Gun Owners Freak Out After Newspaper Publishes Their Names And Addresses

A Gannett-owned newspaper in Westchester, New York, has published a map showing the names and addresses of licensed gun owners. (Click for the article and interactive version).

Gun Map

The gun permits are already public records. And the convenient map makes it easier for people to determine whether which houses and people in their neighborhoods are “armed” and which aren’t.

But gun owners are freaking out about the publication of this information, saying it invites attacks on and robberies of the households of non-gun owners and also encourages gun thefts at the households that own them.

Some of the gun owners interviewed by the paper say they’re not a threat to their neighbours, so the neighbours have no business knowing that they own guns.

The paper has filed an additional Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request to get more information on the permit-holders, including how many guns they own and what type. This request, too, is driving gun owners bananas.

NOTE ON WRITER’S PERSONAL TAKE ON THE BROADER GUN CONTROL ISSUE: I don’t think all guns should be banned in America. I think military-grade assault weapons should be banned. I don’t think this will immediately (or ever) stop mass gun massacres completely, but I think it will reduce the number and severity of these incidents, especially after a few decades of strong assault-weapon controls. I’m not for restricting access to military-grade assault weapons because I’m a pacifist or “liberal.” I’m for restricting access to these weapons because, with one emotional exception, I find all of the arguments for having them be freely available self-serving, outdated, and/or absurd.