Blowback From Publication Of Gun Owner Data Continues -- Threats, Lawsuits And Rejected FOIA Requests

from the men-with-guns-protecting-journalists-from-men-with-guns dept

The battle over the privacy of gun owners continues in New York. Last week, the Lower Hudson Valley Journal News secured the names and addresses of gun owners in two New York counties, publishing the information as an interactive map and framing the "story" as a public service -- information people would "want" to have following the Connecticut school shooting.

Needless to say, this drew the ire of gun owners, along with others who felt the Journal News had crossed a line by publishing this personal information. In response, the names and addresses of various Journal News personnel were posted and the paper found itself dealing with angry phone calls and comments, along with anonymous threats and mail coated with a mysterious (but apparently, non-toxic) white powder.

Somewhat ironically, the Journal News has now hired armed security guards to protect its business and employees.
The Journal News of West Nyack, N.Y., has hired armed security guards to defend its offices after receiving a torrent of phone calls and emails responding to the paper's publication of the names and addresses of area residents with pistol permits.

RGA Investigations, a private security company, "is doing private security at on location at the Journal News as a result of the negative response to the article," according to a police report first obtained by the Rockland County Times (Nanuet, N.Y.) and shared with POLITICO. The guards "are armed and will be on site during business hours through at least January 2, 2013."
Now, the paper is finding itself stymied by public officials in its search for more gun owner data. Putnam County officials have announced that they will refuse the Journal News' FOIA request, which it had begun compiling before the backlash began. After receiving an "onslaught" of calls demanding that the county not release the data, Putnam County Executive, MaryEllen Odell, has decided to withhold the requested information, earning an ally in State Senator Greg Ball.
"I'm proud to stand with Putnam County and proud that Putnam won't be releasing its pistol permit records," [Ball] said in a statement. "The asinine editors at the Journal News have gone out of their way to place a virtual scarlet letter on law abiding firearm owners throughout the region and I thank God that Putnam County has a clerk with the guts to stand up and draw the line here."

[Putnam County Clerk Dennis] Sant said he was happy to protect law-abiding gun owners in his county.

"There is the rule of law, and there is right and wrong, and The Journal News is clearly wrong," he said in a statement. "I could not live with myself if one Putnam pistol permit holder was put in harm's way, for the sole purpose of selling newspapers."
Ball has also stated that he will introduce legislation to restrict gun permit information to prosecutors and police. A public press conference is scheduled to announce this refusal, but there's a good chance this move won't stand up in court, should the battle head in that direction.
Putnam County officials, who say they will refuse a newspaper's request to release the names and addresses of residents with pistol permits, would break state law by withholding the data, a state official said.

The opinion, of state Committee on Open Government Executive Director Robert Freeman, came after an announcement Tuesday by state Sen. Greg Ball and two Putnam officials that they would refuse to release the data requested by The Journal News of White Plains, which sought the records under the state Freedom of Information Law

Freeman said, the law is clear. "The name and address of any gun licensee are public," he said.
The Journal News will likely appeal the denial, which would then be heard by the Putnam County government. A second denial would route it to a judge for a formal decision. In the meantime, the Journal News is sticking to its proverbial guns, claiming the info dump was in the public interest.

In other bad news for the paper, it has just been named in a defamation lawsuit filed by a local business, which claims that the Journal News piece which named it as a gun owner caused "customers and clients of First Impression LLC to cease doing business, causing damages in amount to be determined."

The filing runs only two pages but is loaded with adjectives.
The two-page, bare-bones Summons With Notice accuses the newspaper of "falsely, maliciously, recklessly, slanderously, libelously and irresponsibly publicly stating in the interactive website www.lohud.com that plaintiff First Impression LLC is a licensed handgun owner."
So, it looks as if the future holds quite a bit of court time for the Journal News. It also looks like this fight over gun owner data isn't going to end anytime soon.

The thorny question still remains: did the Journal News have the right to publish gun ownership? Certainly, the First Amendment grants it the freedom and the fact that the information was gained through legal channels seems to make that "right" argument unassailable. The Journal News was well within its rights to post the information, no matter how irresponsible its use of the information was.

Unfortunately, the many people who opposed the Journal News' actions (which includes people on both sides of the gun control debate) have been vocal enough that government agencies are beginning to arbitrarily withhold requested information, stating a sudden (and unlikely) concern for protecting the privacy of gun owners -- whose permits are a matter of public record. Allowing government agencies to reject FOIA requests because they don't like how the information is being used or are worried about public response is a big step in a very wrong direction. Even worse, grandstanders like Sen. Ball are looking to further restrict the dissemination of information by limiting access to gun ownership data to prosecutors and police. Even if this particular restriction seems logical, the simple fact is once this protection is granted for certain data, the system is opened to abuse by other entities and agencies looking to keep as much info as possible under wraps. This will result in more restrictions and limitations and less actual freedom of information.


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    Anonymous, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 3:58pm

    Karma, thou art a beyotch.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 4:00pm

    Now, that is how you stage an effective protest!

     

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    crade (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 4:04pm

    Isn't the fact that these gun registrations can be misused in this way is one of the big touting points against gun control? Maybe it's a calculated demonstration :)

     

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      John Doe, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:14am

      Re:

      You hit the nail on the head and this is a point that Mike has made in the past. Gov't lists eventually get used for more than their intended purposes. To me, this list is illegal as it becomes a defacto list of gun owners and technically it is illegal for the government to have a list of gun owners.

       

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        JohnG (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:33am

        Re: Re:

        How is it "technically" illegal for the gov't to have a list of gun owners? If the State requires gun purchasers to register their property, how is that illegal? How is registering your gun different from registering your car?

         

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          minijedimaster (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 8:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well a bit of a stretch, but lets give it a shot. The second ammendment reads:

          "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

          Possible argument can be made that the government is infringing on the right of the people to keep and bear arms due to these lists being kept and the way they are or can be used.

           

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            DCX2, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Having a list of people with pistols does not infringe on one's right to keep and bear arms.

            (note: these are not "gun owners" these are "pistol owners", it does not list owners of rifles or shotguns etc)

             

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            Mason Wheeler (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 10:24am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That *is* a bit of a stretch. How can they be well-regulated (or regulated at all) when you don't even know who it is you're supposed to be regulating?

             

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              Bergman (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 12:43pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Except that the government is not in charge of regulating the militia.

              In context, a well-regulated militia is a group of male citizens between 16 and 45 who train together, hold drills, and have a defined chain of command that they obey.

              Most high school sports teams meet the criteria to be considered a well-regulated militia.

               

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                nasch (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:19pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                In context, a well-regulated militia is a group of male citizens between 16 and 45 who train together, hold drills, and have a defined chain of command that they obey.

                Women can't be in a militia?

                 

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    loaderboy (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 4:07pm

    In Florida

    we have a multitude of Sunshine Rules that make most state data publicly available. Fortunately gun ownership and concealed carry permits aren't included.

     

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    Aria Company (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 4:19pm

    What's really telling is how some of these gun owners are reacting.

    Just one step away from being on the 6 o'clock news themselves.

     

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      Aerilus, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 7:14pm

      Re:

      because we all know all threats are always carried out. you sir obviously, are new to the internet!

       

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      minijedimaster (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:03am

      Re:

      I'd be pissed too if some news paper who hates the second amendment posted my personal address/name on an interactive map saying "look at these people, they own guns, they're obviously going to murder our kids... go get em!"

       

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        nasch (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:35am

        Re: Re:

        I'd be pissed too if some news paper who hates the second amendment posted my personal address/name on an interactive map saying "look at these people, they own guns, they're obviously going to murder our kids... go get em!"

        And is that what the newspaper article said?

         

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          Bergman (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 12:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          More or less. The article listed the names and home addresses of gun owners as being threats to the community.

          The newspaper didn't advise people to go "get them", but you don't identify a danger to the community without expecting some sort of action to be taken.

           

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            nasch (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            More or less.

            I would say less, since it didn't say gun owners are going to kill our children, or advise or encourage any action against them.

             

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    anonymous dutch coward, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 4:24pm

    mental

    which idiots voted to make it law that such sensitive information is available to anyone outside law enforcement?

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 4:28pm

    But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

    Something like this has been popular with the gun industry. So letting people know who has guns doesn't seem to go against what they want anyway. Of course, any place where people are required to have guns, or a place where everyone carries a gun, is probably somewhere I don't plan to visit.

    You MUST own a gun - it's the law!: "KENNESAW, Ga - Several Kennesaw officials attribute a drop in crime in the city over the past two decades to a law that requires residents to have a gun in the house.

    In 1982, the Kennesaw City Council unanimously passed a law requiring heads of households to own at least one firearm with ammunition."

     

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      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 4:32pm

      Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

      Also, if the thinking is that guns keep criminals away, isn't it better for the gun owners to have everyone know they have guns? Aren't the gun-free houses (according to this logic) who are at risk? So publishing who has a gun is actually harming the non-gun owners, right?

       

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        Andrew Norton (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 4:47pm

        Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

        What you're forgetting is that people own guns because they're cowards.
        Cowards don't like being publicly outed as cowards.

        And if they're not cowards, absent a threat (which the paper has got) then why do they feel the need to own a gun, as if they were about to be under seige?

         

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          Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 4:59pm

          Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

          And if they're not cowards, absent a threat (which the paper has got) then why do they feel the need to own a gun, as if they were about to be under seige?

          That's why the "everyone needs to be armed" talk makes me nervous. If everyone feels they need to be armed either (1) they feel unduly threatened or (2) the country really is that dangerous and it's time we either stay inside to avoid all the threats or move to another country.

          If my safety depends on carrying a gun, it's not a place I want to be out and about in. I don't plan to move to another country, but I will avoid going to places where everyone is armed because that implies you can't trust anyone around you and you need to be on guard constantly. That takes too much energy. If there are potential threats everywhere, I'll lessen my exposure to them. It's easier than feeling like I might need to pull out a gun at any minute.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 5:19pm

          Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

          What you're forgetting is that people own guns because they're cowards.

          Why don't you do all of us a favor and cite even one study that backs up this assertion.

          We'll wait.

           

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            Pamela Anderson, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

            I believe that it's a fair assertion.

            Guns are the attack weapon of choice. The most obvious reason is they don't require physical interaction with the target and, to reduce contact even more, can work from a distance.

            Why would attackers be worried about physical interaction? The most obvious and likely answer is that they're scared. They're scared about personal injury or they're scared about the physicality of manually inflicting an injury on another person. Either way, using a gun is far more cowardly than walking up to them and punching them in the face.

