. It is a natural right. The Second Amendment didn't invent the right to own guns. It merely recognizes it: "(T)he right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." It doesn't say, "The people shall have the right to keep and bear arms."

Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming, and Vermont recognize this right and require no permits to carry guns. (Montana also has this policy in all but a few urban areas.)

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court, while striking down outright bans on handguns, left room for permits. But it's hard to see how that is consistent with the natural right of self-defense.

I leave aside whether a felon who has served his sentence should be deprived of the means of self-defense because there's a more practical point: Gun laws have no effect on people who plan to break other, more serious laws. Guns are the tools of the criminal trade. If people in that business can't get them legally, they'll get them in the black market. And where there is prohibition, there will always been a black market.

The law of supply and demand is as reliable as the law of gravity.

I say we reject the premise that the state can legitimately exercise this power at all. What would Thomas Jefferson have said about gun permits?

John Stossel is host of Stossel on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of Give Me a Break and of Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity. To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at johnstossel.com.

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263 responses to “Gun Owners Have a Right to Privacy

  1. And now, the anti-Stossel halfwits will come out of the woodwork, like so many cockroaches….

    1. Word to your mixed metaphors.

    2. I’m not anti-Stossel, but I think he is way too timid and too willing to suffer the views of idiots. Maybe it wouldn’t work for him to be hardcore, but I want him to be.

      1. I agree. he needs to get a pair.

  2. So because government is not competent enough to obey its own rules, the rest of us must have our privacy compromised? I don’t buy it.

    Well, they must be following MNG’s conveniently and pliable set of ethics – ends justify the means, ya know…

    1. “convenient”, not “conveniently” – sorry… boss alert.

  3. The right to self-defense, and therefore the right to buy and carry a handgun (the most effective means of self-defense), should require no one’s permission.

    But, Stossel, that’s a red herring: We don’t have a right to self-defense, we only have a right to have our bodies outlined with chalk as tax-fed leeches roam our house looking for “evidence,” especially the pawnable type. This can’t be done if people are armed! Can you imagine the chaos, the anarchy???

    1. You are being sarcastic I hope?

      Underage and want a drink? Join the military in Alaska.
      http://libertarians4freedom.bl…..itary.html

      1. Re: Gregory Smith,

        You are being sarcastic I hope?

        Of course I am being sarcastic… except for the tax-fed leech thingy, which is not really sarcasm… I was crying in anger when I wrote that part.

    2. Can you imagine the chaos, the anarchy???

      SOMALIA!!!!

    3. That’s why I always refer to the cops as “social janitors”… they arrive just in time to clean up the mess of your dead body.

      1. Don’t forget they also serve as statistical clerks. They always show up after something has been stolen from me to file a report.

    4. That is my exact sentiment. I have said that in so many words.

  4. This issue is presented as one of those balancing acts: The privacy of lawful gun owners, we’re told, must be balanced by the people’s “right to know” and the need to hold government accountable.

    That’s a fucking lie anyway. The real purpose is to add this to the list of other difficulties and harassments to make gun ownership as difficult as possible.

    1. “right to know”

      Man oh man, every goddam thing is construed as a “right”. Wouldn’t it be beautiful if someone told those folks, there’s no such thing as a right to know.

      1. Sure there is. You have a right to know everything you know now.

        1. But I forget stuff. Which means my rights are being violated by unseen forces, probably Big Oil or Big Bidness! DANN YOU, KOCH BROTHERS!
          *shakes a fist at the sky*

      2. There is no such thing as a positive right. Which “right to know” is.

      3. But if I don’t know everything that you know at the exact moment in which you exert your “right to know”, how can I prepare the proper information in order to fulfill your “right to know”?

      4. I DEMAND TO KNOW THE NAME OF EVERY WOMAN IN ILLINOIS WHO HAS HAD AN ABORTION!!!

      5. Break into my home….and Ye Shall Know!

    2. How exactly is publishing the names of private citizens who own guns “holding government accountable”?

      1. Re: R C Dean,
        How exactly is publishing the names of private citizens who own guns “holding government accountable”?
        Well… It’s not. It is an obvious lie.

        Don’t you know by now that that is what Statists do: They lie?

      2. did u not read the article? the names are to be cross-checked to ensure no felons were issued licenses which happened in other states.

        1. Right – because some OTHER state’s system was fucked up, we presume ours is too and we need to check it to make sure.

          Even if this were the legitimate reason for requesting the list (of which I’m highly skeptical), there is no need to publish it to achieve that goal. The only reason they are doing this, or even making the claim that felons might have been issued permits, is to call attention to the whole “OOH SCARY GUNZOMG!!!111!” theme.

          1. Besides, if a felon is too dangerous to own a gun, then he is too dangerous to be free in a world where he can obtain one, which is this world. So, he should be in prison (justly sentenced, of course) or he should be able to obtain a gun just like he is able to speak, worship, or assemble freely.

            1. Same for sex offenders.
              If they’re so dangerous that they need to be on a registry, that registry should be a prison inmate list.

              1. doesnt mean parents dont have a right to know about sex offenders moving nearby.

                1. Fuck you. Either they are dangerous and should be in prison or they are not and should be allowed to get on with their lives. You don’t have a right to know everything about your neighbors’ pasts.

