William Thien

On Publishing the Names of Gun Owners. Or, “Are the Media Fit to Circulate Among Us?”

Posted on: January 7, 2013

The problem with publishing the names AND ADDRESSES of the owners of firearms is that it is a publicity stunt. That’s all it really is. There appears to be no philosophical reason to do it. It’s clearly irresponsible and the “wrong” thing to do, particularly at a time of massive media generated hysteria regarding the subject of firearms ownership. A child could likely recognize that.

This is one reason why I believe we need to make an adjustment to the freedom of speech clause in The US Constitution, to curb such predatory activities on the part of the media. I have blogged to that effect previously. I hate to say it because I value the news. But such behavior on the part of the media is clearly anti-social and un-American.

In this case the media appear to be making innocent people vulnerable for the sake of profit, to sell newspapers. Simply because you live and pay taxes in a community a corporation (Oh yes, that’s what the media are, corporations. Don’t let them fool you into thinking they are people just like you and I and that they are publishing the names of the owners of firearms because of some elevated sense of right and wrong), just because you are an American the media can use your name and likeness for the sake of profit, without obtaining your permission. It’s predatory, anti-social behavior. You are the product, the media product.

I enjoy reading the newspaper and watching the news, but publishing the names of firearms owners must have a terribly destabilizing effect on the lives of the innocent people whose names have been published and I disagree with doing so. I am certain any freedom of speech clause in The US Constitution was never meant to facilitate such socially malignant behavior. Said activity on the part of the media can only serve to instigate and destabilize. The entire episode raises a real question, “Are the media really fit to circulate amongst us?”And should we continue as a country to let the media hide behind The Constitution of The United States if the media continues with such destabilizing, predatory behaviors?

Copyright © William Thien 2013

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