Monday, January 7, 2013

After Pinpointing Gun Owners, Paper Is a Target

White Plains (NYTimes) -- Local newspapers across the country look for stories that will bring them national attention, but The Journal News, a daily nestled in a wooded office park in a suburb north of New York, may have gotten more than it bargained for.

Two weeks ago, the paper published the names and addresses of handgun permit holders — a total of 33,614 — in two suburban counties, Westchester and Rockland, and put maps of their locations online. The maps, which appeared with the article “The Gun Owner Next Door: What You Don’t Know About the Weapons in Your Neighborhood,” received more than one million views on the Web site of The Journal News — more than twice as many as the paper’s previous record, about a councilman who had two boys arrested for running a cupcake stand.

But the article, which left gun owners feeling vulnerable to harassment or break-ins, also drew outrage from across the country. Calls and e-mails grew so threatening that the paper’s president and publisher, Janet Hasson, hired armed guards to monitor the newspaper’s headquarters in White Plains and its bureau in West Nyack, N.Y.

Personal information about editors and writers at the paper has been posted online, including their home addresses and information about where their children attended school;[...]

“As journalists, we are prepared for criticism,” Ms. Hasson said, as she sat in her meticulously tended office and described the ways her 225 employees have been harassed since the article was published. “But in the U.S., journalists should not be threatened.” She has paid for staff members who do not feel safe in their homes to stay at hotels, offered guards to walk employees to their cars, encouraged employees to change their home telephone numbers and has been coordinating with the local police.

Entire column...
Blog author's comments - Ms. Hasson and her staff have endangered a lot of people. But, they still probably do not believe they did anything wrong.

Obama has said he will push through more gun control laws by the end of January 2013. Who knows what he has planned but, if he uses the 'Assault Weapons' bill Dem. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has proposed we will see more of what has happened in New York.

This information taken from Feinstein's proposed bill: Those who have acquired weapons recently under the pretense of being “grandfathered” in under prior laws see mention in Feinstein’s provisions as well. It requires these weapons to be registered under the National Firearms Act that will include collecting the following information:

--Background check of owner and any transferee;
--Type and serial number of the firearm;
--Positive identification, including photograph and fingerprint;
--Certification from local law enforcement of identity and that possession would not violate State or local law; and
--Dedicated funding for ATF to implement registration

Dianne Feinstein's bill would create a national gun registry. If this is also included in Obama's gun control plan and the gun owners must register their gun, how do they know that their name, address etc. will not be published in their local newspaper or on a map similar to the one put on-line by the 'The Journal News'? More gun laws will penalize the law-abiding gun owners and they are not the problem.

Summary of Feinstein's Proposed Legislation in PDF Form Here

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