This video has made the rounds, but it so perfectly illustrates the purpose of a CCW that it should be seen by everyone.
"outside of deliberately “outing” the names of sexual perverts so that the community will rightfully look for them, recognize them, shun them and avoid them as your REASON to publish their names, WHAT WAS YOUR REASON for actually publishing these names? I suspect that you did it for the very SAME reasons, and you lack the courage to admit it.
Humboldt County CCW holders are still waiting for your answer, Mr. Sims and Ms. Walters.
"Though many people have since argued that we have "painted targets on the backs" of permit holders, we simply fail to see how this is the case. Idle minds can conjure all sorts of fantastic scenarios, but we have yet to see any evidence of anyone singled out ..." - Hank Sims - Editor - North Coast Journal
This text was copied from one of the forums in the "Internet Gun Circle." You know, those
"people who know little to nothing about the county ..." - H.Sims
"Where I live everyone knows me. They didn't know I carried until this paper told them. As far as giving criminals too much credit, I'm not worried about my guns being stolen, I'm worried about being the first person killed if anyone who knows I carry decides to go ballistic in my presence.Now that this paper has outed me, people who are gun-paranoid and uninformed are treating me differently, or avoiding me entirely. I get the impression they're afraid my gun is going to start going off by itself and killing everyone within sight of me. They had no problems when they didn't know I carry."
Mr. Sims, STATE YOUR REASON for publishing these names!
Mr. Sims, you have not yet answered my question, so I’ll politely ask it one more time. No one disagrees that “public information” of all classifications should always be available for any citizen to view upon demand. On this we both completely agree. DELIBERATE public disclosure of certain public information is also good idea, when that disclosure is clearly beneficial to society at large, whether they have requested it or not.
For instance, the names of registered sex offenders and child molesters living in your area are “public information.” Although the names are available for any citizen to view at any time by walking into the courthouse and requesting them, the harvesting and publication of those names in a paper such as the NCJ is beneficial to the community, because it is important for people with children to know that friendly man down the street who grins at kids as they ride by on their bicycles is a REAL threat to their child’s safety. This man has already broken the law, and presumably has the potential to break the law again, given the opportunity. His record shows that he cannot be trusted, that he has no regard for common decency and he has the potential to harm or kill a child. I don’t think you’ll find anyone, even in my “right wing conservative gun-owning circle” who will disagree with educating a community about real threats in their area. The 1st amendment and the Public Records Act allow you to publish these names, but your motivation for actually doing it is to single out those people who are a danger to society.
You chose to publish 641 names of people who were issued a legal CCW license by the sheriff. They passed background checks. They don’t have criminal records. They are NO THREAT to society by virtue of legally exercising their 2nd amendment right along with permission to exercise that right in public with the blessings of the sheriff. Thus far, you have held up the first amendment and attempted to justify your actions by saying that the PRA allows you to publish the names. On this, we also agree, and I wouldn’t want that to change. However, outside of deliberately “outing” the names of sexual perverts so that the community will rightfully look for them, recognize them, shun them and avoid them as your REASON to publish their names, WHAT WAS YOUR REASON for actually publishing these names? I suspect that you did it for the very SAME reasons, and you lack the courage to admit it.
I know that, Mr. Sims. Humboldt COUNTY is a part of this COUNTRY. Does the Constitution apply differently, exceptionally, or not at all to Americans living in your county? What is there to know about your county that is different than any county? Do Humboldt county criminals give the people a pass, because "just about everyone within the borders of the place is a hyper-intense freedom-lover of one stripe or another?" Are you implying that the people in your county are so laid back, so mellow, so communal and so at peace with nature and society that the risks and dangers associated with needlessly publishing their names, the intrusions that may arise by the community, neighbors, employers and business associates widely knowing that this or that person carries a gun even though they had the RIGHT to know, but not the NEED to know, the same outing of names of people who are required by law to keep their CCW quiet is of no concern to anyone?
