Map of gun per­mit hold­ers draws anger

A White Plains, N.Y., news­pa­per lists names, ad­dresses.

Austin American-Statesman - - THE SECOND FRONT - By J. David Good­man

A news­pa­per’s in­ter­ac­tive map list­ing the names and ad­dresses of gun per­mit hold­ers in two New York coun­ties has drawn a gath­er­ing avalanche of out­rage this week.

As word spread across so­cial me­dia, thou­sands left com­ments ex­press­ing dis­be­lief and anger at the map, com­piled from pub­licly avail­able in­for­ma­tion on hand­gun per­mit hold­ers in Westch­ester and Rock­land coun­ties and pub­lished on­line over the week­end by The Jour­nal News, a news­pa­per based in White Plains, N.Y., and owned by the Gan­nett Co.

The click­able map is made up of thou­sands of dots, each rep­re­sent­ing a per­mit holder; by click­ing the dots, users can view the name and ad­dress of each per­mit holder. Ri­fle and shot­gun own­ers were not in­cluded be­cause, the news­pa­per noted, those guns can be pur­chased with­out a per­mit.

“Be­ing in­cluded in this map does not mean the in­di­vid­ual at a spe­cific lo­ca­tion owns a weapon, just that they are li­censed to do so,” The Jour­nal News cau­tioned.

The map thrust the pa­per di­rectly into the heated na­tional de­bate over guns that has fol­lowed the mass shoot­ing in New­town, Conn.

“Now ev­ery­one knows where the LE­GAL GUNS are kept, a valu­able piece of in­for­ma­tion for crim­i­nals,” wrote an irate Face­book com­menter who gave his name as Mike Pan­dolfo. “Why don’t you do some­thing help­ful, like try­ing to find out where the IL­LE­GAL GUNS are kept? That would be help­ful to the non­crim­i­nal pop­u­la­tion.”

The com­ment was char­ac­ter­is­tic of the re­ac­tion of many of the thou­sands that had been at­tached to the ar­ti­cle as it flew around so­cial net­work­ing and news or­ga­ni­za­tions’ sites, seem­ingly shared more in out­rage than in sup­port.

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