Gannett's Journal News set off a firestorm this week when it published an interactive map of people with handgun permits in Westchester and Rockland counties. One incensed blogger retaliated with an interactive map listing the addresses of newspaper employees. Well, expect more controversy: The paper plans to publish more gun owners' names, this time from Putnam County, reports Reuters. The county clerk there is still compiling the information.
If you missed the original controversy, a few quotes sum things up:
- "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," wrote GOP state Sen. Greg Ball.
- "We knew publication of the database would be controversial, but we felt sharing as much information as we could about gun ownership in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings," said editor CynDee Royle.
, media critic Al Tompkins isn't a fan of the information dump. If the paper had evidence that some of these gun owners were "playing the system," that's one thing. But the Journal News
seems to have done this "just because it could," and its rationale doesn't justify the resulting invasion of privacy, he writes.