                  1. well except they’re parolees & subject to increased scrutiny plus their convictions are public record morons

                2. Either they’re dangerous or they’re not.

                  If they’re dangerous they should not be on the street, and if they aren’t then they have the right to anonymity.

                  These registries are bullshit.

                3. Because all “sex offenders” are child molesters.

                  Your head. In the septic tank. NOW.

            2. I completely agree with this. If you’ve served your sentence, then your rights should no longer be infringed. Ex cons probably need to defend themselves more than the rest of us as they probably have lots of enemies.

              1. The only problem is that a child molester can not be cured. They will always be attracted to children. Either they get registered, or they stay in prison.

                1. “The only problem is that a child molester can not be cured.”

                  I highly doubt that’s true for all of them. Some might be able to rid themselves of the desire entirely, others might be able to sufficiently control it so that they are not a threat.

                2. The only problem is that a child molester can not be cured. They will always be attracted to children. Either they get registered, or they stay in prison.
                  ______________

                  I vote for stay in prison. One of the worst things about the Drug War is by keeping non violent drug offenders behind bars we are losing that prison capacity, which should properly be used to keep actual dangerous criminals locked away for long periods of time. When states let killers go early to fill their cell with druggies, we have serious issues.

                  1. Time to end the war on drugs.What a waste.

        2. Re: OO,

          did u not read the article? the names are to be cross-checked to ensure no felons were issued licenses which happened in other states.

          “We just want to peek under your dress to make sure you’re not hiding an escaped felon under there, ma’am!”

          Up is down.

          1. if u say so. other stateS (plural) had this problem so its reasonable to check ur state as well. and saying felons should have guns is an extremist position outside the debate

            1. Re: OO,

              other stateS (plural) had this [sic] problem so its reasonable to check ur state as well.

              Had what problem?

              and saying felons [sic] should have guns is an extremist position outside the debate

              Nobody said that, OO. The fact that a felon might have a gun is not justification to violate everyone else’s rights.

            2. Why shouldn’t most felons be able to have guns? There are tons of felonies that have nothing to do with violence of any kind. I don’t see why anyone convicted of a non-violent crime should have their right to keep guns curtailed.

              1. old mex is undercut by a fellow libtard spouting exactly predictable nonsense

                1. Look, if a person has paid his penalty for his crime, that should be it. There should be no further penalty and no further infringement of his rights, supposedly, guaranteed by the Constitution.

              2. Re: Zeb,

                I don’t see why anyone convicted of a non-violent crime should have their right to keep guns curtailed.

                Zeb, statist fucks do not really care if ex-convicts possess guns or not – they just don’t want any hindrances to State power, one of which is an armed populance.

              3. A local tree service dropped a tree on a major power line a few weeks ago, and the local cops piled on by charging him with reckless conduct, a misdemeanor, BUT charges might be upgraded to criminal mischief, a felony. Now imagine ending up a convicted felon because you fucked up while cutting a tree down.

            3. Is there any statement less intellectually honest than ‘[that] is an extremist position outside the debate’?

          2. BAAAAAHHHH! BAAAAHHH!

            Your rights mean nothing before the safety of the herd!

            BAAAAHHHH! BAAAHHHHH!!!

            1. so go exercise ur 1st amendment rights & yell “fire” in a public bldg. the herd will take interest

              1. This is what passes for reasoned argument and debate among the muzzy-headed progressives and liberals.

                1. hey it aint ez responding to an anonymous coward

              2. But Urine, what if there IS a fire in the building? Would it not be the height of irresponsibility to inform the herd of imminent danger?

                Reason needs a better class of troll. I’m tempted to give it to them.

            2. Do I hear a sheep…..a big ram maybe!?!

            3. I believe a group of sheep is called a flock.

              1. A group of sheep can be referred to as a herd, a flock, or a mob.

                OO is an enthusiastic sheepflocker.

      3. The same way publishing citizens who donate money to political candidates is. The problem is with the government having the information, not that its available to FOIA.

    3. This issue is presented as one of those balancing acts: The privacy of lawful gun ownersabortion recipients, we’re told, must be balanced by the people’s “right to know” and the need to hold government accountable.

      I somehow think this would get a slightly different reaction from the lefties.

      1. As always, such arguments displaying hypocrisy should be used when arguing with everyone, even if they give you the standard apples to oranges rebuttal. At the very least you’ll get looks of shock and stuttering begins as they try to gather a retort.

      2. I’d be pissed if someone tried to mug me with an aborted fetus. I’d probably give them everything i own just not to be touched by that.
        Maybe that’s something to be looked into for self defense.

        1. Re: Doc S,

          I’d be pissed if someone tried to mug me with an aborted fetus.

          Your non sequiturs are just as delicious as those from Tony… so surreal.

          A list of women that had an abortion would make targets out of them for nutjobs with a hero delusion.

          If you don’t want to have a gun, fine – it’s your life. Don’t tell everybody else how to live theirs.

          AND DON’T WASTE ANYBODY’S TIME!

          1. This didn’t have any political motivation- it was a joke lol. I was strictly stating that I wouldn’t want to be mugged by someone holding an aborted fetus.
            You’re all fired up today huh OM?

            1. Re: Doc S,

              I was strictly stating that I wouldn’t want to be mugged by someone holding an aborted fetus.

              And I was strictly stating that your non sequiturs are as surrealist as those from Tony.

