Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant, who is refusing to go along with requests for gun owner data from a newspaper that has already put the home address of tens of thousands of gun owners online, told reporters today that a retired law enforcement officer and a woman who has been the victim of stalking in the past have both been put in danger by the disclosure (via Gateway Pundit).[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfpxT1kay5s&w=640&h=480]
“This one narcotics officer from Westchester County just retired. Dedicated his whole career to protecting the citizens of Westchester County and they can’t protect him now. He said I’ve never been so fearful for the safety of my family… This one lady whose been stalked for years in West Chester County. She finally found peace, two years without the stalker contacting her. Two days after that paper released her information she gets hangups all night long. She lives in fear, her and her three daughters.”
The assault on the privacy of these law-abiding citizens, in the name of the liberal media’s anti-gun agenda, is nothing short of tragic. But nearly as tragic is the damage this does to the cause of open government.
I am an outspoken advocate for government transparency, but when news outlets abuse open records laws in this fashion, they give government an excuse to close records off to public scrutiny.
In this instance, I think the government is right to keep the home addresses of gun owners private, but you can be certain that governments across the country will be quick to use this debacle as an excuse to close off other records in the name of public safety.