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Why we printed the [ccw holder's] list

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Nightspell, Aug 1, 2004.

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  1. Nightspell

    Nightspell Member

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    This was originally posted by HerrGlock on Glocktalk. I felt obligated to spread word of this as far as possible. I appologize if this has already been posted.

    ===========================================

    http://www.cleveland.com/search/ind...88690.xml?occli
    Why we printed the list
    The media are the public's only access to concealed-carry permit records
    Friday, July 30, 2004

    In the past two days, The Plain Dealer ran a list of the Northeast Ohioans who applied for and got a license to carry a concealed weapon.

    We were able to do so because the state legislature, bowing to Gov. Bob Taft's threat to veto a bill with no public access provision at all, gave the news media access to the list. The general public is not allowed to see it.

    From the start, The Plain Dealer opposed that media-only provision, and so did most news organizations. We don't believe the media should have access to records that the general public is denied.

    And, like the governor and millions of others across the country, we believe licensure in-

    formation of all kinds should be open to public view.

    Concealed-carry advocates have a decidedly different view. That became abundantly evident during the negotiations to pass the law and exceedingly so after we published the list.

    Ohioans for Concealed Carry, the lobbying arm for proponents, posted my name, home phone number, address and a map to my home on its Web site. It also reported what I paid for my house in 1999 - $550,000 - my wife's name - Peg - and that I have two children and two grandchildren (in fact, I have three).

    The posting, I gather, had two purposes. The first was to say "turnabout is fair play": Public records are public records, and you're not exempt.

    The second was to intimidate. Why else run a map?

    Calls home began flowing shortly after the posting went up at noon on Wednesday. Because I was at the office, my wife bore the brunt, though most of the callers were polite. (One apologized to her and told her it was "just your moron husband" he had a problem with.) A few, predictably, were ugly.

    The majority asked a version of this question:

    "Why did you single us out? Why don't you publish the names of sex offenders or people convicted of carrying an unlicensed concealed weapon, or other holders of other licenses?

    The answer is that as the law is now written, the one and only way the average citizen can learn the identity of a concealed-weapon permit holder is if the news media publish it.

    Thank the legislature for that.

    Want to know if a sex offender lives next door? The state will send you an e-mail.

    Want to know if your co-worker has a prison record? You can look it up.

    Want to know how much my house costs? Ditto.

    Want to know who has a fishing license - indeed, virtually any license? Correct, you can look it up. It's all public record.

    License to carry a gun? Nope. The average Joe has only the slim reed of the news media to help him on that count.

    Would we publish those names if the record were public? Of course not. There would be no need. Why? Because you could look it up.

    You can do that in many of the other states that have concealed-carry laws. In one - Delaware - the entire process of getting a permit is a public record. And there, the law requires that the names of permit holders be published.

    Ohioans for Concealed Carry is urging the legislature to negate the "privilege" the news media have to see the names of permit holders. We agree. That "privilege" (I would call it a right) belongs in the hands of the general public.

    As it's now written, the only people truly "privileged" are the holders of concealed-carry permits, because they can shield their identities from the pub- lic.

    That's a privilege most other license holders in the state can't claim.

    Clifton is the editor of The Plain Dealer.

    Contact him at:

    dclifton@plaind.com, 216-999-4123

    Douglas Clifton
    19 Shoreby Dr.
    Cleveland, OH 44108-1161
    Tel.: (216) 761-6577

    ===========================================


    Contact "The Plain Dealer"
     
  2. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Member

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    That makes my blood boil at a temperature that would melt platinum.

    They're lying -- they say that the reason they do that is because, if they didn't do it, then no one would know... When what they really want to do is put a neon sign around the property of everyone with self-preservation morals, and of course, to make the big splash that the left-leaning media so loves.

    People have no RIGHT to know what licenses I have. I DO have a RIGHT to my own #$%!&* privacy! I DO have a right to defend myself with ANY means necessary.

    This is one of the biggest problems with the whole CCW system as-is. It gives the whole issue endless mystique -- that 'forbidden' thrill of knowing -- and it makes the media think it's their duty to poke their noses where they don't belong.

