Swearer: TAPS Act Surveillance is the Best Way to Avoid More Gun Control Laws

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The TAPS Act was a bill that was written last year following mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. As the Firearms Policy Coalition describes it, the goal of the bill is to develop a national strategy for behavioral threat assessment techniques for state and local authorities. It would also “build databases of information on private people, to collaborate with private entities (including social media companies) and schools to do the same, and on using mental health professionals to ‘assist’ in assessing threats.”

A number of right of center organizations and politicians are on board with this idea, one of whom is The Daily Signal’s Amy Swearer . . .

Consider the following scenarios likely to be encountered by cops and teachers across the country today:

  • A concerned parent calls a school administrator because her teenage son told her his friend has an obsession with firearms and journals about rape fantasies involving his classmates.
  • Over the past week, local cops have been called to the same office building several times to deal with an enraged former employee who will not stop walking into the reception area, demanding to speak to his former boss. Today, the former employee wore a very visible, but empty, handgun holster on his hip and warned that “they’d regret this.”
  • A man accuses his MAGA hat-wearing neighbor of posing a direct threat to his life. When pressed, the man complains that the neighbor has a gun rack on his truck, supports candidates critical of illegal immigration, and his bumper sticker reads “If it’s tourist season, why can’t we shoot them?” He wants law enforcement to take the neighbor’s guns away.
  • A student confides in a trusted teacher that she’s really worried about her ex-boyfriend’s behavior since they broke up: He keeps posting on social media that he can’t live without her and that if he can’t have her, no one else can.

We should absolutely want law enforcement officers and educators in these scenarios to have the best idea possible of how to analyze these potential or alleged threats—and know what actions to take.

Perhaps just as importantly, training in behavioral threat assessment would help these individuals know which actions not to take.

When law enforcement officers and school officials are properly able to distinguish true threats from nonthreats, they are less likely to pursue inappropriate interventions that wrongly infringe on the rights of people who aren’t dangerous.

– Amy Swearer in Want to Keep Americans Safe Without More Gun Control? Meet the TAPS Act

comments

  1. avatar Jim S. says:

    Except for the fact the TAPS acts whole purpose is to wrongly infringe on peoples rights…

    1. avatar Don says:

      Except they already compiles this info if someone reports it to authorities.

      1. avatar You says:

        Has a crime been committed?

        Oh ok.

    2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      Proposals like this—“red flag” laws come to mind—always carrying a poison pill within them. Any time you give a bureaucracy a task like what’s being suggested you can guarantee that, one way or another, it will go out and start finding people who are “about to go off”. Think this won’t happen? Read about what the IRS and other federal agencies did to True The Vote in Houston during the Obama administration.

      The obvious threat to our freedom comes when the investigative bureaucracy becomes politicized than then turns itself into a weapon to be used against gun owners. And, make no mistake, given our recent history and intense corruption of our national level government, that is exactly what will happen. The organizational weakness that will be exploited is obvious: you’ll have a bureaucracy looking for “soft indicators” like political expressions, stuff said on social media, decals on one’s truck, “violent” video games—really anything an “investigator” chooses to aggregate into a “threat profile” can be assembled to convince an already predisposed police authority than the combination of guns and wrong thought are sufficient to brand you “armed and dangerous” resulting in a SWAT team coming to kick in your door at 5AM. Freedom and liberty cannot long survive when we give this kind of power to government bureaucracies.

      1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

        “The obvious threat to our freedom comes when the investigative bureaucracy becomes politicized than then turns itself into a weapon to be used against gun owners.”

        Yep, they will ‘weaponize’ it against gun owners.

        Here’s a scary scenario for you to contemplate –

        Imagine in the near future, we win *big* at the high Court. Evil-looking semi-auto rifles, standard capacity magazines, shall-issue concealed carry is declared expressly-constitutional by SCOTUS all across this great land.

        Do you think Bloomie and the ‘mad mommies’ will just accept that they lost and go home to bake cookies and cheat on their testicular-challenged husbands? Hell, no!

        They will be mobilized as a ‘volunteer army’ to support that law. They will expend every effort to expand as much as possible the list of prohibited persons. A law like that will be weaponized against POTG…

  2. avatar pwrserge says:

    When pantywaste scaremongers are publicly punished for being worthless commie scaremongers, they are less likely to pursue inappropriate interventions that infringe on the rights of people.

    *FIFY

    1. avatar Grumpy F'er says:

      Her scenarios are stupid and outrageous.

      1. avatar Sir says:

        There outta be a law!!!

  3. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    As all gun control laws are un Constitutional, so Ah No !