          2. I also own a gun -and have never implied that people shouldn’t be allowed to possess them. So that was just silly!

          3. I’m also amazed and intrigued how you managed to draw either of these statements:
            “A list of women that had an abortion would make targets out of them for nutjobs with a hero delusion.

            If you don’t want to have a gun, fine – it’s your life. Don’t tell everybody else how to live theirs”

            From me saying i didn’t want to be touched by an aborted fetus.

            If I were to say “I like potatoes” I’m sure your responses would be:

            “You biggoted advocate of industrial farming subsidies that are killing millions of people around the world and stealing all my tax dollars and then you’d try to take my gun so i couldnt shoot you when you were robbing me of my potatoes that I had to pay for with my tax dollars. Don’t tell me about potatoes, i wrote the book on liking potatoes, let me give you a lesson on liking potatoes. Potatoes are valued at the margin, but not all potatoes are equal, theres russet potatoes and yukon gold, and STOP WASTING MY TIME I KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT POTATOES, you non sequitor hate mongering fascist.”

            Yeah that seems to be about how your responses generally go.

            1. Re: Doc S,

              If I were to say “I like potatoes” I’m sure your responses would be[…]

              Surely not what you wrote below that. I would have said something like “I, instead of you, like women and I do have a dick.”

              I mean, as far as non sequiturs go, I like mine much better, since the one you posited as reply to “I somehow think this would get a slightly different reaction from the lefties” just sounds so lame.

              1. Re: Old MEx
                ‘Surely not what you wrote below that. I would have said something like “I, instead of you, like women and I do have a dick.'”

                Well now you’re just flat lying.

              2. OM, I usually agree with your arguments, but that “I, instead of you, like women and I do have a dick” defense, was just… no, it was just no. Please do better next time.

                1. Dont try and correct OM about dick’s he wrote the book on dicks.

      3. Or lists for people on welfare or any other kind of government assistance. I’m sure the lefties would be outraged. But I have a right to know, right? Poor people create more crimes than others, and I don’t want to live near them.

  5. IEA doubles global gas reserves estimates:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12245633

    1. “The world may have twice as much natural gas than previously thought, according to the rich nations’ think tank the International Energy Agency (IEA).

      I love how they put that spin on the subheader, which would undermine the credibility of their own reporting!

      1. Don’t get led off topic. Stick to your guns

        1. Make me.

    2. This just puts another nail in the economic coffin of nuclear energy, windmills, solar panels, clean coal, and mice running around inside a wheel.

      1. But we can still go Gerbiling….right?

  6. The anti-gun lobby downplays this danger as though it were inconceivable that someone would get names off a list in order to commit violence.

    “It can’t happen here!”

    However, we know of cases where people named on sex-offender registries were murdered.

    “I am telling you, it can’t happen here! Move along, nothing to see! La-la-la-la….”

    1. I wish he had drawn that equivalence to the sex offender registries. That’s what the publishers of the lists do. See, sex offenders are dangerous and guns are dangerous, so if we publish one, we can publish the other.

      1. had NOT drawn

      2. Re: Mainer,

        I wish he had [not] drawn that equivalence to the sex offender registries.

        No, it actually reinforces his point, as the registries were made under the excuse of assuring public safety when, in fact, the lists only serve to attract more crime, not lessen it.

        1. Except, OM, people are stupid. Not you or me of course, but other people. And the false equivalence of publishing sex offender registries and publishing list of gun owners is a standard argument used to justify publishing the gun lists. So I wish Stossel hadn’t fed that argument, wrong though it may be.

          1. I wonder if there will develop interesting patterns on the two registries. You could have red dots marking where the sex offenders live and all the houses surrounding it start to have blue dots to show where all the guns reside.

      3. I AM dangerous… to any mother effer who wants to hurt me or those I care about.

    2. It really makes no sense. If these people have “paid their debt to society”, that should be the end of it. Does a thief have to notify every nearby convenient store that he’s a property offender?

      1. shoplifting in a 7/11 is NOT equivlent to raping children. what an idiot

        1. Google Reductio Ad Absurdum. It’ll open your eyes.
          Also, not everyone on that list is a child rapist. If they’re actually that dangerous, they shouldn’t be let out. Idiot.

          1. 18 year old has consensual sex with 17 year old girlfriend. Parents of girl don’t like it, mostly because the penis was black and the vagina was pink, er white, and so they press charges. But all sex offenders are child rapists, right OO? Why do you hate black people?

            1. Bitch at work has a problem with you. Swoosh. You’re a sex offender just like that.

              1. If your name is Colonel Angus, well let’s just say trouble’s coming your way.

            2. 17 is the age of consent

              1. Depends on the state, assface.

              2. Not in every state, moron.

                1. ur correct, some are 16…which makes nick’s point completely outside reality

                  1. Age of consent 18: Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

                  2. You truly are a shitstain. His argument is valid – he obviously picked the ages out of the air. So, OK, pick whatever the applicable age of legal consent is. The point is the point, not whether he correctly identified the age of consent in any particular state.

                    Typical fucking liberal argument – distract, misdirect, argue anything but the actual point.

                    1. Ehh I wouldn’t classify it as a “typical liberal arguement” more of a “typical I’m losing and have no where left to turn arguement”
                      The fight or flight response and he wanted to go down swinging.

