From the Charlotte Observer:
As the nation revisits gun control following the massacre in Newtown, Conn., the sheriffs embody another facet of the debate: What are we entitled to know, through public records, about our neighbors’ weaponry?
How about not a damned thing? There is absolutely no legitimate point to publishing data about concealed-carry permit holders. Grass Roots North Carolina president Paul Valone was dead on the money:
“What they’re trying to do is shame gun owners…‘Gee, Jim you’ve got a gun permit – you’re not going to go postal on us are you?’ It’s an attempt to stigmatize people.”
That’s really what it’s about. No more, no less. It’s just too bad that Cherokee County sheriff Keith Lovin had to give the newspaper at least some cover for doing it with the alleged abuses at his department that the paper had previously covered.
Notwithstanding that, though, he absolutely did the right thing. I did get a kick out of one of the comments, though:
…if firearm permits are public records, then they’re public records whether some two-bit sheriff likes it or not. Don’t like it? That’s fine; there’s a legislative solution to it, and I’m sure it will be enacted. But in the meantime … do your job.
One wonders if they’d have said the same if this was about, for example, the enforcement of the laws mandating that black people had to sit at the back of the bus…