A New York based newspaper has sparked outrage this morning after its decision to publish a map pinpointing the addresses of people with gun permits. Published in The Journal News, which is based in White Plains, New York, the map shows homes where public records indicate someone living there holds a gun permit. It was part of an article called "The Gun Owner Next Door," and the newspaper says the information shown came from public records. It has readers online furious. Blogger Christopher Fountain is one of those readers, and he decided to strike back by posting the home address of most of the leadership and staff of The Journal News.
Fountain, who is a gun owner, says that The Journal News defended publishing the gun permit owners' addresses for safety purposes, but Fountain disagrees with the correlation between gun ownership and gun violence. He tells "Starting Point" that he decided to post the journalists' information because he felt that the newspaper "was bullying gun owners by conflating ... West Chester County gun owners with a horrible incident in Newtown, Connecticut ... one has nothing to do with the other." He adds, "I felt that they were using this to harass gun owners ... so I harassed them back."
Fountain's blog, "For What It's Worth", can be found at christopherfountain.wordpress.com
During the past election, some residents waited in line for up to six hours to cast their vote in the state of Florida, bringing back memories of the hanging chads debacle in 2000.
Florida's Governor Rick Scott is planning to introduce measures to try to address some of the state's voting issues, and he announces the steps he intends to take on Starting Point this morning.
Gov. Scott outlines three main objectives of voting reform: reducing the length of ballots,allowing supervisors more flexibility in the size of polling locations and reexamining the number of early voting days.
"People are frustrated in our state," Gov. Scott acknowledges. "We've got to restore confidence in our election."
The Republican Governor, who has been given an "A" rating by the NRA, also discusses the organization's response to Friday's tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary.
As the Newtown families continue to grieve, victims and survivors who have experienced past shootings are trying to offer comfort and demand change to prevent future killings.
A group of these supporters joined Mayor Bloomberg yesterday to call for immediate and national action on gun control.
Lori Haas, the mother of a Virginia Tech shooting survivor and an advocate with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, joins John Berman today on Starting Point to discuss her gun control efforts and to explain how she reacted to the news of Friday's shooting, which she says vacillated between "nausea and anger."
"My anger is directly at elected leaders," Haas explains. "I find it appalling that we have allowed the gun lobby to lead the debate on policies regarding public safety. I believe that our public safety officials and law enforcement should be leading the discussion and leading the way on the policies we enact... We hold the moral authority and our elected leaders need to listen to us."
The Newtown tragedy unfortunately brings to mind shootings from years past, like the assassination attempt on Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords in January 2011, which left six people dead.
Among the wounded that day was Ron Barber, who was Giffords' district director. Barber took over Gabby's seat when she stepped down to focus on her recovery, and he won a full term in office last month.
Rep. Barber joins Starting Point this morning to respond to Friday's shooting and to explain how he feels about gun control in America.
"I believe it’s time for us to move in a different direction in terms of assault weapons and extended clips," Rep. Barber says. "I don’t believe we can continue to have those types of weapons available.. I want to see legislation enacted that takes away the availability of the type of weapons that can do so much type of harm in such a short period of time."
Conservative Democrat and NRA member Senator Joe Manchin made news yesterday when he declared that, following Friday's tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary, it's time to start fixing our gun laws and regulations.
The West Virginia Senator joins Soledad on Starting Point today to explain what has caused him to shift his stance and to elaborate on his views about automatic weapons.
"It's time to sit down. It's time to look at a responsible, reasonable approach," Sen. Manchin says. "I've been hunting all my life. Multiple clips of ten or more aren't needed. I've never gone hunting with a military assault rifle. It's not needed... so we need to question this and we need to bring the NRA in."
Sen. Manchin also stresses that gun control advocates and Second Amendment defenders should not "villainize" each other, saying that members of the NRA "are all good people who have children and grandchildren, and they're hurting and grieving too."
According to a 2009 Congressional Research Service report, there are about 310,000,000 guns in the U.S., or about one gun for every American.
Despite this statistic, "More Guns, Less Crime" author John Lott argues that more guns would help to prevent tragedies like this Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
Lott explains his theory to Soledad on Starting Point this morning, arguing that the areas where guns have been banned are the places where criminals go to commit violent crimes.
Last night, the clergy of Newtown, Connecticut gathered to offer prayers and messages of hope to their grieving community.
Jason Graves, youth director at the Al Hedaya Islamic center of Newtown, prayed at the memorial service as a representative of Newtown's Muslim community.
Graves explains how he's approaching discussing the shooting with the kids he's working with, explaining that "it's very hard because a lot of children haven't wrapped their heads around it."
Two six-year-old boys will be buried in Newtown, Connecticut today as children across the country head back to class.
Funerals are scheduled for Jack Pinto, a New York Giants fan, and Noah Pozner, the youngest of the 26 victims who died in Sandy Hook Elementary school on Friday.
Connections Church Newtown Pastor Rocky Veach was living near Littleton, Colorado when Columbine happened in 1999 and he is now helping the Newtown community cope with this latest tragedy.
Veach joins John and Soledad on Starting Point this morning to explain how he's approaching outreach to Newtown residents.