Friday, February 22, 2013
Guns, property and voting
The controversial New York gun law passed recently contained a provision whereby gun registration information (such as addresses of registrants) would cease to be accessible to the general public. This came after the contemptible publication of gun owners’ addresses by a newspaper in the downstate’s Hudson Valley.
But my question is this. You are required to register with the government if you wish to exercise these three constitutional rights: gun ownership, voting and property ownership. But while the addresses of voters and property owners are considered public domain, available for any Tom, Dick and Harry to publish on the Internet (or for any stalker to target their victim), the addresses of gun owners, at least in New York state, are now private.
I’ve asked this question of many people but I’ve still never gotten an answer: why is the privacy of registrants’ information treated differently for gun owners than it is for voters and property owners?
Please note: This entry is NOT intended to debate whether one should have to register to exercise any of these rights. It’s acknowledging the fact that one has to and wondering why the personal information is subsequently treated differently depending on the right being exercised. Any comments that focus on whether one should have to register for any of these will be rejected so as not to hijack the intent of the discussion.