The TAPS Act: Sort of like red flag laws on steroids


A little over a year ago, I wrote a satirical piece entitled The Minority Report Act of 2018: a Law Guaranteed to End Gun Violence. Using the Minority Report movie as a basis, I demonstrated the extremes Republicans and Democrats are willing to go to find ways to deny us our Second Amendment rights in the name of “preventing” acts of terrorism.

The inspiration for the article came to me after witnessing the overreaction by Trump and the GOP to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, and a bill presented in 2016 by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (H.R. 5611). McCarthy’s bill allowed the government to deny gun rights without charges being filed, a trial, or a conviction based merely on a prediction that you’ll someday be a terrorist.

In the Minority Report movie, murders are predicted using three mutated humans called “Precogs” who “previsualize” crimes before they happen, thus allowing would-be murderers to be imprisoned before they kill. And while Precogs are science fiction, Republicans are working to create the next best thing in reality.

For example, under Washington’s guidance, more and more states are passing Extreme Risk Protection Order laws (aka ERPOs or red flag laws). Red flag laws allow the government to seize weapons from law-abiding citizens without due process.

ERPOs have the blessing of Donald “take the guns first, go through due process second” Trump and so-called conservative Sens. Linsey Graham and Marco Rubio. Graham has proposed a bill federalizing ERPO laws, and Rubio has presented legislation to use our tax money to bribe states to pass them.

Speaking of the man Trump once referred to as “Little Marco,” the Florida Senator apparently still believes in H.R. 5611 and government’s ability — he would say, responsibility — to predict who may or may not commit a terrorist act sometime in the future. To that end, he’s proposing legislation that essentially puts red flag laws on steroids.

Rubio just teamed up with Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) to co-sponsor the Senate version of the Threat Assessment, Prevention, and Safety Act of 2019 (TAPS Act). Rubio’s TAPS Act would encourage law enforcement to give EVERYONE a personal threat assessment (adults and children) and single out those they deem as future threats. That information would then be used as a kind of Precog substitute to “stop dangerous individuals before they can commit an act of violence.”

The House version of the TAPS Act co-sponsored by Reps. Brian Babin (R-TX) and Val Demings (D-FL (H.R. 838) recognizes “mass casualty attacks” as a “threat to public safety” that require “a proactive solution … in order to prevent future tragedies.”

Last year, on the 17th Anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I documented the many ways liberty died on that fateful day under the watchful eye of Republican President George W. Bush. And just as 9/11 was used to nibble away at our God-given rights, recent “domestic terrorism” attacks are being used to take massive chomps out of our rights under Trump’s watch.

The Minority Report Act of 2018 was merely a figment of my imagination, but the TAPS Act is very real … just as real as our loss of liberty if it becomes law.



David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative.

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