Idaho Dispatch

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OP-ED: A ‘Red Flag’ for your rights (Yes, they’re coming for your guns)

By • June 2, 2018

The latest scheme from the gun grabbers is called “red flag” laws and, unlike most their other schemes, even nominally conservative pundits and publications are getting on board with this attempt to disarm certain people. That’s the trick, you see, the classic divide-and-conquer strategy that has worked in so many other cases. They don’t want to take away your guns, oh no, they just want to take away that guy’s guns. He’s kind of weird, anyway, right?

The basic idea is that if someone (anyone, really) feels that someone else seems scary, depressed, or weird (“if you see something, say something”), they should report them to the cops and the cops will seize the person’s firearms for some as-yet-undetermined length of time. Some versions of this proposal include a token nod to due process by requiring a “court order” prior to confiscation, but the accused doesn’t get to defend himself at this point—he has to wait until after his guns are seized before he gets to make a case for why his supposedly dangerous state of mind doesn’t actually pose a threat to anyone.

Are you concerned yet? If you are not, you certainly should be! These “red flag” laws are incredibly problematic for several reasons and they set multiple dangerous precedents.

  1. Even if the original criteria for seizing someone’s firearms are arguably “reasonable,” (and who makes that determination, exactly?), they are just one bill or court decision away from being broadened to a much less reasonable standard. We should not willingly create a mechanism for seizing firearms—especially when we know that the ultimate goal of the gun grabbers is to disarm everyone!
  2. These laws single out firearms as uniquely dangerous. If someone truly poses such an imminent threat to their family, friends, and neighbors that their firearms must be seized, should they really have access to butcher knives, chainsaws, pressure cookers, and pickup trucks? Once again, we see the gun grabbers suggesting that it is the specific tool which must be targeted rather than the individual.
  3. The right to keep and bear arms is simply the practical application of the more fundamental right to self-defense. That right is about as basic as it gets, and even someone who is angry, depressed, or mentally unstable has the right to defend themselves against aggressors. Seizing someone’s firearms because they might commit a crime may seem like it is mitigating risk for others, but it’s also violating the rights of the disarmed individual and putting them at risk.
  4. There are already involuntary commitment laws on the books. This goes back to my second point. Why would a person be dangerous enough to seize their firearms, but not dangerous enough to lock up? Why would we accept that the tool is a greater danger than the individual who wields it?
  5. The gun grabbers don’t operate in good faith. They don’t want these laws on the books to seize guns only from “dangerous” people because, in their minds, all gun owners are dangerous people! If we let them get another foot in the door with “red flag” laws, it won’t be long until loss of appetite, a breakup, bad grades, or flipping someone off in traffic are all classified as “red flags” and used as excuses to seize people’s firearms.

We the people never win by giving the government more power. Seizing people’s property—especially property as crucial for survival as one’s firearms—on the pretext that they might misuse that property at some point in the future is an attack on our most fundamental freedoms, and conservatives would have to be crazy to go along with this latest scheme from the gun grabbers.

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Tags: gun confiscation orders, red flag laws

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