    Vermont / Alaska style carry is (Constitutionally) the only way to go. You don't get people posting where you live, the floor plan to your house, and when you won't be home in a freaking newspaper.

    I can't think of what else to say. That is absolutely outrageous.

    Wes
     
  3. Nightspell

    Nightspell Member

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    I like the idea that anyone looking for a gun can just open up the paper and have a couple thousand places to rob. Aside from the fact, of course, that CCWs are SUPPOSED to be secret, otherwise we wouldn't be required by law to conceal them.

    Oh well...
     
  4. swingset

    swingset Member

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    Turnabout IS fairplay, jackass.
     
  5. JPL

    JPL Member

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    Did he reprint his own address and phone number in his editorial?

    Got to give him credit for that.
     
  6. Majic

    Majic Member

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    I was taught when grewing up that just because you can do something doesn't mean you have to do it. Things must have changed somewhere along the way.
     
  7. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    Mr. Clifton needs to tell the whole truth here ... the reason he chose to print the names of CCW holders is because he opposed CCW and lost and is now trying to discourage people from getting CCWs or face being "outed" in the newspaper (plus a little FU to his opponents on this issue ... most of which went out and got CCWs).

    Frankly there is no reason my neighbors need to know I have a concealed carry license or a fishing license.


    Ah ... so he's been planning this stunt from the beginning.

    Mr Pot to Mr Kettle: "I dare say old man, you're black!"


    If he really gave a damn about the "pub-lic" he'd be editorializing in favor of privacy for all ... not just CCW.
     
  8. Steelharp

    Steelharp Member

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    Well, here's a copy of the e-mail I just sent him... and thank you, Nightspell and Thefumegator; I used just a bit of what you had to say... Mikey D...
    --------------------

    Mr. Douglas Clifton:

    I must say, I am truly glad I am not a resident of Ohio. I feel sorry for the family members I have there. It just amazes me, the idea that anyone looking for a gun can just open up the paper and have suggestions for a couple thousand places to rob. Are CCWs in Ohio SUPPOSED to be secret? If they are, wouldn't it be required by law to conceal them? And if that is the case, wouldn't common sense dictate that that same secrecy/discretion should apply to the actual holders of the license? Are you not, in fact, infringing on these folks right to privacy?

    Here in TN, open carry is allowed; it's not the wisest choice, however. It makes you a prime first target for the non-law abiding citizen in the process of commiting a crime; much better for all concerned if you have the element of surprise working for you.

    Mr. Clifton... with all due respect, it is my humble opinion that you are indeed "denying a village somewhere of a perfectly good idiot."

    Sincerely,
    Michael Douchette
     
  9. Nightspell

    Nightspell Member

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    Heheheh... Well put, Steelharp!
     
  10. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

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    Thats the High Road

    WildwhymakethemthinkweareneanderthalsAlaska
     
  11. Majic

    Majic Member

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    opinions should be left out as all may not share that idea with you.
     
  12. Steelharp

    Steelharp Member

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    Majic, perhaps I should have added "in my opinion;" you are probably right. It was 1 am, and I was sleepy... sorry about that.

    Mikey D...
     
  13. Calhoun

    Calhoun Member

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    I've got to go with Wildalaska on this one. I agree that this paper should not post the info on CCW, but we need to go about this fight like adults. This is not the schoolyard, even though some people are acting like they are in kindergarten. (No offense to my nephew who just started kindergarten.) Two wrongs don't make a right, treat others as you want to be treated, if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all, and all that.

    I do agree with this editor on at least 1 point. The purpose of posting his info, including the map to his house, was for intimidation. Shame on us!!

    Let's stop acting like idiots, people. We are only hurting ourselves. Actually we are hurting the CCW movement in Ohio more than anything. You are supposed to be an adult to own a gun, even more of one to CCW, so why don't we start acting like one.

    Calhoun
     
  14. DragonFire

    DragonFire Member

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    While I'm not saying I think they should have published the list of names, I think a bigger issue, that the paper was somehow trying to get to, is why is the list of names available to "the media" and not to average citizens?

