Just days before Christmas, the Journal News out of New York published a story headlined, "Where are the gun permits in your neighborhood?" The Journal News thought it was important to publish the names and addresses of every gun permit holder in Westchester and Rockland counties in the name of public safety and the public's right to know. Turns out, they accomplished the opposite by treating lawful gun permit holders like convicted sex offenders. The story received national attention and put gun permit holders and their non-holding neighbors at risk. Ex-convicts said the Journal News story was a gift and served as an extremely useful tool for criminals interested in stealing valuables, including guns. One ex-con called the story "insanity."
Over the weekend, a home on the map published by the Journal News was burglarized and the crooks went straight for the guns.
A White Plains residence pinpointed on a controversial handgun permit database was burglarized Saturday, and the burglars' target was the homeowner's gun safe.
At least two burglars broke into a home on Davis Avenue at 9:30 p.m. Saturday but were unsuccessful in an attempt to open the safe, which contained legally owned weapons, according to a law enforcement source. One suspect was taken into custody, the source said.
The gun owner was not home when the burglary occurred, the source said. The victim, who is in his 70s, told Newsday on Sunday that he did not want to comment while the police investigation continues.
This is a textbook example of why punishing law abiding gun owners is a bad idea. Not only did the Journal News make this man a target, but had the criminals been successful in stealing the firearms, they would no longer belong to a law abiding citizen who went to the trouble to get a permit, but would be in the hands of people who could care less about the law. The Journal News, other major media outlets and anti-gun advocacy groups should start focusing on criminals, not lawful citizens.
UPDATE: Implied Inference points out this important point: the owner kept his guns in a safe, making him even more responsible. Will the mainstream media report that fact?
At this point, the Journal News has refused to comment about the controversy of the their story. With the latest burglary, it's past time they did.