Paper Criticized for Publishing Home Addresses of Gun Owners

The Journal News, a Westchester County, NY paper, has stirred a lot of outrage over its publication this week of a map with the names and home addresses of those with permits for handguns. The story's headline was "Where are the Guns in Your Neighborhood?" Here is the interactive map.

Since that's where I grew up, I went right to my old neighborhood and clicked on all the dots. While it brought a sense of nostalgia, it also felt like a complete privacy intrusion.

Are gun owners now going to be stigmatized like sex offenders?

The Journal News defends its publication decision here. [More...]

I think it's an attempt at intimidation. I wonder if any of those whose addresses were published are immediate family members of federal officials or employees, and covered by 18 USC Section 119, which prohibits publishing home addresses for intimidation. Or if the internet publication of home addresses of gun owners can be considered cyber stalking, cyber-bullying, harassment or invasion of privacy under state laws? Just because the information is available under a FOIA request, does that mean it can be publicly disseminated? I'm sure they checked with their lawyers and felt like they were on safe ground, but I hope somebody sues them.

The paper says the publication was in response to Newtown. But the map only published handgun owners, since there is no permit required for rifles and shotguns in New York (except for New York City.) Does the person own 1 handgun or 50? The map doesn't tell you. It doesn't even tell you if the person owns a firearm, only that he/she has a permit to own one. I don't see any connection between Newtown and handgun permits in Westchester County.

Several states, especially in the West, including Colorado, don't require licenses for handguns or any other firearms - except for concealed carry. Arizona and Wyoming don't even require permits for concealed firearms. Just another reason we should leave firearm laws up to the states. One size doesn't fit all. And we certainly don't need a federal law creating a national database of gun owners.

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    HEATED RHETORIC! Except that it's warmed over. (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Addison on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 11:56:19 PM EST
    Are gun owners now going to be stigmatized like sex offenders?

    Or, uh, like political donors, whose first amendment rights to financial political speech are already well-publicized without controversy. When you exercise political rights that impact the public, they are public, and made public.

    nonsense (none / 0) (#10)
    by TeresaInPa on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:57:33 AM EST
    owning a gun is not a political right.  Owning a gun is a personal right.  Maybe I am misunderstanding you, but you seem to be off on a side road here.

    You claim the Second Amendment (none / 0) (#30)
    by Towanda on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:10:40 AM EST
    and that makes it a political right.

    See: Constitutional law.  


    owning a gun is a (none / 0) (#58)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:17:50 PM EST
    constitutional right in most states, not a political right.

    CT:  Article 1, Section 15."Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state."

    Colorado: Article II, Section 13. "The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons."

    In New York State it's a statutory right. Article 2, Section 4 of the New York Civil Rights Law provides: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed."

    In New York City, it's more complicated. There's NY Penal Law section 400.00 which applies to licensing, and New York City's charter and administrative code.  The administrative code is a state statute, passed by the State Legislature.  The New York City police commissioner is the licensing authority for New York City and the licensing division of the New York City police department issues regulations which apply to firearms in the city.

    Westchester/Rockland counties are not in New York City. There could well be politics involved with who the NYC police decide to give licenses to, but that seems irrelevant since the paper didn't publish the names of gun owners in New York City.

    If you'd like to see your state constitutional provision and laws, go here.


    The Constitution is political (none / 0) (#69)
    by Towanda on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 01:17:21 PM EST
    as Congress enacted it and amends it.

    State constitutions are political, as legislatures enacted them and amend them.

    I have to say that I am amazed to see people at this site not understanding the role of politics in this country.  

    And what the heck is a "personal right"?  Is this some new religious euphemism?  Is "thou shalt bear a gun" one of the Ten Commandments that I missed?


    the right to a firearm (none / 0) (#91)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:39:11 PM EST
    existed before there was a Constitution, the Second Amendment bars Government from taking it away

    Under the Articles of Confederation (5.00 / 3) (#94)
    by Towanda on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:46:29 PM EST
    that preceded the Constitution in New England and the middle colonies?  I don't recall that.  Cite, please.

    Or previously under British rule, a right to bear arms?  I don't recall that, either.  Cite, please?

    Or in Florida, and parts of the future South and West then under Spanish rule, ditto.  Cite, please?

    Or in Nouvelle France, the part of the Midwest now that was won in the American Revolution? No, prior to the Constitution, that was under the North-West Ordinance, and I know the right to bear arms was not in that.

    See, if you're going to attempt to address a point historically, you have to know . . . well, history.


    DC v Heller (none / 0) (#96)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:39:19 PM EST
    individuals have the ancient-natural right of self defense, I defer to Scalia's historical review

    Self-defense is not at all the issue (none / 0) (#97)
    by Towanda on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:45:51 PM EST
    in this discussion.  Deflection fail.

