Sauce for the Media Geese Who Published Gun Owners’ Personal Information

Sauce for the Media Geese Who Published Gun Owners’ Personal Information
by Bryan Preston


The Westchester, NY Journal-News made the deliberate decision to gather up information on gun owners in its region and map where those citizens live. Those citizens have broken no laws; if they had, many of them would not be legally allowed to own a firearm. After spying on its community, the Journal-News then took the step of publishing that information for everyone in the world, including the worst of the worst of society who have been freed by lax, liberal criminal justice policies, to find and study and target the families who live at those addresses, or target their unarmed neighbors.

Sauce for the goose, as they say. The blog For What It’s Worth has gathered and published contact information for all involved in the Journal-News’ decision to expose the law-abiding gun owners in its area (its map does not show which homes belong to armed criminals, of course). The two main culprits are the paper’s publisher, Janet Hasson, and the reporter on the story, Dwight R. Worley.

I see several angles to this.

1.) To the surprise of no one who has observed this country’s MSM, a newspaper decided to expose private citizens to unknown dangers, simply because those citizens have obeyed gun laws by registering their guns.

2.) I’m old enough to remember 1960s and 1970s opponents of gun registration arguing that once their personal information was given the government, it would be misused. That argument was ridiculed as ridiculous fear-mongering. I doubt this is anywhere near the first time that information has been misused, but this is a very public example of the misuse they feared and predicted!

3.) Whether (how many) non-gun-owners are now fearful of their gun-owning neighbors, I do not know. What they should fear is that would-be criminals will know they do not own guns and target them as low-threat targets.

4.) If you want to know whether these newspaper idiots really fear legal gun owners, consider for a moment. They had to know their violation of these gun owners’ privacy would make them less than happy. And they had to know that those gun owners could easily, if the wished to, find their home addresses. So those newspaper idiots violated their neighbors’ privacy with the knowledge that they were safe in doing so. IOW, publishing those names/addresses was a stunt, smart-assery, not publishing vitally important for the public to know.

Well, this happens frequently, right here at RO. We are told all the time by youthful posters that slippery slope arguments carry no weight. That our experiences matter less than their indoctr…oops, education. Well, here it is in black and white. Think they’ll change their tune? Wouldn’t bet the Ranch…

Isn’t this public information? Probably shouldn’t have provided the addresses without asking, but it’s not like there’s been some breach of privacy. You could get this information for your town as well by filing a Freedom of Information Act request. In extremely bad taste, but not illegal. And most of the major media outlets have come out against them, so hopefully they’ll take the map down.

You got it right. They have been thoroughly indoctrinated. Don’t tell them that. It hurts their feelings and may bring on an infraction. They will just call us old idiots.

Isn’t this public information?

Not following this story very closely? From the original newspaper article:

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.

Emphasis added. The paper is being a bit disingenuous. The info is “public” in the sense that the public is not prohibited from obtaining it. But it’s not “public” in the sense that Joe Schmoe from Kokomo (nor Trekky from Kankakee) can randomly walk in off the street and up to the file drawer to access the info (or directly access it online). The paper may also have paid a fee with each FOIA request.

suburban New York City newspaper published an interactive map showing the addresses of thousands of local residents with handgun permits and has drawn flak from gun owners, some of whom expressed their anger via the newspaper’s Facebook page.

The Monday article in The Journal News was headlined “The gun owner next door: What you don’t know about the weapons in your neighborhood,” and was in response to the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

“Do you fools realize that you also made a map for criminals to use to find homes to rob that have no guns in them to protect themselves? What a bunch of liberal boobs you all are,” wrote one reader.
Read Latest Breaking News from NY Newspaper Draws Flak for Map of Gun Owners Gun owners are under attack with even some who have guns of their own or employ bodyguards with guns. Can you sense the hypocrisy here?

These being the same story, I merged the threads so discussion of the one topic doesn’t get spread across multiple threads.

This pot continues to simmer:

Poynter Journalism Scholars Criticize Paper for Publishing Gun Owners’ Addresses
by Bridget Johnson


A leading journalism think tank has come down on The Journal News of Hudson Valley, New York, for publishing the addresses of gun permit holders without cause.

Roy Clark, a senior scholar at the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based journalism think tank, told the Associated Press that the online map pinpointing gun owners’ homes was comparable to a sex-offender registry. “You get the connotation that somehow there’s something essentially wrong with this behavior,” he said. “My predisposition is to support the journalism; I want to be persuaded that this story or this practice has some higher social purpose, but I can’t find it.”

Today Al Tompkins, a senior faculty member at Poynter and 35-year veteran journalist, panned the Westchester paper for publishing the data.

“The problem is not that the Gannett-owned Journal News was too aggressive. The problem is that the paper was not aggressive enough in its reporting to justify invading the privacy of people who legally own handguns in two counties it serves,” Tompkins wrote in his Al’s Morning Meeting blog.