             

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              Sneeje (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:39am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

              No, it's not a fair assertion, but you know that. It's ad-hominem at best. Personally, I don't own any firearms and am for more gun control, but throwing intellectual honesty out the window to try to accomplish your agenda helps no one.

              My father owned guns, served on the front lines in Vietnam, and earned a bronze star. He also saved my son from drowning at clear risk to himself and worked tirelessly to feed the homeless every year.

              You can shove your bigoted "coward" argument up your dumb, ignorant ass.

               

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                Donglebert the Needlessly Obtuse, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:59am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                Ad-hominem how?

                His argument was asking whether the reason people feel the need to own a gun was that they were scared. That's not ad-hominem.

                Whereas "My daddy owned guns and he could swim and work with the homeless so your argument isn't true"...is ad-hominem.

                 

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                  nasch (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 10:17am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                  His argument was asking whether the reason people feel the need to own a gun was that they were scared.

                  No, Andrew Norton said gun owners are cowards, which is ad hominem. Sneeje gave an example of a gun owner performing a courageous act, thereby disproving the claim that gun owners are cowards. Not ad hominem. I don't know how you could even mistake that for ad hominem.

                   

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                  Sneeje (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 12:50pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                  You are needlessly obtuse if you think ad hominem applies to the final quote in your post. It might be non sequitur (A doesn't follow from B), but it is certainly not ad hominem (attack on the person).

                  You might want to study either logic or latin or both--your call.

                   

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:42am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

              It's not a fair assertion. It's absurd hate-filled rhetoric aimed at tens of millions of law-abiding people in this country because he doesn't agree with their rights granted under the constitution.

              Look, it's one thing to not like guns and the people who use them in violent attacks against others. But, to denigrate an entire population of people as cowards, for doing nothing more than legally owning a gun, is asinine.

              This particular commenter used this same argument (cowardice) in the comments on another article. It was just as ridiculous then as it is now.

               

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                Donglebert the Unintelligible, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 10:10am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                Where did you get "hate-filled" from? And where did you find the constitution bashing from?

                He didn't say people couldn't or shouldn't own guns. His comment asked, in slightly antagonistic but not technically inaccurate terms, why they felt the need to own and carry firearms when considered that the threat is perceived to be far greater than it actually is.

                Cowardice, taking the first definition that comes up, is "where fear and excess self-concern override what is socially deemed as right and courageous". I would say that someone stealing some DVDs from your house getting shot is an act of cowardice by the holder of the gun.

                 

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                  Bergman (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:39pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                  Do you plan to be mugged or raped? Are there slots in your day planner that you leave open for being victimized by criminals?

                  Nobody plans those things. Nobody expects to be the victim of a criminal. You never know if or when it will happen. So you take precautions. Just like insuring your house is a precaution. You don't walk into high crime areas, you don't give gang members the finger. None of this is a sign of cowardice.

                  Choosing to be able to defend yourself if attacked is just good sense. Having a weapon doesn't remove any options in the event you are attacked. But choosing ahead of time to be helpless certainly does remove options. You can choose to leave a gun in a holster and meekly submit to a mugger...but if the mugger decides he doesn't like leaving witnesses, and you never owned a gun, much less have one with you, what can you do? Run? People who make a living by physical violence tend to be physically fit. Fight? With your bare hands against a knife or gun? Not likely. Hide? How? Your attacker is right there looking at you.

                  In a world without guns, the strongest man is king. Anyone weaker than he is can obey him or die.

                   

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              minijedimaster (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:10am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

              I didn't realize there was a code of conduct that all home invaders followed stating they weren't allowed to invade someone else's home with a gun, they must attack with melee weapons only.

              Oh yeah, that's right, there isn't. All the baddies out there that will invade your property, steal your possessions and kill your family all have guns. Guns they appropriated through non-legal channels that gun control laws do nothing for. Yeah, cowards indeed. I'd call you trolls, but wouldn't want to insult the trolls that harshly.

               

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                DCX2, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:26am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                Gun control laws like registration and background checks will not stop non-legal distribution of guns, correct.

                Only gun control laws that totally ban weapons can have any effect on non-legal channels. When an item is banned, the supply of it goes way down because there are no legal manufacturers. When the supply is way down, it's much harder to appropriate illegal firearms.

                But banning firearms is pretty much out of the question because of how tightly people cling to their firearms.

                 

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                  Travis, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 12:26pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                  The entire "War on Drugs" shows that your argument is not just wrong, but completely asinine.

                   

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                    Bergman (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:42pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                    This. If a total ban made something difficult to get, nobody would be addicted to illegal drugs. Nobody would have ever heard of Al Capone either for that matter.

                    If you believe that making something completely illegal stopped it from happening, I must point out that murder is completely illegal. And people are murdered every day despite that.

                     

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 5:51pm

          Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

          Yea go to the Fuller park area of Chicago and call the gat toting thugs there cowards I dare ya.

           

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            Pamela Anderson, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

            I'd be scared of the gats, not the thugs. But cowards with guns are dangerous things.

             

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              Bergman (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:43pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

              Cowards without guns are even scarier. A coward with a gun might shoot you. A coward who is so afraid of guns he refuses to even own one is likely to try to stop other people who are not cowards from owning them either.

               

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          Mr. Applegate, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:31am

          Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

          There is no push for everyone to have a gun (at least not that I have seen). There is a push for everyone to have a "right to keep and bear arms" which is granted by the US constitution.

          I have owned weapons for more than 40 years and I have carried a weapon for more than 30. I can assure you that I am no coward, nor do I think I am about to be under siege! However, I have had two occasions to pull my carry weapon for self protection (though I have never had to fire it).

          You obviously know nothing about people at all, least of all the average gun owner. Yes, I carry a weapon for self protection. No, I am not 'in fear' nor am I a coward. Yes, carrying a weapon has probably saved me on at least two occasions. No, I have never pulled my weapon to threaten anyone who did not already threaten me.

          As the AC posted earlier:
          "Why don't you do all of us a favor and cite even one study that backs up this assertion.

          We'll wait.
          "

          Well, we are still waiting.

           

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          Bergman (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:18pm

          Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

          On the contrary. I don't own a gun because I am a coward. I own a gun because I am not an idiot, and I choose not to be afraid.

          Without a means to effectively defend myself, I would be at the mercy of anyone larger or stronger than I am, or who has the gun I lacked. Since I am not an idiot, if I were defenseless I would have no choice but to take precautions to make myself safe, or avoid any situation where I might be endangered. This would likely involve either hiding in my house or buying a gun. Anything else is stupidly foolish.

          You might as well say that people who have insurance are cowards. After all, a brave person would just do without medical care if they get hurt. It's not like they're planning to break a leg, right?

           

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        Mr. Applegate, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 6:00pm

        Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

        Really are you that dense? As a gun owner myself I would be extremely upset if my address were posted online.

        It is an open invitation to thieves. Want a gun? Just wait for everyone to leave at 12345 easy stolen handguns way,somewhere USA. Then break in and take all the guns and ammo you can carry.

        Publishing the information puts my family and my property at risk!

        A newspaper putting the information online is much different than the information being available at a courthouse.

        I would welcome them to break in while I am at home. I am pretty sure they wouldn't be leaving on foot.

         

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          gorehound (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 6:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

          Good for you Mr. Applegate.I would do the same thing and I would feel the same way you do if I owned a gun.
          That Newspaper has really crossed the line.It was wrong of them and in really bad taste to do what they have done.
          Watch this Paper go down rather quickly !

           

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          Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 8:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

          It is an open invitation to thieves. Want a gun? Just wait for everyone to leave at 12345 easy stolen handguns way,somewhere USA. Then break in and take all the guns and ammo you can carry.

          Publishing the information puts my family and my property at risk!


          I'm actually in favor of protecting people's privacy, which is why I want more limits on what private companies can collect about people.

          What I wanted to point out in this thread that if having a gun is a deterrent to crime, then letting people know you have a gun is supposed to be a deterrent as well. Therefore, you shouldn't be at risk.

          But I don't really buy the idea that having a gun makes you safer and I don't really believe everyone should have guns, so I can see why people who own guns are afraid that they are at risk if people know they have guns. Guns can attract risk rather than deter it.

           

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            varagix, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 9:59pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

            I think that argument is simplifying things a little bit. Having a gun does indeed deter most crime. A criminal who kicks in a door or window, grabs some valuables, and then leaves, isn't going to risk getting shot in order to get paid, especially if there's no guarantee what they find will be worth the risk of getting caught and possibly shot.

            Things get more complicated though when you take randomness and uncertainty out of the equation. A criminal who is looking for something specific, or knows for certain what they can get from a place and the risks involved, the likeliness of things change.

            A criminal looking for a handgun, and who knows X person has a handgun permit, and thus a handgun, is something very different from random criminals performing random crimes. Advertising this specific information is like advertising which homes have thousands of dollars in jewelry or electronics: it attracts criminals looking for guaranteed returns on their efforts.

            Though, even considering all that, -I- wouldn't have been so bothered by this kind of information getting out about me. But that's coming from someone who lives in rural Indiana, where it'd be more strange to not have a gun or three, let alone be judged by people for having one, like it seems these people in NY are experiencing.

             

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              Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 10:14pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

              A criminal looking for a handgun, and who knows X person has a handgun permit, and thus a handgun, is something very different from random criminals performing random crimes. Advertising this specific information is like advertising which homes have thousands of dollars in jewelry or electronics: it attracts criminals looking for guaranteed returns on their efforts.

              You can also find out who owns expensive cars. And you can gauge neighborhoods to guess what residents might have which is worth robbing. You can even look up how much people have paid for their homes, so you get a general idea of their incomes.

              I'm open to discussions about privacy (starting with putting significant limits on what companies can collect), but the idea that people with guns are now at greater risk of being robbed goes against what the gun industry has been telling people, which is that owning a gun increases your safety. Let's just say the portrayal of gun owners as victims goes totally against the image the gun industry has been trying to sell.

               

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                varagix, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 10:36pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                I honestly don't think the chances of many of these people getting robbed has gone up nearly as much as these people seem to think it has. There's a large number of factors that effect the likelihood of crimes in various areas. Then again, this is New York we're talking about...

                I can't disagree though that certain groups on both sides of the debate, not just the gun industry, often get hyperbolic when discussing gun ownership and gun control. I'm against gun control, but describing gun ownership as making you 'safer' without any qualifications on that statement is wrong.

                 

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                  Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 10:49pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                  I can't disagree though that certain groups on both sides of the debate, not just the gun industry, often get hyperbolic when discussing gun ownership and gun control. I'm against gun control, but describing gun ownership as making you 'safer' without any qualifications on that statement is wrong.

