Gun Control

This Awful House Bill Would Promote Gun Confiscation Without Due Process

The bill would make the criteria for federal grants loose enough to accommodate even the worst "red flag" laws.

|

This week the House Judiciary Committee approved the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act. The legislation would provide grants to encourage the passage and enforcement of "red flag" laws, which are supposed to prevent people from possessing firearms when they are deemed a threat to themselves or others. The bill's standards for grant eligibility vividly illustrate the due process issues raised by such laws. Far from encouraging states to include robust due process protections, the bill would encourage them to slap together the weakest elements of the existing statutes.

The original version of the bill, which was introduced by Rep. Salud Carbajal (D–Calif.) in February, included very loose criteria for red flag laws. An amendment by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D–N.Y.) made the bill even more permissive.

In Nadler's version, petitioners—who, depending on the state, may include a long list of relatives and acquaintances as well as police officers and prosecutors—could obtain an ex parte gun confiscation order if a judge decides there is "reasonable cause" to believe the respondent "poses a danger of causing harm" to himself or others. That determination would be made without any input from the respondent, who at this stage is not notified and has no opportunity to rebut the claims against him. Contrary to the bill's name, the danger the respondent allegedly poses would not need to be "extreme," substantial, or even significant. Furthermore, no time frame is specified, so the risk would not have to be imminent, which you might think would be a requirement for an ex parte order.

That initial order could last up to a month, at which point the respondent would finally get a hearing, although he wouldn't have a right to legal representation if he can't afford it. The judge could issue a final order if, based on "a preponderance of the evidence," a respondent seems to pose "a danger" to himself or others. Again, any level of risk would do, and the danger could be near or distant. The order could last "for a specified period of time" or until terminated by another order—i.e., indefinitely. Given the standard of proof (which is equivalent to any probability greater than 50 percent) and the level of danger required (anything greater than zero), respondents could lose their Second Amendment rights for a year—or longer, depending on what state legislators decide to allow—even if it was 99.9 percent certain that they never would have hurt themselves or anyone else.

The minimum standards prescribed by Nadler's bill seem to have been crafted so that all the jurisdictions that already have red flag laws—17 states and the District of Columbia—could qualify for grants. The bill thus would lower the bar to the level of the jurisdictions with the weakest due process protections.

In every jurisdiction but two, for example, an ex parte order is supposed to be based on a risk that is "imminent," "immediate," or "in the near future." Nadler's bill dispenses with that requirement, the better to accommodate D.C. and Massachusetts. The usual time limit on ex parte orders under the existing laws ranges from one to three weeks, with 14 days the most common choice (although ex parte orders can last up to 45 days in Delaware and up to six months in Maryland if they are extended). Nadler's limit is 30 days.

More than three-quarters of existing red flag laws require "clear and convincing evidence" for a final order. Nadler's bill says the weaker "preponderance of the evidence" standard is fine, so D.C., Hawaii, Massachusetts, and New Jersey needn't worry about missing out on federal money. Even among those looser jurisdictions, all but Massachusetts require a "significant" danger, which is hard to define but is at least more than any danger at all, the standard set by Nadler's bill.

Finally, Nadler's bill imposes no limit at all on the length of final orders, which under existing laws generally last a year (although they can be renewed in most of the states for another year). The two exceptions are Indiana and New Jersey, where gun confiscation orders last until the respondent files a petition and persuades a judge that he does not pose a danger to himself or others. Under Nadler's bill, that's fine too.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.), who plans to introduce a similar bill in the Senate, has dismissed critics of red flag laws as "libertarians." But he also has promised that his bill will include standards aimed at protecting Americans' Second Amendment rights. He will have to do a lot better than Nadler if he wants to be taken seriously.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R–Fla.) has already introduced the Extreme Risk Protection Order and Violence Prevention Act, which he brags about in today's New York Times. Rubio's bill is notably better than Nadler's in several ways but still does not set standards that provide adequate protection for people accused of posing a threat.

Under Rubio's bill, the minimum standard for an ex parte order would be "probable cause to believe that the respondent poses a significant danger…in the near future." A hearing would be required within 14 days. For a final order, a judge would have to find "by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent poses a significant danger." The order would last no longer than a year.

Like Nadler's bill, Rubio's would allow petitions not only by law enforcement officials but also by "family or household member[s]," including blood relatives, in-laws, spouses, dating partners, anyone who has produced a child with the respondent, and current or former housemates. Expanding the list of potential petitioners beyond police officers and prosecutors leaves the door open to claims by aggrieved or sincerely mistaken people, who in practice would be able to take away someone's Second Amendment rights based on unverified allegations. That is especially true at the initial stage, when judges almost always issue ex parte orders because they are afraid that something bad might happen before a hearing can be held.