  4. avatar DaveL says:

    When law enforcement officers and school officials are properly able to distinguish true threats from nonthreats, they are less likely to pursue inappropriate interventions that wrongly infringe on the rights of people who aren’t dangerous.

    This presupposes that there is indeed such an animal as a real, objective, and valid science of behavioral threat assessment. The TSA’s SPOT program was basically nothing more than a smorgasbord of contradictory “indicators” that agents could use to paper over hunches with a thin veneer of scientific authority. Forensic psychological profilers are prehaps marginally more accurate at doing their jobs than garbagemen or web developers. If such a science does exist I’m convinced the government has little to no contact with it.

    1. avatar J says:

      If you happen to drive near a location that, later in the day, a crime is committed, or happen to live near where a crime occurred, the digital dragnet is pulled and your datas from cell phones etc are taken and recorded.

      “If you haven’t done anything wrong, what are you afraid of?”

      1. avatar Brian Taylor says:

        Corrupt, inept and power hungry politicians and government agencies are what makes me afraid. This would include some members of every ruling force in history.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        If you do not assist us in removing your Constitutional rights, we will continue to infringe on your Constitutional rights.

  5. avatar James Campbell says:

    So supporting immigration laws, wearing a MAGA hat, and having a “bad taste” bumper sticker put you one neighbors accusation away from being considered a “threat”?
    Oh, I can’t see where this will be abused……….NOT!
    Welcome to Precrime.

    1. avatar Mad Max says:

      I think that was the example of one where there isn’t a real threat.

  6. avatar Dude says:

    Problem Solving 101: Grow the government and throw money at it. $25 mil per year at first. Of course, this will expand and create some new government agency with plenty of overpaid executives, secretaries, and private sector contractors with connections. Usual D.C. BS.

    Just curious, can law enforcement still get warrants, or is that too much trouble?

  7. avatar No one of consequence says:

    No. Just no.

    An old chestnut from the hard sciences is that if you use the right type of graph paper, you can put any three points on a straight line. Another is, if you have enough terms in the equation, you can fit any data set with an R^2=1.

    I see too many ways to abuse large data sets like this. Even if it’s all 100% accurate, you will be able to find tidbits here and there to fit your pre-established desired conclusion.

    “See, this post on 17 March 2020 shows clearly that Mr C is paranoid about big government and big data. Nevermind what those other 500 or so posts say … clearly they’re not relevant…”

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      No One of Consequence,

      I believe the Science term of art is “confirmation bias”.

      When someone really wants to see something, they will tend to “see” it in the data, whether or not the data actually shows whatever the seeker wants to see.

      And then you have outright dishonorable people who know that the entire data set disqualifies their desired outcome, so they either fake the data or strategically omit data which speaks against their desired outcome.

  8. ….Socialist Big Brother Police state….Oh wait, kind of like the Coronavirus lockdown infringements….

    1. avatar Dude says:

      It’s funny to watch the crazy left twist themselves into pretzels. Trump urged avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people. Then, the same people who told us that Trump is a wannabe authoritarian complained that Trump didn’t force businesses to close. It’s almost as if they really want to be like China.

    2. avatar pwrserge says:

      Whatever you say commie.

    3. avatar Chief Censor says:

      Trump and Republicans are calling for socialism because of the policies they are forcing onto the American people. Trump is trying to steal billions to hand out to corporations and he wants to write paychecks like Andrew Yang called for during his candidacy. He is happy that the Federal Reserve is devaluing the dollar (which is stealing from Americans by proxy) to socialize the losses of the rich. He is attempting to cause a recession so the U.S. will become a Venezuela.

      Who needs Bernie when they got Trump?

      The policies of this administration is pushing America towards take the guns first then bring in the socialism. If they succeed, you will feel more pain than during Bush’s recession and red flag confiscation will be as common as drug law enforcement.

    4. avatar Mad Max says:

      The only way they can get a Big Brother police state is if they hire all of us to be the “police”.

  9. avatar Brian Taylor says:

    This act would be “taps” for the Bill of Rights.

    1. avatar Chief Censor says:

      They’re so arrogant they refer to their power grab as TAPS. Like “tapping” your communications to spy on you so they can use everything against you to give themselves the power to disarm and cage you for wrong think.

      They want Republicans to support wire taps on themselves.

  10. avatar Joe says:

    If anyone thinks that this will not lead to more gun control then you are a damned fool.

    This will just be a jumping off point that will most certainly be used to justify the expansion of gun control.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      “It would also “build databases of information on private people, to collaborate with private entities (including social media companies) and schools to do the same, and on using mental health professionals to ‘assist’ in assessing threats.””

