Ohio Paper Outs CCW-Holding Local Politicians

We’ve seen this before, haven’t we? A newspaper or wire service decides to stir the pot by publicly ID’ing concealed carry license holders. They can’t do much about the advance of gun rights, something anathema to the left-leaning editorial boards of ninety percent of the legacy media. So they go with the only weapon they have left. They figure, ‘let’s make it uncomfortable to exercise second amendment rights. We’ll ‘shame’ them by letting everyone know they’re crazy gun-nuts.’ And they do it all under the cloak of the public’s right to know…

In a Sunday front page piece, the Hamilton (Ohio) JournalNews printed the names and photos – mug shot style – of 12 local politicians and officials who are licensed to carry a concealed weapon. It’s the print version of a criminal frog march.

In Ohio, the public is prohibited from viewing concealed-carry permit records unless the information is gathered by a journalist, but even the basis of that access is limited.

The JournalNews had to provide a signed request for the sheriff’s approval detailing what information would be accessed and for what purpose. Due to provisions in the law, the names of public officials holding a permit could not be recorded or copied in any way, but rather the database had to be viewed in person and the information gathered committed to memory for this report.

Thank God the intrepid Jessica Heffner is on the job for the good people of southwestern Ohio. Doing the heavy lifting and memorization so they don’t have to. What a gal. I bet the other ink-stained wretches around the newsroom call her ‘scoop.’

So let me get this straight. The Ohio legislature prevents the public from viewing the records, but gives a special pass to, ahem, journalists. Which has only resulted, in this case, in the public viewing a portion of the list. Just wanted to make sure I understood.

Printing the names and photos of licensed carriers this way puts them on a par with convicted sex offenders or wifebeaters. Which is pretty much how most newspaper reporters and editors view anyone crazy enough to own – let alone carry – a gun. Nevermind the fact that by definition, license holders have clean records and are, on the whole, about the most law-abiding cohort in any group of citizens you can choose short of nuns and infants.

On the plus side, the article does highlight the clear double standard whereby some politicians want the right to carry in public meetings, many of which are designated off limits to concealed weapons. They want to be like you and me, only better. Or safer.

But the JournalNews could have made the point just as easily without publicly identifying the specific individuals. Of the half dozen politicians they quote in the story, one gets it right:

George Lang, a trustee in West Chester Twp., agreed but said he thinks anyone should be allowed to carry into any situation they want so long as they have a permit.

“Our lives are no more precious than a non-elected person and anyone who wants to protect themselves should be able to carry into public buildings,” Lang said.

The fine folks at the JouralNews are likely quite proud of themselves. They’re probably taking turns patting each other on the back for doing a public service. It’s not really necessary to list all the reasons printing the names of concealed carry license holders is a bad, even dangerous idea. Not here anyway. In the mean time, we’re likely to see more of the same foot stamping and breath holding by the dead tree media as gun rights continue their advance.

[h/t Lance Wray]

48 Responses to Ohio Paper Outs CCW-Holding Local Politicians

  1. avatarWW Paul says:

    I’ll have to find out who these officials are. Should they ever run for national office I want to vote for them.

    • avatarMickey Collins says:

      You vote for politicians who hold concealed carry permits?
      If you move to California, you can vote for Barbara Boxer.

      Now George Lang, I’d be inclined to vote for him. Not because he’s a permit holder, but because he said something that Boxer would never say:

      “Our lives are no more precious than a non-elected person and anyone who wants to protect themselves should be able to carry into public buildings,”

      • avatarWW Paul says:

        Generally, I vote for people who support the 2nd Amendment, and especially those who show enthusiasm for it by actually owning and using firearms.

        Specifically, I won’t be moving to California and will probably never vote for Barbara Boxer.

  2. avatarRalph says:

    We’ll ‘shame’ them by letting everyone know they’re crazy gun-nuts.

    Well, if that’s the plan, then I have to say that the newspaper utterly failed. The only pols that could have been shamed were ones that carry yet voted against citizens’ rights to carry in Ohio. Otherwise, I’d say that the news did these pols a whole lot of good and very little bad.

    And George Lang, who supported citizens’ rights to protect themselves, got it very, very right. Kudos.

    • Couldn’t agree more. Hence the scare quotes. I’m sure the paper thought they’d be embarrassed because, you know, who’d want to be known as a gun owner. Right?

