I’ve posted about the ill-advised editorial written by the Roanoke Times wherein they published a database containing the names and addresses of the people licensed to carry a concealed weapon (CCW) by the state. One of the items I brought up was that the issue was never a matter of whether the paper was allowed to publish the records. They were, after all, publicly accessible. The issue was whether those records should ever have been publicly available in the first place.
The Times now reports that the VA State Police, acting on the advice of the Attorney General, has closed access to those records.
An editorial writer’s botched attempt to highlight an open record — the list of Virginians licensed to carry a concealed handgun — resulted Friday in the record being closed.
Acting on the advice of Attorney General Bob McDonnell, the Virginia State Police said they will no longer release the information under the state’s open records law.
Atty General Bob McDonnell’s advice was requested by one of the General Assembly’s Delegates (Dave Nutter, R-Christiansburg) ahead of efforts to introduce bills next session to close access to the records. Based on McDonnell’s advice, the State Police made the decision to not make further releases of the information. Crime vicitims are not specially indicated in the list so there’s no way for the police to withhold their data. The only safe approach is to not release the compiled list to anyone outside of law enforcement
I applaud this move. If it errs at all, it errs to the side of caution. It also engages a debate that should have been held before all this happened, a debate in which I’m happy to participate. I look forward to seeing more about this and will write more as the debate advances.
The lawyer, William Dow, is advancing the argument that the deliberate lighting on fire of an American flag by his clients was “a prank” and the act shouldn’t be considered politically motivated. It is amazing to me that the legal profession seems to generate such disdain of the mental capabilities of the average citizen. Of all the things around the homes these clowns were passing, of all the combustible materials available, they zeroed in on the American flag. And that wasn’t politically motivated?
The fact that they lit the flag and endangered a house does not mean that the decision to light that flag in the first place wasn’t politically motivated. In other words, the endangerment of the house doesn’t preclude motives against the flag. Anyone making that argument (and I’m talking about you, Sam Massie, class of ’09) is reaching for an excuse to change the subject. And for the record, the fact that this occured at Yale is insignificant. The fact that the students have foreign-sounding names is insignificant. If it had happened at the University of Iowa with 3 guys named Smith, Brown, and Jones I’d have exactly the same things to say about it. You Yalies are too damn full of yourselves if you think this wouldn’t be a story but the for the fact that Yale was involved.
Lighting something attached to someone’s house on fire isn’t a prank. It’s a serious crime that endangered someone’s home – and the people that live there, if they were home at the time. The idiot(s) responsible should get charged for it and, if the investigation proves the charge, should get the consequences of the act right upside the head.
More details as they come.
This past Tuesday I took the family to see the cherry blossoms in DC. It hit about 80° F that day and we were all very glad we wore our shorts. Aside from the crowds, the biggest worry we had was making sure to put on sunscreen.
It’s 4 days later and I awoke this morning to find that it snowed last night. That’s right, it’s 29° and there’s snow on the ground. The tulips out front and the crabapple tree in back are in mid-blossom – no doubt issuing the plant equivalent of, “What the…?”
Makes me wonder if Al Gore’s in town.