Outrage After New York Paper Posts Map of Gun Owners’ Names and Addresses

Gun owners in suburban New York are incensed after a local newspaper, the "Journal News," compiled a Google map of their locations from public records

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Gun owners in suburban New York are incensed after a local newspaper, the Journal News, published an interactive Google map showing their names and addresses.

The Journal News received the data, which includes the identities of every registered handgun owner in Rockland and Westchester, via a Freedom of Information Act request. (Data on gun owners in Putnam County is still being compiled, the paper said.)

(PHOTOS: Profiles of ‘Open Carry’ Gun-Law Advocates)

Understandably, gun owners and privacy-rights activists are rather upset. The article, posted Saturday, has since received nearly 2,000 comments, most of them criticizing the newspaper. “This is the type of thing you do for sex offenders, not law-abiding gun owners,” wrote commenter Curtis Maenza. Others pointed out that the map could in fact help promote additional crimes, by highlighting homes that do not have guns, providing “a list of homes to avoid, now knowing that the other homes in the neighborhood are not armed and thus easier to invade,” wrote commenter Joseph Conklin.

The Journal News notes on its website that the information contained in the map is a matter of public record, but the presentation — particularly in the wake of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., which left 20 children and seven adults dead and sparked a nationwide debate on gun control — has proved hugely controversial.

(PHOTOS: Firearm Nation: A Look Inside American Gun Culture)

Indeed, the article attached to the newspaper’s Google map isn’t exactly controversy-averse: “The gun owner next door: What you don’t know about the weapons in your neighborhood,” reads the headline. Ironically, an editor’s note at the beginning of the article informs readers that its writer, Dwight Worley, is a licensed gun owner himself — and is in turn listed on the very map he created.

On Tuesday, the Journal News responded to its critics, noting that the map had been shared more than 20,000 times and defending its actions. “[W]e felt sharing as much information as we could about gun ownership in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings,” said CynDee Royle, the Journal News’ editor and vice president of news.

MORE: The NRA Responds to Newtown: America Needs More ‘Good Guys’ with Guns

98 comments
boltons29
boltons29

Who do they think they are ?  If someone legally buys a gun, it is their business.  No one knows WHY they have it.  Maybe they were a rape victim who wants to feel safer.  Maybe it is someone who was abused and now their ex has their addresses.  There are any number of reasons people own guns, but it is personal.

i think we should find the owners of this paper, list their addresses, the addresses of any of their kids who do not live with them.  List the addresses of their family members.  After all, this is what they have done to so many here.  Then, if you feel like it, you can list if they have guns or not.  Let's see how these people like it.

BonnieMcDowellLang
BonnieMcDowellLang

I wonder how many of those are women who are hiding from abusive exes that have now been outed.

KenHassis
KenHassis

Why not just list all the mentally ill!!

Sparky
Sparky

Wouldn't it be appropriate for someone to post, on the internet, the names, addresses and contact information for the people at this 'Newspaper' so people could called them directly and let them know how it feels to be singled out?

NoelJohnson
NoelJohnson

What the Journal News, Cyndee Royle, Gannett Co., and every contributor to this "map" have done has nothing to do with the tragedy at Newtown... and everything to do with increasing readership and, therefore, profitability. The tort that they perpetrated is a legally actionable offense because it caused HARM TO TENS OF THOUSANDS OF LAW ABIDING CITIZENS. Whatever the perpetrators' intent, and regardless of the legality of access to the LEGALLY ARCHIVED INFORMATION, the posting of this information on Google Maps CAN AND HAS CAUSED HARM, PERIOD. This is the DEFINITION of YELLOW JOURNALISM. This "map" has set back even the reasonable discussion of logical & effective gun control.... let alone any kind of reasonably timely legislation. The harm that the publication of this "map" caused is tangible and material - in real time. Google Maps has a feature that I'm sure you're all aware of... called "street view". This feature allows the internet surfer to zoom in to a specific address and see a detailed, enlargeable image of the house. This image shows the entire street view of the house, and also has perspectives that can show the sides of the house - from either approaching side. In addition to this display, the random internet surfer also can use the regular Google Maps aerial (satellite) view, zoomed to the maximum magnification (just above street view). This view will show the entire roof of the house, and the entire yard and property boundaries and features... including lawns, fences, adjoining properties... EVERYTHING A POTENTIAL THIEF WOULD LIKE TO KNOW, IN AN INITIAL CASING OF A POTENTIAL ATTRACTIVE TARGET. The blogger who published a retaliatory map of Journal News employees is just as guilty of perpetrating a Tort. ALL THIS JUST ILLUSTRATES MY POINT THAT THE ISSUE OF LOGICAL, EFFECTIVE GUN CONTROL HAS JUST BEEN SWEPT OFF THE TABLE IN A SELF-RIGHTEOUS, HARMFUL BROADSIDE OF YELLOW JOURNALISM. The proper forum for this fiasco is in Civil Court.

