• Lax state gun laws linked to more child, teen gun deaths

    States with strict gun laws have lower rates of gun deaths among children and teenagers, and laws to keep guns away from minors are linked with fewer gun suicides in this age group, a Stanford study found.

  • “Majority rules” when looking for earthquakes, explosions

    Finding the ideal settings for each sensor in a network to detect vibrations in the ground, or seismic activity, can be a painstaking and manual process. Researchers at Sandia are working to change that by using software that automatically adjusts the seismic activity detection levels for each sensor. The new software reduces false, missed detections of seismic activity.

  • Countering Russian election hacks

    By Eric Jensen

    According to a Center for Public Integrity report, the “U.S. military hackers have been given the go-ahead to gain access to Russian cyber systems as part of potential retaliation for any meddling in America’s elections.” Eric Jensen writes in Just Security that this signals a significant change to the U.S. cyber policy and is a clear indication that cyber actions have now entered the mainstream of national security tools. “For years, the “newness” of cyber capabilities have caused the level of authorization to remain at very high levels and subject to extensive interagency dialogue before even simple cyber tasks could be taken. These procedural requirements undoubtedly had the practical effect of limiting the number of cyber activities undertaken. By allowing DoD and other government agencies to function more autonomously within pre-approved guidelines reflects a normalization of cyber capabilities that has been too long in coming.”

  • Pittsburgh trauma surgeon: “Stop the Bleed” training saved lives after shooting, but stopping the need must be next

    By Matthew D. Neal

    I am a trauma surgeon who cared for many of the critically wounded victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting. As we raced to find the source of blood loss in one of the most severely injured patients, one of my trauma surgeon partners, a U.S. Army veteran of multiple tours, joined me in the operating room to assist. His first comment upon seeing the injuries that we were managing struck me. He said he last saw such destruction from military weaponry when he was serving in Afghanistan.

  • Fleets of drones could aid searches for lost hikers

    By Rob Matheson

    Finding lost hikers in forests can be a difficult and lengthy process, as helicopters and drones can’t get a glimpse through the thick tree canopy. Recently, it’s been proposed that autonomous drones, which can bob and weave through trees, could aid these searches. But the GPS signals used to guide the aircraft can be unreliable or nonexistent in forest environments. New system allows drones to cooperatively explore terrain under thick forest canopies where GPS signals are unreliable.

  • Hate crimes expert fears that shootings like Pittsburgh could become more common

    By Alex Yablon

    The gunman who killed 11 congregants at a Pittsburgh synagogue last Saturday could herald a new era of hate crimes, according to an expert who has tracked similar attacks since the 1990s. “We have more people drawn to white supremacist rhetoric who see themselves as on a mission to change the world,” said one criminologist. The Pittsburgh shooter’s online activity distinguished him from the majority of people who commit hate crimes. He was a deeply committed white supremacist who steeped himself in anti-Semitic and xenophobic propaganda.

  • New virtual tool gives responders, educators an “EDGE” on school safety

    First responders and educators now have a new, free tool at their disposal to help ensure the safety of our nation’s schools, as well as the students and faculty within them. Developed by DHS S&T and partners, the Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment (EDGE), a virtual training platform, allows teachers, school staff, law enforcement officers, and others tasked with school security to create and practice response plans for a wide range of critical incidents.

  • Ideologically motivated far-right extremists have killed close to 500 people since 1990 – and 10 percent were targeted based on religion

    By Jeff Gruenewald and William Parkin

    The mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh exemplifies an increasingly deadly form of domestic terrorism committed by far-right extremists: the targeting of institutions and individuals due to their religious affiliation. Unfortunately, it’s not new for far-right extremists to vilify non-white, non-Anglo-Saxon and non-Protestant religions. Judaism has endured most of their ideological rage and conspiratorial paranoia. For more than a century, extreme far-right ideologues have peddled anti-Semitic and racist conspiracy theories. Their dogma claims, falsely, that globalist Jews have infiltrated the government and other U.S. institutions, and that Jews and non-whites pose an existential threat to the white race.

  • Extremist violence through the mail

    Federal and state law enforcement agencies acted quickly and decisively to apprehend the Florida man who mailed letter bombs to prominent Democrats, to supporters of liberal causes, and to CNN. There is a long history of extremists and terrorists using the mail system to deliver bombs to targets, though it has not been a common tactic.  Others have placed bombs in mailboxes or put bombs in packages designed to look as if they had been delivered by mail or delivery service.

  • Suicide more prevalent than homicide in U.S. Most Americans don't know it.

    In the United States, suicide is twice as common as homicide — and more often involves firearms — but public perception is just the opposite. News reports, movies and TV shows may contribute to the perception of a high risk of firearm homicide, authors of a new study say, leaving a substantial gap between ideas and reality and potentially leading to further danger.

  • Thrill-seeking, search for meaning fuel political violence

    What drives someone to support or participate in politically or religiously motivated acts of violence, and what can be done to prevent them? While one factor may be a search for meaning in life, research published by the American Psychological Association suggests people may be further driven by an increased need for excitement and feeding that need with thrilling but non-violent alternatives may curb the desire.

  • Annual emergency room, inpatient charges cost of gunshot wounds in children: $270 million

    A new Johns Hopkins study of more than 75,000 teenagers and children who suffered a firearm-related injury between 2006 and 2014 pinpoints the financial burden of gunshot wounds and highlights the increasing incidence of injury in certain age groups.

  • “Far right” groups may be diverse – but here’s what they all have in common

    By Daphne Halikiopoulou

    Far right parties and groups have been enjoying increasing support across Europe. However, the term “far right” tends to subsume a broad range of parties and groups that differ significantly in agenda and policy – especially economic and welfare policies – as well as the extent to which they support and employ violence. For this reason, the use of the term “far right” is often contested. So is it appropriate to group such different organizations under the same label? The short answer is “yes.”

  • Nuclear experts: Documents show Iran’s weapons work was more advanced than previously known

    The documents recovered by Israeli intelligence from Iran’s hidden nuclear archive show “that Iran conducted far more high explosive tests at the site than previously understood,” according to a paper published on Tuesday by the Institute for Science and International Security.

  • Common characteristics of communities where mass shootings occur

    A trauma research team has developed a profile of commonalities among communities where mass shootings have occurred. It includes a shortage of mental health professionals, a relative lack of socialization opportunities, higher rates of income inequality, and relatively high housing costs, according to findings presented today at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress 2018.