                  I think a big problem is that the gun industry's traditional market, hunters, has been declining, and other countries restrict gun ownership, so to keep up demand, they now try to sell more guns to US citizens for protection. That attracts a different gun owner than the ones who used to own guns primarily for hunting.

                   

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                    varagix, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 11:43pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                    I don't necessarily think that's true. A large percentage of sales are likely gun enthusiasts, people who like to go out and shoot guns for the sake of shooting guns.

                    And guns are effective tools for protection, and are often used for that very reason. But an unqualified statement that they make you safer is intellectually dishonest, as in the wrong hands, or when handled carelessly and recklessly, guns can be incredibly dangerous.

                    But the opposite side of the debate tends to be just as hyperbolic as the gun industry. I've seen people describe guns as doing things that realistically would take explosives to accomplish. The likelihood of being involved in a gun accident is extremely low, as is a mass shooting. And a vast majority of gun related crime takes place in dense urban centers, often in areas where there's embedded criminal culture and organized crime, and equal odds that it will involve criminals on both sides of the gun.

                    Both sides go to extremes to paint the issue as black and white; its not, and people shouldn't treat it that way.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:13am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                      Quote:
                      The likelihood of being involved in a gun accident is extremely low, as is a mass shooting.


                      Surely you are not talking about the US that has one of the biggest gun related accidents, homicides and suicides in the world.

                      America Is a Violent Country

                      In 2012 less than thousand gun fatal accidents occurred, but 12 thousand people killed each other with it.

                      Now we just need to compare gun ownership, with criminal activity and death rates in the maps to see how it all fits together.

                      Using GIS one can see that clearly.

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:DChomicides.jpg
                      http://www.raidsonline.com/
                      https:/ /en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_mapping

                       

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                        varagix, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 3:46am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                        Gun-related suicides isn't really a very useful statistic; US suicide rates are in line with other western countries. Availability of guns isn't going to change that. And the accident rate is a statistical 0. I believe the fatal firearms accident falls somewhere between "machinery related" and "pedal/cycle related" accidental deaths.

                        As for mass murders:
                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rampage_killers
                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of _rampage_killers:_School_massacres
                        Just a quick scan of wikipedia stats and entries show that mass murders are high profile, but very rare, occurances, and that they happen about as often in the Americas as they happen in Europe.

                        And I've seen that "America is a Violent Country" chart before. Yes we're violent, but our crime has been dropping drastically over the past 20 years, even as gun ownership has been increasing over the years. Also I don't believe any country, (save for Mexico, which was omitted from that chart) has the same history of organized crime that we do.

                        Heck, I believe most of all of the US cities with the highest crime and murder rates are famous to one degree or another -because- of its history of crime. Chicago is famous for prohibition era mobsters. LA for 80s drug lords. New York has been known for its criminal element going back to the 1800s.

                        Speaking of which, that raidsonline site is very interesting. You can practically map out city limits of many places based on the density of the crime listed in those areas. Seems to be kind of incomplete though. Either that, or places like Indianapolis have far lower crime rates than I gave them credit for. But its a good start for finding out where and why these sorts of things happen.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:56pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                          I don't believe that is accurate, 16 thousand suicides by gun alone(according to the CDC database) is a high number of people who chose to end their lifes, probably only behind Japan.

                          Mass murderers(which include other muders of more than 2 people) are also not that rare they jumped from 20 or so every year to 40 that is double the number, so the trend is up not down.

                          Quote:
                          Heck, I believe most of all of the US cities with the highest crime and murder rates are famous to one degree or another -because- of its history of crime. Chicago is famous for prohibition era mobsters. LA for 80s drug lords. New York has been known for its criminal element going back to the 1800s.


                          That is what the "America is a Violent Country" tries to say, violence in America is a cultural thing, Americans like to kill others to solve problems, and seems almost irresponsible to arm culturally aggressive people to enable the bloodshed to continue unabashed. Would you give a junkie a job at a pharm factory?

                           

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                            varagix, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:07pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate

                            The US has a suicide rate half that of Japan, as a whole. The US doesn't have any more of a suicide problem than the vast majority of other western countries.

                            And I'd like to see where you got your mass murder rates, during what periods they happened, and the exact definition of mass murder that report uses. And either way, even if that rate of mass murder is accurate, it's a statistical zero. A rate of 20 or 40 a year is 0.0065 or 0.013 per 100,000 people. You're more likely to be struck by lightning.

                            And gun control doesn't change that. 2010 the UK had a spree shooting where a man with a double barrel shotgun and a bolt action .22 killed 12+himself and injured 11 others. Police consider it the worst shooting since Dunblane. UK has some of the strictest gun control laws in the Western world. China has been having strings of mass murders with axes and knives and bans personal gun ownership outright. An intent to cause harm and the inability to prevent these actions from coming to pass are what allow these events to happen, not simple access to firearms.

                            And I don't think that's true at all. "Americans" generally aren't violent, as a whole. It's a small subset that are violent in the extreme. Your comparison to giving a junkie a job at a pharm factory would be an inaccurate comparison; it's be more accurate to say you feel that since one person in a neighborhood is a junkie, the whole city should be barred from working in a pharm factory.

                            And regulating legal access to guns in order to regulate crime, especially organized crime, is an exercise in futility. Guns are easy to make; they're a 300 year old concept with most current guns being based on 100 year old technology. Before the DC handgun ban was ruled unconstitutional, a fifth of all handguns seized in DC were handmade. In WWII the Sten sub-machinegun was developed and is so simple and robust that a person can make one out of easily acquirable supplies and basic tools that most garages and many basement workshops have available. Just to give a little perspective.

                            A 'war on guns' will be about as effective as the war on drugs: not at all and completely counter productive.

                             

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                              Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 8:40pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                              I will try to be short:

                              - Suicide rate: You are correct I was wrong.
                              - Mass murder(4 or more deaths in one incident): Figures can be compiled by plotting the data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and CDC deaths databases.

                              http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/homicide/homtrnd.cfm
                              http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats /deaths.htm

                              You can also find counter arguments to it on James Alan Fox blog.
                              Quote:

                              Top 10 myths about mass shootings

                              And

                              No increase in mass shootings

                              Apparently it is unfortunate coincidence that a lot of them happened after 2000.

                              - Gun control effectiveness and objectives:
                              Quote:
                              And gun control doesn't change that. 2010 the UK had a spree shooting where a man with a double barrel shotgun and a bolt action .22 killed 12+himself and injured 11 others.

                              You are correct it doesn't stop mass murderers that are effectively unstopable at the moment, but are also statistically irrelevant in your own words, what it stops is the other casual killings because of rage.

                              Threats over flatulence.
                              (northjsersey.com) Police: Teaneck man, 72, pointed gun at neighbor over flatulence (June 26, 2012)

                              Nothing happen there but it could easily end up the other way.

                              Quote:
                              A 73-year-old Troy man has been charged with attempted murder after authorities said he shot his neighbor in the face during an argument about barking dogs.

                              POLICE: Troy man shot neighbor in face during argument over barking dogs

                              - Americans are violent:
                              Have you ever lived in Norway, UK, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand or even Canada?
                              If you want to experiment, you could try tracking the number of bans in American forums and other places to see how often an aggressive behavior(harsh punishment) is used.
                              European managed websites in general have rules but don't seem to punish every infraction with the most harsh possible way they could find, American forums on the other hand, oh boy! the zero tolerance kool-aid is strong there, but this is anecdotal, derived from personal experience only.
                              Aggression numbers also can be seen in the number of homicides inside a country. Jamaica is probably the place to go if you want to get murdered but if you are looking for a developed country with safe streets, the US is not it since most developed countries have a rates of less than zero, while the US has 5 murders for every 100.000 people.

                              That obviously is not counting the number of attempt murders, assaults and other stuff, which would increase that dramatically, maybe it is time to start looking at those numbers to see what is and what is not.

                              But one could see total crimes although it may be a bit off since countries like Russia don't seem to even have a database for those things.

                              http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_tot_cri-crime-total-crimes

                              Also wikipedia has a good table there that shows the "count" or number of homicides which is better than ratios I believe.

                              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

                              The US is in an exclusive club of countries that have more than 10K homicides a year, Mexico and Brazil are in a league of their own with 20K+ and 40K+ respectively.

                               

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                        egghead (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:09am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                        Wait just a moment. I thought DC has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country; yet, you use their homicides as an example? Maybe you just couldn't find any other nice maps breaking down deaths by guns, but still. Doesn't that just go to show that gun control doesn't work? Make it illegal to carry a firearm in public and you literally guarantee that law-abiding citizens will not have protection from criminals in public. Even worse, put up a 'gun-free' sign and you've just advertised that there's minimal protection in that area.

                        Back on topic, it is quite telling that the publication hired armed security for their office. Why not a security force trained in hand-to-hand combat or equipped with tazers? Did this security carry high-powered assault rifles or did they simply have sidearms? I hate when people say that a simple handgun couldn't stop a madman with an assault rifle. It's like they believe the guns themselves fight it out instead of the people using the weapons. Also, most times, all it takes to stop the madman is a show of force (not even the firing of another weapon).

                         

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                      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 3:10am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                      I don't necessarily think that's true. A large percentage of sales are likely gun enthusiasts, people who like to go out and shoot guns for the sake of shooting guns.

                      True, but I was thinking of those who buy handguns to carry as concealed weapons.

                       

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                    Mr. Applegate, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:13am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                    While I am fairly certain your assertion that the hunting market is in decline is probably true (none of my nephews have an interest in hunting or fishing at all, despite their father (and uncles) being an avid hunter and fisherman.

                    Younger folks are certainly attracted to guns. Again, my nephews like to go out and shoot targets... they just don't want to kill a deer or rabbit. (Actually I think it's the dressing of the animals they don't like).

                    Certainly protection is a valid reason to own a weapon, though I have to admit that I don't see many ads promoting the purchase of weapons in print or over the air (gun magazines are probably the exception here). My point is, that guns aren't promoted like say alcohol or even condoms.

                    Guns are promoted, outside enthusiast magazines, mostly through games, which I don't think are done by the gun industry. So I don't really think the gun industry is putting a lot of advertising behind the protection aspect. Now if you walk into a gun shop and say you want a weapon for personal protection you most certainly will be shown a variety of weapons for the task at hand. However, guns are not promoted to the general public like liquor, food, drugs, or even condoms.

                    I believe younger people are attracted to guns because they are a symbol of power and control. Certainly, that was enticing to me at 8 years old and that was a VERY long time ago. I believe that is what my nephews are attracted to as well, though I certainly don't think any of them would ever point a weapon at another person, they have been properly trained and supervised for years..

