The Journal News and its associated website lohud.com released an interactive map on December 24. This map contains locations of all homes that have gun permits in Westchester and Rockland Counties. Both counties are just to the north of New York City.
This was done in response to the shootings in Newtown, CT.
The information was acquired through an FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) request.
The database, legally obtained from the county clerks’ offices through a Freedom of Information Act request made after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children and eight adults dead, has been called irresponsible, dangerous and leaning toward intimidation by several online pundits.They're also receiving loads of angry messages and, no doubt, threats, as names, addresses, phone numbers and social media accounts of LoHud employees are being circulated online.
The gun nuts have retaliated by publishing information for Journal News employees (in one case, including family photos and a picture of a car - all taken from Facebook) on various blogs, egged on by some major teabag players, such as Instapundit.
I won't link to any of them, but they're out there.
Lohud responded to the insanity:
A statement from Journal News Media Group President and Publisher Janet Hasson on our decision to publish a digital database of Westchester and Rockland county gun-permit holders:So what say you? Good idea or bad? (For the record, I say good.)
"Frequently, the work of journalists is not popular. One of our roles is to report publicly available information on timely issues, even when unpopular. We knew publication of the database (as well as the accompanying article providing context) would be controversial, but we felt sharing information about gun permits in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings."
Needless to say, there are a lot of angry white people in Westchester and Rockland counties tonight.
(Weird trivia thing: I took a look at the map. First dot I clicked on? Actor Chazz Palmenteri.)