As a lifetime campaigner for public access to government records, I can’t argue with efforts by the Journal News of Putnam County, N.Y., to obtain and publish the names of holders of handgun licenses in their circulation area.
The move does, however, bring to mind that unsettling scene in the original Red Dawn movie in which the first thing the invading Cubans did was trek into the local courthouse and look up the names and addresses of registered gun owners.
One upstate New York lawmaker ripped the editors of the Gannet-owned newspaper as “elitist eggheads” and called their quest for the names and addresses of the licensed gun owners as “asinine.”
The sentiments of state Sen. Greg Ball are understandable but misplaced.
If I were among the 11,000 licensed gun owners in Putnam County, I’d probably be adding the editors to my Christmas card list. They would, after all, be doing me a favor by putting burglars, home invaders et al on notice that deadly force awaits any illegal entry into my dwelling.