Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Oregonian Is An Ass, Once Again - About Guns

As a blogger and as a citizen I am a vast fan of printed newspapers. I am also a willing critic when they engage in assholedom. The Oregonian's Editorial about keeping concealed weapons permits public record is such an engagement - possibly wedding. They assert that their opposition to restricting access to these records allows Sherriffs to be reckless and unaccountable. First though they strike out at an Oregon Representative.
Indeed, Eugene Democrat Chris Edwards said of the measure, House Bill 2727: "It's about protecting the rights of the good guys. This is not about protecting the rights of punks, of hooligans, or meth tweakers."

There is a word for this sort of overblown rhetoric. Pandering.

"Pandering?" Well now, suppose we wait a bit and see about pandering...
In the 20 years that concealed-carry permits have been public, no violence has been committed against an Oregon concealed-weapons permit holder -- by a punk, hooligan, tweaker, cuckolded spouse, gulled lender or any other kind of bad guy -- because the victim's name was on a gun permit.

Does it pass muster as pandering to make an entirely unsourced and most probably unknowable assertion like this? That might be a reach so we'll move right along. Oh wait, there's a loon waiting in the wings.
In fact, the only recent connection we've noticed between crime and gun permits was the recent news item mentioning that Jiverly Wong, who murdered 13 people in Binghamton N.Y., last month, e-mailed his back to the police department before going on a shooting spree. Among other things, it makes you wonder what would prompt a police agency to give Wong a permit in the first place.
More importantly, there is the matter of just how good a job Oregon sheriffs actually do in properly enforcing even this lax law. State Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, and an outspoken advocate of stronger gun laws, said that a recent rough cross-comparison between a list of permit-holders and a list of jailed criminals showed hundreds of apparent matches.

There is no mention of any single actual instance of this in the entire editorial. Note, they talk about possibilities not facts. It would be a simple enough matter to bring forward a fact - they don't and neither does Ginny - serial 2nd Amendment infringement offender.

Citizens ought to be able to easily check whether their sheriffs are doing their duty properly, or whether they're giving out concealed carry permits to every Jiverly Wong who strolls up to the front desk.

The big closer, pandering in its most offensive and lying form. You cannot stroll up to any desk anywhere in Oregon and just get a concealed weapon permit, not even close to it, not even in the same universe as it. You can take a state mandated course conducted by a state approved instructor in order to qualify to apply, then you will pass an extensive background test and provide recommendations from known responsible citizens and then have a photo and fingerprints taken. You will be provided no legal relief for any crime committed while carrying, in fact they will be enhanced.

A load of tripe suitable for lining a hamster cage, inhabited by more evident brain power than the author of this. Which other pieces of information will they push to have public, driver's licenses? There are very good reasons for some pieces of personal information out of general hands. This thing is evidence of the wisdom of keeping keyboards out of some people's hands. Ah well, The Oregonian is failing pretty fast - lack of talent and relevance?


Zak Johnson said...

The Big O editorial was way off base, unresearched, uninformed and intentionally misleading. Gun owners, law enforcement, and most members of the public understand that making concealed handgun license holders' personal information public exposes them to assault, theft and potential job discrimination. The ONLY forces who feel entitled to unfettered access to see and distribute this information are the newspapers.

What the Big O conveniently fails to mention that this loophole in the law was exposed when another Oregon paper tried to get all the records of CHL holders in one county to find out which teachers in the Medford area did and did not have a CHL. The Medford case is quite famous at this point, so I won't recap it, but readers ought to know that the Oregonian itself took a different tack and did background research on all Multnomah County schoolboard members (there are 9 boards in the county, including the MESD where I am vice chair) and cross-referenced these names against the CHL lists for the purpose of exposing these people as potential violators of their own board policies about employees or affiliates having firearms on campuses. The take-home message in both circumstances is that as a gun owners, the press sees you guilty until proven innocent.

A couple other striking things about the article. First, the fact that Ginny Burdick, who has made a career out of anti-gun crusading, was the only politician found to quote shows just how far out of the mainstream gun control has moved--there is virtually no support for it on either end of the political spectrum. Burdick's "I have a list!" McCarthy-style posturing is disturbing on its own, and any newspaper professional's radar should have warned them of crashing into that iceberg.

The charge of "pandering" is interesting when 54 out of 58 present legislators supported HB2727. The press seems intent to relive the 90s and the political battles of the Clintons just because we have a new Democratic administration. But the world has moved on since then, and politicians and the public are more savvy about the 2nd Amendment, among other topics. Any time a left-leaning politician supports gun rights, the press trots out the tired old horses of the past and yells, "pandering," when in fact we see across the spectrum broad support for the restoration of civil liberties, including the 2nd Amendment, as being the central, defining idea of the new Democratic party. The "gun lobby," by which newspapers mistakenly mean the NRA, is not the driving force behind this wholesale realignment of political values at the grass roots level. The people are. And "We the People" support the right to keep AND BEAR arms. The non-blogger press is just behind the curve in picking up on the tectonic shifts beneath them.

Anonymous said...

Wow Chuck good to find another Democrat that hasn't lost their mind about guns.

Zak Johnson said...

There are lots of us, mcsey. Check out the links on the referenced page.