Gawker, an internet gossip site, has now published a 446-page document identifying every licensed gun owner in New York City. Judging by the comments left at Gawker’s site (which I will not dignify with a link), people are not happy. And they have reason to be unhappy:
Referring to the earlier piece in the Journal News, one commenter wrote: ‘The journal posted my address and name for my gun ownership. My past stalker saw this. I haven’t heard from him in two years, because I disappeared.
‘Now he is back and calling me……thanks to people like you bunch of a*******, looks like I will have to protect myself from becoming a murder victim. Gracias.’
I think it’s seriously time to start outing these journalists for anything and everything. After all, they’ve made it clear that they think publicly available information should be aggregated and put in a form readily available to anyone who wants it — for good or ill.
Incidentally, it’s the aggregation that’s the issue. The average criminal isn’t going to go to the effort to pour over publicly available files to determine which people in a given neighborhood are unarmed, and therefore sitting ducks, or which people in the same neighborhood have a weapon that would be valuable in the black market for arms. However, the average criminal is equally unlikely to turn up his (or her) nose if a media outlet is kind enough to assemble the information and even to provide helpful interactive maps.
Stories such as this one really make me want to hang a nice, new sign in my front window, with additional text stating “This could be you” appended.