Gun Control

'Red Flag' Laws Leave Gun Owners Defenseless

The Trump-endorsed response to mass shootings gives due process short shrift.

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Responding to the mass shootings that took 22 lives in El Paso and nine in Dayton over the weekend, President Donald Trump said it should be easier to confiscate people's guns when they are deemed a threat to others. That prescription may or may not prevent any murders, but it will certainly hurt many innocent Americans by depriving them of their Second Amendment rights.

"We must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms, and that, if they do, those firearms can be taken through rapid due process," the president said on Monday. "That is why I have called for 'red flag' laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders."

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have adopted such laws, most of them since the February 2018 massacre at a high school in Parkland, Florida. Although preventing mass shootings is the goal emphasized by advocates of red flag laws, data from Indiana and Connecticut, the first two states to enact them, show they are mainly used to protect people from their own suicidal impulses.

The evidence on whether they succeed in doing that is mixed, and so far there's no firm evidence that red flag laws prevent homicide. One thing is clear: Taking away people's guns based on predictions of what they might do with them raises thorny due process issues.

Despite the talk of "extreme" or "grave" risks, red flag laws typically refer to a "significant" risk, and what that means is anybody's guess. Given the imagined stakes, judges tend to err on the side of granting orders that bar people from possessing guns.

In Florida and Maryland, both of which enacted red flag laws soon after the Parkland shooting, initial orders, which are issued before the "respondent" has a chance to respond, are almost never denied. They last up to two weeks in Florida and up to a week in Maryland, where they can be extended for up to six months.

At the next stage, when the respondent finally gets a hearing, renewable orders lasting up to a year are issued 62 percent of the time in Maryland and 95 percent of the time in Florida. The difference in approval rates may have something to do with the fact that Florida allows petitions only by law enforcement agencies, while Maryland opens the door to relatives, intimates, cohabitants, physicians, and mental health specialists.

Florida nevertheless allows judges to consider any evidence they deem relevant, and its "significant danger" test is inherently vague, notwithstanding its "clear and convincing" standard of proof. Some states are even looser, requiring only "a preponderance of the evidence," meaning any likelihood greater than 50 percent that the respondent poses a "significant" risk.

The upshot is that people can be stripped of the constitutional right to armed self-defense even when they almost certainly would not have used a gun to harm themselves or anyone else. "All the pressure is on the other side," says Orlando attorney Kendra Parris. "There's absolutely no downside to just going ahead and issuing the order."

Parris has represented a college student who did not own any guns, had no history of violence, and had never threatened anyone but who nevertheless was an early target of Florida's red flag law because he said some stupid things about mass shootings on Reddit. Another client was slapped with a gun confiscation order because he criticized teenaged gun control activists online and posted a photo of an AR-15 rifle he had built.

David Kopel, a gun policy expert at the Independence Institute in Denver, thinks properly designed red flag laws can have a positive impact. But he emphasizes the importance of procedural safeguards that states have largely failed to adopt.

"It's a great idea on paper," says Dave Workman, senior editor at the Second Amendment Foundation in Bellevue, Washington. In practice, however, "you're guilty until you prove yourself innocent."

© Copyright 2019 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. Red flag laws are another of a long list that sound good until you look at the details, then you realize what a shit show they are. Just like universal background checks, etc. The problem though, is most people understand some people shouldn’t have guns. They lack the mental ability to properly handle or be safe with them, and in the extreme may be dangerously homicidal. The problem is these people are rarities but the media would have you believe they are right down the street from you. Identifying them is generally difficult at best, which ones are truly dangerous and which ones are harmless? All mass shooters had warning signs that were missed is the retort, but hindsight is 20/20. It’s easy to see the warning signs after it happened but harder to spot them before. And this isn’t an Phillip K. Dick story (which BTW was a cautionary tale, not a how to guide). Much like 1984 was a cautionary tale not a how to guide.

    1. I already contacted my Georgia Senators and Representative and President Trump to urge them to repeal all gun control and not implement unconstitutional “Red Flag Laws”.

      Most of this is MSM push during this two-week news cycle following the shooting tragedy.

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      1. I’m flagging you for human trafficking.

    3. “Much like 1984 was a cautionary tale not a how to guide.”

