EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

January 21, 2013

Editorial: ‘Conversation’ on guns was over before it started

In the wake of the terrible massacre of innocent children in Newtown, Conn., we were told we needed to have a national conversation on guns.

There has been no conversation. Instead, we’re getting a lecture.

Liberals, who believe that government intervention is the solution to all of life’s problems, need to feel good about themselves. So once more, law-abiding citizens who hold beliefs counter to those held by liberals must be humiliated and punished.

It’s for the good of the nation — and more importantly, the children.

That’s the same excuse used by tyrants through the ages as they stripped away the rights of their people.

New York provides the earliest examples of where this “conversation” is heading.

In the suburbs north of New York City, the Journal News newspaper took it upon itself to publish an interactive map revealing the names and addresses of gun permit holders in its coverage area. These people had committed no crimes. They had merely endured the arduous process of licensing themselves to be legal owners of firearms.

Journal News executives justified this egregious abuse of their First Amendment rights by claiming that such information is a matter of public record. Indeed, it was at the time the story was published. But publishing the information served no purpose other than to advance the newspaper’s anti-gun agenda through the public shaming of those bold enough to exercise their constitutional rights. The publication was a shameful abrogation of a newspaper’s responsibility to its readers.

Already, two homes included on the list have been burglarized and the homeowners’ guns taken or targeted. There will surely be more to follow.

Last week, leaders of the New York State Assembly and Gov. Andrew Cuomo worked behind the scenes to broker a deal to toughen the state’s already restrictive gun laws. Among its many provisions, the bill cuts the magazine size limit from 10 to seven rounds and expands the definition of what makes a gun an “assault weapon.”

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