In response to a shooting incident last week in downtown Austin, the city’s top cop addressed locals about the importance of vigilance in identifying potential threats. Gunman Larry Steven McQuilliams was ultimately killed by an officer before he could injure anyone, though Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo held a press conference this week in which he asserted there might have been no loss of life had someone reported his behavior to law enforcement before his rampage.

He explained that he stays awake at nights worrying about “these homegrown extremists that are lone wolves, that are mad at the world, that are angry.”

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Acevedo then went on to encourage Austin residents to expand the parameters of behavior that would prompt them to report a fellow citizen to authorities.

“It’s important for us as Americans to know our neighbors, to know our families,” he said. “Tell somebody if you know somebody that is acting pecu—with a lot of hatred toward any particular group.”

He urged the city’s residents to pay distinct attention to anyone in their lives “who’s a gun enthusiast or is armed with these types of firearms and they’re showing any type of propensity for hatred.”

Couching his instruction with the caveat that turning in a friend or family member for owning guns “doesn’t mean that we’re going to take them to jail,” Acevedo noted that “we might want to vet these people.”

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Considering the fact that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives found his state is home to more firearms dealers – 8,500 as of 2013 – than any other state in the nation, it stands to reason that “gun enthusiasts” make up a healthy segment of the population–even in its left-leaning capital city.

The response from many is that Acevedo’s threshold for concern is exceptionally – and unconstitutionally – low.

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