  3. avatarOldSquid says:

    Thanks, Dan, for posting this so quickly. As of yet I don’t know if my letter to the editor has been or will be published.

    - Lance

  4. avatarSilver says:

    Should one of these politicians be assassinated, I’d love for this “journalist” to be arrested as an accessory to murder.

    Hey, gun-grabbers can live in their own fantasy worlds, why can’t I have a fantasy now and then?

    • avatarRokurota says:

      Better than that. What I’d like to see is one of these CCW-holders defend against an attack. With a gun. That they can carry because of their permit. How would the media get around that one?

      (Not that I wish an attack on anyone!)

  5. avatarRogerT says:

    Not to meander too far off topic, but this brought up something I’ve been thinking on for a while: If private ownership of firearms is ever restricted or prohibited, could having a CCL (or owning a Title 2 firearm) make it easier for whomever to confiscate your firearms? I’ve heard that when you buy a firearm and fill out the background check form, this form and record of the background check is only kept for 6 months, after which it’s destroyed. So, having bought a non-Title 2 firearm in the past wouldn’t necessarily be on record anywhere. Thoughts?

    • avatarMartin Albright says:

      There are some people who refuse to buy guns from dealers or obtain CCW permits for that very reason. They say “I don’t want my name on a “list” somewhere” (cue the ominous music and/or sound of black helicopters here.)

      The thing is, it’s already there. You can bet your name is on a list, and so is mine, and so is everyone else’s who reads this blog. And if “the list” doesn’t exist, it wouldn’t be difficult to make one.

      But so what? If you really think things are that bad, then you need to move to your survivalist bunker or Unabomber-style shack now. The rest of us can work within the system to make sure that “list” never materializes into something more sinister.

      Trying to stay “off the grid” is a pointless exercise and ultimately futile, unless you really are willing to go it alone in the wilderness like that “Into the Wild” guy (and you saw how well that worked for him.)

      • avatarihatetrees says:

        Trying to stay “off the grid” is a pointless exercise and ultimately futile,

        +1.
        Privacy (from skilled marketers or government agents) is nearly dead. The book “Database Nation” nailed that truth a decade ago. It’s only become more true since then.

    • avatargrs says:

      Roger,
      While the NICS information with respect to the background check is *supposed* to be destroyed within a very short time (Tiahrt Amendment), that ATF form 4473 – the yellow “background check form” that you refer to, is NEVER destroyed.

      A Federal Firearms Licensee must maintain that form forever. If they leave the trade, all of these 4473s must be sent to BATF. The BATF has been scanning and digitizing these forms as sent from out-of-business licensess for many years, as well as frequently “borrowing” and digitizing those of interest from current Licensees – an act well against the spirit, if not the letter, of federal law, but as we have seen, respect for the law does not permeate the ranks of BATF management in any significant respect.

      • avatarbuzz says:

        My CC just says I can carry concealed. Not what I have or what I might carry. I’ve had 4 of my pistols for almost 30 years, and only one of them was purchased from a dealer and I doubt anyone can find the paperwork on it. Two pistols were purchased within the last couple years from a dealer so I suppose they can come look for them. Darned if I know where they are though. What with moving a few times. I’m sure I might find them packed away somewhere, officer.

  6. avatarMartin Albright says:

    I have to agree with Ralph. “Outing” only works if people have the opinions that lefty-journalists assume they do, i.e. anti-gun. If (as is generally the case) people are either pro-gun or else agnostic on the gun issue, then “outing” them not only does them no harm, it actually does good to the cause of gun rights, because then instead of gun owners being crazy looney rednecks in camo, they become the regular Joe who is also the town councilman or other prominent individual.

  7. avatarJOE MATAFOME says:

    If you like guns who cares if everyone knows. The last thing is bad guy wants it to go after someone he’s knows is packing, and will most likely shoot him if he attacks them. Criminals are cowards and they want lil sheep friends to mug, not gun lovers.

    • avatarcmd says:

      Some people carry concealed specifically so no one knows they are carrying. Having your name listed creates a potential target list. I would not want to have my name listed in a newspaper… again. This happened in Virginia a few years a go. Except it was a complete list of CCW permit holders in the State listed on a paper’s website. I like my privacy. I know the ATF and the FBI is familiar with my name and address but that does not mean I want to advertise. It is an individual choice to tell or not.

  8. avatarMrCrispy says:

    Personally, I’m proud of my carry permit and will talk about it with anyone who asks. As to whether or not I’m carrying, that’s my own business.

