Speculating the Reason Behind Releasing the Addresses of New York Gun Owners

Last week there was a bit of an uproar over a New York newspaper creating maps that show the names and addresses of registered gun owners in that state. In an attempt to defend its actions the paper released the following justification:

“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,” said CynDee Royle, editor and vice president/news.

“People are concerned about who owns guns and how many of them there are in their neighborhoods,” she said. “Our Freedom of Information request also sought specifics on how many and what types of weapons people owned. That portion of the request was denied.”

The more I read articles from advocates of gun control the more I’m beginning to believe that the publishing of those maps was nothing more than an attempt to bring harm to gun owners. Consider the potential consequences of releasing the names and addresses of gun owners directly after a politically charged event like the shooting in Connecticut. People were extremely angry and wanted an outlet for their aggression. The most popular outlet became gun owners, who were collectively blamed for the actions of the Connecticut shooter. By releasing the names and addresses of gun owners the newspaper gave angry individuals physical targets. Furthermore guns are known high-value items from criminals. Releasing a map of known gun owners also notified criminals of locations where guns are all but guaranteed to be. In fact the newspaper’s attempt to also obtain the number of type of firearms further adds to the possibility that they were trying to bring harm to gun owners. A house with multiple firearms is a more valuable target to criminals than a house with one or two.

It’s not a stretch to believe the newspaper really wanted to say “Citizens of New York, here are the addresses of those who threaten your wellbeing. Rise up, form lynch mobs, and kill them before they kill you!” and “Criminals of New York, here are the addresses of gun owners. Strike their homes, kill those dwelling within, and take their guns!” but were prohibited from legally doing so. Our society is one where advocating direct violence is socially ostracized but issuing thinly veiled threats, especially threats that can be written off as misunderstandings, are generally acceptable. Openly advocating the murder of gun owners wouldn’t generally go over well but providing potentially violent individuals with the information needed to unleash their aggression against gun owners goes without much real criticism.

Gun control advocates, while claiming to want peace, are often violent authoritarians. They want to state to use its capacity for violence against gun owners. When gun control advocates demand new laws prohibiting the ownership of specific arms they are advocating for the state to kidnap or murder any gun owners who refuse to surrender their firearms. People who advocate the use of violence against nonviolent individuals generally have little quarrel with any initiation of force so long as it’s used to advance their idea of the greater good.