Posts Tagged ‘Putnam County’

A New Way For Mainstream Media to Help Criminals: Harass Gun Owners By Publishing License Addresses

January 18th, 2013 No comments

The White Plains Journal News is a New York newspaper owned by Gannett which recently engaged in irresponsible journalism that could endanger the safety of the public. The newspaper staff has published the names and addresses of thousands of local handgun owners on its website in what appears to be an attempt to harass or intimidate gun owners.

While they try to claim they are somehow advancing the debate on gun control, fingering those who are licensed to legally own handguns who have not committed any crimes doesn’t do that. Instead, it creates a new treasure trove of information to be abused by criminals to harm innocent people.

Thanks to the White Plains Journal News, criminals who have access to a computer will now be able to improve their aim at targeting households for the crimes of their choice. They can go visit the web page, pick the county they want to target, and then go find the homes with handgun licenses.

Having a list of home addresses associated with licensed gun owners can be very valuable information for criminals in two ways. For criminals who want to steal handguns, now they know much more precisely what homes have them. For criminals who want to steal, rape, kill, or otherwise terrorize with less risk of accountability at the hands of a victim who has the means to defend himself or herself, now they have information that can aid them at selecting safer targets who are more likely to be unarmed and defenseless.

However, it is important to note that owners of rifles and other guns that are not handguns are not published on this list. So any enterprising computer literate criminal who decides an unlicensed house would make an easy target could end up facing down a homeowner with a shotgun, rifle, or semi-automatic “assault” rifle.

After this irresponsible newspaper stunt, anybody who doesn’t already own a handgun in Westchester or Rockland counties should consider buying a firearm because that second category of easier targets is not a group of which you should be happy to be a part. And for those in Putnam County — the Journal News is trying to obtain a list of handgun permits there with plans to publish that list, too. Putnam County, however, is attempting to refuse to provide its gun registration list containing over 11,000 handgun permit holders.

Journal News is not the only group publicizing gun permit holders. Despite the outrage over that incident, Gawker then published a 446 page long list of New York City gun permit holders. At least one person has claimed this has triggered renewed harassment against her by a former stalker.

Gun Control Laws Do Not Take Guns Out of Criminals’ Hands

The Australian experience with gun control in the past decade has shown that gun bans are good for criminals because these laws increase the number of unarmed or poorly armed targets who can be victimized with little risk. This makes crime a safer occupation.
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Abusive Conduct and Failure To Follow Law by Judge William Watkins Requires His Removal From Bench

July 13th, 2012 2 comments

Two of the most basic premises in Western jurisprudence are impartiality of the judge and that the judge must follow the law and rulings of higher courts. Family Law Judge William Watkins of Putnam County, West Virginia, has repeatedly demonstrated that he is unable to perform either of these basic job duties. West Virginia has a legal obligation to remove this abusive man from the family law bench and to document his abusive conduct publicly to help ensure that no litigant in any court will ever be treated as unjustly and irresponsibly by him again.

Watkins first came to my attention based upon the video below that features him yelling, screaming, and threatening a quiet elderly man named Revered Arthur Hage in a family law hearing over sale of the family home in a divorce. From the very start of the tirade, Watkins makes it clear that he will not allow Hage to speak on threat of imprisonment. He then launches in a verbal tirade making accusations against Hage. The screaming is so loud that it causes the microphone and recording system to distort and clip the audio.

Judge William Watkins of Putnam County, West Virginia screaming and berating a litigant

Whether the accusations are true or not, I don’t claim to know. More importantly, the truth or falseness of the accusations is actually besides the point because the judge’s accusations are not about the case being heard but rather about a newspaper article featuring a photograph of Hage’s home and his wife and alleged vandalism of the home that he claims is somehow Hage’s fault. Can there be any kind of conflict of interest more obvious than this?

Home of Judge William Watkins at 111 Raintree Drive, Voiceover Explaining His HOA Arrears

Watkins has attacked many people in the community over their questioning his impartiality, his lateness on HOA (homeowner’s association) payments, and other problems involving him. His verbal rage at Hage exposes how he thinks he can use his position as a judge to retaliate against people in his courtroom simply because he believes they have something to do with his personal problems.

Watkins had a duty to immediately recuse himself from this case because of his personal feelings and strong conflict of interest. He should have done so by a proper written judicial recusal communicated to both parties, and this would have precluded his ridiculously abusive outburst in court. But Watkins failed to do so, instead holding a hearing to berate a litigant over personal matters and then proceeding to hear the matter thereby showing a complete inability to behave appropriately for a judge.

Even if Hage had personally spray painted, smashed windows, and littered trash at Watkins’ home and there was absolute proof of this such as by a video recording (to be clear, nobody claims there is such proof), Watkins still would have had no business behaving this way. The correct course of action would be to recuse from the case and let the police and prosecutor deal with Hage.
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