“Individuals who find themselves involved in these proceedings often have no clear constitutional right to counsel, civil libertarians point out.” Foundation for Economic Education, by John Miltimore. What are these “extreme risk protection orders?” Congress is seriously considering red flag gun laws. These laws, also called “extreme risk protection orders,” allow courts to issue orders allowing law enforcement to seize firearms from people who’ve committed no crime but are believed to be a danger to themselves or others. Why do I say they are a gateway to totalitarianism?
- Regulating firearms is not among the powers listed in the Constitution (though this has not always stopped lawmakers from regulating them). In fact, the document expressly forbids the federal government from doing so, stating in the Second Amendment that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Those who dismiss the second amendment are dismissing constitutional rule, the political foundation of our freedom.
- Federalism: Unlike the federal government, whose powers, James Madison noted, are “few and defined,” states possess powers that “are numerous and indefinite.” Indeed, 17 states and the District of Columbia already have red flag laws, and many more states are in the process of adding them. This shows that the people and their representatives are fully capable of passing such laws if they choose. If red flag laws are deemed desirable, this is the appropriate place to pursue such laws, assuming they pass constitutional muster. But do they? Those who automatically call for the central government to regulate things that can be accomplished by the smallest jurisdictions don’t want safety, they want control.
- The Constitution mandates that no one shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” Seizing the property of individuals who have been convicted of no crime violates this provision. Gun control advocates claim due process is not violated because people whose firearms are taken can appeal to courts to reclaim their property. However, as economist Raheem Williams has observed, “this backward process would imply that the Second Amendment is a privilege, not a right.” Depriving individuals of a clearly established, constitutionally-guaranteed right in the absence of criminal charges or trial is an affront to civil liberties. Which control freaks don’t believe in anyway.
- In theory, red flag laws are supposed to target individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others. In practice, they can work quite differently. Individuals who find themselves involved in these proceedings often have no clear constitutional right to counsel, civil libertarians point out.
- Red flag laws are essentially a form of pre-crime, a theme explored in the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie Minority Report, based on a 1956 Philip K. Dick novel. Surveillance states like China are well on their way. Neutered populations in nominally free countries like Canada and most of Western Europe have slid into exchanging their freedom for security. Are we next?
- “The idea that governments can prevent crimes before they occur may sound like sci-fi fantasy (which it is), but the threat such ideas pose to civil liberties is quite real. Compromising civil liberties and property rights to prevent acts of violence that have yet to occur are policies more suited for dystopian thrillers—and police states—than a free society. It’s clear that laws of this magnitude should not be passed as an emotional or political response to an event, even a tragic one.“
- I live in Washington state. If our state had a red flag law, the fact of my writing this blog and the fact that I own one pistol (with my state issued concealed carry permit) would be enough justification to enter my home without my permission and confiscate my gun, as well as search for other dangerous weapons (I have a stiletto I use as a letter opener).
- If you “like” this blog post, keep in mind that a college student in Florida also lost his property rights under their red flag law as a result criticizing a blog post by the “young skull full of mush” (thanks Rush) named David Hogg, a very prominent gun control fanatic.
I have made my case. “Extreme risk protection orders” aka “red flag laws” are a gateway to totalitarianism! President Trump, shame on you for promoting them. Are you also a totalitarian?