    Be A Good Sport (none / 0) (#98)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:45:02 PM EST
    not all decisions go your way, States can do some regs

    A Brief History (none / 0) (#99)
    by Cylinder on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 02:41:39 AM EST
    Or previously under British rule, a right to bear arms?  I don't recall that, either.  Cite, please?

    English Bill of Rights, 1689

    Feel free to pose the question in an open thread, and I'll be happy to discuss the constitutions of the various states, colonial law, Blackstone's Commentaries, Henry II's 12th centrury Azzizes and the ancient right and responsibility of the fyrd. A good overview history can be found in Montgomery's A History of Warfare, if you tolerate his sickening (from an American POV) self-promotion.


    Again, that was only for self-defense (none / 0) (#111)
    by Towanda on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 12:15:32 PM EST
    and only for one class of Englishmen.  But, yes, it has some historical bearing for 13 current states.

    Again, though, the East Coast and WASP mindset never had historical impact in my region and many others.    So it's no matter to me, although it is of interest to play anthropologist and see it play out, again.


    personal = political (none / 0) (#119)
    by coigue on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:38:01 PM EST
    we all live in a society.

    My kid might go over to your house. I'd like to know if you have a weapon.

    I have a swimming pool, I tell my kids' friends parents what measures I take to protect their kids from drowning.

    I'd like to know that my neighbor's guns are secured if my kids will interact with them.


    Interesting, as back-in-the day, (none / 0) (#120)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:39:45 PM EST
    I never heard of anyone inquiring if other kids' houses included firearms.  

    Back in the day (none / 0) (#121)
    by coigue on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:49:37 PM EST
    you kicked your kids out of the house and told them to return at dusk.

    People think more bad things happen now. I just think we know more about them.

    I will say though, that I am fine with the kids going over to a house with guns, if I have discussed how secured they are. Same with the swimming pool when the kids were little (an even more deadly thing than guns for those under 4).


    Back in the day, moms left there (none / 0) (#122)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:53:37 PM EST
    kids in the car while they ran in to pick up the drycleaning!

    no seatbelts (none / 0) (#125)
    by coigue on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 03:20:16 PM EST
    tapeworm eggs and amphetamines to keep slim for your hard-working husband, etc, etc.

    Why not ask? (none / 0) (#126)
    by Lora on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 05:41:33 PM EST
    A list in the paper won't necessarily tell you much.

    What if the parents-in-question don't have their names on the list?  Are you going to assume they don't have any guns?

    I wouldn't.  If I believe my kid's safety is at stake, I would attempt to ask.

    I might say, "I hope you don't mind if I ask you a couple of questions that I ask every parent when my child is visiting their house.  Would you please tell me if there are any guns or ammo on your property, and if they are locked up?  I hope you understand that as a parent I am very concerned about gun accidents and just don't want to make any assumptions when it comes to guns."

    If it's your kid's safety, just ask.  Better safe than sorry.


    Wear it like a badge of honor (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by vicndabx on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:59:30 AM EST
    be proud of it.  Nobody's is going to mess w/you now that it's known you're packin'.

    NY'ers don't go randomly looking to start beef w/gun owners.

    Besides, people can find out all kindsa crap about you online for like $10 bucks nowadays.  Seems a little late to be worried about privacy.

    Theoretically, wouldn't a private citizen have been able to do the same thing?

    Personally, if I new my neighbor had "issues" and also knew he had a piece, I'd steer clear.  It's a public service.

    If it were me, I wouldn't have an issue.

    The (none / 0) (#16)
    by lentinel on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:17:54 AM EST
    problem is then, that it also lets everybody know who ain't "packin'".

    So now, the non-packers are under pressure to get packin'.

    Great for the gun business.

    The Wild West.


    I disagree. (none / 0) (#17)
    by vicndabx on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:23:42 AM EST
    Am also familiar w/the area.  Unless a bunch of folks are coming from outside Westchester - I just don't see it happening.

    I wonder about... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:27:49 AM EST
    kids in those houses who maybe don't know mommy and/or daddy is packing...and now go snooping, thanks to the local paper.  That could be dangerous.

    And just because I ain't packing doesn't mean my crib is an easy target...beware the Notorious D.O.G. and the Lousiville Slugger Home Defense system!  Effective if not nearly as deadly.


    Mommy and Daddy (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by vicndabx on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:32:54 AM EST
    should have their $hit locked up - another one of them regulations we need enforced.

    You're right about not being easy targets - we do just fine with other forms of "home security."


    They should... (none / 0) (#21)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:44:12 AM EST
    but a lockbox ain't exactly Brinks...kids will be kids. Luckily my crew of little rascals never found no guns when we were up to no good...but we sure found our share of neighborhood dad's Playboys and prono tapes.

    It's really unenforceable though...like so many unsavory and/or dangerous things we try to change through criminal legislation. And we just create more problems and more victims.  


