Gun control advocacy: let’s talk about blood on hands, shall we?

Salem witch trial engraving

Salem witch trial engraving

Just three days before Christmas, The Journal News, a Gannett company, decided that there might not be enough red in our holidays.

Map: Where are the gun permits in your neighborhood?

The map indicates the addresses of all pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties. Each dot represents an individual permit holder licensed to own a handgun — a pistol or revolver. The data does not include owners of long guns — rifles or shotguns — which can be purchased without a permit. Being included in this map does not mean the individual at a specific location owns a weapon, just that they are licensed to do so.

Data for all permit categories, unrestricted carry, premises, business, employment, target and hunting, is included, but permit information is not available on an individual basis.

To create the map, The Journal News submitted Freedom of Information requests for the names and addresses of all pistol permit holders in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam. By state law, the information is public record.

The level level of journalist malfeasance in this action just staggers the mind.  Regardless of one’s sentiments pertaining to gun control and Second Amendment rights, it should be clear to anyone that this is worse than a mere witchhunt, intended to stigmatize individuals, even entire locales.

“Being included in this map does not mean the individual at a specific location owns a weapon, just that they are licensed to do so.”

Tongue-in-cheek caveat be damned.  The Journal News has created a treasure map for evil-doers.  The lion’s share of an arms-minded burglar’s casing has been done for them.  They know where the goods are likely to be.  It would be no difficult challenge to scope out an address until assured that nobody is home.  After all, home defense only works when the domicile is occupied, right?

If so much as one person, one child, should die from a gunshot wound sustained from a round discharged from a weapon permitted to an owner identified by name and address on these maps that, subsequent to December 22, 2012, goes missing, the blood is on the hands of whatever brain trust at The Journal News decided that this was a good idea.

For those that think this kind of authorized invasion of privacy in the so-called public interest is a fine idea, I might suggest a word:  complicity.

4 replies »

  1. I’m getting a little tired of hearing about how gun owners’ rights are being abridged. Innocent people have already paid with their lives for gun owners’ rights. Maybe it’s not right to publish gun owners’ addresses, but that’s okay. They have guns, so they should be able to protect themselves just fine. Isn’t that part of the well-rehearsed rhetoric we keep hearing from gun enthusiasts?

    Maybe if one of these people suffer a break-in as a result of having their address published, we’ll get a documented case of one of those fantasy John Wayne “I was able to protect myself because I had a gun” feel-good stories that we keep hearing so much about.

  2. I understand that passions run high on this issue, but one of the joys of communicating with friends on the issue is that I’m challenged to keep my own banked to a reasonable degree, and I’m fortunate to have friends that do the same, even while having heated debate. I’ve weighed in from the lunatic fringe, so to speak, but that was separately. In this particular case, I’m less worried about a break-in while there’s someone home, whether it’s a John Wayne wannabe or not. I’m far more concerned that someone identified on this map, that need not have been published, will come home to discover (or maybe not even discover) that a firearm is missing. Whether or not there would be something additional to damn the owner with for failing to secure the weapon is another point altogether. That missing weapon could then be used in a violent crime. That missing weapon might not go missing but for The Journal News publishing this kind of irresponsible data collection.

    IMHO, this is a case of “just because it can be done, doesn’t mean it should be done.” The info was public record, sure. But really, whose interests are served by outing lawfully permitted owners in this manner?

  3. Yeah, um, that’s pretty fucking disturbing … especially that the first name i brought up was very foreign. What if a terrorist has a legally licensed gun!

    I stand somewhere in the unrepresented middle on this issue (it grows so emotionally tiring). I have no issue with gun ownership, even some of the “bad” guns and ammunition. I also have no issue with the idea of gun control, which i think should start with disarming the police. In the argument pointing to how other nations with strict gun control have such low gun crime rates, it’s almost never raised that those countries don’t have SWAT teams performing simple drug control operations (and shooting family dogs, entering the wrong house, etc.).

    All that being said, the NRA is a huge part of the problem with having a rational discussion about the issue and reaching rational and consensual conclusions about what’s best for the country. Aside from my intellectual distaste for joining organizations that promote some common cause – take that libertarians, real libertarian individualists don’t join shit, the NRA is run by batshit crazy, hick fascists. It was obvious when LaPierre (that’s a suspiciously French name, btw) gave his little police state speech after Newton and didn’t even realize that some of us would remember him calling federal agents “jack-booted thugs”.

    “Which means it’s also no longer possible for me to ignore the National Rifle Association, and its hick fascism politics that’ve been poisoning our culture ever since the NRA’s infamous “coup” in 1977, when the NRA was taken over by far-right fanatics led by a convicted murderer and onetime US Border Guards chief named Harlon Carter — whose previous claim to fame was when he led a massive crackdown on Mexican immigrant laborers called “Operation Wetback.” That’s not a typo by the way.”

  4. forgive me for laughing at the clear unintended irony. But has anyone else noticed that in our wild wild west mental model about the value of handgun ownership as a ‘home defense’ system, that the need is to have the concealed carry and one round up the pipe at all times.

    The other is to adopt the traditional solution of the old school riot gun that they trained you on in the US Military. Nothing says loving like the sound of chambering that first round into a one inch diameter tube to make sure folks understand your rude ways. Even more fun if you chamber that first round in rock salt. Granted, it is not the same penis substitute as being able to do that “pelosi liberal san francisco” game of doing the dirty harry and all…

    Forgive me if I just laugh at how funny this is. Clearly if folks think they need X for home defense, and then do not have a watch bill set up to man the rails against the Huns At The Gates, well Golly Gosh Sonny Boy, you are probably doing it all wrong to begin with.