Earlier this week, upstate New York newspaper The Journal News published a map marked with the names and addresses of everyone with a gun permit in Westchester and Rockland counties as part of an effort to share “important” information about gun ownership “in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings.” Unsurprisingly, hundreds of gun owners complained, and one blogger decided to take things to the next (or, as he argues, an equal) level. On Monday, Christopher Fountain began posting the photos and contact information of Journal News employees (another blogger eventually used Fountain’s list to create his own interactive map, which has since grown to include more staff members.) His retaliatory move got him a Thursday spot on CNN, where he justified his actions by saying he opposed the paper’s “[conflation of] legal gun owners with some crazed tormented devil up in Newtown.”
Fountain went on to argue that the paper could have made its intended point by simply publishing the number of gun permits in the area instead. He also claimed that, since launching his campaign, he’d received thankful e-mails “from 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 and accessible through that map.” Fountain added that he didn’t believe he was “escalating” the situation. “I believe I’m punching back,” he said. If nothing else, Fountain’s reaction does seem to prove one point: Treating the call for gun control as a personal attack on gun owners isn’t productive for anyone (except for maybe the NRA).