Since the Journal News published an interactive map on Dec. 24 of all pistol permit holders within their geographic area it has resulted in a hail of fire from critics. One such sniped back with an interactive map of Journal News employees. Another blogger shot back by printing a database of their subscribers. It seems quite a few have targeted their subscription for termination. The New York State Rifle and Pistol association is aiming for a massive boycott of JN’s advertisers. Most have just been referring to the paper as the Jourinal News.
Is this grass roots activism justified? Had JN gone too far? To answer these questions a motive needs to be looked at. When asked directly the JN their response was “Some lower Hudson Valley residents would like lawmakers to expand the amount of information the public can find out about gun owners”. The JN did not provide the name and addresses of these “some” or an interactive map. Since the JN is not forthcoming we must look elsewhere for an answer. This list is not new to JN, last year they published the same list without the same reaction. Could the answer be a simple as increase in readership? Could they be joining the bandwagon powered by the souls of children from Newtown to increase hits to their web site?
The Journal News is a business, a failing one at that. Even though they are the only game in town they are losing readership every year. But it is not the subscribers that pay the bills it is the advertisers. What business would buy advertisement in a paper no one reads? Since the socialist paradise they support where everyone is paid by the government according to their need is not here yet, their current need is more readers. What better way than to outsource to children caught in the tragedy of a gun free zone? Take an older story, recycle it and now connect it to a tragedy.
Their claim it is in the public interest would hold water if they recycled the sex offender list as often as the legal gun owner list. (Last published 2009). You might have some sympathy for the Journal News if they produced an interactive map of where illegal guns were found. Other papers like WNYC have done the work why not JN? How about an interactive map of crimes in the three counties, wouldn’t that be more useful to the readers than lists of who is prepared to defend themselves?
At this time the Journal News has experienced the reaction to their list. Women who are armed against stalkers are forced to move, prison guards hear their home addresses shared, Judges and prosecutors now have targets on them. Those at the paper claim they are the ones threatened. When they felt the local police response was inadequate what did they do? Did they declare the main office a “gun free zone” for protection? No they did the same thing the 33,614 pistol owners on their list did, they armed themselves.
So all in all, public opinion of the Journal News’s map was correct. Their readers can see through the rags actions how hypocritical the views the paper says it believes in are. Even though they received brief nationwide attention for the paper how much of it will translate to increased readership? How many of those offended by this stunt will stop reading the paper at all? Maybe they learned the hard way “the pen is mightier than the sword” but it can cut both ways.