Roanoke Times is at it again!


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tinygnat219
December 10, 2007, 02:46 PM
This time though, they are whining about the VA FOIA Council's decision to back legislation making CHP information at the VA State Police Level exempt.

Let's remind 'em why it's NOT a good idea to have this info open to the public! Let's keep it on The High Road here and be polite but firm.

Send a Letter to the Editor!
letters@roanoke.com
Tina.Barbour@roanoke.com
Editorial Department
The Roanoke Times
(540) 981-3257
1-800-346-1234, ext. 257

http://www.roanoke.com/editorials/wb/142224

Editorial: Gun data belongs in public view
The state should make concealed-carry information hard to get only where there is a legitimate need.

It's almost inevitable that Virginia lawmakers will allow the public less access to records on who has a state permit to carry concealed handguns.

The hullabaloo this newspaper stirred up in March, when a Roanoke Times editorial writer produced a column that included a link to the online database, pretty much assures a legislative reaction.

What thoughtful Virginians, including gun-rights advocates, should oppose vigorously is legislative overreaction. And that is what came out of the State Freedom of Information Advisory Council on Monday in the form of draft legislation the council is backing.

The draft would prohibit public access to the state police database of concealed-carry permit holders. The information would remain part of the public record in circuit courts, which issue the permits, but available only on a locality-by-locality basis.

In April, Attorney General Bob McDonnell advised state police to shut off public access to its database. The draft legislation would make that restriction the law. But why?

House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith explained: "I think the real concern here was that there were a lot of people on that list who were victims of crime, who had been stalked or who had been in abusive situations."

That's a reasonable fear -- and precisely what prompted the newspaper to reconsider and, after fielding hundreds of complaints, to remove its online link to the database. Rather than put all of that data out of the public's easy reach, though, the state should address the "real concern" and redact only the information that might reasonably be thought to put someone in harm's way.

Anyone with a concealed-carry permit who has obtained a restraining order against someone, for example, could be entered into the database, but removed from the list available to the public.

People need access -- not to satisfy idle curiosity about who of their acquaintances might be carrying, though public records can be used that way. Rather, public access acts as an important check on government.

If the state's concealed-carry law should fail in some way in its intent to protect public safety, the public has a need to know and a right to know. It should have the means to know.

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Robert Hairless
December 10, 2007, 03:12 PM
Isn't it sad when newspapers like The Roanoke Times are prevented from doing their job of running the country? They use such good judgment too.

Has The Roanoke Times published the names, home addresses, and home phone numbers of its employees yet? The public has a need to know and a right to know who tells them what to think.

The last time The Roanoke Times got involved with that list, it apparently hurt a lot of people.

Of course I think it was awfully, awfully nice of the Times to "reconsider"--really very good of them--but the editor who made that blunder was Christian Trejbal, a failed Philosophy graduate student, I think.

Trejbal still works for The Roanoke Times, I think. Who knows what strange quirks motivate this Tina Barbour. The people need to be able to find out. It's always possible to reconsider.

novaDAK
December 10, 2007, 08:21 PM
While we're at it, why not just publish a list of everyone who is in the witness protection program and their addresses? Or all plainclothes undercover cops or informants?

:rolleyes:

Kimber1911_06238
December 10, 2007, 08:51 PM
sure, give me the reporter's home address and phone number and I can call her at home.

stevemis
December 10, 2007, 09:15 PM
Has anyone else noticed there's no author name or information on the editorial?

Anonymous Coward
December 11, 2007, 05:50 PM
Isn't it sad when newspapers like The Roanoke Times are prevented from doing their job of running the country?


You're right on the money there.

strat81
December 11, 2007, 06:34 PM
Journalists don't like it when the government imposes "reasonable restrictions" on the freedom of the press... oh the irony.

scout26
December 11, 2007, 06:35 PM
People need access -- not to satisfy idle curiosity about who of their acquaintances might be carrying, though public records can be used that way. Rather, public access acts as an important check on government.

If the state's concealed-carry law should fail in some way in its intent to protect public safety, the public has a need to know and a right to know. It should have the means to know.

Oh, and in what ways can the law "fail" ???

1. Issuing permit to prohibit persons ? Possibly, but I doubt theat Bobby Badguy is going to go through the hoops to get a CCW/CHL/CWP. He's just going to conceal his illegally obatined gun whether he has a permit or not.

2. Not issuing to people because of some bias (race, creed, sex, etc, etc.). Isn't VA shall-issue ?? Which means that the .gov (or nameless/faceless buearucrat) can't deny you unless you fail to meet the criteria to get a permit as defined by VA law.

3. I guess what the R-T means by "fail" is anytime someone gets arrested, we want to see if they have a concealed carry permit, so that we can scream "BAD GUNOWNER" from the front page.


Does VA allow access to the people's driver's licence info ?? How about vehicle registrations ?? What about Pharmacy/prescription information ?? Professional Registrations (Nurses, Hairstylists, etc....) How about registering and licencing journalists and making that info database searchable ???

shc1
December 11, 2007, 08:12 PM
When they called me again to sell me a subscription I told them no, and why.
When they donít sell papers and find out why things will change.

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