First, I would like to thank you for your interest in the project, and for those who have installed it, to thank you for your help beta testing the 2015 revision of the project. It means a lot.
What is the Gun Geo Marker Mark 1?
The Gun Geo Marker Mark 1 speculative design experiment “in the wild” that is curious to discover if an geo marking app might be able to meet some of the needs of communities concerned with gun violence. Its premise is that if community organizers and citizens have a tool that allows them to safely and anonymously mark places where guns might be misused (or treated with less than the highest safety standards), then that might contribute to better sense the geographic risk and thus greater safety. It is important to note that the project is an adamantly pro-second amendment gesture, in that it assumes that the more responsible gun use and ownership is, the more likely it is that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution will not only be respected, but maybe even be enjoyed by more people. Finally, the project also pays respect to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution – it is not a tool for the project creator to “speak” with, but rather a technological means of exchange that combines anonymous internet posting with mapping, allowing the public to leave notes in the landscape where they believe there may be a gun safety issue, and for other members of the public to receive those communications. In this sense the project is like the telephone company, providing a way for people to communicate freely with one another.
A key feature of the app is that it is a “local use only” mapping application, constraining use of the mapping interfaces only to the places in which the user actually stands. This disallows arbitrary global browsing, keeping all information into its local and neighborhood context that are the only places where such information might be meaningful.
The critical guidelines
The most important guideline is that you should only mark a location about which you have a gun related safety concern, while trying to provide just enough (minimal) extra information for others to make their own contextual determinations about safety.
An important secondary warning is that the Walkingtools Gun Geo Marker is not intended as a reporting mechanism for active threats. If you are concerned for anyone’s immediate safety, call 911 immediately.
The Walkingtools Gun Geo Marker has a simple goal: letting parents and community members mark, or geolocate, sites associated with unsafe gun use. Electronically marking these locations (geolocation) can help others in the area learn about their geography of risk from gun accidents or violence. No matter what your safety concern with firearms might be, you should feel free to use this tool to provide the most accurate information you can such that others can make their own safety decisions. Having said this, any tool be it a gun or a database can be misused. The marking guide is intended to help users of the Walkingtools Gun Geo Marker better understand when they should electronically geolocate a dangerous gun site, and some ideas about how to read the marks of others and make a personal decision related to the information provided by other anonymous users.
The tool is both a browser (viewer), and a marker that lets you place your own markers regarding specific gun safety issues that you may be aware of. If there are not any known sites of concern recorded in your area, this it is either because there are no concerns, or because nobody has marked (or maintained a mark) for a suspected dangerous location. If you know of a dangerous location, the marking guide can help you decide whether or not to add to the viewable markers. This crowd-sourcing data tool is only as useful as the community using and posting information about locations of concern.