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“…Let me say this right off the bat: I was stupid. Also naïve. And I am truly sorry because, as pure as my motive for posting the list was, it became obvious to me that my tactic was colossally wrong. As my many critics will point out, what’s done can’t be undone. But I wish it could.” Well, as long as her motives were pure…. Gwen Moritz, the Arkansas Business editor, didn’t like that the state’s database of gun owner info was about to be exempted from FOIA availability. So she grabbed the latest version she could before the list went dark and posted it on line. Then, when the the state’s gun owners turned up the heat on her . . .

She took the list down, but still made it available to anyone who requested it. Nothing impure there.

I quickly realized that striking a blow for government transparency struck terror into many Arkansas CCL holders.

Gosh, it’s hard to figure why a publicly available list of people with firearms in their homes could possibly cause such a kerfuffle.

…My name, my husband’s name, home address, phone and work phone numbers and pictures of my house — from the same Pulaski County tax records that Arkansas Business regularly mines for news — were posted all over the Internet. A Facebook page sprang up called “Gwen Moritz Breaks the Law” (although I have not) with prison bars Photoshopped over my picture. A 51-year-old wife, mother and journalist who exercised her First Amendment right in objection to government secrecy became a national threat to the Second Amendment literally overnight.

But everything’s sunshine and rainbows now, because Gwen has grown from her blow-striking experience. Besides figuring out that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should — not to mention the revelation that gun owners “are not criminals”– Gwen had a couple of other epiphanies.

I believe that citizens should be able to ask their government whom it has licensed to carry a concealed weapon. Also who their government has licensed to practice medicine, practice law and cut hair. But my clumsy attempt to make that point instantly turned me into an unrecognizable caricature who wants to strip Americans of the right to own guns, who hates America and the Constitution.

So for the record: I do not want to want to strip Americans of the right to own guns, I do not hate America, and I do not hate the Constitution.

That’s the “my motives were pure” part. The crusading journalist defending the people’s right to know. She just wanted to be able to ask her government who has CCW licenses. Just like she’s done countless time with barbers and beauticians, right?

Wait, one more teachable moment resulted:

A lot of our fellow Americans are scared. I heard from several people whose names were on the Arkansas CCL list who said they were happy for the world to know that they could be packing at any time. I heard from others who were terrified that random bad guys would be reading and use the list to harm them.

It was never my intention to make people who already live in fear more miserable. I’m ashamed to say that never even crossed my mind, although it certainly should have. Many of my correspondents immediately concluded that punishing CCL licensees for daring to want to protect themselves was my one and only goal. And I completely understand why they would feel that way: As I also wrote recently (in another inadvertent but poetic exercise in hypocrisy), motives don’t matter nearly as much as actions.

So again, for the record: I do not wish to punish law-abiding CCL licensees, and I am sorry if they believe I have.

Miscreants using her list to target gun owners never crossed her mind? That’s kinda hard to believe, since she referenced what happened in New York in her apology.

I certainly didn’t think I was doing anything like The Journal News in New York, which in December created an interactive online map showing the addresses of handgun licensees.

Maybe she thought publishing a list of only names and zip codes wouldn’t have the same effect as the Journal News’s little stunt. But in a much more sparsely populated state, how hard could it really be to ID gun owners using the Arkansas Business list?

Can she really be that obtuse?

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  1. Yet another dose of solipsism from a “journalist” riding their high horse of “ethics.”

    Are we noticing a pattern here yet?

  2. I was stupid. Also naïve.

    True on the first part. Likely a complete falsehood on the second, since she was aware of the reaction in NY. Nice try, though.

  3. Sorry about your horse running away and ruining the front of that 18-wheeler. Sure, I left the stable door open, true – it was to give him some fresh air, I SWEAR!! It would NEVER have occurred to me that he would find that open door!

    Yours truly, Gwen Moritz, President, Arkansas Horse Liberation Front

    p.s. Please keep this a secret between us!

    • > you can’t yell fire in a crowded theatre

      Schenck v. United States (1919) was overturned in Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969).

    • Actually you can yell fire in a crowded theater. Its viewed as being harmful or injurious to others so you will probably be fined, but you can yell it if you want to abuse your free speech rights.