                     

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                      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 10:52am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                      What I have been responding to have been the suggestions by some gun advocates after Sandy Hook that teachers in classrooms have loaded guns and that if more citizens in general carry guns, we'd all be safer. I have Facebook friends who are maintaining that.

                      So when people complain that they are now at more risk because it has been published that they have guns, that doesn't mesh with the above arguments.

                       

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                        Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 11:17am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                        I know that there are responsible gun owners.

                        But I have far right friends who toss out the "if everyone had guns thinking" to me all the time. Those of you here who have rational reasons for having and carrying a gun, fine. I'm not trying to change your approach.

                        But when I have friends telling me how safe guns make them and would make others, I know there are people out there who think like that. So I think, "If more guns make more people safe, how is letting people know you have a gun a problem?"

                        Again, I am very concerned about how companies like Google and Facebook are collecting and using info about us. So if you want to talk to me about privacy, I'm open to it. But if you want to talk to me about encouraging more citizens to get guns (as some of my friends are doing), I'm skeptical that it would make our country more safe.

                         

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                          Bergman (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:53pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                          Everyone has fists too. You don't need to be highly trained in hand to hand combat to kill someone with a single punch.

                          Every now and then children kill other children with a single punch.

                          And yet...with everyone armed 24/7/365 with a weapon that is perfectly adequate for killing their fellow human beings, it's not Fight Club in the streets, nor do the gutters run red with blood. If everybody had guns, the results would likely be similar.

                           

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                        nasch (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 11:19am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                        I think the argument is that it would be best if lots of people had guns, but nobody knew which people have guns and which people don't. I'm not sure I buy it, but it doesn't conflict with complaining about gun ownership disclosure.

                         

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                          Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 11:36am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                          I think the argument is that it would be best if lots of people had guns, but nobody knew which people have guns and which people don't. I'm not sure I buy it, but it doesn't conflict with complaining about gun ownership disclosure.

                          Yes, I have wondered if the illusion of having lots of gun owners is sufficient rather than actually arming lots of people. I'm not sure I buy the idea that it would work, but I would rather have lots of people faking that they have guns rather than actually having guns. A fake gun can't hurt anyone, so I am not at risk of someone hitting me with one.

                          I'd also rather go the other way and have everyone who has a gun be very visible about having them. If you carry a gun, I'd like to keep an eye on it. If people treated guns like cars, maybe we'd have a bit more control over how they are used.

                          I've lived in western towns where everyone has a rifle rack in the back of their pickups and rifles mounted in them. You know that they view those rifles as tools.

                           

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                            Mr. Applegate, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 12:51pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                            In a perfect world, sure if everyone carried guns (or a vast majority did) it would be a great deterrent, especially if they were concealed.

                            Guess what, this is not a perfect world, and while I believe there are a lot of level headed people out there that could carry a gun and 'improve safety', I think the reality is there are also a lot of people that are short tempered and hot headed who would make the problem worse.

                            Sure if there had been someone, with the right mentality, that was armed at the school many deaths could have been prevented. However, there are no guarantees and things could have turned out the same or worse anyway.

                            My point is not that everyone should carry a weapon. My point is trying to go after guns will do little to address the problem. Sure it is the easy thing to do, but what were the real failures?

                            I imagine after all the investigation is done, much like Columbine, there will be many failures that had nothing to do directly with guns. There will be things that parents, teachers, therapists... should have noticed, but either didn't or they misread the threat or they didn't want to ruin a young boys life or???

                            If we as a country are really interested in stopping violence then we need to treat the disease (mental health, drugs, anger, lack of education...) not the symptom (the gun). Look at Timothy McVeigh, his attack on the Federal Building in Oklahoma City "killed 168 people, including 19 children in the day care center on the second floor, and injured 450 others" and he never fired a shot. Clearly, the problem is not guns. The problem is society is failing to address mental health, and other such issues.

                            Yes, a gun is a tool. It can be used for good or evil. That is really no different than anything else. But funny thing about tools, if you remove one, another will soon be found to replace it.

                            Privacy is a different issue, and I feel VERY strongly about privacy, that is why I don't have a Facebook page, am very careful about what I email...

                            There is a big difference between it being a matter of public record that I carry a weapon and putting up an interactive map that says "Go here to find guns and ammo".

                             

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                              nasch (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:22pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                              Sure if there had been someone, with the right mentality, that was armed at the school many deaths could have been prevented.

                              Not just the right mentality, but also the right training.

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:50pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                                That will be difficult, since a) schools already have armed police officers in many of them and b) just look at the TSA program or any other government program for that matter c) where the funds will come to train and maintain this security force?

                                 

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                                  varagix, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 10:00am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                                  I don't think they meant armed security. I believe that at least Mr Applegate was refering to CCW permit holders as teachers and administration. And training for a CCW permit (assuming your state requires such training) isn't an especially expensive or time consuming process. It consists mostly of gun safety, some mild marksmanship training, and threat assessment. I've even heard of CCW instructors who waive their fees for school personnel in some areas.

                                   

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                    Pamela Anderson, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:59am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                    This is absolutely true. The natural market for the gun industry is declining dramatically. That's not to say that there isn't a valid market, but it's way smaller than the current industry output.

                    So they tell people they need guns for defense against criminals even though most crime doesn't involve guns. Those guns get stolen, resulting in a massive black market. So now criminals do have guns. So people buy guns to protect themselves.

                    Self defeating, unless you're the gun industry.

                    To all those people who habitually carry firearms - would you still carry them if you didn't believe you had to? Would you carry them for the sake of carrying them?

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:51am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                      "So they tell people they need guns for defense against criminals even though most crime doesn't involve guns."

                      I do not see any great push by the gun industry as a whole to tell you you need a weapon for self protection. Please cite valid research to back up your claim. For the most part the 'gun industry' targets gun enthusiasts, it doesn't market guns to the general public, like say alcohol, drugs or even condoms are.


                      "To all those people who habitually carry firearms - would you still carry them if you didn't believe you had to? Would you carry them for the sake of carrying them?"

                      I don't believe I 'have to'. But as stated elsewhere due to a previous job and after carrying a weapon for more than 30 years I have had two occasions to pull my carry weapon for personal protection.

                      So the answer to your question is: I don't believe I 'have' to carry a gun. I most certainly will carry a gun, just like I carry a wallet, cash, knife, keys... I have carried for more than 30 years, it is just like a comfortable pair of jeans. I feel odd if I don't have it. No, I don't expect I will need it, and I don't carry it with one hand on the trigger at all times. But I am prepared and it has saved me on at least two occasions over the years.

                       

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                        Donglebert the Needlessly Obtuse, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 10:35am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                        And yet after the recent shootings gun campaigners were stating on national media that if more people were carrying guns then people would be safer. And there are a multitude of similar statements over the years.

                        I'm not saying that guns should never be carried. There are of course instances where being armed would be a sensible precaution to take. I would say that the massive ownership of firearms in the US inherently makes it more likely that guns will be used. As more people purchase firearms to defend themselves, the instances of those weapons being used incorrectly will also increase.

                        Using your own instance, you say you have carried a gun for 30 years and only drawn it twice. (I'm in no way forming an opinion of whether you personally should carry a gun here, btw.) But what if the gun ownership levels where you work were 1 tenth of what they currently are and always had been, would you have been likely to start carrying your gun in the first place? And wouldn't a can of mace and a personal alarm be just as effective at deterring attackers in many instances?

                        It's just that the rest of the modern world is looking at the US and they can't get their head around why they need so many guns. The constitution argument can be thrown up all over the place, but the 2nd Amendment as it was written is clearly a product of its time, and that still doesn't answer why are they needed. Fine, people have a right to carry arms (though only some arms, most are banned). But why do they feel they need to? It's a mystery.

                         

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                      Bergman (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 2:02pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                      You have a logical flaw to your argument.

                      If a large young man attacks and elderly man or a small woman with any weapon other than a gun, or even with his bare hands, and his victim does not have a gun either, the odds heavily favor the young man. Guns are the only weapon where physical fitness and size are irrelevant.

                      With a gun, a 100lb woman in a wheelchair is exactly as dangerous as the 280lb man who is expert in mixed martial arts and bodybuilding. Without guns, that bodybuilder will win every fight with that woman.

                      Only a complete idiot wants a fair fight when they are the victim of a mugging or rape. You don't carry a gun to defend against the criminals who also have guns, you carry a gun because it's the most effective self-defense tool, period.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:34pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                        Pepper spray and tasers work great in that situation, you don't need lethal weapons.

                        Further with technology one could have a panic button that would braodcast the location of that person to the police.

                         

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                          btrussell (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:26pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                          Because when seconds count, the police are only minutes away, at best.

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:47pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                            That is what pepper spray and tasers are for to give you an exit.

                             

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                              btrussell (profile), Jan 5th, 2013 @ 2:55am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                              I don't think either are legal to carry in Canada nor or they effective against a gun.

                              At best, I had said. This is a big country. Not everyone lives in Toronto.

                               

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                        Pamela Anderson, Jan 7th, 2013 @ 6:13am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                        Firstly, how many of the people arguing for unregulated gun ownership (damn the constitution and all its "well regulated" words), are fit and healthy white men living in upper working class and above neighborhoods? I'd suggest that the number is disproportionately high. If it were lots of old ladies demanding access to guns, and that they all had the awareness, speed, and strength to draw their weapons and fire accurately if needed, then you might have an argument.

                        Secondly, I'd point out that repeated research has shown that people carrying guns are more likely to be shot that those who aren't. An example is seen here.

                         

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:29am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

              If guns deter crimes than you should be safer if everyone knows you own a gun.

              But that is not what happens is it, you own a gun, the other guy start owning a gun and doing it in larger groups, one guy with one gun will not confront 10 guys armed unless he is suicidal.

               

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                Bergman (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 2:05pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                So one guy with a gun has a problem if ten guys come after him with guns? So what? He's just as screwed if those 10 guys comes after him without guns being involved at all.

                Without a gun, whoever is strongest is king. With guns, nobody is strongest. Equality rules.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:22pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                  "He's got a sword!"
                  "You idiot! We've ALL got swords!"

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 8:01pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

                  Common misconception, with guns the stronger is still king, the stronger is the one with great numbers.

                  Situations where guns means squat:

                  - If a mob is after you.
                  - If there are more guns pointed at you than you can point at them.
                  - If you are taken by surprise.
                  - If you get close enough to somebody who knows how to disarm you.

