WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Should a newspaper publish names & addresses of gun-owners?

A Gannett newspaper in the Hudson Valley north of New York City has caused a holiday stir by publishing the names and addresses of holders of gun permits. You can even go on line & zero in on homes in a particular neighborhood.

As much as I champion open information and transparency, I can't help but think there's something inherently wrong about this.

I'm not sure who's put more at risk: Gun-owners whose homes might get burglarized for the guns, or non gun-owners who might be more vulnerable to break-in.

(I find it interesting a senior scholar at the Poynter Institute criticized the decision to run all the names & addresses as "too indiscriminate".)

Here's an Associated Press account----


Posted at 7:35am on December 27, 2012 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Thu, Dec 27, 2012 8:05am
And yet another great idea by the NRA. Sure, print the adddresses of gun-owners, as they all have said they wanted to shoot it out with the bad guys, ala John Wayne. Also create a gun bill that pays for approximtely 47-million assault-rifles for todders in elementary schools, so the the three-year-old can open fire on any strangers in the classroom, or even teachers they don't like.

Don't stop there, NRA, lobby the General Assembly for new assault-rifles (100 rounds per second) that we can pass out to the inmates at the Delaware Center for the criminally insane. Can't stand these left-wingers that won't allow assault-weapons for crazy people (they have rights too).

Finally, the NRA needs to push a bill that requires every family to have a flamethrower. Lord knows that if Johnny doesn't eat his veggies at dinner, dad can simply use the flamethrower to change the little tyke's mind.

There are so many geniuses at the NRA, who must have descended from Albert Einstein. Keep those brilliant ideas coming, NRA, and don't forget to give my six-year-old granddaughter a grenade-launcher for Christmas.

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Dec 27, 2012 11:50am
Interesting bias of the News Journal who has no problem publishing names, addresses, and phone numbers of citizens who LEGALLY own guns/rifles, YET will NOT publish the skin color of a criminal the police are pursuing (interesting that both WDEL and WILM do give skin color in their descriptions, so it isn't illegal to do so).

So that implies to my puny mind, that the News Journal believes criminals should have more rights and protections than legal law abiding Americans.

Also, when was the last time the News Journal published the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the released convicted pedophiles and rapists?

When was the last time the News Journal published the names, addresses, and phone numbers of convicted "johns" who were caught getting "serviced" by a hooker? Which, according the the State Police Vice Squad, would do more than any fine to keep 'johns' from visiting the pock marked hookers along the Rt 9/13/40 corridor. Or for that matter the hooker's name, etc? Oh, yea, I remember the News Journal's response to me, when I did a talk show years ago and asked that very question, was they consider it to be a victimless crime. Tell that to the unsuspecting wife or girl friend who's unfaithful husband/boyfriend comes home to her AFTER being with the hooker.

Political Correctness once again rears its ugly head.

So far the best answer I've seen is tighten-up the checks made during the waiting period to include mental illness-type issues so that those people who have mental health issues can not own a gun. The other ideas from the NRA are just plain idiotic, in my opinion, just as banning all guns is idiotic.

Allan Loudell
Thu, Dec 27, 2012 11:56am
Just to be clear, it's a SISTER paper to The NEWS JOURNAL, with the confusing name (for us) of The JOURNAL NEWS, that did this, NOT The NEWS JOURNAL itself.

Allan Loudell

Thu, Dec 27, 2012 1:27pm
The News Journal is run by a bunch of buffoons.

Notably, during the 2010 election, Christine O'Donnell expressed a concern for her safety (after she received death threats), and the News Journal immediately followed-up by publishing O'Donnell's address and a photo of her home in the newspaper.

The News Journal is a vivid illustration of why nobody respects "journalists" anymore.

Thu, Dec 27, 2012 1:38pm
Although sounding tongue-in-cheek, it sort of makes sense. Since Gun Lobbyists are going back to "reinterpret" the 2nd Amendment along the lines of "what it meant back then," how about we propose that the law giving the right to bear arms, only applies to weapons "made back then"?

