Yesterday we told you about the interactive map of local gun owners published by the Journal-News, a newspaper serving the Westchester and Rockland counties of New York, and the outcry it immediately drew. Turns out the stunt was so unpopular — with gun owners and privacy advocates alike — that a blogger named Christopher Fountain took it upon himself to dig up and organize the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the Journal-News staff, starting with editor Cyndee Royle. The post is called "Keep up the heat" and encourages readers to pester the paper and prevent them from continuing to report gun-owner addresses.
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As long as they were keeping it to letters to the editor(s), the staff list was, at first, small potatoes as far as payback goes: the allure of the paper's original map of gun owners was the ability to see who, and how many people, owned a gun near a specific address — the paper's stunt was a map, not just a (sparsely populated) list of names. But overnight a different retaliatory blogger decided to map the newspaper staff addresses culled thus far (from Google and elsewhere). Here's what Robert Cox, of Talk of the Sound, came up with:
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It's a disparate (and perhaps desperate) effort — there are only eleven addresses, one of which is located in Manhattan — and lacks the visual impact of the original map, which indicated just how many gun owners (and guns) there are in just two counties in blue-state New York. So it's not particularly interesting, but it may be dangerous, and it's certainly depressing — as its author notes: "Be advised that the Journal News has been in downsizing mode for the past several years. I have to wonder if all these names are current employees but we will treat them as such until we learn otherwise."
It's an open question whether the retribution is misplaced. In a morning interview with CNN, Fountain said he was angered by calls from victims of domestic abuse with gun permits who were worried their whereabouts had been inadvertently revealed. And, more philosophically: "In the aftermath of Newtown, it was obviously one tragedy, but somehow they were conflating legal gun owners with some crazed tormented devil up in Newtown and putting the two together."
- Politics & Government