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Geohashing Meets an Angry Rancher With Firearms

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the viral-marketing-for-xkcd-fps dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 800

katicli writes "Geohashing, an obscure xkcd pastime which involves going to random coordinates generated by md5 hashing, the date, and the opening status of the stock market, appears to have just gotten far more interesting. The official wiki reports a warning for other geohashers intending to go to the spot designated for June 14th in the San Francisco area, as several avid fans of xkcd were met by an angry rancher and firearms."

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Overreactions (5, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801289)

My first reaction is that the geohashing folks overreacted. I might be a little concerned and take photos of license plates if a bunch of people suddenly showed up on my property somewhere out in the boonies.

As to the firearms, were they scared at the mere presence of firearms or did the ranchers actually point them at anyone? If they simply saw the guns in the truck, what possibly could have scared them? Ooooh, guns.... scary.

Re:Overreactions (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801307)

To a lot of overprotected-live-in-the-parent's-basement technojock types, a gun is scary, if nothing else because of unfamiliarity. Besides, if the ranchers were taking pictures of license plates, odds are they were planning on involving law enforcement, not gunning anyone down.

Re:Overreactions (5, Insightful)

Wog (58146) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801363)

Yep.

"Two vehicles later drove on property, first truck with two rifles or shotguns in plain sight."

Egads, the ranchers had firearms mounted in their trucks! OH NOES, THEY MUST BE FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF MURDERING US, THERE IS NO OTHER POSSIBLE EXPLANATION!

Please, PLEASE take note that nobody said that threats were ever made, or that firearms were ever presented in a menacing way. For anyone that works with livestock, having long guns mounted in vehicles and handguns on one's person is absolutely normal, routine, and safe.

If I were running a ranch and a bunch of 20-somethings showed up on my private property, I would be taking pictures and making sure I had a weapon at hand, too.

I'm a fan of XKCD and love the idea of Geohashing, but these folks really should make an effort to notify landowners and get permission before entering private property.

Re:Overreactions (2, Informative)

Hansu (234247) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801699)

For anyone that works with livestock, having long guns mounted in vehicles and handguns on one's person is absolutely normal, routine, and safe.
Um.. I do occasional tech stuff on a farm and not ever have I seen any of the staff carry any kind of firearm.

Just saying, since you make it sound like every one working with animals is armed to the teeth.

Re:Overreactions (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801895)

Um.. There's generally a distinction between a farm and a ranch too.

Just saying.

Re:Overreactions (3, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801389)

the amount of FPSism that abounds in certain sectors of the geek community, you'd think that they'd be desensitized to guns by now.

I grew up in the sticks and shot in rifle competitions when I was a kid. I grew up around guns and I have some now. The gun isn't the scary thing.

The scary thing is an unknown person with one. Especially an unknown person whose private property you've just invaded without permission - and apparently in numbers.

Why does that guy take the gun with him? Because how the hell does he know what this large group of hippies that just showed up in his property wants? They're just there for a math joke, but for all he knows they're trying to set up the next woodstock.

The moral of the story is, don't tresspass and then bitch when the owner of the property asserts his rights. Then again, around here people root for the cracker kids and the mp3 traders, so I'm not really surprised.

Re:Overreactions (5, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801537)

the amount of FPSism that abounds in certain sectors of the geek community, you'd think that they'd be desensitized to guns by now.
FPSes tell me that headshots are easy, and that all it takes is a moment of not listening for footsteps, or a moment's hesitation with my own gun, and I'm dead. And here I am without even a knife... You'd think FPSes would make geeks even more sensitive to guns.

They're just there for a math joke, but for all he knows they're trying to set up the next woodstock.
I somehow doubt woodstock would be his biggest fear. For that matter, if that's what they're doing, seems like a perfect opportunity to cash in on his previously-undervalued property.

Re:Overreactions (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801587)

the amount of FPSism that abounds in certain sectors of the geek community, you'd think that they'd be desensitized to guns by now.
FPSes tell me that headshots are easy, and that all it takes is a moment of not listening for footsteps, or a moment's hesitation with my own gun, and I'm dead. And here I am without even a knife... You'd think FPSes would make geeks even more sensitive to guns.
No, that should just make them more sensitive to death. From watching "SAW IV" I discovered that its easy to get two people to rip each others guts out with meathooks. If anything that should make me more sensitive to meathooks, right?