A person can possess a flintlock without any regulation. However, any gun implementing technology invented since 1789, such as rifling the barrel, must be registered, regulated, and be approved for sale by Congress itself.

Seems like a viable compromise.. A). It satisfies even the most Constitutional purists, like the 9/12 Patriots here in Delaware, and B). It takes all the dangerous guns off the streets.

If all drug-wars today were fought with flintlocks, the loss of life would be minimal.... Likewise, the gun toting crazies would inflict very little loss of life.......

Bottom line, the Founding Fathers had no idea where today's gun technology would take us.

Thu, Dec 27, 2012 1:46pm
Gannett owns both "newspapers"

btw, teatime's hero Feinstein wants handguns banned as well and a national registry (photo ID and fingerptrints). We can vote in national elections without a photo ID but need to be in the database for a right guaranteed by the Constitution?

Thu, Dec 27, 2012 2:12pm
The flintlock logic makes as much sense as mandating everyone going Amish...no cars, no electricity, no interweb, only coal-fired heatng... If only the Founding Fathers knew what technologies we could have invented to cause havoc ;)

I thought the flintlock comparison was kinda funny when I heard it used a few weeks back on NPR but think it way oversimplifies the issues and still wouldn't prevent another mass murder from happening. All the recent killers were mentally disturbed...many actually had seen psychs but the parents were not permitted to know what was said or discovered by their docs...thanks to HIPPA.

Those "old guys" all warned of government taking over too much power and one of the reasons for Amendment 2 was to prevent loss of life, liberty and property (John Locke)

By "property", Locke meant MORE than land and goods that could be sold, given away, or even confiscated by the government under certain circumstances. Property also referred to ownership of one's self, which included A RIGHT TO PERSONAL WELL-BEING. Jefferson, however, substituted the phrase, "pursuit of happiness," which Locke and others had used to describe FREEDOM OF OPPORTUNITY as well as the duty to help those in want.

Thu, Dec 27, 2012 4:28pm
CORRECTION on Earl Grey: Senator Feinstein is proposing a renewal on the ASSAULT WEAPONS ban, which only restricts a very specific list of weapons made for war. It would not ban a simple handgun, as you are trying to distort the facts.

Thu, Dec 27, 2012 5:37pm
Don't be too hard on Earl Grey... he just copied the Drudge headline without clicking the link. There are many complaints right now about that one link. Truth is: there is nothing about handguns even being considered. But, if you only read headlines, you would never know handguns were not involved, especially if you believed Drudge could only print things that were true.

As for going all Amish, it would be wise to remember that 20 children did not die by an attack of stalking washing machines. They died by a gun, with a large magazine attached.

And by using that comment, about "going all Amish", the intended tone comes across rather condescending towards those who put God first in their lives, believing that spirituality is more important than technology. I can't begrudge that. It is hard to slow down one's cars behind a buggy of people wearing antique clothes without being amused as to how this could be.

But, if one attempts to make a disparaging illusion against people who believe in freezing time from the 1880's, would it stand to be more than twice as disparaging to find ones own beliefs still Locke'd down in the 1780's? (Proud of that one, I am) Particularly the concern of government taking over too much power?

The flintlock comment was intended to be funny, and by being funny, it puts all those who still fear our government is coming to take their guns,.... as equally funny.... Their philosophy comes from the same era.

And it would be wise when trying to put 18th Century philosophy into the running of the 21st Century, to remember this... They had just lived through a time where the King, as kings were wont to do, had tried to exercise his God-given authority, and they had rebelled. So of course they would want to put in protections that would prevent another king, say King (George) Washington, as some wanted to make him, from doing the same.

Since that time, how many round-ups of guns have occurred in the continental United States? None? So planning on continuing to allow children to get gunned-down over a non-existent threat, is simply unrealistic, and a misplacement of priorities.