    I (none / 0) (#37)
    by lentinel on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:26:05 AM EST
    wonder if they make a "vicious dog" sound machine.
    When the intruder breaks the beam, the snarls and growls would commence.

    They do. (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by nycstray on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:39:41 AM EST
    Yup, they really do (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:40:18 AM EST
    It poops less and doesn't chew up your belongings.  

     If the gun debates have taught me anything at all this week, it is that perception is reality until it isn't :)


    I (none / 0) (#59)
    by lentinel on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:27:45 PM EST
    guess the next step would be Robodog.

    Actually (none / 0) (#25)
    by daring grace on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:48:50 AM EST
    All this tells us is where the REGISTERED gun owners live. Who's to say how many unregistered weapons are in their neighbors'homes?

    Red Dawn (none / 0) (#89)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:28:11 PM EST
    remake in theaters now

    Nah (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:58:19 AM EST
    As Jeralyn said, shotgun owners were not identified :)

    Until they work the slide... (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:25:12 AM EST
    ...at which point you know almost for certain that they have one.

    So add that sound effect in with the barking dog tape.


    Hell yeah....winner (none / 0) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:44:47 AM EST
    I (none / 0) (#32)
    by lentinel on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:11:34 AM EST
    guess I'll have to get me a shotgun.
    Yee Hah!

    F*ck that lentinel... (none / 0) (#34)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:17:23 AM EST
    me thinks we need a spaceship and another habitable planet!

    I'm (none / 0) (#35)
    by lentinel on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:23:40 AM EST
    all for that.

    I used to think about Mars.

    I still find it appealing, but some work would have to be done - not having air and all.


    Nah (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:24:42 AM EST
    Just pretend you have one.  Then it's a double surprise.............surprise, surprise

    Interesting Thing (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by msaroff on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:19:59 AM EST
    The paper has done this before, and there was never even a blip.

    How is having a firearm license any less public data than (for example) having an exotic animal license?

    I think that we would all like to know if our neighbor keeps a pet honey badger, (the honey badger doesn't give a sh%$) which is far less likely to do us injury than someone's firearm.

    Not all government records (none / 0) (#95)
    by Peter G on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:48:27 PM EST
    are public records. Open records laws have lists of exceptions, including for protection of personal privacy.

    But Firearm Permits are Explicitly Public (none / 0) (#113)
    by msaroff on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 12:22:07 PM EST
    Under the applicable law.

    The difference between a public record (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:01:00 AM EST
    and a map on the internet is that if someone breaks in and steals guns, especially from multiple homes, the police investigators have a list of whoever accessed the public records. This map provides information to criminals in a relatively secret way, especially since so many people can access it with a click of the mouse.

    Oregon newspapers once published auto license plate numbers with home addresses. It's public information, after all. But state law now prohibits that because burglars could tell when you're likely to be not home for a while (like when you park at a mall, movie theater, church or other location), check the online resource for your address, and go burglarize your house. Angry drivers could also get your address and target you if they thought you did them wrong on the road.

    Now you have to show ID in person at DMV to get someone's address from their license plate.  If a crime is committed subsequent to that, your identity and picture are available to the police as a potential suspect.

    I don't understand what Jeralyn means (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Anne on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:15:41 PM EST
    by "Just another reason we should leave firearm laws up to the states," right after naming states that don't require licenses to own and/or permits to carry on a concealed basis.  

    I'm sorry if I am being dense here, but I don't get it.  Jeralyn seem to be saying that these western states have it right, by not subjecting people to licensing and permitting, so why is that "another" reason why we should leave these things up to the states?

    Here's the thing I notice about gun owners: I've never encountered one yet who didn't think he or she had it all together, knew exactly what to do in all and every kind of situation.  And I suspect that everyone here who knows a gun owner or is a gun owner could say exactly the same thing.  I've never met one who said, "Heck, I don't have a clue, really; I just want one in case someone breaks into my house - hope I can manage not to shoot someone in my family or myself, lol."

    It's the same with drivers - everyone thinks they're a good-to-excellent driver.  But just as motor vehicle accident and fatality statistics make a mockery of that, so do the stats on accidental shootings and fatalities.

    As for criminals being able to target homes for robbery on the basis of who does and doesn't have a license to own a gun - please, are you kidding me?  You think your average thief is going to do research - other than checking to see if anyone is home - before committing a break-in?

    If there's any issue here at all, it's that there is far too much information out there about all of us that is accessible by anyone with a few minutes and a computer - and, I'm sorry, but I can't shed special tears for gun owners when the reality is that all of us have been subject to unreasonable collection of information and had our privacy compromised.  It's not worse that it's happening to gun owners - it's just the latest example.