A tool is just a tool.

They're just there for a math joke, but for all he knows they're trying to set up the next woodstock.
I somehow doubt woodstock would be his biggest fear. For that matter, if that's what they're doing, seems like a perfect opportunity to cash in on his previously-undervalued property.
Some people value peace and quiet more than contributing to urban sprawl and getting a cash payout -- no matter how big it is. Selling off the family farmstead is for his children who have been corrupted by modern society. or something.

Re:Overreactions (5, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801641)

No, that should just make them more sensitive to death. From watching "SAW IV" I discovered that its easy to get two people to rip each others guts out with meathooks. If anything that should make me more sensitive to meathooks, right?
If you saw meathooks in a non-meatlocker, meathandler, butcher kind of context, yes. It'd certainly make me suspicious.

Re:Overreactions (1, Insightful)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801691)

A tool is just a tool.
Yea, I think you just demonstrated that...

Re:Overreactions (1)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801771)

Or the farmer could mistake them for the latest gathering of MS-13 or La Raza gangbangers, (who have come down here to the East Coast now too) which would be VERY bad for his farm, especially if said farmer was white or black.

Having a gun on you, especially a handgun seems more like common sense, as much common sense as actually KNOWING how to use it :) and WHEN to use or WHEN NOT to use it.

Re:Overreactions (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801795)

Yeah, that's in the top ten reasons why I carry a 1911.

Re:Overreactions (1)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801915)

Springfield, Colt, Kimber or something more exotic?

Nice gun by the way.

Re:Overreactions (1)

throatmonster (147275) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801443)

Got to agree - firearms aren't just common on a ranch in the boonies, they're just about necessary. And no mention of whether the firearms were actually being used to threaten anyone, although the mention of "angry" ranchers implies that. TFA (sorry, I did) mentioned shotguns specifically - like 6 times - but no mention of any other kind of gun. Was this proximity and familiarity, or just knee-jerk? There's little difference between shotguns, rifles, and handguns for inappropriate uses, but there's a lot of difference between them for legitimate use on a ranch out in the country.

Re:Overreactions (5, Funny)

bigtangringo (800328) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801675)

I think I speak for a lot of us here when I say: What a punch of pussies.

Re:Overreactions (2, Insightful)

ampmouse (761827) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801841)

Are you saying you wouldn't have run away? We had already been there for over an hour so there was no point in staying to see what might or might not happen. Generally it's not a good idea to get in a gun fight with a rancher on their own property.

Re:Overreactions (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801783)

Were the ranchers in the wrong for having firearms ? Hell no, that's business as usual when working with cattle. Is it an alien concept to most city slickers, because we've come to associate firearms with stupid goddamned thugs. You see a weapon in the city, you run (or start shooting first). You see a gun in the country, well there's a good chance it's just a tool like any other.

This divide between city and country is growing wider and deeper as technological advances continue to abstract urban living away from its primal foundations.

Re:Overreactions (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801327)

Possibly overreaction. Imagine if you were someone living in the area and then a swarm of people suddenly descended upon a location in your vicinity. Wouldn't you want to find out what's going on?

Re:Overreactions (4, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801357)

Yeah, I don't know why the xkcd folks think they can just get away with this.. you can't just drive out to a random spot; that's called trespassing unless it just happens to be on public land.

Re:Overreactions (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801455)

In free countries you can [outdooracc...otland.com] . It's one of the fundamental rights, like privacy, free speech and water. The right to roam.

Re:Overreactions (3, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801557)

The right to privacy means that I can't stop people from trespassing on my property? I have no right to privacy on my own land? Your definition of rights has some internal inconsistencies, buddy.

Re:Overreactions (4, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801583)

"The right to roam" may be fine in isolated instances of ethnically homogeneous countries with no appreciable rural crime rate.

The US is not that, and allowing it would be absurd and instantly exploited by criminals. There is ample historic support for protecting rural property from rustlers, theft, etc. Remember that the special conditions which apply in tiny areas like Scotland have no bearing on the rest of the world which faces MUCH different realities.

Re:Overreactions (4, Informative)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801591)

Pff, n00bs.

