Have you ever asked why we call someone running around shooting people an “Active Shooter” and why our schools, universities, corporations, law enforcement and government agencies are constantly having Active-Shooter Training Drills? Sometimes they have drills due to a specific threat, fear of those people working there, or just to have a plan to limit the loss of life in the case of a disgruntled or deranged person tries to go a shoot a bunch of people at the location in question.
Here is the definition according to The United States Department of Homeland Security [DHS] which defines the active shooter as: an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a conï¬ ned and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.
A non-active shooter is someone who has a gun, has made threats, or is acting suspicious, or has been arrested, captured, incapacitated, or killed. A non-Active Shooter could be someone who has just committed an act or is feared to potentially do it in the near future. How do you prevent a Non-Active Future from becoming an active one? Ah, therein lies the $64 million question, and yes, people are working on this; IARPA for instance, IARPA is Intelligence Advanced Research Program Agency, similar to DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) but for the intelligence services.
There was an interesting article in IHSL Startups Accelerator on January 17, 2017 titled; “Thermal Cameras – Will They Prevent Shootouts in Public Places?” which noted new infrared technology – specifically thermal imaging cameras and how such surveillance technologies could be placed in high-density, high-risk areas to see if someone had a gun under multiple layers of clothing. The piece noted:
“The cameras would be able to pick up on differences in the temperature between guns and human bodies, allowing officers to then focus on those carrying weapons, according to SecurityInfoWatch [dot] com.”
Often, metal detectors at check points are circumvented, and so in-you-face that it makes people unnecessarily nervous. What if the surveillance system was hidden, and produced no false positives, can you remember a time when you walked through a metal detector or anti-theft device in a store and it went off with an alarm?
What if you merely had the device and security stepped out to stop the gun-toter to see what’s going on? One could say that the shooter would merely run away, which is the same thing a person who had a gun might do at a metal detector anyway. Okay so think on this as a potential way to prevent active shooters.