What is the difference between an active shooter and an inactive shooter?

What is the difference between an active shooter and an inactive shooter?

Have you ever wondered why we call someone who runs around shooting people an “Active Shooter” and why our schools, universities, corporations, law enforcement and government agencies constantly conduct active shooter training drills? Sometimes they conduct drills because of a specific threat, fear of those people working there, or simply to have a plan to limit the loss of life in case a disgruntled or deranged person tries to shoot a group of people at the location in question.

Here is the definition according to the United States Department of Homeland Security [DHS] which defines an active shooter as: a person actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in an enclosed and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to selecting victims.

An inactive shooter is someone who has a gun, has made threats or is behaving suspiciously, or has been arrested, captured, incapacitated or killed. An inactive shooter can be someone who has just committed an act or fears that they will potentially do so in the near future. How do you prevent an inactive future from becoming active? Ah, therein lies the $64 million question, and yes, people are working on it; IARPA for example, IARPA is the Advanced Intelligence Research 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 Shootings in Public Places?” which noted new infrared technology – specifically thermal imaging cameras and how such surveillance technologies can be placed in high-density, high-risk areas to see if someone has a gun under several layers of clothing. The piece noted:

“Cameras will be able to capture temperature differences between weapons and human bodies, allowing officers to target those carrying weapons, according to SecurityInfoWatch [dot] com.”

Often the metal detectors at checkpoints are bypassed and are so unpleasant that they make people unnecessarily nervous. What if the monitoring system was hidden and didn’t produce false positives, can you remember a time when you walked past a metal detector or anti-theft device in a store and it went off with an alarm?

What if you just had the device and security come out to stop the gun to see what’s going on? Arguably, the shooter will simply run away, which is the same thing a person with a gun might do in front of a metal detector. OK, so think of this as a potential way to prevent active shooters.

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