  4. She says,” again, for the record: I do not wish to punish law-abiding CCL licensees, and I am sorry if they believe I have.”

    She says she was wrong, but her motive was as Dan Zimmerman notes, “pure”.
    She is not sorry she posted it, she is sorry that people believe it was wrong.
    The only thing is she sorry about is that she got all the negative attention, when she wanted to be hailed a hero by the anti-gunners.

    Basically, it did not fly like she wanted. She is sorry that she screwed up her 15 minutes of fame and her attempt to contribute to the attack on the 2nd Amendment failed. As always, a moron.

    • Did y’all catch that “…and I am sorry if they believe I have…” part? The part that kinda sounds like an apology but really is saying “I’m sorry you have a problem”, not “I’m sorry that I caused you problems.”

  5. I love how it didn’t hit home what she’d done until it was her information made public. Perhaps her apology is honest and she really didn’t mean it as a 2A attack. If so, she’s still bumbling and shortsighted, and I wouldn’t want her as editor of my community newspaper.

    • as do most ‘sheepy’ anti’s who don’t realize they could be rounded up to dig their own graves until it’s too late.

  6. So saying “I’m sorry” make everything alright. Commit murder and say “sorry.” I don’t think so. I am trying to get my kids to never get into the position of having to say “I’m sorry.”

    • No, her motive was & remains to “name & shame” those of whom she disapproves. She’s chagrined that there was a negative backlash & now she’s backing away faster than a cat covering up s***.

      This was a Jane Fonda style “unpology”. Unacceptable!

  7. Oh they posted your personal info and freaked you out? Pot calling kettle…delivery for one world’s tiniest violin.

  8. Imagine if newspapers pulished the names and addresses of African-Americans — because racists have a right to know, and blacks commit more crime than whites — or homosexuals — so parents can protect their children from possible pedophiles.

  9. I’d like to see all these blowhard journalists who think the only reason people own guns is because they live in fear, go ahead and make available (with an online interactive map) youe addresses, and follow it up with nice big signage on your front door saying “gun free zone”…. we’ll see how that works out for you

  10. And your motives were what exactly ? BS you knew what you were doing, I sincerely hope you get terminated for this, If I was a subscriber to your liberally slanted rag it would be Hasta la vista, baby

  11. Who could possibly have anticipated ANY negative outcome of such an action by a newspaper journalist? Well, besides the tens of millions of people who watched EXACTLY the same thing happen in NY last December.

    ANY person who edits ANY publication and does something like this, should have their employment terminated immediately, if for no other eason than they have just publicly demonstrated MASSIVE INCOMPETENCE.

  12. Despite the words, these people are not for privacy unless one’s advocacy falls into line with theirs.

  13. Wow. Your actions have consequences, and some of those you wrong might decide to fight fire with fire. Imagine that.

  14. I don’t see where she actually apologized for any of this.

    She makes some statements about herself, claims her motives were pure, whines about turnabout, and then says she’s sorry… …if we believe she’s out to get us.

    That’s not an apology. That’s just her defending her motives and claiming ignorance in not thinking through her actions. She even specifically says (directly and with some poetry about striking a blow) that she feels this information should be publicly available, which is right in line with what she just said she did, for the reasons she gave that she did it.

    So… what apology?

    The closest thing that I see is the comment where she apologizes that her tactic was wrong. That’s an apology to the gun grabbers for making herself a target, not an apology to pro-gun people.

  15. How many times have we heard these phony mea culpas before? A televangelist gets caught with a hooker and it’s “I’m sorry, I was wrong and I’ll never do it again.” Yeah, right. A headline hungry “journalist” races to deprive people of their privacy and it’s “I was stupid, I was naïve, I’m sorry.” Sure you are.

    Guys, don’t try this bullsh!t with your wives, ’cause it ain’t gonna work. Unless there’s jewelry involved. Expensive jewelry.

  16. Her reasoning behind this is entirely flawed. She wants to know who the government has allowed (gasp!) to exercise his/her right to keep and bear arms. The RKBA is not granted by the government, it is quite literally an essential component of our system of government. Free men with the natural born right to self-defense, both at the individual level and against government tyranny.

