The Vegas Shooting Makes It Clear More Surveillance Isn't The Answer

from the neither-is-a-reduction-in-civil-liberties dept

The solutions proposed by legislators, law enforcement, intelligence agencies, and multiple direct beneficiaries of amped-up surveillance in the wake of acts of terrorism are always the same: more of the stuff that didn't prevent the last attack.

London is a thicket of CCTV cameras and yet it's suffered multiple attacks in recent years. The NYPD and New York's former mayor idolized the London system: cameras everywhere (but not on NYPD officers). Despite this, New York City's relative safety appears to based more on policing tactics than hundreds of passive eyes.

Considering the unshakable belief "more cameras = more safety," how do surveillance supporters explain the recent shooting in Las Vegas, perhaps the most heavily-surveilled city on the planet?

In 2013, Nevada outfitted the Strip's "real-time crime center" with an additional 37 pivot-and-zoom cameras with a $350,000 federal grant. And as a surveillance expert told the Sun, most casinos on the strip are running thousands of cameras already: "Casinos have 100 percent coverage of virtually every square inch," he said. In the highways around Vegas, there are still cameras every half-mile. "Loss-prevention" recording devices stalk the Strip's employees in the back-of-house.

And still, while the footage will be rewound and analyzed in the coming weeks, acquired by the press, and used to model future scenarios, none of those cameras stopped a man from walking into the Mandalay and stocking a small arsenal of automatic weapons in his hotel room.

More isn't better. This much is clear. The NSA's infamous haystacks have caused more problems for analysts, who are tasked with sifting through millions of communications in hopes of flagging something worth pursuing. Thousands of cameras are useless if there aren't thousands of eyes to watch them in real time. It may help investigators after the fact, but after-the-fact detective work is never preferable to preventing deadly attacks.

As Molly Osberg points out for Splinter, the proposed prevention efforts will likely include even more cameras. And these proposals will come with zero stats backing up claims of increased safety and security.

[L]ondon police estimated almost a decade ago that for every 1,000 security cameras installed, only one crime was solved.

Eliminating cameras isn't the answer. But neither is continuing to prop up the delusion that more = safer. The same goes for other surveillance methods. Grabbing millions of communications daily might seem like a good way to catch something relevant now and then, but hours are wasted on filtering out false positives and internet detritus that wouldn't be swept up in more targeted approaches.

The surveillance state hasn't failed. It's just enamored with compounding its existing problems by adding more capacity. The only thing really guaranteed is more failure.


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 9:49am

    CCTV cameras aren't designed to prevent violence

    Saying the CCTV system in London doesn't prevent attacks is a little like saying seat belts don't prevent car crashes.

    I think they have been useful investigatory tools and (AFAIK) they are in public spaces where there's no expectation of privacy.

    Of all the surveillance activities that the government engages in, watching what I do in public isn't pretty far down the list of my concerns.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 10:10am

      Re: CCTV cameras aren't designed to prevent violence

      "Saying the CCTV system in London doesn't prevent attacks is a little like saying seat belts don't prevent car crashes. "

      Ok, but have any crimes been solved via CCTV? I do not recall any. So, although your point is valid it is a bit off the mark.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 6 Oct 2017 @ 10:10am

      Re: CCTV cameras aren't designed to prevent violence

      I would agree with that assuming 1980s technology.

      But now we're adding face recognition and license plate readers. People have demonstrated the ability to use cameras to read the fingerprints of people walking past.

      With all that going permanently into searchable databases. Much of the collection and storage now done by private information brokers.

      What it means is that if you're a suspect - or a political opponent - or a consumer or corporate opponent - you can be trailed retroactively. A dossier of all your travels can be generated in an instant and added to all the other data sources.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 12:17pm

        Re: Re: CCTV cameras aren't designed to prevent violence

        > Much of the collection and storage now done by private information brokers.

        This is 100% correct. When you walk around a store, your path through the store is being recorded. Where you look and what you look at, what things you smile or frown at, how quickly you move, and more are all recorded, analyzed and shared. Facial recognition is used to connect you with online databases. Right now it's mostly in higher end shopping centers, but as the cost drops and effectiveness rises, expect to see it everywhere. This is done by third party companies so the data from many stores can be compiled into a single profile.

        But all of that happens in private spaces by private companies. And unlike the government, a shopping mall can't jail you.

        This is easy enough now that hackers can put together a very functional system for next to nothing. A person in my neighborhood built a license plate reader and he logs all the traffic into and out of our neighborhood.

        Unless it's made illegal to point a camera into a public space, you will never be tracked less than you are today.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 12:33pm

          Re: Re: Re: CCTV cameras aren't designed to prevent violence

          A person in my neighborhood built a license plate reader and he logs all the traffic into and out of our neighborhood.

          That does not track vehicles, but if it connected to a common database shared by hundreds of such cameras, then it becomes part of a powerful tracking system. Connect to a countrywide database......

