Skip to comments.Outrageous: Raleigh, N.C. CBS Affiliate Station WRAL Publishes Searchable Database
Posted on 07/25/2012 4:02:20 PM PDT by Kaslin
*Corrected from earlier | WRAL, the CBS affiliate in Raleigh, N.C., recently published a searchable database of concealed carry licensees within the "WRAL viewing area, including Chatham, Cumberland, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Orange, Nash, Northampton, Person, Sampson, Vance, Warren, Wayne, Wilson and Wake counties." Searches do not turn up names or street numbers, but they do give a number of permits issued to residents on that street.
The search form for the database appears within a story filed July 12 (updated July 20 -- the day of the Aurora, Colo., shooting), entitled "Rural areas lead in concealed weapons permit rates." Numerous conservative blogs have been taking WRAL to task for the decision, including native North Carolinian Sister Toldjah (emphasis hers):
What has WRAL’s response been?
Steve Hammel, WRAL-TV vice president and general manager, said his news outlet published no information that was not already available to the public when it posted its July 12 report on concealed-weapons permit holders.
“We’ve released public records that anyone out there can easily obtain,” Hammel said.
Hammel used the incident as an opportunity to opine on the First Amendment and Second Amendment, saying they carried equal weight.
“Both are vital,” Hammel said in a July 20 post. “Both make this a great country.”
Hammel batted back accusations that the news organization was trying to take away guns, change gun laws, attack the Second Amendment or render judgment on the lawfulness of those who carry concealed guns.
The targeted complaints, Hammel said, were unlikely to make the organization back away from an issue.
“As far as we’re concerned, it creates the opposite effect,” Hammel said. “We have the resolve to report news.”
In other words, WRAL doesn’t give a d*mn about their irresponsibility in making readily available to any criminal out there a “searchable” database of neighborhoods where CCW permit holders reside. To WRAL, this is all about defiantly pushing back against people – mostly conservatives, I’m sure – who don’t like having their privacy rights violated by an anti-2nd Amendment agenda-driven mainstream media news outlet that is invoking the First Amendment in defense of their actions. Some might think, “Hey, this is great – they can’t see the names of people in the neighborhoods but a criminal searching this database will know where they shouldn’t go.” Problem is it makes it easy for criminals to find soft target neighborhoods where they are less likely to be confronted by a gun owner. I’m sure this wasn’t the intent of WRAL but nevertheless that’s a potentially dangerous & devastating consequence of their attempt at scaring the public both with their article and their searchable database.
As far as Hammel’s assertion that this database was “easily obtainable” – if so, why didn’t the article link directly to the state database itself rather than creating their own? I’m not 100% sure about this, but I’ve heard you have to get permission from the SBI to access those records in the first place, but even if you didn’t, a mere Google search does not automatically connect you to a CCW permit holder database for NC – outside of the one posted on the WRAL website.
Keep in mind this database was introduced 8 days prior to the Aurora, Colorado, mass murder, well before the liberal media started a heavy drumbeat to resurrect the gun control debate.
WRAL carries national CBS programming, including the CBS Evening News, but it is not owned by the network. WRAL is owned by the Capitol Broadcasting Company (CBC) of Raleigh, N.C.
"As a driving force in the community, we are a catalyst for positive change," CBC boasts in its Code of Ethics. "We treat our audience and customers with respect and provide accurate, balanced information in a timely and professional manner," and, "We listen to and respect customer and audience feedback and respond to feedback in a timely and appropriate fashion," CBC also claims of its broadcasting properties.
In fairness, the article itself isn't bad, indeed, it favorably treats pro-gun rights voices in the story itself, like gun store owner and concealed carry instructor Charles Elrod who "said that he teaches classes to a variety of people, including soldiers who want to be able to carry in civilian life, crime victims who want to feel more secure and, increasingly, senior citizens":
The Elrods' class is typical of similar classes around the state. It involves a day-long or two evening classroom sessions as well as time spent qualifying on a gun range. State law requires that those who want to qualify hit the target 28 out of 40 shots fired.
