I know that many journalists are looking at this from a perspective of balancing journalistic ethics against circulation numbers, especially in this post, but I’m coming from a different point of view. I’m far more concerned about the innocent gun owners that got doxed. What’d they do to deserve that?
And, yes, the addresses published by the Journal News are public record. They shouldn’t be, but they are.
However, these are real people with real lives who did nothing wrong to deserve having their names & addresses publicized like this. There are plenty of other things that the paper could have done to make help their readers understand how without going to such a personal level. A much smarter & more ethical approach could easily be found but that wouldn’t have created the same firestorm which was the real goal of the gun map’s publication.
Sure, knowing lots of people have guns, even in NY, could be taken as reassuring for gun rights activists but it’s the unnecessary doxing of innocent bystanders that really gets to me. Most of them were just average people just going about their day when a paper decided to publicize where they live just to stir up a bit of publicity. It’s not fair to them.
And, yes, this all happened in the immediate aftermath of a madman ruthlessly murdered small children.
An act that’s truly incomprehensible.
But it’s also one that has literally nothing to do with the law abiding gun owners in New York.
I hope everybody can understand why that is. And I hope that everyone can sympathize with those who don’t want their identities & addresses publicly thrown into the middle of a political debate they have little or nothing to do with.
I mean, personally, I’d like for every criminal out there to know I’m armed but I sure as hell don’t want them to know exactly where I live. Who does?
We’ve already seen the likely results of the gun map. And for what? So some dying paper can pretend to be relevant? So they can preempt trash factories like Gawker by stealing their asinine tactics? Is that where the news industry is at these days?
I hope not.