Valone responds with excuses

Mr. Valone of Grass Roots North Carolina responded to my message. The message is based on excuses and a false alleged equivalency between his actions and those of the reporter whose family Mr. Valone has placed at increased risk. Below is the chain of correspondence.

Initial message to Mr. Valone (Thursday, July 26, 4:22 p.m.):

FROM Dan Besse at
SUBJECT attempted intimidation

Mr. Valone, Your attempted intimidation of a reporter by posting online his nearly complete home address, together with a link to photos of his wife and small children, followed by urging your members to contact him, is truly shameful behavior. It goes beyond the usual aggressive tactics and bare-knuckled political advocacy. Arranging hostile emails to politicians is one thing. Holding up a reporter's minor children to public view and enhanced risk as an advocacy tactic is something else again--and is beyond the pale of acceptable behavior in our country. You may wish to consider a public apology to Mr. Binker and his family, followed by a resignation from your organizational position, as a means to attempt to salvage some credibility for your organization. Dan Besse

Mr. Valone's response (Friday, July 27, 3:24 p.m.):


Thanks for the note. As I am about to point out in the Charlotte Observer, 400,000 permit-holders had no idea their personal information would be “outted” by Binker. By contrast, Binker make a willful action, exposing their information, for which he should have anticipated consequences. That he published family photos openly on the Internet while engaging in such behavior indicates an arrogant disregard for his own family. As you note, we did not publish photos, we linked to his own (which are presumably pulled down by now), we did not publish his full address, and we did not advocate contacting anybody but Binker himself and WRAL – and I would hope we agree that they are fair fame.

An aggressive response? You bet. But an example had to be set to the media to let them know that unlike decades past, they can no longer attack gun owners with impunity.

Paul Valone
President, Grass Roots North Carolina


Response to Mr. Valone (Friday, July 27, 5:31 p.m.):

Mr. Valone,

Thank you for your response, but your comparison is invalid. No permit holder was “outed”—much less 400,000 of them.

The information online at the WRAL news site does not include names, contact information, addresses, or other identifying information of individual gun owners.

The information you posted regarding Mr. Binker’s family included all of those, including a nearly complete home address, and a link to a photograph of his wife and children. In the context you posted it, it constituted exposing him to personal retaliation for his reporting, and you included Mr. Binker’s wife and children among those swept into the sights.

No one “targeted” individual gun owners. You targeted an individual’s family, including his small children. That is not acceptable behavior in our country.

I continue to call for you to make a public apology to the Binker family; and I hope that your organization will ask for your resignation. If it does not, that tells us something more about the group Grass Roots North Carolina.

Dan Besse


Valone's website says he is a pilot for US Air

He flies a 737. I wouldn't want this (in my opinion) bat-shit crazy, loose cannon flying me anywhere. I don't know if his website information is current, but if he is still a pilot for the airlines I would cancel my flight before getting on a jet he is piloting.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I wonder

whether US Airways is aware of his latest foray into antisocial behavior? Certainly there's a potential PR headache for a company that relies on customer return business.

As much as I think his policy stances are nuts, I wouldn't want to see someone fired over his political views.

On the other hand, the kind of horrific bad judgment that would lead him to believe that it's acceptable conduct to post thinly disguised attempts to intimidate using a person's family is something else again. That crosses the line into conduct that I think leaves a reasonable person uncertain of his safety on a plane with that pilot. That's just my opinion, of course--but I agree that if I learned ahead of time that he was the pilot on a flight I was taking, I'd ask for a refund and go to another airline.

Dan Besse

I agree completely

He shouldn't lose his job over his political views, however, he has demonstrated a gross lack of common sense and has put a family at risk through his actions. A 737 is a weapon of mass destruction. Do we really trust it in his hands?

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

What's more chilling about this,

to me anyway, is what lies at the core of this story: the attempt to intimidate someone who brings information to all of us.

A lot of people like Valone think the government's the problem, and our society would be just fine in the absence of a regulatory body to safeguard our liberty. But this little stunt of his proves just the opposite: that (some) men will try to garner power and influence on their own, and then use that power to subjugate their fellow citizens by using fear as a catalyst.