    Just because you happen to work for a certain employer that somehow makes you more honest or responsible to be able to access the information? There's only one reason why the govenor would insist the media have sole access to the list of name. So they could publish things like this. So that everytime a sensational crime is committed, they could look up to see it the suspect was on the list (whether or not CCW was related to the crime or not).

    Let's face it the 2nd amendment is only ONE of the rights that are in jepardy these days. The government shouldn't be allowed to decide that only certain groups of people have access to some information (especially if the access is granted based on some whim of employment). The editorial is partially right. With so information about a person readily available, that I'm not sure whether I have a CCW is going to make THAT much of a difference.

    I know this will get me into trouble but:
    I guess I don't really buy into the idea that the bad-guys will use the list to find places to rob. How would a robber know whether a house would contain a prized gun collection or a lone single-shot .22? Wouldn't it some-how make you less of a target? I have 2 potential places to rob, one I know has no guns, one has a good possibility of having at least one. Maybe I don't have the mind-set of a bad-gun, but I think I'd go for the gun-less home.

    This isn't to say I'd want my name published, or agree any names should be published, but I think we should be more unset with the law that restricted the access, or gave limited access, than with the paper that published the list.
     
  15. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not sure that posting a map to his house was appropriate, but posting his name and address is exactly what he did to CCW holders in his area. If it had an intimidating effect on him then it should put the point across that it had the same effect on those folkes he "outed". Matter of fact, he made an attempt to intimidate a whole group of people as well as the individuals.

    The posting of his address may be viewed as vendictive, but it actually serves as tit for tatt to illustrate the point.
     
  16. Mauserlady

    Mauserlady Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong here but... Didn't the paper break the law by publishing the list for the general public to see?
     
  17. 0007

    0007 Member

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    Translation of the editor's liberal babblings "I did it because I don't like you and I could." :cuss:

    And why not circulate every thing that can be found out about this guy and anyone else on the editorial staff. They are all just as guilty. Print anything and everything. "We do it because we can." Same justification. Fight fire with fire and stop being Mr. Nice Guy(s). These people will NEVER come around to the idea that anyone (besides themselves, of course) is entitled to protect his own goods, family, or self. And will ALWAYS insist that they (as the elite of the nation) know what is best for the peasantry out in their hovels. :fire:

    Rant mode off; going to get some cold caffine and with lots of sugar(a coke)...
     
  18. Sven

    Sven Senior Member

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    Jim March has been fighting for years to get the CA CCW list, not to post the names publicly but to research for bias.
     
  19. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Member

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    So a media outlet is hiding behind free speech (in this case access to a list of names) to futher a political agenda?

    Not really shocking.

    He published those names to dissuade people from getting permits. Period. Used his position as a media person to do it because he is an elitist just like every other anti-gun snob.

    Hey guess what? I bet there are big guys with guns guarding his home right now.
     
  20. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    The "Plain Dealer" is a fairly liberal rag...uh fish-wrap.....ahh newspaper.

    Dosen't usually give the gun-owners a decent break. Used to subscribe, but no more. And "Plain"-ly said why I choose to "Deal"-er them that way.
     
  21. halvey

    halvey Member

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    Then why didn't the paper say "if you want to know CCW holders names, we'll send you an email."
     
  22. Dot_mdb

    Dot_mdb Member

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    Having just gotten my CC license in FL, I can honestly say it wouldn't bother me if the list was published. Besides, unless it was put in the sports section of the paper nobody would see it anyway.

    Bill
     
  23. MP5

    MP5 Member

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    I'd recommend writing to the paper and/or Mr. Clifton directly to politely but firmly express your opinion. (I did.) It may not make any difference, but doing it here alone will likely make less of a difference--preaching to the choir, you know?

    Yup. Don't stoop to your opponent's level if you want to win with honor. Take the High Road.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2004
  24. Tharg

    Tharg Member

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    Emailed him ----

    heh and then read the other responses here =)

    Copy to follow:

    Dear Mr. Clifton,

    I’m not from Ohio nor have I visited it.