      I have to tell this to some Proggie on a daily basis.

    1. Personally? Mostly bad, but not sure what others think. I do like the Daily Printable Calendars, though. 🙂

    2. Hitlery would have been worse.

  2. Beware the psychologization of dissent. It did not serve the Russian people well.

    1. Only those who think thoughts that are not government approved have something to fear.

  3. I think Red Flag laws are worthy of exploration, and can work. Red Flag laws should not be used much at all, and should be drafted with an orientation of a) not taking away 2A right without a Federal judge making the call, and b) that it is reviewed every 60 days by a Federal judge, and c) there must be a stated presumption that the 2A right be restored as quickly as possible. People do recover from depression, etc.

    This is something to think about. I don’t think anyone disputes that mixing mentally/emotionally disturbed people with firearms is a volatile and combustible mix. We are talking about a pretty small proportion of the population, statistically.

    1. At a minimum, they should allow for an adversarial process comparable to a felony trial, with the presumption of innocence and right to trial by jury. Compensation for all costs if failed. And legal consequences for malicious attempts to invoke the process.

      The serious problem here is that it’s not a question of “if” these laws will be abused. Their most fervent advocates mean to abuse them.

      1. Brett….Agree with presumption of innocence. Also agree with the concept of a jury trial, but only after someone has been denied, and the firearms removed. I am especially on-board with mandatory legal consequences for false and malicious attempts to invoke the process.

        What we want is robust protection of 2A rights, paired along with protecting society at large. I personally do not think Red Flag laws would apply to very many people, statistically speaking. The decision to deprive an individual of their individual rights is an especially grave one. We should do this only in extremis, for a limited duration, and overseen by a Federal judge.

        1. “”Brett….Agree with presumption of innocence. Also agree with the concept of a jury trial, but only after someone has been denied, and the firearms removed.””

          The latter denies the presumption of innocence.
          Red flag laws are confiscation.

          I guess you don’t have a problem with asset forfeiture. Asset forfeiture assumes a crime exists and the taking is due to that crime. There is no crime assumed in a red flag law so it’s worse than asset forfeiture.

          1. Vic, I’ll start by saying there is no ‘easy’ answer here. And I’ll repeat what I said in an earlier comment: The decision to deprive an individual of their individual rights is an especially grave one. We should do this only in extremis, for a limited duration, and overseen by a Federal judge.

            I am definitely not a fan of asset forfeiture, which is exactly why I’d insist on a Federal judge (NOT law enforcement) making the final call here. With mandated, periodic review.

            We make limited exceptions to individual liberties in other places. The right to free speech, for instance, is not absolute.

            If there is a better alternative to keeping guns out of the hands of mentally/emotionally disturbed individuals, I am all ears.

            1. Not having a better answer is not an excuse to violate rights.

              “”Also agree with the concept of a jury trial, but only after someone has been denied, and the firearms removed.””

              You don’t seem to have a problem with placing due process after the fact. This is how asset forfeiture works.

              “”The decision to deprive an individual of their individual rights is an especially grave one. We should do this only in extremis, for a limited duration, and overseen by a Federal judge.””

              This is fairly naïve. The P.A.T.R.I.O.T. act was sold to us as a tool against terrorism.

        2. What you describe sounds like the Cps system, which routinely features on the news for both false positives and negatives. Sorry, but I don’t think it will work the way you hope

      2. If you read the article, it’s already been abused and it gives two examples.

    2. Are you okay with the same prophylactic restrictions on your rights to speak, vote, be secure in your home or person or to drive a car? Would you consider it acceptable for any of those rights to be taken away solely based on a single person’s call (even if that person is a federal judge and even if you only lost those rights for 60 days at a time) with neither the time nor often even the opportunity for you to present opposing evidence?

      We are talking about a pretty small proportion of the population who are truly mentally ill to the point of dangerousness. However, we are talking about a much larger proportion who will be accused. Our history in child custody cases, divorces and neighborhood disputes, etc shows that there can be very high incentives for false accusations even before you get to the politics of gun control attitudes. This is especially problematic since there are no effective consequences for being wrong.

