NY Newspaper Draws Flak for Map of Gun Owners
by Beverly Nuckols on December 28, 2012 at 6:09 PM
The purpose of the Second Amendment is not the delivery of bullets, knife blades, or the force of blunt objects. Its purpose is to prohibit Congress - the Government - from infringing on "the right to keep and bear arms." Those arms are for the purpose of ensuring a "free state," wherein we the people live freely without fear of the government or other bullies threatening our inalienable rights.
In the same way, the First Amendment doesn't guarantee that anyone else will receive your speech. It does, however prohibit limits on your speech by Congress, as long as you don't harm someone else.
None of our inalienable rights trump the inalienable rights of others. No one may freely use their gun to infringe on the life, liberty or property of another person -- it's only to be used in defense of rights. The same thing goes for the right to free speech and press. If your expression causes harm to another person who is not threatening you or anyone else, then you should be liable, whether you are guilty of yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater, or of publishing names and addresses of law abiding people who are minding their own business.
Unfortunately, members of the Press don't always understand the harm their speech can cause others:
The Monday article in The Journal News was headlined "The gun owner next door: What you don't know about the weapons in your neighborhood," and was in response to the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
"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? What a bunch of liberal boobs you all are," wrote one reader.
The sentiments were echoed by another, who wrote, "How dare you guys. 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 murders. 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. I hope you are sued for infringing on the privacy rights of every single one of these citizens you have just put in harm's way."
One reader, in an attempt to "turn the tables on the Journal and see how they like it," posted the home addresses of the newspaper's president, top editors, and the reporter who wrote the story.
The gun registration information, which is available to the public, was obtained by The Journal News through a through a Freedom of Information Act request.
On Tuesday, in an article written by Journal News Reporter Randi Weiner, the paper defended its decision to post the addresses of handgun permit holders across Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam Counties, the northern suburbs of New York City where the paper is read.
"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," Weiner quoted CynDee Royle, editor and vice president of the newspaper. "People are concerned about who owns guns and how many of them there are in their neighborhoods."
"Royle said that a freedom of information request seeking the specifics on how many and what types of weapons were owned by people in the above mentioned counties was denied."
Note: I've added the links to the NewsMax article, which didn't have what I consider important information. A thank you "Hat Tip" to the blog, "For What It's Worth," for one of the links and for being resourceful!