UPDATE: Should Gun Owners Have a Database Like Sex Offenders? One Newspaper Thinks So, and They Made One
Do we have a right to know which people around us have guns? One New York newspaper thinks so in the aftermath of the Newtown shooting, and they MADE one without asking anybody.
The Journal News, a newspaper published in Westchester County in New York, obtained the names and addresses of every person that has "purchased a firearm or updated the information on a permit in the past five years." You can click on the dots and see a Google Street View picture of that person's house, if you so choose.
The map has people ... well, up in arms. While the newspaper thinks people should have the right to see who's armed in their neighborhoods, lots of people think it's huge invasion of privacy. Not one person was asked if their name could be included in the database, and some say the map is a an advertisement basically asking people to be robbed of their guns. Still others said they were women in hiding from former lovers who committed domestic abuse on them -- the map has now outed their location.
But get this -- the newspaper wanted to go even further, but couldn't. They not only wanted to out every gun owner in their subscription area, but they also wanted to document the number of guns and types of guns each person owned. Only the county Clerk of Court stepped in to say the newspaper didn't have the right to see individual gun permits.
What do you think about this one -- sound off in the comments section below.
UPDATE: Yahoo News reported today that gun owners have struck back at the newspaper, tracking down the addresses of the paper's reporters and staff and creating their own interactive map. They also tracked down phone numbers, Facebook and Twitter pages, and even the kinds of cars the staff drove. This blogger was leading the pack.