The excuse put forth by Journal News editor Cynthia Royle Lambert* for publishing the names and addresses of gun owners is that the public needs to know which of their neighbors homes is gun free and therefore a safe place for their own children to play. This is spurious nonsense, of course: the sole reason to publish the interactive map was to follow up on the Newtown massacre and harass gun owners while emotions run high.
But if child safety were indeed the point, the paper would do far more to advance that goal by compiling a data base (easily obtained from public records) of the location and owners of private swimming pools, which are at least 530X more likely to kill a child than a gun. Can’t sell papers doing that, naturally, and property owners might be annoyed and boycott your advertisers, but “if it saves the life of just one child …”
Here’s another thought experiment: just like guns, many autos are stolen on order – thieves look for specific vehicles that have been requested by car ring bosses. Suppose the Journal News were to compile and publish an interactive map showing the exact address of each registered car owner with the year, make and model of the cars he kept. No more cruising the streets, hoping to find a 2007 Honda Accord for the Boys from the Bronx, they could drive right over to 3 Gate House Lane in Mamaroneck and pick up what they wanted – oh joy!
Strip the emotional baggage away from the word “gun” and that’s exactly what the Journal has done. Even worse, they’ve set it up so that law abiding gun owners, those least likely (almost infinitesimally) to commit crimes with their guns will have them stolen and put out on the street, where they will be used by criminals against what, in the liberals’ dreams would be defenseless citizens. So would the Journal be praised for establishing a shopping bazaar for car thieves? I think not. Same logic here: love guns or fear them, right wing nut case like me or sane, sober liberal like yourself, we should all denounce this asinine act of the Journal News.
Cynthia R Lambert
17 Mcbride Ave
White Plains, NY 10603 (914) 948-9388