So there's a really weird debate going on in Illinois, and it's kinda complicated for dopes like me - so bear with my primitive explanation.
In that state, two agencies are battling over whether the names of registered gun owners should be made public.
The issue had come up after the Associated Press made a Freedom of Information Act request, asking for the names of all the armed citizens who live there.
State police said no. They said making that info public is an invasion of privacy, and would put the lives of gun owners in jeopardy.
But the Attorney General's office disagreed, and rejected keeping the information private.
You with me? Good.
Right now, the debate's still debatin', and it's bogged down in judicial hoohaw that I can barely understand. Plus, it bores me.
But here's my take on it.
First: I question the AP's motives in making gun owner's names public. Sorry - I just don't believe they're doing it because they really dig gun owners and hope complete strangers will send them gift baskets.
My guess is, this is just another way to harass people who believe a safe society is an armed one.
But here's where the AP's quest, and the Attorney General's support of it, becomes dangerous. Making the names of gun owners public won't put the gun owners at risk, as much as it will the non-gun owners.
Consider the robber who's contemplating a handful of targets. If public records reveal who owns a gun, then the criminal is likely to target those who aren't on that list. After all, he doesn't want to work too hard for his booty. Or die.
So by going after the privacy of gun owners, the AP might actually paint a fat target on everyone else's back.
The end result? More people will buy guns to protect themselves from criminals who actually do their research.
Somehow I don't think that is what the AP was hoping for.
And if you disagree with me, you're worse than Charlie Sheen.
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