Is on the list of ''inappropriate'' sites banned by Columbus?

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that the announcement of crackdown on Internet surfing of "inappropriate" websites by city employees was not much of a deterrent, at least initially. But what caught our eye in the story was what the City of Columbus deems "inappropriate":

    A week after the city announced it would begin monitoring on-the-job Internet use and blocking access to certain sites, employees made more than 3,100 attempts in a single day to access banned sites, an audit revealed.

    Records obtained yesterday by WBNS-TV (Channel 10) show that about one-third of those attempts were flagged because the city’s Internet-security software detected "spyware" on the sites.

    In the majority of cases, however, employees simply tried to visit sites deemed "inappropriate." The records show that 451 of the attempts involved sites classified as "adult/sexually explicit." Workers tried to access "personals and dating" sites 334 times, "gambling" sites 271 times and "weapons" sites 260 times.

According to the Dispatch, the crackdown came 10 days after WBNS reported that city officials weren’t using the Surf-Control Web-monitoring and filtering system they owned even though they had spent more than $88,000 to acquire and maintain the software. Again, from the story:

    The new, more-stringent policy was outlined in a three-paragraph e-mail message sent to city employees May 19 by Guy Worley, Mayor Michael B. Coleman’s chief of staff. The policy revision had been recommended by the city’s Human Resources Best Practices Committee and endorsed by the mayor, he said.

    "Sites that have been deemed inappropriate include, but are not limited to, sites that contain adult/sexually explicit material, criminal activity, gambling, illegal drugs, games, personal dating services and chat rooms," Worley wrote.

So what are the websites that triggered the Internet filters to register 260 attempts to access "inappropriate" "weapons" sites in one day?

Would a city employee in charge of helping to plan for the NRA's 2007 convention in Columbus find that he is unable to access the NRA's convention websites?

Does Mayor Michael Coleman, who is a Democrat candidate for Ohio governor in 2006, really believe that the act of a city employee looking into the applications process for a concealed handgun license, so she no longer has to be concerned about being assaulted on the way to her car, deserves to be lumped in with persons attempting to access pornography or gambling websites?

Is this another example of how Mayor Coleman continues to view self-defense as "inappropriate" for the law-abiding citizens of Columbus?

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