Meet Brett Stalbaum, University of California-San Diego Lecturer and all-around asshole. Having learned nothing from the Gannett newspaper debacle last winter when the publishing of gun owner addresses created a huge firestorm, this tool has decided it’s a good idea to make an Android app that will identify all those “dangerous” gun owners that may live near you.
A new Android app asks users to expose the home addresses of gun owners they deem “potentially unsafe” — and share that information with the world.
The Gun Geo Marker app, released to Google’s Play app store on July 7, 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 app bills itself as merely a tool to collect information, but it was hit with a firestorm of negative reviews and comments from people worried that it could do more harm than good.
“This is dangerous and invasive,” wrote Levi Russell in a review of the app. “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.”
“Major violation of privacy,” wrote Danielle Sigman in another review, one of more than 700 one-star reviews of the app. “Could cause a lot of safety issues for non-gun owners.”
“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 exclusively told FoxNews.com. “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.
Whether an app or online, publishing the addresses of gun owners is a risky proposition, experts warn.
“This makes those who don’t have guns an easier target for criminals. It’s a safety issue,” John Lott, gun expert and author of the book More Guns, Less Crime, told FoxNews.com.
“I’ve debated a lot of gun control advocates over the years, and I’ve never met someone who has been willing to put up a sign in front of their house indicating that their home is a gun-free zone,” he said.
Google tells FoxNews.com they do not comment on individual apps, but said to refer to their Google Play developer program policies for apps that are not allowed.
“As a gun owner myself, I want to see our rights preserved, and thwarting the will of 90 percent of the American people who want common sense, Constitutional measures to improve gun safety is mathematically unwise,” Stalbaum said.
A group of California artists are developing a GPS-enabled cell phone to help dehydrated illegal migrants find water — and regale them with poetry — as they trek through harsh deserts into the United States.The Transborder Immigrant Tool created by faculty at the University of California, San Diego, is part technology endeavor, part art project. It introduces a high-tech twist to an old debate about how far activists can go to prevent migrants from dying on the border with Mexico without breaking the law.
Immigration hardliners argue the activists are aiding illegal entry to the United States, a felony. Even migrants and their sympathizers question whether the device will make the treacherous journeys easier.
The designers — three visual artists on UCSD’s faculty and an English professor at the University of Michigan — are undeterred as they criticize a U.S. policy they say embraces illegal immigrants for cheap labor while letting them die crossing the border.
“It’s about giving water to somebody who’s dying in the desert of dehydration,” said Micha Cardenas, 32, a UCSD lecturer.
The effort is being done on the government’s dime — an irony not lost on the designers whose salaries are paid by the state of California.
“There are many, many areas in which every American would say I don’t like the way my tax dollars are being spent. Our answer to that is an in-your-face, so what?” says UCSD lecturer Brett Stalbaum, 33, a self-described news junkie who likens his role to chief technology officer.