Citizen attacks Fredericksburg Freeland-Star for trying to intimidate those with concealed weapons permits
[Editor's note: The following was sent as a letter to the editor of the Fredericksburg Freelane-Star]
Under what flimsy excuse do you think you were being helpful when you published names and addresses of holders of Concealed Weapons Permits in your marketing area? Do not these people who you chose to single out for obeying the law purchase newspapers, patronize advertisers of your newspaper, and vote in your area? Your actions make no business sense whatsoever. Now let me explain how I really feel.
The First Amendment is a cherished freedom regarding which we Virginians refused to compromise during the establishment of our US and Virginia Constitutions. Some citizens would argue that the Second Amendment should and should be equally cherished as well. Perhaps, without the Second Amendment to the US Constitution or the Virginia Bill of Rights, we would not now have a Second Amendment to enjoy! While I believe that all Americans need to be instructed on the use and legal ramifications on the use of firearms. I also believe that the law requiring law abiding citizens to register as CHP holders is an infringement on my constitutional rights. Excepting minor traffic violations, I have no other personal record at any of our municipal, state, or federal institutions EXCEPT that which pertains to my (for now, anyway) legal right to bear arms. However, my legal right to transport a firearm in the manner of my choosing is one which I must seek Permission. Indeed the permitting process takes 2-3 months during which a law abiding citizen's right to bear arms in infringed.
Can you provide any instances where a CHP holder in Virginia used a personal firearm to commit a crime? Can you provide information where any CHP holder in Virginia has become even a nuisance to their community as a result of their legally holding a CHP? The operable word in the title Concealed Weapons Permit is Concealed. There is an element of privacy implied.
You have arbitrarily robbed those whose names you published of their right to privacy. You are attempting to rob them of their right to live peaceably in their community. This is a violation of their constitutional rights and perhaps is a Federal crime. Believe me - if my name were to be found on a list such as yours - denying my privacy simply for obeying arguably unconstitutional laws- you would be the target of all the legal (as in local and federal court) firepower that could be brought to bear. I sincerely hope that all legal hell rains on your business for your abusive actions.
If I were to abuse my rights under the second amendment, I would be striped of those rights. It is a shame that when local newspapers abuse their rights, they are immune to equal penalty.
Donald R. Jernigan
Virginia Beach, VA