New "Shot Spot" App Identifies Shootings Near You
Due to so many shootings happening in the past year, two men set out to make a change. Zane Comer and Weston Williams created an app called “Shot Spot”.
The “Shot Spot” App identifies a person’s GPS location and shows how many shootings have occurred within a three-mile radius in the past two and a half years. The app is updated every 24-hours to show the most recent shootings.
After the mass shootings of 2015, including San Bernardino, Colorado and Charleston, Comer and Williams wanted something to be done. By creating the app, Comer and Williams wanted the public to become more aware of shootings and realize that it is an everyday thing.
“After mass shootings, politicians use the media as a form of free advertising. So in the days after a mass shooting, you see all of these politicians jumping to the news making comments. But the fact of the matter is, no legislation has been passed since Sandy Hook. And it didn’t even pass; it was just brought to the floor,” Comer said. “After all this time, and all of this talking, nothing has ever been done to change anything. So that is what started everything.”
Williams added, “We were seeing so many shooting happening between 2015 and early 2016. It seemed like every day there was another shooting that was happening--especially mass shootings. But even more than that were police shootings. After seeing this happen over and over again, we realized that there were no solutions. Everything that [people] were trying, [such as] getting awareness out on talk shows, doing marches or even trying to pass a bill through, none of it seemed to work. So we figured we have the ability, [so] why don’t we try to solve something? Why don’t we try to out a dog in this fight?”
In short, people need to be aware of all shootings around them, not just the ones that mass media sites want to portray, said Comer and Williams.
“[One] main point [of the app] was to make it personal," Comer stated. "This is probably the biggest, or most important attribute of [the app]. You might hear about shootings. You might see them on the news in some distant TV land, but it’s not happening to you; therefore, you really don’t think it’s happening. It doesn’t resonate with you; it doesn’t bring it into cognizance. So the idea was, how can we show people that [shootings] happen literally every day, and that it happens around you.”
Williams said, “We really want to raise awareness. If people could see how [shootings] surround them every day, in their every day lives--that it’s not just something on a TV screen--[and] how something that is everywhere can [be shown] without it being politically steered one way.”
Comer noted that the subliminal idea is to show people how shootings actually affect them. Then that would translate into cognizance, which will translate into people becoming motivated. He is hoping this app will be the first piece of information people will need to act.
“The first piece of information will lead to an insight, which will lead someone to hopefully become motivated to make a change,” Comer added.
Williams added, “Don’t be afraid of the truth. A lot of people don’t want to look at the shocking facts, and as citizens of the United States, we have a duty to look at the truth. Don’t turn your eyes away, even if it’s an ugly truth. We have to look at it before we can do anything about it.”
From forming an idea to gathering information, the app took Comer and Williams around four months to create and put in the app store. Currently, the app can only be found for Apple devices.
Comer ended by saying, “Our message is that we want to raise global consciousness [for the public] to become aware in general. We’re not pro-guns. We’re not pro-gun control; we’re simply here to give [the public] information, and [they] can do with that as [they] please. Like I said, we wanted to plant this seed that would sort of turn into change.”
With the number of shooting calls taking place in San Angelo, LIVE! thought some of our readers might find this app handy. The "Shot Spot" App website can be located at http://www.shotspotapp.com/. A video can also be seen when clicking here.