A growing number of news organization have responded to the recent incidents of gun violence by publishing lists from public records of the names and — sometimes the addresses — of gun owners in communities in the Northeast.
The Westchester County Journal News published names and addresses of gun owners in suburban New York. Gawker has done the same for people in New York City, publishing their names, but not their addresses.
It's raised some concerns among those gun owners, some of whom are upset that their information is being published, though it is technically public information that anyone can access.
A listener on Facebook wrote:
Criminals will know which house pose a threat and which ones don't. Criminals would also know which house to rob if they need access to an illegally obtained gun. Blaming violence on guns is like blaming obesity on forks and spoons.
Randy Cohen was the writer of The Ethicist column for The New York Times Magazine for 12 years. He's also the author of "Be Good: How to Navigate the Ethics of Everything."