In Sweden you're allowed to camp for two days on random property, and pick mushroom and berries in the forests. The government can even forcibly remove fences if some land owner have put them up, if the fences prevents people from exercising their right to roam.

Re:Overreactions (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801663)

In "free countries"... gimme a break. Go for a romp on the grounds of Balmoral Castle and tell us what happens. Even the first line from your link has the qualifier "...on most lands provided they act responsibly." Think that means universal access? It's almost as easy to crap on the US as it is to put down Microsoft on Slashdot, but if you think for one minute that the US didn't revolutionize real property rights then you're ignorant.

Re:Overreactions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801753)

The earth was here longer then you, how can you claim any part of it 'your property'?!

If anything, you belong to the earth, and it is about time it claims you!

Re:Overreactions (5, Insightful)

andphi (899406) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801421)

I agree. If I were a property owner (particularly with livestock) and suddenly a bunch of folks with GPS units showed up on my land and headed for a specific spot without so much as a 'by your leave' or 'Hi, we're here to do X. We'll do X quickly and be gone,' I'd be suspicious as well and likely to reach for the biggest gun I own. The geohashers could just as easily have been livestock rustlers.

I like XKCD as much as the next geek, but if they do this sort of thing without due consideration for the people whose land they're traipsing over, they should, well, STOP.

Re:Overreactions (2, Informative)

timholman (71886) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801489)

I agree. If I were a property owner (particularly with livestock) and suddenly a bunch of folks with GPS units showed up on my land and headed for a specific spot without so much as a 'by your leave' or 'Hi, we're here to do X. We'll do X quickly and be gone,' I'd be suspicious as well and likely to reach for the biggest gun I own. The geohashers could just as easily have been livestock rustlers.

Or they could have intended to make a drug deal out in the boonies. Or they could have been out there to steal gasoline or diesel fuel from a remote storage tank (a huge problem for many farmers and ranchers nowadays). How is the property owner supposed to know?

Seriously, what is it with the XKCD guys? If their hashed coordinates led them to the inside of someone's house, would they kick down the door and walk in? Of course not! But somehow, because it's a remote area, they think it's perfectly okay to trespass. They're being idiots, and eventually someone is going to get hurt.

Re:Overreactions (3, Insightful)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801595)

But somehow, because it's a remote area they think they can do it without getting caught.

Re:Overreactions (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801803)

Huge swaths of people have absolutely no problem trespassing. They are the folks that shoot out locks on gates, shit on gates, snowmobile over tree seedlings, snowmobile on land simply because there are tracks, hunt and trap illegally, road hunt turkeys at what are major road intersections for a rural area, litter wantonly, throw their empties out the window to avoid open container problems, etc.

Re:Overreactions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801575)

In any case, US law is clear -- going onto someone's property deliberately without permission is considered criminal trespass, which is a crime.

Its ironic that people who are in the process of committing a crime start whining to the internetz that some parties happen to have deadly force available.

I know its far fetched, but I can see a county DA going after XKCD for conspiracy charges, because getting people to deliberately do a crime is conspiracy under the law.

Re:Overreactions (3, Funny)

Tryle (1159503) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801375)

Maybe idiots are in season for hunting and he had his permit. I wouldn't worry though, because he probably has to take a female (doe) first, so luckily for these losers there wasn't one in their herd. In fact, they probably NEVER have women around them, ever.

Re:Overreactions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801481)

Maybe idiots are in season for hunting and he had his permit. I wouldn't worry though, because he probably has to take a female (doe) first, so luckily for these losers there wasn't one in their herd. In fact, they probably NEVER have women around them, ever.
I don't think a slashdot commenter can really talk about not having women around them.

Re:Overreactions (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801571)

I'm always surrounded by flirty bitches but they never actually have sex with me.

Re:Overreactions (0, Troll)

ampmouse (761827) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801613)

Last time I checked there were three girls there. Even the poster katicli is a girl^D^D^D claims to be a girl.

Re:Overreactions (3, Informative)

geniusj (140174) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801755)

^D? Wrong control code..

Re:Overreactions (1)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801731)

Oh come on, that was the cleverest troll I've seen in a while. Throw this guy a bone for funny.

Re:Overreactions (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801665)

Geohashing must now be the new word for Looser.

