What you don’t know can hurt you

Distinguished journalist Geneva Overholser has just published a provocative and in-depth discussion of the rush to make public information about guns private in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings. Here’s an excerpt:

Citizens who are reassured by this stampede to withhold information should consider: Secrecy is almost always the first instinct of politicians. That previous lawmakers have made a determination that the name and address of any handgun permit holder in New York State “shall be a public record” is evidence of an uncommonly enlightened understanding that certain kinds of information should be in the public domain. Why today’s readiness to deny that it is in the public interestfor such information to be available? We seem to be in one of those recurring periods in our society when concerns about privacy regularly trump an allegiance to informed self-governance. Fear for loss of privacy is eminently reasonable. But we can’t afford to forget the cost of ignorance.

To read the rest of her essay, click here.

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