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(Jim Romenesko)   Newspaper apologizes for the outrageous act of submitting a FOIA request to the local sheriff. "Sometimes the sword is mightier than a pen"   (jimromenesko.com) divider line 223
    More: Scary, foia request, Cherokee County, Freedom of Information Act  
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3401 clicks; posted to Politics » on 26 Feb 2013 at 11:32 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-26 05:54:35 AM
www.cherokeescout.com
 
2013-02-26 07:36:35 AM
Letter sounds like bullshiat to me:  "Gee, we weren't going to *PUBLISH* the records we requested, we just wanted to see what the sheriff's excuse would be for not giving them to us".
 
2013-02-26 07:47:52 AM
Also, in reading that letter, this stands out:

"We also thought it would be revealing to share, for example, how many residents in a specific area had gun permits".

You can ask for that information with asking for the name and address of every person.  If that's what you want, then you ask the sheriff for the total number of gun permits per zip code or something like that.  That's perfectly fine.  It's an appropriate thing for the press to ask for in light of the gun debate and it doesn't violate anyone's privacy.

If that's what they actually wanted, that's what they should have asked for.  I would support them getting that information.

Plus, it shows extreme stupidity on their part asking for those records just a couple months after the brouhaha in New York State about publishing individual gun owner records.  Even in ultra-liberal New York, there was such a backlash that the paper that put those records online had to take them down and essentially apologize, and the NYS legislature modified the law to make those records hard to get.

Reading between the lines, though, this sounds more like a pissing match between the editor of the paper and the local sheriff, and the editor miscalculated.
 
2013-02-26 08:00:59 AM
They just wanted the names so that when a freedom loving 2ndamendment supporter went on a rampage-that they would have their name.

Here's a pic of an AK-47 for posterity.
survival.outdoorlife.com
 
2013-02-26 08:01:32 AM

dittybopper: Reading between the lines, though, this sounds more like a pissing match between the editor of the paper and the local sheriff, and the editor miscalculated.


That's what I took from it too.

One thing that did stand out (but could be completely meaningless if the state is 'shall issue' rather than 'may issue') was the paper wanting to compare the names of permit holders with those who donated to the sheriff's election fund.  Back when many states were 'may issue' (where issuing the permit was up to the sheriff & rife for abuse), in many locations you could easily get a permit for a well placed 'donation'(bribe) but without it....forget it (I know you know all this ditty, but for the others...).  With 'shall issue', as long as a person met the criteria to get a permit then the sheriff HAD to issue it.  So, depending on how the state is set up (& most are 'shall issue' these days), the paper may have been onto something.

However, from the letter it does sound like a dick waving contest that got out of hand.
 
2013-02-26 08:30:02 AM

Recoil Therapy: dittybopper: Reading between the lines, though, this sounds more like a pissing match between the editor of the paper and the local sheriff, and the editor miscalculated.

That's what I took from it too.

One thing that did stand out (but could be completely meaningless if the state is 'shall issue' rather than 'may issue') was the paper wanting to compare the names of permit holders with those who donated to the sheriff's election fund.  Back when many states were 'may issue' (where issuing the permit was up to the sheriff & rife for abuse), in many locations you could easily get a permit for a well placed 'donation'(bribe) but without it....forget it (I know you know all this ditty, but for the others...).  With 'shall issue', as long as a person met the criteria to get a permit then the sheriff HAD to issue it.  So, depending on how the state is set up (& most are 'shall issue' these days), the paper may have been onto something.

However, from the letter it does sound like a dick waving contest that got out of hand.


Good theory, except that North Carolina is "Shall Issue".

I suppose it would be possible that the editor and/or publisher didn't know that NC was "Shall Issue", but that reflects poorly on the ability of the paper to do fact checking, not on the sheriff.

That letter is damage control, pure and simple.  They farked up and they know it, and the letter is their response to their own fark-up, trying to minimize the damage.
 
2013-02-26 09:54:44 AM

dittybopper: Good theory, except that North Carolina is "Shall Issue".



Well yeah, however after typing out all that I didn't want to do the 10 second google to blow my theory out of the water....