Rubio's preferred standard for final orders, which matches what most states with red flag laws already are doing, is weak in practice, because "significant danger" is undefined and means whatever judges decide it means. Rubio's bill lists factors that judges may consider, including threats, "evidence of a serious mental illness," drug use, and unlawful use of firearms. But the list is not exhaustive, leaving judges free to consider any evidence they deem "relevant."

An amendment to Nadler's bill proposed by Rep. Steve Chabot (R–Ohio) and rejected by the House Judiciary Committee would have required a tougher standard for final orders: "clear and convincing evidence" that the respondent "poses an imminent, particularized, and substantial risk of unlawfully using a firearm to cause death or serious physical injury" to himself or others. That standard is stricter than any in the existing red flag laws, but it would still be satisfied in cases where would-be mass shooters have shown clear signs of violent intent, as with the perpetrator of the 2018 attack at a high school in Parkland, Florida. At the same time, Chabot's standard would reduce the risk that innocent people will lose their Second Amendment rights because of a misinterpreted (or misrepresented) conversation or an offensive or controversial social media post.

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee last March, David Kopel, a gun policy expert at the Independence Institute in Denver, emphasized the importance of procedural safeguards to protect the constitutional rights of respondents in gun confiscation cases. Kopel's recommendations include requiring that petitions be submitted only by law enforcement agencies after an independent investigation, allowing ex parte orders only for good cause, limiting them to one week, limiting subsequent orders to six months, requiring clear and convincing evidence, providing counsel to respondents, giving them a right to cross-examine witnesses, letting them sue people who file false and malicious petitions, and giving them advance notice of confiscation orders. Rubio's bill omits almost all of those recommendations.

Since judges have strong incentives to err on the side of issuing orders, lest they be blamed when something terrible happens, the standards they are supposed to follow are vitally important. But both federal and state legislators have strong incentives to cast the net as widely as possible to stop mass shooters before they attack. Given the rarity of mass shootings, however, gun confiscation orders, even if limited to people deemed a threat to others, will mainly be applied to individuals who never would have committed such a crime. That is especially true when you consider that such orders (judging from the experience in Connecticut and Indiana, the states with the oldest red flag laws) are usually invoked against people who are deemed suicidal.

The goal should be to minimize the number of harmless people who are unjustly deprived of their constitutional rights. On that score, the existing red flag laws fall conspicuously short. A federal law that blesses all of them, as Nadler would do, or the vast majority of them, as Rubio (and perhaps Graham) would do, makes it even more unlikely that their shortcomings will be addressed.

NEXT: Will 'Winning' the Trade War Be Worth the Loss of More Than 300,000 Jobs?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. 2nd Amendment: 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.

    All gun control is unconstitutional and therefore illegal, including this Red Flag Bill and background checks.

    1. They aren’t controlling guns; they are controlling mentally deficient people.

      Laws against murder don’t control weapons, they only control people. The Second Amendment does not allow murder with a gun.

      Drunk driving laws don’t control alcohol, they just control drunks.

      Red flag laws don’t control guns; they control dangerous people with guns.

      1. Red flag laws don’t control guns; they control dangerous people with guns.

        Drug laws don’t control drugs, they control dangerous people with drugs. It is the same logic.

        Jesus fucking Christ, how badly did they botch that lobotomy they gave you?

        1. Jesus fucking Christ, how can you not read?

          1. Define dangerous people Scooty! Is the next step to put them away for a while until they are your idea of “normal”? I can bet their are a few people that know you and think you need some time away from others……hell I do!

      2. “”They aren’t controlling guns; they are controlling mentally deficient people.””

        They think they are, but what they are really doing is undoing decades of work by mental health professionals to remove stigma that your mental health will not be held against you.

        1. Stigma that your mental health will be held against you.

      3. “Drunk driving laws don’t control alcohol, they just control drunks.”

        Yeah, prohibitive drug laws control the sales of illegal drugs.
        How’s that working out?

