Did gun thieves use Journal News map to target homes with firearms?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: gun thieves, Journal News, map

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(NaturalNews) There were several reasons why Natural News spoke out against the selfish and politically motivated decision by the Gannett-owned Journal News to publish the names and addresses of lawful handgun permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties in New York State.

The most important reason, of course, is that publication of the names and addresses, regardless of state laws allowing it, is a blatant violation of gun-owners' Fourth Amendment right to privacy. But unquestionably the second-most important reason is that publishing that kind of personal information would no doubt put residents of those homes in danger.

While supporters of the paper's decision, as well as the editors who made the outlandish decision to publish, have been dismissive of those safety concerns, they appear to have come to fruition, at least for one handgun permit holder.

'Do you fools realize that you also made a map for criminals?'

According to the New York Newsday, "a White Plains residence pinpointed on a controversial handgun permit database was burglarized Saturday, and the burglars' target was the homeowner's gun safe."

No one was home at the time and cops have one of the suspects in custody - but what we and others warned could happen in the aftermath of such a self-centered and stupid decision apparently has happened. The victim, by the way, is in his 70s.

"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?" one reader wrote on Facebook, in the aftermath of the Journal News story.

"You have just destroyed the privacy of these law abiding citizens and by releasing this list, you have equated them to that of sex offenders and murderers," wrote another. "These are law abiding gun owners, they are no danger to anyone except for criminals. And with this information you have made them targets for both criminals and anti-gun lobbyist who i am sure are going to treat them like monsters."

The Newsday report said the burglars left broken window glass in the victim's yard and that cops found a ladder leading up to the second story of the modest Colonial home.

'I could not care less what they have in their home'

"The homeowner's name and address were included recently on the controversial interactive map of gun permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties published on The Journal News' website," said Newsday.

A law enforcement source said police are investigating any link publication of the database might have played in the crime.

One of the victim's neighbors, John Mascia, said the names and addresses of legal gun owners and permit holders should not have been published.

"I could [not] care less what they have in their home," he said.

State Sen. Greg Ball, who earlier voiced displeasure of publication of the information and has vowed legislation to protect the identities of permit holders in the future, said this, in a statement:

"If the connection is proven, this is further proof that these maps are not only an invasion of privacy but that they present a clear and present danger to law-abiding, private citizens."

Officials in his office said he would introduce legislation for the third time Dec. 14 to keep such information private.

Victimized by politically motivated stupidity

After publishing the data, the Journal News defended the indefensible. In a statement published on the paper's website:

"The massacre in Newtown remains top-of-mind for many of our readers. In the past week, conversation on our opinion pages and on our website,, has been keenly focused on gun control. Our readers are understandably interested to know about guns in their neighborhoods. We obtained the names and addresses of Westchester and Rockland residents who are licensed to own handguns through routine Freedom of Information law public-records requests."

There is no way of knowing if this paper, which historically has maintained an anti-gun bias, actually received a number of inquiries from readers demanding to know who has firearms in their neighborhoods and who does not. But whether those requests were made or not, that doesn't change the fact that constitutionally, "readers" - as well as the paper's editors - are not entitled to that kind of private information.

If it is discovered that burglars used the published information to stage this attempted gun robbery, the victim should seek remedy in court and hold the paper and its editors responsible for their callous, politically biased stupidity.


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