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Culture & Politics

Outing Gun Owners: A Game Many Can Play

by Robert W. Hunnicutt   |  January 9th, 2013 9

Gawker is a website aimed at young liberal urban hipsters. Even though I’m old, rural, unhip and a proud member of what has been called the “hard gun right,” I look at it every day. That’s because it is a great place to see what people whose habits and ideals are 180 degrees from my own are thinking and talking about. It’s a sort of online Bizarro World where everything seems backwards and upside-down. One of its editors, while covering the Republican National Convention, proudly proclaimed, “everything these people believe, I mock.” It’s good to keep a close eye on people like that.

Today, Gawker published a list of New York City pistol permit holders, under a profanely disparaging headline I won’t reproduce here. This, it seems, was in support of the Journal News of White Plains, N.Y., which touched off a firestorm by publishing on its website an interactive map showing the names and addresses of pistol permit holders in Rockland and Westchester Counties.

Gawker’s point seems to be that permit information is by state law public, and indeed has been printed before in other forms. The idea that putting the same information in an interactive map might be a different matter doesn’t seem to resonate with the hip young editorial staff there.

So be it. The information’s out there, and if your name is part of it, you’re going to have to check the deadbolts and hope for the best. It can be a lesson to those in less benighted precincts that registration is a very, very bad thing, and not just because it makes it convenient for the government to find you.

What interested me more than the commentary was the list itself, which apparently occasioned no soul-searching by the Gawker staff, which is prone to characterize gun owners as essentially the cast of Deliverance.

If gun ownership is strictly the province of WASP inbred, how come we see names like Aleksandrivicius, Alhariri and Ashmawi? Bakoussis, Benfante and, yes, Bizarro. Chau, Chang and Chen are on there, too, along with Darwish, Dashefsky and De Loca. You get the picture. People of all ethnic groups have pistol permits in New York, not just toothless, knuckle-dragging white guys who read SHOTGUN NEWS.

My guess is that if the Gawker staff looked through the list, it was solely in hope of finding high-profile personalities to out as gun owners. That’s too bad. If they’d have looked closer, they might have had to ask themselves how many crimes in New York are prevented by guns in the hands of hard-working Greek café owners or Korean grocers.  Nah, couldn’t happen.

  • AshleyDale210

    Would still rather be one with the red dot than without.

  • Scott Putman

    Local registry information like this does nothing but make it easier for criminals to locate and attempt to obtain more illegal firearms. I also believe it puts peoples lives in danger. Not only the law abiding owners. But thier families as well. Even the criminals could be killed. It is that type of media that never does anyone any good. They do this as lackies of the higher education systems brainwashing. And then pounce on the negative aspects and then make it easier for certain types to go after the Second Amendment. It is akin to a few sheep working with the wolves to thin the herd.

  • Ed K

    I agree that this does nothing to make the public safe, but while its out there can anyone cross reference this list with a list of Bloombergs and other elected officials contributors?

  • Rodger V

    This could back fire badly on those that published these list of gun owners. Now the criminal knows where they can go and not encounter armed resistance.

  • Fieldkorn

    As an Ohio concealed carry license holder I was proud when the local newspaper "outed" me along with many, many more men and women like me. Nice to know, too, that this newspaper is in deep financial do-doo and will likely have to make serious cuts in staffing. Truly, revenge is a dish best served cold.

  • Michael

    It seems these lists are the new way to make the public more aware of what happens around them. This may be a good idea. For those that can make it happen, how about these:
    – those on welfare – so we can make sure they use the money for food and not cable TV
    – those on disability – make sure they don't work at home when they are too injured to work

    I hope that if someone who was outed experiences a theft, they bring charges against the paper/website who provided the details to the criminal.

  • Bill

    How about publishing the Gawker Staff information so they can be confronted in their area by law abiding concerned citizens? They remain non disclosed because they are cowards!

  • Dann

    Please…… my name and address. Let it be fair warning that in this house we believe in Christianity and the Second Amendment, not always in that order. If you know we own guns, know how to use them, and are more than willing to defend what is ours, why in the world would you pick us to rob? But if you do, so be it. That's the law of natural selection personified. I am tired of being singled out, in my opinion, because I live the right way, I love my neighbor and I don't insist anyone believe or live as I do. All I ask is to simply have my opinions respected and to be left to live of live the way I want to. I hope that's not asking too much. If it is, tough .

  • Jr in FL

    I would be scared not to be on the list. Unarmed easy prey.

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