Ashland Co. CHL-holders taken hostage, Ohio newspaper style
In a move that more closely resembles the behavior of a band of terrorists than a 155-year-old news organization, the editor of the Ashland Times Gazette has announced that he has taken the privacy of 400 or more concealed handgun license (CHL)-holders hostage, and will release the information unless the Ohio General Assembly bends to his will.
In a March 19 editorial, Times-Gazette editor Ted E. Daniels announced that his newspaper has been collecting the names of CHL-holders in Ashland County. (This abuse of the Media Access Loophole was originally recommended to newspapers by the Ohio Newspaper Association.)
Daniels admits the Times-Gazette has not previously published the names because they (correctly) determined that publishing the list of names "wasn't very exciting" and had "minimal news value". The Cleveland Plain Dealer also realized this recently, having announced that it would stop listing the names in the printed publication, but to continue abusing the media's access privilege by listing CHL-holders on the Internet.
Daniels recounts the history of the abuse of the media's access privilege by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and accuses Ohioans For Concealed Carry of attempting to intimidate PD editor Doug Clifton by publishing his contact information on our website (information which Clifton himself authorized the distribution of - in the phone book!).
Why is it that newspapers see OFCC's move to publish Clifton's information as intimidating, but refuse to see how intimidating their own actions can be to CHL-holders who may be hiding from an abusive ex-spouse or afraid a gun thief will target their home?
Daniels also criticizes suggestions that criminals will use the newspaper to pre-plan their crimes, proving he is either unaware of two recent incidents in Ohio where criminals did just that, or just not being honest with his readers.
At the end of the editorial comes Daniels' demand: if legislators respond to the will of their constituents by closing the Media Access Loophole, the Times-Gazette will "inform Ashland County residents which of their neighbors are licensed to carry a hidden gun" by publishing the list of CHL-holders whose private information the paper has already collected.
This is the same type of tactic terrorists use when they demand policy changes, and threaten beheadings if they don't get their way. It is a tactic used by an entity that finds itself on the minority side of a legislative debate, and it is behavior that is beneath the level of appropriate political discourse in Ohio.
Ashland Times-Gazette Editor and General Manager Ted E. Daniels can be reached as follows:
419-281-0581 x 211
Oh, and by the way, like Doug Clifton, Ted Daniels has also elected to release his personal contact information, home address, and wife's name, in the local phone listings.
At least he was given a choice.
CLICK HERE TO ASK YOUR LEGISLATORS TO PROTECT LAW-ABIDING PEOPLE BY AMENDING HOUSE BILL 9 AND CLOSING THE MEDIA ACCESS LOOPHOLE.
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