Why Red Flag Laws Are Not A Good Solution To Mass Shootings

Why Red Flag Laws Are Not A Good Solution To Mass Shootings By  for The Federalist

Do you feel comfortable giving up a cornerstone of our republic for a safety dependent upon enforcement by a government that has failed at this before?

The people who report your Twitter account and your Facebook pages because they dislike your opinion want you to trust a government-run system where people can, without serious penalty of law, report you and have your property confiscated before you’re allowed to defend yourself in court weeks, even months, later.

Politicians refer to law-abiding, gun-owning Americans as “domestic security threats,” yet want you to trust them with implementing such a system. I’m talking about red flag laws and the risk they pose to due process—you know, those other rights after the Second Amendment in the Constitution.

Red flag laws, also known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), have passed through a number of state legislatures across the country; Sen. Marco Rubio has a somewhat new legislative proposal titled the Extreme Risk Protection Order and Violence Prevention Act. Sen. Lindsay Graham joined Sen. Richard Blumenthal to co-sponsor red flag legislation; even Rep. Dan Crenshaw has mentioned ERPOs for potential consideration.

There is nuance to be had here, for sure, but realize that it is an abrogation of due process to invert the order of “innocent until proven guilty” to “somewhat guilty until proven innocent.” The question isn’t whether these laws do this, the question is whether you feel comfortable giving up a cornerstone of our republic for a safety dependent upon enforcement by a government that has failed at this before.

The murderers in Parkland, Florida and Dayton, Ohio, are two recent examples. These two monsters were walking red flags with access to firearms and yet, with all of the laws available to adjudicate them ineligible to carry or purchase guns, they continued unabated until the unthinkable. They weren’t stopped.

In fact, the Parkland murderer was coddled by a school district that pretended a refusal to report crime (thereby suppressing their criminal statistics) was the same thing as reducing crime, and they received federal dollars for it. That murderer’s violent behavior (beating his adoptive mother, sending death threats to fellow students, and putting a gun to another person’s head, to list a few offenses) was so well known, teachers had a backup plan in case he decided to become threatening, and he was searched every morning after arriving at school.

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