Thu, Dec 27, 2012 6:07pm
This is pure invasion of privacy and this "Journal News" paper as well as its parent company should be sued out of business!

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Dec 27, 2012 7:04pm
Allan: Fine the article said the Journal News, but both it, and our News Journal, are owned and operated by Gannett. So the News Journal operates by the same rules as the Journal News, which is what prompted my comments. So are you saying that you have no problem with the News Journal not telling the skin color of criminals the police are in search of?? Or have no problem that same News Journal doesn't give out names, addresses, and phone numbers of the "johns" who frequent hookers in neighborhoods, thus bringing all sorts of problems to those innocent communities that those arrogant idiots at the News Journal say is only a victimless crime?? How about commenting on that?? I'm not trying to insult you, but you appear to be giving the News Journal a pass on these two issues. You essentially blew off what I said. My question is why? WDEL does give the skin color, so I know its not that its illegal to do so. With the prostitution situation, I feel I must ask, if that was happening in YOUR neighborhood, wouldn't you want the media to do what it could to help stop such activities from happening where people live? The police have actually begged the News Journal to publish the names of the "johns", because the first thing ever said when a "john" is arrested is "You're not going to put my name in the paper are you?" So some shame apparently would be a great deterrent to some "johns" from doing the deed in a parking lot or back alley of some shopping center along the Rt 9/13/40 corridor. Yet the News Journal just says, no, it's a victimless crime.

Those two issues along with the giving out addresses, etc., of gun owners makes my point, that political correctness values the rights of the criminal far more than victims or the innocent who are affected by those issues.

I think this IS something worthy of discussion. Even if you disagree with my point of view, I'd sure like to hear your spin on it. Thanks!

Thu, Dec 27, 2012 11:27pm
Teatime: I understand you're using the Rush Limbaugh tactic known as "illustrating absurdity by being absurd", but the absurdities you've expressed above may not be far from reality in the near future if the left doesn't face up to the fact that there's evil in the world. We can't "just be nice" to the Iranian dictator and expect him and others like him to "just leave us alone".

Fri, Dec 28, 2012 1:36am
Liberals know exactly how to deal with evil... you put it under one of these and it goes away forever...


Conservatives are the ones who think just "yelling" solves everything.....

Fri, Dec 28, 2012 5:42am
OK, I just discovered this. It is being sneaked through Congress today. It was supposed to get passed yesterday but enough objections were made, that it now has to be debated and a vote comes up afterwards.

The FISA Admendment Act, which in the Bush years was called loosely by the name the Patriot Act, allows government to read Americans' e-mails and other media without a warrant. We are all relatively familiar with it, and of the unconstitutionality of it because it allows illegal search and seizure.

This is allowed in principle because the idea was that foreign nationals were not protected by our Constitution. Therefore we could spy on them here in America. However if one is on Facebook, then all the information on Facebook can be confiscated, including that of all innocent Americans. Or if Capitol One has a foreign national inside, the personal digital records like phone calls, texts, videos of all those working there,.. are part of the surveillance material that gets swept up.

The debate tomorrow will be very much like the one which sunset the laws that allowed the internment of Japanese citizens during WWII.. It will be one of those landmark cases that decides the entire future of our nation. In that case, there were those who still wanted the law on the books, allowing it to be used against Communists, Hispanics, American Indians, and anytime one felt threatened. Just like back then, the need for todays FISA bill is no longer necessary. 9/11 is gone. Bin Laden is dead, and so are the number 2,3,4,5,6 top members of his organization. We are out of Iraq. We are getting out of Afghanistan. We do not need to be on a war footing and keep war powers intact. If we do, we lose our freedom. We return ourselves to system of the British Governors who could send soldiers into your house, to look for anything with which they could use to hang you. Now if enough evidence is there for a judge, who considers himself to be the protector of the Constitution, to ok it, that is fine.