              3. Oh they consent all right, just n ot with you.

        2. idiot daniel – my post at 12:45pm is NONE of these:
          1.a self-contradiction (ad absurdum)
          2.a falsehood (ad falsum or even ad impossibile)
          3.an implausibility or anomaly (ad ridiculum or ad incommodum)
          >raping kids is NOT equivelent to shoplifting at the 7/11. ur analogy is moronic

          1. Your inability to follow an argument is near superhuman levels

            1. its impossible to follow ur false equivilencies.

              1. DIAF, cunt.

              2. There are big offenses and less big offenses.

                *Facepalm

          2. Wow, I wasn’t talking about your post. A reductio ad absurdum isn’t a contradiction. I mean seriously, I think the public school system royally screwed you over. If you had your way it would be in the registry.

            There is a fallacy known as the fallacy of composition. Now I am talking about your post.

        3. But taking a piss on the side of the road and getting arrested is the same as raping a child according to the sex offender registry.

          1. not to a jury

            1. Sure it is. People who piss on the side of the road and get caught are required to register as a sex offender.

          2. Is there a child on the side of that road?

            1. hahah well played indeed. I swear she was 18

  7. If you own a gun in Illinois, take precautions.

    For instance, don’t vote for statist morons.

    1. As a native of the Sucker State (actual nick name, you can look it up) I can attest that it’s damn difficult to find a ballot that isn’t statist morons from each party. Yeah, Illinois is pretty fucked up.

    2. For instance, why are you still in Illinois?

      1. I don’t live in Illinois. I was born and raised there. And despite my handle, I’ve since moved to New Hampshire. Where, apparently, I’ll be helping decide if Mitt Romney or Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee in 2012.

        1. That was the figurative “you”.

        2. The real question everyone is asking is will Trump ask his hairpiece to be his VP? It at least deserves a cabinet nomination.

          1. He’d damn well better have a birth certificate for that hairpiece if he wants it to be VP.

          2. I’d rather vote for Snake’s scalp.

    3. Might as well make that don’t live in Illinois.

  8. Is that Judd Hirsch with a shotgun in the picture?

    That’s about the best argument for gun control as I can think of.

  9. Independence Day (the movie) is way underrated.

    1. No. No it’s not.

      “I’m going to interface my Mac with an alien computer that seems to have no security and upload a virus that I wrote that can run on the alien computer with no testing! Yes!”

      1. @Episarch – You mean you’ve never done that before? Must be a n00b.

        1. I did it from my Android phone. Noob that.

          1. “You mean you have to use your hands? That’s like a baby’s toy!”

            1. Why don’t you make like a tree and get out of here?

      2. False. He does test it. Remember the scene where the Secret Service agent shoots the can off the captured alien ship?

        Oscar worthy.

        1. He also broke the code of the alien attack count down at the beginning of the movie.

          Also the super secret agency that the president didn’t even know about had been studying the alien technology for decades.

          Also it was an Apple Macintosh.

          And finally: JEFF “FUCKING” GOLDBLOOM IS AWESOME!!!

          That is all.

      3. Much like aliens in WotW who don’t have an immunity to earth viruses, alien computers have the same problem. Duh.

      4. It shows the failure of central planning. These alien invaders could have easily been defeated if only private entrepeneurs were allowed to take charge instead of government bureaucracies. Or maybe I haven’t had much sleep lately.

      5. Well maybe there were no hackers in their society, so they didn’t even know it was something they needed to defend against.

        1. It was a pretty rock-solid collective.

    2. I. Love. Independence Day. and I will force my children to watch it on July 3rd every goddamned year or else they don’t get to blow stuff up the next day.

  10. I testified on this and related issues before a DC Council hearing. There are other concerns to consider when looking at the gun registration question.

    1. What other issues?

    2. I suspect the answer may be found in the link he provided. Click on his handle.

    1. I wanted to like it, but the kid’s voice was just too unbearable.

      1. Don’t be such a pussy!

  11. Lisa Madigan, wants to release the names of guns owners in response to an Associated Press request. Publication of that list would tell the criminal class where the guns are, which could be useful to two different sorts of lawbreakers.

    It sounds to me like the criminals already have the list of gun owners.

    I’m here all week.

    1. Try the veal.

  12. They need to publish Lisa Madigan’s home address, make of car and plate number, and daily (and nightly) schedule to the minute. You know, in case a citizen needs to contact her about some alleged criminal activity she needs to investigate.

    1. Seriously, though, I’m assuming that government officials and law enforcement with gun permits would not be included on this list?

    2. This. “If she isn’t doing anything wrong, she should have nothing to hide.”

  13. You know what else Government should release to the Press? Your grades from school, all of them.

    1. And phone records! I have a right to know who everyone is speaking to, since speech is “free” and that’s Constitutional and stuff.

    2. Now hold on there!!!

  14. What would Jefferson say? How about this:

    As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives [only] moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun, therefore, be the constant companion to your walks.

    — Thomas Jefferson, writing to his teenaged nephew.

    1. chris rock said it better since a gun means one doesnt have to work-out. and that suits most fat fucks just fine

      1. Oh, I see – if you’re in great physical condition, you are immune from criminal assault – or if you are assaulted, you can be guaranteed that the criminal will not be armed. Or that you will be bigger, stronger and in better condition than the criminal.