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 6 Oct 2017 @ 2:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: CCTV cameras aren't designed to prevent violence

          And unlike the government, a shopping mall can't jail you.

          No, but the government can "request" that data and jail you.

          One example - already a couple decades ago - was a home owner whose garage burned down. The police "requested" his visa purchase records, found that he had purchased some kind of BBQ fire starter material, and arrested him.

          He was eventually cleared. He had a BBQ in the garage, so why wouldn't he have something to start it.

          The problem is confirmation bias. People select that data that matches their suspicions and disregard the context. "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him." These databases are supplying six thousand lines on each person.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 9:54am

    In 2013, Nevada outfitted the Strip's "real-time crime center" with an additional 37 pivot-and-zoom cameras with a $350,000 federal grant. And as a surveillance expert told the Sun, most casinos on the strip are running thousands of cameras already: "Casinos have 100 percent coverage of virtually every square inch," he said.

    Right. And all there to protect the most precious thing on this planet. No, not human life. Money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 10:17am

      Re:

      If they have kept the videos, they will probably be able to watch the gunman stock the hotel room. A video recording is only useful when a human gets round to looking at it, and that often occurs when they figure which cameras at which times could have captured something useful.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      JEDIDIAH, 8 Oct 2017 @ 6:13am

      So much for that paranoia.

      Precisely.

      Meanwhile, they let someone into the casino with enough weapons to rob the place. It was severe security fail on the part of the Mandalay Bay there. Forget about any other considerations.

      All of that highly motivated crass self interest and something like this STILL happened.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 6 Oct 2017 @ 10:00am

    This incident also doesn't do much for the NRA's claim that "the best answer to a bad guy with a gun is a crowd of good guys with guns."

    If everyone in that country music audience had had a machine-gun too, they could have taken aim at that window - 32 stories up and a block or so away - and lit up the entire hotel. But I doubt that would have made the outcome any better.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 10:13am

      Re:

      Why would they have shot at the hotel, when the bad guys with machine guns are right there when they turn round?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 10:19am

      Re:

      anyone in policing or the military will tell you, distance and cover are your friend in a gunfight... vegas shooter had both.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 10:22am

      Re:

      That's a bit of a reach. The "best answer" doesn't also mean the "only answer". Most incidents involving a "bad guy with a gun" are in much closer quarters. And no amount of licensing or screening would have prevented this case so I fail to see your point, assuming it's not just more FUD.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Whoever, 6 Oct 2017 @ 2:39pm

      Re:

      If everyone in that country music audience had had a machine-gun too, they could have taken aim at that window - 32 stories up and a block or so away - and lit up the entire hotel

      And how many innocent hotel guests would have been killed in the process?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 6 Oct 2017 @ 5:49pm

        Re: Re:

        You'd have to ask the NRA. It's their ideal.

        And once the concert opened fire on the hotel, presumably the other hotel guests would have returned fire. As "a polite society" does.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 6 Oct 2017 @ 6:55pm

          Re: You'd have to ask the NRA. It's their ideal.

          There were people there, armed, in a position to live up to the “ideal” and take out the bad guy with return fire. You know, like they do in the movies.

          Guess what they actually did ...

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            steell (profile), 6 Oct 2017 @ 9:11pm

            Re: Re: You'd have to ask the NRA. It's their ideal.

            So, you're saying there were trained snipers with their rifles there? That's the only people that could have dealt with the shooter. If there were people there with handguns, I'd assume they'd do just like I would and run like hell for cover.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 6 Oct 2017 @ 9:18pm

              Re: That's the only people that could have dealt with the shooter.

              Really? There is a loophole in your guns-for-self-defence theory that criminals can take advantage of?

              That’s so unfair, isn’t it?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 11:32pm

                Re: Re: That's the only people that could have dealt with the shooter.

                One specific instance does not hold that all other instances will be the same, they certainly are not.

                http://thewellarmedwoman.com/women-and-guns/survival-stories/if-we-can-save-just-one

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 7 Oct 2017 @ 12:26am

                  Re: One specific instance does not hold that all other instances will be the same...

                  No, one instance with over 50 people killed is nowhere near as important as 50 separate instances with one person killed each ...

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2017 @ 1:44pm

                    Re: Re: One specific instance does not hold that all other instances will be the same...

                    I think you meant 50 instances with one person preventing their own murder and/or rape.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • identicon
                      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 7 Oct 2017 @ 3:20pm

                      Re: I think you meant 50 instances with one person preventing their own murder and/or rape.

                      You mean the crims have found a loophole in your guns-for-self-defence theory??

                      Hope they don’t tell anybody!

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2017 @ 7:13pm

                        Re: Re: I think you meant 50 instances with one person preventing their own murder and/or rape.

                        I don't know what you are talking about and I don't think you do either.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • identicon
                          Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 7 Oct 2017 @ 7:22pm

                          Re: I don't know what you are talking about ...

                          You said there were 50 violent crimes prevented by using guns for self-defence, yet the Vegas shooter was able to cancel all that out in a single crime spree, that nobody was able to prevent by using their guns for self-defence.

