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UCSD Lecturer Releases Geotagging Application For "Dangerous Guns and Owners" 976

Posted by timothy
from the guns-are-meant-to-be-dangerous dept.
NF6X writes "UCSD Lecturer Brett Stallbaum has released an Android app called Gun Geo Marker to allow people to 'Geolocate Dangerous Guns and Owners.' The app description states: 'The Gun Geo Marker operates very simply, letting parents and community members mark, or geolocate, sites associated with potentially unsafe guns and gun owners. These locations are typically the homes or businesses of suspected unsafe gun owners, but might also be public lands or other locations where guns are not handled safely, or situations where proper rights to own or use any particular type of firearm may not exist.' I question how the motivation behind developing this app differs from, say, developing an app to allow others to publicly geotag homes of people believed to belong to a particular religion or political party."
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UCSD Lecturer Releases Geotagging Application For "Dangerous Guns and Owners"

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  • by Nimey (114278) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @09:27AM (#44224499) Homepage Journal

    This article will have mature and reasonable discussion, let me tell you.

    • by Penguinisto (415985) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @09:53AM (#44224797) Journal

      Why isn't the argument basis for geotagging potentially violent people of any stripe, no matter what their weapon of choice? Ah, it's the ideology. Bound to stir up some flamage.

      You know? Yesterday, there was a bit of a protest as the local longshoremen decided to clog up our building and get noisy for a bit (the business they were protesting occupies a floor in the building). After seeing one of the protesters walking in with a sign nailed to a baseball bat (and a rather agitated look on his face), not to mention the rather battle-ready attitude of most the strikers (and then seeing this article today)? I kind of wonder why everyone fixates on weapons, when the problem is people... I mean, if the argument was about dangerous weapons, then maybe someone ought to geotag all the farmers who live next to truck stops, since a mixture of diesel fuel and fertilizer is way the hell more dangerous than a gun could ever be.

      Given all of that, the argument is, IMHO, nothing more than a way to agitate for an ideology centered around what the guy considers to be a scary weapon... and nothing more. It's a means to put a stigma on gun owners that someone, somewhere thinks to be 'dangerous' (whatever that may mean) - much like one would geotag sex offenders or other 'undesireables' (in that person's mind).

      Well, fair enough I guess, if that's what floats his ideological boat. Then again, I hope he can afford the potential lawsuit that would come from someone being incorrectly 'tagged'...

      • by youngatheart (1922394) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @10:26AM (#44225229)

        Stigma? My first thought was "I better tag my house" because even though I don't actually have a gun, I would like any potential thieves to think I do. Plus, where I come from (yes, Texas) gun ownership is seen as a good thing. People use their concealed carry permits as their preferred bragging type of state issued ID around here.

    • by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @10:31AM (#44225289)

      I am not a Gun Owner, but if I were, I don't want to be on a public list to say I am one of "those people".
      The biggest problem I see is a lack of Gun Education, and proper handling of a firearm. For the most part (Yes they are exceptions) the Kids who grew up with parents with a Gun and were taught how to use a gun, actually tend not to be involved in Gun crimes. Because things like "Never point a gun (doesn't matter if it is loaded or not) at or near a person", "Take the Ammo out when you're done", "Put the gun in a safe place when not in use". After training these things become such a habit, that the idea of using a gun for violence is unthinkable. But Kid often grow up in area and are not taught gun safety, and politics tell people these things are bad, and you are bad if you have on or your parents does. So once the Kid grows up a bit, he sees this gun as a source of power over other people, and not a tool that needs to be respected so he will be far more willing to point it at people and shoot people he is angry at, as he doesn't have the habit of gun safety.

      • by nschubach (922175) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @10:47AM (#44225513) Journal

        I grew up with real guns and I was even told not to point toy guns at people. "What if a piece of plastic flies out of that and hits your eye?" was the common go to phrase. We now have nerf guns at work and I get anxious when someone points one of those at me fearing plastic shrapnel.

        It's not that I'm afraid of guns now (I own several) but it is an example of a kid growing up with guns all around and being properly educated/aware of the dangers. I think those that have no awareness are the ones that cause real danger.

      • by Muad'Dave (255648) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @11:12AM (#44225799) Homepage

        If only I had mod points - you hit the nail on the head. Lack of firearm safety EDUCATION is the biggest cause of accidental firearm deaths. Most gun illiterate people don't know they're gun illiterate - they think they know all they need to from watching TV (where some of the most egregious firearm-handling mistakes are taught to our youth).

        It's disgraceful that the general public is so eager to watch (and let their kids watch) gun violence on TV, but is so unwilling to actually teach gun safety to it's youth.

      • by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @11:22AM (#44225941) Homepage

        The biggest problem I see is a lack of Gun Education, and proper handling of a firearm.