    For what it's worth, I think it's terrible that gun laws vary from state to state - I think ownership of a weapon capable of killing someone should be regulated uniformly in every state in the nation.  I just think that as a citizen, I have as much right to be protected from people with guns as the gun owners have a right to own them.

    Very true (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by nyjets on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 01:21:18 PM EST
    Espically when you consider states have problems with people easily getting guns from one state and imported said guns to another state.

    focus Anne (2.00 / 1) (#100)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 05:45:26 AM EST
    the point is that no one has to do research to find out who has a gun and who doesn't if it is all there on a nice list on the internet.  And no one is asking you for special tears for gun owners.  Either you respect people's privacy or you do not.

    People who drive should learn how to drive.  People who own a gun should learn how to handle that gun.  You should expect to be protected from both.  But you, your children and grandchildren are much more likely to be killed by someone with a car and a beer and yet, I doubt you are as scornful of everyone who owns a car and keeps beer in the fridge.


    Read all the words, Teresa, not (none / 0) (#115)
    by Anne on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 03:45:50 PM EST
    just the ones you think you can use to skewer people.

    I mean, it's not like everyone can't read the point I made about the loss of privacy, but you, in your attempt to "get" me, seem to have just skipped over that part - it's the part in bold, below.

    If there's any issue here at all, it's that there is far too much information out there about all of us that is accessible by anyone with a few minutes and a computer - and, I'm sorry, but I can't shed special tears for gun owners when the reality is that all of us have been subject to unreasonable collection of information and had our privacy compromised.  It's not worse that it's happening to gun owners - it's just the latest example.

    Golly, you must have been a real terror on the playground, but I have to tell you, that bully stuff doesn't work with me.


    different State (none / 0) (#90)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:30:22 PM EST
    have different levels of crime

    To answer a question -- and to ask one: (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Towanda on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:08:56 PM EST
    "Just because the information is available under a FOIA request, does that mean it can be publicly disseminated?"


    Frankly, it is Kafkaesque to even suggest that information that is public cannot be published.  (But thanks for fodder for classroom discussion!)  

    "I'm sure they checked with their lawyers and felt like they were on safe ground, but I hope somebody sues them."

    As the newspaper acted legally -- just as the newspaper did in doing this six years ago -- why would a lawyer encourage a frivolous lawsuit?  

    Here's what I know about the law:  If you don't like it, abide by it while working to change it.  The dark side in my state is doing so, attacking "sunshine laws,"  but I had no idea that this campaign by ALEC had librul proponents.  Kafka, redux.

    Gun owners like sex offenders? (5.00 / 4) (#81)
    by Atty D on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:36:09 PM EST
    Obvously not, but there is every bit as much to be said for knowing where the guns are as there is to knowing where sexual predators are.  If you have an unsecured gun in your house, I don't want my kids to play there any more than I would want them to play at the home of a sexual predator.  That does NOT mean I would stigmatize the owner, it just recognizes a fact: Hand guns that are not carefully secured, are deadly in the hands of a child.  

    You have a gun, you tell me you have it and show me it is secured away from any curious children before my child enters your home.

    There is something to be said... (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:49:51 PM EST
    for knowing everything about everybody, but damned if I know if anything good can be said about it...sounds downright dystopian.

    I know privacy is dead and all, but do we have to mutilate it's corpse too?


    Brings this to mind (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:55:15 PM EST
    "Dr. Strangelove: Of course, the whole point of a Doomsday Machine is lost, if you keep it a secret! Why didn't you tell the world, EH?

    Ambassador de Sadesky: It was to be announced at the Party Congress on Monday. As you know, the Premier loves surprises."

    Well, there is nothing (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 03:00:18 PM EST
     that requires any jurisdiction to have laws requiring the government to collect information about gun purchases. If enough people agree such laws can be repealed.

       Even Freedom of Information Acts and other "sunshine" or public disclosure laws can be repealed.

       For now though, if the government possesses information that is not excluded from FOIA or other acts it must disclose it upon request and compliance with the acts. Once it is lawfully obtained by private persons  they are free to publish it.

      There are multiple sides to this coin. Do you want ONLY the government to have this information? Do you want "the people" to have to establish a reason the government considers worthy in order to obtain information the government holds?

      Also, "privacy" is no more an absolute right than is  the right to bear arms. Both are subject to limitation.

    I want a list published (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:39:08 AM EST
    in the paper of all the people who have ever had a DUI or Drug violation major or minor.  I don't want my children or grandchildren exposed to those people or the drugs in their homes.  I don't want them in their houses, particularly if they have ever been charged with dealing.

    What other things do we want papers to publish about people so that we can avoid having to know them to judge them?

    False Equivalence Again (5.00 / 5) (#105)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:57:08 AM EST
    You know, I don't agree with publishing this list (although, in the context of everything, it's hard for me to get worked up about it). But, your constant false equivalencies don't help your cause.

