I Got yer Spin, Right Here…

From this morning’s Chronicle:

AUSTIN — The names of people licensed to carry concealed handguns in Texas are no longer available to the public.

Gov. Rick Perry announced Thursday that he signed into law House Bill 991, which seals state records showing who is allowed to carry a gun in public. Only law enforcement agencies will have access to the information.

The law took effect immediately upon its signing Wednesday.

Rep. Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs, and Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, put forth the legislation. Rose said it was needed because “the steps that law-abiding Texans take to protect themselves and their families should be issues of private concern.”

Similar versions of the bill failed in previous sessions.

The newspaper industry had urged Perry to veto the bill, saying it was an open-government issue, not a gun issue.

Anyone can check on information about other state-issued license holders, such as doctors, nurses, lawyers, real estate agents and barbers, the Texas Daily Newspaper Association and Texas Press Association said in urging a veto.

The Texas Department of Public Safety maintains concealed handgun records.

Since the state’s concealed gun law was enacted in 1995, the public has been able to find out whether someone has a license to carry a concealed weapon. The requester had to provide the name of the person in question.

Let’s see here. Doctors, nurses, lawyers, private citizens licensed to carry sidearms, real estate agents and barbers. “One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong…”

We all know how the media likes to spin things; the folks on the Chron editorial board actually tried to spin the fact of open CHL records as a property-rights issue, as you might remember. Well, how’s this for spin:
I don’t know if the editorial boards at the state’s major newspapers ever stopped to think about this, but in opposing House Bill 991, they were effectively saying that stalkers, rapists, abusive spouses/significant others and other ne’er-do-wells had a right to check and see if their potential victims were armed, thereby putting every woman who resides within Texas’ borders in a little more danger — and in some cases a LOT more. Funny how the media likes to think of themselves as “progressive,” supporting civil rights for women, minorities and others, yet here they were, actively undermining perhaps the most fundamental civil right — the right of effective self-defense. I guess supporting civil rights only goes so far for some folks.

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