        This a thousand times. I really wish more non firearm owners were like you who don't have the crazy fear or hatred of firearms. There does seem to be a lack of training and respect for firearms among the general population and thus firearms really are very dangerous when not handled properly because they don't have a clue what they are doing. I own firearms and keep them properly stored (large fireproof safe bolted to the concrete floor in my basement), always handle them correctly (follow all the rules from all of the various safety courses I have ever had), and show them proper respect (it isn't something to show how tough I am and isn't an extension of my cock). I also don't believe in accidental shooting as every one I have ever read about that is called accidental is really negligent or outright reckless. Now granted I could probably contrive a case that I would consider an accidental shooting but there is probably a better chance of getting struck by lightning.

      • by Erbo (384)
        You know, Col. Jeff Cooper's basic four rules of firearm safety aren't that complicated:
        1. All guns are always loaded. Period.
        2. Never point the muzzle at anything you're not willing to destroy.
        3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are lined up on the target.
        4. Be sure of your target, and what's behind it.

        I know people with ten-year-old kids that have mastered those rules. They just need to be taught. Ideally, they should be taught in schools, but good luck getting that past the hoplophobes and gun

  • by Smivs (1197859) <smivs@smivsonline.co.uk> on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @09:28AM (#44224501) Homepage Journal
    aren't they?
    • by jittles (1613415) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @09:36AM (#44224575)

      aren't they?

      Not as dangerous as lecturers at public universities. I think I will write an app that allows you to geotag your local professors, track their license plates, and give you hints and tips on how to heckle them and ruin their lives for doing things that you may or may not agree with.

      Because its not like you couldn't call the police if people are doing unsafe things with guns. In a lot of places there are laws about the safe handling of weapons.

      • by digitalaudiorock (1130835) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @10:03AM (#44224909)

        Not as dangerous as lecturers at public universities. I think I will write an app that allows you to geotag your local professors, track their license plates, and give you hints and tips on how to heckle them and ruin their lives for doing things that you may or may not agree with.

        Exactly...and who's deciding who these "suspected" unsafe gun owners are? Sounds like nothing better than a malicious rumor mill app to me. Let's just start something similar for everyone we think is a closet alcoholic or the like...I mean FFS...

        Because its not like you couldn't call the police if people are doing unsafe things with guns. In a lot of places there are laws about the safe handling of weapons.

        Exactly!...instead we have people with a clear anti-gun agenda taking a total vigilante approach to this...oh the irony.

    • I found one that isn't [treehugger.com] :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Only when democrats use them*

      1. Ft Hood~~~ Registered Democrat ~ Muslim

      2. Columbine ~~~ Too young to vote; both families were registered Democrats and progressive liberals.

      3. Virginia Tech ~~~ Wrote hate mail to President Bush and to his staff ~ Registered Democrat

      4. Colorado Theater ~~~ Registered Democrat; staff worker on the Obama campaign;
      Occupy Wall Street participant; & progressive liberal.

      5. Connecticut School Shooter- ~~~ Registered Democrat; hated Christians.

    • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @10:09AM (#44224987)

      Yes, Guns are just as dangerous as matches, driving a car, running with scissors and swimming in a public pool.

      All of these things kill people. In fact, (PDF link) fire, drowning and car accidents [cdc.gov] kill more people per year than anything else. Actually, that's not true. Matches, Cars and Swimming pools kill nobody if they are left just sitting there. It takes human interaction to actually make these objects dangerous.

    • by luis_a_espinal (1810296) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @10:21AM (#44225157) Homepage

      aren't they?

      You beat me to it. I guess people are smart enough to write ZOMG think of the children apps but aren't smart enough to remove redundant adjectives.

      On another note, something more insidious from either this app or this article's title is the following: Dangerous Guns and Owners. What is "dangerous" being applied to here? Is just describing guns as dangerous (which is idiotically redundant) or does it stand for "dangerous guns and dangerous owners"?

      More importantly, what about this:

      These locations are typically the homes or businesses of suspected unsafe gun owners,

      How do you determine if a home or business contains an unsafe gun (or unsafe gun owner, whatever the fuck that means)? How do they become suspect? What warrants people to be tracked over a mere suspicion? Funny how the right to privacy is shunned equally by the left and the right (and every punk in between) wherever it turns to be ideologically convenient.

      I for one don't care if someone were to track me and label me unsafe.

      Bolt action rifle with good enough caliber to take anything in the North American continent? Check, locked and with the bolt disassembled.

      Revolver? Check, with a trigger combination lock.

      Ammo? Check, plenty of it, locked and secured.

