Trump Eyes a New Program to Detect Warning Signs of Mass Murder Among the Mentally Ill. But How Slippery's That Slope?



The Trump administration is peering into a proposal wresting mental illness’s role in mass shootings.

During a speech following the El Paso and Dayton murders, the President touted “reform[ing] our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence, and mak[ing] sure those people not only get treatment, but when necessary, involuntary confinement.”


The Commander-in-Chief pointed to a comparative irrelevancy of firepower when it comes to the slaying of innocents:

“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.”

As reported by The Washington Post, now the White House is contemplating the creation of a new agency to study how such atrocities may be averted via the signs of mental disturbance:

The White House is considering a controversial proposal to study whether mass shootings could be prevented by monitoring mentally ill people for small changes that might foretell violence.

Former NBC chairman Bob Wright, a longtime friend and associate of President Trump’s, has briefed top officials, including the President, the Vice President and Ivanka Trump, on a proposal to create a new research arm called the Health Advanced Research Projects Agency (HARPA) to come up with out-of-the-box ways to tackle health problems, much like the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) does for the military, according to several people who have been briefed.

The Daily Wire notes that a three-page proposal — sent to Health and Human Services Sec. Alex Azar among other officials — rolled out a plan called “SAFEHOME” (Stopping Aberrant Fatal Events by Helping Overcome Mental Extremes). The initiative would determine how technology could pinpoint warning signs. Cell phone data would be included in that implementation.


For those interested in the slipperiness of a slope, the proposition emphasizes that participation would be on a volunteer basis. There would, as stated, be no “profiling of any kind.”

How many would-be murderers would say, “You’re right; I’m probably gonna try to kill everybody; here’s my consent so you can stop me”?

Among the mentally ill, there surely might be some; but a lot?

As the Post relayed, Geoffrey Ling — HARPA’s lead researcher — defended the program with maybe not the most convincing sales pitch:

“To those who say this is a half-baked idea, I would say, ‘What’s your idea? What are you doing about this? … The worst you can do is fail, and failing is where we are already. You need to find where the edge is so you can push on that edge.”

The FBI indicates a quarter of mass shooters have been diagnosed with a mental illness.

So we’d be looking at volunteers among that 25%, and then the government’s ability to effectively discern and extinguish impending evil?

How slick is that incline again?

What are your thoughts on the program? Let us all know in the Comments section.



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