Saturday, January 19, 2013

Prince speaks out on the Second Amendment & Public Records

James "Tiberius" Prince, III, Publisher of the Neshoba Democrat and Madison County Journal sent this column after a little discussion about the Second Amendment broke out yesterday on this website.  We thank him for his contribution.  


PRINCE/In defense of the Second Amendment

The Founders feared government as we should rolling back transparency

JIM PRINCE
Editor & Publisher

As a fierce defender of the Second Amendment, gun ownership in Mississippi is already a private matter for most of us. The only people required to have a permit are those who want to take a gun anywhere except a home or vehicle.

No permit is required for a soccer mom to have a pistol in her glove box. But if she puts the gun in her purse and goes into a mall, she would have to have a permit under current Mississippi law.

The proposal in the Legislature is to close those conceal carry permit records - not repeal the concealed carry registration law, which I could support.

The Second Amendment states simply: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Pay attention to the commas. The "shall not be infringed" clause is powerful. That's how much the Founders feared government, and rightly so.

If the Legislature starts amending the Open Records Act, government will hide everything. It's the principle of open government for me and the members of Mississippi Press Association, which I serve as president. Like the Founders, we should fear government and any attempt to roll back transparency.

Get rid of the conceal carry registration law if you don't like the permitting requirement, - and I don't - but as long as the law is on the books, on principle, the records should remain open in some form.

The First and Second Amendments are two of the most important tent poles of our democracy. But we must not sacrifice one to bolster another.

I am perhaps a more fierce defender of the First Amendment simply because of my three decades in the profession that began with a summer job at The Neshoba Democrat my senior year in high school.

I've dealt with my share of corrupt politicians trying to hide spending and anything else they can get away with.

The men and women at the 120 daily and weekly newspapers of the Mississippi Press Association are your neighbors and friends and can't be compared to a liberal New York newspaper.

I sometimes wish we could enact laws preventing newspapers from behaving irresponsibly, but we can't.

Sen. Longwitz is my friend and I respect him as a legislator. I'm certain that we can all come to an agreement on what's best for our state.

Jim Prince is president of Prince Newspapers, which publishes the Journal, and president of the Mississippi Press Association.


--
James E. Prince III
Editor and Publisher
Madison County Journal
P.O. Box 219
Ridgeland, MS 39158
O 601.853-4222 x11
F 601.856.9419


18 comments:

bill said...

Pretty solid argument. After initially questioning why anyone would oppose protecting the privacy of concealed carry permit holders, I can see how something like this could start us down a slippery slope to unreasonable government secrecy. That said, I still have grave misgivings about any type of gun registration, licensing or ownership information being available to the public, so I hope some sort of compromise can be found that will provide us with some level of protection from an overzealous reporter while preserving the transparency we must have to allow the media to be the public watchdog they're intended to be. Bill Billingsley

Anonymous said...

I've dealt with my share of corrupt politicians trying to hide spending and anything else they can get away with.

A point well documented here on JJ when it comes to the rampant corruption of the Hinds County Board of Supervisors.

The men and women at the 120 daily and weekly newspapers of the Mississippi Press Association are your neighbors and friends and can't be compared to a liberal New York newspaper.

I sometimes wish we could enact laws preventing newspapers from behaving irresponsibly, but we can't.


In other words what Prince seems to be saying here is that the damage that will be done by an irresponsible outfit like, say, the Jackson Free Press is the unfortunate price that may have to be paid to maintain the integrity of Open Records laws here in Mississippi and in defense of the First Amendment.

Thanks for Mr. Prince to taking the time to share.

Anonymous said...

So his logic is that since the concealed carry application information has been public in the past, that it should always be that way? We are all intelligent enough to realize when something is wrong. In this case the government has my information because I've applied for a license. That is not government generated information. It's mine. This information should have never been public to begin with.

I don't believe Jim Prince would ever publish this information. Would the Jackson Free Press? Absolutely.

Anonymous said...

