Readers outraged as NY paper published map of gun owners

Map of gun owners

Screen shot of the Journal News’ interactive map of gun permit owners

In the wake of the tragic Connecticut school massacre, the New York-based Journal News took it upon itself to publish the names and addresses of all gun owners in Westchester and Rockland counties under the headline, “Where are the gun permits in your neighborhood?”

The paper obtained the information from a Freedom of Information Act request and published it on an interactive map on it’s website. The map’s red dots indicate the location of a firearm permit holder. One only has to click a dot and the gun owner’s name and address are displayed.

The Journal News did this in an apparent attempt to perform a public service. But who was served?

The gun owners certainly weren’t served. Given the political outcry centered on the ownership and control of firearms, it was a blatant attempt to intimidate the owners for asserting and relying on their Second Amendment rights to protect themselves, their loved ones and their home.

Those who don’t own guns weren’t served either. The Journal News provided a map to all the area’s burglars and other “bad guys” showing all the addresses that are “safe” for home invasions.

I wasn’t the only one outraged — so were the other readers. Here are a few examples:

Curtis Maenza wrote, “This is CRAZY!! why in the world would you post every licensed gun owner information?? What do you hope to accomplish by doing this. This is the type of thing you do for sex offenders not law abiding gun owners. What next? should i hang a flag outside my house that says I own a gun? I am canceling my subscription with your paper today!!!”

Mike Pandolfo added, “Now everyone knows where the LEGAL GUNS are kept, a valuable piece of information for criminals. Why don’t you do something helpful, like trying to find out where the ILLEGAL GUNS are kept? That would be helpful to the non-criminal population.”

I thought the best comment came from Gordon Thompson, who wrote “How about a map of the editorial staff and publishers of Gannett and Journal News with names and addresses of their families…”

All in all, the only people The Journal News served by this stunt was The Journal News itself.

It was an outrageous attempt to call attention to itself and sell newspapers — nothing more. And it did so at the risk of the very people it purports to serve — the residents of Westchester and Rockland counties.

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About Michael Dorstewitz

Mike has been with BizPac Review almost from the beginning. Email Mike at michael@bizpacreview and follow him on Twitter at @MikeBPR.

  • James Jacobson

    I wish to file a "CLASS ACTION" suit against the N.Y. based Journal News for the intentional violation of my right to the puruit of happiness. How can I be happy when this irrisponsible publication has granted every gang-banger and criminal with a virtual shopping list of weapons which could be used against me at any time. This publication has jeopordized the saftey of every U.S. citizen because stolen guns can end up anywhere and used for anything.

  • http://facebook sam hatt

    in his original article he forgot to mention he owns a 357 magnum…hummmm. the pot calling the kettle an idiot

  • http://facebook sam hatt

    we have his address and his phone number and his fb page…freedom of information act baby

    http://www.facebook.com/dwightworley
    Dwight R. Worley

    • niko

      ummmm, that guy is black!??

  • http://facebook sam hatt
  • David Bergstein

    So those non-gun owners would be wise to own guns.

  • MOM

    It's important to point out that the homes listed as being armed are actually RESPONSIBLE registered residents who LEGALLY obtained PERMITS and does not necessarily indicate that they own guns! In addition, permits are not required for shotguns and rifles. This is another example of the media looking for ratings through exploitation and a violation of privacy. LQQK how many minors were interviewed during one of our nation's most horrific and shocking incidents on December 14th! Parents stood by in shock, while the media preyed on innocent children by interviewing them to obtain a story. SHAMELESS!

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