Until last week, there were no indications many Republicans were on the verge of pushing for gun control legislation, whether it be universal background checks or red flag gun laws. But following the two tragic mass shootings last weekend in El Paso and Dayton, the talk around DC isn’t if but when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would bring legislation to the floor.
Our founders designed our form of government with several precepts in place to make sure free Americans were never oppressed by government again. One of those precepts was the 2nd Amendment. Contrary to popular belief in modern times, the 2nd Amendment was the ultimate protection to keep government from taking away Americans’ rights to defend themselves… against the government. An armed populace is impossible to oppress, which is why a precursor to the formation of any socialist or totalitarian regime is disarming the people. Venezuela would be a very different place today if the people hadn’t given up their right to own firearms.
The 2nd Amendment isn’t for hunting or self-protection. It’s to keep the power in the hands of the people.
Another important precept of the Constitution was to make government slow and methodical. They wanted deliberation to determine laws, not reaction. If they were around today, they would tell us the worst possible time to discuss gun control legislation is right after mass shootings when emotions are still running very high. It’s times like these when big mistakes can be made, and we’re on the verge of making one of those mistakes now.
I’ll cover how universal background checks are a prelude to gun registry and easier confiscation in the future, but for now let’s focus on the increasingly popular specter of red flag gun laws. We’ve covered them ad nauseum, and we’ll keep pushing against them as long as the risk of them rising any further than they already have still exists.
There are unintended consequences that will become reality if red flag gun laws continue to be pushed by DC. Incentivizing states to enact them means most will. That’s the nature of false federalism driven by promises of DC and bribes behind closed doors. And the more states that enact them, the more divided we will become as a nation.
The chances of these laws preventing a mass shooting are surprisingly small. I say “surprisingly” because the vast majority of Americans who support them have never taken the time to see the effects. They aren’t aware of Gary J. Willis, the first casualty of red flag gun laws who was killed by police, not because he broke the law but because the law specifically targeted him. They aren’t aware that there are already laws in place to address those with high potential of committing crimes due to mental illness, which is the whole driving force behind the recent push to implement them.
They also aren’t aware that exponentially more innocent people are being hut by red flag gun laws than those who pose a real threat.
When we give the power of removal of property without due process into the hands of an activist judiciary, we are certain to do worse than throw out the baby with the bathwater. We’re tossing the baby and oftentimes leaving the bathwater in place. In other words, law abiding citizens will be affected while criminals and potential criminals get a free pass. We know this because of the profiles of those who have been committing the mass shootings in recent years. These aren’t people who have many friends or cohesive families noticing red flags. These are loners, isolated, detached from society. They are the least likely people to affected by red flag gun laws that require personal knowledge of individuals from people close to them.
But Joe Blo American with an AR-15 and inflammatory social media posts – he’s the target. Maybe he told a family member we’d be better off without the person in their mayor’s office. Maybe he Tweeted their distaste for government intervention. Maybe he said he sometimes wishes he’d never been born. These are all “red flags” that can easily trigger an Extreme Risk Protection Order, depending on how gun-unfriendly a judge may be. But here’s the thing. If someone is truly concerned about the mental state of a gun owner, they can report that person and have their status adjudicated legally. In fact, they can even have them detained for mental health evaluations. These are all possible under current laws.
The difference with red flag gun laws is they’re enacted without the participation of the accused. So anyone who has a firearm and makes an acquaintance concerned may have their property removed at the hands of law enforcement and at the point of a gun. In fact, someone doesn’t even have to be concerned. They can be angry or otherwise predisposed to want to harm the lawful gun owner, and red flag gun laws give them the avenue they need to harm someone without them ever knowing who was behind it. As a colleague often notes, it’s “gun confiscation SWATting,” referring to the practice of calling in a fake crime so a SWAT team will bust through someone’s door.
There seems to be some momentum behind red flag gun laws based on the notion that the alleged El Paso shooter’s mother warned police. This is a mischaracterization. She called the police for information about the legality of her son’s firearm purchase. It wasn’t even logged by the police as a complaint, and merely an informational call. But this somehow translates to the need for red flag gun laws because, allegedly, her asking whether or not her son’s new firearm was legal means she and the police could have stopped him before he went on his rampage.
As for the Dayton shooter and the previous week’s Gilroy shooter, there is no indication red flag gun laws would have possibly made a difference.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the best deterrent to mass shooters is to loosen gun laws and allow more “good guys with a gun” to be present throughout the country. Red flag gun laws take us in the opposite direction.
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