Newspaper Publishes Gun Owners' Names & Addresses Because We Have the Right to Know

Rant 79

gunIt's a unique response to the Sandy Hook shooting, that's for sure. A newspaper in New York State's Hudson Valley decided to publish a map pinpointing the location of every (legal) gun owner in the area. Not surprisingly, the folks at The Journal News have been treated to a giant dose of righteous indignation from some of its readers and right-wing bloggers in the days since. Fortunately, we're not going to add to it. 

Ever heard of the freedom of the press? Or the Freedom of Information Act? Considering the conservatives have been on a crusade to remind us of their "right" to bear arms of late, perhaps it's time we explore other portions of the Constitution.

The publication of the names and addresses of those who have been granted pistol permits were available to The Journal News via legal channels. In fact, they'd be available to anyone via the same channels; the newspaper simply made it easier for residents of Westchester and Rockland counties to access them.

As a mother, particularly, I think this is good information. It's the sort of thing I check before sending my child on a playdate -- because I don't want her in a house where there are guns that may or may not be secured.

And let's just remember: the argument of the NRA and its ilk is that guns make homeowners safer. By that rubric, putting more people on notice that you have a gun should warn all those naughty criminals to stay away, right?

So what's the problem here?

Is it, maybe, that these gun owners are afraid that they will actually fall into the 97 percent of homeowners whose guns don't make them safer in their homes? Or do these pistol owners think that their right to bear arms supersedes all other rights ... such as the right to a free press, the right to information?

That's what I'm hearing a lot of lately: gun owners who refuse to accept that some guns are simply unsafe, that some guns are not worth the risk to human life. We do have a right to bear arms in this country. But with rights comes responsibility.

And the proliferation of assault weapons in this country has not been met with a responsible gun ownership, with laws written responsibly to keep these sort of firearms out of the hands of people who would use them for harm.

The fact is, gun owners, most of us asking for gun control are not asking to take away all guns. We are asking for gun owners to please, come to the table, to talk, to figure this thing out, to prevent tragedies like Sandy Hook from happening again. 

We are asking for gun owners to respect the rights of little children like Olivia Engel, like Noah Pozner, like Daniel Barden to live in peace, to not have their quiet morning at school interrupted by a psychopath with a weapon in his hands that need not be on the streets.

And right now, if you want the right to bear arms, you need to respect the other rights that we enjoy in this country ... even freedom of the press.

What do you think of what this newspaper did?


Image via iluvcocacola/Flickr

human rights, guns


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the4m... the4mutts

Badge83- I'm so sorry you have to put up with that stupidity, and your family is at risk.

Thank you for your service as an officer. I hope your house stays safe, and that you are not targeted for having a gun. I pray you are not called to the scene of someone you know, because they DIDN'T have a gun :(

Such a dumbass move on the part of the newspaper, and this author for perpetuating the stupidity cycle.

Flori... Floridamom96

Wow. They provided the addresses of LEO's? That is beyond outrageous. 

bills, Jeanne Sager doesn't have conversations, she pushes agendas without being honest about it. She prints only the information that supports her narrative, intentionally excluding anything that doesn't.

bills... billsfan1104

Florida, I am so annoyed with this.  I love how the left and anti-constitution crowd, want us to do what they say, want to infringe on our rights, but then scream that we have to respect them, have a conversation and LIE about gun control. 

nonmember avatar NoWay

Wow. How assinine! I like 4mutts comment about the satellite subscribers. Why not list people with trampolines, or swimming pools while we are at it? Those are also "risks." *SMH*

nonmember avatar cj

Yeah and let's post the names and addresse

Of everyone that has kids. For their safety and so we know where the kids are. WTF. This is crazy. Now criminals can know where the guns are???? Fing stupid. As a gun owner and arizonan I just don't get the anti gun mentally. Boy am I proud of my state more than ever. We need no permit to carry a gun. And our murder rate is a hell of a lot lower than dc and Chicago where guns are out lawed. I will protect my family, my kids get their first .22 at seven. And guess what??? None of my guns have jumped up and shot anyone. The thing no one is talking about is the drugs these killers are on. Beware if you are medicating your kid you could be creating the next kkiller.

nonmember avatar Lillysmom

Wow! Could this "author" be any more one-sided! "Play dates" are you serious? Sasha wants us to talk more about "the problem"? The problem is, in part, mental illness and the lack of stiffer laws for people who commit the crimes. A gun is an inanimate object and cannot go around all "willy nilly" shooting people! Good Lord woman, get your facts straight! The following is a link with names, addresses and telephone numbers of everyone that works at that rag that posted an "interactive map" of "registered" gun owners. I suppose we have the right to know where the "stupid" people live, right? All they have done is make the non-gun owners sitting ducks for the criminals.

nonmember avatar Christie

WAY TO GO IDIOTS!!!! Now the A**holes that want to steal people's legally purchased and owned firearms know exactly where to go to steal them. If one gun at one of these address gets stloen and used there will be blood on the hands of this "newspaper" and whatever jacka** printed this crap. How stupid!!!!

nonmember avatar Jennifer M

1. This doesn't matter because it's under a constitutional amendment for freedom of the press. Sorry this basically the same as the tabloids running brittneys crotch shot. 2. I think the names should have been enough, like someone else said now people know which houses don't have guns and there us not a security system at them, they know who to rob! 3. Ummmm whoever ahead with the "now they know who to steal guns from" need help. If you own a gun it should be locked up. Otherwise if it gets stolen or you kid shoots the dog, themselves or you IT US YOUR OWN FAULT FOR NOT BEING SAFE WITH THE WEAPON! 4. You should need a psych eval and gun safety course and gun lock or safe as mandatory procedure to but a gun as we'll as a clean record. That's my idea of stricter gun control. If your gun us lost or stolen or something bad us done with it you should be held just as guilty for being reckless with it.

Hocke... HockeyMomNJ

I have family and friends on this list, and maybe scarier - ones who live in the area who aren't. People like you, author, just babble on to keep up with rhetoric and agendas. How about we take party division off the table for a second. Just long enough for you to realize that while you're shooting your mouth off about "right wing" bs, this list puts peoples safety at risk. How about the retired (or not retired) law enforcement who put a lot of criminals away? Would you like to be them now that their address has been given out??? What about their family's safety? Or is that an acceptible risk to you because they may be "right wing"? The amount of divisiveness in this country is astounding. While idiots like you squabble over right and left, peoples lives have been put at risk. Just because the info is out there, doesn't mean its a good idea to broadcast it. Especially when its all for the sake of making a political point.

Badge83 Badge83

Thank you for your kind words, 4mutts. What really gets my goat is that for those LEOs who don't purchase their handguns with the shield, and instead use their permit, (because the job doesn't need to know everything lol) now they've publicized the address of a local officer. That is inexcusable!! The last thing I need is some thug I've had the privilege of locking up finding my place of residence and potentially harming my family. Where do we draw the line of what's deemed fit for public knowledge?

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