Do they expect handgun owners will be ostracized by their communities? Do they think this will make people want to get rid of their guns? Are they so hoplophobic as to imagine everyone else is? Do they hope lynch mobs with pitchforks and torches will surround every gun-owning home? Are they so brainwashed by the liberal media as to think everyone views firearm ownership as dangerous, unnecessary and shameful?
Do they think this will make people safer? Do they think the neighbors of handgun owners will not let their kids play with little sun-of-a-handgun-owner Johnny once they know his father's "dangerous" secret? Do they imagine people will keep a more watchful eye on their gun-owning neighbors, keeping notes on suspicious behavior? Or maybe the neighbors of gun owners will just know to watch their backs, lest their permitted, gun-toting neighbor take a potshot at them from the living room window. Maybe they will offer discounts on bullet-proof vests for neighbors of gun-owners.
Do these legislators fantasize that a map of handgun onwers would have prevented the Sandy Hook tradgedy. How? Would lanza's neighbors have turned him in for pre-crime if they knew his mom owned guns and suspected him to be unstable? Would they have been watching his every move, ready to alert authorities when he left his house that day?
No, this legislation will not make anyone safer. More likely, this legislation will either result in more firearm thefts, since now criminals will know what houses to break into if they are looking for handguns, or more thefts of unarmed homes. The second is just as likely as the first. As Jeb Golinkin recently wrote:
"Think about it. What idiot is going to choose to rob a home where he knows the owner is packing heat?
Here's what would happen: Someone, probably some ridiculous newspaper that does not think the consequences through, will FOIA the gun ownership records and publish them online in an easily searchable database. Would-be robbers would then visit this website and figure out which houses do not have residents who own registered handguns. Those will be their targets. In other words, this law would screw the very people it is aimed at protecting: People who do not own handguns."
Either way, it will help the criminals.
This is similar to the dabate about concealed carry vs. open carry, and I suppose this issue may be related, though I doubt these CT legislators have this sort of thing in mind. Some say open (visible) carrying of firearms is more of a crime deterrent, since criminals can see the threat. Others think concealed carry is better, because criminals don't know who might be carrying a weapon, and so must treat everyone as potentially armed. John Lott makes a convincing argument for concealed carry:
"Here is something that I get asked about a lot, and I just posted this note on a facebook page so I thought that I would repost it here.
I have no problem with people openly carrying their guns, but there are crime deterrent benefits from concealed carry that you definitely don't get from open carry. Here is one example. As Israel has learned the hard way, simply putting armed police and military on the streets didn't stop terrorist attacks. Even if you have openly armed police or military on a bus, the terrorist has the option to either wait for them to leave the scene or to kill them first. With CCW, the attacker doesn't know who is able to defend themselves and he doesn't know whom to attack first."
So when Rep. Stephen Dargan (D-West Haven) says, "I don't know why a responsible gun owner is worried about whether a permit for a revolver is FOI-able or not." I say, please think about it, and don't give in to the pressure to "do something" in the wake of the insane tragedy at Sandy Hook. As Ludwig von Mises wrote:
"As soon as someone does not like something that happens in the world, he says, "The government ought to do something about it. What do we have a government for? The government should do it."
People that call for the government to "do something" often do not care what it is or of it has any chance of helping. The politicians are pressured to act, so they pass some silly law, with no regard for the unintended consequences.
So go ahead, Connecticut. Go ahead with your silly and dangerous law. Go ahead and ignore the likely logical consequences, though I don't imagine you'll accept liability. Go ahead, Connecticut, make a criminal's day.