-By Warner Todd Huston
In the wake of the new Supreme Court decision on the 2nd Amendment, we have this illuminating story from Ohio and if this isn’t the perfect example of why American gun owners fear detailed firearm owners registration records in the hands of government officials there isn’t one to be had. Ohio’s State Democrat Party recently sent a letter to every county sheriff’s office demanding that sheriffs send them the names and addresses of all concealed carry permit holders in their county.
There is, of course, only one possible reason that these Democrats wanted this information. Democrats wanted to harass these legal concealed permit holders. They wanted to target Ohioans that were exercising their Constitutional right and to set them up for political attacks, they wanted to somehow use the personal information of law abiding citizens as a weapon against them.
Fortunately, it is illegal in Ohio for such records to be made available to the public and that includes political parties, advocacy organizations, or journalists. The county sheriffs all refused to acquiesce to the Democrat’s demands and the state party quickly issued a second letter withdrawing their request.
It isn’t too hard to imagine, though, a situation where some partisan sheriff just might agree that Ohio’s Democrats should be allowed to use these registries of law abiding citizens as a weapon to attack them in their homes, their places of business, and in their persons.
This is the flip side to the sort of “transparency” that crosses the line between harmless public records and dangerous abuse of law abiding citizen’s private information. Look what happened in California’s Prop 8 fight. Donors lists for the pro-traditional marriage cause ended up in the hands of militant gay activists who took that information and spread it all over the Internet in an effort to open those pro-marriage donors to personal attack.
In the case of Prop 8, people made a lawful and conscientious decision to support traditional marriage and radical gay activists used that information as a weapon against them. The same could easily have happened to Ohio lawful Ohio gun owners — or any other state that keeps such information on hand.
None of us want to live in a world where we are targeted for harassment by radicals because we are exercising our Constitutional rights. But that is precisely what Ohio Democrats wanted to do in the Buckeye State and it is precisely what militant gay advocates did to those that donated money to the pro-Prop 8 cause in California.
Americans need to find that sensible position between transparency and harassment, certainly, but we also need not have to be personally identified and open for personal attack for exercising our rights as Americas like these left-wing activists want to do. No gun registry should exist in a free America.