The anti-privacy press


Staff member
Unable to stop Florida from issuing concealed weapons permits, the St. Petersburg Times raises the right-to-know red herring.

It is juvenile.

What part of “concealed” does the newspaper’s editorial board not understand?

After years of trying to stop the right to protect and defend oneself, the St. Petersburg Times and other liberals in Florida lost the battle on liberalizing the concealed weapons law.

So now the Times wants the state to unseal the concealed weapons files.

“The right to carry a concealed weapon should not trample the right to know who has a permit to carry one,” the Times said in an editorial.

Again, do the editors know what the word “concealed” means?

Florida legislators will not be so dumb as to open these files so that permit holders can be harassed, as supporters of Proposition 8 were harassed by gay men following that amendment’s passage.

“Those carrying guns might feel safer, but what about everyone else who cannot know if their neighbor or co-worker is carrying one?” the Times said.

I’d feel much safer knowing the guy next to me is clean enough to get a permit and has my back. I’m old. My draw is slow, my hands shaky and my sight is poor. I’m willing to let one of the whippersnappers in the office handle the next homicidal maniac who walks into the newsroom.

The problem with the Times is it believes its over-the-top rhetoric about “gun nuts.” My experience over the years is a series of pleasant surprises in learning just who carries a gun.

By the way, hunters are good guys too. And you betcha they eat what they hunt because no one puts that much effort in a sport just to let good meat rot.

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Luckily it is highly unlikely that the legislature will take this step, after they rejected the same old argument when they removed the public records availability in 2006. One of the reasons that the removal wound up in place was the practice of newspapers to publish the list in its paper which served no public service whatsover other than harassment.

What we need the legislature to pass is laws forbidding newpapers from harassing and sladerizing during the editorial process. Freedom of the press protects the right to disseminate news, as in factual inforamtion, but in my opinion a newspaper has no more right to free speech beyond the dissemination of news than a person yelling fire in a crowded theater.

Lets force the media to recognize that there are more than one amendment that grants rights.
“Those carrying guns might feel safer, but what about everyone else who cannot know if their neighbor or co-worker is carrying one?” the Times said.

So if they'd all like to feel safer, buy a gun, ante up that $117, take the course, and they too can feel safer. See how easy it is. I don't think FLorida is about to make its permit list publiclly available.

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