    When I decide where I allow my child to go play, I don't worry about homes with people with DUI's or past drug violations because.... wait for it...  that's very different from people who have a lethal weapon in their home.


    It's different (none / 0) (#106)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:47:10 AM EST
     but what is the difference?

      In terms of the safety of your child out playing, which is more of a risk-- playing in front of the house of a guy who owns a gun or playing in front of the house of a guy with multiple DUIs? Is it more likely a gun owner will deliberately or accidentally shoot your kid or that a drunk driver will injure him?

      I have no statistics, but I'd hazard a guess more people are killed by drunk drivers with whom they have no prior involvement than by gun owners with whom they have no prior involvement.

       In terms of that difference, I'd argue the DUI information would be more valuable.

      Obviously, there is no right of any kind to drive drunk and by breaking the person has a very weak claim at best to any "privacy" regarding his conduct. I'm not, however persuaded that the gun owner's right to privacy is very strong. Ownership of private property generally is a right protected by Constitutions (indeed one of the "most fundamental" rights in this country, but our ownership of many many things is a matter of public record. Real property ownership information is public information; personal property such as vehicles, boats, securities etc. are matters of public record.

       Is there any argument the 2nd Amendement confers a right to privacy with regard to the narrow class of private property called firearms?


    That stuff's already in the paper every day... (none / 0) (#104)
    by unitron on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:05:57 AM EST
    ...when and as it happens.

    Have fun digging through all of the back issues.


    I want a list... (none / 0) (#107)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:23:59 AM EST
    of everybody who wants the government to keep lists, publishable and unpublishable.  

    For the children...who wants their kid exposed to Stalin wanna-bes? ;)


    Do you really think (none / 0) (#108)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:27:16 AM EST
     having, say,  a registry of deeds is a step toward totalitarianism?

    Pardon the hyperbole... (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:39:45 AM EST
    I can live with a list of deeds, but I can also live without it;)

    Definitely would like to see the no-fly list erased, any list compiled by the CIA, and that permanent record the sisters were on about in high school while we're at it!


    so I take it (none / 0) (#124)
    by coigue on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 03:15:34 PM EST
    you are anti census and anti record-keeping?

    to kill people? How about explosives? Axes? Machetes? Poisons? Ropes? Bows and arrows? Clubs? Tree branches? Rocks? Water?

    I'm sorry that guns terrify you so much, but I get it, some people are terrified of guns. My kids have a pet snake, we have friends who won't go in the same room with it. I get it. My wife white-knuckles on takeoffs at LAX. I get it. The sight of blood makes my son nauseous. I get it. I blanch when the doc brings a needle near me.

    Hey, get this, you can actually get a gun by using fiat currency!

    the comment you are (none / 0) (#65)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:45:58 PM EST
    replying to was deleted as nothing more than an emotional rant against guns. It also contained false statements.

    Also, if commenters are going to state the law, either as to privacy rights or gun laws, they need to be accurate, or at least state that it is their interpretation. Misrepresentations posted as fact will be deleted.


    Seems like the response to the comment (5.00 / 3) (#66)
    by Anne on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:54:39 PM EST
    you deleted is just as emotional, so I'm not sure I understand why it gets to stay.

    Seems to me (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 01:04:12 PM EST
     Jeralyn's post that begins the thread is also just as "emotional." Frivolously suggesting criminal statutes may have been violated and expressing the hope people sue sounds pretty darn emotional to me.

      Not that I  think there is anything wrong with people being emotional about their convictions.


    Jeralyn's post (none / 0) (#71)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 01:23:32 PM EST
    is not an emotional "rant."

    Well, one person's rant (1.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 01:39:40 PM EST
    is another's passionate comment. I didn't think Anne's deleted comment was a "rant." Moreover,  while perhaps more nuanced in language the suggestion in Jeralyn's post that laws might have been broken seems comparably inaccurate to Anne's  assertions.

    My comment was not deleted, it was (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Anne on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:22:38 PM EST

    The only thing I asserted in response to the deletion of Dadler's comment was that I didn't understand why the equally emotional response by sarcastic unnamed one was left standing.

    That was, perhaps, a bit disingenuous of me, as I'm pretty sure I do know why that comment is still there.


    I didn't delete Anne's comment (none / 0) (#80)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:34:58 PM EST
    I deleted Dadler's which was nothing but an emotional rant and contained false claims.

    My mistake (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:45:17 PM EST
    but regardless of whose comment it was, I didn't think it was a "rant" and no more emotional or inaccurate than many comments left standing.

    The dumbest, most reckless form (none / 0) (#1)
    by Amiss on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 11:46:52 PM EST
    of "journalism" I have seen lately, worse than a tabloid.