A warrant should be given anytime law enforcement wants to search and seize. Unreasonable searches are unconstitutional...

The FISA Bill passed the House a couple of weeks ago on a voice vote with no debate. The Beltway heavyweights appear to want to slide it through, and it is the libertarian bent of both parties, who object to its passage. Imagine the Heretage Foundation and ACLU on the same side? It is very unconstitutional.

The expiration date is Monday at midnight, at the end of 12/31/12... The statute expires if the re-authorization is not passed today.... Warrants will then be required for all requests.

And it could easily slip by if none are calling their Senators to demand it not get passed....

I usually don't do this, but time is of essence. Here is who to call...

Sen. Tom Carper
Phone:(202) 224-2441
Fax:(202) 228-2190

Sen. Chris Coons
Phone:(202) 224-5042
Fax:(202) 228-3075

I hope that is ok since it takes so long to go through their website to find their numbers, and this is so important. You can also email them by going to their Senate site, clicking the "Contact Us" button and filling out the secure email.

Those of you around in 2008 may remember that parts of this controversial bill were so secret, that Congress even was not allowed to see it in its entirety, and had to vote sight unseen. This bill has been challenged in court, and the administration has been force to use Kafkaesque explanations in its defense. Meaning, this bill is junk, and needs to be scrapped.

If the need is there, craft a new bill, and let's debate it on the floor of a new Congress. But let's debate it. Certainly don't slip it through on a voice vote the last day of a holiday session without debate.... giving the American people 5 more years of being spied upon... It's next expiration will be after Obama leaves office.

We need to stop it now.

Fri, Dec 28, 2012 5:43am
forgot the link. Here is the Google page that will get you started ....


Allan Loudell
Fri, Dec 28, 2012 5:55am

I didn't blow you off. Please understand. Sometimes I see comments here, but just don't have the time to respond as fully as I might want. That's especially so when we're short-staffed, or when - for example - at 8:30 this morning, I have a dental appointment so I have to schedule Noon interviews far ahead. Sorry.

I just didn't want to get into a big debate over skin color / presumed racial designation in suspect descriptions.

I don't necessarily agree with Gannett's calls on some of these issues. One thing we learned when the Delaware Bar-Bench-Media Association convened: Compared to the judges and lawyers, we journalists were a divided lot, differing on all sorts of ethical issues. That infuriated the judges and lawyers when we were trying to agree on a framework.

If I DARE to generalize, mainstream journalism has certain "conventions" on which most of us agree, and which have been the operating policy at most of the newsrooms in which I've worked.

For example, not publishing / airing the names of rape victims UNLESS the victim agrees; the victim is deceased; or law enforcement has reason to believe the story was concocted.

On giving race / ethnicity / apparent skin color for someone who has committed a significant crime, the guidelines are that we have a somewhat complete, or comprehensive, description of the suspect (i.e., estimated weight; height,; and especially any unique identifying marks, such as scars, tattoos, etc.; anything else unusual; clothing at the time; etc.) Unfortunately, we often get incomplete descriptions.

But, the release of photos from surveillance cameras have made these ethical calls easier.

Some other time we can debate "political correctness". Yes, I would disagree with some of The NEWS JOURNAL's policies.

But, I have no desire to pick a fight with Delaware's biggest newspaper which still, after all, is the main source of longer-term, investigative journalism in this state.

Allan Loudell

Fri, Dec 28, 2012 8:12am
kavips and teatime,

Did either of you two "critical thinkers" actually read the story I linked??

"Bans the sale, transfer, importation, or manufacturing of:
120 specifically-named firearms;
Certain other semiautomatic rifles, handguns, shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and have one or more military characteristics; and
Semiautomatic rifles and handgunswith a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds."

