COMMENTARY | The Journal News is pounding on New York state Sen. Greg Ball and Assemblyman Steve Katz for trying to roll up newspaper that published the names and addresses of legal handgun holders in Westchester and Rockland counties.
Now the editors of that paper bristle at the defiance of a Putnam County clerk who refuses to release the handgun database for his county.
The information already released by the The Journal News is legal under the Freedom of Information laws. But legality was never the point, though media outlets like the Associated Press often dwell on the legal aspect only.
Considering the backlash and outcry, that may be the only argument they can win.
Publication of the gun owner database seems not to have a point other than to bolster the Gannett stock price (GCI).
Things I have heard about a “point” center on neighbors not allowing children to play in the homes of people permitted to own handguns. But far more powerful rifles, capable of penetrating walls and with a range measured in miles, are not on the list.
So much for the argument that the newspaper was protecting anyone.
A New York Times story about “The Journal News” crusade, at least, tells another side of the story. Among the names and addresses published were “police officers, judges, battered women and ‘guys that did some undercover drug work.'”
If there’s something in the realm of liberal pieties that can justify The Journal News’ reckless act, we have yet to hear it.
I think publication of the names of handgun owners in Westchester and Rockland Counties may put some handgun owners at risk, but still the deterrent factor is stronger.
Even if the burglar believes, as liberals do, that homeowners with guns pose more dangers to themselves than to home invaders, there is still the chance that the homeowner may have just returned from combat in Afghanistan.
Or merely from practice at the range.
Most likely the smart burglar or home invader, especially one who reads the newspapers, will go next door, desperately hoping there is not an illegal gun owner at home, one who doesn’t like his name and address published in the newspapers.
Certainly, burglars should avoid The Journal News. According to ABC News, the paper has hired armed guards to protect its property and personnel.
The hypocrisy accusation is inescapable.
Anthony Ventre is a freelance writer and a Yahoo contributor in news, commentary, and financial writing.