Newspaper Posts Map of Gun Owner’s Homes, Blogger Posts Newspaper Employee’s Homes

The Journal News of suburban Westchester, New York caused outrage by publishing an interactive map showing the names and addresses of New York’s legal firearm owners. In a sort of two-can-play-that-game reaction, a New York blog decided to create a map showing the names and addresses of employees of the newspaper.

The blog “Talk of the Sound” a New Rochelle, New York-centric website, decided that turnabout was fairplay by posting its headlined, “Map: Where are the Journal News employees in your neighborhood?.” The map replicates the idea of the gun owners map published by the Journal News replacing gun owners with newspaper employees.

When the Journal News published the names and addresses of New York’s legal gun owners the paper claimed that they were breaking no law as the information they published was all public record. The paper said it was just too bad if the gun owners felt their privacy was violated.

This is, of course, quite true. But the interactive map of the newspaper employees is justifiable using the exact same logic. All the names of the employees are public knowledge and all one needs is a name to find an address, which is generally also in public records that anyone can find.

Newspaper employees may be outraged that their privacy was violated, of course, but they didn’t seem to care much about privacy when they publicized the names and addresses of New York’s gun owners. Naturally, their own argument must be turned right back upon them and that is what “Talk of the Sound” did.

Indeed, the employees are outraged and some are starting to erase their Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin accounts in response. Of course, none of this would have happened if the paper hadn’t decided to act in a political manner in the first place.

After all, there is no news in the names and addresses of legal gun owners. These people aren’t criminals and these individuals have no bearing on the issue.

There was one reason and one reason only for the newspaper to publish the names and addresses of New York’s gun owners. Intimidation. The paper meant to scare these law abiding citizens. It was nothing but a bullying tactic.

Worse, by taking this action, the Journal News intended to put New York’s law abiding firearm owners on the same level as the murderer at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Still, turn about really is fairplay. If The Journal can claim a right to publish “public records” then so can bloggers.

Another blog, For What It’s Worth, also has an extensive list of Journal News employees.

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  • jim_m

    The Journal News is owned by Gannet. I agree with others who say that it is time to take this to the Gannet Board of Directors members, er, directly.

    • LiberalNightmare

      It was a cheap shot by the newspaper to publish the names and addresses of legal, law abiding gun-owners.

      The left has gotten a free pass on this kind of crap for along time. Time to smack them in the nose for it.

  • The_Queen_of_France

    Speculation here: Say there’s a rash of burglaries soon in the neighborhood of homes that were *not* shown as homes of gunowners. Would the victims of the burglaries have any kind of a case in charging that this newspaper enabled the thieves? Probably not, but if it was a large enough number of burglaries, all within a few days and only of homes of non-gunowners…would a smart lawyer be able to scare Gannet enough to get a settlement? Or perhaps the editor of the paper herself?

    • jim_m

      Actually, since guns are valuable on the black market, if there were a series of thefts where the homes of gun owners were burglarized and the guns stolen, there would be excellent grounds for a lawsuit claiming that the newspaper targeted them and that the newspaper was negligent in their disclosure of private information.

      If such happens I hope they hold each staff member of the paper and Gannet’s board of directors personally responsible. Such a lawsuit could bankrupt the staff and would place a serious financial burden on he paper if they tried to cover everyone’s legal expenses.

      I’m wondering if you couldn’t find some class action lawyer to file against them. A good class action would shut the whole paper down and put a pretty sizable dent in Gannet’s bottom line.

      • Conservachef

        Actually, I think the Queen is referencing the old joke about a house with a sign in the yard that says something like “My neighbor is a gun control advocate/pacifist. Me- I am armed and ready to fight back!”

        Of course, I figure you’d have to get the criminal to admit that the posted information led them to choose one house over another. Then you might, might be able to make the case that the newspaper was at least partially culpable.

  • GarandFan

    I’m sure the libs have a “nuanced” difference between the home addresses of reporters and those of legal gun owners, and why the reporters have a greater expectation of privacy.

  • Commander_Chico

    Freedom, I love it. The cure for free speech is more free speech.

  • JWH

    I’ve gone back and forth on this. A few thoughts:

    1) On reflection, there is no news value in purchasing the names and addresses of gun owners, even if their info is in the public records. There is news value in aggregate statistics — how many gun owners in a particular area and so forth, particularly if it is joined with data such an aggregation of gun-related accidents or crimes reported involving firearms. But publishing their names and home addresses is very attention-grabbing. That doesn’t mean it was newsworthy.

    2) Publishing the home addresses of Journal News employees isn’t much better. IMO, it falls squarely into the “two wrongs don’t make a right” territory. Also, bloggers need to be careful when they do something like this. If they publish the home address, etc., of John Smith the gardener rather than John Smith the journalist, those bloggers could be in for a world of hurt if their liability insurance isn’t paid up.

    • jim_m

      It’s rather simple.

      Action 1) is an act of intimidation. It is intended to humiliate and to demonize the owners of guns. It is meant to put the law abiding citizen whose behavior the paper disapproves of on the same level as a sex offender.

      Action 2) is a response in kind. It is simply playing by the same rules as the newspaper. As the newspaper feels that they are justified in continuing to release the private information of law abiding citizens so they can be targeted for oppression the rest of us feel justified in releasing the names addresses of the Gannett Chairman of the Board of Directors and the names and addresses of her son and neighbors.

      This is a war against our rights. We have committed no crimes but are being treated as criminals. We will respond in kind. I think that appropriate messages of disapproval (no threats, no vulgarity) should be sent to these people expressing how their behavior or the behavior of their neighbors/relatives is inappropriate.

  • Brian_R_Allen

    What a GREAT response to those miserable Fascist-Media miscreants!

    Theck Fum!