Friday, December 30, 2005

One Paranoid Journalist

I've been trying to think of something witty, incisive, or snarky to say about this article. I can't come up with anything. So I'll just point out the article in the Daily Dunklin Democrat of Dunklin County, MO.

This journalist describes in the detail all the hoops that must be jumped through for someone in Missouri to get a concealed handgun license. He even mentions the red tape that one must go through to become an instructor to teach the classes.

But all of that isn't good enough.

Dunklin is a county with a population of about 33,000. There have been 190 permits issued in that county so far. If my calculations are correct, this means that about 1 in 200 173 people in that county have the permit. Here's his problem:
But what about the public's right to know the identity of those who pack concealed weapons?

In Missouri, the state open records law assumes that government documents are public unless they are exempted specifically. Scores of "good reasons for public access to concealed weapons permits leap to mind," the SPJ stated.

For example, a parent wouldn't be able to determine independently if a babysitter carried a concealed weapon, or a homeowner couldn't discover if a bothersome neighbor had a permit, the SPJ maintained.

Also, journalists would have no way to determine if concealed weapons were used in road rage incidents or at school shootings, the site stated.

"It denies the public and press any way of monitoring the issuance of concealed weapons permits," the SPJ indicated.
The "SPJ" is the "Society for Professional Journalists."

As has been pointed out so many times by so many people, and therefore I don't know why I'm bothering saying it again but I will anyway, is that if the public can so easily discover who has this permit, they will also be able to easily discover who does not have the permit. I wonder if Mr. Hankins would really like some thug who did not appreciate him for some reason to be able to remove all doubt that he is one of the other 199 172.

It sucks to be one of the common folk, eh Steve?

By the way, if I learned that my babysitter had jumped through all these hoops to stay legal and bear that extra measure of responsibility, that would be a point in her favor.

UPDATE: Used a calculator for the numbers instead of just estimating it in my head.