Intrusive new ‘tattletale’ app puts gun owners’ homes in crosshairs

The anti-gun people are getting personal.

Really personal.

A new app unveiled last week called Gun Geo Marker allows users to enter for public viewing the address of any gun owner they consider to be an “unsafe, ” potentially branding perfect strangers as a danger to their community and making them potential victims of robbery or worse.

gun markerAll in the name of PC rectitude or simple malice, masquerading as community concern.

According to a report, theapp invites “users to mark the homes and businesses of suspected unsafe gun owners … to help others in the area learn about their geography of risk from gun accidents or violence.”

The basis of suspicion?

According to Geo Gun Marker’s “gunmarking guideline,” eligible targets are:

  • The first-time gun owner (automatically irresponsible);
  • The gun owner  with children (an obvious danger);
  • The gun owner who “demonstrates a cavalier attitude toward gun safety, or becomes angry when you ask about it” (someone who thinks you should mind your own business);
  • Anyone mentioned in a neighborhood rumor (“Even if neighborhood rumors turn out to be incorrect,” the app’s makers explain, “the Congress has left parents with so few options to protect their families from potentially dangerous gun owners that erring on the side of safety is highly advised.”)

And those are just some of the more certain situations, according to Geo Gun Marker.

Under the heading of “Uncertain Situations,” Geo Gun Marker notes that “people who stockpile large arsenals or numerous assault weapons for reasons other than collecting are likely a concern.” It does not explain who determines what a large arsenal is, what numerous means or what constitutes an “assault weapon.” Nor does it list any standards that should be used to make those determinations, other than that the app snitch is “uncomfortable.”

And then there’s this, for the aspiring commissar inside every liberal:

“Bumper stickers or other public displays supporting gun ownership are not a problem, but when combined with radical anti-government propaganda and/or representations of paranoid political beliefs or support for terrorist organizations, these owners and their locations may well be worth marking.”

Not surprisingly, according to Fox, the app has generated hundreds of negative comments – and a fair amount of spamming – since it went live on July 7.

“This is dangerous and invasive,” one reviewer wrote. “Dangerous because it allows criminals to determine where they might steal firearms….you are an accomplice to any firearm theft that will occur due to the existence of this app.”

The app’s developer is Brett Stalbaum, a lecturer at the University of California, San Diego. His university biography brags that he helped develop software used to attack the Pentagon, among other things you’d have to be an academic liberal to be proud of.

He’s nonplussed by the criticism.

“The gun rights community has been busy making personal threats (we remain unconcerned), as well as spamming the Gun Geo Marker database with false markers,” he wrote “Though these fake markers are not useful for identifying dangerous guns and owners, they are certainly representative of the highly paranoid reaction we have come to expect from any attempt to improve gun safety in the United States.”

A “highly paranoid reaction” from gun owners to an app that will put their address and weaponry information available to anyone with the app? With personal comments – anonymous, of course – about why those gun owners are considered suspect for personal or political reasons?

This isn’t “1984,” or “Brave New World”-style tyranny. This is a weird hybrid of misplaced morality and high-tech communal intrusiveness – the Salem witch trials with Stasi techniques.

This is liberalism in America in 2013.


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