Newspaper Publishes Names, Addresses of Local Gun Owners
In which an allegedly objective media outlet takes a side with criminals and big government, against the law-abiding.
Hundreds of residents in New York's Westchester and Rockland counties were surprised to find their names and addresses listed on a map posted by The Journal News on Sunday. Users can click any dot on the map to see which of their neighbors has a permit for a gun.
All of the names and addresses were compiled through public records. The paper also requested the information from Putnam County, which is still compiling the records for publication, according to The Journal News' website.
In a statement to ABC News, The Journal News said its readers "are understandably interested to know about guns in their neighborhoods," because of the conversation about gun control on its website after the shooting in Newtown, Conn., last week.
"We obtained the names and addresses of Westchester and Rockland residents who are licensed to own handguns through routine Freedom of Information law requests. We also requested information on the number and types of guns owned by permit holders, but officials in the county clerks offices in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties maintained that those specifics were not public record," the statement read.
Gun owners opposed to registration requirements often cite the possibility that government could one day use that information to confiscate their legally purchased firearms. Here, a local media organization has taken it upon itself to pin what amounts to a scarlet letter on local gun owners. Criminals interested in stealing weapons to use in crimes now have a great map to show them where all the firearms in town are likely to be -- and where they're not. That's two advantages to criminals, none for the rest of us. Safety for the community has not been enhanced at all, whether that was the newspaper's intent or not. And it probably wasn't. The aim was to shame people who have broken now laws but who hold an opinion which media elites disapprove.
Meanwhile, who in the press has the courage to address one obvious fact that has emerged in the wake of the Webster, NY firefighter shootings? Namely, that if we locked up murderers for life (or gave more of them the death penalty), career criminal William Spangler would never have been on the streets at all? Most in the media are quick to reach for your legally purchased gun, but they seldom if ever admit that lax, liberal criminal justice policies put hardened criminals and head cases on our streets every day.