Times Record: Maine’s pro-gun hypocrisy (March 14, 2013)

Gun owners have been stampeding the Legislature looking to keep information about concealed-weapons permits out of public view.

Meanwhile, the small Oxford County town of Byron made international headlines this week when it entertained a proposal requiring every resident to keep firearms and ammunition in their homes.

It seems government is a real problem — until you need it.

Gun rights advocates want the government to shield concealed-weapons permits from the public forever — unlike all other forms of government-issued ID — even though no one has ever demonstrated a single instance of a home being burglarized based on this information. In fact, these people say gun ownership is the most effective deterrent to burglary. So we’re not impressed with the argument that knowing where a gun owner lives puts him or her at risk.

But then, restricting permits to stop crimes that don’t exist is a lot like demanding things from a government you decry.

Next we have Byron, a small town whose residents unanimously rejected government-mandated gun ownership this week.

Randy Richards, a hunter who has “loads of guns” at home, told the Portland Press Herald he resented a proposal that was “the stupidest thing that’s ever been done.”

We agree. But that’s the lunatic fringe for you: Gun rights over all, even over the individual right not to bear arms. And blast government, even while asking its favor.

All this hypocrisy is distracting. We were supposed to be having a discussion about how to prevent gun violence, not how to make it easier.

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