Remember that the formost reason a Mississippi citizen needs a firearms permit so that the a legal act in Mississippi i.e. a pistol in the glove box , a soccer mom or other citizen can drive his/her auto to Memphis or Gulf Coast without fear because of firearm permit reciprocality under the law with many states. The only change should be what is available under the enhanced firearm permit. That a is training requirement.

Shadowfax said...

I'm not buying Mr. Prince's argument. Would he be satisfied it the records were simply available under the open records statutes? Apparently not. It seems he won't be satisfied until he publishes them.

If his argument (as he suggests) is that he's only a strong supporter of transparency, why doesn't he stop his argument there. He won't be satisfied with the records being available. He'll only be satisfied when he achieves a certain level of notariety from publication of the records.

Anonymous said...

"I've dealt with my share of corrupt politicians trying to hide spending and anything else they can get away with."

My direct question to Mr Prince is what leap of logic makes you think that your ability to publish private data on private cititzens held by government entities will help you ferret out government corruption?

Following that logic, since PERS is the hot topic around town, how about a google map that shows the name,age,address,last held state job, and monthly PERS check info?

You can wrap yourself in the 1st amendment all you want, but your rights stop where my right to privacy begins.

But on the other hand,I may be wrong. I'm sure your ability to do a CCW google map would have stopped the looting of the DMR.

Sincerely,

A crusty old Army Paratrooper who fought for your right to have this silly little argument

Anonymous said...

Amen 7:09 PM. Thank you for your service!

Anonymous said...

Bearing arms is not legal nor do we have a well regulated militia. Having a professional police force or peace officers is not the same thing as a militia. Early suffrage in this state was extended to freeholders and members of the militia. The national guard is a 'national unit'. Our lawmakers have not provided us outside of the slavery or Klan period with 'a well regulated militia'. We have a halfway regulated right to bear arms and no right of a citizen police force. If we had such a citizen force, the Bill of Rights would operate to the People's peace and welfare.

Shadowfax said...

8:04: Pass the pipe.

Curt Crowley said...

Mr. Prince shows the difference in perspective between those who have found themselves in harm's way and desire a lawful means to defend themselves, and those who merely write about such people.

For a real world perspective on this issue, I suggest this excellent video commentary by former DA Jeanine Pirro. Judge Pirro, who has faced credible threats on her life by animals she prosecuted, was one of the persons outed by the Gannett tools. Needless to say, she was not happy.

Anonymous said...

Curt, Thanks for posting that article. A quote jumped out at me:

'"If the names and addresses of gun owners is public information, Pirro wondered, ”'

This should be common sense. Concealed carry permit information is private and should be legally regarded that way.

Anonymous said...

My quote didn't show up. Should read "If the names and addresses of gun owners is public information, Pirro wondered, “Should we also publish the names of people receiving food stamps, getting unemployment, those on welfare, the mentally ill? Should we give people maps to their homes?”'

Anonymous said...

I submit the real difference here is the nature of the information to be kept private. Unlike the corrupt politician trying to hide spending, etc. (keeping government/government employee information private), what this bill requests is to keep CITIZEN information private.......as long as the government is working to keep the citizenry safe, I can live with that any day of the week.

While I understand Mr. Prince's concerns, I don't think he's looking at it from the right perspective.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, 7:09 PM.

Anonymous said...

Lets have the names and addresses of all the brave jackson jambalaya posters. Add the address and name of the publisher. Why not all the journalists and publishers of the MPA?

Harry Truman "America was not built on fear. America was built on courage"

Anonymous said...

Lets have the names and addresses of all the brave jackson jambalaya posters. ...

Take the lead and start us off. LOSER.

Anonymous said...

Notice to all Mississippi newspaper publishers...

Go ahead. Publish my address as a legal gun owner. However, if you do this, please be certain that I will "drop" posthaste any thug attempting to enter my abode uninvited. Then I will call the coroner and you will have a story for the next day's paper. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

January 20, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Interesting take on what information to publish. I'm still waiting on the Bar to publish their discipline records and make the process for consumers an easier one.

I think I will wish in one hand...

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Archives

Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
.