        And of course, women don’t deserve the right to be able to defend themselves with such arms. Nor senior citizens (who often are easy targets for scumbags); nor disabled people…

        You’re such a shitheel.

        1. i responded to the jefferson quote which mentions none of what u wrote moron. try to keep up

          1. That was you “responding”? Shit, I’m sorry…

            1. OhioOrrin was not unresponsive.

      2. Re: OO,

        chris rock said it better since a gun means one doesnt have to work-out. and that suits most fat fucks just fine

        OhioOrrin hates fat people, the underappreciated disfranchised minority. OhioOrrin is a hater.

        He’s also a racist, since a lot of fat people happen to be black. And Hispanic.

        He’s also a misogynist, since many women are overweight.

        So, OhioOrrin is a well-rounded, equal-opportunity hater.

        OhioOrrin: You’re one sick puppy.

        1. not surprised ur fat

          1. What are you, fucking twelve years old?

            You type like a tween on a cell phone, and your “argument,” such as it may be, consists mostly of “you’re a moron” and “you’re fat.”

            Shut the fuck up and let the grownups have their discussion.

            1. hey gramps lemme know when i can pee

              1. ^^^When you finally grow one of these^^^

          2. Re: OO,

            not surprised ur fat

            Prepare to be suprised, because not even close.

            However, I am not surprised you’re such a hateful, racist, misogynist bastard. You just proved it earlier.

      3. “”chris rock said it better since a gun means one doesnt have to work-out. and that suits most fat fucks just fine””

        There’s a scene in Radiers of the Lost Ark that sums it up better.

    2. Is he saying “let your gun be your dick”? He obviously wrote that before cars were invented.

  15. It’s a good thing Jeff Goldblum’s character in Independence Day wasn’t a cop. How would he have come up with the idea of using a computer virus to disable the alien’s shields if he had shot his dad for answering the door with a shotgun?

  16. That crazy ol’ TJ also wrote the following:

    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

    And

    what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that his people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.

    – letter to Col. William S. Smith, 1787

    Finally, here he is paraphrasing Cesare Beccaria:

    False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.

    1. “The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.”

      But, but, but… Laws are magic!

      1. You’re thinking of friendship.

    2. “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

      Did Jefferson really say that?

      http://www.monticello.org/site…..ous-quotes

  17. Guns are the tools of the criminal trade.

    And government, not that there’s much of a difference.

  18. The state attorney general, Lisa Madigan, wants to release the names of guns owners in response to an Associated Press request.

    I sense a very simple solution to this problem, for such events in the future.

    1. ban the AP right?

      1. Nah – just mushy-headed, fuzzy-thinking liberals and progressives. Oops! I repeated myself.

        1. shoot ’em

      2. Re: OO,

        ban the AP right?

        Shift the focus, obfuscate, obviate, throw red herrings… yep, all in the Lefty’s Book O’Arguing.

        Sir, two of you can’t make even one halfwit.

        The solution is to stop the licensing requirement.

        1. taking a cue fm beck

          1. Jesus Tittyfucking, OO. Most states don’t require registration of gun ownership. It’s not an extreme or untested position.

            1. JW at 12:45pm (which i posted to) did not take a position but left it open. and hesus didnt tittyfuck

    2. Sounds like someone is dick-swinging (or clit-swinging) in preparation for a run at the governor’s mansion.

  19. You guys don’t understand. This is a rare example of a true coordinated government effort. First, the state government publishes where all of the guns are. Then the ATF show up and runs under cover operations creating an unnaturally high demand for stolen guns. Then, after crooks realize that they can make money selling guns, they can just check the state registry to know where to find them. And that will in turn allow the ATF to get even more guns off the street. It is brilliant I tell you. Brilliant.

    1. “”You guys don’t understand. This is a rare example of a true coordinated government effort. First, the state government publishes where all of the guns are. Then the ATF show up and runs under cover operations creating an unnaturally high demand for stolen guns. “”

      Uh, you do understand that the ATF doesn’t need for that list to be published to get that info, right?

      1. The ATF gets the criminals to steal the guns. The list needs to be published so that they know where to get them from.

        1. Try turning your tin hat a little to the left.

  20. They talk about danger and breaking into homes that are undefended (or targeting them to steal the guns) but I don’t see anywhere that it says addresses would be released.

    1. I see we’ve never met. Allow me to introduce myself…

    2. Have we met?

      1. You have a land line and a listed phone number? Yes, you are obviously really concerned about your privacy.

        1. It’s amazing some of these things on the internets.

          1. yes i am amazing

        2. Re: jcalton,

          You have a land line and a listed phone number? Yes, you are obviously really concerned about your privacy.

          The white pages do not indicate if you have a gun, or other valuables for that matter, does it?

          “Obfuscation, the tool of the statist fuck. And the anti-gun nutjob, it seems.”

        3. Finding an address isn’t that hard. Does 613 mean anything to you?

      2. The story is what it is. No more, no less.

        If Stossel took the time to fully research his Thursday pieces or explain the details, we’d know; but he didn’t.

        1. He’s Stosselytizing. Give him a break.

          1. Gee, how deep.

            Out of the woodwork… like so many cockroaches.

            1. I’m parodying. Like a cockroach.

              1. Sorry, I was trying to reply to jcalton.

        2. You don’t deserve that email address.

    3. Doesn’t mean they won’t. The Roanoke Times here in Virginia did that a couple years ago – got the whole list of concealed carry permit holders and published it on their website – names, addresses and all. Caused a pretty good shitstorm.