Frankly that's one of the things that's worrying me about all the upcoming 'we know what's best for you even though we don't understand the subject' regulations that seem destined to go through (perhaps).  I've seen a couple of the typical antis demanding that the states get away from shall issue & back to may issue so that 'the sheriff who knows the people the best will have discresion'.  That's all fine & good if you have an honest man as sheriff, but if you don't, look out.  It really makes you question why they'd want to get rid of a system that pretty much eliminates discrimination & corruption to replace it with a system that has been shown in the past to be abused just that way.  It's really hard not to sound like a paranoid nutcase when trying to come up with reasons why they would want to do such a thing.  The sad thing is that at least parts of the most outlandish conspiracy theories have been shown to come to fruition when the antis get free reign to set policy.

Interesting times indeed
 
2013-02-26 10:11:45 AM
Outrages?
 
2013-02-26 10:38:09 AM

dahmers love zombie: Outrages?


Of coarse.
 
2013-02-26 11:22:54 AM

dittybopper: Recoil Therapy: dittybopper: Reading between the lines, though, this sounds more like a pissing match between the editor of the paper and the local sheriff, and the editor miscalculated.

That's what I took from it too.

One thing that did stand out (but could be completely meaningless if the state is 'shall issue' rather than 'may issue') was the paper wanting to compare the names of permit holders with those who donated to the sheriff's election fund.  Back when many states were 'may issue' (where issuing the permit was up to the sheriff & rife for abuse), in many locations you could easily get a permit for a well placed 'donation'(bribe) but without it....forget it (I know you know all this ditty, but for the others...).  With 'shall issue', as long as a person met the criteria to get a permit then the sheriff HAD to issue it.  So, depending on how the state is set up (& most are 'shall issue' these days), the paper may have been onto something.

However, from the letter it does sound like a dick waving contest that got out of hand.

Good theory, except that North Carolina is "Shall Issue".

I suppose it would be possible that the editor and/or publisher didn't know that NC was "Shall Issue", but that reflects poorly on the ability of the paper to do fact checking, not on the sheriff.

That letter is damage control, pure and simple.  They farked up and they know it, and the letter is their response to their own fark-up, trying to minimize the damage.


Dumb mistake but what difference does it make "Shall Issue" based on objective criteria, or "May Issue" based on more arbitrary criteria.   Why are CCW permit holder names "protected" information.  Certainly  the applications would be considered public information.
 
2013-02-26 11:37:20 AM

mrshowrules: Dumb mistake but what difference does it make "Shall Issue" based on objective criteria, or "May Issue" based on more arbitrary criteria. Why are CCW permit holder names "protected" information. Certainly the applications would be considered public information.


Like people who apply for public assistance?
 
2013-02-26 11:37:24 AM

dittybopper: Also, in reading that letter, this stands out:

"We also thought it would be revealing to share, for example, how many residents in a specific area had gun permits".

You can ask for that information with asking for the name and address of every person.  If that's what you want, then you ask the sheriff for the total number of gun permits per zip code or something like that.  That's perfectly fine.  It's an appropriate thing for the press to ask for in light of the gun debate and it doesn't violate anyone's privacy.

If that's what they actually wanted, that's what they should have asked for.  I would support them getting that information.

Plus, it shows extreme stupidity on their part asking for those records just a couple months after the brouhaha in New York State about publishing individual gun owner records.  Even in ultra-liberal New York, there was such a backlash that the paper that put those records online had to take them down and essentially apologize, and the NYS legislature modified the law to make those records hard to get.

Reading between the lines, though, this sounds more like a pissing match between the editor of the paper and the local sheriff, and the editor miscalculated.


In a lot of small towns, a pissing match between the sheriff and the newspaper editor (or owner/editor) is the only good entertainment around for miles.

/as long as no one gets hurt
 
2013-02-26 11:39:38 AM
Dear editor:  know your community, or you might find your ad revenue and subscriber base plummeting.

That is all.
 
2013-02-26 11:43:40 AM
While Horne was on the phone with the sheriff, he also thanked him and his staff for their quick response when some people who saw Facebook posts started making personal threats against him.

Massive victory for terrorists over the First Amendment.
 
2013-02-26 11:44:03 AM

Giltric: mrshowrules: Dumb mistake but what difference does it make "Shall Issue" based on objective criteria, or "May Issue" based on more arbitrary criteria. Why are CCW permit holder names "protected" information. Certainly the applications would be considered public information.

Like people who apply for public assistance?


Exactly the response I've been looking for.
 
2013-02-26 11:44:33 AM

Giltric: mrshowrules: Dumb mistake but what difference does it make "Shall Issue" based on objective criteria, or "May Issue" based on more arbitrary criteria. Why are CCW permit holder names "protected" information. Certainly the applications would be considered public information.

Like people who apply for public assistance?