                          That’s a pretty big loophole in the guns-for-self-defence theory, isn’t it?

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                          • identicon
                            JEDIDIAH, 8 Oct 2017 @ 6:16am

                            Re: Re: I don't know what you are talking about ...

                            The Vegas shooting is pretty unique in a number of ways. Even the news media is starting to acknowledge this and bluntly state that as spectacular as this incident was, it represents the most miniscule part of the problem.

                            Saying that a countermeasure is worthless because it might fail 1 time out of 1000 is really stupid.

                            Do you actually live your own life that way?

                            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 10:12am

    In this case, I do not think gun control is the answer as it only addresses a symptom. I suspect proper health care could have prevented this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 10:55am

      Re:

      All that gun control will do is redirect the violence through a different medium.
      Acid attacks in Europe.
      Knife attacks in China.
      Stop looking at the tool like it is the problem. More laws won't stop violence and banning guns will only be a temporary reprieve. People who want to commit violence will commit violence. They will just choose the tools that are readily available to them. Focus the time and energy on what is causing the violence instead of tool. But no one will because that is to difficult.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 10:59am

        Re: Re:

        It's almost like knives are less lethal than guns.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 11:23am

          Re: Re: Re:

          And a car is more lethal than knives. Your point?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            orbitalinsertion (profile), 6 Oct 2017 @ 11:35am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            500 injured and 58 dead because man whipping knives out window. Film at 11:00.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 2:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              80 people were killed by a truck driver last year in France when he deliberately drove into a crowd of people.

              Guns are not the only way to mass kill people, they aren't even the easiest, most readily available way.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Oct 2017 @ 12:57am

              Determined mass killers

              Oklahoma city bombing. 168 deaths ~700 deaths from a bomb made from fertilizer. It is the second worst attack in the US, short of 9/11. Not a gunman.

              Determined killers will get creative. Or these days they'll print and smith their own gun parts.

              We need to fix this not by addressing common weapons of choice but the motive. It's suicide with rage. Treat that, and you reduce the rate of incidents.

              Of course that would mean the US would have to take mental health seriously. I guess it's just easier to ban some more gun parts.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                JEDIDIAH, 8 Oct 2017 @ 6:20am

                Re: Determined mass killers

                Forget about cars and knives. Terrorists manage to get the same kind of guns into places like Paris.

                There is probably nothing we can do to stop a dedicated and highly motivated shooter like this. That's something most people can't handle. Something like this takes very sheltered people and get them back in touch with their mortality.

                Doing something stupid or ineffective because you're suddenly in mortal terror is probably unwise.

                Meanwhile, "less important" people are dying in greater numbers.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 11:14am

        Re: Re:

        So - you agree then, great :)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 11:21am

        Re: Re:

        Living with a government that tells the truth and engages with its citizenry with open dialogue with all matters that concern us would be a good start.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Annonymouse, 6 Oct 2017 @ 10:23am

    Failure

    Failure is not an option
    It is a requirement
    It is what happens afterward that counts

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jim, 6 Oct 2017 @ 11:12am

    Where is Patrick McGoohan when we needed him?

    Number 4 would know how to deal with this

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    wereisjessicahyde (profile), 6 Oct 2017 @ 11:29am

    But..

    "London is a thicket of CCTV cameras and yet it's suffered multiple attacks in recent years"

    That comment doesn't really add anything to support the tone of the piece Tim, because as much as I dislike being spied on the CCTV in London has helped stop many more attacks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      fdsa, 6 Oct 2017 @ 12:25pm

      Re: But..

      >the CCTV in London has helped stop many more attacks.

      What is the data on that? It fundamentally sounds unrealistic that tons of CCTVs stop attacks, especially if there is insufficient processing power (ie humans watching the cameras for something suspicious). What you're saying echoes similar reassurances from mass surveillance proponents.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        wereisjessicahyde (profile), 10 Oct 2017 @ 11:54pm

        Re: Re: But..

        "It fundamentally sounds unrealistic that tons of CCTVs stop attacks"?

        Why?

        "especially if there is insufficient processing power (ie humans watching the cameras for something suspicious)"

        Who says in the UK that there is "insufficient processing power"?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 1:25pm

      Re: But..

      "CCTV in London has helped stop many more attacks"

      citation needed - all the articles I find say otherwise

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        JoeCool (profile), 7 Oct 2017 @ 5:22pm

        Re: Re: But..

        Last report I saw said more than 95% of the "crimes" thwarted by CCTV in London were failure to pick up doggie landmines and jay walking. That's a great return on investment there. ;)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 6 Oct 2017 @ 1:21pm

    That's the point. At any moment some dude can just grab a knife and go into a stabbing spree, get a vehicle and drive into a crowd, get guns and fire into a crowd (it happens here were guns are very restricted as well so availability isn't a problem) etc etc etc. No amount of cameras can prevent it short from going full minority report and this is bound to generate tons of false positives simply because people have tons of prejudice and will label anything not conforming to their own concept of 'normal' as stabe-y or murder-y.

