In December 2012, the Rockland County Journal News published an interactive map of everyone in the counties of Westchester and Rockland, New York that had legal gun permits on their website. The public outrage was instant and it wasn’t long before they were forced to take the map off their site.
Criminals found the map to be quite helpful as thieves used it to target the home of a 70 year old man in White Plains, New York. The thieves managed to open two safes and stole a third safe from the third floor in the home. The stolen safe contained a .45 Colt revolver and a .22 Iver Johnson handgun along with the two pistol permits to own them.
Consequently, a total of 26 staff members with the Journal News lost their jobs, including Editor Caryn McBride who was responsible for posting the interactive map online. She later claimed that she was forced to hire armed security guards to protect her because of all of the threats she had received over the matter. Kind of ironic for an anti-gun advocate like McBride to turn to guns for her own protection, but then that’s exactly what Obama is doing.
But it seems that history was almost ready to repeat itself.
Instead of a local interactive online map of two New York counties, the latest anti-gun enterprise consists of building a database of all conceal carry permit holders in numerous states. Civitas Media is one of the nation’s newspaper conglomerates. They own 88 newspapers in 12 states, giving them total publications of over 100.
On January 19, Jim Lawitz, Director of Content for Civitas sent out an internal email outlining two projects. His email read:
“We are launching two enterprise projects across our newsrooms this month. The first will deal with the creeping influence of heroin in our communities. The deadly drug has quietly taken over, reaching across all age groups and eclipsing meth as the recreational drug of choice.”
“The second project examines the explosion of ‘conceal and carry’ gun permits across the U.S. Through public records act requests, we will attempt to build state-by-state databases that list those who have the right to carry a concealed weapon.”
According to Lawitz, Civitas Media has no plans to publish the database, at least that’s what he told Buckeye Firearms Association when they inquired about the project. In responding to the inquiry, Lawitz replied:
“We do not typically publicly comment on internal propriety communication. However, we have no plans to publish any names on any lists. Further, we are open to discuss any published reports.”
On January 24, The Daily Caller published a story about the plans of Civitas Media to build a database of legal conceal carry permit holders. Once the news became public and the negative backlash started to come back to them, Civitas back pedaled on their plans and their CEO Michael C. Bush issued a statement saying:
“A poorly crafted internal memo meant to highlight editorial discussions and planning incorrectly indicated that such a database was being planned; it has been considered and rejected.”
Fortunately this plan was killed before it started, but only after it became public. This is an example of why it is so vital for gun owners and gun rights organizations to keep a vigilant watch for things like this. Chances are had this not gone public, Civitas Media would have continued with the plans to build the conceal carry permit database. If you hear of anything similar to this, please let us know so we can start to get the word out as soon as possible.