Re:Overreactions (4, Insightful)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801667)

Overreacted?

So, what, you think you shouldn't be more cautious than usual around people with guns, or do you think it's something that can be safely ignored without comment?

Myself, if I go somewhere, and a guy with a couple of guns in his truck pulls up, I'm not going to be thinking he's just a cute handsome stranger. They were *right* to be concerned when guns are involved - an overreaction would be ignoring them and doing nothing.

Also, in the future, if they go to a location and there's angry farmers with guns on location, they would be *right* to mention that, maybe, *maybe* it's not a good idea to go there. Or would that be another overreaction?

Re:Overreactions (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801853)

Agreed. Also, what exactly are "unfriendly vehicles" ? I know geeks live in some kind of fantasy land, but if they are outgoing enough to be geohashing then shouldn't they know the difference between reality and the Transformers movie? I guess not.

Culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801333)

I can imagine that this experience was extremely frightening for the geohashing crowd, but they should know that it's pretty normal for American ranchers to have guns around.

Re:Culture --weird (3, Informative)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801397)

it's pretty normal for American ranchers to have guns around.

On the other side of the pond we would regard anyone waving a gun around as very scary and wonder if he was a lunatic. In the UK we keep guns under strict control and at places like licensed competitive rifle ranges. Yes: farmers do have them, but they keep them out of sight. We also have fewer gun related incidents, although an illegal gun culture is unfortunately growing.

Re:Culture --weird (4, Funny)

Ferzerp (83619) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801449)

Hey, your irrational fear of firearms is showing. RTFA. There was no waving of anything. It says they were in plain view in his truck. In other words, he had a gun rack... Oh no. He had a gun rack with guns on it. RUN TO THE HILLS!

Re:Culture --weird (5, Insightful)

Grey_14 (570901) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801685)

I dunno why people always think a fear of firearms is irrational, it is a device made for the sole purpose of killing or wounding a living creature, it does so in an instant with the twitch of a finger. couple that with the general fact that people are idiots (the geohashers in this case seemed to be the idiots, but it's a fair general rule to live by, unless proven otherwise: people are idiots.). I'm afraid of firearms, I'd rather they never be anywhere near me. I'm not one to advocate that they all be taken away either because unfortunately the cat is out of the bag there, people have guns and getting them away from criminals AND legitimate owners would be pretty much impossible now.

Anyways, yeah they overreacted to someone just having guns in their truck, but I don't think being afraid of or uncomfortable around guns is all that irrational.

Re:Culture --weird (4, Insightful)

Ferzerp (83619) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801741)

Actually, it is a device made for the sole purpose of propelling a projectile to really fast speeds. Any application of this function is the responsibility of the individual user.

It always amuses me that the slashdot crowd will defend some technology (e.g. vulnerability detection software, p2p, etc) and claim that the individual is responsible for the use, but then say things like what you've said.

By the way, bittorrent is made for the sole purpose of unauthorized distribution of copyrighted works. (see how that sounds? now reread what you wrote)

I guess we only believe in individual responsibility here when it fits our agenda.

Re:Culture --weird (4, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801881)

Bad example - bittorrent *was* - the creator admitted it publicly.

Yes and the purpose of a gun is to kill. Your definition is like saying 'the purpose of a car is to rotate wheels at a specific speed'. It's meaningless.

Re:Culture --weird (1)

grommit (97148) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801469)

Oh, even though I read the entire "article" I seemed to have missed the part where somebody was waving a gun around. I did read the part about guns being visible but nothing beyond that.

Over here in the US, if somebody was waving a gun around, we too would consider that to be scary and would probably call the police who would arrest that person.

Re:Culture --weird (1)

chill (34294) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801471)

"In plain sight" in this context probably means a gun rack on the rear window of the pickup truck. I seriously doubt they were "waving them around".

BTW, how is that rash of knife crime coming out? I've noticed a lot more stories about stabbings on the Beeb.

Re:Culture --weird (2, Funny)

cperciva (102828) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801517)

how is that rash of knife crime coming out? I've noticed a lot more stories about stabbings on the Beeb.

One advantage of knives is that they're easier to aim. I have yet to hear a story about a drive-by knifing in which the culprit missed his target but accidentally killed someone who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If someone really wants to kill someone else, it's very hard to stop him. But getting them to use knives instead of guns at least cuts down on the collateral damage.

