Project Veritas, John Fund, Others: ‘Guns for Me but Not for Thee’
January 15, 2013
Project Veritas explains that idea was to show the irony (not to say hypocrisy) of anti-gun journalists and politicians who bully ordinary citizens and want to make it more difficult for us to arm ourselves and defend ourselves against criminals, while those same journalists and politicians rely heavily on guns to protect themselves.
Last month, the New York Journal News published the names and addresses of all the people in a two-county area who had state permits to own or carry a handgun (more about this from the Journal News). CNN explains,
It’s a local suburban newspaper outside New York City, with a large circulation. Its editors say the Newtown, Connecticut shootings, and the issue of gun control, are foremost in the minds of their readers. So the Journal News did something extraordinary, publishing, on an interactive map, information on where all handgun permit-holders in the New York Counties of Westchester and Rockland live.
On the Journal News website, all you have to do is zoom into a neighborhood, and the locations of any gun permits will show up with red dots. Tap one of those dots, and the name and address of the permit holder pop up.
The newspaper got that data by filing freedom of information requests with clerks of those counties.
Some say this lets would-be burglars know which homes have valuables to steal (namely guns); all they have to do is be sure to hit the house when no one’s home. Greg Pollowitz, Ed Morrissey, and Charles Cooke point out that some burglars appear to have tried just that, though they were thwarted by a gun safe. Catch Me if You Can author Frank Abagnale “called the newspaper’s actions ‘reprehensible,'” explaining, “This would be equivalent to publishing the names of individuals who keep substantial sums of money, jewelry and valuables in their home.”
Others say this lets would-be burglars know which homeowners are likely not to have a gun to defend themselves. “‘That was the most asinine article I’ve ever seen,’ said Walter T. Shaw, 65, a former burglar and jewel thief . . . . ‘Having a list of who has a gun is like gold — why rob that house when you can hit the one next door, where there are no guns?'”
Worse, apparently there were also, among those whose names and addresses were published, “abused women who were under protective order and in hiding, and they’re terribly afraid that now their names and addresses are all over the Internet”. “Orangetown resident Charlotte Swift [said,] ‘I originally obtained a gun permit because I had previously been married to a man who attempted to strangle me . . . The first emotion I felt was, “Oh my gosh, he can find me.”’”
It has been suggested that this could also enable gangs to assassinate prison guards or hurt their families, and “Some local officials say that anyone who has had contact with ex-criminals — including prosecutors, judges, jurors, and police — could feel threatened now.”
One blogger responded by publishing the names and addresses of people at the Journal News. He has apparently been interviewed about it on CNN.
John Fund observes that ironically, the Journal News then
took extra security precautions and hired security guards — who were armed — to patrol its Rockland County headquarters. The executives reported no incidents of any kind at the building . . . . The Journal News chose not to share with its readers the information that it had hired armed security guards. That revelation came from a competing newspaper, the Rockland County Times, which concluded that the Journal News conducts itself according to the double standard: “Guns are good for the goose but not for the gander.”
(Which reminds me of Dave Kopel & Robert Racansky’s old “Goose and Gander Amendment”. In a nutshell: If gun bans and regulations had to apply equally to police and the rest of us, only the more reasonable gun laws would get passed.)
Besides the Journal News sequence of events, O’Keefe seems to have been thinking of things like this:
- New Jersey Star-Ledger columnist Bob Braun exploits people’s emotions and the Newtown shootings to call for more gun control