Double-standard: Privacy a right for everyone but law-abiding gun owners

The need for the protection of privacy has been in the news a lot lately, and it would appear liberals and the media elite supports such efforts for everyone guessed CHL-holders.

Click on the "Read More..." link below for more.

    ‘Scarlet plates’ single out DUIs

    August 9, 2004
    Elyria Chronicle-Telegram

    It’s not a scarlet letter, but it’s close.
    The bright yellow license plates with red numbers signal the car is used by a convicted drunken driver.

    Advocates say the “scarlet letter” license plates get people’s attention and could reduce drunken driving accidents. But detractors, including the American Civil Liberties Union, say the plates embarrass family members who also drive the car.

The ACLU has NOT come out to advocate on behalf of family members driving CHL-holders' cars, despite the possibility for complications in a traffic stop caused by an officer expecting the driver is armed.

    Private documents found in trash at debt-collection company

    July 30, 2004
    Columbus Dispatch

    At least four agencies in four states are investigating how documents containing hundreds of Social Security numbers and other personal information ended up in an unsecured trash bin behind the Columbus office of a debt-collection company.

    Acting on an anonymous tip, WBNS-TV (Channel 10) found hundreds of records last week in a metal trash container behind GC Services’ office at 4777 Hilton Corporate Dr., near I-70 and Hamilton Road on the East Side.

    Several garbage bags contained documents listing the names, addresses, phone numbers and Social Security numbers of hundreds of people who appeared to have been targets of GC Services’ debt-collection efforts.

    In all, personal information for 449 individuals from Ohio and 21 other states was found.

When the Sidney Daily News published the home addresses of nearly 90 CHL-holders, a felony, Ohio's major media largely ignored the story, even after a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate the matter.

    FLASHBACK: Taft supports not ''stigmatizing'' ex-cons; insisted on stigmatizing CHL-holders

    Apr. 01, 2004
    Akron Beacon Journal

    Last month, Ohio prison officials quietly tapped a few computer keys and removed the names of all former inmates from the state's Web site.

    Thousands of names, plus photos and the descriptions of crimes committed by former convicts -- records that had been available to the public 24 hours a day for six years -- were removed.

    "We have found... because certain former inmates have their picture on the Web site, it's been a disadvantage for them and an embarrassment that has kept them in some cases from getting jobs, and we think that is unfair,'' said Prison Director Reginald Wilkinson.

    Gov. Bob Taft is not opposed to eliminating names of former inmates from the prison Web site, spokesman Orest Holubec said.

    Mark Paulus, director of justice services for Community Connection for Ohio Offenders, a support and advocacy group for ex-cons, hailed Wilkinson's decision.

    Paulus, who was an inmate in the 1990s, said he was stigmatized by the Web site, which revealed his criminal past and embarrassed him and his wife and son.

    "Even though you paid your debt and the punishment was over, there was really no end to it, no matter where you went, because it was always available on the Internet,'' he said. "My thing is, when is it over?

'When is it over'? Thanks to Bob Taft and a handful of anti-gun editorial boards, it will never be over for CHL-holders, at least not until the General Assembly moves to fix its error and override Taft.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer continues to float excuses for subverting the will of the Ohio General Assembly, and putting thousands of Ohioans in danger by publishing their names. Despite the death of one license-holder just days after being listed, gun ban extremists at the Brady Campaign's offer nothing but praise for the disgraceful actions of five Ohio newspapers.

Ohio CHL-holders have done nothing wrong, and certainly have more of a right to avoid being stigmatized than do Taft's felons.

Consider these quotes from the Cato Institute's newly-released Privacy Policy Analysis :

    "Privacy is not a gift from politicians or an entitlement that can be demanded from government. It is a product of personal responsibility."

    "The only satisfactory protection for privacy in the case of public records is to reduce the role of government in the intimate details in citizens' personal, social and economic lives."

    "The best way to protect true privacy is to leave decision about how personal information is used to the people affected."

Rep. James Aslanides (R-Coshocton), the concealed carry bill's original sponsor, said in conference committee and during a short floor speech in January that he would lead an effort to roll back the media access if the "privilege" is abused.

"If they abuse the privilege, we can cause them to lose the privilege," he declared, pointing out that the Pennsylvania Legislature struck a similar provision after a newspaper published a list of permit holders.

Sen. Steve Austria seconded this warning, adding that publishing the names of license-holders would be the exact kind of abuse they're referring to, since publishing these names would threaten the safety of the very men and women who have chosen to bear arms for self-defense.

"I don't think we need to worry about journalists doing their job," state Sen. Marc Dann, a Youngstown area Democrat, told Mr. Aslanides.

Rep. Aslanides has already expressed interest in modifying the law to correct this abuse. Sens. Austria and Dann have not, as far as we are aware, provided public comment in the wake of these newspapers' actions. All three men are up for re-election this November.

It is time, honorable legislators - it is past time.

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