    Almost as bad as fundrace.huffingtonpost.com!!! (none / 0) (#5)
    by Addison on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 11:58:46 PM EST
    Hmm. (none / 0) (#2)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 11:50:50 PM EST
    You are viewing this as a stigma on gun owners, while the real impact is on the non-gun owners.  If what gun advocates say is true, the criminals now have a road map of the safe houses to rob.

    In any event, it's publicly available information, and at the end of the day, why should owning a gun be a secret?  

    I am not talking necessarily about how the article used the information and whether they looked at handguns, etc.  I am asking why owning a gun should be something private?  I don't see a compelling argument.

    I personally want to know.  

    it's the publication of home addresses (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 11:53:48 PM EST
    of the gun owners that bothers me the most and I think is particularly egregious.

    While I favor stricter gun control, ... (none / 0) (#6)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 01:20:58 AM EST
    ... I agree wholeheartedly with you on this issue. The majority of gun owners are law abiding, and publishing their addresses and pinpointing their locales on an interactive online map is a most lamentable act.

    Once such personal information is tossed so cavalierly into the public domain like that, the publishers have absolutely no way of controlling or otherwise influencing what others might do with it. There's really no valid justification for such an irresponsible decision.


    But is it really personal info? (none / 0) (#8)
    by nycstray on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 03:01:14 AM EST
    I thought they got it from public records?

    why _not_ gun owners? (5.00 / 6) (#12)
    by Blackbriar on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:04:29 AM EST
    There was not so much gnashing of teeth when newspapers published the salaries of all employees of various public school systems.  The Right set the precedent that it's OK to publish people's personal information if it may be acquired in bulk via public records requests.

    Those public school employees... (none / 0) (#44)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:30:43 AM EST
    ...are being paid with "our" tax dollars, so I'd say the taxpayers have a right to know who's getting how much.

    Don't like it, work in the private sector.


    You think that gun licenses (none / 0) (#48)
    by Towanda on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:44:08 AM EST
    cover the costs of licensing guns?

    I bet that you are subsidizing them with your taxes.  Check the costs in your state.

    Not that this is a winning argument for you, anyway.    A lot of matters are public record that have nothing to do with paychecks.


    The government... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:14:03 AM EST
    collects a lot of info they have no business collecting.

    Personally I feel it is none of my business whether my neighbor owns a gun, and would like the contents of my home to be nobody else's business.

    That being said, if the government is gonna collect personal info, the public must have access via FOIA.  

    If you don't want your neighbors to know, the government, aka our employees, shouldn't know.  


    If you want to find that stuff out, then ... (none / 0) (#73)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 01:41:41 PM EST
    ... go look it up yourself, like you would if you were doing a title search on a piece of property at your local bureau of conveyances.

    It is my contention that a newspaper of record has absolutely no business compiling that sort of information about licensed gun owners for publication, especially when such publication is untertaken without a compelling and clearly stated public rationale for doing so, other than mere transient curiosity.

    Most if not all of those licensed gun owners have done absolutely nothing wrong and are in full compliance with applicable statutory regulations, and they don't deserve that sort of unintended notoriety in the immerdiate aftermath of the Newtown tragedy.



    If the remedy (5.00 / 3) (#75)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 01:47:54 PM EST
     you see as appropriate is simply complaining about the paper's action or boycotting it or its advertisers I have no quarrel with you. If you mean to suggest it should be forbidden for such information to be published and for a litmus test to be established  requiring "a compelling and clearly stated public rationale" in order for publication to be legal I have a huge problem.

    They have business collecting any info (none / 0) (#118)
    by coigue on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:34:56 PM EST
    they think is news. That is their business. Is it gross? Maybe, but that has never stopped the 4th estate before.

    Second amendment vs 1st amendment.


    Egregious- brainless, (none / 0) (#62)
    by Tamta on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:32:23 PM EST
    completely passive aggressive, and maybe not an illegal action on behalf of the publication, but based on apparently no actual principle which in my opinion is not much better. Isn't a defining characteristic of these rampage shootings  the secretive stockpiling (often involving theft) of an arsenal of weapons (lawfully acquired and held by someone cleared to possess them)?  What a brilliant idea to advertise locations for other potential assailants. Pure idiocy. I feel sickened by the exploiting of  the Sandy Hook shooting.

    this is why (none / 0) (#9)
    by TeresaInPa on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:44:51 AM EST
    certain parts of the left are on a witch hunt.  In addition, none of your business. Plain and simple.
    If I keep a gun for self protection, one of the elements of that protection is the element of surprise.  In addition, now when some thug wants a gun he knows where to break in to get one, huh?

    deterrent? (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Blackbriar on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:10:12 AM EST
    We were told, in past, that a large arsenal was necessary because it served as a deterrent.  Nobody would mess with the US because we had the big guns and so many of them and they'd get their butts whomped...

