At one point in history, human beings were just naked in the woods, runnin’ around, doin’ whatever they wanted.

Then someone had the idea to form a group for mutual benefit.

Fast-forward thousands of years, and the concept of government has gone a smidge past where surely any of those hippie nudists would’ve imagined.

And farther than many of us would’ve.

Apropos, Illinois Democratic Rep. Daniel Didech has a brand new idea: In order for a citizen to buy a gun, he or she will have to submit all social media accounts to the police department for review. After researching the person’s social media history, the police will decide whether the individual gets to make the purchase.

It’s true that, in the instances of some mass shootings, the murderers’ social media posts could’ve raised a red flag; in most or at least some cases, though, weren’t those — and/or wouldn’t they be — just before the crime, as opposed to right before commandeering weaponry?

Secondly, the vast majority of gun violence falls outside of national-new-worthy massacres. And criminals don’t usually purchase a glock on the way to the robbery. And what thugs are Instagramming their thugbusiness?? What does Didech think people are going to post? Maybe something like this?–

“The new Star Wars movie stinks. I’m totally into my new purple Nikes lol. Gonna go legally acquire a 9 mm now and hold up a Hardee’s.”

“Kendrick’s new song’s da bomb. I think I’ll rob some people at an ATM. As soon as I go to a store and fill out an application and wait for a review by the police department — during which they’ll read this post — and then buy a gun, that is.”

“I’m a gangster and I like to mug people and kidnap people and shoot people and kill people. Or, at least, I WILL — as soon as I legally purchase a firearm.”

Didech’s really into it. And he thinks a lot of voters are, too:

“This is something my community is demanding action on.”

Obviously, social media posts could reveal mental health issues:

“A lot of people who are having mental health issues will often post on their social media pages that they’re about to hurt themselves or others. We need to give those people the help they need.”

But what if posts reveal sadness? Anger? Where do you draw the line?

Also, what’s to keep authorities from labeling people religious extremists and, therefore, potentially dangerous? Furthermore, will the government differentiate between sold-out Muslims and supporters of terrorism? Or followers of Jesus and devotees of Muhammad? Or Buddha? Or the Joker? Who should determine such things?

Pro-gun organizations are none too impressed with Didech — Richard Pearson, of the Illinois State Rifle Association, for example:

“When people look at this everyone who has a Facebook account or email account or Twitter account will be incensed or should be.”

The ACLU’s giving it a thumbs down, as well. As reported by Chicago’s Channel 2:

Rebecca Glenberg with ACLU Illinois says the bill “doesn’t say anything about how that list will be retained and for how long and what uses it might be put to.”

The first amendment group worries police scanning social media may show bias.

“A person’s political beliefs, a person’s religious beliefs, things that should not play a part in whether someone gets a [Firearm Owner’s Identification Card],” Glenberg said.

For Didech, it’s all about protection:

“It gives Illinois State Police additional tools to make sure that dangerous weapons aren’t getting into the hands of dangerous people.”

Luckily, as we learned from The Guardian, “dangerous weapons” don’t cause mass shootings; this does. Furthermore the media seems to believe those multi-victim crimes are the only ones that count.

Moving on…

Personally, I’m kinda missin’ the woods. Bonfire, anyone? How about we use Didech’s idea for kindling?

-Alex

 

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