Yesterday, Hudson Valley area newspaper the Journal News launched an interactive map of gun-permit owners based on public records. In a statement, the paper defended the controversial feature by saying that "the work of journalists is not popular" but that their role is to "report publicly available information on timely issues, even when unpopular" and that "we felt sharing information about gun permits in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings."
Washington Post spoke with one of the outed gun owners, 73-year-old Veronica Hash, who disagreed:
"They've put me on the same level as a sex offender," says the 73-year-old Hash. "If there are sex offenders, you've got to know where they are," she adds, noting that the same rationale appears to have driven publication of information about the permit holders. As for her weapon, Hash notes that there are "all kinds of people wandering the streets. It just gives me a sense of security." She maintains that she's "fully instructed" in its use. "Please do not take the only thing that makes me feel relatively secure," she says.
I don't really agree with Hash's claims (echoed by many other conservative commenters) that now criminals will rob her house to get her guns — wouldn't they actually target unarmed houses instead, so as not to risk getting shot by a "fully instructed" homeowner? — but I think the paper would do its readers a better service by tracking down gun manufacturers and NRA-backed politicians, not old ladies.
Image via Vartanov Anatoly/Shutterstock.