      4. Re: “Red flag laws don’t control guns; they control dangerous people with guns.”

        Red flag laws really aren’t necessary. Several states have laws (Baker Act) that allow the police or mental health authorities to evaluate anyone and confine them to a mental health facility away from their firearms for 72 hours without any due process if they believe the individual is a danger to themselves or others. After 72 hours, the individual is either released if they are no longer considered to be a danger to themselves or others or they are offered the choice of remaining in the facility either voluntarily or under a court order if a judge agrees to issue one

        So why don’t these laws work? The problem is in most cases the mental health facility will not accept a person unless they are medically cleared – especially if drugs or alcohol are involved. This typically requires the individual to be taken first to a hospital emergency room (ER) for a stay that can last hours or even days – and because ER facilities are not lockdown facilities and no one funds a 24/7 guard to watch them, they often slip out of the ER unnoticed.

        Current law allows the US government to require all hospitals that accept Medicare to treat anyone regardless of immigration status or ability to pay so if the federal government wants to fix something, they should use the same legal arguments to require all hospitals that accept Medicare to provide at least one ER examining room that can be locked down to securely detain any person who is on a mental health hold until they can be transferred to a mental health facility for evaluation

        It is also noted these laws are partially about “danger to self” and according to the CDC in 2016, 22018 people killed themselves with firearms and 22175 did it by other means and the proposed red flag laws that only confiscate firearms would not prevent an individual from employing “other means” – but confinement to a mental health facility would.

        It is also likely under a red flag law that once an individual gets a hearing before a judge, he will likely send the individual to a mental health facility for an evaluation. So the only difference in outcomes between existing laws and red flag laws is the unnecessary confiscation of firearms with few details about how they will be returned

        1. Excellent comment. Mental health issues aren’t always the issue with these Orders. In FL under the then new law there were (IIRC) a few more orders for threatened/actual violence than there were for mental health issues. That could be due to the requirement of the law that police must file for the order rather than family or anyone else as is the case in other states with such laws.

  2. Legal question from an ignoramus. Here is the Sixth Amendment:

    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

    How can any ex parte hearing be consistent with due process and the Fifth and Sixth Amendment? I can think of several answers.
    * “Due process” is a low bar and simply means the process is written down somewhere.
    * Ex parte hearings are not criminal prosecutions. But they sure look like one to me, since they result in confiscating legal non-contraband property.
    * Declaring someone a risk to society makes weapons contraband to them, much as DUI probation forbids driving with an otherwise-legal BAC. And confiscating contraband is not taking property.

    1. “”* Declaring someone a risk to society makes weapons contraband to them, much as DUI probation forbids driving with an otherwise-legal BAC. And confiscating contraband is not taking property.””

      That assumes there was first a trial or guilty plea to a drunk driving charge.

      “”* “Due process” is a low bar and simply means the process is written down somewhere.””

      Really?

  3. That initial order could last up to a month, at which point the respondent would finally get a hearing

    Assuming the respondent survived the SWAT raid.

    1. Assuming the respondent survived the SWAT raid.

      You jest, but this could become “SWATing” dialed up to 11.

      The cops aren’t going to send “Officer Friendly” to nicely knock on someone’s door who’s been reported to them as a “dangerous person with a gun.” As far as they’re concerned they’re going to the home of someone who is armed and dangerous, so of course they’re going to send in a SWAT team. All someone has to do now is report that a person was behaving erratically and making terroristic threats about shooting up a school or some shit and instant SWAT raid.

      And of course, the media will report the incident as “brave Heroes in Blue thwart a mass shooting thanks to wonderful red-flag laws.”

      1. I don’t jest. I truly expect some tragedies to occur, for the reasons you stated.

      2. Imagine a world where the police don’t survive the raid….

        Stop smiling.

      3. He isn’t jesting at all. Anne Arundel County Police chalked up the first death while serving a gun confiscation order under Maryland’s Red Flag law. IIRC it was last November, but I could be misremembering. Two Officers showed up at about 0530 (because you always want to catch people barely awake – if even – when trying to seize their property without their prior knowledge). Met at the door with a handgun in hand, the homeowner put it down when he saw they were LEOs, then picked it back up when they told him why they were there – whereupon one of the officers fatally shot him.

        Various Sheriff’s offices around the country have already served notice that they will not put their deputies in this very dangerous situation.

  4. Like Nadler’s bill, Rubio’s would allow petitions not only by law enforcement officials but also by “family or household member[s],” including blood relatives, in-laws, spouses, dating partners, anyone who has produced a child with the respondent, and current or former housemates.

    How will the judge verify that someone who claims to have dated the person really did?

    1. Pics or it didn’t happen

  5. “This Awful House Bill…”

    That headline stinks of redundancy.

    1. Brings to mind some Twain: “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

  6. Shouldn’t people who pose a serious threat to themselves be given guns? We’re trying to deal with Global Climate Warming Change here.

    1. Yep; scratch one more “footprint.”

    2. Well I don’t know that it’s the governments business to help someone commit suicide any more than bake cupcakes but I know of no laws that prohibit either suicide or self harm anywhere in the U.S.

      1. According to our current legal system, you do not own yourself. Therefore suicide is technically murder, and you can be charged accordingly.

      2. Years ago most states had felony statutes for suicide, but they were rarely enforced. The felony statutes for suicide have since been removed in the last 20 states which still had such laws in the 1980s.

  7. So I attend a meeting at my local library or town hall, and being that I can’t keep my mouth shut, I challenge someone’s idea as bullshit.
    Well, as with the students at UT Austin [in an earlier article today] who claim to be made to feel “unsafe” and even “threatened” by a difference of opinion, I just see all sorts of opportunities arising from this for them to make me pay.

    1. Works both ways. Anonymous tips are anonymous. Until they aren’t, but there are ways to be anonymous that don’t require trusting government.

      1. I own guns; the assholes I would disagree with seldom do. Just strikes me as an expanded form of control that, given the vagaries, can intersect with just about anything and lead to “I think that person is a danger…” Depending on the jurisdiction, it would be a handy tool for retribution and harassment. With absolutely no consequences to the petitioner.

        1. But how does the SWAT team know they don’t have guns? Do they have kitchen knives?

          1. Red flags don’t seem to be concerned with knifes, kitchen or otherwise. That is what the British have “progressed” to.

        2. >no consequences…
          Only if the petitioner is kept anonymous.

  8. Can we do this for the first amendment, too?

    1. Oh wait, that joke falls flat because the left doesn’t like the first amendment either. Dammit! Ok, what about the fou… no… the… 9th?

      1. Whichever one pertains to abortion and transgender surgery.

    2. And have the judge issue a ball gag order.

      Speaking of which, anyone heard from Crusty lately?

      1. One of his Handles is over at the Glibbening.

  9. What about the thousand other ways to kill people? A guy with a truck killed 90 and injured 500 in Nice. McVeigh killed 168 with a bomb.

    1. “McVeigh killed 168 with a bomb.”

      That’s a pretty bad analogy. Owning the type of bomb McVeigh built is already illegal.

  10. Did… did you guys hear about this?

    New York Times deletes 9/11 tweet after backlash: ‘Airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center’

    1. And they still won’t place any agency behind the acts. “people were lost”, no they were murdered, deliberately, with malice aforethought.

      I just don’t get the left’s tiptoeing around anything to do with Muslims. Most people don’t seem to have any problem grasping that many Muslims are fine people and many others are terrorists and other nasty sorts.

      1. The irony is islam is pretty anti-woman rights, anti-gay rights.

        1. Yes, but they have brown skin so I guess that puts them higher on the victimhood stack

          1. Except Albanians, Kosovoans (?), Bosnians, the majority of the inhabitants of the Caucuses unless we have a fairly loose definition of brown skin.

        2. Yeah, it’s really weird. If they had any consistency, they would be bashing Muslims even more than Christians. There is very little that is either liberal or progressive about Islam.

          1. Islam is explicitly progressive.
            Don’t get distracted by the window dressing.
            Islam is global socialist, and its aim is for the world to submit to its version of centrally planned New Man

      2. You don’t even have to say “Muslims” attacked the World Trade Centers. They could have said Saudi Terrorists… or even just terrorists. Why they would put the blame at the feet of airplanes is bizarre beyond comprehension.

        1. “Islamic terrorists” seems like the obvious label. But yeah, either of the options you mention would have been fine.

        2. Because the useful bugaboos in America right now are “right wing extremists” and “white supremacists.: That is how a CNN article about 9/11 was somehow turned on its head to focus “white nationalist terrorists” instead of the actual perpetrators of 9/11.

    2. The airplanes became self aware? Oh my God, it’s just like Maximum Overdrive!

    3. Now haji gets the same passive newspeak treatment that the police do whenever they kill people. Honk fucking honk.

  11. The purpose of this bill isn’t to confiscate guns.

    The purpose of this bill is to drive support for incumbent Democrats in the upcoming.

    There are only a few things more unpopular than Democrats with average Americans. They’re even hated here in California. And it’s not enough to bash Trump or the Republicans all the time. So when they find something that’s even less popular than they are, they latch onto it–like an ugly girl in high school who can only be friends with other girls that are even uglier than her. Put them up against Facebook and Google and suddenly the Democrats don’t look so bad by way of comparison. Oh, and we’re also pretty good in comparison to mass shooters!

