Right or wrong, what they published is public information and the 1st Amendment allows them to print it. I don't agree that they should have done it, but they also don't agree that I should own a gun. It's a "tit for tat". We are screaming about exercising and protecting our 2nd Amendment rights, while saying they shouldn't be able to exercise their 1st Amendment right. They are probably loving the irony of it all, even though it is perceived as being such a negative thing that they have done.
In the media, there is a belief that bad press is better than no press. I think they are all smiling right now with all of the publicity this has raised.
I'm sure some of them are smiling, because publicity = profits in their business. However, I think you missed a piont or two.
We are "screaming" about our right to arms, because we are responsible gun owners. We despise misuse, or deliberate evil use of arms. We aren't denying them their First Amendment right to free speech, we are decrying their irresponsable use of it.
They have a right to their own opinions, and a right to write about them. But what they are doing in this case is the moral equivalent of standing in the crowd at the stake, shouting "BURN THE WITCH!!!"
Also note that they did not publish a list of all gun owners, only permit holders. No doubt because it was the only information they could get, but still, it is not a list of those peole who are exercising their right to own a gun, but a list of those who have obtained permission from the govt to own a handgun.
Would it be ethical for us to publish a list (and a MAP!!!) of the names and homes of the editors and every member of the paper's board of directors?
After all, we have the same First Amendment rights as they do....
and before you jump in, no, it would not be ethical...but it would be emotionally gratifying...