After newspaper’s gun-permit map, blogger posts journalists’ addresses
NEW YORK (CNN) — A blogger has posted the home addresses of staffers from a newspaper after the paper published an online, interactive map showing names and addresses of all handgun permit-holders in New York’s Westchester and Rockland counties.
Christopher Fountain, who is also a gun owner, spoke to CNN’s “Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien” on Thursday to explain his reasoning behind the posting. “I felt they were using this to harass gun owners,” Fountain said of the newspaper’s staff. “So I harassed them back.”
Fountain posted the name, home address, and phone numbers of the Journal News’ publisher, editor, visual editor, and several other staff members. Fountain told CNN’s “Early Start” that he was offended by the newspaper’s actions and “wondered how they would like it if their addresses were published.”
The map published by the Journal News on Saturday allows readers to zoom in on red dots that indicate which residents in the two New York counties are licensed to own pistols or revolvers. It has prompted more than 2,300 comments as of Thursday.
Janet Hasson, president of the Journal News Media Group, defended the decision in a statement on Wednesday.
“One of our roles is to report publicly available information on timely issues, even when unpopular. We knew publication of the database (as well as the accompanying article providing context) would be controversial, but we felt sharing information about gun permits in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown (Connecticut) shootings,” she said.
Although Fountain’s own address was not among those published by the Journal News, he told CNN he believes they were “conflating legal gun owners” with the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that claimed the lives of 20 children and 6 staffers on December 14.
Fountain’s blog is called “For What It’s Worth,” and he currently is a real estate agent in Greenwich, Connecticut. The post, entitled “Sauce for the goose or, home address and phone number of Journal News publisher,” had prompted more than 500 comments as of Thursday.
Calls by CNN on Thursday to the Journal News for comment were not immediately returned.