    So, yes, it's just a giant waste of money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Personanongrata, 6 Oct 2017 @ 1:44pm

    Surveil This!

    The Vegas Shooting Makes It Clear More Surveillance Isn't The Answer

    Surveillance cameras do two things:

    1. Surveil an area and record with a human monitoring in real-time

    2. Surveil an area and record

    Surveillance cameras can not provide security/safety.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 1:58pm

      Re: Surveil This!

      Also, unless a sequence of clips of a person leaving and entering their room are viewed in sequence, it is not obvious that that, for example, a person is leaving with an empty backpack, and entering with a full and heavy backpack. Such a sequence may raise questions, but not when seen by a mix of people on different days as someone takes in one load a day.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2017 @ 7:47am

      Re: Surveil This!

      "Surveillance cameras can not provide security/safety."

      No, security/safety is not their goal.

      The goal of ubiquitous security camera surveillance is ready footage of heartbreaking emotion for the MSNBC's of the world to wring their hands over, and to provide liberal politicians more airtime for their hot air.

      Providing more surveillance cameras is

      1) a relatively cheap way to "DO SOMETHING";
      2) but which also pays dividends in distressing footage for repeat calls to "DO SOMETHING".

      As any drug company will tell you, the point of drugs isn't to cure disease, but to "manage" disease in a way which provides the greatest profit for the drug company.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 6 Oct 2017 @ 2:48pm

    Cracking Down On Guns Would Certainly Help

    Australia not only brought in tougher gun laws after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, it also instituted a buy-back program to take the outlawed weapons out of circulation. And it worked.

    Why can’t the US do the same?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 6:00pm

      Re: Cracking Down On Guns Would Certainly Help

      We have a FUCKING CONSTITUTION .
      Australians are sheeple to the state .
      They have NO protections from their
      gov't .

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 10:34pm

        Re: Re: Cracking Down On Guns Would Certainly Help

        According to gw the US Constitution is JUST A GODDAMNED PIECE OF PAPER.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2017 @ 1:13am

      Re: Cracking Down On Guns Would Certainly Help

      And why doesn't your theory work for Chicago, which has some of the toughest gun laws in the US, and also some of the highest gun crime rates in the US? It's almost as if guns are but a tool, and it's the people who use them to commit crimes who are a problem.

      And guess what, anyone with hand-tools can make their own fully automatic untraceable guns (No silly bump-stocks here). Give em a machine shop and it's even easier. Give 'em a 3D printer and, well, gun control starts to look like a less than viable option.

      Luty style 9MM SMGs have been found in the wild repeatedly, and the plans are freely available online. http://www.thehomegunsmith.com/ Or see one in action here: https://www.forgottenweapons.com/weapons-as-political-protest-p-a-lutys-submachine-gun/

      See here for dirt poor people in the jungle reproducing 1911s with only hand tools http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/underworld-inc/episodes/ghost-guns/

      And as much of Europe can now tell you, when a criminal/terrorist wants to kill people, they don't need guns to do it. They can just pour some fuel into a truck of peace and mow innocents down.

      In fact, assuming there were no bollards in place to prevent that asshole in Vegas from driving a truck through the crowd, he could probably have killed more people that way than he did.

      Also, despite very strict gun laws in France, the Bataclan managed to get attacked with guns anyway.

      The central flaw in every bass-ackward cry for more gun control is assuming that criminals will follow the law.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      JEDIDIAH, 8 Oct 2017 @ 6:22am

      Re: Cracking Down On Guns Would Certainly Help

      Do you really think the thugs in Chicago will just hand over their guns? We have individual cities with more guns than they had in all of Australia. Guns are already illegal in many of those places.

      Nonsense like yours is the problem. You think you can reduce a really big problem into trivial sounding sound bites.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 8 Oct 2017 @ 11:53am

        Re: Re: Cracking Down On Guns Would Certainly Help

        America's sea of guns didn't happen overnight. It took generations. No-one is saying that buying back guns will solve the problem overnight. But you have to start somewhere.

        Consider the Phoenix man who posted pictures on Facebook giving his guns over to local police this week, after the more publicized of the mass shootings last Sunday. (He received multiple death threats after the post went viral. First rule of gun club: you’re not allowed to leave gun club.) Those guns will be back on the street, thanks to an Arizona law forcing local police departments to resell turned-in firearms instead of destroying them.

        But understand, most people who want gun control don't want to take away most guns or even buy them back. They just want them kept out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill - something the NRA and Republicans used to call for, but started opposing when Democrats called for it. They want military weapons, assault rifles, off the street. Again, something Republicans used to call for, but started opposing when Democrats called for it.

        And perhaps some laws to make gun owners take responsibility. Shootings by children now happen in America on average more than once a week, for example. In the late '60s / early '70s America managed to significantly lower drunk driving fatalities by raising penalties and enforcing them. WITHOUT taking away everyone's alcohol.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2017 @ 8:55am

          Re: Re: Re: Cracking Down On Guns Would Certainly Help

          If we can't get rid of 11 million illegal immigrants, how are we going to get rid of easier to hide 300 million guns?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Oct 2017 @ 11:37am

          Criminals and the Mentally Ill

          I think the problem with taking guns away from criminals and the mentally ill is largely less fair than it sounds.

          Regarding criminals, which criminals are those? Every felon? That's mostly black guys who drew too much attention from the police. Violent offenders? That won't include the countless domestic incidents that the police refuse to file, but it will include every guy (most nonwhite) that the police can pin, typically on nonwhites, often while the police are beating the crap out of them shouting stop resisting!

          Regarding crazies, which would be those? Proper protocol before denying rights to a human being on account of the crazy is for a psychiatrist to assess the person and decide he (she) is a danger to himself or others. The only problem is, that's a temporary assessment. After he's calmed down, or is no longer suicidal, should he be allowed to have guns again? He's certainly allowed to be a juror.

          Most reactionaries to rampage shooters would insist it's not enough. Adam Lanza (Sandy Hook) was diagnosed, but not regarded as a danger to himself or others. James Holmes (Aurora) was only seeing a psychiatrist for anxiety. (And may have been triggered to act by the SSRIs he was prescribed. Common SSRIs like Prozac and Paxil make a small number of patients psychotic. Usually it's interrupted in time.)

          The thing is, all the shooters are crazy. We interview failed suicide bombers from Iraq and retired IRA militants and they all say the same thing: they have to kill themselves internally, go to that suicide place where they're apathetic about living, in order to do what they have to do.

          Rampage killers (like all terrorists) are suicides with a lot of rage, a need to be heard and seen. And much like gun suicides, out of dozens of guys thinking about shooting up a Starbucks, only one is going to follow through.

          TLDR: Filtering out crazies and criminals sounds great on paper. Practically, criminals is going to come down to marginalized groups and poor people, and crazies is going to either miss most actual killers or sweep up massive amounts of false positives.

          Frankly, I expect that background checks don't have a much better record, and it raises the question of exactly what background checks check for. Didn't play well with others in Kindergarten?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2017 @ 12:14pm

            Re: Criminals and the Mentally Ill

            Yeah, because society causes blacks to murder people, since about half of all murders are committed by blacks.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Oct 2017 @ 5:35pm

              "half of all murders are committed by blacks."

              Oh, do elaborate. What is your point?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2017 @ 6:27am

                Re: "half of all murders are committed by blacks."

                From your post "Regarding criminals, which criminals are those? Every felon? That's mostly black guys who drew too much attention from the police."

                Maybe the mostly black guys that murder people?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Uriel-238 (profile), 10 Oct 2017 @ 4:36pm

                  Murderers vs. felons

                  Ah, Anonymous Coward your comment didn't make sense to me because (last I checked) convicted murderers go to prison for a long time, and when they get out, it seems to me to follow that they don't keep their gun rights.

                  It turns out that a federal law already prevents any felon from owning or holding a gun, though, granted, there is a process to get that right restored by the convicting state.

                  So why'd you think I was talking about black murderers? I'm still not sure.

                  I'm going to just give you the benefit of the doubt, Anonymous Coward, that you didn't actually research crime statistics, yourself, but got your factoid from literature your Wizard gave you. That is, you brought it up out of ignorance rather than malice.

                  It turns out, though, we have way, way more felonies than we have murders.

                  It's hard to provide a direct, numerical comparison because there's no place that keeps a tally of felony convictions by year. We had 15.6 thousand murders in 2015. It was a bad year. (This is: convictions of at least third-degree murder, not merely manslaughter.)

                  It's hard to mesh that with another statistic that states 8% of the US population are convicted felons. That's roughly 26 million felons. About 8 million of them are in prison. Ours is the highest incarceration rate of any nation.

                  Obviously they all didn't get convicted in 2015, but some of those felons are responsible for more than one felony, so the two numbers don't mesh easily.

                  Still, I expect we can concur there's a lot of non-murderous felony going on, at least of higher-order magnitudes than there is murderin'. Yes?

                  Also that is before we observe the US court system is one that provides every disadvantage to non-affluent suspects to assure a nearly 100% indictment rate and a 90% conviction rate. That's not to say the innocent are sorted from the guilty, but that a guy was grabbed by the police, and now he's doing time. The rich have rights. The police and officials are above the law. And the rest of us are below the law.

                  And that's before we consider the racial biases that are evident in the Department of Justice and the legal system. It's super easy for blacks to end up not only a felon, but a violent felon if a police officer decides the guy is resisting arrest. Ours is a nation where you can have six officers club you into the hospital and then charge you with assaulting a police officer, not because you did anything, but because they don't like your face.

                  Why are half the murderers blacks? I don't know. You seemed to want me to infer something. In fact, it takes several Wikipedia pages to explain the popular hypotheses in brief why they kill each other more than we do. And several books have been written about the phenomenon. I'd guess that gangs can't turn to the legal system to resolve disputes, so they settle things violently. It's why Italians liked to kill each other in the roaring 1920s.

                  What I do know is that in the 70s, black guys were stereotypically known for raping white college women, or at least for being blamed for it and lynched, when there wasn't a courtroom that would convict him. We've since discovered black-on-white rape is pretty darned rare. It's super easy to blame our woes on marginalized groups. We still do that a lot today.

                  So I'm personally hesitant to presume convicts were fairly investigated, tried and convicted, and the numbers were fairly counted.

                  We do live in a police state, after all.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 5:58pm

    But .....Think of the children

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2017 @ 10:22pm

    Gathering from videos from many vantage points and witnesses even one stating that she was affronted by a female 45 minutes before shooting started saying they were all gonna die that Paddock was acosted at gun point taken back to his room and shot. Thereby allowing multiple shooters the higher up vantage to shoot. There was definitely shooting from the 4th floor evident from several videos. Certain nefarious news channels are for unknown reasons sticking with the lone shooter scenario.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    MyNameHere (profile), 7 Oct 2017 @ 1:42am

    Drawing a conclusion without conclusive evidence

    I read the headline / title and shook my head. Then I read the story and, once I stopped laugh, figured I better add a comment.

    The conclusion is not supported in any way, because the two items are not directly connected. The lack of, or the existance of, CCTV does not stop a single person from committing a crime. This is especially true in the case of a well planned, well executed (sorry, bad word, but it's the right word) criminal act. People like that PLAN for the existence of CCTV.

    In this case (as an example) the guy brought 10 ordinary rolling suitcases to his room over a period of time. He didn't carry in 10 gun cases or a box marked "explosives and guns in here". He did it stealthily and in a manner specifically intended to not arouse suspicion.

    CCTV, police officers, or even the Amazing Kreskin can't deal with someone working in this manner. It's not even a question of surveillance via CCTV that matters.

    So there is no way to draw the conclusion you are suggesting. CCTV was a null on this particular case (although I am sure plenty of hotel footage will come out with him in the elevator taking stuff up to the room, etc). You can not say that surveillance filed because in this case, there was nothing to watch. You may as well blame the maker of his shirt or cell phone.

    Now, if you were looking for a better conclusion, you could consider that a lack of surveillance and record keeping of guns is an issue. Had each firearm required registration at the point of sale, someone might have noticed that the guy purchased a virtual arsenal of guns in the last 6 months.

    So if anything, more record keeping (ie more surveillance of gun sales and sale of "accessories") might have prevented this - or at least made it significantly harder.

    So in conclusion, not only do I think you got it wrong, you actually may have pointed exactly the wrong way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2017 @ 9:32am

      Re: Drawing a conclusion without conclusive evidence

      More surveillance doesn't seem to help when those in charge of said surveillance turn out to be incompetent without constant hand-holding or being allowed to overlook said incompetence.

      Which you defend anyway, because warrants are apparently too much of a pain in the ass, but the law is the law is the law...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        MyNameHere (profile), 9 Oct 2017 @ 1:15am

        Re: Re: Drawing a conclusion without conclusive evidence

        Saying that the writer is drawing a conclusion without proof isn't at all where you are going. But thanks for playing "I tried to troll, but failed!"

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2017 @ 7:32pm

          Re: Re: Re: Drawing a conclusion without conclusive evidence

          Your obsession with believing that everyone who replies to you wants to troll you aside, various enforcement agencies have been known to sit on surveillance data, misinterpret the most obvious signs, or outright ignore them until something happens (for shock and effect, hell if I know). In that case, all the increased surveillance wouldn't help you. The Boston Marathon bombers had already been on watchlists but were ignored until the incident despite the warning signs.

          Yet, it is also a fact that you will be an apologist for any decision that authority makes while shilling for a level surveillance and inspection that would put Minority Report to shame. So which is it? Do you actually want the surveillance to prevent the crimes you claim you want to avoid, or are you just going to defend to death the acts of authority even when they fuck up? Your post history indicates the latter. Therefore, why does the public have to fund your expensive surveillance regimes if the likeliest result they get out of it is fuck all?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            MyNameHere (profile), 10 Oct 2017 @ 2:00am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Drawing a conclusion without conclusive evidence

            " it is also a fact that you will be an apologist for any decision that authority makes while shilling for a level surveillance and inspection that would put Minority Report to shame."

            No it's not a fact. It's your opinion, and it's not true.

            "Do you actually want the surveillance to prevent the crimes you claim you want to avoid, or are you just going to defend to death the acts of authority even when they fuck up? "

            Those aren't two valid options. Rather, it shows your own mistaken take on what surveillance video does.

            CCTV doesn't magically prevent crime. It doesn't have a special system that allows it to know when a criminal act is about to happen and stop it. It sees, and records, in the same manner that you or I might looking out our window.

            CCTV does discourage open criminal activities. This is a known fact. Some will say it only displaces crime to non-observed areas, but that is pretty much the same result as having a police officer standing in the same location. We all know the effects already.

            What CCTV can do is help authorities to piece together a crime, and to know more about when happened at a scene. It doesn't magically solve crimes, but it can contribute to an understanding of what happened. You know, where did a criminal come from, where did they leave through, were they perhaps caught on camera driving a car, riding a bike, or taking a taxi? Additional knowledge can help the police in moving forward with a case.

            "the likeliest result they get out of it is fuck all?"

            That isn't the likeliest result. That is your opinion overshadowing reality.

            Is it perfect? Nope.

            Neither are humans.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2017 @ 2:28am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Drawing a conclusion without conclusive evidence

              Surveillance doesn't automatically or "magically" prevent crime, but that's what is claimed when more surveillance is demanded. It becomes a "Jones will come back!" Animal Farm threat that anything impeding surveillance will cause a tsunami of crime the likes no one has ever seen or will survive.

              And of course, you choose to ignore the effects of what happens when authorities are given the tools for surveillance. You consistently make them out as if all they have are toilet rolls for cameras and tin cans for telephones. They are given all these toys and yet somehow, Boston happened. Charlie Hebdo happened. Nobody is trying to claim either humans or cameras are perfect, but to pass it off as acceptable human error that can be replaced by machinery, which your authorities have shown an inability to interpret, is silly.

              Then again, you consider LOVEINT to be reasonable. Sure helped the NSA investigate those crimes they failed to prevent...

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2017 @ 3:29am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Drawing a conclusion without conclusive evidence

                I don't know why you fucktards keep encouraging the trolls by feeding them. He's the one who thinks that millions of dollars wasted by the government failing to enforce copyright are a drop in the bucket. What did you think he was going to say in response? That the police need to exercise oversight and restraint? Report and move on. Tards like you are why trolls infest the site.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                MyNameHere (profile), 10 Oct 2017 @ 1:27pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Drawing a conclusion without conclusive evidence

                "Boston happened. Charlie Hebdo happened."

                You still seem to be thinking that CCTV cameras are some how able to read minds. They are not.

                Boston is a good example. The guys did everything about right. They came to a very public event, blended in with tens of thousands of other people, and "forgot' a backpack with the bomb in it in an area where there were plenty of other backpacks. How the hell do you expect CCTV to magically pick that out?

                Charlie Hebdo is the same thing. Two men walk into a building, nothing surprising - people enter the same building over and over all day long. They happened to have concealed weapons, and shot the place up and killed 12 people. CCTV cannot read their minds.

                "Then again, you consider LOVEINT to be reasonable."

                Stop lying.

                I consider it unreasonable, but not unexpected. Police officers are humans, we all make mistakes and perhaps take advantage of things we shouldn't. It is human nature. Dealing with it strongly is key to reminding others that it's not acceptable.

                So yeah, quit lying. You are a sorry troll trying to drag the discussion far away from my original point, that CCTV was never intended as a magic wand to read people's minds and stop crimes before they happen, they are there to document when happened, and perhaps to discourage people from committing crimes (at least not directly in front of the camera).

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2017 @ 5:47pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Drawing a conclusion without conclusive evidence

                  Because the focus isn't on CCTV, if you bothered to read - which you don't, like your buddy out_of_the_blue. Those cases were brought up where the authorities already had information on hand and chose not to act on it despite all the warning signs provided to them by various means, including your CCTVs. If that amount of screaming obviousness doesn't make them act, you think additional cameras are going to suddenly convince them?

                  And the claim about "dealing with it strongly" is a joke. Every time an article about authority abuse comes up you'll be there, bitching about how getting warrants is inconvenient, or how we should just let it slide because police having to think under pressure is just too darn difficult. It's not like thinking of possible alternatives aside from "surveillance all the things" was ever an option. I mean, if the police messes up again, why consider the possibility that they might have jumped the gun when you can just demand more security cameras?

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 11 Oct 2017 @ 6:15pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Drawing a conclusion without conclusive evidence

                    Wow, you're just a fucking glutton for punishment aren't you?

                    He's not going to deal with it strongly. That's the whole point! The next time a cop shoots an unarmed civilian he'll be saying the same fucking thing because horse with no name doesn't believe in punishing authority. Just report, and move on. It's that simple! I don't know why you cunts don't get it.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2017 @ 7:45am

    Right! The solution is:

    to be frightened of everything, and blame everybody who isn't like me. I know because MSNBC, Fox News, the DNC and the RNC told me so. It's those fucking (every race but mine) and the Russians! Motherfuckers! We Should bomb them all with B52s!

    Oops. Sorry, was flashing back to 1959 for a moment.

    This perp lived in the most fake culture on the planet, then sat in front of video screens for hours and hours on end, then went batshit.

