Another mass murder resulting the usual running off in all directions. Ban the type of weapon used. No fortify and arm the schools. Someone dropped the ball. What we seem to overlook is normal people don’t commit mass murderer. Abnormal people do. Further, in most cases the perpetrators have exhibited behaviors that gave us clear indications they were capable of acts most wouldn’t even entertain. What we don’t have is a method to connect the dots necessary to prevent them from acting. Millions of people watch “Criminal Minds” a TV series that follows a team of FBI profilers tracking down people who commit horrific crimes. The idea is to use characteristics to create a profile of the criminal in order to make an identification. In other words, mass murders have a different set of traits that set them apart from the general populace. Indeed, if you went to the FBI and asked them for a general profile of those capable of mass murder they could provide it. What is needed is a way to reverse the procedure of using the profile to catch the bad guys after the committing of crimes to a way to fill in the profile before the crimes take place.
The FBI with a comprehensive profile based on the idiosyncrasies of mass murderers refined and combined with a super data collection system would give us the basis to identify them before they act. We already have tip lines but these would be far more effective with a questionnaire filling in the blanks on a profile. Extended to the internet, someone who sees abnormal behavior such as cruelty to animals could log on to the FBI tip site and find the questionnaire to be filled out. A person conflicted by what they had observed would see cruelty to animals is something needed to be reported. The questionnaire could alert observers to the kinds of behavior we need to know about. At the same time they would be assured the information provided would be correlated with other reports. This is where big data comes in. With the proper algorithms all reports would be in one place to be aggregated and ranked.