      1. would it be too much to ask for the editor of Roanoke Times to be violently and horrifically ripped to shreds by a pack of angry beavers?

      2. Hey, BSR, is there any talk in Roanoke yet about registering umbrellas?

    4. Yeah,it would be impossible to cross-reference names and addresses.

  21. I’m not saying they should do this–obviously they shouldn’t–but I don’t think hyperbole is necessary to win the debate.

    P.S. Is it so hard for Stossel to include a link to original/source material?

    1. P.S. Is it so hard for Stossel to include a link to original/source material?

      What, is Google broken on your computer?

  22. You know what the cool flipside to this is in Illinois? Now the criminals will know who’s not armed.

    This might actually end up awesome.

    1. That’s not necessarily true.

    2. The smart thug (as they obviously always are) criminals will know who is armed, yes.

      I suppose they keep a database of everyone with faces and names of potential victims and they can just cross-reference that. Probably writing a script to do that right now, ready to deploy it as soon as the names are released.

      I’m pretty sure before they rob me, they are like “Hey, it’s J Calton!”

      (Although I guess if they did, they’d know I have a lot of guns.)

      Again, I’m not saying they should do this–they shouldn’t–but think about what you are saying. How would the logistics work for what you are suggesting?

      You think the guy at the late night convenience store or ATM or alley or what-have-you knows your name when he decides to rob you? You think he carries around a netbook or an i-pad (assuming he gets public wi-fi or 3G there) and can look you up? What if you have a common name, then how does he know he has the right guy?
      This is just a silly line of reasoning. That’s not how random crime works.

      As far as the non-random crime goes, they already know their victim, they don’t need a FOIA request to find out about them.

      1. Yeah i agree, there’s no need to publish this list, and its beyond stupid to do so, but that was a really trivial justification for not doing it

      2. Or you see some hottie you want to punish for all the times you were rejected in high school and follow her home. Reverse look-up her name using her address, check it against the list of people with concealed weapon permits.

        Just sayin.

      3. If all that you say is not a concern, then what we’re simply talking about is the government knowing who has guns and they have no business knowing that any more than I have any business knowing if you have any or how many. That almost makes it worse.

      4. This is irrelevant in Illinois. The only people who are legally allowed to carry, concealed or open, are “peace officers” (law enforcement, aldermen, mayors, etc.). These are not carry permits that people want made public, but FOIDs. As ChicagoSucks explains below, all they mean is that you can legally buy a gun.

        So the relevant criminals are the ones trying to rob your house, not your person while you’re at the ATM.

        1. “When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns.”
          Saying that just because it’s illegal for a non peace officer to carry in illinois means no ones going to rob you at the ATM doesn’t quite follow.

          1. If the law says only peace officers can carry guns then only peace officers will carry guns.

            Laws are magic.

    3. Not everyone on this list is armed. This is a list of people in IL with FOID cards. You don’t need a gun to get a FOID card, but you do need a FOID card to get a gun legally. This really is a list of potential gun owners, most of which probably possess at least one firearm.

  23. Publication of that list would tell the criminal class where the guns are, which could be useful to two different sorts of lawbreakers: gun thieves who want to know where the guns are and burglars who want to know where they are not.

    Actually, it is three sorts of lawbreakers: … and Illinois state nannies intent on violating citizen’s second amendment garantees.

  24. Tennessee and Indiana sound awesome. Florida is still Florida though.

    1. Regardless of existing gun laws, probably what all of us want is to live somewhere we are allowed to carry a gun but don’t need to.

      1. Re: jcalton,

        Regardless of existing gun laws, probably what all of us want is to live somewhere we are allowed to carry a gun but don’t need to.

        You can be assured of the need to carry one if government presumes to be the one and only guardian of public safety. When thinking about government effectiveness in any endeavor, think “DMV.”

        1. not just the govt. we also presume to be guardians of public safety

          1. Re: OhioOrrin,

            not just the govt. we also presume to be guardians of public safety

            And?

        2. The DMV is a bullshit comparison. I went to the DMV yesterday and got tabs for my truck, two motorcycles and boat and it took less that fifteen minutes.

          Fucking computers and data bases, how do they work.

          1. That fifteen minutes plus the rest of the time you had to take out of your day by diverting to the DMV to comply with your state’s little stamp act, not to mention the fees, is time and money that you should have been able to spend doing something else rather than bending over for the statists.

      2. Regardless of existing gun laws, probably what all of us want is to live somewhere we are allowed to carry a gun but don’t need to.

        Oh, you mean like most of the United States? For example, Vermont, which has one of the lowest state-wide crime rates in the country, but allows concealed carry with no permits?

        Or Virginia, which allows anyone to open carry, and is shall-issue for concealed carry permits – and which (aside from a few discrete urban areas) enjoys a relatively low state-wide crime rate?

        (What is it with those V states?)

        I live somewhere I’m allowed to carry a gun but don’t “need” to. But I sometimes do.

        Do you “need” to have a spare tire in your car? Do you “need” to have fire insurance on your house? Or do you have those things because it is better to have them but not need them than to find yourself in a situation where you need them but do not have them?