    So what’s the answer to her question regarding who has “permission” to concealed carry? Every free man and woman calling themselves a US citizen.

  17. The big gap not realized here is that constitutional carry should be the law. Ones ownership or carry habits should be private. People like this individual, forget that being forced to ask permission to carry is different than knowing if a Dr. has a license to perform surgery on you. If you do not act on me, you need not worry nor care that I own a gun. The only time you will know that I have a gun is if you ask me to use it on you, in my house, at 3:00AM.
    It does show that many do not differentiate between lawful gun ownership and criminal use.
    So that’s where she puts us, somewhere between a pediatrician and a pedophile and obviously much closer to the later. I’ve never seen any one hot to publish a list of Chiropractor’s info.

  18. Immoral, unethical, criminal and a liar. Total BS. Reminds me of the testimony at the Nuremberg trials of concentration camp guards “Oh, I was just following orders”, or “oh, I did not know what they were doing to them”.

    Yeah right. So is someone’s home is broken into, and (God forbid) someone loses their life to a criminal looking for guns, based on this published list. She would have no responsibility for that, right?

  19. A frog was sitting by the creek one day and a scorpion came by and said to the frog I need to get across the creek, will you take me across on your back.

    The frog goes no, you are a scoprion and you will sting me and I will die.

    The scorpion pleads his case for hours, finally the frog relents and the scorpion climbs on the frogs back and they begin to cross the creek.

    ABout half-way across the scorpion starts to get nervous and in a panic, stings the frog, who in his dying breath asks, you promised you would not sting and kill me, why did you? The scorpion replies, I am a scoprion, what else could I do, as the scorpion slipped beneath the waters and died also.

    Poor editor, sucks being a scorpion!

  20. This was my comment in the other thread when someone posted the original link to this:

    Thanks for that. Those who called and emailed their anger a few days ago might consider sending her a note congratulating her on her lessons learned. Not everyone figures stuff out instinctively.

    “Some can learn by being told, others can learn by watching. The rest of us have to pee on the electric fence ourselves.”

    I want to add to that comment now, having seen 20-some of the comments here. My addition to the above is this:

    Jesus H. Tap-dancing Christ, you guys are a bunch of assholes. It is, despite what you seem to believe, possible for someone, once in a while, to make an honest mistake. Her language and tone seem humbled to me, and I’m inclined to take what she wrote at face value. But maybe that’s because I got to read the full, actual retraction, a link to which was left out of the post above. Isn’t this, especially “Lesson #4”,

    They don’t want to hurt me. As far as I know, I haven’t received any actual death threats, not even from the people who thought it was a proportional response to post directions to my house on the Internet. This remarkable fact underscores a point that gun aficionados have tried to make until they are blue in the face: They are not criminals. They posted my personal information all over the Internet in hopes that I would feel as vulnerable and exposed to criminals as they do. They seek to intimidate me as they feel they have been intimidated, to bully me in response to what they see as my bullying. They might think I deserve to become the target of crime because they feel I have made them targets. But the people who are angry with me do not seem to want to hurt me, because they truly see themselves as the good guys with guns. This, I think, may be the most valuable lesson I can share with the people who are concerned about my safety.

    exactly what we hope for when we try to convince anti-gun people the error of their ways?

    Maybe you aren’t assholes after all, since you were operating without the full information that you should have been afforded prior to making your comments.

      • It, to the degree that it applies, is relevant not specifically to what happened, but to people’s reaction to her retraction/apology. I don’t know if it was in response to what I wrote or not, but Ing‘s comments below show that he got the point I was making.

        I started my comment by calling people names, but as I wrote it and realized that there was no actual link in the post to the retraction/apology, I modified my opinion. I realized that many people who were commenting with such vitriol were doing so based solely on that small portion of her apology that was reproduced here, and not based on the full text of her column (which still hasn’t been linked here, I might add, except by me). The only thing those people based their comments on were the small excerpts and the editor’s snarky comments about them. Whether the full context might have caused some people to react less (obnoxiously) negatively, I don’t know. What I do know was that they were not given the opportunity to make that choice.

        As Ing said, The Truth About Guns wasn’t exactly the whole truth, in this case.

