The Trump Administration Considers Whether to Monitor Cell Phones in Effort to Curb Mass Shootings

In the wake of the most recent mass shootings in the United States, the Trump Administration is considering a plan that would target people with mental health issues.

President Trump has repeatedly stated that mental illness is the cause of many of the mass shootings.

Courtesy of Guardian News via YouTube.com

In this video, Trump acknowledges that “hate has no place in our country” and that the shootings are “also a mental illness problem.”

Bob Wright, the man behind the proposed Health Advanced Research Projects Agency (HARPA), and Trump confidante, was recently asked by Ivanka Trump to look into the cause of mass shooting in America.

Wright and his proposed agency members came up with a document they call “Stopping Aberrant Fatal Events by Helping Overcome Mental Extremes ( SAFEHOME),” which links  mass shootings to mental illness. According to The Washington Post, this proposal “calls for exploring whether technology including phones and smartwatches can be used to detect when mentally ill people are about to turn violent.”

I doubt there’s  a person in this country who would not at minimum acknowledge the increase in mass shootings we are experiencing.  However, there is no agreement on the cause or the cure.

HATE, MENTAL ILLNESS, TOO MANY GUNS, NOT ENOUGH GUNS, “EVIL”.

These are all articulated as “the” reason for the shootings, by passionate people around the country.

Many are concerned about the HARPA proposal, because of the possibility that our civil liberties could be compromised, including Marisa Randazzo, former chief research psychologist for the US Secret Service.  She said, “I would love if some new technology suddenly came along that would help us identify violent risk, but there’s so many things about this idea of predicting violence that doesn’t make sense.”  The ties between mental illness and mass shootings are inconclusive, she explained, “Everything we know from research tells us it’s a weak link at best.”

Imagine, if you will, that you have been prescribed medication for anxiety, maybe due to a stressful, but ordinary life event.  Since anxiety is, technically,  a “mental illness,” is it possible that your phone would be monitored?  It’s not that far-fetched, really.

Would tapping into our smart gadgets be a viable solution, or just an invasion of privacy?

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