      1. Rossami…Your second point first: I think you made my point for me. We are talking about an exceptionally small proportion of the population (I saw how you did the math in a previous post). As I mentioned in my earlier post, I am especially on-board with mandatory legal consequences for false and malicious attempts to invoke the process.

        Driving is not a federal right, and the states do in fact place restrictions on driving. All of the individual rights you listed do in fact have some degree of restriction.

        To be clear: The problem is not guns. I favor open carry and shall issue laws. The problem is mentally/emotionally disturbed people getting guns and then using them on the rest of us. So yes, I am willing carve out a very small exception to 2A to address this one specific problem….with extremely onerous processes to safeguard and protect the rights of the person in question.

        Do you have a better alternative? Doing nothing is not an option anymore. The laws of stats pretty much dictates we will see many more of these types of incidents, as a 350MM population is just going to have a pretty sizeable mass of fucked up people in the head. What did you say in your other post….something like 68K people? That is a hell of a lot, notwithstanding the small percentage it represents.

        1. To your point that other rights have restrictions, you are missing the point that none of them are subject to prior restraint. They are rights you maintain in full until and unless you are found to have lost them after due process. A one-sided hearing by a judge is not due process.

          To the rest of your comment, you make your case clearly but I do not reach your conclusion that “doing nothing is not an option anymore”. In fact, doing nothing is always an option – and the data suggests that doing nothing is the best option in this case. From the math in the prior comment, 11.5 million people in the US demonstrate some signs of psychosis. But only 169 of them have committed mass murders in the last 50 years. That is an astonishingly small number.

          It’s also a number that’s been generally declining for decades – long before any of the “red flag laws” or other infringements on our rights were implemented. Statistically, we do not see “many more of these types of incidents” – we only think we do because mass media and the availability heuristic make it feel like they are increasing.

          I’m not saying we shouldn’t do better things with our mental health programs. The way we treat mental illness is a national tragedy. But that issue is entirely unrelated to the current frenzy over guns.

  4. Red flag laws will get both patriots and tyrants killed. This is by design.

    1. Patriots outnumber tyrants. It will work out.

      1. Patriots outnumber tyrants. It will work out.

        Patriots have to outnumber tyrants and useful idiots.

        1. At some point, Patriots will preemptively take the Civil War to the tyrants and the Useful Idiots.

          I would engage government forces once they commenced the house to house door kicking. A single family usually cannot stand up to 50 government agents kicking in doors. A single street banding together to engage government agents can wipe out an entire local force of tyrants.

  5. I think we’re headed toward a new age of bland conformity. No one should look, act, or express any opinions outside of the mainstream.

    1. That’s OK, as long as we look different.

    2. I was taught to express my opinion but I was expected to do that in a respectful way. David Thoreau wrote an essay on civil disobedience and his opposition to an unjust war. He did not call people names or make disparaging remarks about people. We are not heading for bland conformity. The problem is people believe they can say whatever they want without consequences. Maybe because President Trump does this. But remember he is the President and you are not. So if you say something threatening to someone or better yet post it on a web site, you can expect consequence. And a “well I did not mean that and I am blowing of steam” is not going to cut it as a response. Too much water has past under the bridge for that excuse.

      1. “The problem is people believe they can say whatever they want without consequences”

        You suck.

      2. “”And a “well I did not mean that and I am blowing of steam” is not going to cut it as a response.””

        Kathy Griffin?

        1. She has yet to see a day inside a cell.

  6. Anybody who thinks these laws will be okay because they’ll have “safeguards” built into them is being painfully naive.

    Imagine, for example, that you’re the judge deciding on this order. Will you be able to stop yourself from thinking, “What if I deny this order, and then the person goes on a shooting rampage? My ass will be grass!” That and a strong public attitude of “better safe than sorry” will prejudice this process.

    Likewise, do you think the cops are going to be inclined to take chances when they serve these orders? You think Sheriff Andy Taylor is going to politely knock on your door and kindly ask for your guns? No, they’ll think “better safe than sorry” and come in heavy; some departments will undoubtedly use their SWAT teams.

    1. Yes, and if you tell them that you don’t have your guns anymore (or that some rat fink lied about you ever having had any in the first place), they will tear every molecule in your abode from every other molecule. Looking for your guns, of course. And GOOD LUCK asking them to put it all back together again!

