” The Journal News, a newspaper serving the northern suburbs of New York City, published the names and addresses of handgun permit holders in two counties in New York State. The interactive map received more views than any other article in the paper’s history and generated significant outrage across the nation. Calls and e-mails to the newspaper became so threatening that it decided to hire armed security guards to protect the safety of its employees.
Did the newspaper act irresponsibly by publishing the names and addresses of handgun permit holders online?
In “Outcry Over Newspaper’s Map of Handgun Permit Holders” J. David Goodman writes about the controversy surrounding The Journal News’s decision.
In the days after the Connecticut school killings, a newspaper in nearby Westchester County, N.Y., decided to respond by publishing the names and addresses of handgun permit holders in its readership area. The newspaper, The Journal News, said that informing people about legal weapons in their neighborhoods was a public service.
Not everyone agrees.
When the Times proposed these questions to students 13 and older, the resulting comments proved very enlightening and can’t have been what the editors of that liberal fish-wrap were expecting . Apparently the youth of today , even in the liberal bastion of the NYC metropolitan area , are much more liberty-minded than their parents and teachers . Another sign that all that education spending (read:propaganda) has been a failure at creating wards of the state . Perhaps there is hope after all .
Students: Tell us …
- Did The Journal News act irresponsibly by publishing the names and addresses of legal gun permit holders? Did the newspaper stigmatize gun ownership or give gun owners a scarlet letter? Or did it make a positive contribution to the gun control debate?
- Does publishing the names of handgun permit holders provide a public service in any way? Do people have the right to know who the gun owners are in their community?
- Should gun owners have a right to keep what they own, including guns, private? Does revealing the addresses of gun owners, including police and corrections officers, endanger anyone’s safety?
- In response to the newspaper’s article, some legislators in New York are rushing to pass a bill that will make gun permit information private. Other critics are organizing a boycott of The Journal News. What do you think about these responses to the online map?
- 14.January 8, 20139:03 amLink
I think that by publishing names in a newspaper and the permit information for your gun should be kept private or should be asked if you want it in the newspaper. It is weird that the area is the same and it is not scattered out.
— Cristina Engl2Period6
- 15.January 8, 20139:04 amLink
Yes, I do not think because that it was okay to do that because other people wouldnt like for people to publish and it is not following the second amendment.
— brayan per 6
- 16.January 8, 20139:04 amLink
i think they shouldn’t post that map.
— Edward S
- 17.January 8, 20139:06 amLink
I think that posting gun permit information on a newspaper is really dumb. If you a reporter you want a good cover and putting peoples information on the cover it looks dumb.
— Brittney H
- 18.January 8, 20139:06 amLink
The journal News did act irresponsibly because the names that they mention probably wanted to keep it a secret or did not want their business on the news. I strongly believe that the people have a right to own a gun but they need to go through a process to get it. I strong believe that they improve the debate about gun holders. By announcing the names can hurt the people life. It can hurt them because their friends might stop talking to them and make them feel unsafe or even family don’t want to be near them.
— Kassie P English2 per6
- 19.January 8, 20139:07 amLink
I think the newspaper acted irresponsibly by publishing the address of gun owners. People like to have guns because it keeps them safe. People don’t want their address for everybody to see. He made a good point, knowing where the LEGAL guns are helps criminals. It would be much more helpful to know where the ILLEGAL guns are.
- 20.January 8, 20139:07 amLink
I think the newspaper was irresponsibly by publishing the names and addresses of the handgun owners online. Because know people would be scared to let their children out without thinking they could get kidnapped.
— alex r
- 21.January 8, 20139:07 amLink
i dont really care about if someone sais its wrong or right. im just tired of people arguing over stupid small stuff like this. i mean really, who cares if they own a gun or not juat as long as they have a license for it i ay its fine. just shows robbers and thuggs what house not to go to if they dont want lead in there chest.
- 22.January 8, 20139:07 amLink
I think it was wrong for the newspaper to post this. It violates people’s privacy, especially because they are giving these people’s address’s. That seems to me very irresponsible and rude. Just because the Newtown shooting happened, doesn’t mean we need to freak out about every one who owns a gun. Just because someone owns a gun does not mean they are going to shoot people. I agree that the Newtown shooting was horrible, but it bothers me that people keep saying we need to crack down on gun laws. People who have a desire to kill people will find a way to get a gun if they are really serious, no matter if they own one or not. Adam Lanza did not own a gun, it was his mother’s guns that he used in the Newtown school. Although I disagree with trying to stop people from buying guns, I do think that cracking down on gun laws in other ways is reasonable, for example the amount of ammunition you can buy at a time.
— Hayley B
- 23.January 8, 20139:08 amLink
yes, i believe that the journal news acted irresponsible by posting those addresses. i believe this because if they have a permit they are obviously trusted with a gun and don’t need to be announced to every one it should be kept quite
— kristen24.January 8, 20139:15 amLink
I believe that publishing a map with the names and addresses of gun permit owners in these to counties was extremely irresponsible. It was absolutely pointless to publish this interactive map which provided the general public with rather private information. It was unnecessary also to make the map interactive. If anything the dotes themselves without any other information would have sufficed without having to give specific details on the people in question. This map can cause to reactions among the people residing in these counties. Either they are provided with a false sense of security or now that cannot help but constantly look over there shoulder, act paranoid and afraid because they have just found out the specific location of a the couple thousand guns in there neighborhood. These citizens may begin to treat neighbors who they just found out owned a gun differently or another possibility is that the citizens who do not currently own a firearm will now take steps to acquire one to “protect” themselves from the neighbors. The houses marked on the map are possibly also more at risk of being robbed because criminals know were they can find a firearm. It is true that the information presented on this map is technically public knowledge because in can be found in public records but one thing is to be able to do something and another is to take the time to look up the couple thousand people that possess a firearm in these two counties. To conclude, It think that publishing this map was a naive and shortsighted decision that only will cause panic and unrest in these counties.
— Zachary 1er S “
- WATCH: Judge Jeanine Pirro Slams ‘The Journal News’ for Publishing Names of Gun Permit Owners – Including Herself (foxnewsinsider.com)
- Negative consequences of NY newspaper’s bad journalism continue to mount… (righttruth.typepad.com)
- Of Course “Gray Lady” Wouldn’t Do Such A Stunt , Would It ? (youviewed.com)
- A Newspaper Publishes Names of Gun Permit Holders Sparking Outrage (cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com)
- The Learning Network Blog: Student Opinion | Did a Newspaper Act Irresponsibly by Publishing the Addresses of Gun Owners? (learning.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Upping The Ante … (youviewedblog.wordpress.com)
- It’s The Notion Of Independence And Personal Responsibility That Gun Ownership Conveys (youviewed.com)
- Should Newspapers ‘Out’ Those With Whom They Disagree? (maverickphilosopher.typepad.com)
- Guest Post: NY Newspaper Creates Safety Issues for Citizens & Police By Publishing Gun Owner List (sgtreport.com)