It should be quite clear to you now that your recent decision to publish the names of Humboldt County CCW holders was not as well received as you may have anticipated (“Pistol Packing People,” Sept. 25).

While the article itself was well written and portrayed CCW holders in a generally positive way, the publishing of CCW holders’ names on the front cover was not well received, as is clear by the overwhelmingly large number of negative comments this article has generated.

While it was perfectly legal, per California Public Records Act and the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, your decision to publish CCW holders’ names, without their express permission, was clearly not the right thing to do. Common decency and respect for the rights and privacy of your readers dictate that you should have asked for permission via public notice before publishing the CCW holders’ names on the front cover. Had you taken the effort to do this, you, quite likely would have received permission from many and would have been granted many more interviews, which would, in turn, have increased the quality of the content of the article.

I am a CCW holder and my name is on the front cover of the North Coast Journal. Like all CCW holders, I am a firm advocate of the principle of avoidance of situations, which could lead to incidents of violence. Like all CCW holders, I am a firm believer in effecting a prompt disengagement and calling the police to deal with the situation. Like all CCW holders, I feel that the use of deadly force is and always should be the option of last resort. Like all CCW holders, I am well trained and work hard to keep my skills sharp and honed, while simultaneously praying I never need to employ these skills.

I trust Sheriff Gary Philp and the deputies of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. I know that they will do whatever they can to protect me and my loved ones, within the logistical and staffing limitations they must work within. Sheriff Philp and his deputies will always have my full support and respect. I appreciate the trust Sheriff Philp has shown in me by issuing me a Concealed Carry Weapons Permit. I know what Sheriff Philp expects of me as a CCW holder and vow that I will never knowingly violate the trust he has placed in me. I have no doubt that most, if not all, CCW holders in Humboldt County feel the same way.

I have made the protection of myself and my loved ones my personal responsibility. I will not be a victim and I will do whatever I can, to ensure that those I care about do not become victims either. I am no different than any other law-abiding citizen. We all have the right to self-protection.

— Michael W. Lee, McKinleyville


Sweet Spot: Michael Lee wins a Bon Boniere sundae for sending our favorite letter of the week.

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