Someone Sent White Powder to the Paper That Published the Gun Permit Map

The backlash continues against the Journal News, but the most notorious local paper of the year doesn't seem to be backing down.

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After the Journal News published an interactive Google Map of the names and addresses of citizens who owned handgun permits in New York State's Westchester and Rockland counties, the newspaper saw its editors' names and addresses dredged up and published, watched local politicians condemn the map on Fox News, inspired legislation to prohibit such a map from ever being published again, and hired armed guards to police its office building. And in the latest development: the most notorious local paper of the year's mail room received a strange envelope filled with white powder. While the powder turned out to be harmless...

The Journal News staff is back at work this evening after officials deemed an envelope, containing a suspicious white powder and found with the mail, was not a threat, officials said. [...]

An employee had opened an envelope with the powder, [White Plains Public Safety Commissioner David Chong] said. Emergency officials secured the room and the envelope, and the employee underwent decontamination procedures. The building and the newspaper's offices were not evacuated.

...the intent of whoever sent it seems pretty clear. Ever since the anthrax attacks of 2001 — which allegedly targeted politicians and journalists alike — white powder delivered anonymously has been used to intimidate and scare people, false accusations and all. But the Journal News doesn't seem like it's backing down — it's been meticulously updating and tracking the response to its gun map, going so far as to publish one of Senator Greg Ball's classier remarks: "If The Journal News thinks they can intimidate Putnam, they are sorely mistaken. Before I waver, the egghead editors at the Journal News can kiss my white, Irish behind." The paper's boss, Janet Hasson, told The New York Times that "the safety of my staff is my top priority" — now, it appears, she's got more than gun owners to contend with.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.