First off what the Journal News did was wrong and unexcusable. Second, it's useful to look at exactly what they did closely.
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.
So someone at the address at one time or the other had or has a permit for a handgun. The paper pretends to publish this info as a "public service". The information, they say is a matter of public record.
A good deal of things are public record. The cost of your home, how many children you have, are you married or divorced, arrest records, etc. Why not publish all of this at random? Because it's an invasion of privacy
on such a scale that it becomes a threat, an invitation to stalking or worse. It's a transparent attempt to paint the owners of guns as threats for no other reason then that they own them.
It's an attempt to intimidate gunowners and their families. To make them pariahs. Social untouchables. It's part of an effort to create a climate of fear among gun owners and among those who are anti gun, neutral or ignorant on the matter of the 2nd Amendment and the Bill of Rights. If all gun owners are potential killers of children and potential purveyors of mayhem then it's in the interests of society to keep them on a tight leash ain't it?
Feinsteins's latest proposal would make it retroactive that owners of AR type guns bought after the "Assault Weapons Ban" would have to fess up that they owned such weapons and register as the owners of such, along with any future owners. It would become a matter of public record. Law enforcement would have that list. So could the media obtain it.
Millions of Americans grow up worried, afraid really, that their names will get on a FBI or government list somewhere. That it could effect your job, if you get a bank loan, your family somehow. There is a long history of the Feds using such information against people, particularly those with minority opinions. This action by the Journal News shows there is reason to fear and promotes that fear.
The more power cops and the politicians that back them are given the more they want. It always happens that way. Let me see your papers please! Stop and Frisk, etc.
Also it's inexcusable to publish the home addresses, etc. of the folks who work for that newspaper! It's wrong and a violation of their rights as well.
There is much more than the 2nd Amendment at stake here.