A local New York newspaper placed thousands of gun owners in danger after publishing an interactive map that shows the names and addresses of thousands of residents who have handgun permits.
The online map was published by The Journal News along with an article under the headline: “The gun owner next door: What you don’t know about the weapons in your neighborhood.”
The newspaper obtained the names and addresses through a Freedom of Information Act and then published this information of legal gun owners living in two suburban counties.
Luckily the newspaper was given only the names and addresses of those who had a license. The paper had also requested the number and types of guns owned by those who had licenses.
On The Journal News website, readers were for the most part furious at this known anti-gun news outlet. One reader said, “Do you fools realize that you also made a map for criminals to use to find homes to rob that have no guns in them to protect themselves? What a bunch of liberal boobs you all are.”
Other commenters worried about law enforcement officials, “You have judges, policemen, retired policemen, FBI agents — they have permits. Once you allow the public to see where they live, that puts them in harm’s way.”
“You have just destroyed the privacy of these law abiding citizens and by releasing this list, you have equated them to that of sex offenders and murders,” wrote another. “These are law abiding gun owners, they are no danger to anyone except for criminals.”
One reader, in an attempt to “turn the tables on The Journal News to see how they would like it,” posted the home addresses of the newspaper’s president, top editors and the reporter who wrote the story.
This misused ”freedom of the press” is out and out intimidation of people who have followed the local gun control laws and lends credibility to gun owners who say they do not want to register their guns because of exactly this type of exposure.
Where’s the American Civil Liberties Union when gun owner’s rights need to be defended? All we hear is deafening silence – obviously gun ownership doesn’t fit the ACLU’s definition of civil liberties – primarily to keep gun owner’s information private, except for law enforcement agencies.
Hopefully, someone whose name and address appears in this gun-control newspaper could file a lawsuit against the newspaper for placing them and their families in harm’s way simply to increase circulation.
The article, written by reporter Dwight R Worley, was partially justified by the newspaper opining that Mr. Worley owned a Smith & Wesson 686 .357 Magnum and has had a residence permit in New York City for that weapon since February 2011.
Permits are hard to get in New York, and Mr. Worley must have felt at some point that he needed protection. Obviously, the newspaper that published the article sees no danger to gun owners, including their reporter.
In any event, should you wish to examine Dwight’s 357 Magnum, the newspaper’s Facebook website tells you where to view it. Since Dwight’s address and phone number were also listed, you may call him first to let him know that you’ll be dropping by to see his gun.