In a recent blog I discussed how, given the poor state of affairs for the Democrat National Party, the narrative would necessarily shift to a topic the Republicans have had little fortitude to challenge: Red Flag Laws. This after three shooting incidents, one in Gilroy, California, the others in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. In response, President Trump expressed willingness to pursue further restrictions on the rights of law-abiding Americans to purchase and own firearms.
In California, Governor Gavin Newsom expanded their existing Extreme Risk Protection Order legislation beyond the previous limitation of immediate family members and law enforcement as those who could initiate gun confiscation. As of September 1, 2020, the law extends to employers, coworkers who have “substantial and regular interactions” with the person (with the approval of the employer), an employee or teacher of a secondary or post secondary school (with the approval of the school administrator), that the person has attended in the last 6 months to file a petition for an ex parte, one year or renewed restraining order.
Even the ACLU has expressed concern over this expansion, primarily for two reasons: first, because of the threat to civil liberties as those affected may not be able to dispute the allegations before state action is taken; second, because some with the authority to flag gun owners “lack the relationship or skills required to make an appropriate assessment.”
Under the new law, workplace or school disputes can result in the state officials showing up at the door of someone who has harmed no one, and confiscate their firearms, all under the pretense of “preventing gun violence.” The problem is, such laws already in effect, including background checks, have proven ineffective in preventing any of the mass shooting scenarios that have resulted in the gun-grabbing hysteria we are seeing today. But that matters not, in an era where feeling like society is “doing something” is more important than facts.
Also problematic is the fact that the time for the confiscation is subject also to expansion. What is to prevent the authorities from keeping firearms longer, indefinitely, permanently? In my article referenced above, I stated how these laws can be a form of thought control, particularly in today's politically-charged climate.
If you think the anti-gun hysteria has not reached unsurpassed levels, consider the case of a middle school girl who “formed her fingers into a gun and pointed it at several of her classmates” was charged with a felony. The behavior was in response to a classmate asking her who she would kill, if she could kill five students in the classroom. She pointed her fingers at four students and then herself. If she is convicted and her record is not cleared once she is an adult (and I can easily see this happening for purposes of her being able to own or possess a firearm), an inappropriate gesture can have life-long consequences, even though there is no indication she would have acted out the question presented to her. Limiting the class of individuals who may own firearms is the goal here, not public safety. While disturbing, in a sane world at most her gesticulation may have resulted in a trip to the office and maybe a discussion with a counselor. When I was growing up, this would have raised no concern – and I grew up at a time where these shootings were not occurring.
Take also into consideration the story of Stephen Nichols, former police officer and Korean War vet who also worked as a school crossing guard. Mr. Nichols had his guns seized after a waitress overheard a part of a conversation he was having with a friend inside a diner. He was expressing concern about a school resource officer who was leaving his post to get coffee in the mornings and that such behavior would put the students at risk if someone were to decide to “shoot up the school,” while the officer was absent from his post. The waitress reported what she heard, unaware of the context of the conversation, to police.
He immediately lost his job as a crossing guard (a job to keep students safe!) and his license to own guns and his guns were taken from him. His friend stated that at no time did Nichols make any threat; in fact, the conversation came about because he was concerned for the safety of the students. This underscores the true intent of the Red Flag Laws: disarm citizens, even if the facts dictate otherwise, and use children as a justification, again, even if no threat to them.
Remember Atatiana Jefferson, the young woman gunned down by Fort Worth Police Officer Aaron Dean, who was responding to a welfare check at 2 am; Dean passed an open door, entered her back yard, and shot Ms. Jefferson through her window. Dean has been charged with murder. If police are this quick to shoot on a welfare check, imagine what the future holds once these Red Flag laws start being implemented on a regular basis.
Consider also the irony of sending representatives of the Police State with guns, to a citizen's home to take – his guns! This will not end well, and we have already seen a man subject to these laws getting killed during such a confiscation. 61-year-old Gary Willis responded to police showing up at his house at 5:17 am to remove his guns under the Maryland's Red Flag laws. Showing up to confiscate firearms while it is still dark, at a time when no one goes to a private residence to conduct any sort of business, from a person believed to be dangerous is pure folly. Mr. Willis answered the door with a firearm, as would any person concerned about their safety at that time of day, but did put the gun down. The fight ensued when he realized the police were there to take his guns, and Mr. Willis was fatally shot. One can't help but wonder if the police did not intentionally set up a situation to turn violent, by waking a man up and forcing him to deal with such an incendiary situation, fresh out of a sound sleep. The result sends a message to anyone else who may challenge their authority: comply or die.