J. D. Heyes
Jan 2, 2013
In a move supporters say equates with the expression, “Turnabout is fair play,” a local New York publication has decided to publish the names, addresses and work-related information of all employees of The Journal News, the paper that recently decided to invade the privacy of lawful handgun permit holders by publishing their names and addresses.
“The map indicates the addresses of all Journal News Employees in the New York Tri-State area. Each dot represents an individual Journal News employee — a reporter, editor or staffer,” writes Robert Cox, of the site, Talk of the Sound. “The data does not include freelancers – reporters or photographers – which can be hired without being an employee. Being included in this map does not mean the individual at a specific location is a responsible reporter or editor, just that they are a reporter or editor.”
To create the map, Cox said the website “submitted Google searchers for the names and addresses of all Journal News employees in the New York Tri-State area.” Under state law, he added, “the information is public record.”
New effort to protect privacy
Fallout from the publication of those records – which, according to published reports may currently be subject to open records laws – is continuing unabated, as millions of Americans display their outrage over what ordinarily would be a blatant violation of the privacy rights of these lawful permit holders.
New York State Sen. Greg Ball said he will introduce legislation soon that would ban disclosure of information contained in handgun license applications except to law enforcement officials involved in an active criminal investigation.
“The asinine editors at The Journal News have once again gone out of their way to place a virtual scarlet letter on law-abiding firearm owners throughout the region. The immediate elimination of the information posted on the Journal News website is the only way we can ensure the safety and liberty of these New Yorkers,” Ball said in a statement.
“This is clearly a violation of privacy, and needs to be corrected immediately. The same elitist eggheads who use their editorial page to coddle terrorists and criminals are now treating law-abiding citizens like level three sexual predators,” he continued.
“The Journal News has placed the lives of these folks at risk by creating a virtual shopping list for criminals and nut jobs. Publishing this information on a website provides criminals with a map of where they can steal firearms from lawful owners for later use in the commission of crimes,” said Ball. “Preventing the theft of guns and their criminal misuse is an important public-policy goal. This map is bad for the good guys and good for the bad guys.”
What is shame is that, given the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment privacy protections, a state lawmaker has to actually introduce new legislation that would specifically protect what should already be protected, since the Constitution trumps state law.
Story is going viral globally
In addition to being talked about widely across the United States, the story has gone global as well, Talk of the Sound noted:
El Pais, the largest-circulated daily in Spain, has linked this article. Politiken, one of Denmark’s leading papers, has linked this article. The Daily Mail, the United Kingdom’s second biggest-selling daily newspaper, linked this article. Toronto Sun, one of Canada’s largest papers, has linked this article. Lenta.ru, one of the most popular Russian language online resources, has linked this article.
Gun owners all over the country are pointing out that by publishing the names of permit holders, the paper put those persons and their families in danger of having their homes broken into and having their guns stolen.
But also, a criminal looking to knock over a couple of houses now has a much better idea of who may not have a gun in their home (a handgun at least), putting them in greater danger.
This article was posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 10:41 am