Fri, Dec 28, 2012 8:49am
Progressives were responsible for Prohibition (Amendment 18) and attempted to rid our society of alchohol through legislation...it failed so miserably they had to add Amendment 21 to the Constitution.

The current laws on the books are ignored by criminals and those intent on harming others. The weapons used in Columbine during the AWB were illegally purchased.

Politicians, powerful people and their families are well protected by armed guards (and I'm fine with that) but these same politicians don't want armed guards watching over our own kids. The NRA prez was lambasted for suggesting the placement of cops in schools to protect our children...on the one year anniversary after Columbine, President Clinton suggested the same thing in his COPS program (but he was applauded).

Newtown was a horrendous tragedy, no one questions this, but if we truly want to prevent another tragedy we need to look at the real problem...the disturbed individuals who are a danger to society.

We also need to enforce laws already on the books for crimes commited with a gun, possession of illegal guns (especially by ex-cons) and "throw the book" at those brazenly breaking the laws. Making new laws won't hurt criminals or those intent to hurt others...it just penalizes the law-abiding citizens. Adding new laws will create a whole new underground market just as Prohibition did.

Allan Loudell
Fri, Dec 28, 2012 10:03am
Mr. Grey---

I can't resist making these points:

(1). Many would question whether the leader of the anti-alcohol movement - Carrie A. Nation - was a "progressive" in the modern sense.

(2). Some people DID stop drinking during Prohibition. Some people DO follow the law.

(3). Let's take the pro-gun argument to its logical conclusion. Let's say many, many people are armed. Let's say folks keep their legally-obtained weapons in their vehicles at work. Statistically, wouldn't you concede that with so many weapons, we'd see a uptick in the number of shootings? Even sane people can go momentarily berserk in the heat of an argument with a spouse, significant other, boss, etc.

Or simply more gun accidents: I remember - when I was in Memphis - a story about a gun going off from a woman's purse on the counter of an ice-cream shop, injuring another customer.

Allan Loudell

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Dec 28, 2012 12:53pm
Allan: Thanks for your reply. I understand, that its a bit more difficult for you, in your position, to take on the News Journal. You did, however, make your point that you don't agree with all of their policies without getting specific, which I think covers the topic well enough, for our purposes here, without asking you to get into a verbal fight with them. Sorry, sometimes I forget, because of your job, you don't have quite the freedom to openly say stuff that we all can. Didn't mean to put you in that position.

Interesting the media won't publish the name of a rape victim (which I can understand), but will publish the name, address, and photo of the ACCUSED rapist (Yes, he was a minor). I remember back when I was in high school, a guy I knew years earlier, (our parents were friends) had been accused of rape, and the then Wilmington Evening Journal published his photo, name, and address on the front page. Many months later, he was found innocent (during his trial) THAT story appeared way back inside the second section of the paper in a tiny article. Sad thing is his being accused and that coverage on the front page of the paper ruined their family name besides this guy's name and reputation. His family eventually moved out of state. Of course this was back in the day when people didn't sue.

The problem with Political Correctness is it's one-sided. One side gets special treatment and the other group or groups don't, which only causes more resentment and does nothing to bring people together. To end discrimination in America requires we end all discriminatory practices rather then simply reversing who's getting discriminated against. You do the crime, you do the time, no matter your color OR income bracket - no special prisons for the wealthy. You have the qualifications for the job someone with less qualifications, etc, should NOT get the job over you, due to their color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, etc. That's the only way to make it work.

Allan Loudell
Fri, Dec 28, 2012 1:07pm
By the way, I'll have much less time to respond to folks on this blog Monday and Tuesday, as I'll be anchoring all the newscasts between between "Delaware News at Noon" and "Delaware Afternoon News"... which means I have to work even harder to schedule all those interviews for BOTH major news blocks before I go on-the-air at 11:59 a.m.

I do have specific views on political correctness: Examples where I think it is overdone, taken to the extreme; and examples where it just tries to create a more civil discourse by avoiding crass stereotypes, etc. But I'd need a bunch of paragraphs to explain my nuanced position. Can't do that right now... one of these days!

