Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Foolish Newspaper

The inimitable Publicola has been tracking mean-spirited foolishness at The Fort Wayne News Sentinel.

I sent them an email, although they may not care what I think since I don't live in Indiana. I TRIED to be nice, and mature and responsible, really and truly I did.

"Please refrain from any more publishing of the names and other information of concealed carry permit holders.

Much information is available to those who wish to search for it, but the mere fact that information is available doesn't automatically make it newsworthy, nor does mere newsworthiness make publishing that information ethical.

For instance, I could probably find out where you lived, how much you paid for your house, how much property tax you pay, what kind of debts you owe, etc. The mere fact that I can doesn't mean that I should, and it certainly doesn't mean I should publish that information.

this doesn't sound like a threat, really, does it? It's meant more as an illustration.

Additionally, you have an ethical responsibility to not needlessly put people in danger. I assure you, some of those people with concealed permits need to carry a gun. The women trying to lay low from an abusive ex most emphatically do not need YOU to provide their names and addresses for all the world to see. Indeed, the women who are trying to lay low, but who have not obtained a permit, may be endangered most of all. You'll make it that much easier for a stalker to find out that his stalkee is not taking steps to protect herself.

Possibly your paper, like many other forms of 'Big Media,' is prejudiced and fearful of the gun-owner. I know many of you see us as monsters. I urge you to do the following:

(1) Compare crime statistics of legal gun owners Vs the general population. Unless Fort Wayne is an aberration, you will see that legal gun owners, who are willing to jump through all the hoops required for CCW, are more law-abiding than average.
(2) Go to a gun range. Take a course. Meet with us. None of us will bite you, and many of us even bathe on a regular basis!
(3) Remember - those people who have applied for concealed carry are helping to protect ALL of you, simply by giving criminals that queasy feeling "Is my victim armed, or is she not? How easy is my target?" Simple economics, right? The more something costs, the less likely people will buy it. Concealed weapons carriers ratchet up the cost of crime.

As for the 'dangers' of a child in a home with guns - well, is there bleach in your home? Are there buckets in your home? How about a bathtub? How well are the children raised? Do they know enough to behave themselves, or do they run wild in other's homes? Other people's children have indeed come into my home, sauntered into my bedroom and started prying through my dresser drawers. I can only tell you that these children and their parents are told to leave and not invited back. There was no gun for the kids to find - that's not the point. There were certainly scissors, needles, cleaning supplies and so forth which kids can get into trouble with, but more importantly the children themselves were trouble due to lazy parenting. I do not mean to be offensive, but sometimes truth is unpleasant.

& I know this will irritate many, but it's true. Some children are simply brats, accidents waiting to happen

Please stop publishing information on concealed carry permit holders. It is neither fair, nor wise, nor kind, nor sensible."

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