When politicians say “due process,” the ring sounds hollow
As what appears to be a media-driven series of mass
shootings takes lives and dominates social media, the calls for increased gun
control once again grow stronger, fueled by crime and tragedy. As always,
longtime gun control activists and the politicians who listen to them cry that
we must do SOMETHING and we must do it NOW. I can’t blame them for their rush,
really. They know that, to have any chance, they need to cash in on all the sympathy
and horror before America begins thinking clearly about the topic again.
Just like the
post-9/11 PATRIOT Act—a wish list written by those who had long schemed to
increase the government’s power over its citizens—could only have been passed
in the weeks following 2001’s horrific terror attack, the tightened
restrictions and outright bans proposed by gun controllers only have a prayer
when the citizenry is in shock and not thinking clearly. One of the most
dangerous threats to personal liberty—“Red Flag” laws—would not have a chance
with those who love and demand freedom if they were thinking rationally.
Red Flag laws, of course, operate under the guise of preventing
crime before it happens. And, on the surface, they appear to make some sense.
“If you see something, say something,” is a reasonable plan, and Red Flag laws would
allow everyone to be part of the system that recognizes and reports potentially
dangerous situations. The problem, of course, is that Red Flag laws lower the
bar for legal action too far and virtually do away with the concept of due
Suddenly someone’s—almost anyone’s—word becomes powerful
enough to violate someone else’s—anyone else’s—inalienable rights. The
government swoops in and, at the very least, confiscates a citizen’s property.
The citizen is left with no recourse but a long and probably expensive legal
battle to have his or her rights restored and (maybe) eventually recover their
property. Meanwhile, the cost to the person who saw the Red Flag and reported
it is zero. No personal cost to report and no personal cost if the report ends
up being completely wrong. The gun owner, meanwhile, is basically screwed.
No wonder gun controllers love Red Flag laws. They provide
have a quick, easy, and free method to harass and disarm gun owners.
Don’t kid yourself
that this system would not be misused. Corruption and false reporting would be widespread,
and everyone knows it. Anyone who claims that people would only file honest
reports and that application of the law would be fair and equitable knows
nothing whatsoever about human nature, history, or the way government does
business. Or they’re lying.
Even if not intentionally misused, Red Flag law reporting would
be at the mercy of the reporter’s biases and rationality. Do people who today
believe that America is racist, and that law enforcement unfairly targets black
citizens, believe that Red Flag laws would not be frequently used to disarm
black gun owners? If America is as racist as they believe, and law enforcement
is as willing to enact this racism as they say, what other possible outcome
could there be?
We should not forget the case of Rep. Victoria Morales of the
Maine Legislature’s Judiciary Committee. Back in May, Rep. Morales told the
Bangor News that seeing a man with his hand in his pocket enter her children’s
school was terrifying and is one of the reasons that Maine should pass
increased gun control legislation. Now, I doubt many would deny Rep. Morales
the right to feel concern about her children’s well-being. But “terror” at
seeing “a man with his hands in his pockets” is not a rational reason to
increase restrictions on Constitutionally guaranteed human rights. With Red
Flag laws in place, though, law enforcement’s involvement in the hands-in-pants
scenario is only a phone call away.
Or look at the man who walked into a Florida Walmart and asked
for a gun that could kill 200 people to make a point about white nationalism
and gun control. “I’m in a Walmart a few days after El Paso and I’m seeing
a white nationalist looking guy purchase a gun and I got mad,” the man
explained. Never mind the fact that the actual number of actual white
supremacists in America wouldn’t impress anyone, we need to look at how this
would-be activist knew the gun buyer was of them.
“He was around 30 years old,” the man said in an interview.
“White male. Nice, I mean pleasant, looking guy.” The guy was not wearing any
There you have it, folks. If you’re a white male around 30
years old and look nice or pleasant, you are officially “white supremacist
looking” and you will have everyone and their woke grandma calling the cops to
report reg flags up your ejection port.
Red Flag laws would allow people who are scared of people
with their hands in their pockets and nice-looking 30-year-olds decide who gets
to keep their guns.
So-called “assault weapon” bans are ridiculous. Universal
background checks are ridiculous. “Gun Free Zones” are also known as
target-rich environments and ridiculous. But Red Flag laws? They are the most
invasive, least-liberty solution to gun violence anyone ever thought up.
Do not let anyone convince you that Red Flag laws will be
good for America. Not in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting. Not when
the emotions die down and clear thinking returns. Not ever.
The Supreme Court may be stuck between a political rock and a hard place
Bob Rogers is the Editor and Publisher of GunPro Plus, America’s premier daily digital gun news portal. After a successful 20-year career as the Editor for a major magazine in the gun industry, Bob launched GunPro Plus to bring his industry expertise on gun news into the digital realm.
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