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Police and Law Enforcement Home    >    Editorials    >    Activists in Journalist Clothing


Police and
Law Enforcement News




Activists in
 Journalist Clothing
By: Andrew A. DeMuth
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
  9:26 a.m.


The Journal News, an upstate New York Newspaper, dragged the journalism bar even lower last week by publishing an interactive map listing the name and home address of every person in Westchester and Rockland Counties who possesses a handgun permit.

Titled, "The gun owner next door: What you don't know about the weapons in your neighborhood,"  the map uses red dots to depict those who have permits, and when visitors click on the red dot, a window comes up showing the resident's full name and full street address.

The newspaper had actually intended to go further.  In a statement, the newspaper said that they tried to access records pertaining to weapon types and how many were in each household.  "Had we been able to obtain those records, we would have published them." 

How deplorable.  How irresponsible.  

We would love to know how the meeting went when members of the editorial staff made this decision.  Did anyone raise the flag of possible unintended consequences, or was selling copy the only consideration.

The goal of this program is most likely to publicly brand those exercising their Second Amendment right with a type of scarlet letter.  In light of the recent Connecticut school shooting, they hope to embarrass gun owners in front of their neighbors. 

It is also an attempt to discourage American citizens from purchasing guns.

But such a move accomplishes nothing.  It doesn't protect children, reduce crime, or make anyone safer.   It is a desperate act intended to pit neighbor against neighbor.  The architects of this effort clearly have an anti-gun agenda, and this is a way of carrying it out.

Mind you, the Journal News is a newspaper, not an activist organization.  It is utterly insane that this is what we get from a once-trusted media, but this is our new reality. 

It's also why readers and viewers are tuning out.  People are sick of activist journalism.  It's also why sites such as and others have developed such a massive following while traditional news outlets have lost immense market share.

Unfortunately, in all their wisdom they never considered the fact that criminals read newspapers and websites too, criminals who may be interested in which houses would make good targets for stealing guns. 

Even better, such a site is a great starting point for gang members, career felons, and sexual predators who would like to know which homes are most likely not protected by residents with access to guns.

The paper argued, " Our readers are understandably and keenly interested to know about who owns guns in their neighborhoods.  But, the opposition from their readers that began filling the comments section showed either a disconnect between editorial staff and their readers or a flat-out arrogance on the part of the paper.

Most saw this for what it was: a rouse to generate controversy, interest, and, ultimately, visits to their website.  They fly this stunt under the banner of the First Amendment, but the truth is they are flying their agenda under the banner of journalism. 

That is fine, but then don't call yourself a newspaper. 

It is pathetic how many media outlets such as the Journal News cherry pick which parts of the Constitution they will defend.  If such an assault were taking place on the First Amendment, their editorial pages would be buzzing each day with editorial and opinion pieces listing argument after argument against such un-American rhetoric.  

The purpose of this piece is not to take a position either way on the current gun debate: it is about bringing attention to a group of elitists who feel they have the right to expose, for their gain, the private affairs of our citizens.

The founders of this nation recognized the importance the press would play in making this great experiment work, so much so that they made it clear in the First Amendment that the press was to be free.

Two centuries later it is run by activists going after the very next Amendment.

A great irony of all this is that newspapers such as the Journal News champion themselves for providing the public ready access to information like the names, salaries, and home address of police officers, yet their editorial pieces are always unsigned and the names of their editorial members are often buried deep in their website.

CNN did a written and video piece on this story.  They attempted several times to get someone from the paper to present their case on the air.  The editorial staff from the Journal News declined. 

What a surprise.

Use the scroll box below to leave a comment.










Share your Thoughts on This Editorial

While all opinions will be considered, we will not post any messages that are inflammatory, that bash any ethnic group, or that are just beyond reason.  Letters will be reviewed and posted each day. reserves the right to alter, shorten, or decline any submission. 



Your Comments

This action was extremely irresponsible to both gun owners and non gun owners. It is a shame that they are able to this putting people's homes and families at risk of break ins, burglaries, and home invasions. They should be held accountable for any of the above if it were to happen. How ironic would it be if the publishers who published this interactive map became the victim(s) of a crime that resulted from one of the gun owners homes that were broken into. Go figure.

Deplorable, shameless.  It shows very low character and depicts the RAG this newspaper is.

Thank you for this article!

It's a shame that The Journal News debased themselves in such a fashion.  It makes me wonder if the people whose privacy they have invaded and the lives they have endangered will have some recourse should they be attacked or burglarized FOR those very firearms.  That "paper" has done nothing to enhance anybody's security and may have given criminals a "shopping list" for future reference.

I pray it doesn't come to that because, if it does, the likelihood that somebody will be killed is very high and The Journal News may be culpable because of their "expose".

The true Hypocrisy in that article was shown when it was found that at least one Staffer from the journal has a handgun permit...yet His address and information wasn't included in the list.

This action was extremely irresponsible to both gun owners and non gun owners. It is a shame that they are able to this putting people's homes and family's at risk of break ins, burglaries, and home invasions. They should be held accountable for any of the above if it were to happen. How ironic would it be if the publishers who published this interactive map became the victim(s) of a crime that resulted from one of the gun owners homes that were broken into. Go figure.

They've quite literally given all the convicts in the area a road map on where they should and shouldn't rob. It's disgusting.

I think it's wonderful that some enterprising blogger took the time to return the favor and publish the names and addresses of the editorial staff and writers for this newspaper.  Reports are that they received so much response that they tried filing reports with their local police department regarding threats but none of the letters were threatening in nature.  Now they've resorted to hiring armed security to patrol the buildings they work in.  So, essentially, the lesson to be taken from this incident is that when THEY decide that people with weapons are necessary to protect THEM, it's perfectly fine.  If you decide that YOU need a weapon to protect yourself, that's something that needs to be frowned upon and shamed.  The media is, with rare exception, just a joke anymore.






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