    • “They are not criminals.” If she truly learned this, and is willing to actively bringing that message to her friends, then I for one will forgive her.

    • I appreciate your reasoning, Matt, and I agree with you that we are all fallible and make mistakes. However, I believe that you are overlooking several salient points in making your remarks:

      (1) Ms. Moritz’ actions were not original and unprecedented. As has been pointed out repeatedly, the previous and very similar fiasco in New York would have given a more cautious and responsible journalist pause before she pulled the trigger on abridging CCL holders’ rights to privacy.

      (2) Ms. Moritz states in her apology that she believed she was “striking a blow for government transparency”, but she blissfully ignored the fact that any potential harm resulting from her actions could not possibly fall on the government that was her putative target, but rather must necessarily fall against some of the individual citizens she implies it is her intent to protect from government secrecy.

      (3) Some mistakes cannot be fixed. Words, once written, cannot be recalled. This is especially true in the age of the Internet, when everything is copied and kept forever. Like murder or rape, there can be no restitution for what Ms. Moritz has done.

      In light of these points, even the complete retraction and apology (yes, I read it all; thank you, Matt, for posting the link) takes on the air of “sorry, not sorry” rather than coming across as a sincere apology. Even Lesson No. 4, which you included in your post, reads to me like an attempt to appease firearms advocates’ anger and prevent actual harm to herself. A compelled, grudging apology is not a real apology.

      Reading between the lines, I sense that Ms. Moritz is harboring a great amount of resentment. Will she publish such a list again? Probably not. Will she take other opportunities, even unethical ones, to stab at those nasty “gun nuts”? You bet.

      • I disagree with you a bit, particularly on your point #3 (Comparing this to murder and rape? Might as well call her a Nazi… oops, people have done that already), but I respect the fact that you gave it some thought, rather than simply saying, “I don’t care if she apologized, she should die painfully, in a fire, while being set upon by wild dogs,” as many others have done. That’s the mature response.

        As far as harboring resentment goes, I don’t know. I’m not in her head. It’s possible, I suppose. Or not.

        • I only compared what Ms. Moritz did to murder and rape in the way that they are all three irreparable harm; it was a carefully limited comparison, and did not attempt to equate the degree of harm done.

          That said, a small amount of harm intentionally done to each of several hundred individuals may arguably be comparable to a great deal of harm done to a single person. However, my intent was not to embark on a philosophical discussion here.

          I wrote what I did about Ms. Moritz’ abiding resentment even before seeing the screenshot of a portion of the Facebook page of her husband, Rob Moritz (see the Imgur link in Mr. Joeboto’s comment below). I based those remarks solely on the feeling I got from reading her retraction/apology. It is gratifying to have my suspicions about her real feelings confirmed by reading the congratulatory remarks from the Moritzes’ circle of friends.

          I was willing to give Ms. Moritz the benefit of the doubt, but now I think she may not have received even half of the kicking around that she rightly deserves.

    • Matt in FL, you must really like the smell of bullsh!t, because you took a big whiff.

      I’m not buying it. Not for a second. She went out of her way to be a b!tch, and now she wants absolution? In a pig’s @ss.

  21. Until a few years ago Texas DPS published a list of people with a CHL in the state. That is until Nokia, and several other scum sucking freedom hating companies started using that list to pink slip everyone with a CHL. CHL holder list should never be public info.

    If I were and Arkansas CHL holder I would be calling this worm and her employer until she was gone.

    • If Nokia wants to fire gun owners, they can make their employees sign a waiver allowing Nokia to get that information from the state as a condition of employment.

  22. Another head case that was trying to help their cause. These people probably do help our cause, Randy

  23. “As pure as my motive was…”

    That right there tells you everything you need to know about this so-called apology.

    If her motive was pure, it was pure stupidity. The dark, unforgivable stupidity of yet another pecksniff who thinks it’s her prerogative to do things to other people (not for them, *to* them) for their own good. And she STILL thinks it’s her prerogative to do unto others what they should have done to them. Because her motives are pure.

    This reminds me of what C.S. Lewis said:
    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    This is why the religious right, the gun prohibitionists, and progressives all scare me to death.