“If journalists could show flaws in the gun permitting system, that would be newsworthy. Or, for example, if gun owners were exempted from permits because of political connections, then journalists could better justify the privacy invasion,” he wrote. “If the data showed the relationship between the number of permits issued and the crime rates, that serves a public purpose. …

Tompkins noted that even though he’s not a big fan of sex offender maps, “at least there is a logical reason for posting them, even though the offenders often no longer live where the maps show them to be.”

“The difference between the sex offender maps and the gun permit maps is that sex offenders have been convicted of a crime. The permit holders are accused of nothing,” he said.

The Journal News, Tompkins wrote, “is taking heat for starting a gunfight just because it could.”

I’ll go farther than did Tompkins. It wasn’t laziness on the part of the Journal News that they failed to show any reason, need or importance for the act of publishing the names and addresses of all those gun owners. The purpose of the Journal News was to threaten and intimidate those people for daring to exercise a right the Journal News believes they should not have. And the Journal News doersn’t havce the courage to admit their petulant childish purpose.

NY State Sen. Ball: ‘We Need to Have a National Conversation About Nut Control’
by Bridget Johnson


A New York state legislator — who proudly says he lives in a 400-square-foot cabin with five shotguns — is proposing a bill to keep gun records private, and keep a paper like The Journal News from publishing gun owners’ addresses again.

“You have to realize on this list you have victims of domestic violence who got a permit to be able to protect themselves. You have New York City police officers who are retired. And now any nut job or criminal can go online and decide to go after their family,” state Sen. Greg Ball (R-N.Y.) said on Fox Business Network today.

“And, at the end of the day, we’re talking about a bunch of eggheads at a very liberal newspaper that they don’t go out of their way to show us where the sexual predators live. … They’re focusing on the people who [own guns] the right way, are following the law, paying their taxes, and they put them in the same category as a level three sexual predator. That is B.S.”

This situation is a small - but growing - part of a larger picture: invasive uses of public records. Re-Fi your home and you’ll get a flood of home loan solicitations. Record a relative’s death and get a flood of various kinds of solicitations. Those have long been problems. More recently, make a political donation to an un-PC cause or ballot proposition and your job and life will be threatened. Now “journalists” have trolled - legally - public records as a means to intimidate people for daring to exercise a right of which the “journalists” disapprove. I’d rather public records be just that, but the abuses are, IMO, justifying changes to what is public and how such information can be accessed.

One of my friends here has a column in the local weekly rag. Last week she was commenting about how every time there is a highly publicized shooting, gun control rears its ugly head. She says (paraphrased) nearly everyone around here has guns. How will taking away the guns from us hicks in the boondocks of PA help the crime situation in Chicago?

The Journal News is Armed and Dangerous

Guns are good for the goose but NOT for the gander.

A Clarkstown police report issued on December 28, 2012, confirmed that The Journal News has hired armed security guards from New City-based RGA Investigations and that they are manning the newspaper’s Rockland County headquarters at 1 Crosfield Ave., West Nyack, through at least tomorrow, Wednesday, January 2, 2013.

According to police reports on public record, Journal News Rockland Editor Caryn A. McBride was alarmed by the volume of “negative correspondence,” namely an avalanche of phone calls and emails to the Journal News office, following the newspaper’s publishing of a map of all pistol permit holders in Rockland and Westchester.

Private investigator Richard Ayoob is the administrator of RGA. He told the Clarkstown Police on Friday, December 28 that there had been no problems on site at the Journal News headquarters despite the massive influx of phone calls and emails.

McBride had filed at least two reports with the Clarkstown Police Department due to perceived threats. However, the police did not find the communications in question actually threatening. Incident-Report 2012-00033099 describes McBride telling police she was worried because an email writer wondered “what McBride would get in her mail now.”

Police said the email “did not constitute an offense” and did not contain an actual threat.

I wonder how many of those gun owners guarding the Journal News offices are gun owners “outed” by the J-N. Not quite as hypocritical as concealed-carry Senator Feinstein, but still solidly in the realm of elitist hypocrisy and grandstanding. As for the supposedly threatening letter, could some one explain how armed guards could fend of something deadly that entered the building by mail (assuming the “threatening” letter wasn’t referring to an avalanche of disapproving letters)?

From the above article:

Journal News Rockland Editor Caryn A. McBride was alarmed by the volume of “negative correspondence,”

A so-called news reporterette alarmed by something that should’ve come as no suprise. Go figure.
And that she was alarmed by other people’s opinions speaks volumes.

And yeah, I’d say it’s hypocritial as heck for her to think her safety warrants the need for hand-guns, but the average individual’s doesn’t.

Pretty lame, too, for it to take so long for somebody who’s supposedly in the news business to catch on that there might actually be ‘bad guys’ out there.
Honey, we’re way ahead of ya.
(And people actually trust this woman to bring them their news? :thud:)

Ahh, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel:

Police said the email “did not constitute an offense” and did not contain an actual threat.