evink
evink

As for the Canadian ADoseOfBuckley. I will not resort to calling Canadians names or insulting your intelligence as you seem to want to do to us in America. Your country is number 13 on the list of gun owners. A whopping 30 percent there own guns. I also watch shooting shows and I mean defense shooting shows that air on a channel called WILD TV broadcast right out of Canada. So not only does your country have and use guns but you have TV shows promoting pistol and long arms (true name for everyone's so called assault rifle) for defensive purposes. One of the things that get me is you seem to not like us Americans very much. So one, why do you feel the need to open your mouth and have any input into how we as a Country do things? We are not invading your Country so there can't be any fear of us as a people. If we decide to kill each other off with our guns, like most of you are saying we do. Even though gun deaths in America are ranked number 10 to 14 depending on the times they do the polls. Wouldn't this benefit you in the long run. The stupid Americans have all killed themselves guess it's a safer place now would be what I think you all would love to say. So I just can't understand why anyone from any other country would feel they need to put their input into what we are doing. 

evink
evink

So in Switzerland nearly NOBODY has guns. Hummm Please check out this survey albeit it was in 2007 I'm sure it hasn't changed much. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_guns_per_capita_by_country Switzerland has the fourth highest gun owner rate in the world. I am in no way upset about your opinion because you were actually polite in the way you brought this out PierreSch I just wanted to be sure we all had the correct information about gun ownership in your very beautiful country. Would love to go there someday. 


AnthonyRaymon12
AnthonyRaymon12

Big deal,

I want to see the map for flame throwers and RPG`s-

Ps, A lot of law abiding citezens in a small demographic.

Oh and criminals might want to take note and avoid that area!

granitesentry
granitesentry

Can't help but wonder what Henry Luce would think of his magazine employing a "writer" with "a penchant for breaking news and viral videos," whose "work is often found at the intersection of celebrity and technology." Looks to me like his work is more likely to be found at the intersection of brainless and toxic.

PierreSch
PierreSch

It's really really fun. Because, I look at eat, I read it from start to end. But I can't understand it ? It's a twisted american way of thinking I can't understand.

I'm Swiss, nearly nobody have guns, and we are not targeted in anyway by anykind of burglars.


In the US, the overwelming amount of guns made it absolutely impossible to control who have one. And criminals now use them to harm the american citizens. The right to have guns became the greatest danger for american population. It's not coming from AL Kaïda, It's coming from the core of the american society. And it's fascinating to see, from the outside, how a thing that kill SO MANY persons in your country, is always permitted.

As I wrote at the start, it's a mentality matters... and the longer you think about it, the more persons will die from your lack of decision.

cartman111
cartman111

The next civil war won't be about slavery. It will be about guns.  This map is just an easy reference tool to see where the battle lines will be drawn.  I'll be one side gets "out-gunned" by the other.  That's Darwinism for you. Only the strongest survive.

ADoseofBuckley
ADoseofBuckley

Hahaha, I love the American mentality... "now the criminals know who doesn't have a gun so they'll break into those homes!", MOST Canadians don't own a gun, and yet miraculously there aren't a million break-ins a day. If anything, now the criminals know who has a gun, so they can go steal it while the owner is away. Who's breaking into houses while everyone's home? Do you have the dumbest criminals in the world all living in the USA? Anyone with half a brain (so, even Americans) would know you don't just go breaking into houses at random, you case it for a few days, see who's coming and going, get a rough idea of their work schedules, and you hit 'em while they're not home. I've yet to meet a single person who has been the victim of robbery who was home when it happened.

