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Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:28 AM

How Big Data Can Solve America's Gun Problem

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/12/how-big-data-can-solve-americas-gun-problem/266633/



Big data might have stopped the massacres in Newtown, Aurora, and Oak Creek. But it didn't, because there is no national database of gun owners, and no national record-keeping of firearm and ammunition purchases. Most states don't even require a license to buy or keep a gun.

That's a tragedy, because combining simple math and the power of crowds could give us the tools we need to red flag potential killers even without new restrictions on the guns anyone can buy. Privacy advocates may hate the idea, but an open national database of ammunition and gun purchases may be what America needs if we're ever going to get our mass shooting problem under control.

Just look at the gun-acquiring backgrounds of some of our more recent mass killers to see what I mean. James Holmes, the Aurora shooting suspect, went to three different locations spread out over 30 miles to legally buy his four weapons. All three were reputable outdoors retail chain stores. He then went online, and bought thousands of rounds of ammunition along with assault gear. UPS delivered around 90 packages to Holmes at his medical campus in that short period. It doesn't take a PhD in statistics to see that a quick, massive buildup of arms like this by a private individual -- especially one, like Holmes, who was known in his community for having growing mental health issues -- should raise a red flag.

In Newtown, Adam Lanza carried hundreds of rounds -- enough to kill every student in the Sandy Hook Elementary school if he had not been stopped. But he also attempted to destroy his hard drives to cover his pre-rampage digital tracks. Clearly he feared the data he left behind.

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Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply How Big Data Can Solve America's Gun Problem (Original post)
xchrom Dec 2012 OP
hack89 Dec 2012 #1
MadHound Dec 2012 #5
hack89 Dec 2012 #6
pipoman Dec 2012 #2
Coyote_Tan Dec 2012 #3
pipoman Dec 2012 #4
Paladin Dec 2012 #7

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:40 AM

1. We can use the Patriot Act as a foundation

no need to start from the ground up - the government will surely embrace any enhancement of the surveillance state.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 08:35 AM

5. No, sorry, we don't need any further expansion of the Patriot Act,

 

In fact, the Patriot Act needs to be done with entirely. It is an abomination in a supposedly free country.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 08:38 AM

6. I meant it sarcastically

I agree completely with your view of the Patriot Act.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 07:40 AM

2. So they are suggesting

"an open national database of ammunition and gun purchases", and a database of people other people suspect shouldn't own guns or are ambiguously labeled "mentally ill"?

No, that is a terrible idea which is a non-starter on many levels. What is an "open national database" anyway?

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Response to pipoman (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 08:08 AM

3. Maybe they got the idea from the newspaper...

 

... that published all registered guns (or was it ccw permits).

Your nosy neighbors down the street can shame you properly for your purchases.

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Response to Coyote_Tan (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 08:30 AM

4. I thought the same thing..

in fact, I am thinking there needs to be some new privacy laws in place to protect the public from the media...maybe mandatory prison for any publisher who publishes people's personal information without express written consent...maybe give them the leeway of publishing only if the person holds public office or is convicted of a crime..

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 08:51 AM

7. Aw, Poor Gun Enthusiasts.


Actually, fuck you people. Any restrictions put in place will be the direct result of the open-ended, destructive gun policies you have championed with single-issue ferocity for decades. Your losses are your own work.

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