Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Crime Government Politics

Ask Slashdot: Can Technology Prevent Shootings? 1144

An anonymous reader wonders if there's a technological response to mass shootings like this Sunday's attack in Orlando, Florida: We're in for a sadly obvious debate now with all of the usual scapegoats, but instead of focusing on who's to blame, it'd be better to identify some specific actions that could actually generate real increases in public safety going forward...

If we're looking for radical changes in the way we live, does technology have a role? Is the answer smart gun technology? Mandatory metal detectors at night clubs? Better data analysis algorithms for the federal government? Bulletproof fabrics?

Share your best ideas in the comments. Could there be a technological solution to the problem of mass shootings?
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ask Slashdot: Can Technology Prevent Shootings?

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 13, 2016 @03:32AM (#52303925)

    Why don't you try education and common sense?

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashiki@gIIImail.com minus threevowels> on Monday June 13, 2016 @06:48AM (#52304845) Homepage

      Why don't you try education and common sense?

      Too simplistic. Besides the progressives would rather bury their head up their ass and pretend nothing is wrong. Remember when all those progressives and the media said that after Dylann Roof murdered 9 people there needed to be a national dialog on the confederate flag? A guy just killed 50 people was a muslim, I'm sure they're going to be lining up to suggest a national dialog on Islam.

      • by Barsteward ( 969998 ) on Monday June 13, 2016 @07:11AM (#52304957)
        he seemed more homophobic than radicalised
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Kjella ( 173770 )

          he seemed more homophobic than radicalised

          Most people who think homosexuality is something horrible think so because Abrahamic religions in general and Islam in particular have been saying that for 2000 years. But it might have been more "the enemy (IS) of my enemy (gays) is my friend" than any deep religious commitment. Doesn't matter, I doubt all the people who fought for the Nazis were die-hard ideologists either.

          • because Abrahamic religions in general and Islam in particular have been saying that for 2000 years

            Judaism is a lot older than that, actually, while Islam is a lot younger.

            More importantly, Islam — uniquely among Abrahamic religions — compels the followers to do something about it. A Christian can be a "good Christian" if he merely prays for the sinners' salvation. A Muslim must act — and homosexuality is the greatest sin [islamqa.info].

            And then there is the inconvenient truth about Islam-prescribed world-order. Whereas (the original) Christianity left sæcular affairs to the contemporary government whoever they are — "Cæsar's to Cæsar" — Islam explains exactly how the government should be structured: a Theocracy with a Caliph at the top. This alone makes Islam incompatible with America's Constitution — but the same Constitution bans us from collectively acknowledging the problem.

    • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday June 13, 2016 @08:36AM (#52305461) Homepage Journal

      Why don't you try education and common sense?

      The federal government has been waging war on education and common sense since the fifties. They are horribly inconvenient in a populace you would like to control.

  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spudnic ( 32107 ) on Monday June 13, 2016 @03:33AM (#52303937)

    No

  • Apples and pears (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aethedor ( 973725 ) on Monday June 13, 2016 @03:40AM (#52303969) Homepage
    No, don't use technology to try to solve a problem that's not a techical one. This problem, the reason why some people start shootings, is a social one. Use social means to solve it.
    • by Lennie ( 16154 )

      Actually, I think a lot of these social problems come from people with hate and without hope.

      When do for example nazis get more power ? When there is more uncertainty. Where do people recruit terrorists, etc. ? Districts where people feel disassociated from the rest of society. These areas still exist today: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] It's been more than 10 years now, things have hardly improved.

      So part of the reason is a money problem.

      I'm for something like UBI or at least really good social securit

  • by Mal-2 ( 675116 ) on Monday June 13, 2016 @03:41AM (#52303977) Homepage Journal

    Metal detectors might keep people from bringing in a concealed weapon, saving the occasional life when a fight escalates. They would do nothing in a situation like Pulse, as the shooter wouldn't try to pass through undetected. He'd just storm the place, shooting the guards at the entrance if need be.

    • Metal detectors might keep people from bringing in a concealed weapon, saving the occasional life when a fight escalates. They would do nothing in a situation like Pulse, as the shooter wouldn't try to pass through undetected. He'd just storm the place, shooting the guards at the entrance if need be.

      Quoted for truth...

      My local school has tried to reassure parents by pointing to the double locked doors, the front desk staff, the required sign-ins, etc...

      I pointed out to the Principle one day that the two main front doors are made of full size sheet glass... the locks are for appearance, a gunman could simply shoot the glass.

      She looked at me with a blank expression like that thought had never occurred to her.

