Skip to comments.Revealing gun permit holders a dumb move
Posted on 12/31/2012 12:14:42 PM PST by neverdem
Illinois gun owners will doubtless remember a year and a half ago when the Associated Press used the state of Illinois Freedom of Information Act to try to obtain a list of the holders of Illinois Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) cards.
FOID card holders objected mightily, and the Illinois Legislature passed a bill, which Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law, to exempt FOID cards from the freedom of information law and protect the privacy of card holders.
Even though, as a news guy, I would of course always like to know everything about everybody, I agreed with FOID card holders that revealing their names would be intrusive, could be dangerous to the card holder by telling thieves where there might be guns to steal and was, frankly, nobodys business.
The Illinois State Police know who has the cards, and that information is available to local law enforcement and the court system, and thats as far as it should go.
Besides, having a FOID card doesnt even mean someone owns a gun, just that he has permission to buy one or more if he so chooses.
Which brings us to last week in New York state, where a newspaper, the Journal News, in Westchester County, used that states freedom of information law to obtain and publish the names and addresses of people in two counties who had permits specifically for handguns.
That list, which the paper put on its website in an interactive format, included thousands of permit holders, including both active and retired police officers.
As a consequence, the names and addresses of cops and former cops were readily available for any felons they had helped put away.
I guess one might argue that, in a society that puts its personal information with abandon all over the Internet, no one has any expectation of privacy at all anymore, so what difference does it make?
But it does.
As in Illinois, the gun owners in New York had a collective fit, but unlike Illinois in this case the damage already was done.
The newspaper defended its action, with its publisher quoted in The New York Times saying, We felt sharing information about gun permits in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings.
Of course, the slaughter of innocent children in Connecticut was horrible beyond belief, but releasing a list of names of pistol permit holders was an inappropriate reaction that has nothing to do with what happened in the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The gun used in that horrific event wasnt a pistol, and the shooter wasnt the permit holder the firearms he had were registered to his mother, one of his many victims.
There arent easy answers to gun violence in our country. If there were, we wouldnt see so many people being slaughtered.
But for the members of my profession in New York to go off half-cocked and tell the world who in its readership area is licensed to have a handgun is in no way helpful to solving the problem of gun violence. It just puts an unfair spotlight on handgun owners and may even endanger them.
At a time when the press and its motives are viewed with suspicion by a majority of people, not just gun owners, this just adds another log to the fire. And no one needs that.
The kids working in “the media” these days aren’t very bright. In fact, most of them are morons.
Then I think fair publishing on the net the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all the staff at the newspaper. After all, the public has a right to know.
It’s news when the media does it but harassment when the people do it.
Oh, most people have NOOOO Idea how true that is.
Thankfully most will never know the sheer joy of a reporter writing a political story asking things like “Hey, what year was that revolution thing anyway?”
I sat there in at my desk, jaw agape when I realized she was dead serious.
They come out of J school thoroughly indoctrinated in liberalism, with a participation trophy and zero knowledge but for that a union teacher has given to them.
If anyone thinks I’m exaggerating or flat out lying, talk to a local reporter and ask them a basic American civics question.
Journalism today has lost its way. Very few straight reporters are left in the game.
I forgot, are journalism students the ones who couldn’t cut it as education majors or are the teachers the ones who couldn’t cut it as journalists?
Been done. They didn’t take the hint.
It would not bother me, one way or other, my neighbors already know....................
The "journalist" class is, without question, the most ignorant class among American professions. They are even dumber than the newly-minted teachers.
David Gregory, for example, would be a sure loser at any board game that tested one's knowledge.
Unfortunately, the liberal/progressive/socialist/dimocrat cabal will push something through that will not make any of us little people safer but will make it much easier for our rulers to feel safer. What could be better for them than a current list of gun owners?
The difference being, the criminals could care less about them. There is nothing they want from them except more "information".
The author does make a good point. A lot of these permit holders are retired cops, and no doubt some have enemies who would love to know where they live. In the end, somebody(s) is/are going to die as a direct result of the personal information revealed in this outrageous stunt.
I hope when this happens, the DAs name the requisite "newspaper" clowns as accessories-before-the-fact in the murder indictments.
I have to question the “greater” public good as to why this information should be public? Maybe social security numbers and credit card numbers of newspaper employees should be published on websites in the name of the greater public good.
“Maybe social security numbers and credit card numbers of newspaper employees should be published on websites in the name of the greater public good.”
Could you imagine the uproar if a well-intentioned newspaper published the locations and/or names of all AIDS- and HIV-infected residents? Those people are much more dangerous that gun-totin’ citizens. A citizen with a gun interacting with others can be a wonderful, life-saving thing. A citizen armed with AIDS is another story. I think it would be in the public’s best interested if we knew were all of these infected people lived.
As well as photos of their license plates (those are “out in public”, no?), where their spouses work, etc. The public has a right to know, ya know...
There is a federal law that makes it unlawful for a Real Estate agent to share with a potential buyer that an AIDS patient lived in the home. Even if you know, you cannot disclose which is contrary to all other real estate disclosure laws. Another "special" law for the reprobates.
I know there’s a law — that AIDS-ridden people are protected and are guaranteed anonymity. Still... it’s a good idea to have their locations disclosed.
AIDS/HIV is sacrosanct thanks to the gay lobby. If you provide foster care to an HIV positive child they are not even allowed to tell you the child’s status.