A few days ago New York’s News Journal published an interactive map showing names and addresses of all people who are registered to own a handgun in two counties. Turnabout being fair play and all, a gun owner and blogger decided to publish the names and home addresses of staff members at the newspaper:
Christopher Fountain, who is also a gun owner, spoke to CNN’s “Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien” on Thursday to explain his reasoning behind the posting. “I felt they were using this to harass gun owners,” Fountain said of the newspaper’s staff. “So I harassed them back.”
Fountain posted the name, home address and phone numbers of the Journal News’ publisher, editor, visual editor and several other staff members. Fountain told CNN’s “Early Start” that he was offended by the newspaper’s actions and “wondered how they would like it if their addresses were published.”
The map published by the Journal News on Saturday allows readers to zoom in on red dots that indicate which residents in the two New York counties are licensed to own pistols or revolvers. It had prompted more than 2,300 comments as of Thursday.
My feeling about the publishing of home addresses of gun owners is that it’s a treasure trove of information for criminals, because it lets them know which houses to avoid.
The paper gave some kind of “public interest” BS excuse for publishing the map, but the “red dot” graphic makes it look like a sex offender chart, which is the feel they were probably going for. This is the whole problem with having to publicly “register” for a constitutional right: you can then be easily targeted for all manner of attempted intimidation and insinuation.
By the way, the paper says it’s going to be releasing even more information about which homes in the area are protected by guns. The local criminal element sure must appreciate the News Journal’s efforts, and now they have their home addresses so they can thank them personally.