      (It goes w/o saying that they’ll also shoot your dog).

      1. Dead on with this one SQRLSY

      2. So don’t make the mistake the Branch Davidians did.

  7. I wonder what impact it will have on people’s jobs to have one of these dropped on them, even if they’re ultimately cleared.

    1. The chain of events known as proximate cause will ensue. The ball, once pushed, will roll until it stops somewhere along your life. In it’s wake may lie your rights, possessions, access to income, family, reputation….these people are much bigger and stronger than you’ll ever be.

      1. You make as well figure that if one of these gets filed on you, that your life is over. There is no man so free as one with nothing left to lose.

        The people who file and enforce red flags may find themselves face-to-face with a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  8. Has any politician proposed an amendment to these laws making the person who calls for the confiscation, and the approving judge, to have unlimited liability for any harm that come to the disarmed citizen before an actual due process type of hearing with full defense right and sworn testimony?
    Under the equal protection clause, can I get protection of an order against Hihn and his sock drawer to remove those social media accounts?
    Who is John Galt?

    1. Don’t laugh. In his book, “The Gestapo,” Frank McDonough recounts plenty of cases where denouncers who made false claims ended up being taken into “protective custody” and themselves were sent for terms in concentration camps, because they wasted the limited resources of the gestapo agents.

  9. Fourth, we must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms, and that, if they do, those firearms can be taken through rapid due process. That is why I have called for red flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders.

    Trump is wrong on this point and any gun control is an unconstitutional violation of the 2nd Amendment.
    2A: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    There is no exception to the 2A for Americans the government (Judges) deem “unfit” to possess Arms.

    1. So you agree that incarcerated prisoners should have firearms too?

      1. Prisoners and those under state custody are slaves, as per the 15th Amendment.

        Slaves dont have any rights unless they are given them.

        So to address your stupid comment Eric, NO prisoners should not have firearms.

          1. The 13th itself doesn’t reference firearms. Nor does the 15th. Are you arguing for liberal interpretation?

            1. Poor Eric.

              He no read so good.

              1. I read your incoherency just fine:
                You’re a strict originalist except when you’re not.

                Do you ever get tired of being owned on here?

    2. 1789….We see eye to eye on many issues (really enjoy reading your informative posts), but we do not agree here. There are exceptions to 2A rights, imposed at the state level, and I think you know that.

      We do not allow minors to purchase firearms.
      We do not allow patients who use medical marajuana in accordance with state law to purchase firearms (I have a problem with this one!)
      We do not allow convicted felons to purchase firearms.

      I wish Red Flag laws were not necessary. But it abundantly clear that mentally/emotionally disturbed individuals should not have guns. That is just common sense. The question to me is how do we separate the two, in the least disruptive manner to their individual 2A rights. I do not trust politicians at all. I do not trust shrinks very much. I especially do not trust divorce attorneys.

      I can tolerate the idea of a Federal judge being responsible for this, provided that there is a presumption of ‘innocence’, with regular reviews to see of the person recovered, and a bias to restoration of rights as quickly as possible.

      1. Age limits are not infringement. Voting age being 18 for example.
        Removing rights from felons have not been unconstitutional. Felons being denied the right to vote for example.

        If something is a violation of a right, then that something should be a violation if applied to any other right. If showing ID to exercise a right is a violation of that right, then having to show ID should not be applied to any right.

      2. 1. The 14th Amendment ended all questions about incorporation of the Bill of Rights to the States. All state residents shall not have their federal privileges and immunities abridged. Therefore, states cannot pass laws infringing on the right of the People to keep and bear Arms.
        2. There is no right of minors to get the same rights as adults. In fact, without rules differentiating an Age of Majority, parents would have no parental rights over their children.
        3. Prisoners and those on probation or parole (under the custody of the government but out of prison) are slaves as per the 13th Amendment. Slaves dont have any rights not given to them.

      3. I can tolerate the idea of a Federal judge being responsible for this

        This is a no-go, IMO, see the FISA Court. State courts and, at most, the FedGov helps oversee which records do/don’t get transferred across state lines if someone moves. Even then it will likely wind up like a sex offender or gang registry; ironically populated almost exclusively by (minority) men who don’t need guns to kill people and/or won’t have the first regard for the registry when they do.

