Recently, a newspaper was irresponsible enough to publish the names of gun owners in the New York area. This paper is the Journal News. However, not only did this paper publish people’s names, they also published their addresses. Not only this, but it gets worse. They made an interactive map to make it easier for their readers to locate exactly where these gun owners lived!
As Billy Hallowell reports his online newspaper The Blaze, this ‘outing’ of gun owners has possibly had some negative ramifications for the gun owners. There have recently been two burglaries in the New York area that have been connected to guns. In New City, NY, two pistols, according to Hallowell’s report, were stolen, along with some related articles. The thieves broke into the home’s gun safes. It is clear that the criminals had a definite agenda. However, it cannot be said for certain that the guns were the reason behind the break-in in the first place. There have also been related incidents in other areas of the region targeted by the newspaper, Journal News.
To me, what the paper did was an act of terrorism. Terrorism can be defined as an act, the committing of which is to inspire fear in the intended target. Something ironic is that the publishers of the paper, since the controversy has erupted following their publication of the personal information about the gun owners, have hired armed guards to protect themselves. Clearly, their anathema to gutionns does not extend to compromising their own safety. That is how you know they are hypocrites, these newspaper people.
Do you think the names and addresses of these gun owners should have been published? What about everyone in a certain area who has had abortions? Or everyone who has committed adultery? The gun owners, and non gun owners in this area, have been marked as targets. The paper’s publishers will have blood on their hands if anyone dies as a result of this information being made public. It is absurd that this information should have been disclosed in the newspaper. What possible good can come out of it? Some people argue that people have a right to know if their neighbours have guns. That argument might make sense theoretically, but it does not excuse the specific publication of this information. If the newspaper’s publishers felt so strongly about this, they could have gone to the area in question and surveyed the locals as to what they thought of the issue. Then, if they had enough support, they could have circulated information within that neighbourhood. This sounds absurd on the face of it, but that is my point. It’s crazy to think that people have a right to know the personal information about their neighbours when it comes to something as important as self-defense.
And what about my other examples? Do people have a right to know if their neighbours are committing adultery? Do they have a right to know if their neighbours are child molestors? I would say yes to that one, but there should be no equating child molestors with gun owners, which is kind of what the newspaper was doing.
A saying that is often expressed about guns is that guns don’t shoot people; people shoot people. However, you could also say that abortions don’t kill people’ people kill people. So should we know if our neighbours have had abortions? Obviously the situation is different, because guns can kill many people, whereas abortion is a more private affair. However, maybe the newspaper would have had a point if they had circulated the names of people who owned assault weapons. After all, these are the weapons of choice when it comes to mass shootings. Why does someone need an assault weapon that kills many people in just a few seconds?
What the newspaper did was to bring a lot of very important questions into the open.
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