      ---

      Side note, at the front desk, the two ladies who sit there and sign people in, they have a bu

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        My local school has tried to reassure parents by pointing to the double locked doors, the front desk staff, the required sign-ins, etc...

        That "school" sounds more like a prison to me.

        It's really sad to see that things have come this far.

        But maybe we're on to something here . . . maybe we can consolidate schools and prisons . . . ?

      • by cdrudge ( 68377 ) on Monday June 13, 2016 @08:35AM (#52305447) Homepage

        Side note, at the front desk, the two ladies who sit there and sign people in, they have a buzzer behind the desk to unlock the second set of doors and let people in. What stops someone from shooting them and pressing it themselves?

        Sadly, security is a joke, but one one really seems to care.

        A school isn't a prison, All of my kids schools have access control on all the doors. To enter the building during the day, you have to be buzzed in. It's about knowing who is entering the building, controlling the flow of people.

        If a shooter is going to storm the building, there is little that could be done economically for any building and still have it resemble a school.

        It's not about preventing a shooter from gaining access

  • Since your country seems adamant to continue provide ease of access to all sorts of guns and assault rifles, see only one solution: Lets ramp up production of Ed-209!
  • Maybe not the hi-tech response you expected ...
  • No it cannot (Score:4, Interesting)

    by prefec2 ( 875483 ) on Monday June 13, 2016 @03:49AM (#52304021)

    What would help us a less violent surrounding, i.e. less guns. In case of Orlando , the guy was mentally I'll and violent. He should have been in treatment, but in the US you do not send the mentally ill to proper institutions (at least not right away). The thing that would help is a social security system and protection of the poor. You may supplement it by gun laws which forbid selling guns to people who are violent and crazy. In short Bernie could but it looks like you get Trump a fascitoid angry white guy who does not care about the poor or Clinton a Wall Street representative. At lest she will not scrap medicare.

    • What would help us a less violent surrounding, i.e. less guns. In case of Orlando , the guy was mentally I'll and violent. He should have been in treatment, but in the US you do not send the mentally ill to proper institutions (at least not right away).

      (1) The guy travelled to Orlando to perform the shooting

      (2) The guy's family had left him because he was a wife beater, prone to violence

      (3) He then got a job that required him to be armed (security guard), and gave him lots of time to brood

      (4) The guy was questioned about other terrorist incidents by the FBI; so there was already a connection there

      (5) The guy called in a 911 call dedicating himself to an ISIS leader after it was too late to stop the shooting happening

      (6) We have several supreme court decis

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      Although I agree that being religious is similar to being mentally ill, this person was brainwashed by a US Imam, whether or not he had mental problems is besides the point. There are many religions that do the same thing, even Christian ones, it only takes one to trigger an event like this. As the governor of Texas has indicated, Christians by and large agree with this shooting.

  • go back to muzzle-loading muskets.

  • Virginia Tech (Score:2, Insightful)

    You all remember the Virginia Tech where one of teachers was an Israeli who had a specific training and could kill the criminal but had no gun.

    But I heard that is Virginia there was a mass shooting some years before. But it was NOT the arms free zone. So the students went to the parking, took their gins from their cars and shot the criminal. It's a hint.

    The only method that could save you Americans from mass shooting is the perspective for the shooter to be immediately shot. So your Second Amendment is prec

  • by melted ( 227442 ) on Monday June 13, 2016 @04:06AM (#52304111) Homepage

    There's this wonderful technology, it's called concealed firearms. I don't propose that drunk patrons be allowed to bring them in (although that'd be better than the status quo), but it's really a shame that no one in the staff (save for one guy at the entrance) had a concealed firearm on them. This could be over in minutes with fairly minimal casualties. In fact, had he known he would see resistance there, he would likely have gone elsewhere. Instead the police waited for 3.5 hours (!) before storming the club. That's what they usually do, since they have no legal obligation whatsoever to protect anyone or put themselves in danger (Google "no duty to protect" if you don't believe me).

  • Not possible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Monday June 13, 2016 @04:16AM (#52304151)

    The reason some people revert to terrorism-type attacks is that it is basically impossible to prevent them. Not even full-blown fascism can prevent terrorism. Of course, the surveillance-fanatics and the police does not want anybody to realize that, as such attacks are the things that allow them to push for even less freedom, even more surveillance and and even worse police-state.

    Terrorism is something society has to live with, as trying to prevent it (for example in the utterly moronic form of a "war on terror") is futile and makes the problem worse.

  • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Monday June 13, 2016 @04:52AM (#52304319)

    If we're looking for radical changes in the way we live, does technology have a role? Is the answer smart gun technology? Mandatory metal detectors at night clubs? Better data analysis algorithms for the federal government? Bulletproof fabrics?