JorgeTygerBloodSheen
JorgeTygerBloodSheen

with a map like this, the fear is for people to know you DONT have a gun

THEN you become a target

PoliticsNewsAja
PoliticsNewsAja

The release of the LEGAL gun owners names and addresses has also released the names and addresses of police officers that arrest criminals every day. Now the criminals that have a vendetta towards a police officer has the direct info to those officers homes. This has provided safety issues for police families. This is in addition to easy targets for non-gun owners. Tell me, whom holds culpability in the event someone is needlessly victimized because of this release of information that took a FOI request to get in the first place? Since the publishing entity claims ownership of guns and added his info to the list, I have to question if this was an intentional release to raise crimes against non gun owners, in an effort to sway them into changing their view on gun control. As a gun advocate, I firmly believe this information was released to cause harm to non gun owners to prove a point. Very disturbing on all points to be made. This has put all sides in real danger for danger that is needless and easily avoidable. 

MarilynMartina
MarilynMartina

I've called all of the numbers that are posted on the internet of the
people that work at The Journal News who posted the names and addresses
of the registered gun owners in two counties.

They
either ring and no answer or they have voicemails that are so full you
can't leave a message or their phones have been disconnected.

Caryn's
was the only one I was able to leave a voicemail on her work and home
voicemail both.  I told her what a despicable woman she and her
journalist co-workers are for putting out the names and addresses of
registered gun owners thereby leaving those neighbors that don't own
guns open for criminals to know their home doesn't have a gun.

I
told her that I was glad that her name and address is plastered all
over the internet so that everyone now knows where she and her children
live.  I also told her that under ordinary circumstances I would not be
applauding that because I can see the potential danger in that, but in
this case since they don't care about the danger to the people in those
two counties by putting out that map I'm not all that concerned about
her safety.

I also told her that I hope the citizens stop
buying their newspaper and The Journal News goes out of business and
that it puts a big dent in the Gannett newspaper income stream.

evink
evink

Lets stop and thing of the wife who's ex husband is crazy and she bought her gun to protect herself and the kids from his crazy attacks. Now you just posted her name and address publicly for him to find with ease. Wish you idiots in the media would think about the negative outcomes along with the positive you were hoping for.

NaraCJRao
NaraCJRao

How legal is it for a newspaper or any government agency to publish personal data of citizens in a County?

rnprwmr
rnprwmr

If the Journal News Vice President for so-called news CynDee Royle had been a real editor she would have encouraged her reporter Dwight Worley to investigate and expose criminal and illegal gun owners in their area.  But of course, sensationalist yellow journalism is easier, cheaper, and less time-consuming than responsible reporting.  I recommend that readers in that area, gun owners and non-owners alike, stop buying that good-for-nothing newspaper that has provided an easy access map to the criminal element by lisiting the addresses of 'easy-picking' non-gun owners, as well as the addresses of legal gun owners, where they can steal weapons when the residents have gone to work. 

JennyLee
JennyLee

Now the criminals know who most likely does not own a gun too. Why break into a home in which the owner is armed when you can break into a gun free home?

MarilynMartina
MarilynMartina

@MarieLeonard   It would be nice if someone filed an injunction or a ceases and desist order on Putnam County clerk's office so they can't give those names to The Journal News until a judge makes a decision on it.  That article you gave the link to said the clerk of the county is still compiling the information.  Well, if that clerk got a court order saying they couldn't give that information out until it proceeds to court, that could put this case right into the court system where it belongs. 

NoelJohnson
NoelJohnson

@MarieLeonard Self-Righteous Yellow Journalist Mud-Slingers Cyndee Royle, Journal News, and Gannett Co. perpetrated a TORT. A Tort is a legally actionable OFFENSE, in CIVIL COURT. SPECIFICALLY, IT IS A DIGNITARY TORT : INVASION OF PRIVACY. Tens of thousands of law-abiding citizens that have been HARMED by this OFFENSE. The rational, civil discussion and concurrent legislation surrounding logical and practical gun control has been HARMED, and swept off the table by this contemptible broadside of YELLOW JOURNALISM. BECAUSE you are a TAX-PAYING LAW-ABIDING CITIZEN, YOU ARE ENTITLED BY YOUR GOVERNMENT TO SEEK REDRESS & COMPENSATION FOR OFFENSE & HARM. It would be best to spend time & energy doing the groundwork for a class-action SUIT IN TORT LAW.... the same way that Ron Goldman's parents squeezed O J SIMPSON for the Tort offense of Wrongful Death... after the LIBERAL COURT acquitted him of murder. Whether or not you like the current liberal self-righteous administration...EXERCISE THE RIGHTS GRANTED TO YOU BY YOUR COUNTRY...make the Self-Righteous Yellow Journalist Mud-Slingers PAY BIG MONEY TO A CLASS-ACTION IN CIVIL COURT .