    • I hereby retract everything I just said about this woman. I don’t know her, and I haven’t even read the full apology, and I’m not going to.

      I stand by the general idea of my comment, but since all I’ve seen is what TTAG decided to show me, I can’t say it really applies to this situation.

      This site calls itself The Truth About Guns, and much of the time it actually lives up to the name. But the truth about guns is NOT the truth about people or politics or journalism or anything else. Pure as their motives may be, sometimes TTAG is wrong.

      Is this one of those times? I dunno. I do know that I went on a tirade based on incomplete information from a source that (however much I trust it) is not disposed to be fair to someone like Gwen Moritz. Does she deserve fair and polite treatment right now? I don’t know that either.

      Anyway, whatever. Fug it all. No more internet for me today.

  24. “I believe that citizens should be able to ask their government whom it has licensed to carry a concealed weapon. Also who their government has licensed to practice medicine, practice law and cut hair”

    Last time I checked a CWP holder has not responsibilities to you or anyone else, so why would they have to divulge that information to the likes of you or anyone else? And also who the hell goes to their barber and says “you have to provide me with your license to cut my hair or I’m outa here!”. It is everyone right to know if a person you are paying money for a service that requires training and competency I.E. “licensed to practice medicine, practice law and cut hair” but a private citizen that you have no affiliation with has no obligation to inform you or anyone else that has nothing to do with them about what they are licensed to do. If you feel unsafe because you don’t know who may or may not have a gun go hang out in a gun free zone, I’m sure you will be safe there. /sarc

    “…My name, my husband’s name, home address, phone and work phone numbers and pictures of my house — from the same Pulaski County tax records that Arkansas Business regularly mines for news — were posted all over the Internet.”

    WOW WOW WOW… you mean your information was posted for anyone to see without your consent? I wonder why anyone would be mad at that? I mean I’m sure that wouldn’t make her a TARGET or anything like that. And I’m sure the people posting her information were not intending for her to stand out as a target, I’m sure THEY never would have seen that coming.

    She knew exactly what she was doing and what the end result would be, she is only attempting to apologize because of the backlash she is suffering and she wants to preserve what little public image she has left. It may be incorrect of me but if I were affected by her actions I would not accept her apology.

  25. These were the actions of a cold, callous individual – and nowhere resembling an honest mistake.

    How are these people literally still breathing? If you intentionally (or otherwise) endangered my family or put any of their lives at risk… that’s it. Done. Since there doesn’t seem to be any limits with this liberal mentality, maybe it’s finally time to fight fire with fire.

    • In which year did all these nitwit carpetbaggers invade Arkansas? Why was the invasion not repelled via force?

  26. “I was stupid. Also naïve.”
    This made me pleased, as most politicians only admit that something they did accidentally didn’t work, or something inadvertently happened. She actually admitted stupidity. I appreciate the humility, and could probably accept an apology like that. Yes, she absolutely knew what she was doing, but one can always hope for a changing of ways. I was trying to stay positive. I wouldn’t want my name/address/photos everywhere either.

    “I believe that citizens should be able to ask their government whom it has licensed to carry a concealed weapon. Also who their government has licensed to practice medicine, practice law and cut hair.”
    Sure, a citizen can ask anything he wants. That doesn’t mean it’s acceptable for state employees to give out license information lists. In fact the state has no business stopping someone who doesn’t subscribe to its licensing system anyway, but that’s another discussion. If one wants his provider of medical care, legal help, etc. to be licensed, then one can ask to see the provider’s license. If it is not provided, proceed at your own risk. Licenses are not to be published openly(though they probably are). Also, it seems the license to run a business providing service to the general public is more of public business than a weapons permit which is the solely the holder’s business.

    Is this really so complex she couldn’t figure it out? Is she trying to pull one over, again?

  27. “as pure as my motive for posting the list was”

    This single line summarizes the ginormous problem in our country that pervades the “progressive” or “liberal” mindset. Everything is okay as long as a person’s motives were good.

    How do we stop this cancer?

