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Reasoned Discourse and Irony

Apparently Mike Fleming was talking about the Commercial Appeal’s carry permit database (I refuse to link to that thing) tonight on his radio show, and someone I know (through teh intarwebs, though we have a couple of mutual meatspace acquaintances) who works at the CA is Twittering about it.

Please note, I didn’t hear the show. Also note that I’m not listing a name or a link because I’m ranting at the behavior…for all intents and purposes, this person seems nice, and she makes me laugh. But the attitude is just ridiculous, and I’ve seen it in quite a few people, and they all have the same response to my replies: silence. This is just the most recent example that I’ve, personally, been exposed to, and I’ve had a bad day, so naturally I’m going to take it out here.

Among these comments posted was, “Haha, Fleming just pulled the First Amendment card.”

I don’t know why that’s funny to you, because your employer is doing the same thing in keeping that abomination on the web. That “card” is why you have a job.

This was the first one I saw: “Fleming wants to know how many people at the CA have carry permits. Hey Mike? Use our database. Real simple.”

Then later: “Is Fleming really arguing that no one in 495 Union has a carry permit? Really? This is bizarro-world. It really is.”

The employees of the paper have been checked against their own database, and unless they’ve done some creative editing to keep themselves out, they’re not listed. This was done a month ago by someone who doesn’t even live in this state, which should let you know how far-reaching the “annoyance” (stronger words are wanted, but would dilute my point) about this whole thing is.

That’s pretty much all I’m going to say about it. I’m too tired to check my anger. I used up all of that energy in class today while being baited by a professor.

7 comments to Reasoned Discourse and Irony

  • I’m not sure what it is you’re angry about. I think she was merely commenting on the spectacle. Like any other radio personality, the guy was just making a fuss to get attention.

    Frankly, I’m not surprised that no one at the paper has a carry permit. No one I know who’s ever worked there has ever wanted to carry a gun. They’re not anti-gun; they just don’t feel the need to carry one with them (in fact, several people I know who have and do work there enjoy shootin’, but it’s more of the rifle kind).

    We’re not going to agree on this matter and I don’t have any interest in changing your mind because it’s not my business, but I don’t have any issue with that database. I used it recently because of all the attention it got. And all I did was confirm that my neighbors up the street both have permits. Though I knew that; they don’t hide that fact. I would find it useful if I were being harassed by someone, though so that I could inform the police that the person in question has a gun and can legally carry it. And there may be other times it would be necessary. As far as public records go, I find the tax assessor’s sites (in both Shelby and Davidson counties) to be a far greater invasion of privacy since you can find out where someone lives, how much they paid for their house and even the rough layout of the house. That is so much more offensive to me.

  • Squeaky Wheel

    I edited my post a lot so that I wouldn’t sound like I was bitching about the person, because I was admittedly in a bad mood.
    As far as you using it to look up people whom you already knew, that’s all fine and good, but what’s the point? Do you feel validated knowing that the newspaper has confirmed what you’d already been told?
    _
    As far as the CA staff not carrying permits, do you think that has something to do with the reason why many of them don’t think this database is a big deal, but are outraged that some gun bloggers are posting their addresses (gleaned from whitepages.com, among other well-known public references)? I mean, if they had carry permits, they would probably be upset about THAT information being put out there, too. I mean, what are you going to do, stop printing the phone book? At least we have an option to not include our information there, even if it’s for a fee.
    _
    If you feel that tax information being public information is more offensive than whether or not a person chooses to protect themselves (and it’s called “concealed carry” for a reason…so that people don’t KNOW you’re carrying unless you CHOOSE to tell them), that’s fine. But the latter is more dangerous…and think about what someone with internet access, a little time, and a grudge could do with your house layout and the knowledge that you don’t have a permit. If that thought doesn’t make you at least a little nervous, then clearly you’re not thinking.
    _
    Keep in mind that I have someone stalking me who has time, internet access, a grudge, and the desire to “have” me at any cost. The police have been no help, because he hasn’t explicitly said that he’s going to hurt me in any communication – they think that I’m being silly about someone I haven’t spoken to or communicated in any way with for 3 years continuously telling me he loves me and that he wants to settle down and by the way did he mention that he loves me and misses me and I was the best thing that ever happened to him blahblahblah. I take that as a threat because I know the power that obsession gives people (and oh, yeah, the fact that he’s already raped me doesn’t exactly give me warm fuzzies about the situation, either). I do not wish to witness that power first hand. And I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business that I’ve chosen to protect myself with something that required me to get a background check and take classes to obtain, just like you don’t think it’s anyone’s business to know how much you paid (approximately) for your house.

  • The issue with publishing someone’s name and address comes with context. Sure, it’s easily accessible, but the phone book doesn’t have any language printed in it suggesting anyone in it deserves any sort of retribution.

    Not having a permit to carry a gun doesn’t mean I don’t own a gun. Or any other type of weapon I could use to protect myself and my home. Yes, I am thinking and no, I’m not concerned. And frankly, I don’t think anyone should be granted the right to carry a concealed weapon. Or carry a weapon at all unless it’s being transported for commerce or recreation. It’s one thing to have a gun in your home for protection, but I’m very nervous at the thought of a bunch of people walking around with guns on them.

    There’s a bill now to secure those records. I’m fine with that. Once the database is no longer accessible by the public, I’m certain the CA will remove it from their site. I don’t think they’re in the wrong at all for making it easier to access and I think anyone who took issue with it should be thankful they brought it to light.

  • And frankly, I don’t think anyone should be granted the right to carry a concealed weapon. Or carry a weapon at all unless it’s being transported for commerce or recreation. It’s one thing to have a gun in your home for protection, but I’m very nervous at the thought of a bunch of people walking around with guns on them.

    In an ideal world, where criminals didn’t carry weapons on their persons, I might accept this.

    I could never fathom going to Memphis without one of my handguns on my hip. The police around here have demonstrated that they cannot stop the violent crime, so I aim to prevent myself from falling victim.

    I feel I have the right to protect my life if it is in jeopardy of being taken from me. With the scores of people buying handguns, and record numbers of people applying for carry permits over the past 5-6 months, you should get used to the idea of people carrying concealed handguns.

    Criminals already do.

  • Mandi

    Which professor, just out of curiosity?

  • Squeaky Wheel

    Mandi – That’s not for this forum…heh. I’ll give you a brief rundown later.

  • My beef with your assumption that no one at the CA has a carry permit is this: There are people who work in our building who are not listed on our website. There are lots of departments other than editorial with people who help get the paper out, and they aren’t listed on the website. And then of course there are people listed on our website who may be listed by informal names that might not show up on the database.

    I didn’t push this point further the other day because, frankly, it’s not my job to do the heavy lifting on this for people who are convinced that it’s a huge conspiracy. I’m not the one freaking out over the database, which lists my father and several other family members. It’s public record.

    To assume that people in the building are anti-gun because they don’t have carry permits themselves is pretty ridiculous. Like assuming that someone hates kids because they haven’t had a few yet.

    And it’s ridiculous that Fleming pulled the First Amendment card because if he is going to use it for himself, surely he can recognize the irony of cracking down on The CA for using it as well.

    Again, the database is public record. Public information, by law. The misconception that’s out there — that Fleming did NOTHING do temper — is that The CA just randomly decided to go out and dig all this info up and “make” it public, “exposing” permit carriers.

    Obviously now that people are getting a whiff of what the law is, they’re trying to change it. Fine, yippee. That’s how the process should work. But dramatizing it by making The CA seem like some kind of anti-gun commune bent on outing all the righteous gun owners is disingenuous at best.