I always thought it should be published.  The lists of farmers who recieve massive (or miniscule) subsidies are public and available with a very simple search.  Why aren't welfare recipients?
 
2013-02-26 11:47:06 AM
These are the people on the side of the gun control argument that fall in the "you are not helping but hurting the cause" category. It does not forward the cause of keeping guns out of the hands of the wrong people but rather attacks the lawful gun owner for no just reason. Rather than promoting compromise it perpetuates the controversy.
 
2013-02-26 11:48:45 AM

mrshowrules: Dumb mistake but what difference does it make "Shall Issue" based on objective criteria, or "May Issue" based on more arbitrary criteria.   Why are CCW permit holder names "protected" information.  Certainly  the applications would be considered public information.


Think so?

Why don't we make your driver's licence and vehicle registration public?  Or public assistance?  What if we were to publish WIC information?  Would you be comfortable with a map showing everyone who gets WIC?
 
2013-02-26 11:48:49 AM
Which is it gun nuts?

Your guns are only effective if they are concealed/nobody knows you have them.
-or-
You need to be able carry them openly in order to deter any potential criminal/tyrannical attacks?

Of course the correct gun nut answer is 'C' - YES.

The right to secret guns is enshrined in the part of the Bill of Rights that guarantees the right to privacy.
 
2013-02-26 11:54:31 AM

Uranus Is Huge!: Which is it gun nuts?

Your guns are only effective if they are concealed/nobody knows you have them.
-or-
You need to be able carry them openly in order to deter any potential criminal/tyrannical attacks?

Of course the correct gun nut answer is 'C' - YES.

The right to secret guns is enshrined in the part of the Bill of Rights that guarantees the right to privacy.


A gun is only used properly when its owner brandishes it at his discretion.

// like a penis
 
2013-02-26 11:54:36 AM
Uranus Is Huge!:
Of course the correct gun nut answer is 'C' - YES.

Lol.
 
2013-02-26 11:58:26 AM
I don't see what the butthurt is about. It is a government record and government records can be requested through FOIA.

For example, my local school district maintains a list of parents of students in order to send SMS and emails notifying them of a variety of things - from weekly updates to school closures. Some dipshiat put a FIOA request in for a copy of ALL of those phone numbers, names, and email addresses. The districts attorneys told them that they couldn't fight it, so they handed it over. They also notified everyone on that list that the list is being handed over and the name of the person requesting it.
 
2013-02-26 12:00:43 PM

madgonad: I don't see what the butthurt is about. It is a government record and government records can be requested through FOIA.

For example, my local school district maintains a list of parents of students in order to send SMS and emails notifying them of a variety of things - from weekly updates to school closures. Some dipshiat put a FIOA request in for a copy of ALL of those phone numbers, names, and email addresses. The districts attorneys told them that they couldn't fight it, so they handed it over. They also notified everyone on that list that the list is being handed over and the name of the person requesting it.


What, does the girl have beer-flavored nipples or something?
 
2013-02-26 12:01:28 PM
Don't get me wrong, but I'd rather be stabbed with a pen rather than a sword. Either are preferable to getting shot too.
 
2013-02-26 12:02:42 PM

Uranus Is Huge!: Which is it gun nuts?

Your guns are only effective if they are concealed/nobody knows you have them.
-or-
You need to be able carry them openly in order to deter any potential criminal/tyrannical attacks?


It's all on an individual basis of course.....some people prefer to carry a gun on their hip, others want to carry one tucked in their jacket, others just want to leave their guns in a safe at home, and others don't want to own any guns at all.  And everyone has different rationales born from their own personal purposes and beliefs.  Why are you in a rush to make a universal decision about everyone?
 
2013-02-26 12:04:25 PM
There are considerable risks to publishing lists of CCW permit holders (or gun owner information in general).

For example, now criminals have a list of houses that contain guns. Since a house is not always occupied, criminals may use this information to find out which houses to steal guns from. It appears that this occurred at least once in the wake of the Journal News publishing the list of New York gun owners.

Additionally, someone who goes through considerable efforts to avoid an abusive former partner, stalker, etc. by changing their phone numbers, changing addresses, getting a gun for self-protection, etc. would have their information made publicly available, thus making it easier for such a person to find them.

I have no real problems with the government making general, non-personally-identifiable information available to the public (e.g. number of CCW permit holders in a particular county, zip code, etc.) as this can be interesting for historical and statistical purposes. Making personally-identifiable information available should absolutely be prohibited, whether its for CCW permits, drivers licenses, etc.
 
