Gun violence in the US is an all too common occurrence. Almost every day, there’s a new school shooting or a report of someone’s kid getting shot accidentally. Could technology come to the rescue?
A group spearheaded by angel investing kingpin Ron Conway thinks it can, and it has $4 million that says so.
A press conference downtown here on Tuesday, the Smart Tech Challenges Foundation launched the first of four $1 million challenges aimed at inspiring the kinds of innovation that could help lead to safer guns — and a reduction in the number of tragic deaths and injuries that make the headlines nearly every day.
Although the foundation’s leaders aren’t naïve enough to believe that they can stop all gun violence, or bring technology to all firearms, their goals are simple: Help entrepreneurs and innovators bring new technologies to market that make it far harder for guns that fall into the wrong hands to hurt people. They think that the kinds of smart technologies already being used to track and lock devices like smart phones may well be the key.
“The (U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) reports that a quarter of its criminal gun trafficking involves stolen guns,” said San Francisco police chief Greg Suhr at the press conference. “Guns do kill people. We need to have better gun control….Our [legislative] efforts to date have not been very successful, but…maybe there’s more than one way to skin a cat.”