Remember that controversy not long ago involving the Journal News, the New York newspaper that published an interactive “gun map,” showing all the licensed firearm owners in the state? Well, there’s another media group that will attempt to put the Journal News to shame. They’re wanting to build a nationwide database of gun-owners using public records requests.
This news was brought to light by a confidential informant inside the media conglomerate Civitas Media, which owns 88 different newspapers across the country. The informant released an internal e-mail to Ohio’s Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA), which details the company’s plan. According to the BFA’s website, the e-mail read:
Civitas Media editorial report – Jan. 13- Jan. 17
From Jim Lawitz [Director of Content]
We are launching two enterprise projects across our newsrooms this month. The first will deal with the creeping influence of heroin in our communities. The deadly drug has quietly taken over, reaching across all age groups and eclipsing meth as the recreational drug of choice. The second project examines the explosion of “conceal and carry” gun permits across the U.S. Through public records act requests, we will attempt to build state-by-state databases that list those who have the right to carry a concealed weapon.
Gun rights activists were concerned about the government building such a database at the recent height of the gun control campaign in the wakes of the murders at the Aurora Theater and Sandy Hook Elementary. We didn’t want more restrictions like universal and federally mandated background checks on all those wanting to purchase a firearm. That and registration laws would most definitely lead to the building of a national database of gun-owners. Now, here’s a media group doing the government’s work for them.
As expected, when the BFA reached out to Civitas Media for comment, no one had anything to say. The man who wrote the e-mail did however issue a statement that read the following:
“We do not typically publicly comment on internal proprietary communication. However, we have no plans to publish any names on any lists. Further, we are open to discuss any published reports.”
Of course, it’s not all this media group’s fault. The problem is not so much that they want to build a database as it is that the information is already there. The real problem is that our government requires us to get their permission to own a gun. We have to have their permission in order for us to exercise a Constitutional right. When, or if, we get their permission, that information is recorded, and much of it is publicly available.
If you want to murder your unborn child, you’re given your “right to privacy,” and no one ever has to know. If you want to own a firearm, everyone has to know in hopes that you’ll be publicly shamed and shunned.