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Friday, January 18, 2013

My Local Paper Pulls Infamous Gun Data

I've been on this from the beginning, partly because The Journal News is my local rag here in Westchester/Rockland, New York, and I care deeply about the guns issue.   Now they've just shut down their controversial list and map of all gun permit holders in the two counties, after nearly a month.  But wait!  They claim they are NOT caving to pressure.
The newspaper wasn't caving to public pressure, and the decision wasn't an acknowledgment that it made a mistake, Hasson said. In fact, she said, many community members applauded publication of the permit data.  "Our decision to do so is not a concession to critics that no value was served by the posting of the map in the first place," Hasson said.
"Nor is our decision made because we were intimidated by those who threatened the safety of our staffers. We know our business is a controversial one, and we do not cower," Hasson said. "But the database has been public for 27 days and we believe those who wanted to view it have done so already. As well, with the passage of time, the data will become outdated and inaccurate," she said.
Hasson acknowledged a legislative climate in New York that favors making private any information about gun permits. "As a news organization, we are constantly defending the public's right to know," she said. "But we are not deaf to voices who have said that new rules should be set for gun permit data."

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