      Somehow I wonder if the triggers in the database and algorithms would be tweaked Left or Right by whomever ran the DOJ. We see that in Fakebook already.

      Just make sure not to say or type anything out of line and you can stay in your home.

      1. avatar MADDMAXX says:

        Exactly why I don’t do facebook, twitter, bugshit or any other social media crap… In fact since the boating accident that claimed ALL of my guns, ammo, kits, spare parts, cleaning gear and holsters I feel kind of strange even posting on here but I just can’t help it…

  11. avatar Eric O says:

    Let’s give up liberty to protect liberty?

    Someone is fucking daft. And of course it’s the folks sympathetic to boot licking the red coats dressed in blue.

    1. avatar James Campbell says:

      Those who would give up essential Liberty, to “purchase” a little temporary Safety, deserve NEITHER Liberty nor Safety, they will eventually AND rightfully LOSE BOTH.

  12. avatar Dave G. says:

    George Orwell saw all of this stuff coming in his novel Nineteen Eighty Four (aka 1984) published in 1949. To quote Wikipedia:

    “Thematically, Nineteen Eighty-Four centres on the consequences of government over-reach, totalitarianism, mass surveillance, and repressive regimentation of all persons and behaviours within society.”

    It’s too bad that we as a people haven’t paid better attention to Mr. Orwell’s prophetic work.

    1. avatar ADM says:

      Oh, but some people have paid very close attention to it. They use it as an instruction and construction manual.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        China certainly has. They deployed AI facial recognition to track the movements of millions of Uighurs, and they are preparing to implement it nationwide. Ass to that, they have issued a set of “social credits” that one must acquire in order to have “permission” to do various things like get on a plane. They are working on mind control through behavioral modification.

    2. avatar MADDMAXX says:

      A number of governments have used 1984 as a blueprint while many individuals were smart enough to take as a warning

  13. avatar Nanashi says:

    Fund a government survey on if there needs to be more government?

    No thanks Crenshaw! We don’t celebrate Benedict Arnold’s prior heroism and it isn’t going to get you off the hook either.

    1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

      “No thanks Crenshaw! We don’t celebrate Benedict Arnold’s prior heroism and it isn’t going to get you off the hook either.”

      Saw direct evidence of that last year at the US Military Academy at West Point, NY.

      I was there for a funeral and took a guided tour of the Academy grounds. It was literally soaked in US history. In the cadet chapel there are plaques dedicated to each General from the Revolutionary War. One plaque has the name on it completely ground off – Traitor Benedict Arnold.

      https://imgur.com/gallery/dDPQxni

  14. avatar Debbie W. says:

    Let’s see…The sickos among us are azzhats like Jim Crow joe biden and the pervert beto o’rouke. Both of those loudmouths want to impose their racist and nazi based gun control insanity on law abiding Americans exercising a Constitutional Right.
    There is a wide margin between the law abiding citizenry and the criminal element. However because of their hate for firearms there is no margin between the criminal element and law abiding citizens for gun control zealots. To advance their racist and nazi based desire to disarm America there is no margin between good and bad when it comes to firearms. Well enough is enough. This Big Brother TAP idea belongs in a trash can. If you own a firearm you are at the top of the list for some panty waist lying mealy mouth gun hating POS to concoct lies and slander about you the same way they did to the POTUS. As long as you have anti gun zealots and nitwits falling for what dropped out of marx’s behind and ratbassturds trying to overthrow a duly elected POTUS the trust factor does not and cannot exist.

    1. avatar Chief Censor says:

      Don’t forget to put Trump and Dan Crenshaw on that list.

  15. avatar Dude says:

    Didn’t Bernie Sanders write about a rape fantasy? I’m sure they’ll be checking him out, right? Or is it only the deadly combination of rape fantasy + obsession with firearms that gets you on the list?

    1. avatar MADDMAXX says:

      AND a MAGA hat, gotta have a MAGA hat to be a REAL threat…

      1. avatar James Campbell says:

        …..and a gun rack!!!
        I mean, those gun rack thingies are KNOWN to kill people from miles away.

    2. avatar James Campbell says:

      Yes, Crazy Bernie wrote rape fantasy for some VT rag of a local newspaper that was distributed for free.
      He’s nothing more then a burned out ’60s “hang in the college dorms” stoner that’s LONG past his “due date”.
      Even Killary called him out as the POS he is….. “nobody liked or wanted to work with him”.

      1. avatar Chief Censor says:

        Hillary is projecting.

    3. avatar Chief Censor says:

      This guy did that and more.

