Not Every Criminal is Sherlock Friggin’ Holmes
All of my facebook friends in Iowa have been freaking out because a central Iowa paper, Cityview, published the names of 5,200 people in Polk County who applied for or received or were somehow otherwise affiliated with the new permits to carry a concealed weapon. I don’t really know because I didn’t read it. Good friends of mine are passionate on both sides of the issue. I have an opinion, but I only discuss this type of thing with my cat Princess and inside a voting booth. I will say that it is relatively obvious that there is little to no value in publishing this information. However, the thing that I find especially mockable is the lengths you people will go to prove your side’s point. One angry friend of mine that I usually respect (and coincidentally wouldn’t kick out of bed for eating crackers) suggested that the thieves and crackheads would take the names and addresses of these people and go on a “shopping spree” for guns.
I find it highly unlikely that some crackhead is going to go buy a paper and use the list of names to organize a crime spree. I mean, the chances will go up if you get a permit for every rare, valuable and expensive gun you register, but Jeebus – how many do you need? I mean, it’s technically possible, but check this out. That is the Polk County Assessor’s office page for a house owned by my 8th grade math teacher, Richard Wood. I know what he paid for his house, what the assessment and taxes have been for the last several years and whether he paid them or not. I have a drawing, subdivision map and picture of the house. I know the square footage of every room. I could plan a burglary. I could commit various types of fraud. I could buy a case of eggs and couple the information with Google Earth to find the most efficient and effective route to exact revenge on everyone responsible for my shitty childhood (at least one of the attacks would look like this (except without all the hotness and cleavage shots)).
Point being, I very highly doubt that some criminal is going to use a list like this to commit crimes against people who are concerned enough about their safety to take up arms. “Hey Scott?” “Yeah Jimmy?” “We need some money to support our heroin habit” “Well Scott, I just happen to be thinking especially clearly today and this here paper says Wally Jenkins out on 602 4th Street just pulled a permit to conceal and carry his priceless Civil War era rifle.” “Huh, wonder where he’s going to conceal it?” “Well, anyway, let’s go steal it from him! There’s no way a gun-toting, NRA dues-paying member would be aggressively preparing to defend himself against robbers.” “It’s foolproof, we’ll be rolling in smack tonight!”
One of the other complaints was a made-up example of a divorcee who bought the weapon to protect herself from an abusive ex-husband. The story goes on to say that the guy found her name and number on the list and went to the address listed on the permit and killed her. If this was true (which it isn’t) the husband could get the information for $2.99 at intelius or for free on the friggin Polk County website. Plus, any story in any media could have yielded the same result. It has very little to do with the right to keep a firearm tucked in your pants. I think the only real answer is to live in the basement under a blanket, pointing the gun at the door. I know it’s not funny and I would like nothing more than to deport every abusive and controlling spouse to Greenland – but this story never happened.
I know a family *ahem* that made it a point for years for their answering machine to say “we can’t come to the phone at the moment” rather than “we’re not home” because admitting that they weren’t home on tape is akin to an open invitation for burglars and hippies alike to come kick in the door and wade through their shit. The phrase “we can’t come to the phone” was the magic shield of protection. It undoubtedly put enough doubt into the minds of criminals who happened to be randomly leafing through the phone book and dialing numbers that the owners might just be home to keep them from coming over and emptying the place out. Or maybe it gave the random serial rapist confidence that they were home.
Look people, there are some really smart things you can do to keep yourself from becoming a victim and owning a gun that you know how to use might be one of them. However, making up ridiculous stories to try and scare yourself or others into action is pretty freaking mockable, no matter what the cause.
Of course, most of this made fun of one side of the argument. I promise, the other guys’ turn is coming.