Josh Marshall worries that someone somewhere has put a list of gun owners on the web, and then he mentions this which only proves he really doesn't know anything about guns at all:
A lot of people are divided about this, it seems. A number of people have asked whether this isn’t the same as if we published the names of women who get abortions. It’s an interesting hypothetical. But I think the answer is relatively clear cut: my owning a gun affects my neighbor in a way that a woman having an abortion simply does not. Whether you think about it in terms of self-defense (this person has a firearm in their harm and can defend against an intruder) or simply safety (there’s a gun in that house, maybe I don’t want my kid playing there), owning a gun is not just something that affects those around you. That’s a lot of the point … certainly if self-defense is part of the aim. Current law seems to recognize this. After all, there’s a reason why this information is in the public domain in the first place — the newspaper just made it easier to access.
My neighbor of twenty years ago kept rifles in his house, and hand guns. Not an arsenal, but two or three total. His house was just across his driveway from my house, and my daughter's bedroom was on that side of my house. I didn't worry about my daughter playing in their house (she was only a year old when we lived there). I worried about him firing that gun at an intruder (why he said he kept them; he didn't go hunting) and the bullet smashing through the walls of his house and then the walls of my house and maybe through my daughter.
Which is why I'm not so concerned when newspapers publish the names of gun owners. After all, I can buy a gun at a gun show so long as I have the money. But I have to show ID to the pharmacist to buy Sudafed at my local pharmacy, and if I try to buy more in too short a span of time, I'll be refused the purchase. Somebody might stock Sudafed in order to cook meth, but my box isn't going to go off and wound or kill my neighbor. Yet I could stockpile thousands of bullets, if I chose to, and no one would ever need to know.
Until I decided to use them for a crime. Which, of course, is why I can't stockpile Sudafed. But the government keeps track of when I buy it.
What's wrong with this picture?