That's not just a theory, the shit's happening right now, in scattered pockets of distressed civilization across the globe. And a lot of those places used to have brave journalists keeping people informed.

No excuses here

Apparently, Dan Besse didn't want to post my second response, which responded to whether concealed handgun permit-holders had personal information revealed by the Binker piece on WRAL. They did. What I said:

"You didn’t see the satellite photos people sent to me of their homes -- the only ones on roads identified by WRAL. When you see the CLT Observer article, you will more completely understand the history that lead to this. You will also see that far from “asking for my resignation,” GRNC has grown by large numbers of memberships from this because gun owners are sick and tired of being stigmatized by the media."

With respect to my employer, have at it. A little thing you don't respect called the First Amendment will preclude any action against me, but the fact that you would raise the possibility reinforces the need for what GRNC has been doing.

As near as I can tell, the only "bat shit crazies" around here are on this forum. And in case any of you foaming-at-the-mouth lefties get the idea that you might threaten me, allow me to add what I sent to one asshole who did:


"You most certainly could. In fact, I can save you time by giving you a bit of my resume:

“Paul Valone is a federal law enforcement officer and accomplished combat handgun competitor in IPSC (USPSA), IDPC and other disciplines. An NRA-certified firearms instructor, Valone is a three-time graduate of Smith & Wesson Academy (the last being a body-guard-level course entitled “Advanced Defensive Handgun for Small Group Protection”), Thunder Ranch (‘Urban Rifle’, which world-renowned school owner Clint Smith describes as ‘rifle fighting at pistol fighting distances’), Eagle Rock Training Systems (‘Practical/Tactical Handgun’, parts one and two) and most recently, ‘Four Day Defensive Handgun’ at Front Sight Training Institute in Nevada, where he was one of just a handful to earn ‘Distinguished Graduate.’

“Valone’s philosophy is to be armed in all places legally permissible, and to avoid those where it is not. As a highly effective instructor, he has trained dozens of family members and close acquaintances in effective handgun defense.”

"So, Dave: I wasn’t the first one to shake the hornets’ nest; WRAL was. But if you want people to contact me, have at it. You might want to do as we did, however, and suggest that inputs be both civil and within the law. Because, hypothetically speaking, we all know that physically threatening well-armed, well-trained people is rarely a good idea."

That 1st Amendment reference is funny

Considering you're trying to stifle the media in general and one reporter in particular.

As far as the media going after gun owners, that's just one more example of the hyper-sensitivity of pro-gun groups like yours. It's just news. As a matter of fact, people learning that some of their neighbors are CCW permit holders would (in my opinion) reduce the stigmatism, not increase it.

On the other hand, overreacting and posting info about a journalist's family is liable to do much more damage to your reputation than anything else. It might impress other gun nuts, but average citizens? Not so much.

Reality vs. dark fantasy

Mr. Valone, if anyone has physically threatened you on this forum (or, for that matter, in any other), I have yet to see it.

You appear to be responding to threats that do not exist outside your imagination.

And the excuses I refer to, sir, are your excuses for the inexcusable and cowardly posting of information subjecting to heightened public view and potential risk the family of a reporter whom you appear to regard as a political adversary.

There is legality--which may cover your actions--and then there is morality--which does not.

I normally make every effort to avoid this kind of personal public interchange. But there is little or nothing that makes me angrier than bullying behavior, especially when directed at innocent people who have done nothing to deserve it.

That describes your actions in this case. It is time and past time that those who are coarsening our public dialogue with such behavior be called to account for it.

Dan Besse


Valone personally is still incapable of seeing anything wrong with his actions. I received another response, more prattle about gun owners being stigmatized by the media, and being able to find satellite photos showing their homes on the roads identified by WRAL as having concealed-carry permit holders in residence. No doubt some of those photos will show the hovering black UN helicopters as well.

Dan Besse

What an ass


From one special ops guy to another: You're the kind of gun fetishist who embarrasses the rest of us every day.

Face it. You fucked up with this stupid stunt and aren't decent enough of a human being to man up and apologize.