    • avatarBuuurr says:

      Me too. When I am ID’d I always give my CCW permit. The more who you show it too the less they care.

  9. avatarpsmcd says:

    So liberal/progressives practice the same guilt/shame based tactics as the religious philosophies they so vehemently defy?

  10. avatarRokurota says:

    Our little rag pulled this stunt in 2007 and it made the national news (CNN): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN4smdjU1e8 . Personally, while I enjoy the liberty my CHP allows, I do believe “concealed means concealed.” I don’t even put firearms-related stickers on my car (though I have been very tempted). First, I know that several of my friends and relations would feel uncomfortable. Second, it’s none of their business. What the Roanoke Times did, while legal, was spiteful. They published friggin’ addresses, for heaven’s sake. That paper (especially the head columnist — go ahead and google him: Dan Casey) has it in for gun ownership, and this in a mountain community thick with hunters and outdoor lovers. They would be the first to defend privacy in every other respect (“Because the government handles the permitting, it is everyone’s business,” they barked. Funny, you could say the same thing about issuing marriage permits to same-sex couples.) They forget that America (and especially Roanoke) is full of contrarians who don’t like being told what’s good for ‘em.

    • avatarElliotte says:

      Roanoke’s a big enough city that happens to be out in the middle of the mountains. I have a friend from college that’s an elementary teacher in the city and he had some students who had trouble learning until he spoke ebonics to them.

  11. avatarstateisevil says:

    What a dumb reporter the Journal-News has. Do they run stories like this in Arizona or Vermont? “Who is armed? Everyone in the state house!” So dumb. Not to mention no permit is required to open carry on foot in Ohio. Dull “journalists” trying to make something controvertial.

  12. avatarCornelius says:

    The AP tried pulling this crap in Illinois.

  13. avatarkarlb. says:

    Perhaps it is late, or I am tired, but after reading this story, I did not see an attempt to shame anyone. In fact, I thought there was a reasonable discussion of why pols would want to carry weapons. This was not a great article, but it did not seem hostile to CCW, and I am not sure how the reader would come away from reading this seeing the reporter as a liberal/progressive.

    Now, I agree with the folks here about CCW staying private. And I am making no blanket statement about other articles from other reporters/newspapers, but this one seemed pretty innocuous.

    • avatarstateisevil says:

      Well you’re right, in the context of life in the USSA of 2011. By which I mean in a freer society, being armed would not be news-worthy or interesting and there wouldn’t be any permits or licenses.

      • avatarRalph says:

        If newspapers keep running stories like this one, we will reach the point where guns are “normal.” At that point, we will have won the war.

  14. avatarGS650G says:

    Barbara Boxer has a CCW, from california no less. Some pigs are more equal than others.
    Chuckie Schumer has a NY state concealed permit, try getting one of those. Plus they have armed guards, you don’t.

    • avatarTristan Phillips says:

      Easier than you think if you’re West of the Hudson. Since permits are issued at the county level many rural counties will issue carry permits as a matter of course. You’ll have problems in the some of the bigger cities, but then again they’re all NYC wannabes.

      As for those of you East of the Hudson…You elected them. You can suffer the consequences of your choices.

  15. avatarMagoo says:

    karlb. says: “Perhaps it is late, or I am tired, but after reading this story, I did not see an attempt to shame anyone. In fact, I thought there was a reasonable discussion of why pols would want to carry weapons. ”

    Good eye. You got it exactly right. While one might not totally approve of the story’s basic premise (not sure myself) it is public info. And the reporting itself is first-class, especially the interviews. Note how the politicians were offered ample opportunity to explain their reasons for carrying — which they handled very well. Note also the variety of quotes obtained from ordinary citizens. This is good reporting.

    Instead of ragging on it, budding journalists at TTAG might take some tips from this story, especially on the interviews. Clearly, the TTAG writer brought lots more baggage to this story than the JournalNews resporter did. “Mug shot” photos? Really? Those are the politicians’ official campaign photos.

    • avatarkarlb. says:

      I think the problem is the headline–this is meant to sell papers, and it is not in keeping with the spirit of the reporter’s work.

  16. avatarJarhea982 says:

    Post the ALL the offending rags employee’s addresses as gun free zones on the web, or as one P.O.’d individual did to that Arkansas paper editor in 2008, post his address as a gun free zone on a bill board in the seedy side of town! Bet there are enough gun owners who would chip in $5 each in the papers local to rent a billboard for a month or two.