Re:Culture --weird (1)

chill (34294) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801661)

True. But knives are much easier to conceal and more common in clubs and pubs. There seems to be less of a threshold for pulling out a knife and stabbing in an argument and firing a gun. Both suck, however.

Drive-by shootings are not exactly common in Middle-America. Downtown Oakland, maybe, but in San Ramon it would be practically unheard of.

Re:Culture --weird (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801543)

BTW, how is that rash of knife crime coming out? I've noticed a lot more stories about stabbings on the Beeb.

Don't worry. It won't be a problem once they ban knives [bbc.co.uk] , too.

Because no complex social problem is so intractable that it can't be addressed by laws against possession of inanimate objects.

Re:Culture --weird (5, Funny)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801877)

Removing knives from the hands of Brits will also cut down on the number of crimes committed in the kitchen.

My apologies to our British friends, this was a cheap shot at your cooking which has admittedly improved.

Re:Culture --weird (1)

ampmouse (761827) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801637)

Actually they were just sitting on the bed of the truck. They didn't even have a gun rack.

Re:Culture --weird (1)

atriusofbricia (686672) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801487)

Ah... the once great Great Britain. The land that gave us people such as Churchill. Where have you gone Great Britain?

Re:Culture --weird (1)

Curien (267780) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801491)

No one was "waving a gun around". The article doesn't even imply that anyone was even *holding* the gun.

If farmers "always keep [guns] out of sight" in your country, what's the point in them having a gun? Surely, it must be visible at least occasionally.

Re:Culture --weird (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801911)

There isn't a lot of point. They used to use them for fox hunting but that was eventually banned. Most of the time they're heirlooms (yes, I know a few farmers.. they don't use guns).

Re:Culture --weird (4, Insightful)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801503)

Why would somebody owning a gun be "scary" or "a lunatic"? I can understand the fear of guns empowering criminals (even if I don't agree with the conclusions some reach on that basis) but guns in the hands of the good guys should probably be reassuring, not alarming.

Re:Culture --weird (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801577)

I guess its just unforuneate that most firearm incidents are unintended. Considering that the chances that a 'good guy' gun owner has to successfully defend himself against intrusion or theft are infinitesimally small, add to the mix that any gun owner is far more likely to injure or kill himself or someone they love than prevent any crime... and, yeah, I see some cause for concern.

Re:Culture --weird (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801657)

I'll create a recursive thread by quoting couchslug:

Guns are tools, and ranchers have ample use for them such as killing critters (feral dogs, etc) that threaten their livestock. Fuel and equipment thieves are another good reason for ranchers to be armed. Diesel theft from irrigation pumps can threaten their ability to make a living, and thieves may be armed. In isolated areas the police can't be there on the spot to help.

Re:Culture --weird (3, Informative)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801727)

That is absolutely made up. Most firearm incidents are not unintended. You simply don't here about 99.99% of the gun incidents because they don't get reported. Why? Because someone picked up their gun, and showed it to an aggressor, thus ending the conflict before it ever becomes violent.

Here is a little hint for you. Most humans are far more likely to enter a physical conflict that they believe they are sure to win. As soon as someone sees a gun, they are no longer sure they are going to win, and thus are far less likely to continue the aggression.

Re:Culture --weird (1)

exabrial (818005) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801745)

The bullets come out of one end. Point that away from you. Are you seriously unable to figure it out? Maybe I should draw a picture. Also your comment, "most firearm incidents are unintended," what are you smoking? I have had a firearm "incident" about three or four times since I was 8 years old. These "incidents" involve learning about responsibility and safety, things my parents taught me. We like to call these "incident trips" because we go out to a field and have "incidents" with our guns. Oh, and during our "incident trips" no one has every gotten hurt. Turn off the TV and go outside.

Re:Culture --weird (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801863)

Ranchers usually don't carry guns with the intention of chasing off humans. The guns were more likely there to chase of coyotes, or to help keep down the jack rabbit population. Or because the guy's also a hunter and just didn't bother to take the guns out of the pickup before making effort to call the cops on the trespassing yahoos.

