Too many knee-jerk reactions will do more harm than good.
While The Journal News’ lohud.com, which ran an article and an interactive map of the homes and names of handgun owners in New York's Westchester and Rockland counties, is still getting flak for their lack of journalism ethics, many liberals are in high gear on their march towards tighter gun restrictions.
Now you read it here first. In my column about The Journal News’ running an interactive map that features the names and addresses of handgun owners in those New York counties, I wrote that it would give criminals all the information they need to take a nice bus ride and do a little five-finger discount shopping at someone’s home.
And according to Jana Winter’s story on FOX News, I wasn’t too far off the mark.
“They just created an opportunity for some crimes to be committed and I think it’s exceptionally stupid,” said Bob Portenier, 65, a former burglar and armed house robber turned crime prevention consultant.
On the flipside Walter T. Shaw, a 65-year-old former burglar and jewel thief, told Winter that it would be easy for someone to skip the house of the gun owner and hit the one next to it where the neighbor doesn’t possess a firearm.
Wow, not only did The Journal News put gun owners by publishing their information in danger but also their non-gun owning friends and family. Oops.
But apparently The Journal News operates under the theme of “Do what we say and not what we do” because they hired armed guards. You see, the newspaper’s Publisher and President Janet Hasson said the newspaper received threats when she announced that the publication was planning on releasing the same information about Putnam County’s handgun owners.
“The safety of my staff is my top priority,” Hasson told The New York Times when asked why she had armed guards at the newspaper’s two offices.
But wait, it gets better. Hasson refused to tell the Gray Lady how many armed guards or what type of guns they have. So it’s OK for her to have armed guards to protect her staff and not give up any information, but no one else can enjoy those same rights of protection? Hypocrisy at its best. And a disgusting display of it too.
And to the gun owners who are allegedly making these threats, please knock it off. Stop being idiots. You're only hurting yourselves and giving Hasson more ammo for her campaign.
I’ve been a journalist for newspapers and magazines for years and I know what it’s like to run information that can have a huge impact on people’s lives and the community at large.
But doing what The Journal News did is irresponsible journalism. I saw no rational reason why they did it except maybe to create some controversy after the tragic shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
However, if there was a real public service about running this information then I could get behind it. For example, if they ran a similar map that showed handgun owners who received their permits because of backroom deals made with local politicians, then I can see the need for it. (And in all fairness I believe I read this example somewhere online, but sadly I forget who mentioned it. I believe it was a journalism ethics professor.)
Sadly because of the Sandy Hook shootings that left 26 dead there have been many knee-jerk reactions made by some liberals and Democrats.
At the moment, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo apparently wants to propose today a strict ban on assault weapons, reported The New York Times.
And if you see my last column, you will find examples of why any type of bans do more harm than good.
What we need is to stop the witch hunt on legal gun owners. Not all of them are crazy and believe it or not many of them have used their firearms to not only protect themselves but others as well.
We have some good laws on the books and let’s find ways to better protect others, but to not restrict the Second Amendment rights of good, honest Americans.
Because as I told Becket Adams of The Blaze on Twitter recently, going after law-biding gun owners is like blaming senior citizens because some idiot overdosed on prescription medication.