If I told you that I have a permit to carry a gun, I’m sure that could put me in some jeopardy. If I told you I don’t have a gun, that could definitely put me in some jeopardy, if not outright danger. What the Gannett Company did with its New York newspaper Journal News is a combination of all the above. Newspapers are not just something used to line the birdcage, they’re supposed to deliver NEWS as well, but what the Journal News did in three counties North of NYC is disgusting. If you haven’t heard, they used the formality of a “public records request”, received and printed the names and addresses of everyone……yes everyone in the three counties who owns a gun. NAMES and ADDRESSES, which yes includes all people in law enforcement, past and present. It includes everybody with a gun permit….judges, school teachers, security guards, firefighters, DA’s, cops………OMG he’s got a gun. And through the newspapers total lack of thinking, the social media took over and the whole thing went viral. Yes, now everybody in America knows who has a gun in upstate New York and the “birdcage liner” printing company claims it was the right thing to do in light of what happened in Newtown, Connecticut. What a weak and disgraceful joke!!
We all know my feelings about the irresponsibility and wretched dangers inherent in social media and this is a classic example of the “daily rag” exacerbating an already volatile situation. For the public good? Absolutely not. In the public interest? Absolutely not. Sure the public may whine…..”we have a right to know” but ya know what, it’s public record, go research it yourself, find out if good ole Mr. Gary next door has a gun, but when a so-called NEWSpaper steps out of its area of responsibility and publishes names and addresses that may jeopardize hundreds of people…..that’s just wrong. Oh and by the way, good ole Mr. Gary next door may have a dozen rifles and six loaded shotguns, but you’ll never know that because no permit is required for those.
One would like to think, in the journalism world at least, there was a higher social purpose for publishing information with no intent to harm someone. Taking those two things in reverse, I’m sure the Journal News had no intent to harm anyone….but…..you’ll never convince me or any other clear thinking person that you believe there was a higher social purpose. There is none. I’m not a big gun advocate, in spite of my last name (NRA: no relation) but the folks at the lefty looney birdcage liner in New York’s Hudson Valley just did it’s readership community “wrong”.