You admit that "At least some of the 641 people in the list were not too pleased about this." I am wondering ... since newspapers and politicians and radio stations generally count one response as the opinion of many who feel the same way but just don't take the time to write or call, what is the exact number of the "some" who were not pleased? If six people bothered to contact you, what factor do you routinely apply to estimate the actual number of people who are deemed to be concerned? x 15? x 30? Or is it your position that in this instance every single person bothered by his or her name appearing in your piece came into your office already, and that no one who may be irritated by it chose to steer clear of the NCJ out of fear of having the spotlight shone on them?
There is nothing special about Humboldt county, Mr. Sims. It is filled with hard working people who want to be left alone, and left OUT of the spotlight of journalistic sensationalism. You of all people should know this, so it just seems odd that you would approve outing their names, and for what purpose? You have told us that the PRA allows you to publish them, but you have not yet given your reason for including all but 11 of them.
Seeing as how newspaper space is so precious, letters to the editor are whittled down to meet strict word count limitations, private party ads are charged by the line, ad space is sold by the column inch ... so assuming that SOMEONE benefited from the large graphic depicting the names of CCW holders when it could just as easily have been a smaller photo of a real pistol, and it wasn't those named who benefited in any way that I can see, can you explain your decision to use valuable front page acreage for the names?
BTW, I have NO real problem with the article itself. It was fairly well written and may have even painted gun owners in a favorable light, but why won't you just admit that including the names was wrong? Not illegal. Just unethical, and wrong.
To quote Mr. Sims - "and because the thing became a minor cause celebre in Internet gun circles last week, by people who understand little to nothing about the county -- we want to explain our position." Your position is quite clear Mr. Sims. No further explanation is necessary. Your arrogance, your condescending attitude on the phone with me, your snobbish elitism ... it is all on grand display. So you believe gun owners know little to nothing about the country, eh? You believe that you, the editor of a one-horse town liberal rag like the NCJ that is usually only read by potheads, tweekers and aging hippies, a paper that serves the community best when it is used to line the bottom of a bird cage, employing left-wing reporters like Heidi Walters whose rabid hatred for everything American is clearly demonstrated through her verbose rants found in the CITY LIFE archives ... you think that YOU can teach US --anything-- about this country! Well go right ahead! Take a section of that throw away paper that lands at the end of people's driveways and dedicate it to MR. SIMS TEACHES AMERICAN GUN OWNERS ABOUT AMERICA! I'll link to every word you post, and make sure the whole nation gets a chance to absorb your sage wisdom. Thank you Mr. Sims, for proving beyond any shadow of a doubt that you possess the unique ability to view your navel from inside your abdomen by inserting your head deeply into the only body orifice large enough to accept it.
Robash - "The list should be public to stop an unscrupulous public official from handing out CCW permits to his friends and political supporters. I'm not suggesting that Sheriff Philip would do such a thing But one of his successors just might be tempted to do such a thing if the list is secret " - - - Rob(?), do you understand that the names of CCW holders, being "public information" ARE available so that IF AND WHEN someone wants to check it to see if "an unscrupulous public official [handed] out CCW permits to his friends and political supporters" that information can easily be verified WITHOUT carelessly publishing the names of ALL CCW holders on the front page? NO ONE is saying the information should be "private." They are saying that just because it IS public, that does not mean a reporter should go out of her way to MAKE IT public. Consider also, that in order for anyone (even you) to get that information, you would normally have to send a letter to the department requesting the names. The department would gather the data and send it to you. IOW, they would know WHO is requesting the info. When the names are published on the front page, any criminal, old nemesis, stalker, activist, gang banger, scofflaw or anyone else can get ALL of the names anonymously by simply dropping a quarter into a newspaper rack. CCW holders DON'T CARE that their names are public information (read: kept in a file in some cabinet in some office and available for someone to see on request where there is a NEED to know that they have a CCW) but they DO CARE when their names are arbitrarily pulled out of that file cabinet, compiled into a list and plastered onto a billboard for the whole world to see! It is inadvisable to prevent ACCESS TO public information where there is a NEED for SOMEONE to know it, and it is inexcusable and shameful to deliberately and arrogantly collect it and broadcast it where there is NO NEED for EVERYONE to know it.
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In Print This Week:
Dec 5, 2013
vol XXIV issue 49
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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