Google Tort wiki to get a definition.

NoelJohnson
NoelJohnson

@Sparky No, because that action is exactly what Self-Righteous Cyndee Royle, Journal News, and Gannett Co. perpetrated : a TORT.  A Tort is a legally actionable OFFENSE, in CIVIL COURT.  Turnabout is not fair play in Civil Court. It would be better to spend your time & energy doing the groundwork for a class-action SUIT IN TORT LAW.

JamesD
JamesD

@Sparky All you need is their last name. Your taxes are public record and when you buy a home, your name and address become public record. So if you really want to put in the effort, just do a search.

Personally, I have no problem with this.

ADoseofBuckley
ADoseofBuckley

@evink 30%, so that would mean... and I'm sure you can do the math but I'll help you out here, that 70% do NOT, correct? So when I make a statement such as "most Canadians do not own a gun", it would be fair to say that 70%, being the bigger number than 30%, would prove my statement to be accurate, is that correct? I'm not having "any input into how we as a country do things", I'm simply stating what everyone outside of the US knows but many inside don't want to admit: you have a problem, and it clearly needs to be solved. Unless you think over 50x more gun related fatalities in a year than your neighbours to the north is fine, in that case, I guess there's no problem.

NoelJohnson
NoelJohnson

@granitesentry : WOW SentryMan, I couldn't possibly have said it better myself. Yes Sir, Straight-Up and Spot-On.

NoelJohnson
NoelJohnson

@PierreSch and more persons will die as a result of uncontrolled passions. Make no mistake, both sides of the gun control issue are passionate in the extreme. The self-righteous actions of Cindee Royle , the Journal News, and Gannett Co. have swept any kind of rational discussion off the table, in a contemptible broadside of YELLOW JOURNALISM.

MarilynMartina
MarilynMartina

@PierreSch  I don't know who you're trying to kid.  In Switzerland 29 percent of households own guns.  I'm figuring you're not Swiss because you would know this.  Switzerland doesn't have a military, so they do a militia.  All the young men from 18 to 22 are in the "militia."  They are given guns and trained to use them and they keep them in their homes since there is really no army.  So, Pierre, take your pile of Left wing manure and smear it somewhere else.

ADoseofBuckley
ADoseofBuckley

@cartman111 The "strong", doesn't take a lot of strength to gun a person down. Or a lot of smarts. If anything it levels the playing field so the weak and stupid have a chance to survive.

NoelJohnson
NoelJohnson

@ADoseofBuckley Meet me. I can testify in a court of law that I was home DURING a home invasion. I can't say that I'm pleased to meet you, hoser.

NoelJohnson
NoelJohnson

@PoliticsNewsAja HARM WAS INFLICTED ALREADY, and will continue to be inflicted. "The Map" is a TORT. It is also a prime example of YELLOW JOURNALISM.

NoelJohnson
NoelJohnson

@NaraCJRao It's legal for a government agency to COLLECT and ARCHIVE personal data generated in some kinds of transactions, licensures, or document recording. It's legal for media to ACCESS legally archived personal data, thru a petition via the US Freedom of Information Act.  IT IS NOT LEGAL TO PUBLISH AND DISSEMINATE PERSONAL DATA, regardless of how it's obtained. Cyndee Royle, Journal News, and ultimately Gannett Co. are responsible for committing a TORT, the definition is here :  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tort  .... and they should face a class-action lawsuit to address the harm they caused.

Tired_of_the_BS
Tired_of_the_BS

I don't know if LEGAL is the right word here (maybe it is).  What about how RESPONSIBLE was it?  What good can come of this article?

Tired_of_the_BS
Tired_of_the_BS

100% agree.  Stop buying that rag of a newspaper.  It hurt both gun owners and non-gun owners.  Both sides of the fence are unhappy.  Hit them where it hurts to show your disapproval, cancel your subscription!!!

