Monday, March 15, 2004

I may need some help from any & all of y'all in Indiana. It seems that Fort is thinking about publishing the names of concealed carry permit holders. They have received some negative responses after they mentioned they intended to make the names available online so now they're going to think about it some more.

Quite honestly the idea of publishing the names of gun owners because they were forced to aquire a license is adding insult to injury. The violent criminals don't usually apply for licenses yet they carry when & where they wish. But peaceful citizens have to grovel & bribe their government to let them have permission to exercise what should be respected as a Right in the first place: having the means of defense.

From the second article linked above written by Miss Austin:

"...They said by putting the information online or in the paper, we're just making it more convenient for people to exercise a right they already have to examine the records."

I do not recall any philisophical, legal or moral theory that lists knowing which peacable people have arms is a Right. I do know of several theories as to why carrying & owning a weapon - even if concealed - is a Right & not subject to licensing or registration requirements.

"Another argument advanced for posting the list is that the state has determined that there's a public good in licensing people to carry handguns and making such information accessible to others."

There is no public good in licensing gun owners & there is no public good in publishing their names. The only - I repeat only reason for licensing & registration is to make confiscation easier. Now it may well be viewed as good for the state, but what's good for the state is often bad for the people.

But I would be curious as to how they think it is good for the public. As a journalist shouldn't Miss Austin have made some effort to explain why making those names available to the public is good rather than just relying on the generalization that the state made it so therefore it is good?

"The information has the potential to warn people about others who may be carrying a gun. If you're sending your child to my house to play, perhaps you'd like to know if I have a permit to carry a gun."

Here we have a logical disconnect. How would a list of concealed firearm permit holders clue anyone in to who has & doesn't have a firearm in their home? I don't recall Indiana requiring a Firearm Owner Identification Card & even if they did that's not the permit in question: it's concealed carry permits that are being discussed.

So it is very possible that if a hoplophobe wishes his or her child to play at a neighbors house who has no effective way of protecting their kids then they still would be allowing their kid to play at a house with firearms if the owner simply decided that they didn't need a permit to exercise a Right. To put it more plainly - not every gun owner applies for a concealed carry permit so the argument is flawed (to put it kindly).

"Or maybe you're curious about whether a potential business associate, or a neighbor or new acquaintance has a permit.
'There is danger for children when there is a gun present, and that is a strong point,' said Gregory E. Favre, distinguished fellow in journalism values at The Poynter Institute for journalism training in Florida.
'There are too many cases when youngsters have been killed or when parents' guns are used to kill others, as has happened in the school shootings. Will knowing about the gun permits completely stop this? No, but it might prevent some. Even one would be worth it.
'And while I am a strong advocate that people have a right to a private life, these folks have interjected themselves into the public by purchasing a gun permit,' said Favre, former president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors."

I'm sure a lot of people are curious about how people exercise other Rights, such as religion, speech, procreation, etc... but that does not mean I or anyone else is justified in satisfying our curiousity against another person's wishes.

& as to the danger to children when guns are present that is nonsense.Millions of children are around millions of firearms every day yet there are less than 1,00 accidental shootings & only a small precentage of those involve children under 14. Where the danger comes from is hoplophobic parents who fail to teach their children the proper & safe handling & use of firearms. Those kids who have never been exposed to firearms are naturally more curious & tend to be the ones who figure out how to acidentally discharge one.

& if applying for a permit to exercise what should be considered a natural & inherent Right thrusts a person into the public eye, then perhaps Mr. Favre wouldn't be upset if his home phone number & address were published since he has thrust himself into the public eye by exercise Rights that fall under the First Amendment? Of course I tend to think he would raise hell about that if it happened & perhaps rightly so. But considering his statement about gun owners that would make him little more than a misinformed hypocrit if his personal info was published & he objected to it.

"The list doesn't include everyone who has a gun. Plenty of people carry guns illegally. No permit is required for rifles and shotguns. And just because you have a permit doesn't mean you have a gun."

Why didn't they mkae the connection between that & their foolish argument about knowing who has a firearm at home in case they didn't want their kids around a means of defense?

"Some argued that because the list is a public record available to everyone, we should post it."

If that is how they truly feel then they shouldn't say nary a damn word when I & other bloggers publish all the information we can find on the staff of this publication.

Which is where any & all readers from Indiana come in. I need you to e-mail me at with any & all legally obtainable information you can find on any & all of the staff at the Fort Wayne News-Sentinal.

Next I need you to call the appropriate numbers below & politely inform them that if they start indiscriminantly publishing the info of gun owners without each individual gun owners consent then I & other bloggers will post any & all information we can legally obtain on the staff of that publication.

I really would rather not publish anybody's info as I know damn skippy I wouldn't like mine published, but if they want to abuse their position by violating the privacy Rights of gun owners then I'll have no qualms about retalliating in kind.

Currently they're solicting feedback on the idea. Call 423-4646 if you want the list of permit holders published or 423-4793 if you don't want the list published.
I also found the following contact info which I believe is for the parent company which owns a few other publications:

Phone: 1-800-324-0505
Fort Wayne Newspapers
600 W. Main St.
Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Here is a list of links to contact various members of the staff:

Melody Schmitt-Foreman - Assistant Online Manager

Mary Jacobus - Publisher

Linda Austin - Executive Editor (The author of the above fisked piece where they ask for feedback as to whether they should publish the names or not)

Kerry Hubartt - Senior Editor

Mike Dooley - Metro Writer (who wrote the first piece on publishing the names of permit holders)

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