During the height of post-Sandy Hook anti-gun hysteria a New York newspaper started a firestorm when they published a map detailing the residency of gun owners in White Plains, NY. The decision to link the story with a gun registry resulted in break-ins and left gun owners feeling harassed, “as if they were registered sex offenders”.
Now there’s a new app in the Android Marketplace that encourages users to expose gun owners. And not just locally, but to the entire world—with an app called “Gun Geo Marker”. Brett Stalbaum, a professor at the University of California San Diego developed and released the app that allows users to mark a map with the location of “irresponsible gun owners.”
That’s right. The app’s only use is for documenting the personal addresses of people who own guns. And take a look at the guidelines for marking owners.
According to the app description found in the Google Play App Store:
”Unlocked, loaded or carelessly stored weapons should generally be treated with concern by friends, neighbors and visitors. The locations of such careless owners should probably be marked so that others can make an informed decision.”
The discretion is entirely up to the app user, and there’s no way of moderating whether the resident is in fact an irresponsible gun owner. Lucky for the app users, they are protected by anonymity when marking locations. Funny how they can exercise their First Amendment right but gun owners can’t uphold the Second.
How is this different from an app that would allow marking the location of citizens by political affiliation, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation? Just because it involves guns shouldn’t make it permissible.
Many of you have asked for a way to contact the maker of the app and address your concerns. They’ve opened up a phone line to take feedback so you’re welcome to do so here: (225) 267-7346. But we here at Bearing Arms strongly recommend doing so politely and intelligently—gun owners shouldn’t stoop to the anti-gun side’s level. Here’s the email as well: firstname.lastname@example.org.