I don't think it's nearly as big of a deal as it's made out to be. Remember when people got in a tizzy about how an online phonebook combined with mapquest would make everyone a target?
While I'm sure some people did, I don't understand why. It's not like this was any different than regular phone books where you could look up people's names and get their addresses and phone numbers. You know, like have been around for nearly a century.
The issue with releasing names and addresses of registered gun owners is partly the privacy angle (why do other people need to know this at all?), but also frankly the implication inherent in doing it in the first place. Quick! Name one other registry of people who've engaged in a specific past behavior that you can look up on some kind of map on the internet.
That's why people are a bit peeved about this. There's tons of information out there that is technically public, but that no one bothers to file for and accumulate into a list and present said list on an online map correlating names/addresses to that information. It's a lot of time and expense, and for what? So that everyone can look up which of their neighbors have been divorced? Or which have criminal records? Or what education they have? Or how many dependents? Or anything else?
The decision to spend the time/money doing so in this case and with this specific bit of information creates an impression that tracing such information is somehow important to the public at large (despite there never having been any sort of call by the public to do so). Which I would imagine was exactly the point if doing it. Which gets us back to why people are upset about this.
Along those lines: illegal guns not in database, people home at odd hours, need the keys to the gun safe, something horrifying, etc.
Yes. The point is to make law abiding citizens appear to be like criminals. And not just any criminals, but some kind of social pariah level criminal. I'm hoping no one missed that, but I'll say it just in case.