Newspaper Editor Resigns Amid Controversy (over requesting CCW holders info)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tulianr, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    Last week, Cherokee County, NC, Sheriff Keith Lovin refused an open records request from a local paper, The Cherokee Scout, to release the names of concealed gun permit holders.

    The request brought an angry backlash against the Scout. Then the paper printed not one, but two public apologies for even requesting the information.

    The request and apology sparked a nationwide debate and now Scout editor Robert Horne has resigned.

    "Those records are public. Courts have ruled that they're public," said UNCA journalism professor Michael Gouge.

    He scoffed at Sheriff Lovin's contention he's withholding the records to protect public safety and privacy. "The information in there is not much different than the information you would get in the land records, which are available online."

    The state Attorney General's Office believes the gun permit records are public and routinely releases it. In fact, a spokeswoman told News 13's Mario Boone the only gun permit information not considered public are social security numbers, military status, and scars and tattoos.

    The North Carolina Sheriffs' Association is on the fence and said there are two schools of thought on the issue. Either sheriffs are for or against releasing the data.

    The group believes the matter must ultimately be decided by the courts if the legislature doesn't settle it first.

    "The record belongs to the people, not to the sheriff," said Gouge

    Read More at: Newspaper Editor Resigns Amid Controversy - WLOS ABC13 - Top Stories
    tacmotusn and Ajax like this.
  2. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Is the public interest best served by releasing personal identification information about CCW permit holders?? I'm doubting so. Is it in the interests of criminals, having information about CCW permit holders?? Bet your @rse it is. Is there a publicly accessible register and current address list of felons convicted of firearms offences in the public domain?? Chances are they also may have firearms in their the very least they have shown a pattern of behaviour that they are prepared to use them in a criminal way. Is the newspaper putting together a list and map of felons carrying illegally owned fire arms?? No...too much trouble and far too dangerous going there.

    My sympathy and support goes with Sherrif to Michael Gouge, the man is a goose....who ever stole a title deed from someone on a public domain list and then used it to murder someone else with it...or hold up a convenience store with it...paper cuts sure hurt, but they don't hurt as much as a stolen firearm.
    jim2, tacmotusn, Ajax and 3 others like this.
  3. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++

    Agreed Chell, There are times when a sheriff has to consider intent in protecting the ones who elected him/her to the job. Whether he's right or wrong he made the call and I would support him for it.
    tacmotusn likes this.
  4. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    One must wonder what the motivation is for publishing names and addresses of CCW holders. If it's a matter of public record, then anyone can look it up and there's no need to publish the information.

    The only motivation I can think of is that the newspaper editors are hoping that criminals will steal more firearms, hurt people with them, and then use those incidents as an argument against civilian possession and ownership. (You can't own a gun if you're a civilian because someone might steal it and cause injury).

    Since gun grabbers have no rational arguments, then a "crisis" must be manufactured. We saw attempts to do this with "Fast and Furious", only Holder's ATF got caught in the big lie. The fact that people died (and it will continue) as a result is simply seen as collateral damage and incidental to the "greater good" of outlawing civilian firearms ownership in the United States.

    Crisis manufacture all seems to fit as part of the behavioral pattern of those who wish the demise of the second amendment. Too bad the boneheads in the liberal press can't see past their noses. Once the second is gone, the first will be right behind it and the Bill of Rights will fall like dominos.

    Just my $.02 worth.
    Ajax and STANGF150 like this.
  5. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Methinks Gouge is a few sandwiches short of a picnic with regards to his take on the wisdom of making CCW personal information available to the 4th estate. If we follow his line of reasoning...then I am sure that there are any number of other registers and records that it could be argued should be freely available to public access.

    Lets see....

    The names, ages, resdential addresses and schools attended by unvaccinated minors...there is a public health issue there, that these unvaccinated minors may pose a risk of infection to infants too young for vaccination etc....this information would arguably be a public interest issue for many families in the community...the information would also be of interest to paedophiles, sexual offenders, extortionists and kidnappers. If information such as this was sought and published by the news media with maps and fancy graphics can you imagine the uproar that it would create....there would be litigation and class actions started at the blink of a TV remote.

