The Des Moines Register is in a bit of hot water after they published an interactive Google Map revealing the level of security in most Iowa's school districts. The map has since been taken down due to complaints from people who were upset that it was basically putting a target on the schools where any troublemakers would face no resistance from security guards or police officers.
As you probably know, the National Rifle Association and other gun advocates have pushed more armed guards to be placed in schools, arguing that "gun-free zone" actually draw criminals to schools, because they know no one there we able to challenge them. (The NRA is doing a bit of school-by-school analysis of its own.) Naturally, those same folks were outraged that someone would actually do the crazy people's leg work for them, by calling up the schools and compiling their answers in an easy to use chart.
Even though the paper bowed to the pressure to take down the map, the paper's editor defended its purpose, saying it was an important of their story on school security, and that their readers constantly demand this kind of information. Editor Rick Green said, "The tricky part of this whole thing … is that when taxpayers and residents are calling us to inquire about how safe their kids’ schools are, we have to investigate it."
It doesn't look like anyone's going to lose a job over this, but just like the The Journal News of New York found out, publishing maps where people do and don't have guns is never going to go over well.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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