    We have had a massive decline in gun violence, both in the US and abroad, and nobody really knows what the cause of the decline is. It isn't gun control or getting tough on criminals.

    Furthermore, in the US, probably the single factor that sticks out most with respect to gun violence is "race": after all, despite the US's higher murder rate overall, as a "white" American, you are no more likely to get murdered than the people of Iceland, France, Denmark, New Zealand, the UK, Norway, Canada, Belgium, Israel, and Finland. But "race" (in the weird US sense) obviously doesn't cause violence per se; it must be a marker that correlates with something else.

    So, given that we don't really understand what causes gun violence, and that it has been massively decreasing for poorly understood reasons, it's hard to come up with a technological solution.

    • Agreed, looking at the FBI crime statistics it is remarkable how highly violent crime correlates with race. Not that I expect anybody to talk about this inconvenient truth, it's far easier to implement feel good solutions. When said feel good solutions don't work, they demand more.

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Monday June 13, 2016 @05:13AM (#52304401)

    if you want a technological solution... one accessible right now is guns and body armor. What technology do the police or military use to deal with guns? Words? Education? Do they offer the crazed gunman money?

    Guns to kill or threaten the shooter... armor and tactics to avoid being injured while the deed is done.

    Here someone will say "but I want the world to be full of rainbows and unicorns"... Childish.

    Consider the numbers. The vast majority of the population is peaceful, law abiding, and has a strong interest in law and order. What is more... anyone will act in what they see as their self interest to defend themselves.

    Consider that the error is that we haven't gone 180 degrees and encouraged MORE guns.

    Vulnerability or perceived vulnerability invites attack. This is a well established and accepted strategic and tactical concept in war.

    Look weak and you'll get hit. Look strong and you'll be avoided. If you WANT to be attacked in war, the best thing to do is to LOOK weak by hiding your strength. That is the nature of a trap in war. You trick the enemy into a miscalculation and destroy them. The point being... again... weakness invites attack.

    If you wish to NOT be attacked... do not allow the enemy to think you are weak... either by not appearing weak or by actually being able to respond forcefully.

    I'm sure I'm going to get statements like "typical american" or something equally infantile.

    We'll see if any one has a substantive response to my point. I expect nothing but cowardly downvotes and idiotic insults from ACs without a hint of an argument.

  • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Monday June 13, 2016 @05:30AM (#52304491)

    This is one stupid question and can be used as an example of a stupid question.

    No, it us unpossible. You can NEVER solve a social problem with a technical solution. And no gun control is NOT a solution (and I am all for gun control, which is different from forbidding them). He would be able to do it.

    And having MORE guns would eliminate the mass shottings, but will end killing more people. But that we do not see as those are not as important.

    You will not see 100 news articles about 1 person being killed, you will only see 1 about the 50 shot by a lunatic.

    • You could remove all guns and mass killings will still occur.

      Mix some bleach and ammonia and throw it around. Put together an explosive. Drive a car over the sidewalk. Poison the water supply. Release weaponized viral agents into a high population area.

      The problem here isn't firearms, or cars, or machetes. The problem is an ideology that encourages and glorifies murder of people who don't agree with you.

  • No. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ArylAkamov ( 4036877 ) on Monday June 13, 2016 @05:37AM (#52304537)

    You cannot use technology to solve a cultural/societal problem.

    Any attempt to do so will be nothing more than a "feel good" measure with no lasting impact.

  • by dominux ( 731134 ) on Monday June 13, 2016 @06:32AM (#52304767) Homepage

    Bit of an innovative idea, but maybe lets try making it a little harder to get guns and stop promoting the idea that it is OK for an adult to have an invisible friend that talks to them and tells them who to hate. The current approach to the invisible friend problem seems to be to say "oh, I have the same invisible friend and they are totally nice" or "This bad person seems to have the wrong invisible friend, mine is totally nice". These are both unacceptable and fucking stupid responses to religious violence. It is not OK for an adult to abdicate their responsibility for their own ethical position to a supernatural entity and a book of hate. It is not OK to normalise those who do.
    It is not OK to hate LGBT people. It is not OK to say "hate the sin and love the sinner" that isn't anywhere near good enough. It is not OK to send "thoughts and prayers" because in doing that you are promoting and normalising the position of having an invisible friend that hates people.
    Yes, it should also be less trivial to obtain battlefield weapons, and we should stop normalising the ownership of guns, but we should do that in addition to challenging the ridiculous medieval beliefs that are distancing people from reality, gun control won't implement hate control but we should do it anyway.

"Now this is a totally brain damaged algorithm. Gag me with a smurfette." -- P. Buhr, Computer Science 354

Working...