                  Here is a cool video:

                  Youtube: Systema Russian Martial Art M Ryabko knife disarming Toronto 2000

                   

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            Mr. Applegate, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 3:19am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

            Well I have been carrying a handgun for more than 30 years, and due to jobs I have had in the past I was often in less than savory neighborhoods at the wrong times. I was introduced to weapons at around 8 years old. I was taught gun safety and supervised until about 14 when I got my first shotgun for Christmas.

            I have had two occasions where carrying a gun kept me from being robbed, and in one of those situations I had a knife pulled on me, and it was three on one. So, for me at least, carrying a weapon prevented two robberies and probably preserved my health in one of those incidents.

            Now I am not advocating everyone carry a firearm, certainly not everyone has the right temperament to carry a weapon. However, for those who do have the right temperament, those who practice to keep their skills up, or who have had other training in firearms, carrying a weapon can certainly be a deterrent to crime.

            Thieves are opportunists, they look for the easy mark, the person they believe has something of value, but won't put up too much of a fight, or at least that they will be able to overpower.

            I have seen a few news stories recently where gas stations had robbery attempts and the clerk either had a weapon and shot the offender, or simply attacked the offender rather than just handing over the money.

            Some would say that is stupid, and it certainly is not the least risky choice, but many robberies have shown, just because your passive and do what you are told doesn't mean you will live or not be hurt.

            Bottom line is I STRONGLY disagree with your assertion that having guns attracts violence. That is like saying owning a car causes accidents. No, it really doesn't, the person driving the car is the real risk. The same is true with weapons.

            I am wondering how many people you know that carry weapons, probably a lot more than you think. Certainly most of the people I work with or am social with have no idea that I am carrying two handguns. It is not something I advertise, and it shouldn't be advertised.

             

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            John Doe, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

            What I wanted to point out in this thread that if having a gun is a deterrent to crime, then letting people know you have a gun is supposed to be a deterrent as well. Therefore, you shouldn't be at risk.

             

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            Bergman (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

            If carrying a gun didn't make you safer, police wouldn't carry them, they'd just rely on their body armor.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:40am

          Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

          So does you shopping anywhere as credit checks can be done by any business anywhere these days and those checks are full of useful data for thieves, also if you own a phone you are listed, if you used medical services you are listed somewhere, there are dozens if not hundreds of public available ways to get that information, you just didn't realize it yet how exposed you are today.

           

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          nasch (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:39am

          Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

          A newspaper putting the information online is much different than the information being available at a courthouse.

          If it's available at the courthouse a thief can get it too. Or you're saying you don't mind if the smart thieves know you have a gun as long as the stupid or lazy ones don't?

           

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          Calvin (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 3:14pm

          Re: Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

          I live in the UK so I'm not used to the idea of my neighbours having guns.

          However if I were a criminal and fond of keeping my skin whole, I'd take a look at the published map and go rob a house where there weren't any guns registered.

           

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        JEDIDIAH, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:16am

        Re: Re: But I thought the push was for everyone to have a gun

        No. It's better to force criminals to play Russian roulette.

        You know people in a particular area could be well armed but you don't know who. You could be taking your life in your hands by just stepping on someone's lawn.

        THAT is a good thing.

        Conversely, knowing who all of the easy targets are is a bad thing. It's bad for the people that you now know are less able to defend themselves.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 4:33pm

    I thought you were all for free speech, and hated censorship in all it's forms..

    after all, they are not taking anything physical off these people, is this just like copyright, if you take / steel a song, you are not taking anything physical off them, so no harm done.

    Don't you play the "name and shame" game all the time masnick, I have seen you post many articles where you list a bunch of people who did or did not do something !!!

    Is this the new double standards for you Masnick ?

    Ahh, I See, it's ok for you to do that kind of thing, but you also like the fact that when you feel it's ok that Governments will seek to censor people and 'hide' this information.

    Which after all, SHOULD be made available, who owns a gun in your street is important information, it's free speech.

    So have you always been two faced Mr Masnick ?

    Are the people who own guns feeling shame, are they ashamed that they own guns, and if not, WHY are they worried if their names are made public ?

    Why are you supporting Government censorship Masnick..
    I thought you put yourself up as the champion of the world when it comes to these issues..

    Seems that is not true, you are only a champion when YOU are affected, any other time you simply don't care..

    I thought you had ideals, I thought you wanted to use this web page to promote and support those ideals.

    So why have you switched camps ?

    So now your on the other side, you've changed sides (I guess you'll change back soon)..

    It's not a good look Masnick.

    It's sickening that you will accept or reject Government censorship, and sell out your ideals when it suits you....

    oh well at least your readers (and rabid fanbois) have short memories.

    They will forget, but most will remember the real reasons why your here, to server yourself..

    But at least we know you have no real goals, no ambition, or solid attitudes to issues..

    But if you can sell a few more T-shirts and crystal balls, selling out to your fans is all worth it..

     

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      Chris Brand (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 4:41pm

      Re:

      From the article - "Allowing government agencies to reject FOIA requests because they don't like how the information is being used or are worried about public response is a big step in a very wrong direction".

      Of course that was towards the end. Perhaps you didn't get all the way down there before writing this comment ?

       

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      cm6029 (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 5:05pm

      Re:

      I don't know, but my take on Mr. Masnick is the opposite. I get the distinct impression that when all is said and done, he is still siding with the FOIA and the right of the newspaper to publish that data.

      I personally disagree with him on that point, so my complaint is the opposite of yours. I have no issue with the FOIA, but I do have an issue with irresponsible use of said data. I believe the Journal's act was simply to get publicity and to sell papers.

      Having lived in NYC for many years, I know how difficult it is to get a CCW. I my current home state, it was not that difficult, and I am a proud, law-abiding gun owner, and a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment.

      I was also pained by the tragic event in CT, and am disgusted that someone could do something so horrible. However, that has not changed my mind about the 2nd amendment, nor have I even given a thought to giving up my guns.

      I feel that the Journal's attempt to vilify law abiding gun owners was completely pointless, and was designed to play to the fear that many Americans now have about guns. The fact that they are completely ignoring is that someone pulled the trigger. Had the perpetrator of the act in CT used a baseball bat or an axe, I doubt the Journal would have created a map of all homes where baseball bats or axes are owned, because that wouldn't sell ink-stained paper.

       

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        Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 5:49pm

        Re: Re:

        I don't know, but my take on Mr. Masnick is the opposite. I get the distinct impression that when all is said and done, he is still siding with the FOIA and the right of the newspaper to publish that data.

        I personally disagree with him on that point, so my complaint is the opposite of yours. I have no issue with the FOIA, but I do have an issue with irresponsible use of said data. I believe the Journal's act was simply to get publicity and to sell papers.


        I disagree with how the information was used and how the paper chose to frame its info dump, but like it or not, it was well within its rights. The danger I see is that the paper's actions will result in greater stifling of information at the hands of the government, above and beyond any damage it caused to the reputation/safety of gun owners by posting the information.

        Despite how I feel about the paper's actions, the last thing I want to see is it being pointed to as an example of "too much freedom" by politicians with the power to restrict information that should be publicly available. The newspaper was well within its rights to publish the date. Being "within your rights" is very definitely not the same thing as "being right," as the Journal News actions have proven.

         

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          cm6029 (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 8:41pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, i don't think FOIA should be changed. But i do think there is a duty of responsibility that media (the Journal) needs to exercise in its actions. I don't believe that this was a case where they correctly handled their responsibility. But that's fine because I vote with my feet (and my wallet). I generally don't read or buy newspapers. They've lost my eyeballs a while ago. And that goes for the rest of the lame stream media as well. If they all imploded tomorrow, it would be months before I would notice.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 12:46am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Indeed. Information, with rare exceptions, is neutral. The use (or misuse) of that information is the problem. In this case, the government has it right, IMO, but for the wrong reasons. Which is quite probably weorse than having it wrong for the right reasons.

           

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          Ninja (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 3:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That. Information should be free.

          I think it's more like an ethics discussion here. It was not ethical of the newspaper to publish the information. In my own opinion. They deserved the backlash (not the threats though).

           

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        JEDIDIAH, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:23am

        Another aspect of copyright run amok

        We have an apparent confusion here. It's much like the problem with copyright. Every scrap of information is treated like a Hollywood blockbuster when most information is nothing like that. We have lost the notion of "private papers".

        When every worthless scrap of paper has a default copyright on it, the concept of "private papers" disappears.

        Some data should remain private. Data about me kept by corporations should not be shared or sold. The same should be true of governments.

        We are clearly missing some data privacy laws here.

        Not everything is a summer blockbuster and should not be treated as such.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 5:09pm

      Re:

      Mike did not write this article. Tim did. If you can't even figure out who wrote the piece, your credibility is zero.

      Have a happy day!

       

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      Nigel (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 5:10pm

      Re:

      Learn to read bro....

      "The Journal News was well within its rights to post the information, no matter how irresponsible its use of the information was.

      Unfortunately, the many people who opposed the Journal News' actions (which includes people on both sides of the gun control debate) have been vocal enough that government agencies are beginning to arbitrarily withhold requested information, stating a sudden (and unlikely) concern for protecting the privacy of gun owners -- whose permits are a matter of public record."


      Not entirely sure where I stand on this per say but, I do however stand by the notion that transparency is as transparency does.

      More good than harm comes from transparency and truth. Don't want folks to know you own a gun? Don't fucking buy one.

      This information is public record. Don't get yer panties in a wad because some geek knows how to drop a spread sheet into Google maps.

      Nigel

       

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        Mr. Applegate, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 7:44pm

        Re: Re:

        "Don't want folks to know you own a gun? Don't fucking buy one."

        Well the first problem with your 'logic' is that if I don't purchase a firearm I won't own one will I?

        However, what you have really said is "If you don't want your name and address published, please feel free to by a weapon off the street and unregistered."

        That will help secure hand guns and ensure that only responsible people own weapons. Well, maybe not!

        Then of course the other side of it is that by publishing the name and address information of legitimate gun owners you tell the thieves where to find a cache of weapons and ammo. Thus allowing those who do not complete background checks (and even training in many states) to obtain weapons that will almost certainly end up being used for crime.

        Brilliant idea you have there.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:51am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Quote:
          A search once in the member's area can provide you with the registered owner's name, phone number and address. Plus you'll get the car's make, model, year, vehicle identification number (VIN) and tag expiration date.

          In addition, by knowing a person's name, you can retrieve such records as criminal records, court records, bankruptcies, unlisted phone numbers, sex offender records, arrests, and much, much more


          http://free-license-plate-search.org/37/

          If your worry is about what databases can show about yourself, well, you will find it hard to hide anything about yourself online or otherwise from anyone, the guns owner database is the least of your concerns.

