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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 @11:19AM (#42387223)
    Yet such resistance to open up data on it. These are legal guns and these maps allow prospective homeowners to know which neighborhoods are "safer" (one way or the other). Leave it up.
    • by Scutter ( 18425 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:27AM (#42387269) Journal

      Or it's a list of prospective homeowners with property worth stealing. Or a list of people who are trying to hide from abusive exes who got gun permits to protect themselves. Why is the list of permit holders anybody else's business?

      • by Tim Ward ( 514198 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:43AM (#42387381) Homepage

        ... else's business?

        Maybe I'm trying to work out where I'm going to live, and want to avoid neighbourhoods that are so dangerous that their residents think they need guns.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by dgatwood ( 11270 )

          I think the comparison to the sex offenders map is apt. This map serves as a perfect counterbalance to that registered sex offenders map.

          You see, there's a fine line between self defense and vigilantism. Whenever somebody gets raped or a child goes missing, there's a heightened risk of violence against people on the sex offenders list because everybody assumes they did it. Since random gun owners now know where former sex offenders live, it's only fair that the knowledge be mutual. :-)

      • by JWSmythe ( 446288 ) <jwsmythe@jws[ ] ['myt' in gap]> on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:04PM (#42387605) Homepage Journal

            I see this ass an introduction on how a newspaper can be involved as a conspirator or accomplice to a variety of crimes.

            I've known people who get firearms permits for all kinds of reasons. Some people get them to protect themselves because of their line of work. Like managers of stores carry because they are transporting the end of day cash to the bank. Some people get them for self defense after threat or action has threatened their lives. Some just do it because they do have the right.

            In one jurisdiction, at least it was, off-duty police couldn't carry their firearms unless they had a permit. Their weapon went in the trunk of their car at the end of the shift, and then they moved it from the trunk to their home. So virtually all police officers were also concealed carry permit holders.

            I am concealed weapons holder. I've carried a few times, for need. If I lived there, I really wouldn't want my name and address published. I'd be furious.

            This list is not a list to inform. A dot map without specific names and addresses would have done that job. What they've done is made public a shopping list for criminals. They know they can observe a residence for a while, learn the patterns of the occupants, and when they aren't home, rob it. There's an increased chance of finding a home containing firearms.

            While B&E to a home can get them some pretty high value items, not many items are as compact and easy to transport, and as valuable on the black market, as a firearm. A $500 pistol that can fit in your pocket can bring double that on the black market. A $500 TV doesn't fit in your pocket, and will only sell at a small percent of it's list price.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          It's also a map for which homes are safe to rob even when they occupants are home.

    • by lightknight ( 213164 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:52AM (#42387459) Homepage

      OMFG, this is such a bad idea! They've just publicly announced, for every felon nearby, which homes to search for a weapon!

      It's going to be like the Walmart of guns! "Bob, age 32, drives to work every day at 9 AM...has a dog, Mr. Scruffles...leaves his garage door unlocked. Well, we know he has a gun, probably in the closet or under his pillow. Let's pick it up after he leaves for work, I feel naked walking around without a gun after prison..."

      Why don't you publish the names, addresses, and photos of children in the local area whose parents get home late! It's about that level of FAIL.

      They've single-handedly just increased the number of gun deaths and home invasions. *golf clap* Well played, well played.

    • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:59AM (#42387543) Homepage

      It just proves the right to privacy is meaningless if you have to tell the government what you are doing, buying and owning.

      This practice will just make gun owners buy their stuff "illegally."

    • by publishing information on fellow citizens....

      how is this than anonymous posting "dox" of people they don't like. This is simply put, an enticement for politically oriented targeted harassment of otherwise law abiding citizens.
    • How would you feel if they registered all of the homosexuals and printed maps of where they all live? What's that, there's a difference, you say? Indeed there is - gun ownership is a specifically enumerated right in the bill of rights, while homosexuality is not.

      Both being recognized as rights is good for society. If you think you can justify one, then why not the other?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:20AM (#42387229)

    AKA A map of which houses NOT to rob.

  • So... Question, (Score:3, Interesting)

    by skovnymfe ( 1671822 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:21AM (#42387231)
    All these people that shoot up eachother, are their guns legal or are they illegal?
  • A map for crime (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Python ( 1141 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:23AM (#42387243)

    So basically its a map of people without guns, and therefore excellent homes to invade and rob. Thanks Journal News! Douch bags.

    • Both, actually. Homes that aren't marked are safer to rob, while homes which are marked are now offering a gun-special.

  • by micron ( 164661 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:23AM (#42387245)

    This is just a great example of responsible journalism. Now the criminals know exactly where to go to get firearms that will never be traced back to them.

  • by wombatmobile ( 623057 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:32AM (#42387317)
    Does gun ownership make for a safer, better, society, or something else? Statistical correlation is not the same thing as causality, but what do these facts [] tell us?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'd suggest you temper your map with some localized information from these charts You'll see that a simple map of "injury from a firearm" almost always includes suicides.

      The concerning part is the illogical application of constitutional amendments here. If I published a list of all the people who commented on political forums in 2012 with their home address would that be okay?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:58AM (#42387527)

      They tell you nothing. For one, "gun deaths" have nothing to do with the actual number of homicides committed using firearms. The phrase "gun deaths" is used by those pushing an agenda because they get to pump up their numbers with suicides (which would occur with or without guns). Suicides account for more than two-thirds of the "gun deaths" in the US, and our suicide rate doesn't even come close to matching many other countries (including ones such as South Korea and Japan where gun ownership is severely restricted).

      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.

      In other words, when you look at this from a neutral angle rather than trying to push one side or another things don't seem as dire as they appear.

      • 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.

        • So yes, the US murder rate is unparalleled for a developed nation, and much closer to that of poor or half-failed countries

          You need to count state-sponsored murder. Murder of the citizenry one at a time because you don't have a better solution is still murder no matter how you dress it up as the "death penalty". Now, compare murders in China to the USA. HTH, HAND.

      • by Thiez ( 1281866 )

        > 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.

        Are your standards really so low that you would compare yourself to the country with the highest number of homicides in the world? How about you compare your country to some first-world countries instead? Try any of the countries in Western Europe, or Japan, or even China...

  • by Dolphinzilla ( 199489 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:53AM (#42387477) Journal

    lets give everyone another reason to buy guns on the black/gray market and not register them - that is utter stupidity

  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:12PM (#42387693) Journal

    ...on behalf of gun rights advocates, for graphically illustrating one reason requiring gun registration is a bad idea.

    Another thank you from Westchester & Rockland Organized Crime, Inc, both for providing homes to avoid for their junior members, and high-value targets for their more skilled housebreakers.

  • 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.

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll