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Diary    H4'ed 2/17/18

Majority Report: Violence - Preventive Precrime

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There are about 5 million AR-15's alone in private hands. Gun control measures will do little to reduce harm from determined, murderous school and church shooters. They'll get such guns some way. Potential killers like them frequently publish warning signs on social media. This is a part of the "oversharing" phenomenon that Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. have stimulated, inviting us to engage in which we now regret!

The Author with his 22cal AR15 knock off
The Author with his 22cal AR15 knock off
(Image by Robert Cogan)
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A partial way forward is to institute something like predictive policing for pre-crime, restricted to identification of persons whose social expressions threaten violence. Legislation aimed at social media could, I believe, make legally mandated reporters of them with very severe penalties for failure to report to local and national crime prevention agencies. There would need to be some innovative legislation to deal with people so identified as potentially mass violent individuals, adjudication and custodial relationships. Facebook, etc. certainly have enough money to develop threat detecting and personal identification software and to hire and train many additional human additional evaluators to refer when necessary!

It may never be possible to "detect and fix" everyone with high probability of mass violence. Neither lobotomy or thorazine was completely effective. As we progress scientifically, more and more substances and devices that are potentially destructive, even lethal, become available; think: gasoline, grill propane tanks, toxic weed killers. On the other hand, must some such people be locked up forever? Is there no place that a few such people can live freely, without being caged forever? Maybe we as a society should consider banishment. A person who has taken the life another has taken his victim away from the community of humans. So, instead of putting him to death or life imprisonment, effective banishment to a very underpopulated area such as a Devil's Island, remote jungle or frozen preserve where to survive, he must work or die, might be considered fitting.

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I could be Bernie Sanders older brother by similarity. I was born in Manhattan, 1940, he, about a year later, in Brooklyn. I too am a white male American. A retired college professor of philosophy. We both were born of Jewish parents. I was (more...)

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