2013-02-26 12:07:38 PM
Of course, the apology is for asking for data that they really didn't need, and that there was no need to "share" with the public, but don't let THAT part stop ya...
 
2013-02-26 12:09:52 PM

madgonad: I don't see what the butthurt is about. It is a government record and government records can be requested through FOIA.

For example, my local school district maintains a list of parents of students in order to send SMS and emails notifying them of a variety of things - from weekly updates to school closures. Some dipshiat put a FIOA request in for a copy of ALL of those phone numbers, names, and email addresses. The districts attorneys told them that they couldn't fight it, so they handed it over. They also notified everyone on that list that the list is being handed over and the name of the person requesting it.


Perhaps not all records should be accessible through FOIA? There's no reason why the list you describe should be available to anyone. General information (e.g. number of people on the list)? Sure. Actual personally-identifiable information? No.

I'm a huge fan of open government and transparency, but I think that certain information should be kept private. Personally identifiable information of private citizens who haven't been convicted of a crime is one of the categories of information I think should be private.
 
2013-02-26 12:10:00 PM

dittybopper: Letter sounds like bullshiat to me:  "Gee, we weren't going to *PUBLISH* the records we requested, we just wanted to see what the sheriff's excuse would be for not giving them to us".


Who cares if they did, public records is public records.


/Are they going to be targeted by anti-gun nuts?
//What would THEY do? Throw rocks, maybe sticks?
///I mean you are packing and they are anti-gun after all...
 
2013-02-26 12:11:01 PM

milsorgen: dittybopper: Letter sounds like bullshiat to me:  "Gee, we weren't going to *PUBLISH* the records we requested, we just wanted to see what the sheriff's excuse would be for not giving them to us".

Who cares if they did, public records is public records.


/Are they going to be targeted by anti-gun nuts?
//What would THEY do? Throw rocks, maybe sticks?
///I mean you are packing and they are anti-gun after all...


You are correct. Concealed weapons permit data is public record, just like driver's license records and vehicle registration.
 
2013-02-26 12:11:29 PM

madgonad: I don't see what the butthurt is about.


If the butthurt is over the paper making such a request, it's noble butthurt - just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you SHOULD (or that taking such action is consequence-free). People are protesting their paper of record - would that more locales did this, in the hopes of better journalism, natch.

If the butthurt is over permits being subject to FOIA, that's not the paper's problem (or the sherriff's). Write your state Reps and make the change legally, people - complaining gets you nothing.

If the butthurt is over "a vi-a-lashin of mah rytes!", just keep smashing your face into the nearest brick wall - the solution will come to you in time.
 
2013-02-26 12:12:50 PM

dittybopper: Letter sounds like bullshiat to me:  "Gee, we weren't going to *PUBLISH* the records we requested, we just wanted to see what the sheriff's excuse would be for not giving them to us".


Bangor Daily News did a similar thing. "We won't publish these records.  Truuuuuust uuuuuus."

Yeah. Right.

GFY, BDN
 
2013-02-26 12:18:33 PM

dittybopper: mrshowrules: Dumb mistake but what difference does it make "Shall Issue" based on objective criteria, or "May Issue" based on more arbitrary criteria.   Why are CCW permit holder names "protected" information.  Certainly  the applications would be considered public information.

Think so?

Why don't we make your driver's licence and vehicle registration public?  Or public assistance?  What if we were to publish WIC information?  Would you be comfortable with a map showing everyone who gets WIC?

I have no issue with driver's license information being publicly available.   Certainly name & county and issue/expiry date.  Vehicle registration is something imposed on the owner.

Public assistance is silly.  There is a human dignity element to that.  CCW is something being sought and something that is granted and the information can be argued to be in the public interest.  Minimal information should be provided but I see no reason as to why this would need to be kept secret.  If there was an appropriate reason to keep it secret, that would be fine.

 
2013-02-26 12:20:12 PM

heypete: It appears that this occurred at least once in the wake of the Journal News publishing the list of New York gun owners.


It doesn't appear that way at all.
 
2013-02-26 12:28:07 PM

mrshowrules: Public assistance is silly. There is a human dignity element to that.


A little extra motivation never hurt anyone.
 
2013-02-26 12:31:27 PM
THIS is so incredibly frightening and says so much about the sorry state of journalism today.

The issue ought not be whether they intended to publish them, the issue is whether the newspaper had a right to them or not.  If not, then fine, they don't get them, and if so, then the paper should get them (regardless of whether you think it's right or wrong).  But why the hell are they apologizing for asking.

