If We Can't Prevent School Shootings, at Least We're Improving Police Response Time

A California high school is the first in the nation to install gunshot-sensing alarms.


Don’t let anybody tell you America isn’t confronting mass shooting. Not so much the prevention aspect. That’s, uh, that’s a bit of a sticky wicket. But as far as response time once shots have been fired, don’t worry. We got this.

California’s Newark Memorial High School is now the first in the country to be equipped with ShotSpotter gunshot-sensing technology that can alert cops to the exact location shots have been fired. The system works by installing microphones that listen for gunshots specifically — the company claims they won’t pick up talking — helping increase response time. Like most early adopters, Newark has some extra cash to throw around. The system costs $15,000 to install, but ShotSpotter wants to make it as least as affordable as a fire alarm system.

Police don’t try to argue this is anything more than a response measure, and that’s a fine thing to improve. But it’s unlikely to do anything to deter mass shooters since so many exhibited mental health problems, and are beyond worrying about consequences when they’ve already decided it’s a suicide run. And you know, despite that history of mental illness, which incidentally more than 80 percent of Americans believe should be an obstruction to buying a gun, they almost always get their firearms legally. So, odds are good that as the frequency of mass shootings gets higher, which it is, and these systems get cheaper, someday the twain will meet. Then we’ll get to see how good Shotspotter really is.

Not that that day will change anything either. One more thing about America, mass shooting have absolutely zero effect on our opinions about gun control.

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