Do you want to know where lawful gun owners live in your neighborhood? Should this information not only be public but publicized?
"Overkill?" asks The Daily Beast, writing about the publication by The Journal News on Dec. 22 of gun permit holders across three counties, including Westchester. The database article on LoHud.com includes a map with dots for each household licensed to own a handgun, namely pistols and revolvers.
The map has gone viral, having been widely Tweeted and Liked on Facebook close to 28,000 times as of Dec. 26.
Some parents, in the wake of the Newtown school shootings, have expressed their desire to know which homes their kids might be playing in have potentially lethal weapons in them.
One woman wrote on Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow Patch’s Facebook page: “I just watched on the news: 38 percent of the people in America have a gun in their houses. Should we ask about this when our children go to a playdate?”
This is the second time the Hudson Valley newspaper and website has published database reporting on gun ownership. The release of the info online this year has some gun advocates worried for their safety and complaining of their privacy infringement, according to the Daily Beast.
The information was obtained by filing Freedom of Information requests.
The Journal News stands behind its decision. "We knew publication of the database would be controversial, but we felt sharing as much information as we could about gun ownership in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings," CynDee Royle, editor and vice president/news of The Journal News, said to the Daily Beast.