In the wake of yet more bloodshed in our educational establishments during the past few weeks, a chilling map has been created that illustrates the full extent of the school shooting phenomena in the United States.
The map shows a grim reality: that since the Sandy Hook Massacre in December 2012, a startling total of 74 other shootings associated with schools and colleges have taken place across the U.S..
The map includes any form of incident in which a firearm was discharged inside a school building or on school or campus grounds, including homicides, suicides, and accidents, as defined by the Everytown for Gun Safety (EGS) network in its February 2014 Analysis of School Shootings report.
The map was created by Huffington Post journalist Mark Gongloff using the EGS data, which was compiled using news reports available in the public domain. It highlights that multiple shootings have occurred in Atlanta, Georgia; Grambling, Louisiana; Savannah, Georgia; Jackson, Tennessee, Roswell, New Mexico; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Augusta, Georgia. Even more disturbingly, the E.G.S. data suggests that there have been an average of 1.37 school shootings for every school week since December 2012.
After one of the most recent shootings, in which a student and the shooter were killed at a school in Troutdale Oregon, President Obama admitted that there was a vital need to address this issue:
“My biggest frustration so far is the fact that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage,” he said.
In a society where guns are easily available, preventing them from falling into the wrong hands is no easy task. So, what else can be done?
In San Francisco, which has itself seen a recent shooting in which six Santa Barbara students were killed by a disturbed 20-year-old man, University of California President Janet Napolitano has revealed that the university plans to lead research to develop an implantable device designed to alter negative thinking in the brains of the mentally ill.
A team at U.C. San Francisco has received a massive federal grant to explore the potential of an implantable device that could "re-train" the brains of those suffering from severe forms of mental health disorders.
"Having spent part of this week down at UC Santa Barbara that pursuing mental health (problems) seems more pressing than ever,'' Napolitano said at a recent New York Times sponsored "Health For Tomorrow'' conference at UCSF Mission Bay campus.The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, (DARPA), has awarded sizeable contracts to U.C.S.F and also Massachusetts Hospital to create electrical brain implants capable of treating seven psychiatric conditions, including addiction, depression, and borderline personality disorder.
The contracts have been awarded as part of Obama's BRAIN initiative, a brain-mapping program launched by the White House last year with the intention of revolutionizing our understanding of the human mind and to uncover new ways to treat, prevent, and cure brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury.
The U.S. is facing an epidemic of mental illness in all citizens, particularly amongst veterans who have suicide rates three or four times that of the general public. So far, traditional methods of drugs and counselling have had limited effects, so the military are pursuing the idea of neurological devices that can re-program the brain, says Justin Sanchez, manager of the DARPA program, known as Subnets, for Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies.
“We want to understand the brain networks [in] neuropsychiatric illness, develop technology to measure them, and then do precision signaling to the brain,” says Sanchez. “It’s something completely different and new. These devices don’t yet exist.”
Or do they?
A team at Stanford University have created implants the size of a grain of rice that respond to external stimuli. There has previously been no safe way of wirelessly transmitting power through human flesh, so previous implants have typically contained a large battery, rendering them too large to embed deep within the body. Now, Ada Poon and her team at Stanford have created rice-grain size implants that can be embedded directly into the heart to function as a pacemaker, or attached to a nerve bundle, and which respond to a new method of wireless transmission known as "mid field powering".
This type of power uses radio waves operating between near-field (tens of gigahertz) and far-field (tens of megahertz). In a Goldilocks-type scenario, near-field waves can penetrate human flesh but only over a short distance; far-field waves transfer power further but tend to scatter or become absorbed, whereas mid-field power is "just right", penetrating flesh yet maintaining focus.
There are those who suggest that this type of nano-technology is already in use and responsible for the wave of shootings across the United States. Of course, this falls into "conspiracy theory" territory, but during a recent interview conducted by Press TV with lawyer Alfred Lambremont Webre about the escalating problem of gun violence in the United States, Webre claims that a long-standing CIA program exists which produces manipulated subjects known as Manchurian Candidate shooters. These shooters are apparently specially chosen individuals who are controlled by the use of implanted nanotechnologies, developed from experiments conducted by Doctor Jose Delgado at Yale University.
Not surprisingly, Webre's testimony has been widely discredited and solid evidence to prove his claims is unlikely to be forthcoming but, whether they are used to prompt or avoid mass shootings, these implants already appear to be a scientific reality.Another undeniable reality is that school shootings are on the increase and, whether these are due merely to poor diet and modern lifestyles leading to depressive tendencies, or something far more sinister, both a cause and solution needs to be found before attending school becomes a higher-risk occupation than military service.
Share your views with us here at The Edge of The World, where we report what's "out there" and leave you to draw your own conclusions. The truth is an elusive beast; all we can do is assimilate the available evidence then create our own version of reality in this enigmatic universe that we currently call home.