As hard as I hammer the bad ones, there are good cops out there. (Fewer and fewer, but that's another kettle of fish for another time.)
One of them is Chris Hernandez. His blog is over there --->.
And his piece yesterday was
The one gun control measure that gun control rights advocates should support.
You should absolutely RTWT.
Chris makes the case for it.
And as I told him in comments, here's why it won't work. Probably, ever.
Who reports it? (Homeless drug addicts? Ex-wives? Jealous lovers? Unhappy customers? Nosy neighbors? Video game opponents? Cranks on the 'net?)
How is it verified?
What due process protections are included?
How hard are you going to hammer those who make false allegations?
Haven't a thousand incidents, and now innocent victims' deaths at the hands of idiotic, trigger-happy, and abysmally poorly trained police officers, from "SWAT"ing innocent people (not to mention millions of false allegations in divorce courts) taught us anything??
You'd literally be instituting an entire prosecutorial investigation and court system apparatus to verify or debunk Facebook posts.
With money from...where?
And we have so many police investigators, prosecutors, and judges, with so little to do, that we're now going to make a superior court or even federal case, with all the judicial trimmings - or else it's tyranny - out of everything said on the Internet???
Why stop there?
Why not just have a microphone on every person's cheek, and run everything they say past a Board of Government Approval?
We could put a Bluetooth wireless GoPro on every citizen 24/7/365, to see that they're not up to no good while we're at it.
What could go wrong with that?
You know the answer to that, and so does everyone else.
I agree with the sentiment - no FFL would sell a weapon to a guy who said outright and on the spot that he wanted to stick up bank or liquor store, either - but it's ripe for abuse from the get-go.
Or else becomes as toothless as depending on the potential criminal self-reporting himself, like on a 4473.
It will never work, and if it does, it will only do so by violating a fundamental and unalienable Constitutional right.
Watch, or re-watch Minority Report. With legal commentary from Alan Dershowitz or Clarence Thomas. Pre-Crime is a unicorn that should never be chased.
Far less invasive and constitutionally fraught with peril is common sense, as you yourself have noted in advocating for trained and armed teachers and administrators.
We protect our leaders, banks, and vital installations with men with guns;
we "protect" our children with signs. (A 1990 Joe Biden brainstorm, btw.)
The FBI dropped the ball (surprise, surprise) on this. They missed their bite at the apple. But had they gone in full-court press, what would have changed? Likely nothing, except two agents wasting a day's work they could have been working on more productive leads. And that's immutably true, even with knowing in 20/20 hindsight what this troll was planning to do in his head. Without far more than the paltry posting, he was off scot-free, even if the FBI had knocked on his door the next day.
He simply says
"I was making a (bad) joke; I wasn't serious."
"I meant as a photographer, shooting with a camera."
"I was just jerking someone's chain, I had no serious intent to do anything illegal."
Or any of 100 other explanations, and bam, he's done. Case closed, waste of time.I wish the FBI had done the job we pay them to do, and had gone out there to see if he'd have stepped in it with both feet, so they could haul him in, but then I'd also like a winning Powerball ticket and the phone number of the Playmate of the Year.
The sheriffs were at this nutjob's house 39 times prior to this incident.
One more visit about a FB post would probably have accomplished nothing. (Unless they screwed up in one or more of the other 39 visits.)
But somebody shooting him in the head during his rampage - say the football coach, but with a school-legal CCW and a .45 - would have solved his problems forever.
I know you're sincere about this, and none of us wants to see dead kids again if there's any legal way to prevent it.
But any "solution" that violates the Bill of Rights is de facto and de jure a cure monstrously worse than the disease.
I can't see any way to make things work appreciably better than they do now by investigating every utterance everyone makes 24/7/365, other than people doing the jobs they're paid to do in the first place.
And the question had to be raised. Keep plugging away.
Chris is one of the good guys, and he's pretty damned smart about a lot of things.
(I wish we weren't three states separated; he's the kind of guy I think you'd want around if things got pear-shaped. Pretty much like a lot of other folks in TX, I'm sure he's happy he's where he is.)
I will trade ideas with him, and bounce blog posts off of his, all day long and twice on Sunday, because it's worth the time and effort to talk to serious people about serious things, something of which the Internet still has far too little.
So, should we make every legal effort to keep potential criminals from getting deadly weapons? Hell yes.
Will every legal effort be enough to stop all of them? Hell no.
And that sad reality is the bitch of living in a country that values individual liberty and freedom:
It's not inherently safe, because some people, through insanity or simple evil, are very, very bad, and they'll act that out for whatever reason, on whomever is handy, until good people stop them.
Those bad ones, we should blow the f**k away, with prejudice, during or after.
That's judicial, within the realm of human ability, and within the scope of human purview.
It's both the function of government, and the reason we reserve the right of self-defense to individual people, because liberty and unalienable human rights.*
Before is where you cross the line into thinking you're God.
Last I looked, that position is filled.
*(Except for defenseless kids in schools, and all people in gun-free zones, which are only gun-free for innocent, honest, law-abiding folks. Hey, Joe Biden, stand up! Looking good there, buddy! You've got the crook and crazy vote all sewn up in 2020, but then, as a solid Democrat, that's been the only reason you've been elected since...ever.)