Wow, a cop with common sense. A shame it isn’t contagious.

Private investigator Richard Ayoob is the administrator of RGA.

I wonder if he’s any relation to Massad Ayoob, who’s a prolific writer for firearms periodicals.

Putnam County Won’t Give Names Of Gun Permit Holders To Journal News
January 3, 2013 3:14 PM

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The controversy over a New York newspaper’s publication of an interactive database of gun permit holders is turning into an open government standoff.

A county clerk has refused to release names and addresses of residents with pistol permits.

Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant cited concerns about the safety of permit holders with protection orders as among the reasons for turning down a Freedom of Information request from the Journal News. The paper wants information on who holds handgun permits in his county.

This might be the bureaucratic analog of “MOLON LABE”!


From the article:

State Sen. Greg Ball has promised to pursue every legal remedy to block the paper’s request.

“I will fight with you until hell freezes over. And then we’re going to fight on the ice,” Ball said Thursday. “We’re going to hold this Journal News editorial board accountable, and I’m asking everybody who’s listening today, cancel your subscriptions.”

Ball has vowed to introduce legislation limiting access to gun permit databases.

“Let’s remember these are tens of thousands of people who did nothing wrong,” Ball said.

Take a bow, Sen. Ball!!!

Same goes for County Clerk Sant!

There’s something wrong with people too stubborn to quit acting stupid.
At this point, however, I think it’s a publicity stunt. (No matter how many times her mirror calls her stupidity, “brave tenacity.”)


MOLON LABE. You just don’t hang around with enough “bitter clingers”, 2c. I suspect the reason given by the Putnam County Clerk - that publishing the addresses of people with gun permits would expose the locations of people who have obtained guns after domestic violence and for other valid self-protection reasons - is only one of multiple reasons for his refusal. BUT he is thereby exposing a significant flaw in NY’s FOIA system - it can be misused as a means to harass innocents.

Thanks, Pete. Ya learn somethin’ new every day. :slight_smile:

Oh, but I do hang around w/lots of “bitter clingers.” We’re just not well-educated ones. LOL.

Inmates Use Newspaper’s Gun Map to Threaten Guards
by John Nolte

5 Jan 2013, 7:44 AM PDT

The entirely predictable consequences of the Journal News’ decision to publish a map of gun-owners marches on…

[quote]Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco, who spoke at a news conference flanked by other county officials, said the Journal News’ decision to post an online map of names and addresses of handgun owners Dec. 23 has put law enforcement officers in danger.

“They have inmates coming up to them and telling them exactly where they live. That’s not acceptable to me,” Falco said, according to Newsday.
Giving the idiots at the Journal News a break they may not merit, The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again!

Lest anyone think the Journal-News’ action was founded on some high-minded principle:

After Pinpointing Gun Owners, Paper Is a Target

Published: January 6, 2013

Putnam County has refused to release similar data, but Ms. Hasson said she would continue to press for it. She would not say whether the paper had lost any of its advertisers. According to the Alliance for Audited Media, The Journal News, like many newspapers nationwide, has had sharp declines in circulation. Its total circulation from Monday through Friday fell from 111,536 in September 2007 to 68,850 in September 2012.

Their circulation fell nearly 40% in the past 5 years!

Journal News gun permit map used by burglars to target White Plains home?
Originally published: January 13, 2013 2:10 PM
Updated: January 13, 2013 5:25 PM

A White Plains residence pinpointed on a controversial handgun permit database was burglarized Saturday, and the burglars’ target was the homeowner’s gun safe.

At least two burglars broke into a home on Davis Avenue at 9:30 p.m. Saturday but were unsuccessful in an attempt to open the safe, which contained legally owned weapons, according to a law enforcement source. One suspect was taken into custody, the source said.

The gun owner was not home when the burglary occurred, the source said.

This gun owner should send the Urinal-Skews a bill for repairs to his property resulting from their aiding the would-be burglars.

Seems like we are jumping to conclusions

Police are investigating what role, if any, the database played in the burglars’ decision to target the home, the law enforcement source said

Putnam County Clerk Sant, Maryellen Odell, and a good number of the people whose names were publicized are on Hannity right now. NOT a bunch of happy campers, and I don’t blame them.

The paper used these people’s names, and worse, took advantage of a tragedy for profit - Guess what…Against the law.

I hope they’re found guilty, and fined out of business.

One thing that’s bugging me, however, is how highly they’re all bragging on how hard it is to obtain a permit to do in New York that which is a Constitutional protected right. (Yeah, I know; sure it is..)

The (jerk-off, immoral, piece of crap) liberal lawyer defending the paper is getting his butt hung in a slung, right justly, I’m happy to say.

Oh…And a retired LE officer just sited case law where N.Y.‘s court has ruled that publicizing LE’s names and addresses puts them and their families’ lives in jeapardy.
Whether you agree w/the court’s findings or not, the point is, there is legal presidence.