        1. casual….Reasonable Libertarians can differ on this. In my case, I net out on not wanting gun control generally (I favor open carry and shall issue laws), but removal of guns from a very small number of people specifically (namely, those who are mentally/emotionally disturbed).

          I thought about who I’d want making that call, the call to deprive someone of their God-given rights. I know I don’t want a politician doing it. I damn sure don’t want some divorce attorney doing it. I don’t a psychiatrist doing it. I don’t want Sheriff Cletus of Bumfuck USA doing it. I don’t trust any of them.

          The ‘least worst’ alternative I came up with was having a Federal judge doing it. Yeah, it looks like something was fucked up with FISA (I will grant you that), but by and large….I trust the vast majority of federal judges to do the right thing by the law, and by the petitioner.

          1. “”I trust the vast majority of federal judges to do the right thing by the law, and by the petitioner.””

            Perhaps, but you are supporting a system that will go judge shopping to get the outcome they want.

          2. Another example of good intentions gone bad is the sex offenders list.

          3. Also if there are not enough federal judges to handle it, they will provide a solution for that which would likely fall outside of what you think is fair. But at that point it will be too late. And despite your good intentions, you enabled it.

          4. “”I thought about who I’d want making that call, the call to deprive someone of their God-given rights. I know I don’t want a politician doing it. I damn sure don’t want some divorce attorney doing it. I don’t a psychiatrist doing it. I don’t want Sheriff Cletus of Bumfuck USA doing it. I don’t trust any of them. “”

            I’ve been trying to think of a way which I might agree with a red flag law. Finding the “right” guy to do it is a fallacy. But I think the biggest issue for me is that this brings thought crime under judicial review. I see enough of 1984 going around, we don’t need to empower the state on thought crimes.

            1. Sheriff Cletus, who is the most likely legal official to know the person and be responsible for preventing and/or cleaning up any mess the individual makes is as good a candidate as any judge issuing such an order ex parte.

              It’s pretty clear that Atlas_shrugged doesn’t like Sheriff Cletus doing the deed because he doesn’t like Sheriff Cletus.

          5. I thought about who I’d want making that call, the call to deprive someone of their God-given rights. I know I don’t want a politician doing it. I damn sure don’t want some divorce attorney doing it. I don’t a psychiatrist doing it. I don’t want Sheriff Cletus of Bumfuck USA doing it. I don’t trust any of them.

            You’re positing a bit of a false dichotomy, glazing over nuance, and are heavily biased in favor of a federal judge here. Taking a gun away from someone who’s giving it to you isn’t depriving them of their God-given right. Refusing to sell a gun to anyone for any reason that isn’t the government telling you to do so isn’t depriving them of a God-given right. Private citizens taking guns away from other private citizens who pose a threat isn’t depriving someone of their God-given right. Psychiatrists and Sheriff Cletus are quite capable of taking guns away from willing donors and even advising private citizens as to when they present a threat to others.

            Yeah, it looks like something was fucked up with FISA (I will grant you that), but by and large….

            You say ‘was’ like the FISA court isn’t still a thing and operates in pretty much the same fashion that it used to.

            I trust the vast majority of federal judges to do the right thing by the law, and by the petitioner.

            Technically, the federal judge should do the right thing by the law, by the petitioner, *and by the subject of the red flag order*, but I take your statement to be a clear indication of your meaning and/or intent.

  10. This seems like an end run around the First Amendment — a way of punishing what ought to be constitutionally protected speech.

    1. It’s a new Lefty tactic to end run around all sorts of Constitutional protections.

      1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th Amendments.

      1. Trump is a lefty??? Oh Noes! Looks like it’s time for you to find another strongman to worship.

        1. Trump has never been a republican until he ran for office. He’s been a life long democrat, and has supported democrat candidates for decades.

          1. And yet….he has that magical (R) following his name. That R opens the doors to many hearts who would otherwise be closed if it was a dastardly (D). The letter following one’s name is crucial to determine how the limbic system tells the cortex how to respond.

            1. “” The letter following one’s name is crucial to determine how the limbic system tells the cortex how to respond.””

              Is that why Bernie ran as a democrat instead of an independent?

