Armed and Witless

A gun rights group here in North Carolina is upset that a reporter with WRAL did a story about gun owners with concealed carry permits and put a searchable database of the owners' street locations online. Never mind the fact that its public information and anyone can get it from the state, or the fact that the database doesn't provide permit holders' names or address – it simply shows the street the permit holder lives on. So how did the organization react to what they feel is an invasion of its members' privacy rights? It published the name and address of the reporter AND the names of his wife and children:

When their effort to have the site taken down failed, Valone turned to his organization’s email alert network, urging more than 50,000 people on the list to deliver a message to Mark Binker, the multimedia investigative reporter who posted the information, his bosses and the station’s advertisers.

“In an apparent attempt to shame gun owners, some media outlets have a history of publishing the names of gun purchasers.” Valone said in one alert. “But that was many years ago, before the advent of the Internet. Things are now far more reciprocal. So let’s talk a bit about reporter Mark Binker, the apparent engineer of the piece to reveal concealed handgun permit-holders.”

Valone posted lots of information about Binker culled from websites and social media sites, including photos of the reporter’s wife and children.

Valone cautioned people not to harass Binker. “BE POLITE, DO NOT THREATEN, and CALL OR EMAIL ONLY ONCE!” the alert states with capital letters for emphasis.

Surely it's comforting to Binker that capital letters were used to emphasize the need to be polite to people who are armed, but are apparently too chicken to let the world know it. He's also probably comforted by this quote from the organization's leader:
Valone said, “GRNC has uniformly instructed respondents to be civil and nonthreatening to all WRAL representatives. With respect to reporter Mark Binker, however, I would note that if you shake the hornets’ nest, you should expect to get stung.”

The fact that these people have chosen a leader who appears to have the intellectual bandwidth of the average six year old is truly frightening.

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