The Journal News' map of gun owners in Rockland County, N.Y. At its website, the image is interactive so that users can see who has handgun permits and where they live.
The Journal News newspapers that drew intense criticism after posting an interactive map showing the names and addresses of people with licenses to own handguns in three counties just to the north of New York City has hired a security firm and placed armed guards at its offices, a competing newssite reports.
As the Rockland County Times puts it, "the Journal News is armed and dangerous" now.
The Journal News posted the publicly available information about a week after the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six adults were killed before the gunman took his own life. Its editors said that readers in its circulation area "have the right to own guns with a permit and they also have a right to access public information."
Some critics said the database was effectively equating gun owners with sexual predators. Following the Journal News' posting of the information about gun permits, the names and addresses of its some of its staff were put online by a local blogger.
According to the County Times:
"A Clarkstown police report issued on December 28, 2012, confirmed that The Journal News has hired armed security guards from New City-based RGA Investigations and that they are manning the newspaper's Rockland County headquarters at 1 Crosfield Ave., West Nyack, through at least tomorrow, Wednesday, January 2, 2013.
"According to police reports on public record, Journal News Rockland Editor Caryn A. McBride was alarmed by the volume of "negative correspondence," namely an avalanche of phone calls and emails to the Journal News office, following the newspaper's publishing of a map of all pistol permit holders in Rockland and Westchester."
We asked last week if Two-Way readers thought it was fair of the Journal News to post that database. Opinion was split almost 50-50. (Note: That wasn't a scientific survey of public opinion; it was just a question.)