friday news dumps
At the end of December, the Journal News published a detailed map cataloging all of the handgun permit owners in Westchester and Rockland counties, a move that caused much controversy among both gun rights and privacy advocates who felt the map placed figurative targets on the highlighted households. This evening, the publication announced it was was pulling the map, but claimed it was due to New York State’s new gun control law, passed at the start of the week, rather than a response to criticism.
“Today The Journal News has removed the permit data from lohud.com. Our decision to do so is not a concession to critics that no value was served by the posting of the map in the first place,” Journal News publisher Janet Hasson explained. “On the contrary, we’ve heard from too many grateful community members to consider our decision to post information contained in the public record to have been a mistake. Nor is our decision made because we were intimidated by those who threatened the safety of our staffers. We know our business is a controversial one, and we do not cower.”
In his interview on the Brooklyn GOP Radio podcast this evening, NRA President David Keene was asked about the controversial articles on Gawker and in the Journal News that contained lists of gun owners. Mr. Keene blamed the stories on cultural differences that he said exist between “elite media” and the rest of American society.
“The whole battle over the Second Amendment has little to do with crime or any of these things” Mr. Keene said. “It has to do with culture and the view that different people have about what kind of a country this ought to be.”
Mr. Keene explained that he believes the media has adopted an anti-gun perspective because liberal reporters see gun ownership as antithetical to their values.
State Senator Greg Ball, hasn’t been quiet about his disagreement with the Journal News‘ decision to publish the names and addresses of handgun owners in Westchester and Rockland counties and he isn’t done with the publication just yet. Mr. Ball, who began his day by tweeting, “Woooohooooooo!!! Get up! Hook up! Shuffle to the door! One day closer to victory! One day closer to more! Get ‘em!” continued his energized performance in the opening moments of a K104 radio interview, declaring, “I’m motivated! How about you? Ready for a push-up contest?”
(“Glad he didn’t come into the studio,” one of the hosts remarked after Mr. Ball left.)
Putnam County doesn’t want to help the Journal News newspaper with its map of gun owner’s home addresses. To make the controversial map, the newspaper used addresses obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request for pistol permit records from Westchester and Rockland Counties. They made a similar request in Putnam, but County Executive MaryEllen Odell and County Clerk Denis Sant plan to announce their decision not to release the records at a press conference this afternoon.
Over the weekend, The Journal News newspaper published maps with the addresses and names of pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland Counties. The information for the map was legally obtained by the paper through a Freedom of Information Act request, but it sparked a nationwide controversy among those who considered the map a privacy violation. This morning, State Senator Greg Ball weighed in by proposing legislation to keep gun records private and prevent the publication of similar stories in the future. He also blasted “the asinine editors at The Journal News” who published the map.
“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. The immediate elimination of the information posted on the Journal News website is the only way we can ensure the safety and liberty of these New Yorkers,” said Mr. Ball in a statement. “This is clearly a violation of privacy, and needs to be corrected immediately. The same elitist eggheads who use their editorial page to coddle terrorists and criminals are now treating law-abiding citizens like level three sexual predators.”