FoxNews did a story today about the response to Journal News publishing the names and addresses of pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland Counties, New York. Putnam County is resisting the request to release this information and is getting support from Sen. Greg Ball (R-NY-40).
You can see a video of the report and the interview of Sen. Greg Ball here.
What is equally as interesting is the response by ex-cons and reformed burglars to this story. They say that this map published using Google Maps by the Journal News would have made their job easier.
“That was the most asinine article I’ve ever seen,” said Walter T.
Shaw, 65, a former burglar and jewel thief who the FBI blames for more
than 3,000 break-ins that netted some $70 million in the 1960s and
1970s. “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?
“What they did was insanity,” added Shaw, author of “License to Steal,” a book about his criminal career.
Bob Portenier, another former burglar turned crime prevention consultant, offered this:
“They just created an opportunity for some crimes to be committed and I think it’s exceptionally stupid,” said Bob Portenier, 65, a former burglar and armed house robber turned crime prevention consultant.
Professional burglars are always looking for an edge, and like most folks, they read the paper, said Portenier.
“Criminals are always looking for opportunity and words travels through the grapevine—burglars trade secrets and when you see something like that in the paper, that’s is something burglar’s are going to talk about,” Portenier said. “‘Did you see in the paper where all these people have guns and their addresses?’ and that kind of stuff, they’ll say.”
While some burglars may use the newspaper’s information to avoid guns, Portenier said others will target homes with guns. The newspaper’s decision could even lead to legally-owned guns proliferating on the street, he said.
“That’s one of the first things we’d check out—guns are on the top of the list of what you want to steal,” he said. “They can walk out with a shotgun and a couple of handguns and sell them on the street for $300 or $400 a pop. They can sell them to a gangbanger who ends up killing someone.”
If I was on the list and got robbed or, more likely, I lived next to someone on the list and got robbed, I’d be talking to a good young attorney who wanted to make a name for him or herself. I am sure that Gannett, the parent company of the Journal News, has sufficiently deep pockets to make it worth some attorney’s time and effort.