           

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            Mr. Applegate, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 12:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            OK, and there is a huge difference between someone having to go to the courthouse and look up my 'public' records and posting that information for entire counties on the internet with an interactive map that says "Guns and Ammo here"

            I am acutely aware of the dangers of online databases (My job deals with them all the time). That really isn't the point here. The point is the abusive use of the information, not that the information existed.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:40pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              What court order?

              Any pawnshop or bar owner can have your entire life record in seconds.

              You can find out the address of anybody just by looking up the Yellow Pages.

              License plates can be found online and so many other things.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:19pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Well, you can find out the addresses of BUSINESSES, which is what the Yellow Pages lists. Residential listings are in the White Pages. Now, if you know the name of the business owner, you can cross-refernce the two.

                 

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                Mr. Applegate, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 1:01pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                No where did I say anything about a Court Order.

                A bar owner and in fact a Pawnshop owner can really only pull from the BMV and Criminal records in my state.

                I challenge you to find my address (or phone number) anywhere in the phone book. Go back as far as you like, I'll wait here.

                Yes, I am very well aware license plates, and many other things can be found on-line. The point is there is a huge difference between someone logging in and looking up my information (presumable because they have my name) and all my information being published on an interactive map without any way to know who looked it up and all done without my permission.

                 

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      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 5:38pm

      Re:

      General rantiness: 8/10
      Reading comprehension: -2/10 (2 points deducted for getting post author's name wrong.)
      Period/ellipsis usage: 4.0848583e+17/10

      Notes: While AC's enthusiasm for discussion is to be admired, his grasp of the subject matter and, indeed, other minor but important details, needs improvement.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 4:37pm

    "I'm proud to stand with Putnam County and proud that Putnam won't be releasing its pistol permit records."

    That statement really bothers me. A state senator proudly standing by as a FOIA request is denied. I'm sure many can rally around him because gun control is polarizing, but a state senator should be forcing compliance with laws.

    Sure, this time it's holding back a list of private gun owners, but next time it could be info on surveillance drones or which members of the UN Hillary Clinton wants investigated.

     

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      William, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 4:45pm

      Re:

      The paper is clearly using the information to instigate hate crimes. There's no question that is their purpose and as such they should have the right to refuse it.

       

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        Michael, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 8:03pm

        Re: Re:

        But they are gun owners and that makes them safe from crime. The NRA told me so.

         

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        nospacesorspecialcharacters (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:36am

        Re: The paper is clearly using the information to instigate hate crimes.

        Perhaps the gun-owners should hire some gun-owners to protect them then?

         

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        The Real Michael, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:46am

        Re: Re:

        The hypocrisy is that the paper just hired armed guards to protect themselves, all the while villanizing citizens just for exercising their 2nd Amendment rights, all because of one person's criminal actions. They're exploiting a tragedy to push an agenda.

         

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        nasch (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:42am

        Re: Re:

        The paper is clearly using the information to instigate hate crimes. There's no question that is their purpose and as such they should have the right to refuse it.

        Where do you get that? I just read the article and I have no idea where you got anything about hate crimes. Did you notice the part where the reporter who wrote it owns a pistol?

         

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        Cynyr (profile), Jan 5th, 2013 @ 9:39am

        Re: Re:

        really hate crimes? The info is legally required to be public in putnam county, I'm not sure how it can be used for anything at all as anyone that wanted it could have gotten it themselves.

        If the gun owners don't like having thier permit part of the public record, then they can move somewhere that keeps that info private. Or not get a gun permit.

         

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    Mike Brown (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 4:44pm

    " if you take / steel a song, you are not taking anything physical off them, so no harm done."

    Except you are taking something from them: their privacy, and quite possibly their safety.

    The rest of your rant is just crazy-talk. Maybe in the interest of the safety of your neighbors, Mike should publish your email/IP address.

     

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    Reality Check, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 4:58pm

    Personally, I'd love it if all the 'armed guards' refused to be armed or guard these people who took a strong stance against guns.

    No matter which side of the gun control issue you fall on, you have to recognize these people are huge hypocrites for hiding behind guns while calling out others for owning them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 5:29pm

    the Journal News has now hired armed security guards to protect its business and employees.

    Security Guards armed with the exact same "Assault Weapons Of War" that the Journal News is against.

    The so called "threats" according to the local police are not actionable under the law.

     

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    Coises (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 5:30pm

    Congratulations!

    Congratulations, Lower Hudson Valley Journal News!

    You just staged a clear demonstration of why some people (e.g., the state of Arizona) believe there should be no registration requirement to own or carry a gun.

     

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      Niall (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:08am

      Re: Congratulations!

      Why not throw your driving licence away as well? After all, someone might publish your name as a registered car driver...

      Oh Noes! They'll steal my car!!!!11!

       

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        Mr. Applegate, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:38am

        Re: Re: Congratulations!

        Well good morning Niall.

        I hate to burst your little bubble, but thousands of cars are stolen every day. If they could be hidden in a pocket and carried with you or stored in your little 5th story NYC apartment that might not be true, but alas they can't.

        On the other hand, telling thieves where they can find something they would otherwise not know about, that is far more valuable to them than a stolen car, does make my home, and my family a target.

        Please let us all know when you would like to come join us at the grown up table and have a real discussion.

         

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          Niall (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:15am

          Re: Re: Re: Congratulations!

          Well, you'd better not use a computer at home then, or a mobile phone, or thieves will know you have valuable electronic equipment!

          Sorry, that is a pathetic argument. We can debate all we like about whether or not you deserve privacy on anything you own - but claiming that your gun shouldn't be registered just because someone might FOIA you is ridiculous. Guns should be licensed/registered (even if the info is only available to law enforcement). But then, I don't buy into the gun 'religion' any more than the average Republican buys into Islam.

           

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            Mr. Applegate, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:08am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Congratulations!

            Once again you have sidestepped the point.

            "Well, you'd better not use a computer at home then, or a mobile phone, or thieves will know you have valuable electronic equipment!"

            The point is a gun and ammo is much more valued by thieves than a computer, or a car, or a mobile phone! Therefore the information about who might have them is also more valued.

            "but claiming that your gun shouldn't be registered just because someone might FOIA you "

            No one ever claimed that. What was said is if you aren't going to protect the information then you will encourage people not to register their weapons. Don't be so obtuse.

            I am afraid yours is the pathetic argument. "I don't buy into the gun 'religion' any more than the average Republican buys into Islam"

            There is a statement that says it all, you have zero interest in facts and truth. you just want to believe whatever you do regardless of any facts. Welcome Mr. Zealot.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:24am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Congratulations!

              No respect for someone resorting so much to ad hom. It weakens your points significantly.

               

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              Niall (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 8:42am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Congratulations!

              Naah, I'm no zealot, I'm just an 'enlightened' member of the rest of the West, i.e. someone who doesn't feel so insecure (or murderous) as to need to have guns. :)

              I do feel strongly that the NRA is at least partly responsible for recent bad events. Why is only the US subject to this amount of killing? But hey-ho, it's your kids and your 'freedoms'...

               

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                Mr. Applegate, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:39am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Congratulations!

                "Why is only the US subject to this amount of killing? "

                Really!?! Well here is a little more 'enlightenment' for you.

                If you count all gun violence against 75 countries we are like number 10. However, more than half are suicides, so if you look at only homicide rates we are more like 15th. So it is not "only the US".
                Source:
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

                The reasons for violence in America have a lot more to do with society than with guns. Kids are not properly raised or schooled, and society turns a blind eye to problems in the mental health arena, gangs, drug use...

                Look at Timothy McVeigh his attack on the Federal Building in Oklahoma City "killed 168 people, including 19 children in the day care center on the second floor, and injured 450 others" and he never fired a shot.

                If you want to solve the problems of violence the US you aren't going to do it with gun control, there needs to be a change in society, in the way we find, report and treat the mentally ill. In what we accept as reasonable actions from people, but the most important problem to solve is probably the drug problem, as that results in a lot of violent crimes simply to support the habit, and by gangs over turf...

                Guns are only a symptom of a much larger and more invasive set of problems. Only when we solve those problems will America be less violent.

                The NRA is no more responsible for resent events than I am. Society is responsible. Society failed to properly identify and treat, restrain... the threat that was the cause of the latest shooting. The problem is there are very few that will admit that, because it is much easier to vilify gun owners and the NRA than it is to look at the real issues and problems and what it would take to solve them. That would take real work and be hard, much easier to go on a witch hunt and vilify guns and their owners.

                That, incidentally, is a problem with most Americans, they are always looking for the easy out, the path of least work. Doesn't matter if it is right or wrong, just so it look like we have done something, that is all that matters.

                 

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          Bergman (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 2:12pm

          Re: Re: Re: Congratulations!

          I wonder...

          If it comes to light that a school shooting or other mass murder spree was made possible because the shooter learned where to get guns from thanks to a newspaper article...

          ...is that paper liable?

           

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        JEDIDIAH, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:30am

        Re: Re: Congratulations!

        My drivers license contains information that can facilitate identity theft.

        I certainly hope that no newspaper is stupid enough to start publishing such information.

        Once again, the concept of "private papers" is completely lost in the modern reflex to treat every worthless scrap of paper as something that requires copyright protection.

         

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    vegetaman (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 7:29pm

    Perhaps you remember when the Associated Press attempted to get this information on Illinois FOID card owners? Well, the state AG said they had to be turned over, and the ISP said "no", and they passed a law that kept this information private (law enforcement and such agencies only).

    In my personal view, Illinois actually got that one right -- it's information that does not need to be public.

     

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    aerilus, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 7:29pm

    "stating a sudden (and unlikely) concern for protecting the privacy of gun owners -- whose permits are a matter of public record."

    "stating a sudden (and unlikely) concern for protecting the privacy of gun owners -- whose permits are a matter of public record."

    I disagree with this sentiment. having to register a firearm is a compromise to the second amendment of the constitution one I and even the NRA agree with but just because the government is requiring you to register a firearm so that it can then better keep the peace, does not make this information public. this act would be like the paper being able to request and get all the social security numbers or sexual orientation of every citizen then publish it. foia request are to facilitate government transparency not to violate the privacy of citizens. this type of information should only be available with a warrant or subpena just like everything else in the ever shrinking domain of what is considered private. the government is not entitled to privacy its citizens are!

     

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      nasch (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:44am

      Re:

      just because the government is requiring you to register a firearm so that it can then better keep the peace, does not make this information public.

      Right. It's the fact that law says it's public that makes it public.

