How can we battle our mass-shooting epidemic? "Simple math" could help, "even without new restrictions on the guns anyone can buy," writes Marc Parrish at the Atlantic. We track all kinds of behavior in the US: Purchases of cold medicine, last-minute airline tickets bought with cash, and text messages are all subject to government probes. But few complain about such privacy invasions, because they're seen as safety measures. It's time to take similar action on guns.
"Armed only with data, we could begin to see the patterns between guns and ammunition purchases and violence," Parrish writes. Figures like Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho and Aurora shooting suspect James Holmes, for example, made their weapons purchases quickly, and both had established mental illness concerns. And creating a database wouldn't be hard: Compared to marketing databases, this tracking system would be "tiny," writes Parrish, who has worked as a senior marketer at a range of firms. Not so tiny: The amount of necessary political will. Click through for the full piece.