  16. avatar Cruzo1981 says:

    How about give people the opportunity to defend themselves and be armed when necessary to deter threats, also what’s with all these weird examples of completely helpless people. Also what’s with the go to the police as if a restraining order will do much to stop anyone from hurting you…

    1. avatar Mad Max says:

      A restraining order should come with J-Frame and at least 10 rounds of ammo, at minimum.

  17. avatar Chief Censor says:

    His name was Duncan Lemp. He was assessed (by the state) to be an armed and dangerous militant due to his social media posts. He was raided and executed on his family’s land and his pregnant girlfriend wounded along side him.

    Republicans and Democrats champion this behavior under law. Republicans have been pushing very hard to give Democrats the power to raid problematic “sovereign citizens.” The Republicans tee them up and the Democrats shoot them down.

    Anyone that supports the removal of human rights, to give immoral people power, are enemies to liberty and justice. Yeah, that includes the president of the U.S..

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      If you are talking about the recent incident in the news, I understood that he was a prohibited person and that he had been reported to be in possession of a firearm. Assuming this is true, the police had good cause to arrest him and take his firearm. But that is it, it is not to say that that excuses the police conduct, it doesn’t.

      1. avatar Chief Censor says:

        When a red flag order is issued by the judge you become a prohibited person. They don’t have to inform you that you have become prohibited from accessing firearms until they show up at 4am to serve the order from the judge for confiscation.

        The only persons that can be morally and legally considered prohibited are mentally ill and those on parole. Any other people prohibited is a violation of the 2nd Amendment.

    2. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

      “Anyone that supports the removal of human rights, to give immoral people power, are enemies to liberty and justice.”

      So just now you support human rights?

      The right to self-defense is a base human right. Have a little chat with your ‘Progressive’ buddies like Hillary. She’s the one on record stating that the Heller-McDonald SCOTUS decision was ‘wrongly decided’ and if she were elected president, her Supreme Court nominations would ‘choose correctly’ and rule that individual citizens have no constitutional right to own a gun…

  18. avatar right of center organizations and politicians says:

    Quote: Many federal agencies have become experts with behavioral threat assessment, and regularly use it for purposes of national security. For example, the Secret Service may use it to determine whether someone who posts a social media comment about killing the president is merely “joking” or instead poses a genuine threat.

    Similarly, the FBI may use it to assess whether someone researching pipe bombs is doing a science project, plotting an imminent terrorist attack, or has an unhealthy obsession with explosives that may become a serious threat to public safety at some point down the road.

  19. avatar GS650G says:

    Technology will be abused, count on it. Doesn’t matter what laws, protections, rules, regulations, or promises it comes with because if it’s possible to do something nefarious with tech it will be done. And because no one is ever punished and the treasure trove revealed is too tempting we see stories all the time in the press where the information was magically gathered. There is no other way to investigate and punish the opposition that yields so much information while being nearly untraceable at the same time.

    What is learned about others can’t be unlearned. I don’t care if the best intentions are intended the result will always be the same. We’ve created a Leviathan .

  20. avatar Hannibal says:

    This bill absolutely guts the Constitution. It purposely gives ridiculously broad and vague power to the government so that they can do what they want and then let congresscritters off the hook because “well, we didn’t write in the law that they could eliminate encryption and read everyone’s messages”

  21. avatar Hannibal says:

    And anyone who thinks this will in any way reduce or stem gun control is a useful idiot or a liar.

  22. avatar Mad Max says:

    The only constitutional solution to the threats they are trying to mitigate is for citizens to carry, always.

  23. avatar bill knight says:

    Is it too much to ask to just enforce the laws already on the books and not ignore crimes to fit some LibTard ideal about how they want “fairness to look? Red Flag Laws are as unconstitutional as you can get short of just executing folk you don’t agree with. Where is the “fairness in stealing one’s property because they “might do something? How about criminal charges against pissed off people who red flag others they are mad at? How about criminal charges against officers and politicians who ruin people’s property while holding it?

  24. avatar Prndll says:

    Where this stuff is concerned, I feel I have more to worry about with web masters putting in code that downloads cookies into my machine from ten other websites.

    There is more to be concerned about with the fact that so many people use sites like this and various social media.

    It all makes a person very trackable. Who needs government when we have this?

  25. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

    Are there any serious efforts to get the ball rolling on challenging ‘Red Flag’ laws on their constitutionality?

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Need someone with standing. That needs to be someone who is squeaky clean and is completely railroaded by the system. And it takes a lot of money or pro bono work.
      The danger is the court could find it’s a great idea and then it becomes even broader.
      The Court needs to affirm the 2nd an inalienable right first so the next decision builds on it. Otherwise an argument will be made that guns are optional for citizens, the default position assumed by states now.
      Heller left loopholes being exploited all over, the next decision needs to be short and to the point.

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