Many states have now passed “Red-flag” gun-control laws. These laws are a mortal danger to our liberty for many reasons. They are the hole in the dike of the 2nd Amendment, the dike that protects our right to bear arms and to defend ourselves against criminals and tyrannical government.
These Red-flag laws also called “extreme risk protection orders,” let courts and police take handguns from citizens who have committed no crime whatsoever. Based upon submitted “evidence,” the court determines whether a citizen, by his known actions or statements, is a “potential” danger to themselves or other people.
What is truly alarming is that not only have 17 States passed these laws, but President Trump has signaled that he would back such laws at the Federal level.
“We must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms and that if they do, those firearms can be taken through rapid due process,” Trump said in a White House speech. Dear President Trump — rapid due process will inevitably turn into no due process.
Here are some crucial reasons why red flag laws should be opposed, at every level of government.
We’ve seen no evidence to prove that Red Flag laws actually reduce gun violence
Red-flag laws aren’t new. Connecticut was the first state to enact a red-flag law in 1999. Then Indiana followed in 2005. This means we’ve had almost 20 years to analyze whether or not these laws are effective. And what have we found so far?
A New York Times article reported the following: “The evidence for whether extreme-risk protection orders work to prevent gun violence is inconclusive, according to a study by the RAND Corporation on the effectiveness of gun safety measures.”
Some states like California have not enforced these laws. Other states like Florida and Maryland have rigorously applied these laws by seizing hundreds of firearms from gun-owners. Yet it’s unclear if these actions stopped any gun violence. And how could we know? How could you tell if an alleged “dangerous” citizen would ever commit gun violence? Do we now assume that our police and courts are mind-readers? Do we violate our precious right to bear arms based on what a handful of allegedly dangerous citizens “might” do?
Also, if a man is really “dangerous” with criminal intent, do you think he would not immediately buy another gun illegally if the police confiscated his registered gun? Most dangerous felons who commit gun violence use illegally-obtained guns. Have gun regulations stopped such felons? (think of Democratic-controlled Chicago and Baltimore). Also, if he could not get another gun, there are plenty of knives and baseball bats he can use for his crimes.
The 2nd Amendment forbids Congress from violating a citizen’s right to bear arms
Among the enumerated powers granted to the Federal government by the Constitution, nowhere do we find the right to regulate the use or possession of firearms. In contrast, the 2nd Amendment specifically forbids the Federal government from passing any law that violates “ . . the right of the people to bear arms . . shall not be infringed.” It seems that radical-left Democratics and too-many Republicans do not understand simple English. They do not understand the simple phrase, “shall not be infringed.”
Red-Flag laws eviscerate citizens’ fundamental Due Process rights
The Constitution specifically states that no citizen can be “deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”
If a citizen has committed no crime and the police seize his gun, that blatantly violates his due-process rights. Police are allowed to seize his gun-based not on any crime he has committed, but on the “possibility” that he might commit such a crime. Also, citizens whose guns have been confiscated often do not get the constitutional right to counsel in the initial hearing.
Some pro-Red-Flag-law advocates claim that a citizen’s due-process rights are not violated because he can “appeal” the ruling. Sure — if the citizen wants to pay a lawyer $400 an hour for a court case that could drag on for years and bankrupt him.
In other words, a law-abiding citizen is now considered guilty, without due process rights, and has to prove himself innocent of “possibly” committing a crime in the future. So Red-flag laws turn the 2nd Amendment and the right to bear arms into a “privilege” that government can violate at whim, not a sacred right.
Red-flag laws could lead to violent confrontations with police
In 2018, 61-year-old Gary Willis was shot and killed by two Maryland cops in his own house after the cops woke him suddenly at 5:17 a.m in the morning. The police had been ordered by the Court to confiscate Willis’s guns from his home under the state’s red flag law. How many other citizens will be killed in early-morning police raids, especially if the citizen thinks his home is being invaded by robbers and not the police?
“Mentally ill” or allegedly-dangerous individuals are not
the only ones who get flagged for gun confiscations
Idiotic government laws always come with unintended consequences. Red-flag laws are supposed to take guns from people who might be a danger to themselves or to other people, as asserted by some court judge or psychiatrist. Of course, these laws conveniently allow local or State governments to expand the definition of ‘potentially-dangerous’ to many other people.
A 14-page analysis by the Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union explained that not many average citizens understand just how “flexible” the state’s red flag law could be.
Their analysis said, “It is worth emphasizing that while a seemingly urgent need for [the law] derives from recent egregious and deadly mass shootings, [the law’s] reach goes far beyond any efforts to address such extraordinary incidents . . . . As written, a person could be subject to an extreme risk protective order (ERPO) without ever having committed, or even having threatened to commit, an act of violence with a firearm.”
For example, a student attending the University of Central Florida was hauled into court and threatened with a year-long “risk protection order” (RPO) for making allegedly “stupid” comments on Reddit after a mass shooting in Florida. Of course, the student had no criminal history whatsoever and didn’t own a handgun. The police, supposedly having Ph.D. degrees in psychiatry, falsely portrayed the student as a “ticking time bomb.” Another man who had criticized teenage gun-control activists online and shared a picture of an AR-15 rifle he had built, was also slapped with an RPO.
The Big Hole In The Dyke That Protects The 2nd Amendment
Red flag laws utterly violate the civil liberties and due-process rights of citizens. They are a well-meaning but dangerous violation of the 2nd Amendment. With these laws, state governments claim the right and ability to prevent alleged crimes before they occur by “reading” the minds of “potential” criminals.
Such laws can easily push us down the slippery slope to full tyranny. If you don’t think this could happen, consider the fact that President Trump seems to favor these laws, and that he recently called upon social media companies to collaborate with the Department of Justice to catch “red flags” using algorithmic technology.
Aren’t all gun-control and gun-confiscation laws based on the same twisted logic? Even though 98 percent of all gun owners are law-abiding citizens who do not kill people, gun-grabbers argue that they might. The gun-grabbers essentially claim that the only way to stop all gun murders is to confiscate all handguns, because who knows if and/or when any gun owner might go berserk and use his gun to kill someone?
Also, suppose a rabid communist like Bernie Sanders gets elected President and wants to purge his Conservative and Republican opposition. Couldn’t he get gun-control or confiscation laws passed that would label Conservatives as being “dangerous to themselves or others” because they oppose gun controls or climate change?
In a socialist dictatorship, the dictator gets to decide who is now considered “dangerous” and for what reasons. Also, the 1st Amendment right of free speech will soon follow the destruction of the 2nd Amendment. For in a socialist tyranny like Bernie Sanders desires, any free speech he doesn’t like can be labeled as “dangerous,” and another reason to confiscate guns from anyone who criticizes him. Simply look at Communist China to see this principle in action.
With these Red-flag laws, the hole in the dike explodes, and say goodby to our liberty and our country that has now turned into Venezuela.