Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Invoking "Roe" on Gun Ownership

Invoking Roe on Gun Ownership
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
January 9, 2013

The infamous and controversial Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade (1973), contrary to popular belief was not about abortion, but instead the broader right of privacy.

As stated in a summary of the landmark case, Justice Harry Blackmun, a Richard Nixon high court appointee in 1970 who wrote the Roe decision, answered a question regarding privacy. Blackmun stated that “the Due Process Clause” of the 14th Amendment, “protects the right to privacy…” (

Furthermore, with the 14th Amendment behind them, gun owners, whose names and addresses were unceremoniously splashed across the pages of the Journal News in New York under the guise of protecting the community and using FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) as its shield, had their privacy violated.

Section One of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution  states, in part, that “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of the law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Liberals and those who would restrict the activities of their fellow Americans enjoy invoking Roe whenever it suits their needs – defending the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of fetuses/lives every year, but objecting to the right of honest, law abiding Americans to defend their families, homes, and property according to the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

The Due Process Clause protects people’s privacy – whether the privacy to murder their unborn child or the privacy to keep and bear arms without having their names and addresses made public, potentially putting them in harm’s way. And for that matter, placing those who choose not to own a firearm in harm’s way.

Criminals can pick up a copy of the Journal News and decide to carjack, burglarize, kidnap, rape, rob, or murder a non-gun owner more easily than one who is duly armed.

For those who would curtail gun ownership in the United States, do they think people will simply surrender their Constitutional right to bear arms and turn in their pistols, revolvers, and rifles? Those people are delusional at best and living in fantasy land if they believe an unarmed society will make them safer. Just the opposite; criminals will be able to procure firearms, and sadly, often times, have better fire power than the law enforcement entrusted with keeping the streets and society safe.

But the police cannot be everywhere, and again, those who would disarm law abiding citizens and think that waiting for police when faced with a home invasion at gunpoint will keep them from getting slaughtered, are equally as delusional.

Take the recent case of the Georgia gun owner who protected her family by shooting an intruder after spiriting away her children to another part of the home. When discovered, the home owner was prepared and saved six lives.

Liberals are always quick to defend the rights of criminals to ensure their due process. What about the due process of the gun owner to not be deprived of his or her life, liberty, or property?

The Journal News, under the auspices of its president and publisher Janet Hasson, took it upon herself to violate the privacy rights of thousands of lawful gun owners in her community, claiming such information was available to the public under FOIA. This is the same liberal publication that recently endorsed 36 Democrats for 36 elections.

Under the same FOIA protection, Hasson’s readers can learn and print the purchase price of her home, list whether or not she is a recipient of welfare and/or food stamps, her magazine subscriptions, her movie rentals, and whether or not she is a convicted child molester – all under the guise of the community’s right to know.

Quite frankly, knowing who receives welfare and food stamps should be public information, after all, we the people are paying for those so-called entitlements. And, what parents or grandparents wouldn’t want to be informed as to the criminal nature of their neighbors? Let’s see Hasson publish the list of convicted pedophiles and sex offenders in her newspaper alongside the names of those on public assistance.

Printing the names of gun owners and their addresses puts law enforcement agents at risk. Readers of Hasson’s paper in the local jails have parroted back to their jailers addresses that appeared in print. Local judges are at risk. Residents who have moved due to harassment are at risk. Testifying witnesses are at risk. Stalker victims are at risk.

This is a bell than cannot be unrung. A message should be sent to the purveyors of such material by readers who chose to cancel their subscriptions; from advertisers who chose to advertise elsewhere, or from readers who opt to take their business from advertisers who remain in the paper to those who won’t appear there.

The brazenness of people like Hasson will only encourage other publications to follow her lead in their communities. What next? Will those gun owners whose names are in print exact their revenge by posting personal, yet publicly attained, information about the newspaper’s owner and/or publisher?

Contact Hasson at the Journal News Media Group, owned by Gannett, Inc. at 914-694-5204 or on-line at

I believe in a free press – it is one of the cornerstones of American society. But I also believe in the privacy of the individual and to not have that privacy violated.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN. He is a multi-time winner of the Virginia Press Association Award.

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