    That editor sputtered and complained about such intimidation, but geez, all it was, was a posting of publicly available information, therefore it was perfectly legal! LOL, funny how such twits can’t eat the same cake they like to serve eh?

  17. avatarRich says:

    It would be justice to publish the names of 2nd Amendment bigot journalists that have permits.

  18. avatarnotmellow says:

    Can they do that here in California, Gun toting anti-gun politicians need to be outed. and I mean you Miss Boxer.

  19. avatarPete says:

    In the interest of full disclosure of all those who choose to exercise their rights under the Bill of Rights, I propose we publish the names, photos, home addresses, home telephone numbers, and vehicle license tags of all reporters, editors, publishers and columnists for every newspaper, magazine, and television news organiztion in America.

    Hey, we have a right to know if any of these 1st Amedment wackos are living in our neighborhoods, where our children could be exposed to their extremist views.

  20. avatarTom C. Huskey says:

    Hello and thank you for your time. I’m a resident of Hamilton Ohio. There are some relevant facts y’all may want to know.

    1> Butlcr County Ohio (where Hamilton is) is staunch Republican territory. I believe there are two Democrats in elected office in the entire County, both of them judges, and one of those was a case where the Republican ‘candidate’ was essentially a non-starter / not real competition.

    2> The Journal used to reflect the views of the people of Butler County. Several years ago however it fell into hard times (like, you know, most of the papers in the nation) and was bought out by a Dayton paper. The quality of the paper has deteriorated noticeably since. Particularly offensive to its readers for example was that there was almost no coverage of the county fair last year. During a local weather catastrophe a couple of years ago, we went almost a week with no local news — there were only articles for Dayton (a county north of us) in the paper.

    3> One particular area where the paper no longer reflects local views is gun rights. The paper has gotten “called on the carpet” for this before — this is not the first anti-gun hit piece they’ve done. The piece in question threw out some bones to try and look balanced, but trust me — this was intended as a hit piece.

    4> I mentioned the paper being bought out because of reduced sales, correct? Since the buyout, it’s gotten worse. Worse enough that, as of a couple of months ago, they’ve started “overcorrecting”. The editorial page is now split down the middle, with a liberal article/cartoon on the left and a conservative article/cartoon on the right. They also learned their lesson with the fair and dedicated 4 pages per day to it this year.

    So that’s what I think happened here: they still have the bias (anti-gun), but they realize their sales are in the tank because those biases do not reflect the market they live in. So they “balanced” / “threw a bone to” their market.

  21. I doubt any of the CCW-holders are ashamed. In a way, the release of their identities might actually make them safer. Who’s going to pick a fight with an armed person?

  22. avatarDr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    Now the robbers and other criminals know which pols are armed, and (more importantly) which are not.

    http://www.panamalaw.org/images/gun_yard_sign.jpg

  23. avatarRebeccaH says:

    Well, if this paper is owned by the Dayton daily rag, I understand why it did a hit piece on politicians with concealed carry permits. We dropped that fishwrap years ago, not only because of the politically correct drivel, but also because they couldn’t get half their facts straight.

    As for concealed carry, I don’t carry myself, but I always hope there’s a legitimate carrier or two in any crowd I happen to be in, just in case some lone wolf nutcase (who wouldn’t bother with a permit anyway) cuts loose.

  24. avatarBrian Epps says:

    I’m more concerned by this:

    The Ohio legislature prevents the public from viewing the records, but gives a special pass to, ahem, journalists.

    This puts the state in the position of deciding who is and is not a “journalist” and granting to them special privileges over other citizens.

  25. avatarteapartydoc says:

    I don’t know if MSM “journalists” realize it, but it is just a matter of time before their personal information starts getting posted anonymously on the internet. Those in glass houses…

  26. avatarmarcinmo says:

    This is simple to correct. The jerks who published this list are all “public Persona ” that are not privlage to privacy laws, same as public officials. Backround check CCW info and “publish” the fact that they cannot CCW or that they would be breaking Ohio law. Publish their Faces “mug style” ,add their address of work place, post pictures of the lack of security at the workplace and parking facilities. Focus on the owners and editors of the fishwrap. When info is posted, blast the sphere. The jerks at the least will have to hire mucho security costing mucho shekels.

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