Five years have now passed since a heavily armed assailant killed forty-nine people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. As the second-worst mass shooting in American history, the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting serves as a harrowing reminder of the ongoing gun violence epidemic in this nation. At this somber milestone, it is essential to remember and mourn those lost to senseless violence and mass shootings every year and recommit ourselves as a country to reducing the frequency of gun-related casualties in the future.
Mass shootings continue to occur at an alarmingly high rate. According to the Violence Project, which defines a mass shooting as an event in which four or more people besides the shooter are injured or killed, over 600 such events occurred over the course of 2020 alone. And, as of June 12th, more than 260 mass shootings have transpired thus far in 2021 – the most mass shootings over any comparable time period in American history. As gun violence skyrockets in cities and towns throughout the United States, first responders and emergency personnel are unable to provide the level of protection necessary to mitigate or prevent the frequency of these attacks. In short, the data indicate that, as the nation continues to reopen in the wake of the pandemic, the threat posed by mass shootings and gun violence continues to rise exponentially.
Accompanying this rise in gun crime is a pervasive sense of powerlessness. Over two decades after the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, little substantive progress has been made towards reducing the threat of gun violence in commercial, governmental, or educational settings. Furthermore, almost every conventional solution to gun violence tends to be reactive, providing the perpetrator with a fatal advantage in chaotic and time-sensitive environments. In addition, delayed response times and unreliable information in past mass shooter events have hampered law enforcement in their efforts to locate and neutralize the gunman. The end result is a nationwide epidemic in which public safety is corroded or, in some cases, totally undermined.
In every active shooter environment, time matters. Therefore, as our country struggles to overcome the blight of gun violence, it is crucial to develop simple and proactive solutions that provide early warnings, decrease response times, and improve the flow and reliability of the information.
At ZeroEyes, we believe that tangible solutions exist that may mitigate or even prevent the occurrence of mass shootings in the future. Using AI weapons detection software that integrates into existing security cameras, we developed a proactive, multi-layered platform that detects weapons at first sight, not at first shot. Our 24/7/365 monitoring service includes a comprehensive alert and notification system, which automatically provides local law enforcement with sophisticated intelligence regarding the precise location of a shooter.
If nothing is done, mass shootings will continue to afflict American society. However, by taking concrete action to fortify and improve early detection systems, we can begin to chip away at the factors that historically have given shooters the edge over law enforcement. Although we may not have the ability to dissuade would-be shooters from committing atrocities, we do have the ability to take action today to severely undermine the effectiveness of their attacks.