"We tell each of them, 'We hope you never, ever have to do this,'" Charles Elrod said. "But in the event you do, we've got to be certain you can hit that bullseye and not hit anyone else, because if you hit bystanders you're in trouble."
That being said, the decision to add a searchable database that can be easily abused is an inexcusable violation of the company's code of ethics, not to mention common sense.
So cross this database with the database of registered Democrats (other public information!) to yield a list of Democrats that do NOT have a CCP.
Publish that list, along with the ‘rats addresses and other personal information, in a handy pocket size “Guide To Defenseless People”.
Leave copies of the guide in magazine racks in bad parts of town.
Hoist them on their own petard.
Not so bad.
Now the thugs, the smart ones at least, will know what neighborhoods to avoid! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Disclose the editor, owner, reporters of the paper and the street they live on. correlate with the streets that have or don’t have concealed carry permits. If they live on a street with no permits it can be pointed out to them that now the criminals know they would be safe robing their house.
Gather the papers magazine racks and deposit in the settlement pond at the water treatment plant.
The whole thing’s not well thought out. Liberals do this stuff for mean reasons thinking that employers will use the info in hiring and firing or schools can keep the kids of the gunners off the sports teams.
But, as others note, this is a two way street. It may tell you who surely has a gun, but also tells you who may not.
I like what we did here in AZ where the “permit” concept was abandoned. It’s been over 2 years and no fallout from it.
Yeah - now there is no way to tell who here may be packing!
That is, until you run afoul of a discreet carrier.
Go ahead, make my day.
I lived in Triangle area for a short time.
I left in disgust.
Why not just deal with the fact that every USA citizen in every state will carry one or more lethal weapons at all times, and just leave it at that?
When seconds count, the police are mere minutes away.
I've driven by a house in my area that has a nice wood sign out front, over their garage, facing the street:
“We don't dial 911”
Since I tend to notice such things, I also noted the cameras mounted, to record any illegal acts of vandalism to their totally legal sign.
Consider the huge potential for any business offering inexpensive, discreet, vehicle mounted cameras to record attempted thefts and/or vandalism of POVs!
It has been a very long time since Jesse Helms was employed by and broadcast his commentaries on WRAL and gained state wide recognition which later lead to his success in his political campaigns. That said I would prefer everyone know I am armed and therefore avoid my neighborhood and home.
I should not have posted that!
I should have either patented the concept, or suggested it to my current employer for a large bonus!
This is just another example to explain why I am not rich!
It also means that people on the first street have more expectation of having their homes broken into.
I don't see a problem there. Let the little Democrat clusters feel the pain. On balance, though, I think this is crappy of the media. It's like using donor lists to sic the IRS on people.
And yes, I did email the station management with my concerns (like they really care). I'm fairly certain the email never made it past their spam filters. I'm also certain the full database has the actual name and full street address. Wonder what it would take to hack it? Then, you KNOW which houses to visit if you're looking for some weapons, or which ones to NOT visit if you're safely looking for some easy blings and things...
But NC does not have an actual “castle doctrine law”, from what I remember. I may be wrong on that point, so don't quote me on it.
Why would anyone ever feel a need to share the number, or lack thereof, of privately owned weapons to their neighbors and/or government?
I know many ways to kill people.
It does not even matter whether or not I register my gun(s), and carry my weapons concealed or openly.
No “Law” has ever deterred any criminal from attempting to rob, rape, or murder anyone.
OTOH, privately owned personal weapon(s) have proven to be very effective in avoiding robbery, rape, and attempted murder.
Yep. That would do it.
There's the problem right there.
They may start to care as they are now taking a hit in the wallet.
This seems like a good way to find guns to steal - just have to make sure the coast is clear... So posting this info makes it easier to find or avoid homes with permits.
FWIW, WRAL is a privately-owned affiliate. They make a LOT of money, but they don’t have endless pockets like a national network, i.e. they won’t be endlessly subsidized by CBS for their stupidity.