All good things must come to an end, so the saying goes. As an amateur genealogist, I’m well familiar with the concept as regards people’s lives and it’s axiomatic that such things are true about the events within people’s lives. So it goes for this section of the blogosphere. Ed Morrissey of Captain’s Quarters – currently – has changed jobs again. This time he’s leaving the political director’s seat at BlogTalkRadio and taking a spot with Michelle Malkin at Hot Air. That’s the good news. The bad is that he’ll be blogging at Hot Air and not at Captain’s Quarters.
CQ has been on my blogroll since just about day 1 for me and it has remained one of the blogs I’ve checked with multiple times, daily, for these past several years. Ed’s writing style, his thoughtful analysis, sense of fair play, and obvious wit has made his prose some of the best-liked in the ‘sphere. Easily in the same class as Michelle Malkin, the Power Line boys, and Glenn Reynolds, Ed’s diverse interests combined with some singular focus makes his place a must-stop in the daily rounds.
I’ll miss CQ.
He says he intends to keep on keeping on over at Hot Air and invites we regular readers to read on and keep him honest. Worry not, Ed. We will. In the meantime, set your bookmarks and blogrolls up to keep up with Ed by going over to Hot Air.
Our friends in the Virginia Senate’s Courts of Justice Committee have done it again. Considering a bill passed by the House which would restrict access to personal ID info in the Concealed Carry database, this committee has decided to ignore the clear will of the people of Virgina and “carry over” the bill into the 2009 General Assembly.
In other words, they punted the ball downfield to let someone else deal with it.
The bill, HB 982, was tendered to create a law that:
Protects from public disclosure permittee names and descriptive information held by the Department of State Police for purposes of entry into the Virginia Criminal Information Network. However, the information would still be available to law-enforcement agencies, officers, and agents in the course of law-enforcement duties, and non-identifying statistical information would be available to the general public. The bill also prohibits a clerk of court from disseminating any personal identifiable information, such as address, phone, number, or social security number, but allows the clerk, in his discretion, to make available the names of persons issued concealed handgun permits by the court. This bill incorporates HB 370, HB 653, and HB 843.
Unlike their previous excuse, this committee can’t even claim that the law was dealing with a situation that didn’t exist. In March of last year, the Roanoke Times made the colossally idiotic move of publishing a seachable database containing the names and full addresses of every holder of a Virginia Concealed Carry license. The reaction from the public was swift and furious. The Times decided to pull the database quickly and, after a couple of weeks to think it over, decided to apologize, admitting that:
We gave insufficient thought and discussion to the potential that crime victims, law enforcement officers and domestic violence victims might be put at risk if their addresses were published.
Though many of our critics believe that the database handed burglars a shopping list of households with guns and abusers a list of their victims, no one can point to a single incident where similar publications led to a crime.
But we didn’t know that until after the database was published. The potential for harm is something we should have given far greater thought to in making the decision.
For our failure to do so, The Roanoke Times apologizes.
Attorney General McDonnell’s office offered the State Police advice on the matter and, based on that advice, they decided to restrict access as a matter pf public safety. Delegate David Nutter (R-7) correctly deduced that such protection, while laudable, wasn’t enough. He introduced the bill above and it passed the House on 8 Feb 2008 by a vote of 97-1. (Delegate James Scott (D-53), in case you’re wondering.) It is clear that the data contained in that list, if made public, would pose a danger to victims of domestic violence, potentially undercover officers, and targets of organized crime. Clearly, with such wide support in the House it’s the right thing to do.
And yet, on a party-line vote, the 15 members of the Courts of Justice Committee (well, 8 of them, anyway) have decided that such concerns are not valid and those people whose safety has already been placed at risk once are not deserving of the protections so many of we Virginians obviously believe they are due. How these supposedly intelligent, capable “leaders” can render such clueless decisions time and again simply boggles the mind. The only good news this time is that, at least, the Republicans on the committee all voted to pass the bill to the Senate floor for an up-or-down vote.
If the RPV wants to get me to support them more fully, they can identify real potentials for candidacy in the districts held by those Democrat committee members who so happily flip the bird at Virginia’s citizenry and knock these morons the hell out of their chairs. Honestly, they can’t be trusted to make the adult decisions. They shouldn’t be allowed to keep the seat.
I’m literally running, in some places, between meetings today so I’ve not had much of a shot to blog. I had said that I would post the actual rulings when/if I got them and I got them today. (Thanks for getting them to me – you know who you are.) I’ll try to get them scanned in and posted later on. Check back later tonight!