Raising Red Flags About Red Flag Laws
Who will decide if a gunowner is a threat, and can we trust the decision?
By Mark Anderson
It’s pretty obvious to anyone paying attention that the ruling elite want more stringent gun confiscation laws enacted. One proposed way to do this is via the institution of “red flag” laws. Red flag laws are allegedly designed to prevent future mass shootings as they empower courts to take guns away from “potentially dangerous” people, as if we can actually trust the courts to be impartial arbiters in this matter. We wish we could.
Red flag laws have already been put in place in 17 states, of which 12 enacted them after the Parkland, Fla. school shooting in February 2018. Four other states have proposed such laws. For the record, the two states in which high-profile multiple shootings recently took place—at an El Paso, Texas Walmart and a Dayton, Ohio entertainment venue—do not yet have red flag laws on the books, though Ohio had already proposed such a law.
On the federal level, at a March 26 congressional committee hearing entitled “Red Flag Laws: Examining Guidelines for State Action,” Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) noted:
While Republicans and Democrats, on this Committee and across America, can disagree on the Second Amendment, what’s clear . . . is that recent tragedies in the United States are examples of . . . a failure to identify and lessen risk from individuals who may be showing signs of distress and the willingness to hurt themselves or others. … The use of Extreme Risk Protection Orders also known as “Red flag” orders have shown promise in the states.
… Red flag laws generally work by a family or household member or law enforcement officer petitioning a court to temporarily restrict an individual’s ability to buy or access fire – arms. The burden of proof is placed on law enforcement to prove the person in question has become an imminent danger and there is a Due Process right for the individual to challenge the determination. . . . Politically, these laws are found in red, blue, and purple states. In March 2018, the Trump Administration called on every state to enact Extreme Risk Protection Orders.
The potential for President Trump to bend to media-induced pressure, perhaps to protect himself politically as the 2020 election nears, is high given the tense and uncertain climate created by news of the latest shootings.
The key to understanding the potential problems with red flag laws is realizing that such laws could easily morph into large-scale disarmament of law-abiding civilians based upon their political philosophy. Indeed, confiscations could become ever more frequent. Not just family members and police, but also neighbors, acquaintances, and coworkers, possibly with an axe to grind, could conjure up reports of your “suspicious” or “errant” behavior, leading to firearms confiscation pending a review of your “mental stability.”
In Connecticut, the justifications for gun confiscation have included such simple concerns as “conflict between intimate partners, emotional distress over finances, and sadness of loss in old age,” as reported Feb. 25 in The Denver Post.
Interestingly, the Post, citing the Sandy Hook school shooting in December 2012, added: “Connecticut law enforcement had been temporarily taking weapons from at-risk people for more than a decade at the time of the shooting. According to the Duke University study, about 140 orders were issued in 2012.”
But Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old responsible for that elementary school massacre, wasn’t the registered owner of the guns he used to commit murder. Investigative reports insist he used his mother’s guns to kill her at home and 26 children and adults at the elementary school.
Another more troubling aspect of the situation is that mainstream controlled media reports on mass shootings are not based in reality. They invariably portray the shooter as a trigger-happy “white supremacist,” despite any real facts to support that contention. Thus, the first segment of the population to be disarmed—due to fake news-induced media hysteria—would most likely be white nationalists, just the very people who are most resistant to the expansion of the New World Order police state. Coincidence? Probably not.
Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor. Email him at <[email protected]