The really sad thing is. I grew up in an area where farming and ranching is the primary business. And if these idiots had taken the time to walk up to the ranchers house, explain why they were there and ask permission, they probably would have been welcomed. Or they might have been told pertinent reasons why they should go there. I don't go through neighbors fields just in case they have a mean bull in the herd or a territorial dog.

 

Gun in the hand of the good guy (1, Interesting)

aepervius (535155) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801711)

Because, you know, on this side of the pond (Europe), good guy and bad guy are virtually not distinguishable at first sight. So safety dictate that if somebody has a gun, he MIGHT be a bad guy, better play safe than sorry, especially when gun/riffle sighting are exceedingly rare. A bit like if you saw somebody with a package of dynamit or a drawn sword, you might worry a bit... Furthermore, Now, I dunno, maybe in the US the good guy are tattooed "GOOD" on their face in the USA, and bad guy are tattooed with "EVIL" or "666" or "I AM A BADDY", so you can easily recognize a bad guy with a rifle from a good guy with a riffle. The reaction of those geohashing guy is the most safest one. And the reaction of a few poster "why do you fear somebody with a riffle" is certainly not.

Re:Culture --weird (-1, Flamebait)

Simon (S2) (600188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801737)

Why would somebody owning a gun be "scary" or "a lunatic"? I can understand the fear of guns empowering criminals (even if I don't agree with the conclusions some reach on that basis) but guns in the hands of the good guys should probably be reassuring, not alarming.
Because guns are "never" something "good". Not in good hands, and not in bad hands. They should be used only in a shooting range or by people with uniforms. If that is not the case, over here, people with guns are scary or lunatic. I know it's different on the left side of the ocean, I guess it's a cultural thing, but I would *never* feel comfortable having someone in sight wearing or holding a gun whoi is not a policeman or a guard or something.

Re:Culture --weird (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801821)

Define good guys - I don't think my townhouse's neighbor is a 'good guy who needs a gun' but he has one anyways. So my kids will not visit his house, as it's dangerous - there's NO NEED for the average citizen to have a gun, and based on US-vs-UK stats, it's more dangerous to live in an area where just anyone can get a gun.

Re:Culture --weird (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801511)

Who was waving a gun around? Are you talking about the rancher with a legal firearm that was put away IN HIS TRUCK, when a group of trespassers entered his property?

BTW, I think you mean "In the UK, we keep legal guns under strict control." Your chav gangbangers don't care much about the gun control laws. Good thing you have a camera every 11 yards to keep an eye on them.

Re:Culture --weird (2, Interesting)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801671)

On our side of the pond we hear that the illegal gun culture has been huge for years. One of our celebs moved over there like 10 years ago, kept having people walk into her house with guns to rob her (note: if it happens once or twice a year to the same person, it's considered chronic and excessive here; I don't know if she got hit up a couple times or if they kept showing up every month or so or daily or what), got real bitchy about it.

Near as I can tell, the news is propaganda'd over there to suppress reports on gun crimes. Our local news over here used to emphasize every time someone showed up anywhere (private house) or got shot at with a gun, unless a gun was used by an ordinary citizen to correct the situation (i.e. remove a crazy shooter trying to gun down as many kids as he can... by shooting him a half hour before the cops show up). They don't like talking about heroes wielding weapons, only villains. We had a few minor incidents a year but the overall impression of stuff like that hitting the news every month or so is that it's happening everywhere, all the time, to everyone just because it seems "normal" with all the reporting and you know it shouldn't be a "normal" occurrence.

As far as I can tell our rape rate here is massive. I know too many people who got raped (like, almost every girl I know?). In general this isn't considered a problem in this country; most girls simply don't talk about it, a lot of girls haven't gotten raped, but a lot have. Go outside, you don't see rapists everywhere or hear about this horrible rape culture; yet you're living in it and oblivious. Over there you might have the same sort of issue with guns-- hasn't happened to you or most/any people you know, but it's still a significant problem compared to other places. It's really hard to tell.

Re:Culture (5, Informative)

couchslug (175151) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801485)

Indeed. Guns are tools, and ranchers have ample use for them such as killing critters (feral dogs, etc) that threaten their livestock. Fuel and equipment thieves are another good reason for ranchers to be armed. Diesel theft from irrigation pumps can threaten their ability to make a living, and thieves may be armed. In isolated areas the police can't be there on the spot to help.

