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Ethical? Interactive map of gun permit holders

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ringer, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. ringer

    ringer Active Member

    What did you think of the Westchester newspaper's decision to create and publish an interactive map that gives names and addresses of all the local residents who have permits to own guns (when you scroll over it)? It's public information. And it does serve the public interest. Is it ethical?

  2. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd New Member

    Intrusive and unnecessary.

    Criminalizes a group of people unfairly.
  3. Think of the high-fives in the editor's and publisher's office, a least until a big advertizer is on the list.
  4. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    I don't have a problem with them doing it, but they did it poorly. They provided no context.

    At the very least, they should have also put together a searchable database.

    But, tell us who's on the list. Who are these people? Get some of them on the record. Why do they have a gun? Why do they feel like they need one?

    Who are the famous, or politically connected on the list? Who on the list are you concerned about? Is there anyone on the list that should be ineligible? Did you cross reference for felony convictions, spousal abuse arrests, etc.?

    It's also very incomplete. From what I can tell, it doesn't include federal, state, or local law enforcement.

    It doesn't include people with rifles or shotguns. And, because it's only a list of permit holders, it doesn't even mean they actually have a handgun.
  5. J-School Blue

    J-School Blue Member

    Yeah, this is what bugs me. There's an interesting story to be made out of this data, but WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE GUN NEXT DOOR!!!!!!!! is not the interesting story to be made out of it. This is everyone from to casual target shooters who may not keep an actual weapon at home, to collectors who have a permit for their random Civil War-era museum piece. And, yeah, I'm unclear how this treats law enforcement personnel. As raw data it's interesting, but it's not anything more than that.
  6. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Blogger hits back and lists addresses -- and photos -- of Journal staff:

  7. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    I would not have published the map, especially without any contextual information. But that's a real dick move.
  8. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    How does it criminalize them? They're legal gun owners. It could be argued this makes their neighbors more of a target for crime because now burglars know who has guns. I don't think it serves much interest putting the information out there, but I think saying it criminalizes people is a stretch.
  9. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd New Member

    Proper retaliation.

    The press doesn't get to lob rocks from a perch on high without consequence. It's not the 1980s anymore.

    Viva the InterWebs.

    Look! THESE are the GUN OWNERS!!!!!!!!!! They are DANGEROUS!!!!!!!!! In your COMMUNITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Publishing personal information about the food editor? The transportation reporter?

    What "rocks" did they "lob"?

    They should get "retaliated against" because they happen to work for the same large company? That's bullshit.
  11. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    That's if you assume every gun owner will shoot someone. It could be equally argued that this could show just how many regular, everyday people out there own guns. Maybe it's because I'm an Okie, but I'm pretty damn liberal and I don't assume every gun owner is going to shoot someone.
  12. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd New Member

    Too bad.

    Newspaper leadership should have made a wiser decision. They want to drop something like this on the community, fine. They brought the spotlight. They wanted attention, and they got it.
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