    Yes....the ownership of owner, residential address, type of dog of all registered dogs in a municipality....that would make for a nice shopping catalogue for dog nappers...and very useful intelligence for criminals too.

    I don't think that Mr Gouger cares very much about the public interest...just the freedom of lazy journalists to confect a fuss, without having to live with, or care about the consequences of the dramas that they have created.
    tacmotusn likes this.
  6. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Cherokee County
    County Seat: Murphy
    Population: 24,298
    Square Miles: 455
    Sheriff Keith Lovin
    Office: (828) 837-2589 ext. 236 Fax: (828) 837-6590
    Non-Emergency 24 Hour: (828) 835-3144
    Detention Center: (828) 837-2521
    577 Regal Street, Murphy, NC 28906
    TID: CHK ORI: NC0200000

    Edit: and this is the pissant apology given by the Chrokee Scout.....

    and the following apology also by David Brown, publisher of the Cherokee Scout.

  7. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Apparently not as many as the common ROCK, or Stump, laying around in that locality....
    Altoidfishfins and ditch witch like this.
  8. NWPilgrim

    NWPilgrim Monkey++

    Why should CCW records be made public when vehicle registrations are not? Similar reasons. Just because it is not explicitly prohibited, there is the principle of personal privacy that most businesses and govt agencies respect.

    Any drive for release if "public" records should be decided upon in general and not limited to releasing one type if record and not all the others.
  9. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    It blows my mind how it is legal and accepted for newspapers to post information like this. I sincerely hope one of these paper is sued into bankruptcy and the it goes to court and is made illegal for anyone to request personal CCW information and post it publicly.

    In my opinion the editor got off easy and should have been fined or arrested for trying toi publicly post personal information.

    I agree with what you say but also would like to add that in the mind of the anti-gun liberal they look at gun owners on the same level as sex offenders. What other motivations could they possibly have to want to post private information like this.
    kellory, Altoidfishfins and BTPost like this.
  10. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I have no doubt. I'd almost be willing to bet that the majority of these rabidly anti-gun liberals are well enough to do that they live in gated communities with armed guards, if they don't already have some kind of taxpayer - funded security detail. Even if they don't, they're going to be helpless if and when the SHTF.
    BTPost likes this.
  11. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus


    As much as I sympathise with your sentiment, I don't think that it is illegal to make an FOI request. FOI requests are approved, denied or held, pending a decision. Making the kind of FOI request that the newspaper did might have been short sighted and stupid, but short sighted and stupid people are usually only arrested or fined for doing things that are actually illegal. If the newspaper tried to extract the information in the CCW FOI request by illegal means, or use the information so gained for illegal purposes, then there may be a case to answer if sufficient evidence can be brought forward to launch a prosecution.

    Actually publishing the information garnered via a legal freedom of information request may not necessarily be criminally illegal, unless there are statutes in place to make it so. Liability under Tort law may be another matter altogether, and a successful litigation case could possibly award the plaintiffs damages. Defendants in Tort litigation are usually neither arrested, nor fined, unless they perjure themselvelves or are found in contempt of court: though sometimes damages awards can be far more crippling than a fine, particularly so when punitive damages are awarded to a plaintiff.
  12. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Very good analysis there Chell...
  13. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    I see what you're saying. That's what irritates me about it the most, this should be illegal but it isn't.

    Unless I'm mistaken you can't make a FOIA requests to get the names and addresses of everyone with a passport or everyone that visited a certain country. There is no reason something like a CCW should be a public record.
  14. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    It is mostly a Public Record, because it hasn't been seen as a Privacy, or Security ISSUE, in most places To Date... Now that it is, Law Makers are getting into the Issue and Fixing the problem....
    chelloveck likes this.
  15. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    Great, I hope they fix it.
  16. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Agree. The question will be how. Stated another way, politix will rule.
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