From this morning's paper:
Gun-rights group pressures TV station after report
RALEIGH -- The debate over guns often sparks raw emotion and lays down a sharp dividing line, but for a Raleigh TV station, it has become personal and financial.
In response to a WRAL report on concealed-weapons permits that included a searchable database, a North Carolina gun-rights organization has launched a campaign against the reporter and his supervisors and applied pressure to the station’s advertisers.
The incident demonstrates the prickliness of examining gun-related issues even before the shooting in Colorado stirred fresh debate. It also exposes tensions that can arise between advocates of the First Amendment and its protections of free speech and supporters of the Second Amendment with its right to bear arms.
Grass Roots North Carolina, described on its website as “North Carolina’s only ‘no compromise’ gun rights organization,” has not quieted its campaign against WRAL in the wake of the killings at the Aurora, Colo., movie theater.
Paul Valone, the organization’s president, said the group has a long-standing policy that it will take economic action against any media outlet that divulges information about gun owners that group members think should remain private.
Valone first urged WRAL to take down the database that allows users to find out if people who live nearby have gun permits. A searcher looking at a particular town or city will see the streets where gun-permit holders live but won’t see the name or specific address of the permit holder.
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.
Here is the posted link to the complete article above (which was mainly the same old, same old debate of pro vs anti):
Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/07/25/2218895/gun-rights-group-pressures-tv.html#storylink=cpy