      But hey, don't let that stop you (the generic you) from suspecting me of being dangerous or unsafe or whatever adjective that makes you feel safe and progressive and in charge of doing something positive for society or some shit like that. Once I add a 12ga scatter gun and a 1911 to my collection, that Android app is going to go beep-pause-beep-pause-beep-beep-beep-beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep like Ripley's tracking device back on LV-426.

    • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @10:33AM (#44225319) Homepage Journal

      No.

      Here's a gedankenexperiment for you: imagine a gun sitting on the floor in the middle of a room. Now, try to think of all the ways that gun could cause harm to someone, without their direct intervention (i.e., picking the gun up and pulling the trigger).

      Let me know if you come up with anything better than, "someone might trip over it."

  • The most dangerous people in society with guns are the police and the military. The police kill far more civilians with guns than any other single group, other than the military.

    So, geotag the bases and locations of known members of the biggest gangs around! The occupation is rough, let's make it rougher for them.

  • by jamesh (87723) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @09:30AM (#44224529)

    I question how the motivation behind developing this app differs from, say, developing an app to allow others to publicly geotag homes of people believed to belong to a particular religion or political party.

    It differs because a list of people belonging to a religion or political party doesn't help you if you need to find a gun in a hurry.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    But make sure not to do this for criminals, right?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @09:30AM (#44224535)

    "As a crowd sourced information tool, the information about dangerous gun sites comes from users." In other words, if I have a grudge against my neighbor, or just want to mess with somebody, can I just post that they are "dangerous" and their home/location appears in the app??

  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @09:34AM (#44224565)
    A long time ago, some people at UT Austin put signs in front of dorms listing "potential rapists" that had the names of all male residents. Indiscriminate and unsubstantiated accusations do not serve a useful purpose.
  • by Deemus (115875) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @09:35AM (#44224573)

    Criminals rejoice! No longer do you have to randomly break in to houses to see what there is to steal. There's now an app to tell you exactly which houses to rob.

  • Hypocrisy (Score:5, Funny)

    by Muad'Dave (255648) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @09:39AM (#44224611) Homepage

    And I suppose this UCSD Lecturer would also support an app "to allow people to 'Geolocate Dangerous Liberal Socialists'" that threaten the Constitution?

    I didn't think so.

  • by BenJeremy (181303) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @09:39AM (#44224617)

    OK, Slashdotters, who wants to help me make a geotagging app that crowdsources locations of people and businesses who are NOT gun owners so that legitimate users can use this as positive reinforcement of the anti-gun ideal?

    It will allow users to personally thank those non-gun owners (and businesses) for their thoughtfulness toward others and their pacifist approach toward dealing with an increasingly dangerous and violent world.

    I think Brett Stallbaum should be the first address in the database.

    • by Jaysyn (203771)

      It will allow users to personally thank those non-gun owners (and businesses) for their thoughtfulness toward others and their pacifist approach toward dealing with an increasingly dangerous and violent world.

      I understand your sentiment, but it's really a much less dangerous & violent world than compared to even 10 years ago.

  • It's ok. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Areyoukiddingme (1289470) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @09:50AM (#44224761)

    Hadn't you heard? After a persistent astroturfing campaign, more Americans think Edward Snowden is a traitor than otherwise. They're obviously fine with a surveillance state, so this app is perfectly acceptable.

    Right?

    I'd like to see the results of a survey that correlates opinions of Snowden with opinions about this database. Wanna bet there's a substantial overlap of people who can simultaneously believe Snowden is a traitor while believing this database and app are wrong? While being blissfully unaware of the contradiction.

    Such is the power of the modern propaganda machine.

    • And why can't snowmen be both/and instead of either/or? I know dualistic is lens most of the West uses, thanks Descartes, but this is a both/and. Snowden can very much be the hero for letting the public know about the various domestic and likely unconstitutional spy programs and a traitor for revealing certain details of foreign intelligence operations and at the same time.

      Although at this point I'm pretty sure most people already knew or at least suspected that the government were doing such surveillance

  • by SirGarlon (845873) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @10:07AM (#44224951)

    On the one hand, I think gun owners would be justified in fearing real-world repercussions from being listed in this database. (Some might see it as a benefit, deterring burglary etc.) In fact, it's not only gun owners who ought to worry, since as others have pointed out, the data in the app can be based on imagination or lies.

    On the other hand, it's hard to see how anyone could *stop* people writing apps like this and uploading data to them.

    This is a great example of why I think privacy is a right. Maybe that was the whole point.

    In case it's not obvious from the tone and content of my post, I Am Not a Lawyer.

  • Obvious, no? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by J'raxis (248192) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @10:48AM (#44225519) Homepage

    I question how the motivation behind developing this app differs from, say, developing an app to allow others to publicly geotag homes of people believed to belong to a particular religion or political party.

    There's one obvious difference: This kind of paranoia and bigotry is popular among left-leaning types, so it's all good.

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