    I do read a number of boards and one of them listed your newspapers decision to post the names/addresses of CHL holders in whatever area’s you covered (I guess – or is it all area’s?)

    I read you are against CH licenses.

    Recently your “Why we printed the (CCW holders) list†was posted to the board I read, and I read what you said. I’m truly sorry your Wife had to be subjected to that – I know that many proponents of the right to carry and proponents of CH licenses can get …. Out of hand.

    Of course – the vast majority of us consider what you did to be completely out of hand as well. I have not yet gotten my CHL in Texas – but I DO plan to. Time and money – money and time…

    I don’t know how many people who are/would be criminals read your paper – and I’m guessing that the vast majority ARE lawful citizens who prolly won’t really read every name in there to begin with. (Although I’m sure there might be some) The problem with the list doesn’t stem from wanting to remain hidden. The problem stems from printing a list of guaranteed gun owners in your area of publication and their addresses. You have effectively printed out a list of targets for those who would like to obtain firearms illegally. Not only that – half the purpose of having a CHL (CCW) is that its CONCEALED that you own/could be carrying one. (Vs. Open Carry – which is legal in a whole bunch of states – but does not (once again – in my opinion) offer protection to the person carrying or from the person who decides to case open carry person till their guard is down in order to do whatever nefarious activity they would have planned)

    Concealed carry citizens have acted decisively in any number of conflicts that might have turned out bad for all present. And like I said – I couldn’t begin to tell you who might or might not be a criminal scoping the list for places to rob. I just pray that the adage is right and criminals are stupid – and thus probably don’t even know the list is there.

    For the record – while I know you newsies have all sorts of ways to look up information (it IS part of the job I would rekon) – the only way I’ve been able to look up any public records is to pay. (something I’m not willing to do for mere curiosity) Sex offenders are posted on the web. I’ve yet to find the website that just “lists†people who have been in jail for one reason or another. Or the place I could look up who had a hunting/fishing license without paying. The reason (I believe) there was a exception for the media to be able to see the lists in my opinion was so you guys would help police (as news reporters are often want to do) CCW holders. Imagine an expose on the 10 CCW holders you found that had criminal rap sheets as long as the Mississippi? Found CCW holders that “slipped through the cracks†… that would be a community service. This printing of the lists was nothing more than a cheap tactic, which could turn dangerous for the families of whom you posted their address, for criminals who would then know exactly where to go for a few guns.

    Once again I’ll repeat that I’m sorry your wife got those calls. Even if it had been you instead of her – I’d rather think people could be more polite, of course – that goes both ways.

    Jason



    J/Tharg!
     
  25. 7.62mm

    7.62mm Member

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    FWIW:

    My relpy to the editor:

    Mr. Clifton:

    So. Tell me again why it is that the public has a right to know who is licensed to carry concealed weapons? You compare access to sex-offender lists, prison records, and the like. Why do you compare law-abiding citizens to criminals? Your clear implication is that CCW permit holders are of the same ilk.

    You are wrong though, it is a violation of the privacy of CCW permit-holders and there is no compelling reason for the public to be privy to such information.

    Of what possible use can the knowledge that my neighbors are licensed to carry concealed be to me, or anyone? Except for harassment, intimidation, embarrassment, ostracizing, or otherwise making their lives less pleasant?

    For that matter, why can't you publish the names of citizens who have had abortions, been committed for psychiatric treatment, are taking mind-altering substances such as Lithium, Paxil, Thorazine, etc.? Violates their privacy? No kidding!

    Simply put, publishing the names of CCW applicants is a method of intimidation to discourage participation in the process. It demonizes ordinary citizens and compares them to low-life criminals. Exactly your intent, belief, and passion.

    You lost the legislative battle, so you abuse your right to free speech by abusing the privacy of law-abiding, tax-paying, citizens exercising THEIR civil right to self-defense.

    Pardon me, but your bigotry against gun-owners is showing. And bigotry is ugly, especially yours.

    Regards,

    Cajunmarinedad
    Lafayette, LA

    aka: 7.62mm

    Stay well, stay safe, stay armed. Yorktown. (Courtesy of the late Harpseal of Freerepublic.com)
     
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