        1. I used to live in Virginia. Petersburg specifically. It was one of those really BAD towns. I heard gun shots outside my apartment window all the time… murders and robberies abounded. Glad I GTFO of there.

        2. With Vermont it’s probably that it’s hard to commit crimes when there is no one around to be the victim.

  25. If I can’t know the salaries of my fellow employees why should everyone know whether I have a gun or not? It’s none of your business!

    Underage and want a drink? Join the military in Alaska.
    http://libertarians4freedom.bl…..itary.html

  26. I agree with the overall conclusion that the press has no right to detailed confidential information collected by the government from private citizens.

    However, your story seems to arbitrarily equate concealed carry licensing and gun ownership. My state issues concealed carry licenses and they obviously have a list of license holders. However there is no list of gun owners since there is no requirement to register ownership or purchase of a gun. Licensing and ownership are two separate things.

    1. Re: DP,

      However, your story seems to arbitrarily equate concealed carry licensing and gun ownership.

      In Illinois, you need a permit just to HAVE a gun, let alone carry one.

      http://www.isp.state.il.us/foid/

  27. If you have nothing to hide…

    Fucking Illinois is a shithole. The best gun show in St. Louis is Illinois, which is woefully ironic and disconcerting.

  28. As Mick from Mick & Ralph’s woould tell you, “an armed society is a polite society.”

    Oh, I meant Heinlein.

    1. polite homicide…interesting

  29. polite homicide huh?

    1. “When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite.”

      -Winston Churchill

      1. u r stupid winton churchhill saved britin from bein destroyd by nazies so try agin

        1. we had alot to do w destroying the nazis too

        2. And he was very polite when he did it.

          The act of homicide is not in and of itself a crime.

  30. All information the government collects is potentially public information. The simple solution is that government should not be collecting such information.

  31. The issue is not about privacy and the second amendment. It’s about the privacy of a goverment document. The problem is the registration.

  32. Stossel, I generally like your line of thought, but as you’ve done so often you rally the forces against the wrong people and with non sequiturs. OK, she’s opening a can of worms, but she’s doing her job in requiring police departments to comply with the state FOIA law. Giving required access isn’t despicable – what is wrong is if people with that access (this time the AP) disclose it. As a demonstration of that you bring up the NYTimes article. While NYT did disclose names, the article I read disclosed only 6 of the 37,000 names they acquired. And it appears from the way the article was written that at least 3 of them probably said it was ok to disclose them.
    If you really want to prevent this supposed threat to “privacy” get the legislature to close the loophole. But don’t bitch at her for not doing their job or at the media for an offense they didn’t or may not commit.

    1. Re: wkunh,

      OK, she’s opening a can of worms, but she’s doing her job in requiring police departments to comply with the state FOIA law.

      What does that have to do with publishing those lists?

      Giving required access isn’t despicable – what is wrong is if people with that access (this time the AP) disclose it.

      What’s despicable is requiring people to register just to being able to possess a gun (which is already a violation of the Constitutionally-protected right,) and then go around and put a sign above their heads by publishing ONLY their names.

  33. Maybe we should have everyone’s tax records put in the newspaper as well. Those IRS agents need help making sure people aren’t cheating on their taxes and are listing all reportable income or taking inappropriate deductions.

  34. What’s next, Stossel?

    “Government spending must stop”
    “Repeal the PATRIOT Act”
    “Free trade leads to prosperity”

    Yes Stossel, we already know what the libertarian position on guns, drugs etc. is. Now could you please take your insipid articles to high school newspapers or someplace else?

    1. Um, maybe the article is aimed at someone who isn’t familiar with the libertarian position?

      Blame Reason for posting it here; don’t blame Stossel for writing it.

    2. Re: Watoosh,

      Yes Stossel, we already know what the libertarian position on guns, drugs etc. is. Now could you please take your insipid articles to high school newspapers or someplace else?

      Out of the woodwork… like so many cockroaches.

  35. A few years ago, three police officers lived on my street (now it’s four). Over the course of a week there was a string of burglaries in the neighborhood. The only houses robbed on my street were the three police officers’ houses, and the only things stolen were their guns.

    If criminals are looking to steal guns, they are going to go where they expect to find guns.

  36. There are laws around everything we do. There are laws around every interaction you have with government.

    SHould all our interactions related to a law be collected and released to the public?

  37. Look, when it comes to gun control or this type of FOIA intimidation technique, you are looking at the work of a person with a mental disorder. Liberals perceive everyone and anyone who does something the Liberals don’t like to do as odd, retarded, crazy or evil. Their response is to try to expose and magnify their oddity so their opponents are sidelined, or to pity them and try to correct their foolish behavior, or to expose them as evil, and thus get them sidelined.

    There is not a concept of fairness and balance in their world. Theirs is a world of “we correct people vs the fools who are wrong.” Ever try to argue a point with a Liberal? No facts, no discussion, just dismissiveness of your obvious errors.

    The person who thought this up sees themselves as doing good. It never occurs to them that the lawful owners of these guns have a right to privacy, or that people can actually do things that they enjoy, but that the Liberals don’t tend to, and do them for reasons that are not due to some mental defect, or criminal intent.

    Such a person is to be pitied. They should be offered psychological counseling to fix the deeply rooted cognitive distortions that cause them to think this way. They should not be trusted with access to power or influence in any form so as to prevent them from unintentionally causing damage to others.