Isn't it (or didn't it used to be) a new papers job to pursue a Public Records Request if the government is unlawfully withholding the information (regardless of what that information is or the intent of the paper - by the by, it is actually illegal for a government entity to ask you why you want public information or what you intend to do with it).

The same goes for ANY Public Information a newspaper or citizen is seeking.  Isn't this why y'all get pissed at Obama for with holding what you believe to be public information?

If the status of certain government information needs to be changed, that is an issue completely separate from the fact that Journalists are apologizing for making an Open Records Request.

disgraceful
 
2013-02-26 12:36:54 PM
I may file FOIA requests for the names and addresses of CCW holders in every county in my state.

In my opinion, it should be my right to know who may be armed and who isn't.
 
2013-02-26 12:39:40 PM

jcooli09: I may file FOIA requests for the names and addresses of CCW holders in every county in my state.

In my opinion, it should be my right to know who may be armed and who isn't.


Why?
 
2013-02-26 12:43:37 PM
Members of State militias should be public records.
 
2013-02-26 12:43:47 PM
Guns enthusiasts are very delicate. It's a shame that the Fark forces everyone to read and respond to such infuriating dissent.
 
2013-02-26 12:47:36 PM

dittybopper: I suppose it would be possible that the editor and/or publisher didn't know that NC was "Shall Issue", but that reflects poorly on the ability of the paper to do fact checking, not on the sheriff.

That letter is damage control, pure and simple. They farked up and they know it, and the letter is their response to their own fark-up, trying to minimize the damage.


Why because farking crazy-ass gun nuts started immediately to threaten them? You guys farking kill me.
 
2013-02-26 12:48:21 PM

RedT: But why the hell are they apologizing for asking.


Because they will face a very large boycott if they don't.

Nobody on the pro-gun control side will boycott the paper if they don't publish the names.  A lot of people on the pro-gun rights side will.

In essence, there is no upside to publishing the names, and a large downside.  It is said that you shouldn't pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the gallon, and that's true, but it's also true that people who buy ink by the gallon need to pay for it, and you don't do that by pissing off a large fraction of your customers.
 
2013-02-26 12:49:24 PM

Madbassist1: dittybopper: I suppose it would be possible that the editor and/or publisher didn't know that NC was "Shall Issue", but that reflects poorly on the ability of the paper to do fact checking, not on the sheriff.

That letter is damage control, pure and simple. They farked up and they know it, and the letter is their response to their own fark-up, trying to minimize the damage.

Why because farking crazy-ass gun nuts started immediately to threaten them? You guys farking kill me.


It's not terrorism when it's 2nd Amendment based.
 
2013-02-26 12:51:30 PM

Uranus Is Huge!: Guns enthusiasts are very delicate. It's a shame that the Fark forces everyone to read and respond to such infuriating dissent.


As you are an admitted troll, your claims lack any credibility.
 
2013-02-26 12:52:02 PM

Madbassist1: dittybopper: I suppose it would be possible that the editor and/or publisher didn't know that NC was "Shall Issue", but that reflects poorly on the ability of the paper to do fact checking, not on the sheriff.

That letter is damage control, pure and simple. They farked up and they know it, and the letter is their response to their own fark-up, trying to minimize the damage.

Why because farking crazy-ass gun nuts started immediately to threaten them? You guys farking kill me.


Not keeping up on current events, are we?  I mean, if "crazy-ass gun nuts" can get even NY governor Andrew Cuomo on their side on this particular issue, you know you are on the losing side.
 
2013-02-26 12:52:06 PM
dittybopper: you should never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the gallon

I like this expression.
 
2013-02-26 12:53:08 PM
Ironically, most of the people that are upset have one of these in their window:

ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2013-02-26 12:53:45 PM

Dimensio: jcooli09: I may file FOIA requests for the names and addresses of CCW holders in every county in my state.

In my opinion, it should be my right to know who may be armed and who isn't.

Why?


You have it backwards. FOIA doesn't work like that. ALL government records are considered public unless there is a very good, articulatable, reason for them not to be. The proper question is why these records should be secret.
 
MFK
2013-02-26 12:54:09 PM
4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-02-26 12:54:42 PM

mrshowrules: dittybopper: you should never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the gallon

I like this expression.


It's not mine.  I stole it from Mark Twain, who said "Never pick a fight with someone who buys his ink by the barrel."
 
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