SPITE: Two Ohio newspapers violate privacy of county CHL-holders

In the past two days, the Warren Tribune Chronicle (Trumbull Co.) and Elyria Chronicle-Telegram (Lorain Co.) have begun punishing the citizens of their respective counties as a means of protesting Ohio's new concealed carry law.

Both news outlets published the names of every person who has been issued a CHL in the county.

The Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel recently considered doing the same in Indiana, but had the good sense to poll their readers on the issue. After receiving 3000 letters opposing the plan (95% of all letters received on the subject), the newspaper backed down. They expressed shared concern with readers who warned of the potential to expose former victims of violence who have gone to great lengths to hide from their attackers, and with those who warned that the list would serve only to provide a convenient shopping list for would-be thieves.

The Warren Tribune Chronicle and Elyria Chronicle-Telegram have no such respect for your opinion, nor for your privacy. Other Ohio newspapers, including the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Columbus Dispatch, have also been threatening to take out their frustrations by publishing CHL-holders' names since the day the law was passed.

Aside from these bitter, spiteful anti-gun editorial boards, the blame for the loss of these people's privacy lies squarely on the shoulders of Bob Taft, who actually had the nerve to try and score political points with gun owners when he finally signed the bill into law (after having fought against it for years, and having forced in some terribly egregious amendments, including the provision which allowed these newspapers access to the lists).

Rep. James Aslanides (R-Coshocton), the bill's sponsor, said in conference committee and during a short floor speech on January 7, 2004 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 referrring to, since publishing these names would threaten the safety of the very men and women who have chosen to bear arms for self-defense.

More to follow on this developing story...

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

Indiana newspaper hears loud voice of opposition to publishing CCW list

Ohio media: Rotten Apples and Sour Grapes

Cleveland Plain Dealer's past vs. present on firearms highlighted in obituary

Columbus Dispatch: 140+ years of anti-self-defense rhetoric


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