“You can't stop the signal, Mal. Everything goes somewhere, and I go everwhere.”
by Mister Universe




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commercial appeal

On the tenth of February, 2009, I became aware of the fact that the Commercial Appeal, a newspaper in Memphis, Tennessee, had procured a copy of the state’s public database of Handgun Carry Permit Holders, and taken it upon themselves to convert it into a web-based, searchable system, available to anyone with an internet connection. I consider this to be a massive invasion of my privacy, and the privacy of the over-200,000 other permit holders here in Tennessee, in addition to a possible endangerment of those individuals listed in the database. What follows is a documentation of all of the posts, letters, and writings I have penned since, and will hopefully be updated if/when I write more:

10FEB09: A letter to every member of the editorial staff of the Commercial Appeal, expressing my displeasure over their publication of the database. No one I sent this email to has ever responded.

11FEB09: Documentation of other webpages expressing their outrage over this privacy invasion.

13FEB09: A reciprocal listing of the contact information for all members of the staff at the Commercial Appeal, as well as whatever other public knowledge is available on them. I would stress that all information on this list is available through public, legal channels, and this information will be deleted from my webpage as soon as the Commercial Appeal takes down its HCP database.

Also on this day, I contacted all of the advertisers I could find on the Commercial Appeal’s webpage, and told them I would never purchase their goods or services again, until either the database comes down, or they stop advertising at the Commercial Appeal.

14FEB09: The Commercial Appeal started writing editorials defending the database and rationalizing their decisions concerning it, and I started fisking those editorials.

15FEB09: It came to light that my commenting account at the Commercial Appeal’s webpage had been banned without cause, explanation, or notification.

Also on this day, the Commercial Appeal continued publishing its rationalizations, and I continued fisking them.

17FEB09: In response to the public hue and cry concerning it, the Commercial Appeal goes and updates their database.

18FEB09: I ask those who are writing to and about the Commercial Appeal to maintain an unquestionable level of decency and courtesy. The editorials at the Commercial Appeal and elsewhere constantly reference “ominous threats”, but without providing any specific examples – we need to keep it that way.

20FEB09: Yet another editorial was published by the Commercial Appeal, and I continued my fisking trend.

22FEB09: I finally heard back from the First Tennesse Bank, one of the advertisers I contacted. I will never use that bank in the future.

23FEB09: And still yet another editorial was published by the Commercial Appeal, and handled by me.

24FEB09: I contacted my local legislators expressing my support of a bill that would make the state’s HCP database private, in addition to other firearm-related bills.

25FEB09: Three of those bills made it out of committee.

27FEB09: Another editorial was published by the Commercial Appeal and addressed by me.

28FEB09: I examine some of the arguments put forward by the supporters of the Commercial Appeal’s actions.

03MAR09: The Commercial Appeal calls in backup in the form of an external writer. Too bad said writer is employed by the same company that also owns the Commercial Appeal…

04MAR09: Even when the Commercial Appeal is just reporting the news, they cannot overcome their bias enough to write an unbigoted article.

05MAR09: Rights advocates in Tennessee make some limited headway, and the staff at the Commercial Appeal simply cannot stand it.

08MAR09: The bigots at the Commercial Appeal let loose with yet another assault on the civil rights of all citizens of Tennessee, with bonus specious rationalizations concerning their privacy-invading database of handgun carry permit holders.

09MAR09: For the sake of compiling all the information in one place, search engine optimization, and general-purpose consolidation, any articles directly relating to the Commercial Appeal have been moved into their own category.

10MAR09: The Commercial Appeal’s invasion of hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens’ privacy made it to the Colbert Report. Wierd.

11MAR09: The Commercial Appeal is still associating law-abiding handgun carry permit holders with felons and accidents. No bias there. Nope, none at all.

Also on this day, the Commercial Appeal takes the despicable tactic of conflating law-abiding citizens with the recent murderer in Alabama, while simultaneously still defending their privacy-invading database of handgun carry permit holders.

12MAR09: The Commercial Appeal attempts to make another flawed and desperate-sounding attempt to justify their invasion of over 218,000 law-abiding citizens’ privacy.

Also on this day, Richard Locker, a writer at the Commercial Appeal, says one of the stupidest things I have ever seen.

