Is It Time For A Gun Rights Hackathon?

What does a wealthy Silicon Valley angel investor do when presented with the problem of “gun violence”? He organizes a hackathon, of course. Money man Ron Conway’s putting on the group think-and-code event today in Baghdad by the Bay. “‘We were galvanized around the massacre in Sandy Hook, and with Ron’s leadership, we brought together a number of folks in the tech community,’ said event organizer James Colgan, a product manager at Rackspace, a web-infrastructure service. ‘The hackathon was the ideal vehicle.’ Saturday’s event is meant to help coders and programmers find ways to mine public data and statistics to assist communities on ‘crime reporting, gun violence, mental health and school safety,’ Colgan said.” Sounds promising. But their efforts aren’t entirely altruistic . . . goes on…

“Hackathons build prototypes of real apps that could save lives someday,” Conway said. “We will take the best ideas and potentially turn them into companies.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with making a buck. And if mining data is the goal, the NSA could probably lend a hand, too.

But these hackathons aren’t the sole province of bay area lefties.

Conservative groups are seizing the hackathon as a tool for organizing. On June 21-22, billionaire Charles Koch – half of the famous Koch brothers – is supporting a Liberty Hackathon in San Francisco to push for “small government” ideas.

That event, held at StumbleUpon’s headquarters, will provide programmers and tech innovators “the opportunity to build creative products that help to advance individual and economic liberty,” organizers say.

Who knows? Maybe a gun rights hackathon would be a profitable use of our time. We know some Rackspace whizzes, too — who are a little more firearm-friendly than Jim Colgan seems to be — who might be able to put something along those lines together.

Could the collective genius of a dedicated group like that cobble together an app that would facilitate enacting a federal-level Constitutional carry law with national preemption and demonstrate the number of lives saved and crimes prevented? Or is that just kooky talk?


  1. avatar William says:

    Noooo. A HACKATHON? If it. Means what it says, it’s illegal. Illegal when they do it; illegal when our side does it.

    What us patriots should be doing (HINT, HINT) is calling HOMELAND SECURITY! See something, say something, REMEMBER?

    1. avatar tron says:

      Oh, a no agenda listener

    2. avatar ConradW says:

      To hack means to come up with a way to make something work. To use existing technology to build something new that works.

      Hacking has nothing to do with illegally breaking into someone else’s computer, unless you are making a movie or TV show.

      There is no shoulder thing that goes up.

      1. avatar Trogdor says:


        A hacker is to computers as a gearhead is to cars. Both are motivated to get the most out of their technology.

    3. avatar AlphaGeek says:

      Better to keep silent and be suspected as a fool, than to open one’s mouth and to remove all doubt.

      Get back on your porch.

  2. avatar tron says:

    Kooky talk.

  3. avatar JoshinGA says:

    I for one am sick of the rich dbags trying to control how I can exercise my rights. Maybe its just me.

  4. avatar Totenglocke says:

    Develop a program to scan all news reports online for instances of self defense and compile a massive database. Then have an interactive map so that people can see how often people use guns to defend themselves in each area and also allow for showing how crime has decreased or increased following changes in laws (such as MA seeing violent crimes double after pushing all of their anti-gun laws around 15 years back).

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      I like it. Even in areas where guns are essentially banned. Like the case recently where the guy shot the dog that was attacking the kid in D.C.
      Then he gets prosecuted.
      Oh wait, didn’t he use a gun “for the kid?”

      1. avatar B says:

        Just a map showing instances of violent crime over the years in a city and where its at along with a note correlating it with anti second amendment laws would be neat.

    2. avatar JustLeaveLawfulGunOwnersAlone says:

      And include the option to flood other news outlets with links to these stories, so that they are more likely to be picked up by the MSM.

  5. avatar sophia says:

    I’ve run hackathons before, I happen to be in San Francisco as well. Would be happy to help out. Y’all have my email.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      You, dear lady, Rock!

  6. avatar Marty the lett says:

    If the held it in Frisco it would be a “Jack-Off-Athon” and they would be playing with themselves.

    1. avatar NSB says:

      What a joke you are. Maybe I should take a page out of your book, and judge the entire region you live in based on infantile observations that have nothing to do with your character.

      Gay men support 2A every day, and do so much more effectively than you have in this thread.

  7. avatar Blehtastic says:

    Hi, we’re hackers! We like our technology (which can be used to kill people and ruin lives, as well as improve them) but revile your technology (which can be used to kill people and ruin lives, as well as improve them) so we’re going to use our technology to stop your technology. Isn’t technology great?! Let’s go read wired so we can see the current list of socially acceptable technology and approved social causes to “rebel against the man” in favor of.

  8. avatar Bruce says:

    Funny, Midway USA’s website has been down all day. Could there be a connection? Of course not.

  9. avatar vioshi says:

    I’m a programmer. That said, I think we should do something along the line of the school shooting simulation. Only have two small towns, populate one with pro-gun one with antis. Each town gets 5-10 real criminals as in from prison. All non-criminals have the option of a gun (simunitions). See how long it takes for each society to degrade. The makings of a reality show?

    1. avatar JustLeaveLawfulGunOwnersAlone says:

      Wasn’t there a zombie Sim where you could enter the number of armed citizens and their shooting skills; it would show how long it took for the zombies to take over, or not.

      That should be easily modified to accommodate the above scenario.

  10. avatar AlphaGeek says:

    Yes, a hackathon would be a great idea, but you need well connected folks in the tech space to organize it. Coincidentally, while there are plenty of shooters in the Bay Area tech ranks (seriously, it’s not just me here on my lonesome, I swear…) you might find it easier to organize one in Austin.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      You might have some success up here in Seattle. There are a fair number of gun folks at Microsoft (I remember hearing of an unofficial gun club there) and I’m sure there’s probably a decent group over at Amazon and Adobe as well.

  11. avatar DisThunder says:

    Soo….they’ll data mine, they’ll comb and compile and eventually discover that guns are used far, far more often in defense and protection than crime and massacre….

    ….and we’ll never hear about this again.

  12. avatar Jeff says:

    sounds like a real wild event for all five that might show up.

  13. avatar Lance says:

    Make a movie. Have the aliens attack and then 1/4 of the people pull out their CCW and start killing the aliens. Anther 1/4 hole up in their houses with friends and pull out their evil black rifles. Soon 1/2 of the population is dead the other half survives. You could even show two similar towns and how they far in the attack. One in California, the other in say Arizona. The California town with no or few CCW’s and the Arizona with lots.

  14. avatar sophia says:

    I guess a lot of folks don’t understand what a hackathon is, so let me give you a concrete example of a hack. I wrote a program that monitors gunbot and ammoseek, as soon as those sites post ammo in the caliber and price that I want, it opens the site with the ammo loads my info and buzzes my phone, all I have to do is click buy. The hack part is taking a service and improving it. Works well enough to keep me shooting.

    Anyway, if you’re interested here’s the site for the Liberty Hackathon:

  15. avatar Rich Grise says:

    How do we get around the MSM block on reporting the fact that every one of those massacres took place in a “gun-free” zone?

    Gun Control Kills People.

  16. avatar Jarrod says:

    I’ve used this app to get a few things done in the SF bay area.
    Here’s the main website:

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