Guns vs. public access

Self-respecting news organizations do not respond well to bullying or intimidation. Wthe journalists feel they are right, they aren’t likely to change. Pressure on them to do one thing often causes the opposite reaction.

I applaud WRAL for standing tall in the face of gun owners who feel threatened by the station’s publication of a searchable database of the streets — not the addresses or names — where people with gun permits live. WRAL’s database is, of course, public record. (I wish the Second Amendment folks cared equally about the First Amendment, as I wrote about earlier.)

The targeted complaints, (WRAL-TV’s VP) Hammel said, were unlikely to make the organization back away from an issue.

“As far as we’re concerned, it creates the opposite effect,” Hammel said. “We have the resolve to report news.”

I hope the N&O, from which that quote comes, takes the next step and editorializes in support of its competitor.

One thought on “Guns vs. public access

  1. Dear Mr. Robinson:

    I would like to hear more debate about the publication of the names of persons who have permits to carry concealed weapons. I cannot see the down side of it for the public, but I am not certain about how it would affect those who feel the need to carry concealed weapons. The other piece of this is that this would have no effect on the people who carry concealed weapons without permits. Presumptively, it is the last group that poses the greatest threat to citizens in general. However, I have not seen any statistics or data, and I learned long ago that presumptions are not always backed up by facts.

    Sincerely yours,

    Christie Finn

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