Remember kids:
If it isn't your land and you don't have permission to be there, stay the hell off. There is plenty of public land to play silly games on.

Country folk are often very good at looking out for their neighbors. If you don't belong there, expect to be checked out. I'd be delighted to have a neighbor who would observe and photograph any questionable visitors. Being visibly armed deters violence, and cameras preserve potential evidence.

Re:Culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801839)

Being visibly armed is a threat. And also the story seemed to be thin on details. it looks like they were on parkland, and someone came and harassed them.

Re:Culture (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801905)

Not feral dogs so much as coyotes. The hills around there are full of coyotes, not to mention mountain lions.

As it says on the Wiki... (5, Informative)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801381)

http://wiki.xkcd.com/geohashing/Known_Issues [xkcd.com]

"If someone says you are trespassing, it is probably best to heed them and turn back. Shotguns are a good indicator of trouble. See Template:Disclaimer."

Sounds like that other thing where you use GPS and leave a bowl with stuff in it.

The reaction scares me (and not the local's) (4, Insightful)

Ferzerp (83619) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801387)

If these people were scared by the mere presence of a few guns, this seriously worries me about the future of the 2nd amendment. I guess there is solace to be taken in knowing that the people who would read that comic and go to that place aren't a very good representative set of the people though.

Still it worries me.

Re:The reaction scares me (and not the local's) (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801467)

Well, it did happen in California, in the Bay area. That is an area more well known for acid tests and "medical marijuana" protests than it is for the 2nd amendment.

Except for Ron "Pig Pen" McKern, original keyboardist for the Grateful Dead. He had quite the collection. He must be rolling over in his grave right now.

Re:The reaction scares me (and not the local's) (1)

atriusofbricia (686672) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801495)

Berkley. Nuff said.

Re:The reaction scares me (and not the local's) (1)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801513)

I read XKCD and have several firearms- don't judge us all.

Re:The reaction scares me (and not the local's) (1)

Fulminata (999320) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801551)

Given the record of Berkeley residents [xkcd.com] in imposing their views on the rest of the US, I don't think you have that much to worry about in this case.

Re:The reaction scares me (and not the local's) (0, Troll)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801869)

Screw the 2nd amendment, I'd rather not take the chance.
It helps that I live in the Netherlands though ;)

geocaching in a paranioa-state (2, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801391)

Too many people wigging out nowadays with the "unattended package" scares to geocache anymore. If you go out in the woods and leave something hidden, or interact with something hidden, and someone sees you, too great of odds that they will call the bomb squad or DNR or something like that.

Re:geocaching in a paranioa-state (1)

slim (1652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801897)

Too many people wigging out nowadays with the "unattended package" scares to geocache anymore. If you go out in the woods and leave something hidden, or interact with something hidden, and someone sees you, too great of odds that they will call the bomb squad or DNR or something like that.
So we should stop doing something perfectly legal and innocent, just in case someone mistakes it for a different activity?

Obligatory (2, Funny)

NewsLeech (1217678) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801393)

Get off my lawn!

The Real World (5, Insightful)

uspsguy (541171) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801409)

WOW! a bunch of people from San Francisco ventured out in to the real world and found that people have strange ideas like property rights and the right to bear arms. I'm glad they got an education.

Re:The Real World (3, Informative)

exabrial (818005) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801597)

This is exactly what happens in Kansas during hunting season. If you hunt on someone's land without permission, the will come meet you with a gun. People don't want their land littered with trash, rutted with prints from four wheelers, illegal activity (meth labs, stealing of Anhydrous Ammonia) happening. And what people forget on the east and west coasts is that YOU are the own sheriff of your property. The USA provides protection for the rancher in this case against intruders, not the other way around. Of course, in Kansas, this is also completely normal. Guns are not a big deal, it's usually turns into a conversation piece. Usually beer is exchanged and some words about the harvest that year and the weather patterns. Then everyone goes their merry way and remembers to call the next year.