        2. Trump’s not a lefty, it’s just his New York values that make him indistinguishable from a lefty.

          1. Depends upon how one categorizes “lefty”. Trump’s never cared for identity politics or been much of an egalitarian. But yes, being from New York City he has a natural affinity for government action to address….anything.

            1. “”being from New York City he has a natural affinity for government action to address….anything.”‘

              And he has the money to buy politicians.

        3. Poor Eric does not know that Trump is RINO.

          Trump is not 100% against gun control. We can only hope this is more media Propaganda and Trump is playing with the Lefties like he does regularly. Trump did the same thing after the Vegas shooting.

      2. Actually, progressives have considered the Constitution to be an obstacle to their goals since at least Woodrow Wilson. They actively worked around it and admitted as much.

  11. This is bad news. It starts with someone posting on that they want to kill X. Guns taken away. It then goes to “I don’t like political person X”, guns taken away. Ultimately “I voted for X” guns taken away.

    It will not get to anyplace good at all.

    1. I think it will expand beyond guns too. Once it is established as an “effective tool” the temptation to apply it to other problems will be too strong for many people to resist.

      1. The UK has made carrying a steak knife in public illegal. It will absolutely expand beyond guns.

        1. True, but I meant to go beyond weapons, as well. I think that “rapid intervention” of various kinds will become the norm.

        2. It always does.

          All gun control is a violation of the 2nd Amendment and we should all tell politicians to fuck off. It works for pro-abortion supporters.

          “Take Your Laws Off My Long Guns”

  12. I think part of this is a broken windows enforcement problem. The police don’t take threats seriously enough. The Antifa terrorist in Dayton had pointed a gun at people several times. That is a felony. The guy in Florida had threatened people with weapons multiple times before his shooting spree. Most of these guys have threatened people with guns numerous times before they committed their crimes. If the police would start taking such things seriously and prosecuting people when they do such things, I think we would catch at least a few of these people before they do something horrible.

    1. If police took all “red flags” seriously you’d lose half of your cheerleaders here on H&R John.

      1. Poor eric doesnt know the difference between crimes and Narratives like “Red Flag”.

        1. Lol again. Jesus Christ…you’re dim.

  13. Trump isn’t reflexively pro-gun, and this was obvious from the start. OTOH, he’s well aware that he can’t survive alienating gun owners.

    So it’s all down to the NRA telling him to back off. They were willing to throw bump stock owners under the bus, they did that to machine gun owners a generation ago.

    But I can’t see them signing off on Red Flag laws, the potential for abuse is enormous, and they could hemorrhage membership if they did so.

    1. Too late, NRA has already signed off on red flag laws.

      1. Yup and the NRA signed off on the bump stock bans.

      2. Gun Owners of America certainly haven’t signed off on it. They’re still upset about Trump’s bump stock ban. The more that the NRA hemorrhages members, the GOA gets them. That is who I support and donate. No political bullshit like the NRA does, their only focus is on gun rights.

  14. “”But I can’t see them signing off on Red Flag laws, the potential for abuse is enormous””

    The abuse is predictable. When a SWAT team executes a raid for a red flag, and kills innocent people due to having the wrong address, can we blame the supporters of red flag laws for their deaths?

    1. That is crazy talk.

      The government needs to kill people to save people.

      These Red Flag laws are just one more log on the fire of Civil War 2.0

  15. Government taking action based of things they believe you think, right or wrong, is the foundation of creating thought crime. There is no place for it in any freedom loving society.

    1. Too late…see: “hate crime laws”.

  16. If you want to start exploring a realistic solution, you have to consider the mindset of these “we need action now” types; concern over loss of life isn’t inherently anti-freedom. The right to life comes first and foremost. When people are dying, standing behind principles never goes over well. You expect to change things legally, but that takes time. Meanwhile, more people will die. Those optics NEVER bode well with the masses and they’re not going to listen to your “principled conservatism” or “constitutional originalism.” They’ll just treat you as a relic getting in the way of dealing with problems here and now.

