July 12, 2013 | Filed Under 2nd Amendment, Anti-Americanism, Constitution, Democrats/Leftists, Ethics, Gun Control, Guns, Liberals, Progressives, Smart Phones, Technology, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on
New Phone Ap Exposes Home Addresses of Legal Gun Owners
-By Warner Todd Huston
Are you an evil gun owner whose “gun religion” requires “live child sacrifices” to appease your gun god? Well now there is a smart phone ap to expose your home address to the world.
Gun Geo Marker is now available for anti-gun smart phone users to upload the home address of gun owners to a database created to mark “dangerous guns and gun owners.”
The ap was developed by University of California San Diego lecturer and anti-gun hobbyist Brett Stalbaum who claims that his project is meant to track “irresponsible” gun owners. But reading his ap website tends to affirm that Stalbaum thinks all gun owners are irresponsible–as with the “gun religion” comment.
As Stalbaum explains on the ap’s webpage, “Yes, I guess this is the same as ‘publicly geotag[ing] homes of people believed to belong to a particular religion.’ True enough, if your religion requires live child sacrifices to appease a cold, tubular god.”
The phone ap is explained as a tool to make communities safer.
“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.”
But there are no real guidelines on what makes an “irresponsible gun owner,” and it is plain that the ap is easily used for purposes of harassment.
One commenter named Dave points out how the ap can be used maliciously, even by criminals looking for an easy mark.
This creates prime territory for an extremist witch hunt, but worse, ready information for tech-savvy criminals. If I were seeking a gun why wouldn’t I simply cross-reference the addresses listed with Spokeo information, find a female target and pay a visit? Worse, if one house is armed and the next is not, and I’m looking for an easy target, who do I choose? Takes 5 minutes. This will be abused, it’s irresponsible and frankly, disturbing.
But on the ap’s Google Play store page, all the reviews that take the time to actually review the technical–as opposed to the political–aspects of the ap note that it frequently crashes and is poorly designed. There isn’t one review that praises its technical features. It appears the politics of the issue were more important than programming for ap creator Stalbaum.
It is unclear how this ap would be affected by the privacy laws in some states where publishing gun owners’ addresses is frowned upon. Readers may recall the incident last year when a New York newspaper tried to get various county governments of the State of New York to give them the home addresses of all licensed gun owners. Eventually the state passed a law prohibiting the release of such information. New York isn’t the only state that prohibits the release of such records, either.
If you think this ap is an invasion of privacy, Google Play has a page where the ap can be reported.
Ap designer, Brett Stalbaum, has offered his contact information for comments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (225) 267-7346. He has also set up a Facebook page.
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Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, Wizbang.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
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