15MAR09: Otis Sanford, jealous of the attention Richard Locker seems to be getting over his stupid comments, jumps on the hoplophobe bandwagon with his own breed of specious arguments and invective.

18MAR09: Richard Locker almost makes it through a news report without succumbing to his inherent bias. Almost.

19MAR09: Chris Peck has a new way of describing bipartisanship when he does not agree with the outcome: “herd mentality”. The Commercial Appeal’s bigotry knows no bounds.

20MAR09: Richard Locker unfortunately devolves back into being his normal, hoplophobic self.

21MAR09: The Commercial Appeal has to let go of some of their staff, including a cartoonist who drew a remarkably offensive editorial cartoon more than adequately portraying both his and his newspaper’s hoplophobia. More the shame.

30MAR09: The editorial staff of the Commercial Appeal demonstrate that honesty in journalism is dead.

31MAR09: Richard Locker somehow manages to accurately and adequately report the news, and only the news, with a minimum of editorializing and hoplophobia. Wierd.

06APR09: Commercial Appeal columnist Bryan Brasher exposes that he is nothing more than a fuddite, willing to sacrifice other people’s rights so long as his remain safe… for the time. I guess it is good to know who we can count on selling us out.

07APR09: The bill allowing law-abiding handgun carry permit holders to carry their sidearms into restaurants that serve alcohol made it out of the House, and Richard Locker celebrated by writing another strangely bigotry-free article.

08APR09: And then the editorial staff of the Commercial Appeal makes up for the previous article by hemorrhaging bigotry all over cyberspace. Someone get them a towel.

16APR09: Despite the countless editorials and “news” articles against them, the bills allowing law-abiding handgun carry permit holders to take their sidearms into restaurants advances.

21APR09: And, likewise, a bill to allow law-abiding handgun carry permit holders to take their sidearms into local parks also advances.

27APR09: The Commercial Appeal pretty much abandons all pretenses and reveals itself for the blantantly anti-rights, anti-self-defense, and anti-Second-Amendment newspaper it is.

29APR09: The Commercial Appeal puts up a poll, the outcome of which they are stridently attempting to ignore.

05MAY09: Chris Peck and the rest of the editorial staff of the Commercial Appeal are in denial concerning the amount of assistance they provided HB0959, and how much its passing relied on their incessant hoplophobia and bigotry.

11MAY09: The editorial staff of the Commercial Appeal demonstrates that they just love wielding logical fallacies in addition to their standard hoplophobia, bias, and bigotry.

14MAY09: Ignoring some rather pertinent facts, the editorial staff of the Commercial Appeal exposes their agenda of preferring everyone to live lives ruled by fear and emotion rather than choice and the Constitution.

19MAY09: Another poll that the staff of the Commercial Appeal is going to ignore is put up on their webpage.

21MAY09: Chris Peck and the editorial staff of the Commercial Appeal indicate that Google is hard. Denial, anyone?

26MAY09: The Commercial Appeal puts up interviews of folks who just happen to agree with the hoplophobic bent of the newspaper. Funny, that.

27MAY09: Richard Locker again manages to report mostly just the news, though he does manage to sneak in a hyperlink to the Commercial Appeal’s privacy-invading database.

03JUN09: Like clockwork, when something positive happens in the pro-rights arena in Tennessee, the Commercial Appeal is there to spread the hoplophobia and copious amounts of hypocrisy.

07JUN09: Wendi C. Thomas, discriminatory bigot extraordinaire, rears her head again at the Commercial Appeal.

08JUN09: It would appear as though Chris Peck and the rest of the staff at the Commercial Appeal are against the concept of private business owners having a choice as to how those businesses are run.

22JUL09: The Commercial Appeal copy-pastes a fallacious Violence Policy Center Google-study verbatim. Yup, no anti-gun, anti-rights, anti-Second-Amendment agenda there…

04AUG09: Unbelievably, the Commercial Appeal received an award for invading the privacy of over 220,000 law-abiding Tennessee residents.

03DEC09: Another newspaper, this time in Indiana, follows in the Commercial Appeal’s footsteps by publishing a privacy-invading database of conceaped carry permit holder information.

04JAN10: Remember, registries of individuals are considered to be punishments, whether the staff of the Commercial Appeal can admit it or not.

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