Why disclosure of those with handgun permits encourages gun ownership

In response to my post about the decision of that New York State newspaper to publish the names and addresses of those with handgun permits in its locality, a friend and former colleague writes:

We live in a rural area where most people own guns and would-be intruders would be wise to think so.

We don’t have anything more dangerous in our home than a kitchen carving knife.

If the public became apprised of who owns guns in our area, I would feel compelled to get one just so as not to be thought a patsy to criminals.

So, to the extent that the publication of the names and addresses of gun permit holders has any effect on gun ownership, its effect will be to increase it.

But liberals typically don’t worry about the consequences of their political gestures. As long as the gesture expresses the appropriate amount of outrage (i.e., lots), they have done God’s work (though most wouldn’t put it that way) and that’s the end of it.

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