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New York Paper Uses Public Records To Publish Gun-Owner Map 1232

New submitter Isaac-1 writes "First it was the sex offenders being mapped using public records, now it seems to be gun owners — I wonder who will be next? It seems a newspaper in New York has published an interactive map with the names and addresses of people with [handguns]." It's happened before: In 2007, Virginia's Roanoke Times raised the ire of many gun owners by publishing a database of Virginia's gun permit holders that it assembled based on public records inquiries. (The paper later withdrew that database.) Similarly, WRAL-TV in North Carolina published a database earlier this year with searchable map of (partially redacted) information about permit holders in that state, and Philadelphia made the news for a similar disclosure — complete with interactive map and addresses — of hundreds of gun permit applicants and holders.
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New York Paper Uses Public Records To Publish Gun-Owner Map

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:55AM (#42387495)

    No, the response he came up with was to refer to the First Amendment, which gun nuts are conveniently ignoring, and thus are probably not mentally stable enough to own a gun.

    Ad Hominem means "You insulted people instead of presenting an argument", not "Even though you presented a logical and coherent argument, I'm going to pretend it's invalid because you also happened to insult people and use naughty words while presenting it. And because I have no counter-argument".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:58AM (#42387529)

    Why is the list of permit holders anybody else's business?

    If it's registered with the state or feds it's basically "publicly obtainable information". Cars, businesses, professional licenses, etc. are all public (in one form or another) and searchable (in one form or another). Why should anything else that is registered with the state/feds be any different?

    SSN's aren't the same at all and should not be public information. SSN's aren't registered, they are assigned, and all US residents are legally required to have one [] by the age of one y/o.

  • by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:05PM (#42387613) Homepage Journal

    By "well-regulated militia" the founding fathers meant that individual citizens are trained to use guns, to secure a free state. Free from what? Tyranny and fascism. So, what does "well-regulated" mean? It means that you know how to use that gun to kill tyrants.

  • by evil_aaronm ( 671521 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:10PM (#42387653)
    You assume that because I don't show up on such a list that I'm unarmed. None of the shotguns that I inherited from my father are listed anywhere, but they all work perfectly well. These lists indicate permit holders, which are required for hand guns. Owners of rifles generally don't need permits.
  • Re:So... Question, (Score:5, Informative)

    by mckorr ( 1274964 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:12PM (#42387679) Homepage
    The Newtown guns were stolen (from the mother.) The Columbine guns were acquired illegally, using a combination of outlawed third party purchasing and illegal underage sales. Very few mass shootings were done with legally acquired firearms.
  • Not a Complete List (Score:5, Informative)

    by GODISNOWHERE ( 2741453 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:21PM (#42387785)
    This is only a list of handguns, which you need a permit to own. It does not list rifles or shotguns, which make up a significant percentage of guns owned by Americans. Although it is more probable that the households that own handguns also own more of the rifles and shotguns than households without handguns, there are still many gun owning households that are not listed here. In fact, I know someone who lives in this area who is not listed, but has a rifle in her house.
  • by JimCanuck ( 2474366 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:24PM (#42387817)

    Regulated != Trained.

    If the Founding Fathers had meant "trained" they would have written "trained" instead of "regulated". But they didn't because it's not they they meant.

    Actually no he is right, regulated means trained and properly equipped in this sense. The English language has been corrupted over time to mean strictly mean only regulated in the sense of controlled under the law.

    A well regulated machine is one that has proper preventative maintenance and can preform when called upon without fail. Not because it is regulated by law to preform or function.

  • by Spaseboy ( 185521 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @01:04PM (#42388199)

    Social security numbers are public information. How do you think agencies and businesses can use that number to identify you? People think SSN is some secret number, it most certainly isn't.

    Credit score is owned by private agencies. Nothing about credit is registered with the government.

    Medical information is covered by HIPPA that supersedes the fact that medical records had no embargo of any kind on them.

    We have no guarantee of privacy in this country. Nowhere in the constitution is privacy even mentioned.

    Educate yourself. At your intelligence level it will be profoundly simple.

  • by langelgjm ( 860756 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @01:54PM (#42388685) Journal

    A gun is more like a car. If you want to own it and operate it there some regulations to limit the risk that your neighbors have to endure.

    There are also rule about privacy of car ownership. Under federal law, you can't simply call up the DMV and find out the registered owner of a car based on the license plate. You have to have specified, limited reasons for doing so, and there are records kept of such requests: Driver Privacy Protection Act []

  • by furball ( 2853 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @03:15PM (#42389353) Journal []

    "The militia of the Commonwealth of Virginia shall consist of all able-bodied residents of the Commonwealth who are citizens of the United States and all other able-bodied persons resident in the Commonwealth who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States"

  • by Arker ( 91948 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @04:08PM (#42389683) Homepage

    It 'also might be interpreted' as such but only by someone who simply refuses to check sources. The fact of the matter is the words had that meaning at the time and some of the debates around the wording are even preserved so you can see for yourself exactly how it was understood. Regulated didnt acquire the secondary meaning of 'under strict but indirect government control' until later. The original meaning of 'in good order, well prepared' is still found as well, in phrases like a well-regulated machine or in the practice of regulating shotgun bores, but it has been eclipsed in usage. So the only way that argument can be made is out of ignorance or willful deception.

    Under the militia acts from that date, the militia was understood to be 'all military aged males' in a given area. Trained and organised groups raised from the militia were specifically distinguished as 'select militia.'

  • by orzetto ( 545509 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @04:12PM (#42389699)

    [...] suicides (which would occur with or without guns)

    No they wouldn't. Suicide is not something that is decided upon irreversibly by the person who does it. It can be a moment of desperation that could very well wear off after a few minutes. In fact, if you have any experience with crying children (or adults), you probably noticed that there is a brief transient of desperation while the person calms down. If the desperation is high enough, and this person has undisturbed access to a gun, they can kill themselves on the spot; if they need to hang themselves, cut themselves to bleed to death, take poison, all of these operations require a minimum of preparation, and most importantly they take time (e.g. poison and drug overdose are not immediate; there is still time to call a doctor).

    As far as murder rate, the US is relatively far down the list with approximately 4.2 per 100,000. Compare this to ~91 per 100,000 for Honduras.

    Seriously? Then I guess the air quality in Beijing must be pretty good, compared to the atmosphere on Venus. Honduras is a crime state that went through a coup just a few years back, and is basically a failed state. The US murder rate is 4.2 (see the wiki []), let's see which countries have a lower one...

    • Turkey, 3.3
    • Uzbekistan, 3.1
    • Cambodia, 3.4
    • Niger, 3.8 (the poorest country on the planet)
    • Afghanistan, 2.4 (war casualties excluded)
    • Syria, 2.2 (again, war casualties excluded)
    • Jordan, 1.8
    • Sri Lanka, 3.6
    • Iran, 3.0
    • Bangladesh, 2.7
    • China, 1.0
    • Egypt, 1.2
    • Western Europe, average 1.0

    So yes, the US murder rate is unparalleled for a developed nation, and much closer to that of poor or half-failed countries. Of course if you drag into the picture narcorepublics and countries that are more like institutionalised criminal syndicates than republics, the statistics look a bit better, but it's like putting lipstick on a pig—it's still 4.2 by 100k.

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.