    ... and now it's supposed to be the other way, that the guns are supposed to be a secret?  What purpose would that serve?  It's better to shoot a criminal than to deter him from acting in the first place?


    From a quick web search... (none / 0) (#26)
    by EL seattle on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:52:32 AM EST
    One example, from 2010

    The Associated Press reports that 25-year-old Stephen Garcia threatened murder-suicide during a court-ordered visit with son Wyatt mere days before going through with the act; their bodies were found early Sunday.

    I think that this story suggests the sort of "purpose" that folks are concerned about.


    People must have their protection (none / 0) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:48:35 AM EST
    And then we must protect their protection for them or else it isn't protection anymore?  This is a lot work, I think some taxes need to be applied here.  Some of us aren't taxing the social system and resources at all in this arrangement.

    not really. (none / 0) (#117)
    by coigue on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:32:27 PM EST
    Yu are making the assumption that owning a gun prevents gun violence and robberies. There is no evidence of this. In fact, if someone wanted to steal a gun, now they know where to go.

    off topic rant against guns (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:31:07 AM EST

    For (none / 0) (#15)
    by lentinel on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:15:29 AM EST
    what it is worth, I react to this news by feeling that it is yet another creepy invasion of our privacy.

    I don't approve of people owning guns.

    On the other hand, it seems as if the government is providing less and less police protection. Hence, people like Zimm are roaming around doing, in their minds at least, what the cops are supposed to do.

    People do not feel safe in their homes. And I don't blame them. Between vigilantes, nuts roaming the streets, violence and crime inspired by our idiotic "war on drugs" and the absence of the presence of cops on the beat, many feel that they need a firearm to protect themselves and their families.

    The publication of the addresses of gun-owners does give a roadmap to criminals who would prefer to rob or assault someone they would have reason to believe does not possess a handgun. It is also one of those slippery-slope items in which more and more of our right to privacy is being chipped away by an increasingly 1984ish government bureaucracy.

    This is an real mess imo.
    It stigmatizes citizens instead of government legislatures and legislators.

    And it is genuinely creepy.

    I thought he had the gun for protection... (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:34:23 AM EST
    ...against dogs?

    the map (none / 0) (#92)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:41:37 PM EST
    reminded me of the paper targets at shooting ranges (good comment by the way)

    I understand people not liking it (none / 0) (#20)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:39:05 AM EST
       but in pure legal terms it is really no different than a paper getting DMV records and publishing a map of people who own gas guzzlers.

      The suggestion the paper may have violated any  statutes against intimidating federal employees or prohibiting "cyber-bullying" is silly.


    Un Registered Guns (none / 0) (#29)
    by J Upchurch on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:04:27 AM EST
    Did you notice that the only example they had was someone with unregistered guns.


    I think times have changed. (none / 0) (#31)
    by EL seattle on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:11:24 AM EST
    40 years ago, if AT&T had collected all of this "public information" and compiled advertising lists and tracking database information, there would have been congressional hearings galore. But so far, internet/computer companies have gotten away with a lot than that.

    But that doesn't mean that everything should be  a commodity to make money for the dotcoms or media stunts. I'd think that some "public information" can have it's usage restricted, sort of like how robo-calls aren't absolutely protected as a form of free speech.

    The irony: Big Brother has been privatized. (none / 0) (#74)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 01:43:07 PM EST
    Google knows so much about us they're giving the surveillance state wannabes, like the NSA, a run for their money.  lol - plus they make a profit doing it.

    Answer to the question re: sex offenders (none / 0) (#41)
    by terraformer on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:46:25 AM EST
    Are gun owners now going to be stigmatized like sex offenders?

    They already are being treated like this in MA. We and sex offenders are the only two groups who must go to the local PD to be fingerprinted and who must notify the local PD of address changes.

    And a local Boston TV station ran a survey asking if there should be a publicly accessible registry of gun owners, like the registry for sex offenders.

    Thankfully the people of this state actually have a brain on this one.


    Saw that... (none / 0) (#46)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:41:43 AM EST
    but there are two ways to look at it..."Payback's a b*tch", or my preferred "Two wrongs don't make a right".

    Anybody seen the high road?

    the comment you are replying to (none / 0) (#61)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:30:22 PM EST
    was deleted. There is no reason to publish the home address and phone number of the reporter for the Journal News here, even though he has NYC gun permit. It's enough to point out that he has a permit, as the paper says.

    Someone went and turned Google maps (none / 0) (#79)
    by scribe on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:27:31 PM EST
    Aha, following the same script (none / 0) (#83)
    by Towanda on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:43:37 PM EST
    as when recall petitions were published in Wisconsin, which led to the firing of some journalists and the harassment of some judges and district attorneys and others.  

    But they wielded pens to sign petitions, not guns, so not a whisper of worry was heard here. . . .


