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EDITOR’S NOTE — Concealed carry permit publishing debate misses the mark

MICHAEL GEBELEIN

Managing Editor

Gun rights advocates are angry, again.

The reason? Davidson-based Civitas Media was considering building a database that listed concealed carry permit holders nationwide, according to an internal memo leaked to the Buckeye Firearms Association which was published on Friday.

Civitas Media CEO Michael C. Bush said those plans have been shelved in a statement published on the company’s website on Saturday — “Civitas Media never had any plans or intentions of publishing in print or online lists of holders of ‘conceal and carry’ permits. Nor will Civitas Media develop databases of permit holders. A poorly crafted internal memo meant to highlight editorial discussions and planning incorrectly indicated that such a database was being planned; it has been considered and rejected.”

That statement comes after dozens of websites and news outlets, including Fox News, picked up the story and whipped their gun-toting viewers and readers into a lead fuelled frenzy over a perceived attack on gun rights by another pack of neoliberal scoundrels in the “lamestream media.”

I can understand the frustration gun owners feel with Civitas, as a sportsman, gun owner and concealed carry license holder myself. This was little more than a media entity’s brazen and moronic publicity stunt, rather than an attempt to have a real discussion or analysis of gun ownership and concealed carry licenses.

But the activists who are so upset at Civitas are missing the point, as activists tend to do.

The issue isn’t whether a newspaper wants to publish a list of permit holders. The issue is the permits themselves.

I went to my Sheriff, an elected government official, on bended knee and with a fistful of dollars, and requested a permit to act upon one of my rights as an American citizen — a right that is guaranteed in the second amendment to the Constitution. I have a much bigger problem with the government knowing who has and is carrying guns than a newspaper company.

That’s what the Second Amendment is all about — allowing the people to be armed to insure that a tyrannical government will think twice about acting upon its impulses.

If we’re going to have a debate about who should know what, when it comes to concealed carry permits, let’s make sure we’re at least having our discussion about the right topic.

Michael Gebelein is managing editor of the Lincoln Times-News.

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