Just as a follow-up to this post: I'm gonna say this once, and I'm gonna say it loud and use small words, so everyone understands me.
IT'S NOT OKAY THAT NEWSPAPERS MADE DATABASES WITH INFORMATION ABOUT CONCEALED-CARRY WEAPONS PERMIT HOLDERS
IT'S NOT KRISTALNACHT.
If there's one thing I've learned in the past year, it's that you deal with the problems you have, not the ones you wish you had. So let's break it down: A private publication gathered public data and put it in searchable form on their Web site. Nobody came to your house and marked it. No one is discussing a "final solution." The government isn't even involved, short of making the data available in the first place -- which they were already doing, so that really doesn't count.
Another blogger commented that, quote,
For myself, I decided to carry a gun because I accepted that my safety is ultimately my own responsibility. I knew at the time I made the choice that there were many of my fellow citizens who didn't agree with my assessment or trusted me to act responsibly. That some few of them have (and continue) to act callously with regard to my (or, indeed, potentially their own as well) safety does not justify my, or any other purportedly responsible adult, reacting in kind.Will, I think, gets pretty close to the heart of the matter. To be honest, his was a refreshingly reasoned response among all the "nuh uh"s and "I know you are but what am I"s that my original post has generated. As I said in response to a commenter at Tam's place, it's not that we shouldn't get our panties in a twist, it's that we need to watch how far we twist them.
Since taking up guns in self defense, I have trained as well as my circumstance permits in anticipation of confronting just such a potentiality. It has been my presumption that those who decided similarly to myself would do the same. Given the tenor of the present example, I fear that hope is now seriously called into question.
Nothing has changed, people; there are still those who mean us harm and we still accept responsibility to undertake our own defense should some other take the decision to harm us or those we love or simply share a circumstance with, however fleetingly. In my judgement, the more proper response to these annoyances is a stolid look and a "Yes."
There's a deeper point beyond mere rhetoric, though, and it's this one: No one can take the right to self-defense away from you. It is God-given; it is, by nature, inalienable. This does not mean that anyone else is required to recognize that right. Throwing a fit because someone won't play by your rules accomplishes nothing. The Soviet Union denied its subjects freedom of speech, but that didn't do away with their right to it. It just became more precious, and therefore more powerful. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn didn't stamp his foot and wave his fists that the Soviets weren't letting him speak; he went ahead and spoke anyway because that was his right, whether they recognized it or not. He didn't point fingers and say "Look how bad they are, they're trying to shut me up!" He simply refused to shut up, period. (And yeah, I know he went to the gulags for it. That's pretty much my point.)
Short of government intervention, there are two possible reactions to a perceived infringement of a person's rights. The person can say, A) "Hey! Stop that! Let me exercise my right!" or B) "Wow, you're a tool. I'm gonna go exercise my right now." If you're acting within the legal limits of the law, do you need a newspaper's permission to feel like you're within your rights? Is the disapproval of a bunch of journalists that meaningful to you, that you start throwing around comparisons to government racial pogroms just because they farted in your general direction? Are you really going to take that bait? Or are you going to stand secure in your position, unruffled, and get on with your business?
Of course we should stand up for our rights. Of course we should oppose people who would rather we didn't exercise them. Anyone who thinks otherwise has missed the entire point of what I'm saying. But let the punishment fit the crime. Two newspapers made an anti-gun move. Let's play that where it lies, now, and save the tactical nuclear strikes for when they're really needed. No one ever really wins an argument by freaking out.