MSNBC host Chris Matthews suggested last night on national television that maybe someone like Tom Cruise's character from the movie Minority Report might be able to prevent a future shooting like the one that took place in a Colorado movie theater last week. Matthews made the suggestion when talking to a survivor of the shooting and Dr. Michael Brannon, a forensic psychologist and a director at the Institute for Behavioral Sciences and the Law.
"You know, I've seen -- I`m a movie buff, like everybody knows," Matthews said, turning to the doctor to pose his question. "I hope everybody remains a movie buff, to be quite blunt about this, because I love them, the experience of going to a theater."
But here`s the question. I saw a movie called Minority Report. Tom Cruise was it, sci-fi movie that said you can catch people ahead of time. You can find their projection into the future. I know that`s the sci-fi part. Is there any way in real life to figure out a guy like this ahead of time?
The guests on Matthews's show, Hardball, seemed surprised. Then, the doctor spoke up.
"Chris, prediction is very difficult because not a lot of people do these kinds behaviors. In psychology, we talk about the base rate being real low," Brannon said.
"So we don't know a lot about these kinds of people. We know in general what increases risk potential and causes people to be more dangerous, but we don`t know specifically what causes someone to do this kind of behavior."
Last week's mass murder rampage resulted in 12 deaths and dozens of injuries.