NoelJohnson
NoelJohnson

@Sparky The Offense that the Self-Righteous Yellow Journalist Mud-Slinging Scumbags committed is legally defined as a DIGNITARY TORT, specifically :  INVASION OF PRIVACY.  It is an unequivocal, clearly defined OFFENSE, and tens of thousands of citizens have been harmed.  I'll post the Tort definition Wiki page again here :  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tort

NoelJohnson
NoelJohnson

@Sparky Make the Self-Righteous Yellow Journalist Mud-Slinging Scumbags PAY BIG MONEY IN COURT.

Sparky
Sparky

The Swiss don't need gusns, they have niffy knives

ADoseofBuckley
ADoseofBuckley

@NoelJohnson And did you have a gun? Or better still, if you had one, would it have mattered? A home invasion is different than a regular B&E, so we're not quite talking about the same thing, but again, assuming the criminals aren't complete morons and know who lives in the house they're breaking into, and if they've got guns, they've neutralized you anyway. Whether the gun is underneath your pillow, in a desk drawer, or in a locked cabinet (where it should be) is completely irrelevant, your family is at gunpoint in the living room while they take what they want (including the gun if they find it). If it's on you, great, you pull it, maybe you shoot one person, the other people shoot you, and the rest of your family, and run. Your "valuables" are safe and you're dead. Congrats.

MarieLeonard
MarieLeonard

@ADoseofBuckley I will add this was all over a DOG! Now if the dog was shot and killed they would have spent more time. The animals have more rights here!

MarieLeonard
MarieLeonard

@ADoseofBuckley perfect example. My son was shot in the BACK while running,. The 2 that were there neither would confess, no witnesses would talk. Yet both punk ass thugs admitted that they at one time or another had the gun that shot my son, since neither would confess and no witnesses coming forward, each spent 6 months and not even on a felony charge!!  IMO they BOTH should have been charged with attempted murder, but the law says NO! 

ADoseofBuckley
ADoseofBuckley

@MarieLeonard Canada's justice system is no better, a man cut another man's head off on a Greyhound Bus, gets 4, 5 years in an institution and is now allowed to be back out in the community (supervised). Our sentencing is as lax, possibly more. But again, less gun related fatalities or gun related crimes in general. It's very possible you're correct as well, that guns aren't the problem, but I don't think the justice system is the problem either, if it were, we'd have the same problem, and as many gun related deaths and crimes per capita in Canada. We're exposed to the same media (most Canadians feel that Canadian TV and movies and musicians are a joke so everyone pretty much watches/listens to American media) so that's not it, we're essentially the exact same in every way... except we're not shooting each other over jewelry or a stereo, and we've had FAR fewer school shooting incidences. Why? That's the question that needs to be answered.

MarieLeonard
MarieLeonard

@ADoseofBuckley If our laws weren't lax the damn criminals would be locked up or killed for committing armed robberies, They serve 5-10 yrs and are back at it again. There is no rehab, teaching skilled trade to these offenders just time sitting and figuring out how to do the next crime when they get out. THAT there lies the problems!! NOT guns! 

ADoseofBuckley
ADoseofBuckley

@NoelJohnson Spoken like a true American. Facts are ridiculous and you believe you actually have the power to "grant me" anything. Thanks for being a stereotype.

ADoseofBuckley
ADoseofBuckley

@NoelJohnson So what you're saying is that it didn't matter? Thanks for the answer. And I think I'll not bother taking a walk through the south side of anywhere in the US. Instead I'll continue to live in Canada, where, despite having stricter gun control, and despite not everyone keeping a weapon in their homes, the government isn't descending down upon its citizens taking all of our rights and freedoms or whatever it is Americans believe would happen without their precious guns. In 2009, we had 173 gun related deaths. So, it would stand to reason, 10x the population, 10x the shooting deaths, right? So how come the US had 9146, over 50x the shooting deaths we had here? No one has any interest in fixing the problem, because they don't want to see a problem. They live in America! The greatest country in the world! There's no problems! AMURICUH!

NoelJohnson
NoelJohnson

@ADoseofBuckley @NoelJohnson #1: I don't have to inform you, or anyone else on whether I possess a firearm in MY HOME. #2: I'll just repeat the famous quotation by Joseph Dunninger : “For those who have had the experience, no explanation is necessary. For those who have not, none will suffice.” I may be mistaken, but I believe you have never had the experience of an armed robbery. I have. I would suggest that you cross the border and take a walk thru the south side of Syracuse, before you start conjecturing about tactics. #3: I think I was right... you are a hoser.