On the subject of a student accused of a capital crime: Our high school newspaper actually broke stories about the search for the perpetrator in the murder of a student. In fact, the Chicago TV stations (pre-Internet days) sent couriers to pick-up our paper so it could be displayed on camera as the lead story on the Chicago TV newscasts. The case was later dismissed for insufficient evidence, as I recall, not that the student was necessarily innocent.

Allan Loudell

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Dec 28, 2012 1:28pm
EarlGrey: Allan beat me to it. Prohibition was a major reform movement from the 1840s into the 1920s, and was sponsored by evangelical Protestant churches, especially the Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Disciples and Congregationalists. Those were all conservative-type (fundamentalist-type) Christian Churches back then.

In my reading, I did find out that there were exceptions made for both medicinal and sacramental use of wine and alcohol. So Catholic, Lutheran, and Episcopalian Churches were still able to have wine when receiving the Eucharist at Holy Communion. Those churches today still use wine with Communion. Doctors wrote millions of dollars of prescriptions for medicinal use of alcohol (sound similar to medicinal use of "Pot" today).

Baptist, United Methodists, Assembly of God, Pentecostal, Evangelical Churches, etc., all still use ONLY grape juice at their Communion.

The Prohibition movement was a part of the cultural issues in 1920's America that also involved the campaign against evolution (as seen in the Scopes Monkey trial in 1925). Cosmopolitan Americans and intellectuals (the progressives) scoffed at rural and small-town people who supported Prohibition and those who were anti-evolution. There was a cultural divide in American society back then that's similar to the issues such as abortion and and gay marriage are for conservative Christian Churches and our society today.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Dec 28, 2012 1:34pm
Allan: sounds like you're going to be very busy. Whenever the spirit moves you AND as you have time, I'm sure all of us here would enjoy hearing your take on Political Correctness.

Sat, Dec 29, 2012 2:22am
Since the topic got onto prohibition, I was shocked, shocked yesterday to learn that the Federal Government hired chemists to poison the stock of alcohol used by bootleggers, thinking that if people knew it would kill them, they'd stop drinking illegally.

10,000 deaths occurred...


I'm surprised I'd not heard of this before!

Sat, Dec 29, 2012 9:42am
You know Kavips, I may have to agree with you once again. The MOAB looks like a great alternative to nukes. My only question is whether the left or the right has the courage to drop one.

Also, I have to at least partially agree with you about yelling. My biggest criticism of GWB was that he should have invaded Iraq 10 months before he did. Instead, he spent all that time warning Saddam but stopping short of following through, which gave the Iraqi madman enough time to smuggle his WMD's to Syria. We can now see the results of that!

Bingo on that patriot act, too.

Mike from Delaware
Sat, Dec 29, 2012 10:40am
Kavips: Thanks for the link to the Slate story. Another great example of "your taxes at work". Who would of thought, they'd poison liquor to get people to stop drinking.

Sun, Dec 30, 2012 3:22am
This is scary! It's like Nazi Germany Lite.

Sun, Dec 30, 2012 9:12pm
"Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest." - Mohandas Gandhi, an Autobiography, page 446.

This quotation and many other pro-second amendment statements are being purged by Facebook...FB is deleting accounts of those who make pro second amendment statements.


Mike from Delaware
Sun, Dec 30, 2012 11:44pm
Its a shame Facebook is doing that, but like any and all web sites and blogs, they are privately owned, and they allow you to use their site for free. So just as any blog site has rules and they can limit what you talk about or how you say it.

Kind of like going to the Mall. Its private property, unlike a city street say Market St in Wilmington or Main St. in Newark. So if you violate the Malls rules the rent-a-cops can ask you to leave, and if you refuse they will call the State police to escort you out and off their property.

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 12:31am
And off to jail.

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