  28. She should be PERSONALLY liable for any thefts that occur at those houses or harm that comes to those people or their families…this tells criminals where guns are… I would be very afraid of it being public that I’m a gun owner as I know all of the scum in the welfare section of my city would be looking for an easy break…

  29. This little fatties so called apology is really nullified when she among other things says

    “It was never my intention to make people who already live in fear more miserable.”

    • That statement really pisses me off. This waste of fresh air is essentially accusing all CCL holders as “living in fear”. In her it’s mind, people with CCL’s are either paranoids constantly looking over their shoulders or crazies running around looking for a gun fight.

      Making points like this is the real purpose of her false “apology”.

  30. This little fatties so called apology is really meaningless when she among other things says:
    “It was never my intention to make people who already live in fear more miserable.”

  31. “I quickly realized that striking a blow for government transparency struck terror into many Arkansas CCL holders.”

    How can such a stupid person be the editor of anything? CCL holders are not government employees so there is absolutely no need for transparency whatsoever.

    Why does it surprise me that a civilian disarmament proponent doesn’t believe armed citizens have a right to privacy?

    More importantly, can you imagine what sorts of things her ilk would do if they had serious majority in government?!?!?!? And they wonder why we don’t want to give up our guns.

    • Oh my. I hadn’t even read her entire response before posting above. I just found this, “A 51-year-old wife, mother and journalist who exercised her First Amendment right in objection to government secrecy became a national threat to the Second Amendment literally overnight.”

      Wrong. What she published had absolutely nothing to do with government secrecy. And what she published was absolutely no threat to the Second Amendment. What she did was violate the privacy of her fellow citizens.

      That is the difference between gun rights proponents and civilian disarmament proponents. Gun rights proponents want to be left alone and go out of their way to avoid harming anyone. Civilian disarmament proponents do everything in their power to harass and harm fellow citizens who simply want the option to be armed for self defense.

  32. If it is such a big deal to publish the name and addresses of all the CCL’s, then why should I then have notify a police officer, if while being detained, that I have a licensed firearm. Since it would public information, let them figure it out.

  33. What she also fails to realize regarding ‘government secrecy’ is that this list shouldn’t exist to be hid/found/published/exploited in the first place.

  34. Her name, address, family information, and so forth was published? What a shame. Does she seriously believe that her personal information should remain private, while mine is fair game? I’m to the point of thinking that the government shouldn’t be allowed to have any data about me.

  35. Three hours and several mentions later, the full text is still not linked from the original post. Let me make this very clear, not surrounded by paragraphs of other text.

    Full text of retraction/apology here:
    My Learning Curve (Gwen Moritz Editor’s Note)

    I’m surprised and disappointed at you guys for this. I’m used to better from you.

      • If that’s the case then I’ll take you at your word and apologize for the outburst. Usually you guys are pretty quick to pick up that stuff, so I was starting to wonder.

    • Matt in FL, her apologia was the most smarmy, self-righteous bunch of bullsh!t I’ve read since the Democrat Party platform on gun control. I’m sorry that you’re so easily gulled.

      • Heh. Um, Ralph? Might want to consider your usage of the phrase “I’m sorry”. Looks like apologia, but isn’t.

        (Don’t smack me. I’m just having a little fun wit’ ya.)

  36. She wanted national notoriety and publicity. She figured the fastest way to do this was not through proficiency at her chosen craft, but by jumping on the proven “publish a listing of people who have guns” bandwagon. Gauranteed to get her name plastered all over pro-gun websites as an enemy of freedom, which in turn guaranteed her name would get plastered all over anti-gun websites as a folk hero.

    This attention whore got exactly what she wanted. She’ll probably get a job working for Bloomberg or CNNMSNBC.

  37. She’s not a victim. She got what she wanted – national publicity and exposure. She knew what she was doing and the reaction she would get. She probably had the “apology” written before she published the list of CCL holders.

  38. Anyone with a gun permit should be public information. OK. So please publish a list of all the police officers, including the undercover officers, and snitches. And how about all the CIA employees. They are all taking public money and all but the snitches have a public law gun permit by default.

  39. What she really meant to say was “I didn’t think about the stupidity of pissing off people with guns, and now I’m scared.” Becuase in her hoplophobic mind, there are a crap-ton of gun toters now lining up to do her harm.

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