The Journal News, which published the names AND addresses of 33,614 registered gun owners in two NY counties, and wanted information in order to publish more from a third, is all sorts of upset in regards to the response they received. Fortunately, the NY Times is there to provide a sob story in their defense
(NY Times) But the article, which left gun owners feeling vulnerable to harassment or break-ins, also drew outrage from across the country. Calls and e-mails grew so threatening that the paper’s president and publisher, Janet Hasson, hired armed guards to monitor the newspaper’s headquarters in White Plains and its bureau in West Nyack, N.Y.
Personal information about editors and writers at the paper has been posted online, including their home addresses and information about where their children attended school; some reporters have received notes saying they would be shot on the way to their cars; bloggers have encouraged people to steal credit card information of Journal News employees; and two packages containing white powder have been sent to the newsroom and a third to a reporter’s home (all were tested by the police and proved to be harmless).
“As journalists, we are prepared for criticism,” Ms. Hasson said, as she sat in her meticulously tended office and described the ways her 225 employees have been harassed since the article was published. “But in the U.S., journalists should not be threatened.” She has paid for staff members who do not feel safe in their homes to stay at hotels, offered guards to walk employees to their cars, encouraged employees to change their home telephone numbers and has been coordinating with the local police.
In the US, law abiding citizens should not be threatened by a small paper attempting to make a big splash and intimidate those law abiding citizens, putting them in danger, and, let’s not forget, they just made it easier for criminals to know which homes are most likely without a gun, therefore safer to perform their criminal activities against.
The Journal News had no problem publishing the information in order to intimidate legal gun owners, many who are law enforcement, retired law enforcement, and corrections officers, but has a hissy fit over people doing the same back. Many of the law enforcement and corrections officers have received threats from hard core criminals, rather than just people popping off. Interestingly, the Times doesn’t say which bloggers were encouraging people to steal credit card info. Nothing available in a Google search. Nor is the Journal News releasing the actual emails and letters.
The Journal News’s features editor, Mary Dolan, said that while she was not involved with the publication of the article, her home address and phone numbers were published online in retaliation. She has had to disconnect her phone and has “taken my social media presence and just put it on the shelf for a while.” She has also received angry phone calls from former neighbors in Westchester whose gun information was published.
She said she was especially concerned about the part-time staff members who write up wedding anniversary and church potluck announcements who have been harassed. But she supports the paper for its decision.
“It sparked a conversation that needed to occur in this country, and it revealed tactics that will be employed when gun owners feel their rights are threatened,” she said.
Consider that: “when rights are threatened.” Our Constitutional Right to own a gun. Liberals don’t like that. Except when it’s their own gun. They want Everyone Else disarmed. I dare say that the Journal News and those who work for it would be rather upset if people were trying to restrict their “freedom of the press.”