Shame, would have been a good contender for the DA (2, Funny)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801441)

Darwin Awards I mean ;-)

This just seems like a bad idea in general. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801477)

I mean seriously, you are going to a random location about which you know nothing about; for fuck's sake, it could have been a government base for all they knew. How would you feel if you were a rancher out in the middle of nowhere and a bunch of people just suddenly showed up on your property? He is well within his right to defend his property against trespassers. Thankfully nobody got hurt, but this seems like an accident waiting to happen.

Captcha: murders - LOL

Re:This just seems like a bad idea in general. (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801695)

It could have been a pot farm or drug lab, complete with home made land mines and trigger happy tenders.

And so it goes... (4, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801505)

... people with too much time on their hands, annoying the rest of the world, calling it fun, and blaming it on the Internet [xkcd.com] .

Re:And so it goes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801707)

Ugh... I seriously have no idea what happened to the xkcd community ever since I stopped following it and anything related to it. I'm concerned about what will happen when someone gets killed, arrested or seriously injured while participating in one of Mr. xkcd's activities (probably nothing, but still).

Taking photos of license plates... (1, Troll)

azav (469988) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801629)

This means that we must outlaw photography.

Quick! Someone call Cory Doctorow!

Re:Taking photos of license plates... (1)

ImTheDarkcyde (759406) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801725)

Then only the outlaws will have cameras.

(and unless it involves steampunk I doubt Doctrow cares)

Re:Taking photos of license plates... (1)

azav (469988) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801791)

Cameras don't kill people. People who take photos with cameras kill people.

Support the NCA! National Camera Association! Support the right to bear cameras!

You can have my camera when you pry it from my cold dead hands. - Carlton Heston.

I could go on but it is Sunday and I need to head off to the camera range and try out my new digital film.

spoiled yuppies learn world doesnt think like them (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801655)

So we'll have more recipients of the Darwin award.
Just because people steal from rhe InterNet all the time doesnt mean the world willbe so benign when one tresspasses.

Why Is This News? (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801673)

So a bunch of citiots tried to go onto private property without permission to have a party and got warned off. Why is this news?

Actions and Reactions. (0, Offtopic)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801679)

a) Darcy is a bigot.
b) I wonder how these geohahsers would like it if a group of people showed up in their back yard, or house, unnivited.

Not random (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801729)

Geohashing, ..., which involves going to random coordinates
It's not random, just unpredictable. If it was random, people wouldn't get to the same spot.

Come visit us at Calguns.net (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801759)

Lest the entire San Francisco bashing party begin, let it be known there are a lot of us who live here in the SF Bay Area who are 2nd Amendment supporters and firearms enthusiasts. Come visit us on http://www.calguns.net/ [calguns.net] before jumping to any conclusions that we're all gun-hating crazies. :)

Permission? (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801767)

Lordy.... hikers, snowmobilers, and others enjoying the outdoors have dealt with these issues for decades. Usually if you respect fences and signs (well, notwithstanding Woody's advice [scrivener.net] ), and ask permission where neccesary, a lot of landowners will accomodate you.

And if they don't, well, go somewhere else.

I live close by (2, Informative)

rossz (67331) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801827)

That's real damn close to where I live. I've been up in that area on numerous occasions. In fact, I took some riding lessons at a ranch up there. My guess, the rancher has had some problems with teenagers harassing his herd. Teenagers do stupid things, like chase the steer around for the fun of it. There has also been the rare occasion of steer and horse thefts. Just a little information. A rancher with a shotgun is as common as a rancher with a nose on his face. Nothing to get excited about.

Careful for the meth labs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801851)

If I was confronted by "easily excitable," well-armed people way the hell out Bollinger Canyon Road in the hinterlands of Contra Costa County, my first instinct would be that I was way too close to someone's meth lab and that prudence would dictate an immediate, apologetic retreat.

entertainment section? (1)

d_beep (153975) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801903)

damn... /. has an entertainment section ?

Other nifty places for them to geohash: (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801907)

Imagine if they randomly chose the location of one of the 740th Missile Squadron's ICBM launch sites near Minot Air Force Base.

Would they be surprised to see people show up with guns and cameras to take picture of them?

random coordinates in NorCal (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801919)

If they are doing this in NorCal or Oregon, they'd best steer of even public land, lest they end up in the middle of a MJ field and some drug runner guns them down w/o taking any pictures or calls any cops...

Don't these people know better (or have they been smoking too much)?
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