Sunday, May 6, 2007
Privacy for Perverts, Not Gun Owners
Democrat State Representative Mike Lawlor (East Haven) doesn't seem to be much inclined toward preserving your rights to privacy unless you are a sexual predator.
The co-chairman of the legislature's Judiciary Committee remarked in today's Connecticut Post that gun rights advocates are "paranoid" because they opposed having made public lists of state licensed gun owners. "They think that the government will come in and use the list to confiscate weapons and that making the names of gun permit holders public will be a 'shopping list' for the criminals," he is quoted as saying. "That really is kind of weird when you think about it. Frankly, those would be the places they would want to avoid - places where they know someone has a gun and knows how to use it."
So Mike Lawlor thinks that there is a public purpose to making public the list of gun permit holders in the state. The public has the right to know! He reasons that this helps create a "paper trail" when trying to track last-known owners of firearms involved in secondary gun sales.
Okay then. Does the public always have a right to know when a dangerous sexual predator has moved into their neighborhood? In an article in the March 22, 2007 Journal Inquirer, Mike Lawlor says no!
That article details the problem of a 'shadow registry' of sex offenders that law enforcement has access to, but the public doesn't. A 27-year old sex offender from Bolton named James Bailey Jones was convicted of molesting a preschool girl, but you won't find him in the online registry. Lawlor lamely asserted that the ability of courts to shield one of these offenders from being placed on that registry is there to "protect victims." What?!?
Yes, you see, when the victim is a relative of the perpetrator, or has close personal ties to the victim, the online registration might, according to Lawlor, reveal the identity of the victim.
The purpose of the online registry is to provide parents an important tool in combating potential dangers to their children. Does this trivial risk of identification of a victim outweigh the public need to identify a threat? Lawlor says the court records are public though, so the information isn't entirely secret. I'm sure most parents have the time to scour court records to find out if perverts live near them. That's what the registry is supposed to be there for!
Lawlor's position on these issues is curious, and demonstrates the disconnect with the general public held by the far left in command of the General Assembly. Law-abiding gun owners are targeted, and child molesters are protected. There must, according to Lawlor, be a public paper trail on second-hand gun sales even though law enforcement, the only entity with the authority or cause to investigate such sales, has always had access to that data. But only law enforcement needs to know about certain convicted child molesters and sex offenders when they move into your neighborhood.
Legislative Republicans in the General Assembly launched an initiative this session to improve the state's sex offender registry as part of their "Around the Clock, Around the Block" child protection package. The registry doesn't have enough useful information for concerned parents as it is. Hard to believe when there are road blocks like Mike Lawlor out there keeping perverts safe and gun owners on guard.