“I feel strongly that when information is supposed to be public, the first question is abiding by the law, making it public,” she says. “There’s a second question about the editorial judgment of the paper.” The answer to the first question, she says, is obvious. The second is not for Sant to answer.

Rockland County Legislature chairwoman Harriet D. Cornell was one of four who voted against the resolution that condemned the Journal News (she did vote for the resolution recommending that the state government make gun permit records private). Cornell says the map “created a lot of fear” and may have “inadvertently endangered a lot of people,” but “Journal News had the legal right to print that.”

Instead of criticizing the newspaper and urging it to un-publish the map, she sent a letter to Journal News publisher Janet Hasson and editor CynDee Royle suggesting that the paper use its influence in a more productive way by supporting the Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendent’s proposals to increase gun control as well as funding for mental health resources. Cornell says Hasson was receptive to her ideas.

“The key question is, what is good for society overall?” Paulson asks. “I personally believe that we should know as much about what our government does as possible.”

Sara Morrison is a former assistant editor at CJR. Follow her on Twitter @saramorrison.