GPS Tracking Is Not All Good

by Joe Mueller on August 27, 2009

Perhaps I should have named this article Why Crazy People Should NOT Use GPS Tracking because I think that that statement is just as true as the one I ended up picking as the title for this post.  There are some crazy people in this world who will do all sorts of evil with things that are normally very useful and good for society at large.  This seems to be an unavoidable fact of existence.

But when you read (very sad, very disturbing – consider yourself warned) stories like this, where you have a person use the power of GPS to do terrible things it just makes you sick.

For those of you who didn’t click through and read the post the story goes something like this (very sad, very disturbing – skip past the indented paragraphs if you don’t want to read it):

There is a man – a controlling, small little man – who tries to make himself big by pushing around his wife.  She eventually gets fed up and decides the ditch the dude.  There is another man involved.  The small man is upset that his wife isn’t home to cook him dinner or something and enlists the help of his teenage daughter to use the GPS in his wife’s cell phone to track her location.  When he finds her his wife tells him that she is leaving him and that she isn’t going home with him.  The small man leaves angry.

But it gets worse … much, much worse.  The small man, in a total act of cowardice takes out his anger against his wife on his own children.  While they sleep, one by one, he walks through his home with  loaded gun and proceeds to fire round after round into his own children.  Four lie dead in their beds where they slept.  The fifth child is found shot dead in the bathroom where there were signs of a struggle.  Sickening.

The small man then goes to the spot where he last saw his wife, presumably to find here and kill her as well.  When he doesn’t find her, he is apparently overcome with guilt over the horrendous thing that he has just done and he takes his own life.

Now this story is one of the saddest that I have heard in a long, long time.  What would posses a father to do such a thing?  How could he even think of doing any willful harm to his children?  It makes me sick to think that such a thing can happen.

But the purpose of this site is not to discuss what it means to be a man, or to show how a husband should lay down his life for his wife and children – not steal their lives as they sleep, or to how one ought to treat his wife with love and respect.  We are here to talk about GPS tracking and its application in society.

So was the GPS in the cell phone responsible for this tragedy?  Was it a cause?  Are the children dead because of it?

I certainly don’t think so.  Sure, the cell phone GPS did lead to the discovery of the infidelity.  It did contribute to the spark of hate and violence that would eventually lead to such a terrible tragedy, but it was by no means responsible for it.  The situation was already terrible – the man had been abusive to his wife since she was a 13 year old girl.  There relationship was one built on violence, fear, and control.  You had to know that the end of it was not going to be good – but no one could have expected it to end like this.

GPS did not have anything to do with the emotional and relational sickness that marks this terrible tragedy.  It was not the satellites that pulled the trigger on the gun.  It was not a GPS receiver that someone implanted the thought to kill children in the wicked man’s head.  No, GPS had nothing to do with the actual evil in this situation.

But it does highlight s0mething interest that I have been trying to point out about GPS tracking for some time now: if this technology is used wrongly it can have devastating effects.  It seems that the amount of good that a technology can do is only proportional to the amount of evil that it can do in the hands of perverse and wicked men.  I hope that cell phone GPS doesn’t get abused like this often, but I know that this is just a pipe dream.  It is probably happening right now as we speak … and that makes me profoundly sad.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Patrick August 28, 2009 at 1:29 pm

That is absolutely sickening. Like you say though it’s not the GPS that is to blame. The GPS doesn’t have the ability to act and make choices. People do.

Reply

2 Joe August 31, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Hi Patrick,

It is funny how people can blame technology when there is very little that the technology actually does in these situations. It all comes down to the principle summed up in that old idiom, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

In this case, GPS tracking was used to help locate a loved one – the what the man did with the information is the disgusting, sickening part of it all. I hope this type of thing never happens again, but with people being the way that they are I think that this is just going to be one of many tragedies related to GPS in the future.

- Joe

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: