Run, Hide, Fight: Is This Really Our Only Option?

October 1st, 2019 by Earl Stevens

A few months ago, Jimmy Kimmel complained that “nobody’s doing anything” to address the problems of mass shootings and guns in our schools.   I don’t believe that’s completely accurate.

There are plenty of people trying to address these problems, but practical solutions often get assigned a political label and are never given serious consideration in today’s polarized political climate.

So while managers and politicians battle it out, our schools and workplaces have to do something to manage the risk. That “something” is usually implementing some version of the “Run, Hide, Fight” program – and hoping for the best.

Don’t get me wrong – Run, Hide, Fight is an excellent program, but expecting a nine year-old girl to fight off an armed attacker – or hiding a 6’4” teacher – should be “last resort” options.

Our cave-dwelling ancestors used this same strategy to deal with marauding predators.

Most multi-celled organisms are born with the fight or flight instinct. Run, hide, fight was certainly effective enough to get us through the stone age and preserve our species. But at a certain point, we realized that we could use our intelligence, social structures and technology to do more than survive. We thrived!

But this mass shooting phenomenon has been a tough obstacle. Our intelligence and social structures have failed us. Want proof? Get 10 random people together and ask them how to solve this problem. The best-case scenario will likely conclude with “agree to disagree”.

That leaves us with technology. Can we find a politically neutral way to use technology to mitigate firearms related threats in our schools and workplaces?

We can – and we have!

Most schools and workplaces now have surveillance cameras installed. Those systems aren’t cheap, but the expense is justified by the need to protect people and property.

But can a camera really jump off a wall and stop a thief, vandal, bully, or shooter? No, it cannot. And hiring people to watch those cameras is expensive.

This sounds like a job for Artificial Intelligence – – something we already trust to navigate travel, manage our money, find dates, and assist in surgery.

Artificial intelligence is cheap, unblinking, and focused on its assigned task. It can be employed to watch those camera feeds; to look for guns and relay information to first responders when a gun is found. In fact, artificial intelligence from ZeroEyes is doing that right now!

Here at Alpine, we don’t have all the answers to stop this plague of mass shootings. But we do know technology – and we believe it can be used to provide early warning and precious seconds in these critical situations.

If you’re looking to protect your students and employees with something more than “Run, Hide, Fight”, let’s talk!

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