For example, the Czar found out recently that there was a movement afoot to release names of Illinois firearm identification holders to the public.
Evidently, the Associated Press—for reasons surely to be pure of heart, right?—has petitioned the Illinos State Police to reveal the names of FOID holders. The Illinois State Police asked the attorney general to deny this request under grounds of privacy. However, the AG responded that there really is no law that prohibits or protects this information from being made public (due to the shortsightedness of most gun control laws), and is ordering the ISP to comply. She is correct, by the way—as much as opponents of the plan are screaming, she cannot arbitrarily elect which laws to enforce and which to deny. Otherwise she might be in the DOJ.
This is being misreported a bit by news gatherers who do not understand Illinois conventions. These reports are saying that the FOIA request is to reveal the names of Illinois gun owners. The FOID card, like a driver’s license, is an ID card. You cannot purchase a firearm or ammunition in the state without one, but pretty much anyone in the state can get one if they meet the basic requirements. There are to be sure more FOID card holders than there are gun owners, just as there are more people with driver’s licenses than there are car owners.
Naturally, conservatives and libertarians fumed over this. How dare they? That indeed was the response desired from the liberals. But the tide has turned in a curious way.
Before the Czar got a chance to look into this story and get all irate over the news, Illinois representative Ron Stephens said that if such a list is released to the public, “You are by design also publishing a list of everyone who doesn’t carry a firearm.”
He is totally right. Think about it. If you obtain the list of FOID owners, and look up your neighbor’s name, there are two outcomes. Either he has a FOID card, and his name is on the list…or his name is not on the list, and he does not have a FOID card. Which means, legally and in all statistical probability, he does not have a firearm.
Now let us say you are a burglar casing a neighborhood. The house at 1454 Vespucci Drive looks very nice, with a cool flat screen television in the living room. Googling the address reveals the owner is Rustin Place. A quick check on the FOID list…oh yeah, he is indeed on there. All right, what about that nice house around the corner, at 1512 Vespucci Avenue? The home is owned by Mr. Rocky Overhand…and guess what? No FOID card.
If you were Mr. Burglar, which house would be your next port of call?
Of course, you need only one FOID card in Illinois. So the information will not reveal whether Rustin Place has a FOID card because he rents a shotgun every three years to shoot skeet at his cousin’s hunt club, or whether he keeps a Glock 21 in every room of the house. In fact, getting your name on that list could be a better deterrent to burglary than those fake home security signs people stick into the landscaping.
One of the big risks in burglarizing homes (right Puter?) is you never know who might have a gun and who might not: it actually holds down the crime rate a lot. Well, it will now become a whole lot easier to figure out this vital question.
So the AP wants to embarrass Illinois gun owners and enthusiasts by revealing their names to the world. And by doing so, revealing those of us who lack defensive abilities. Liberals and unintended consequences. Classic.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.