For some reason people are finding it odd that gun owners are a bit peeved at having their names and addresses published.
“They haven’t done anything illegal, so why should they care.” they shout and I shout back “And that’s why we don’t want to be treated like a sex offender!”
I fully support the 1st amendment and the 2nd amendment. They are my two favorite amendments in the Bill of Rights in fact, but what The Journal News did when they published an interactive map of all the pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties in New York state, was an outrageous abuse of the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) and a disgusting breech of journalistic ethics.
Yes, this is public information.
Yes, anyone can request it from their county office.
No, you should not make an interactive map of the names and addresses of people who legally own handguns for any variety of reasons.
It’s legal, but it’s a HUGE breech of ethics and any “journalist” who thinks it’s appropriate, needs to get some lessons in common decency.
Even former criminals are saying this was a horrible, horrible idea.
“That was the most asinine article I’ve ever seen,” said Walter T. Shaw, 65, a former burglar and jewel thief who the FBI blames for more than 3,000 break-ins that netted some $70 million in the 1960s and 1970s. “Having a list of who has a gun is like gold – why rob that house when you can hit the one next door, where there are no guns?
“What they did was insanity,” added Shaw, author of “License to Steal,” a book about his criminal career.…
Frank Abagnale, who was portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2002 film “Catch Me if You Can,” and is perhaps the most famous reformed thief to ever earn a legitimate living by offering the public insight into the criminal mind, called the newspaper’s actions “reprehensible.”
“It is unbelievable that a newspaper or so called journalist would publish the names and addresses of legal gun owners, including federal agents, law enforcement officers and the like,” said Abagnale, who noted that he grew up in the suburban New York area served by the Journal-News. “This would be equivalent to publishing the names of individuals who keep substantial sums of money, jewelry and valuables in their home.”
In other words, The Journal News just made the world a far more dangerous place for everyone to live in. Those who don’t own guns will now be at higher risk of being burgled and those with guns will be targeted by criminals who want to steal their guns, putting more stolen guns on the streets if these criminal entrepreneurs are successful.
Thanks, thanks a lot TJN.
Unsurprisingly, this is already causing problems for people in who own guns in these counties.
Consider who has these permits. Many retired police officers, who have criminals a plenty who would like to find them; survivors of domestic abuse, rape victims, and victims of stalkers who only purchased guns to protect themselves and feel safe in their own homes.
Now, thanks to this incredibly stupid “news” organization, these people’s names and addresses have been published for all the world to see.
“This one narcotics officer from Westchester County just retired. Dedicated his whole career to protecting the citizens of Westchester County and they can’t protect him now. He said I’ve never been so fearful for the safety of my family… This one lady whose been stalked for years in West Chester County. She finally found peace, two years without the stalker contacting her. Two days after that paper released her information she gets hangups all night long. She lives in fear, her and her three daughters.”
And now inmates in prisons have been telling guards that they know their home addresses, thanks to the map. (via Reuters)
Yes, Journal News, I’m sure you’ve made the world a much safer place by exposing the addresses of all us “bitter clingers”.
The first time an innocent civilian or cop is killed in their home and the criminal admits to getting the address from your publication, the first time a house that doesn’t have a gun permit is burgled and the burglar admits he cased houses NOT listed on your website, and the first time a person is shot using a gun stolen from the the home of a law-abiding citizen whose address you published, I want you to take a long look in the mirror and hold yourself accountable for your actions.
You might not have committed the crime, but you enabled it.
I hope you are proud of yourself.