  38. well said brm

  39. This is one of those special issues where the beliefs of the majority of libertarians and conservatives overlap. In this instance we, the believers in personal liberty and natural rights (i.e. non-liberals), are united against the left. I agree with John Stossel’s position completely. Publishing the names of gun owners is a clear violation of the right to privacy. It’s also clear that this is not being done for the purposes of “public safety” (read derisively). That’s a thinner premise than the plot of the last Michael Bay film I saw (I think it was titled “Everything is Exploding”). This is clearly an attempt to provide information on gun owners to gun control groups, so that they in turn can bitch at gun owners directly and littler their (the owners) lawns with their commie/pinko leaflets. Ironically, one of the unintended consequences of this idiocy is that career thieves will have access to a hot-list of potential burglary targets composed of non-gun owners. A large portion of the “gun control advocates” who are pushing this issue will almost certainly be on that list, so I guess that you could say that they are really just shooting themselves in the foot.
    In all seriousness, I have to say that I really don’t understand why these gun-hating, nut-bags don’t understand that self-defense is a natural right. Unfortunately, these crazies have actually been quite successful in spreading their irrational fears throughout the population. Case in point, I heard a story on the radio a couple of years ago where a home owner apprehended a burglar in his home and detained him (the burglar) at the point of his legally purchased 12 gage. His wife called the police and met them outside when they arrived. She told the officers prior to their entry that her husband had the perp at gun point. The police then entered the house and shot the home owner. That’s right, not the burglar, the home owner. Why you ask? Because, he had the audacity to point a gun at the criminal that had violated the sanctity of his own home. What the hell is wrong with our society that we are giving credence to people who want to deny individuals the means to defend themselves? I know that I am going to get a lot of static regarding the tragedy in Tucson for asking that question. I will make three points regarding that incident; 1. It is wrong to punish the rest of society for the actions of a single f’d up individual. 2. Restrictions on selling fire arms to the criminally insane will only work if families and other citizens are vigilant and understand the signs of mental illness. 3. If there was not such a stigma attached to gun ownership and people were in carrying at the rally, that little psycho probably wouldn’t have gotten a shot off.
    I have to say that I like the idea of increased gun ownership. Maybe it’s because I’m just a pugnacious individual or maybe it’s because I grew up on a steady diet of James Bond, Indiana Jones and Star Wars. I personally like to think that it is because I have a deep understanding of natural rights, including the right to self-defense. I do believe that there are some reasonable restrictions that should be placed on what an individual can possess. For instance, I don’t think it’s a good idea for grannies to be running around with suitcase nukes that they set off when they encounter a purse snatcher (that sounds like a good idea for the next Michael Bay movie though). However, we have seen continuous regulatory creeping as a result of pressure from gun-haters. A prime example of this is the now infamous “assault weapons ban” which put restrictions on semi-automatics (which compose the bulk of hand-gun models) and, I crap you not, guns that in anyway looked threatening (I guess my neon pink .22 would be exempt).
    Gun Nazis and other lefties in both the private sector and in Washington seem hell-bent on heavily regulating or banning objects which could possibly be used to harm others. I wonder just how far they would go if left to their own devices. Maybe in the future Chuck Norris will have to register his mighty feet of fury in order to prevent further injuries to evil ninjas. Or maybe physical books and ball-point pens will be classified as deadly weapons, as you can actually kill a person with such objects (that’s right, I saw the “Bourne” movies). I guess we’ll see how much water the gun-gestapo is able to carry in the tea-party/ libertarian/ conservative dominated political future. That’s just my two cents worth about the issue; now I’ve got to get back to cleaning my special edition Ruger PF9 and begin working on my screenplay for “Everything is Exploding 2; Grandma’s Got the Bomb”.

    1. Sorry, its a Ruger P95. I mixed it up with my Keltec pf9.

  40. Why is the “Right of Privacy” reserved for gun owners?
    Why isn’t the right of privacy recognized for women’s rights, religious rights, sex rights, race rights, or all rights the gun lobbyists seem to think have a God given right to public
    access?

  41. So does this mean that the government should also make a public list of people that have an infectious disease like AIDS or other STD’s? Aren’t people with those diseases just as dangerous? I think Lisa Madigan is making a complete joke out of the right to privacy for law abiding citizens. Isn’t she supposed to be Illinois’ top lawyer?

  42. “”So does this mean that the government should also make a public list of people that have an infectious disease like AIDS or other STD’s?””

    That’s covered by HIPAA privacy laws.

    What privacy laws cover the IL list?

    The problem isn’t privacy, but the list it’s self.

  43. I don’t understand why this is even an argument. What should happen is as follows –

    1) Lisa Madigan is tried and executed for treason (bonus, not essential).

    2) The legislature in Illinois repeals any and all laws and edicts pertaining to firearms, and proceeds to pass a bill that states that the government of Illinois recognizes the inalienable right to bear arms, noting that the constitutional law of the Union has absolutely no relevance in the matter, as it is a natural and inalienable right not subject to regulation or effect by any governmental entity or affiliate thereof.

    3) Illinois, as a member of the confederacy/American-model federal republic that the United States was founded as and was meant to be, secedes from the Republic and declares war upon any and all of the other 50 states that have not reached this standard of respect for liberty.

    Do you guys agree? Now THAT would be something new, HOPE and CHANGE.

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