    Yes indeed... (none / 0) (#82)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:37:38 PM EST
    this site is above publishing names and addresses to "out" people or intimidate people.  Well played J.

    News report this AM said 40% (or so) (none / 0) (#47)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:44:04 AM EST
    of the handgun permit holders were active & retired LEO's.

    I'm not surprised (none / 0) (#63)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:37:37 PM EST
    I wondered about that when I first read the article, seemed like there would be a lot of former cops, security guards and private investigators in the group.

    note (none / 0) (#93)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:45:05 PM EST
    Judges were also listed in the group

    If one of my neighbors starts acting... (none / 0) (#53)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:52:12 AM EST
    ...a little bit strange, or seems a little "off", I'm probably going to tell myself that it's none of my business, but if I know they have an assortment of firearms that's getting towards a 2 digit figure, I'm going to consider it prudent to be more wary of them in the future.

    Stereotyping?  Maybe, but I'd rather I and mine were alive than have "They were politically correct" for epitaths.

    Neighbor who's "off" (none / 0) (#127)
    by Lora on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 05:56:49 PM EST
    Well, I have a neighbor (right across the street) who is definitely a bit "off." Occassional loud rants on the cell phone in the yard at all hours.  Yesterday I heard what sounded like a gun going off somewhere in the direction of my neighbor's yard. (Mind you, this is a populated area.  We are not out in the back woods.) Looking out my window I observed my "off" neighbor walking toward his house from his back yard, carrying what may have been a firearm.

    Now, I am wary.  I don't know what else to do, however, except keep being wary.  If I saw a gun owner's list with his name on it, then what?  What do I do with that information?

    I don't see how that "list" protects me in any way.  I can't report him for anything; he hasn't done anything wrong that I know of.  But he is definitely not someone I feel comfortable around.  


    I don't have a problem with it. (none / 0) (#56)
    by redwolf on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:58:14 AM EST
    So when do we public the addresses of all other gun owners like cops, judges, DA's, ect.  What's good for the gander is good for the goose.  

    Hard to obtain? (none / 0) (#60)
    by vicndabx on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:28:23 PM EST
    Really?  Other than hoops and fees, according to the city's website, it's not hard at all.

    comment deleted (none / 0) (#64)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:40:48 PM EST
    that included home address and phone number of reporter who had a gun.

    In NYC, licenses are granted by the police department as the police commissioner is the licensing authority. See here.


    Harrassment (none / 0) (#67)
    by Lora on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:57:00 PM EST
    ...is what it seems like to me.  I agree with Jeralyn (for once ;) )

    yes if course (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:02:28 AM EST
    it is harassment.  That is the whole point of doing it.  Everyone here knows that it is harassment, it's just okay with them if they are anti-gun.  

    That's why (none / 0) (#116)
    by Lora on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:41:33 PM EST
    ...I made my comment.

    I believe that the gun manufacturers, distributers, sellers, NRA and current gun laws and/or lack of enforcement of current gun laws are responsible in no small part for the huge amount of gun violence in this country and I am most assuredly against that violence.

    However, I would be a hypocrite if I excused or rationalized blatant harrassment, even when my sympathies lie more with the harrassers than the harrassees.


    I still remember how creeped out I was (none / 0) (#76)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 01:48:01 PM EST
    when the opposition to our local (township) political pac published the names, addresses, and a google map pointing to the homes of our contributors.

    The stuff was all publically available, but it felt like a complete invasion of privacy.

    for years (none / 0) (#102)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:20:40 AM EST
    on the internet we published the list of senators and congresscritters who voted for against certain bills.  We listed their emails, phones etc... it was all public information obviously.  But when we made the list on the various websites and blogs it was to make it easier for people to do mass emailing to basically harass congress over issues we found important....the war, etc...
    The same idea is behind publishing this list of gun owners information.  It may be information you can get if you do research, but making that information so easily read by everyone is invasive.
    In addition, I can't believe the extent of the witch hunt mentality of some of the supposed liberals on this blog.

    Not sure HOW I feel about this (none / 0) (#88)
    by sj on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 03:08:01 PM EST
    Not strongly, that's for sure. But maybe if the NRA gets a hair, there will be more uproar about all the privacy and civil liberties that we've lost over the last 10 years or so.

    Ah, Catholic school (none / 0) (#110)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:41:51 AM EST
     that might explain the anti-authoritarian streak.

    I am OK with it actually. (none / 0) (#123)
    by coigue on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:56:19 PM EST
    I think it is in the public interest to know. I won't judge (that you cannot control), but it would be nice to know so I can start a discussion about how they are secured if they are interacting with my kids.

    As I stated before, it's similar to having a little guy go over to a house with a pool (biggest danger for the under 5 set). I can see the pool with my own eyes and ask about how they keep non swimmers safe. I cannot see the gun.

    I know it's a hot button issue, but I guess I see it as more of a practial matter.