There's been a lot of hoo-ha among Indiana gunbloggers recently about a Bloomington newspaper putting up an online database showing where concealed carry permit holders live (down to the street level, if not the full address). Caleb from Gun Nuts was even on Fox News about it (link to come later; I can't access his site from work). The Indianapolis Star has a similar database, although it's not as comprehensive. This rankles me no end, as the operative assumption seems to be "legal gun ownership = potential criminal activity".
However, I am bothered far more by the reaction illustrated a while back at Tam's place and more recently by Roberta (both of whom are normally pretty on-the-ball):
I rather imagine next, they plan to do the same thing only with "African Americans" as the marked group instead of "permit holders." That would be okay-fine, riiiight? Or perhaps they could do one for Jews. Or Unitarians; The Public Has A Right To Know, after all.This is a stupid, stupid, stupid rhetorical move.
Being put on a list (and not even a name-and-address list, just a "Someone in X category lives on this street/in this ZIP code" list) because you choose to own a certain object is nowhere near the same thing as being put on a list because of how you were born or what faith you follow. Jumping straight to "OMG it's like they want us to wear yellow stars!" just Godwins the whole argument, and erases any gain we might have made because now the public has a reason not to take us seriously. "Oh, they're just oversensitive and got their panties in a twist. It's not that big a deal."
In a way, they're right on that one: It's not that big a deal. So somebody out there doesn't like your gun. Boohoo. Lots of people don't like lots of things. But no one's throwing paint at you; no one's assaulting you in the street and then having you arrested (happens all the time to Christians in India); no one's coming to your house at night and dragging you from your bed for a session with Mr. Nightstick. It is not persecution, it is toothless harrasment -- and it upsets me that otherwise level-headed people, who I respect and admire, could confuse the two. Saying things like "I rather imagine next, they plan to do the same thing only with "African Americans" as the marked group instead of "permit holders." That would be okay-fine, riiiight?" just makes us look like idiots because, no, it wouldn't be fine, and everybody knows it. Play the cards you've been dealt, not the ones that have already been discarded.
I'm probably going to catch some flak for this; I already had people telling me "Nuh uh, I don't have a choice not to defend my family!", etc. at Tam's (which is no reflection at all on Tam; she was awesome throughout). But hyperventilating that they're going to put us all in camps next week is counter-productive. We've got more than enough ammunition (pun intended) to prove our point without resorting to hyperbole and overblown (and inappropriate) historical comparisions. It cheapens the debate and the suffering of people under real persecution, and it makes us look like bedwetters. Deal with things as they are. Besides, if you use up all your heavy ordnance on the petty things, you won't have anything to reach for when a real threat comes.
UPDATE: Before you leave a comment asking for my address because "that's not a big deal either, right?", read this post. If you still think I don't care after that, I suggest you spend your time and energy elsewhere.
Also, quit demanding my name and address. Look it up on those databases if you're so dang interested; it shouldn't be that terribly hard to find.