       

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    Gumnos (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 7:43pm

    Adjectives vs. adverbs? :-)


    The filing runs only two pages but is loaded with adjectives.
    The two-page, bare-bones Summons With Notice accuses the newspaper of "falsely, maliciously, recklessly, slanderously, libelously and irresponsibly publicly stating in the interactive website www.lohud.com that plaintiff First Impression LLC is a licensed handgun owner."



    I presume you're talking about the surfeit of adverbs?

     

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    kenichi tanaka, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 9:40pm

    Just wait. I suspect that advertisers will be dumping that piece of shit of a news media organization. While the Journal News had a legal right to ask for that information, they did cross a moral and ethical line by "publishing" that information. That is where they crossed the line.

    The moment they publicly provided that information, they ceased being journalists and crossed the line ...

    This is also going to result in an increased crime wave in new York City as criminals start targeting these gun owners and breaking into their homes while they are not there. It will also result in an increased murder rate.

    These gun owners were not criminal and this was nothing more than a political statement designed by the owners and editors of this newspaper to "shame" them and embarrass them.

     

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      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 9:52pm

      Re:

      This is also going to result in an increased crime wave in new York City as criminals start targeting these gun owners and breaking into their homes while they are not there. It will also result in an increased murder rate.

      But this goes against one of the reasons people are encouraged to get guns -- that they are safer with them.

      The gun industry has not been telling people to get guns and keep them a secret so they won't get stolen.

      If your house is at risk of being broken into because you own a gun, what does that say about the risks of owning guns?

       

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        Mr. Applegate, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:28am

        Re: Re:

        Suzanne,

        I think you are missing the point. I am, indeed, safer carrying my weapon, as I have stated elsewhere. However, when you publish my name and address, and the fact that I am a gun owner, you are putting my family at risk, and you are also sending an invitation to criminals, want guns, look here.

        They won't break in while I am at home, they will wait till the house is empty, then they will break in and steal all the guns and ammo they can carry. Of course that won't be used against me, it will be used against others who more than like do not carry firearms.

        If you are at risk of having an accident because you own a car, what does that say about owning cars? Does it mean cars are dangerous and should be banned?

        Believe me you are much more apt to die in a car crash than even be involved in a gun related robbery. So should we ban all cars? Perhaps we should ban public transportation too?

        I carry a concealed weapon because if I don't conceal it I am breaking the law. If it weren't against the law my weapon would be holstered just like a police officer's weapon, for all to see. I have nothing to hide, but I do want to protect my family and my property.

         

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          The Real Michael, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:56am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I carry a concealed weapon because if I don't conceal it I am breaking the law. If it weren't against the law my weapon would be holstered just like a police officer's weapon, for all to see. I have nothing to hide, but I do want to protect my family and my property."

          Too bad the entire public doesn't always carry. Law enforcement would have a much harder time bullying the public, especially in a situation where they're (literally) surrounded by guns and everyone is looking out for one another.

          Imagine two cops try to stop someone on the streets for one of those Constitution-violating stop-and-frisks but he refuses, so the cops start to threaten him. Suddenly, they find themselves surrounded by at least a dozen armed citizens. They'd have no choice but to back off since they'd no longer have the monopoly of power on their side.

           

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          Silent Bob, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:10am

          Re: Re: Re:

          if you carry a concealed weapon, why would anyone break into your house to steal it when you are not a home? Isn't the weapon with you?

           

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            Mr. Applegate, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I most often, though not always carry two weapons. I also have about 18 other weapons at home that I don't normally carry. I have various weapons for hunting, collectors items, and of course ammo.

            What makes you think most gun owners only have one weapon?

            Do you only have one plate to eat off of? Only one cup to drink from?

             

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          nasch (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:46am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Shouldn't you have a gun safe that's bolted to the wall? Nothing is theft-proof but do those really get stolen very often?

           

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            Mr. Applegate, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Most safes really aren't that hard to get into. Gun safes are even easier to get into. That said many people like to display their collections. Part of mine is in a gun safe, part is in a locked glass gun cabinet, but I keep a handgun (my carry weapon) on my headboard.

            Do you always keep your keys locked in a key safe? Are all of your important documents kept in a document safe?

            Certainly all important information on your computer is encrypted. There are no lists of passwords taped to the bottom of your keyboard, in a drawer or a notepad file on your desktop?

            You wouldn't have any jewelry that is not locked up securely in a safe bolted to the wall would you?

             

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              nasch (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Firstly, my keys, documents, computer files, and jewelry cannot kill anyone. Secondly, I'm not complaining that if people know that I have keys, documents, and so on, that they'll come rob my house. Finally, yes my important documents are in a safe (though more for fire protection than burglary so not bolted to a wall), and no there are no passwords on any piece of paper in my house or unencrypted file on my computer.

               

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                Mr. Applegate, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 3:47pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Not to be an ass but you can kill someone with keys and some jewelry.

                 

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                  nasch (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:36pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  You can kill someone with almost anything. I thought it was clear that I was contrasting those items with the nature of firearms as lethal weapons.

                   

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                    Mr. Applegate, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 1:05pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I understood what you were doing.

                    My point was that people don't always do what they should do, doesn't matter what your talking about.

                    To be honest if they get past my security system and my dogs, a safe isn't going to stop them.

                     

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                btrussell (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:03pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Keys are just ammo. They give access to a 2000 lb missile.

                 

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:32am

      Re:

      Crossed the line in publishing identifying information, the database is useful, specially to plot data into maps and correlate events

       

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    Jason, Jan 3rd, 2013 @ 10:07pm

    A lot of victims of domestic abuse own firearms. I was raped and own a firearm. i was too ashamed to report it in time for prosecution, but i made sure he will never lead a church again. prevented a man from robbing a store when he saw my gun he ran out. I'd prefer my rapist didn't have open access in an online website that's only a google search away to my name and address. Im no coward for wanting to defend myself since someone willing to rape other people is out there with a vendetta against me for ending their 40+ year career. Be realistic people.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:26am

      Re:

      You do understand that your name and address is in fact a Google search away in SEVERAL databases not only gun ownership right?

      Do you have an SSN? you are screwed.
      Do you ever gave a credit card to a store? you are screwed.
      Do you ever got busted for anything? you are screwed.
      Do you have a phone number? you are screwed.
      Do you have a driver license? you are screwed.
      Are you employed? you are screwed.

      Are you going to complain about all those other databases too?

      If you are so afraid, you should change your name. Just like any other victim of violence would probably have to do it in order to stay safe in the future.

       

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      The Real Michael, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 8:02am

      Re:

      The stupid thing about the "coward" argument is that law enforcement, security and military are all armed. Are all of these people also cowards and should they not also be listed alongside the law-abiding citizens in some worthless tabloid article?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:14am

    Surely this is just a tool for criminals to figure out which houses they can rob without risk of being shot by the owner?

     

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      Niall (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:17am

      Re:

      Which makes the gun owners safer for being known, not at more risk.

      Not what Mr Applegate is spinning, however...

       

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        Mr. Applegate, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:37am

        Re: Re:

        I am afraid I am not the one 'spinning' here. I am sharing my life experiences.

        I have 30+ years of life experience carrying a handgun and more than 40 years owning weapons and being an avid hunter.

        Have you ever even seen a gun? Have you ever been around responsible gun owners? Do you even want to know the truth?

        Let me answer for you: No, No, and No.

        If you would think, for just a minute it would be blatantly obvious that publishing where the owners of weapons are puts everyone at risk.

        Frankly, as far as personal protection goes, bring it on. I will shoot them when they break in, assuming of course I am at home. Of course if they wait till I leave, then break in and steal the more than 20 weapons and boxes of ammo I have in my house, that will not put me at risk, but it will certainly put hundreds of others at risk with weapons that are no longer registered to the 'owner' of the gun.

        Don't call me out for spinning when I am only telling you what life experience and in fact history tells us. The fact that it is not convenient to your version of the truth does not make it any less a valid point.

        You are the one without life experience or any valid cites to show you have the facts on your side. So who is spinning again?

         

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      DCX2, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:45am

      Re:

      Only if they don't want to risk being shot by a pistol. All of those red dots on the map correspond to pistol permits, but the houses without red dots can still have rifles or shotguns.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:01am

    Not surprising

    That this possibly mentally challenged news journal runs immediately to a gun toting security agency for protection for their idiocy. How does it feel to need a gun now?

     

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      Niall (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 8:44am

      Re: Not surprising

      They shouldn't feel the need if the 'gun nuts' weren't so virulent about hating on them - and so notoriously well-armed.

       

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        JEDIDIAH, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:35am

        Re: Re: Not surprising

        If I were really pissed off at some journalist, I would not need a firearm to give them reason to fear me.

        That's the problem with the people fixated on the weapon du jour. They have absolutely no imagination. They can't think their way outside of a wet paper bag and see how things might project into the future.

        You need to be able to do that in order to implement any sort of effective counter measure. You also need to do that in order to craft measures that a large minority will resist.

        Pretending that the NRA is a "corporate" lobbying group sounds great in your little echo chamber but probably doesn't accurately reflect reality.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:09pm

          Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

          Want to see where you argument brakes down?

          Stupid people who owns guns, the people who pull their gun for anything like trying to change lanes, you think those people should be in some sort of database to warn others about them?

          The database in itself could be used to threaten gun owners to be more responsible, if anybody films you doing stupid things you end up in a public database.

          Would that be immoral or civic duty?

           

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            btrussell (profile), Jan 6th, 2013 @ 1:49pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

            A female newscaster is interviewing the leader of a Youth club:

            Interviewer: So, Mr. Jones, what are you going to do with these children on this adventure holiday?

            Mr Jones: We're going to teach them climbing, abseiling, canoeing, archery, shooting...

            Interviewer: Shooting! That's a bit irresponsible isn't it?

            Jones: I don't see why, they'll be properly supervised on the range.

            Interviewer: Don't you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?

            Jones: I don't see how, we will be teaching them proper range discipline before they even touch a firearm.

            Interviewer: But you're equipping them to become violent killers.

            Jones: Well, you're equipped to be a prostitute but you're not one are you?

             

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    DCX2, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:51am

    Why is this ironic?

    I don't see why this is ironic. It seems like lots of people want to ascribe motives to the Journal News that are not corroborated by the article, which is the only explanation for folks who say it's ironic that they hired armed guards.

    It seems that if you are a gun person, you view this as being "outed". Why should anyone be ashamed because they are law-abiding citizens? I certainly don't view those red dots negatively.

    If you aren't a gun person, you view this as "wow...there are a LOT of guns all around me huh?"

    Coincidentally, the Journal News story is more consistent with the latter than the former. Which would explain why it's not ironic to hire armed guards when you essentially receive a fake anthrax attack in the mail (what do you THINK mail full of powder is supposed to be, huh?)

