Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A Non-Lethal Solution for Mass Shootings

A Non-Lethal Solution for Mass Shootings

It is 2020 and about twenty twenty-somethings are in an open office setting that looks like an updated Houston mission control station. In front of each of these modern day "Top Guns" sits a monitor and joystick and a huge screen, currently black, looms at the front of the room. The young men and women joke and jibe with each other, various limbs akimbo as friendly insults and soft objects crisscross the room.

Suddenly, an alarm goes off and Stacy's monitor lights up. In a flash, her hands are in control of a drone just released from a liar so secret that only a few know of its existence, let alone its exact location. The others don't even flinch and some look bored until Stacy blurts out, it's a school, and this is not a drill. Almost instantly, a supervisor buzzes into the room and the Top Guns take up their stations as the big monitor at the front pops into life. 

Some take control of drones from nearby buildings and race them to the scene, just in case. But Stacy has this. The shooter, barely 15, is wearing goggles so she deftly switches from mace to Taser and is on him so fast that he barely gets a shot off at the drone as three of his classmates scamper to safety. A split second later, he is on the ground, convulsing. Stacy instructs the school's security system to sound the all clear, a unique series of sounds only the teachers know the meaning of.

Just as she does so, however, another Top Gun, a geeky looking male who got his job by winning an international first person shooter video game tournament, shouts "Second shooter, 6 o'clock!" He's too far for her second Taser so Stacy switches to the tranquilizer gun and puts one into the assailant's chest, toppling him. Meanwhile, the supervisor has switched off the all clear chime, alerting teachers to remain on lock down. Stacy then hits the first shooter, who is starting to recover from the Taser, with a tranquilizer. 

The backup drones begin to arrive but both shooters remain motionless until later revived by EMTs, after law enforcement personnel secured them to ensure that they cause no harm to themselves or others. The Top Guns then return to a typical boring day of false alarms, equipment tests, and training drills. 

Like other first responders, the Top Guns actually want their days to be uneventful, but as employees of an entrepreneurial company, they know full well that their success will only induce those with evil intent to change tactics. The big boss is already adding electronic bomb sniffing devices to the drones and thinking about ways to stop truck attacks with a level of violence far short of RPGs.

This story is obviously fictional, and highly dramatized, but the events described are technologically possible TODAY. Why are Americans debating the Second Amendment, again, instead of discussing practical, humane, do I daresay Christian, steps to reduce the impact of gun violence? Do we want to save innocent lives or score ideological points of no real value?

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