    1. Right because if the Do Something is relax gun laws so more people will be armed to stop a shooter, the Lefties wont accept That Something

      1. As usual with the left their slogan obfuscates their ultimate aim (not that the GOP is exceedingly better on the issue). Just like ‘gun control’ isn’t about controlling guns but controlling people, ‘do something’ isn’t about actually taking action as much as taking their action. ‘Do what I want.’ is the real message, even if what they want is nonsense, ineffective, and immoral.

        1. “‘Do what I want.’ is the real message”
          That’s not the position of just the left. It’s the position of _everybody_. Even a libertarian wants everyone to do what that libertarian wants (that being to repeal all of the laws and let everybody do what they want). The right wants everyone to go to church, wait until marriage to have sex, and not touch themselves “down there”.
          It reminds of how my girlfriend says “You think you’re always right”. Well, yeah… because, if I had a belief that I felt was incorrect, I stop _believing_ it.
          In other words, for everybody who, in a time of crisis, feels that some kind of action should be taken (i.e. the set of all people not libertarians), they’ll have a particular action which they think is best, and they’re going to promote that action as the solution. So, this notion of “Everybody needs to change how they’re doing things” isn’t just a “left” thing… it’s a “anybody who thinks that the status quo isn’t ok” thing.

          1. That’s not the position of just the left. It’s the position of _everybody_.

            You do realize we were talking about the “Do Something” in response to a mass shooting and not whatever “Both Sides!” masturbatory fantasy you’ve got going on in your head, right?

            Sometimes when your girlfriend says “You think you’re always right.” what she’s really saying is that you’re wrong and a dick.

    2. “they’re not going to listen to your ‘principled conservatism'”
      Partly because, any time you see someone advocating “principled conservatism”, you’re looking at someone who:
      1) Isn’t affected by the crisis, and
      2) Cares about whoever _is_ affected right up until they’re inconvenienced. (“whoa, whoa, whoa!!! Look, kid… I realize that your mom just got shot right in front of you at the mall, and my thoughts and prayers are with you, but I might wake up, someday, and feel like expanding my collection of hi-cap clips”).

  17. Well of course “red flag” laws make people defenseless against violent criminals and government goons.
    Isn’t that the whole point of gun confiscation?

  18. And we can now thank Trump for our newest oxymoron: “rapid due process”.

  19. In practice, however, “you’re guilty until you prove yourself innocent.”

    And, of course, only guilty people will try to prove their innocence. I see a Catch 22.

  20. Why all the concern about due process?

    Is due process worth more than fighting gang violence?

    In fact, red flag laws do not go far enough.

    Medical and law licenses should be suspended.

    All forms of intimate contact or relationships should be prohibited.

    A distinctive badge on the left sleeve must be worn when out in public.

    this is just pure common sense.

    1. And since cars can be weapons, people should lose their driver’s licences. And pilot’s licence. And be banned from pools. And put on them on the no fly list…

      Common sense pre-crime safety legislation is worth it if it saves just one life.

  21. We that suffer have no say. And that’s why I’m on here. I’m not very smart, all that matters is that I’m safe. What can I do to keep myself safe? Karate, pepper spray, what else. Truth is there is nothing else I can do. Either you. We just have to be thankful and pretend we are in a environment that is hostile and live our lives instead of hiding to conserve our “lives” . Active shooter drills for facilities and group settings is a must as well… what would I do I don’t know run and forget about the people around me. Honestly would I take a bullet for someone?.. would you know how to respond? No. Unfortanetly I and many people have not been trained to fight/flight. Hey remember humans are mammals and I guess evolution is taking a wrong turn into a whole new way of life. 🙂 protectyourselfbeforeyouwreckyourselfcausegunviolenceisbadforyourhealth;)

  22. weird how the strong pro-gun people want to downplay the out-of-control gun homicide rate in the US. But at the same time, they overinflate red flag laws as the same thing as disarming the entire nation.

    The US has the most guns per people, 120 per 100. The next most-armed nation has 60 per 100. And they’re in the middle of a war.

    I mean, it’s fun to strawman common sense gun laws into “ZOHMYGAWDTHEYRECUMINGFEMAHGUNZ!!!!” but red flag laws arent’ going to confiscate the guns of the country. In fact, there has never been a large scale gun confiscation in teh US, ever. And yet, the hardcore pro-gun people talk about it as if it keeps happening every other year.

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