The world of professional journalism appears unflinchingly intent on continuing its tumble into the unrecognizable abyss.
In its latest act of compelling investigative journalism, the “professional media,” embodied in this instance by The Journal News, published an interactive map through its online affiliate, LoHud.com. This map, seen below, fixes a little red dot above “the addresses of all pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties.”
The accompanying article identifies no particular purpose for publishing the map with the exception of the title which merely poses the question: Where are the gun permits in your neighborhood?
The analogy to the sex offender database is striking and, perhaps, even intentional.
What is the Journal News attempting to accomplish with such a map? Shall we have our children take a different way home from school knowing that Mr. Johnson down the street seeks to protect his family by legally obtaining a gun permit?
Or perhaps The Journal News would like us to round up a posse and converge on the homes of local, law abiding gun owners.
No, it’s not clear what the purpose of running this article was for The Journal News. What is clear is that vast number of legal gun owners are bearing the brunt of the harsh criticism coming in the wake of a series of criminal acts committed by people who illegally obtained weapons.
Of course, in the very same article, The Journal News sought to abdicate responsibility for whatever consequences may come from aggregating the information for their readers.
To create the map, The Journal News submitted Freedom of Information requests for the names and addresses of all pistol permit holders in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam. By state law, the information is public record.
With this blanket abdication, The Journal News feels that their systematic demonization and alienation of their law abiding neighbors was warranted. They may not have broken any laws in aggregating the personal information of gun permit owners, but the ethical impropriety of doing so is obvious.
Indeed, the article even prompted one commenter on the article to ask, “So should we start wearing yellow Stars of David so the general public can be aware of who we are??”
While that might be taking the analogy a bit far, it is worth noting that the demonization of legal gun owners has been spearheaded by the main stream media. Whether it’s Bob Costas on Sunday Night Football, David Gregory on Meet the Press, or Piers Morgan on CNN, the assault has been coordinated and vicious.
The article by The Journal News is just the latest effort by the “professional media” aimed at alienating legal gun owners from “normal Americans.” They are attempting, yet again, to unfairly and inaccurately paint their opposition as extreme. Moreover, they seek to dehumanize the concerns of those engaged in a constitutionally protected right and, perhaps, are even consciously attempting to associate a gun permit database with a sex offender registry.
After all, how likely is it that public opinion will rush to defend the rights of a sex offender?