    If you need somebody to draw you a map, you have never been to Vegas.The fact that this doesn't happen on a weekly basis there is a testament to America's ability to eat shit and call it ambrosia. Vegas is to mental health what the RNC/DNC alliance is to progress, or the Exxon Valdez was to environmental management.

    Mental health is not a gun control problem or a surveillance problem. It is a cultural liability that we all presume to externalize. Sometimes the debt comes due.

    Nothing that's said by the corporate minions in the DNC/RNC alliance is going to address this problem, EVER. And neither will any of the cabal news outlets. It would queer too many balance sheets.

    Long term, the solution boils down to having a culture with more consideration for each others mental health, or learning to run faster.

    Pick one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2017 @ 8:18am

    Surveillance could be an answer...

    I agree that CCTV is pretty useless for prevention. But I think you're looking at the wrong end of the problem.

    You could equip every gun with a tracking device. The hotel staff could then detect that guns were being brought into the hotel, and the shooter could have been arrested before his shooting spree started.

    Such a tracking device would harm the privacy of gun owners, of course. But then, CCTV harms the privacy of even more people.

    NB: Just theorizing here. It's not a serious proposal. Even if it was possible to build this and solve every technical flaw, then the NRA would make sure that it never becomes reality.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2017 @ 11:48am

      Re: Surveillance could be an answer...

      Problem with your theorizing is that it would be all too easy to remove the tracking fitted to a gun, and like all such proposals, it would inconvenience the law abiding, while doing little to stop the law breakers.

      On second thoughts, given the way the US police act, it would endanger the law abiding as in "my tracker said he had a gun so I shot him".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    tom (profile), 7 Oct 2017 @ 9:31am

    Cameras aid in the after the fact investigation. Even if a camera is pointed at the perfect place at the perfect time and the video is seen and acted on in seconds by a human, the reaction time of LEO's will still likely be minutes.

    Given this guy's wealth and time spent planning, we are lucky he chose to use guns. He could have easily rented a truck, filled it with explosive, and drove it into the crowd and detonated it. Or purchased a used jet, filled it with fuel and dove it into the crowd. In either case, we would likely be talking about thousands of deaths, not a number in the 50s. Speaking as one who felt, from a safe distance, the explosion of the truck at the Murrah building.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 7 Oct 2017 @ 1:13pm

    What I'd like to see come out of this is...

    A detailed analysis of Paddock's movements in the hours approaching the shooting. It may come down to nothing, but it may reveal details that are useful in understanding the nature of rampage killers.

    It'll also serve as a counterpoint to our analysis of Lee Harvey Oswald's movements before and after shooting JFK. While we're 90%(-ish) sure he was a lone gunman, we still have instants where he should have been witnessed, yet wasn't, and are still fodder for alternative theories.

    If we have the cameras, lets make use of them.

    Regarding London, what is curious to me is why more cameras aren't solving more crimes, or at least assuring that crimes are solved and confirming by camera that those who are convicted are in fact guilty.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2017 @ 2:21pm

      Re: What I'd like to see come out of this is...

      Regarding London, what is curious to me is why more cameras aren't solving more crimes,

      For the video to be useful after the fact, someone has to work out which cameras were pointed in the right direction at the right time. Often the picture is not clear enough to use automated tools like facial recognition, or the suspect is facing the wrong direction. It can cost a lot of man hours to find out that dozens of cameras have nothing particularly useful, therefore the camera videos are the last resort, rather than the first resort, except for one or two right at the scene of the crime.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        JEDIDIAH, 8 Oct 2017 @ 6:26am

        Re: Re: What I'd like to see come out of this is...

        This is a common trope in cop shows. They managed to get a video but the perp is facing the wrong way or his face is covered. If there's a picture of a plate it's only a partial. Or better yet, the most relevant camera is broken.

        Everything has to work just so. Everything has to line up and also be working.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Wendy Cockcroft, 9 Oct 2017 @ 5:58am

          Re: Re: Re: What I'd like to see come out of this is...

          London also has a police staffing problem: people are leaving the force and not being replaced. They're expected to do more with less and it's not working.

          Turns out you can't automate law enforcement.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Peter, 8 Oct 2017 @ 3:39pm

    Simple Answer - cameras in the hotel room

    It is obvious. We must have cameras in the hotel room, bathroom, bedroom, every room in our house. That will keep us safe. Police will have the ability to disable cameras in any area so they can continue to bash people for looking at them funny.

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/police-officer-faces-ccc-probe-after-hitting-tee n-while-bodycam-off/news-story/6e03f7dd51a683f2868b66da8fbc0ae1

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2017 @ 7:08pm

    The idea here...

    [L]ondon police estimated almost a decade ago that for every 1,000 security cameras installed, only one crime was solved.

    I think the idea here is that if there are 1 million unsloved crimes, then solution is to install 1 billion security cameras.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2017 @ 6:57am

    Of course cameras prevent crime. Stop being idiots.

    Doesn't prevent all crime, but most sensible people won't commit a crime when they know that there are cameras recording the crime.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.