Red Flag Laws

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

Recent events have once again, predictably, brought a wave of cries from the left to enact gun control laws. This happens every time that the media blows up one of these events and makes a circus out of it. Amazingly, they are very selective about which “mass shootings” they choose to publicize, sticking only to ones which will help them sell their narrative.

There is no question that the media is selective about their publicizing of these events. While there were two mass murders on the same weekend, only one has received publicity. That’s because the murderer for the other one is clearly on the left. They can’t use that one to further their agenda, without making their own political viewpoint look bad. The one that happened in El Paso, on the other hand, is being used to “prove” that President Trump is a racist, even though he had nothing to do with it.

Just a few days after those two murders, there was another mass murder that you’ve probably not heard a word about. That’s because it was committed with a knife. Four people died in that killing spree, along with a number of others being injured. Yet the media isn’t calling for knife control.

No, the big push right now is for “Red Flag laws.” This is gaining steam with the gun control crowd right now and even drawing approval from some Republican lawmakers, as well as the president.

The whole idea of Red Flag laws is to take guns out of the hands of those who are likely to commit crimes with them. Depending on the flavor of the law being promulgated in any particular state, this can include only people with demonstrated mental imbalance or it can also include those who has been accused of having violent tendencies.

What’s wrong with that? Don’t we all want to get guns out of the hands of those who are likely to commit crimes with them? Haven’t we seen enough proof that the people who commit mass murder are mentally imbalanced?

Yes, it has been demonstrated over and over again that the people who commit these atrocities are mentally imbalanced and have made their violent tendencies known. In some cases, the police even have a file on the individual, due to previous brushes with the law.

But, and again I say but; Red Flag laws go directly against the Second and Fifth Amendments to our Constitution. Of the two, the affront to the Fifth Amendment is actually the worst.

The Fifth Amendment deals with several issues that revolve around how people are tried for crimes. The pertinent part, for this discussion, appears close to the end of the amendment, where it says, “…nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…” That “due process” is the key.

In the case of most of these Red Flag laws, the person they are being used against isn’t even given a chance to defend themselves. Rather, the District Attorney goes before the court, presenting evidence that the person’s Second Amendment rights should be suspended and their firearms taken from them by the police. If the court agrees, the first time the individual hears about it is when the police knock on their door (assuming they are polite enough to knock).

We can all think of examples where that makes sense; examples of people who really shouldn’t have firearms, either because they are a danger to themselves or to others. But that doesn’t make it right. The principle of “innocent until proven guilty” should still apply. Unless there is evidence to show that these people are dangerous and they are given the opportunity to defend themselves in court, taking their guns away is a violation of their Second and Fifth Amendment rights, regardless of what laws are passed. The Constitution is supposed to trump all other laws in this country.

I’ve been the victim of having my guns taken away from me, and I live in a gun-friendly state where there is no Red Flag law in effect. When I went through my divorce, my ex-wife’s lawyer went to court, filing a restraining order against me. That order included a statement by my ex-wife, saying that I was “violent” and that she “was afraid of me.” Based upon that, the judge signed the order, which included a statement saying that my guns had to be locked away in secure storage, where I wouldn’t have access to them.

Even though I have a concealed carry license and have never committed a crime, I lost my rights. There was no court date where I had an opportunity to defend myself. I had no say in the matter. My rights were stripped from me, possibly in an act of “punishment” by my ex-wife, just on her say so.

The only good thing I can say about that is that the police didn’t come to take my guns away. Rather, I had to turn them over to my local gun range for storage. That meant that I didn’t have to go back to court to get them returned to me. Once the divorce was finalized, all I had to do was go pick them up.

Had there been a Red Flag law in effect, I would have had to go back to court and prove my innocence in order to get my guns back. Forget about “innocent until proven guilty;” these laws assume that you are guilty until proven innocent. Proving that will probably end up costing more than what the guns originally cost.

I can very easily see situations arising where people who are afraid of guns, are anti-gun activists, or just don’t like someone else making statements that cause others to lose their guns, all without due process. Unless some rather severe safeguards are put in place and a requirement for due process before someone’s guns are confiscated, these laws are nothing more than an unconstitutional stealing of our rights.

While I wouldn’t want to get in a gun battle with the police over such a thing, I can see where it could happen. As more and more unconstitutional laws like this are passed, we have to ask ourselves where our country is going. And in the mean time, we’d better keep our powder dry and our survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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