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Using Big Brother-Style Monitoring to Predict ‘Gun Violence’ is Getting More Pushback

The long-awaited GOP proposal for combating mass shootings is receiving pushback from advocates for children’s privacy who say such laws could result in the “over-surveillance” of minors. Libertarians and constitutionalists agree.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced a Republican-backed bill to help prevent mass shootings this week.  RESPONSE: The Restoring, Enhancing, Strengthening, and Promoting Our Nation’s Safety Efforts, Act is part of several top Republican proposals aimed at combating mass shootings.

RESPONSE would expand resources for mental health treatment centers to facilitate the creation of “behavioral intervention teams,” monitor students exhibiting disturbing behavior, and provide new tools for law enforcement.

But privacy advocates are raising warning flags over a law that gives public schools the power to “detect [the] online activities of minors who are at risk of committing self-harm or extreme violence against others.”

The proposal would greatly expand the Children’s Internet Protection Act of 2000 which is mostly seen today as a method to block children from looking up pornography on school computers.

Sources told The Hill that privacy advocates are pressing the point to Cornyn that there is “little evidence that increasing online monitoring can effectively reduce violence in schools.”

“I think these people are well-meaning,” said a source who lobbies against legislation like RESPONSE. “I don’t think there’s any intent to do harm to kids.”

Over the last five years, social media monitoring has spiked dramatically. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, there were six districts that had purchased social media monitoring software in 2013 but today there are at least 63.

One privacy expert told The Hill the monitoring programs don’t appear to live up to their billing but instead result in less privacy for students and in an increased workload for school administrators.

He said, “Schools that have chosen to purchase automated monitoring software are inundated with alerts flagging concerning behavior… Some have even seen more than one hundred alerts per day.”

But the RESPONSE Act has received endorsements from a wide range of law enforcement groups and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Treatment Advocacy Center.

Cornyn defended the proposed statute saying, “I spent time with families and victims in El Paso and Midland-Odessa following those tragedies and pledged to work with my Senate colleagues on real solutions. I urge my colleagues to come together once again to pass the Response Act to help prevent mass shootings and put a stop to this senseless loss of life.”

RESPONSE like the bipartisan-supported TAPS Act would create yet another federal bureaucracy tasked with developing “threat assessments” on individuals much like Communist China’s social credit system.

The TAPS act, The Threat Assessment, Prevention, and Safety Act of 2019, would give the Department of Homeland Security the authority to issue grants for creating “infusion centers.” This would be a collaborative effort of state, federal, and local governments “with the goal of maximizing the ability of such agencies to detect, prevent, investigate, apprehend, and respond to criminal or terrorist activity.”

RESPONSE and The TAPS act pose a grave threat for those intent on exercising their right to keep and bear arms, and would prove disastrous for the privacy rights reserved to the People under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.


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6 Responses

  1. I witnessed blatant disregard for security at a high school where I volunteered to act as a test observer. Security seemed to be an imposition to be endured rather than being an important program to protect students and staff.

    Security needs to be enforced with written procedures in place, training conducted and drills be mandated.

    In reading the media reports of past school shooting incidences it appears that most of the shooters had previous run ins with the police or school disciplinary problems.

    The school security officer should be aware of these instances. Police departments involved should keep Resource Security Officers be informed of this information and reports of bullying.

    Unfortunately shrinking budgets and political pressure to defund the police School Security Resources and school security programs will subject to elimination.

    School security resource officers should receive training specific to their duties

  2. While security is important,monitoring everyone is virtually impossible. Mental health is like the covid virus. Almost Impossible to detect and difficult to contain. A sad situation.

  3. There are several “GUN CONTROL bills” being brought to the floor of CON-gress by democommunists.
    Just like in the past, expect “false flag” events to occur very soon to, attempt to convince the INDOCTRINATED, BRAINWASHED, SHEEP they should be behind these bills.

  4. 1950s communist Russia here we go. They used to have a hidden minder on every corner watching for dissidents. Horrifyingly, we are running down the slope of total government control of our lives. As a country we are racing to our own demise.

  5. The destruction of America is running full speed ahead ,a free people cannot have safety they must be armed and prepared to defend liberty and freedom from all agressors.

  6. Clearly, our public system, K-12 through our best universities, has collapsed intellectually. Currently, the U.S. is surviving its terrible system but we plant in our youth an almost indestructible socialist taproot. Teachers will tell you breaking away is impossible. But education is legally and logically a private matter.

    Privatization would eliminate the problem altogether. The primary problem with the K-12 segment is it’s a monopoly in a nation where monopoly is considered a criminal enterprise for everyone else. We need a robust free market able to deliver general subjects as well as specialties including athletics and arts. It’s a bad idea for any government to educate its children.

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