     

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      varagix, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 10:17am

      Re: Why is this ironic?

      I thought it might have more to do with the area. If you published such a map of some place here in Indiana a) it'd only tell you who had a CCW, and b) just about everyone has guns in Indiana. I get the impression more people would feel -safer- knowing their friends and neighbors not only shoot too, but are also registered CCW holders.

      That being said, I find how these people on both sides acted and reacted are fairly shameful in the extreme.

       

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    weneedhelp (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:54am

    Silly gun owners

    That's what you get for being a legal gun owner.

    Dont think for a second if the shit hits the fan like it did in New Orleans... they wont be bringing you water and food, they will be looking for those nice law abiding citizens that were stupid enough to register, or applied for a permit to carry, they will be looking for your guns.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 12:32pm

    Here is an interested blog post that pertains to some of the comments in this post about gun control.

    http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/an-opinion-on-gun-control/

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:59pm

    We're probably going to have better real time monitoring of everyone

    The way the world is going, we'll probably have videos and tracking devices tracking everyone's moves all the time, so that there are fewer surprises.

    And no, I don't mean government monitoring/tracking. I mean private company monitoring/tracking which can provide that info to marketers, insurance companies, prison builders, surveillance and security companies, etc. There's money to be made in anticipating everyone's every move.

    People will have their guns, but private companies will know where those guns are and how they can be used. The gun companies don't even need cooperate. As tracking becomes more sophisticated, it will become harder to hide what you do. The privacy games will get very interesting as we move into the future. There are so many potential tracking devices on every street now that it becomes a matter of intercepting the data those devices generate and finding ways to use the info.

    As I have always maintained, people who complain only about government are, I think, creating a smoke screen so that citizens are diverted from what private companies are doing. Private companies are the ones who can profit from all of that consumer data.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:31pm

      Re: We're probably going to have better real time monitoring of everyone

      There is a counter measure that can be deployed.

      Knowledge.

      How anybody is going track your self made gun?
      How they gonna track anonymous currency?

      Some people will be chocked that those things can also be used for illegal stuff and they will have to make a choice, allow some crime to happen or try to stop all crime and lose any bit of privacy they have.

      This is a zero sum game, privacy or promise of total security you can't have both, in the past people didn't have to deal with this stuff, it was easy nobody had the means to track all things all the time, that has changed now.

       

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      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:37pm

      Re: We're probably going to have better real time monitoring of everyone

      Of course, one of the advantages of having private companies tracking everyone is that you don't need to get a law passed to do it. You just do it until someone passes a law that tells you to stop doing it.

      So if you wanted to monitor people who potentially could become threats, you could develop your own profiles, identify people who fit those profiles, and then figure out how to profit from that info.

      What if, for example, a company ran detailed info on everyone who lived in your neighborhood or a neighborhood where you planned to live, and then, for a fee, gave you a safety number? You could find out which people around you are potential threats. You wouldn't even have to know their names, but you could get bulletins about how to avoid them.

      Landlords can already run checks on potential buyers. Insurance companies identify low and high risk people and then quote them prices accordingly.

      In other words, private companies are already profiling most of us in some way or another. The problem with the mass shootings may be that while people might be identified as particular risks, we don't yet have systems set in place to protect us from those people. But that might be coming in the future. Maybe the police won't be able to arrest someone who hasn't yet committed a crime, but there might be electronic barriers so that a potential mass murdered can't get anywhere near a school without it tripping an alarm in advance. Shooting criminals on the spot is a crude way to prevent crime, when there might be much more sophisticated technology available in the near future.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:24pm

    Gun owners on Youtube:

    WTF How To Switch Lanes Like A Boss

    Guy stuck in traffic pulls gun out of the window to make others let him pass. Probably a joke, but is it?

    If someone pulled a gun on you wouldn't you like to know where such person lived so you could avoid that person as much as possible? or to know where to send the police too?

    Man Shoots Dog Over Accident on Carpet

    Candidate for next college massacre.

    In a sense listing gun owners is like listing threats to others, just look at how many stupid people are on youtube doing stupid things with guns and you see it is nothing like self-defense or responsible use of guns.

    Gun owners don't seem to take guns seriously these days.

    Where are the videos of people showing good gun practices?

    I know there are, but this myth that gun owners are all responsible must go away there are stupid people and many of them in America own a gun.

    Those idiots are a threat to society, they endanger themselves and others and I don't see why they should be protected by any privacy, those should be exposed just like people expose pedophiles and violent criminals to everybody else.

     

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      btrussell (profile), Jan 5th, 2013 @ 2:35am

      Re:

      If they can do something as dangerous as vote, they should have no problem owning a gun.

      If a gun is too dangerous for these idiots, then what about the rest of us when those same people can vote?

       

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 10:34pm

    Here's some info for you

    I decided to Google what was available for mailing lists targeted to gun owners. This is the very first entry. I haven't bothered to go further because this illustrates my point that there is a lot of info already floating about out there. The list contains close to 6 million names.

    Firearm & Gun Mailing Lists & Leads | AccurateLeads: Selects
    City, Date Of Birth, Gender/Sex, Home Owner, Hotline, Household Income, Phone Number, Presence Of Child, Renter, State, Zip

     

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    identicon
    T G, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 4:09pm

    More fuel for the debate, should police and government officals be excluded from the list? Would not seem fair to others that were listed. If ther were threatened, as the fox news story would indicate, that would be unacceptable IMHO.
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/01/04/law-enforcement-latest-critics-on-public-display-gun-own er-data-officers/print#ixzz2H779tV2i
    Words have consequence and I find it funny how one amendment would SEEM to trump another when both should promote freedom.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 6th, 2013 @ 9:09pm

    The more I think about it

    I said that I thought private company info gathering about gun ownership was probably going to move ahead before anything is done by politicians and laws.

    And the more I think about it, the more I am pondering some tech solutions. The answer would not come from asking gun owners and gun manufacturers for cooperation, but by developing systems that provide protection to those who don't want to carry guns but still want to feel safe.

    The advantage, too, is that those who oppose government monitoring might be less likely to complain about private companies doing it.

    Here's one technology I can see being used by private businesses to begin monitoring more citizens. The advantage of private monitoring is that they don't have to wait until a crime is committed or have to obtain search warrants. If their intelligence data indicates the potential for a crime, there might be ways for private companies to keep an eye on people without running afoul of any laws. As I mentioned before, companies are profiling people all the time as it is.

    Infographic Domestic Drone Use - Business Insider

     

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      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 6th, 2013 @ 11:11pm

      Re: The more I think about it

      Here. I think we'll have more systems like this as a counter to the lack of gun control. People may get to keep their guns and conceal them, but there will be more monitoring of what happens within certain perimeters.

      At Disney Parks, a Bracelet Meant to Build Loyalty (and Sales) - NYTimes.com: "Did you buy a balloon? What attractions did you ride and when? Did you shake Goofy’s hand, but snub Snow White? If you fully use MyMagic , databases will be watching, allowing Disney to refine its offerings and customize its marketing messages."

       

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        Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 7th, 2013 @ 9:49am

        Re: Re: The more I think about it

        Are you a prostitute?

        As I have pointed out a number of times on Techdirt, private companies are monitoring people already. All the complaints about government monitoring don't address that issue.

        Gun control via monitoring may be one time when private companies can do something government can't because they won't be dealing with the politics. And if private companies can actually do something to identify people who might shoot innocent people and then prevent that from happening, there will be people who will pay to have that done.

        The fight to prevent gun control via laws does open the door for gun monitoring via private data collection and use. I am imagine that the data gathering won't single out gun owners and only collect info on them, but if identifiable patterns develop which predict dangerous use of guns, that info can be used to target those individuals.

        At any rate, do you see what I am saying? If you stop governments from monitoring citizens, but private companies do it anyway, it is being done. That info might not be turned over to government, but if it is turned over to private citizens who use it to protect themselves, it is being used.

         

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          Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 7th, 2013 @ 10:06am

          Re: Re: Re: The more I think about it

          Let me develop this idea even further.

          You have gun manufacturers, ammunition manufacturers, and military weapons manufacturers who make products that can kill people, whether or not they are used for that purpose. At any rate, they products are often marketed for as a form of self-defense.

          But on the other hand, you have tech companies that are developing new forms of data collection, new forms of warfare which don't require killing people, and new products (like drones). These allow for self-defense that might prevent loss of life. Heading off a problem is better than having to kill someone to stop the problem.

          So if you believe that business should be allowed to be work fairly unfettered by laws, you will see the new tech companies looking for ways to disrupt the old companies working in the same spheres. If new technology reduces the need for guns, bullets, and bombs, lots of people will be happy about it, though not necessarily those who want to sell guns, bullets, and bombs.

          Yes, I know gun owners don't necessarily own guns for self-defense. But if those who don't want to own guns can find ways to feel safe without guns, then the market for guns stays as a sport market more than a self-defense market, which I think is what lots of people would like to see because it lessens the use of guns as weapons.

          The push forward of technology may turn guns into something that is viewed along with horse ownership, something a group of people enjoy but not something most people think about purchasing.

           

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    identicon
    Hi Vis, Jan 8th, 2013 @ 5:05pm

    Public Record

    As long as gun ownership is a matter of public record, then what's the question? Of course they have the right to publish it.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 8th, 2013 @ 7:18pm

    This info has already been online for awhile now

    Gawker publishes N.Y.C. gun-permit holders: “'In any case, it’s clear that many of the Rockland County and Westchester County gun owners who are outraged at having their addresses plastered on the internet have had those addresses plastered on the internet for years without it causing a problem.'

    "... Cook’s post represents a welcome dose of skepticism vis-a-vis much-tossed-about claims that the Journal News has suddenly placed many, many people in danger."

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 13th, 2013 @ 1:14pm

    Here's a really good example of privatizing gun control

    How Tech Could Help Joe Biden Win the Gun Fight: "Case in point: A firm called ShotSpotter, a leader in the gunshot detection field, is actively using acoustic sensors placed at intervals throughout a given neighborhood to record the sound of gunfire. Then, using computers, it can triangulate the sound to pinpoint the sources of those blasts on a map."

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 5:00pm

    An opportunity for private companies

    I have been vocal about my concern about the data collection that private companies have been doing. But here's yet another article which suggests to me that there is an opportunity for private companies to collect data and provide it to those who want it, free from interference by politicians.

    If private companies can gather data on gun use, it is something they can sell. Better they do it than no one does it.

    Lack Of Up-To-Date Research Complicates Gun Debate : It's All Politics : NPR

     

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