    Putting lipstick on them doesn’t make them look any less like a pig, so they’re snuggling up to the ugliest pigs they can find and hoping you wont think they’re pigs by way of comparison. That’s what this bill is about–in an election year.

    1. Putting lipstick on a pig is a fine analogy. I’ve always liked “you can’t polish shit”.

      1. How bad is it that they have to compare themselves to mass shooters to make themselves look good by way of comparison?

        Lipstick on a pig and polished shit doesn’t even do it justice.

        If they’re really seeking to differentiate themselves on the basis that they’re against mass shooters, then they’re far worse than pigs or polished shit.

        I cant do it justice.

    2. There are people in my circle that come right out and say that “Democrat” is a mental illness.

  12. Posted a comment and saw this:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    The fuck?!

    1. you probably had more than one link in the comment.

      Break the second link into a second comment as a reply to the first, and you’ll probably be okay.

      1. Just as long as you don’t post too many comments too fast.

        1. I realize they’re trying to cut down on the spammers, but Jesus titty-fucking Christ.

      2. Yep, that’s it, so here’s the first part of my gem of a comment (and by “gem” I probably really mean turd. Or not, whatever.):

        As shitty as this is, they could be calling on private financial companies (like, say, credit card companies to refuse to provide services to people trying to buy or sell guns and pushing idiotic “assault weapons” confiscation bullshit.

        Oh wait:

        Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) urged credit card companies on Thursday to refuse to provide service to gun sellers or manufacturers since Congress won’t ban the financing of firearms.

        While O’Rourke was the first major 2020 Democratic candidate to endorse a federally mandated gun buyback program, a host of his primary challengers, including Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, have followed suit. None of the proponents of this program have defined what constitutes an “assault weapon.”

        1. I don’t agree with Tim Pool on some things, but I think he has the right take here.

          I haven’t been commenting here as much lately, so I’m not as current on all they’re stupid new rules and shit.

          1. Liberal beanie man tries so hard to not see the things he isn’t supposed to. They’re not going to let him in to the next meeting of the “I’m totally still a Democrat” club if he keeps up this whole wrong-seeing thing.

            The next thing you know, he might bring up the USS Liberty.

        2. Hmm. Better see if my Ruger stock is going up yet. They seem to be trying to get people to buy more guns again.

        3. “While O’Rourke was the first major 2020 Democratic candidate…”

          Come again? Furry ain’t poling worth shit.

          1. That was based on a presumption built around his Senate Campaign Hotness which was 100% fabricated by the media. The nano-fucking-second he was no longer useful he was forgotten like so much last year’s boy band.

            1. Oh yeah, his “South by Southwest” wandering around for several weeks and the Annie Leibovitcz cover on Vanity Fair. Nothing but a useless promotion that has thankfully folded like a used condom.

  13. I think it’s probable will see some kind of major Red Flag bill. Obviously this one goes to far, since it passed on a near party line vote (with 1 Republican voting Yes).

    However, it’s clear that there is bipartisan support for some kind of bill. And presumably a Red Flag bill that respected due process would be considered Constitutional.

    Personally, while I don’t want to see mass gun confiscation, I do think American’s need to pass legislation that will reduce the number of shootings per year. And I would much rather see targeted sanctions against people with mental health problems than I would targeted sanctions against types of guns.

    1. You know what they say about bipartisan bills…

      Red flag laws are inherently designed to circumvent pesky due process. And who says these Red Flag laws will work? The Assault Weapons ban didn’t.

      There are 44 million Americans with diagnosed mental illness at any give time, and many more taking RX drugs for conditions running the gamut from minor transient depression to debilitating schizophrenia. That’s a lot of potential ‘sanctions.’

      Never mind that schizophrenics and the severely mentally ill are much more likely to be crime victims, rather than perpetrators. The problem isn’t mental illness – it’s EVIL.

      I don’t understand the trouble with ‘Shall not be infringed.’ Is it willful ignorance? Purposeful lack of comprehension?

      1. The trouble with “shall not be infringed” is that the communists and racists in elected office and the entirety of the federal bureaucracy find it inconvenient to be shot at while rounding up wrongthinkers and white people to take to the reeducation/slavery/rape/death camps.

  14. Look, do you want constitutional protections or do you want certain people to have the illusion of safety?

    1. The illusion of safety is a human right.

      *drops microphone*

      1. I’ve heard lefties argue that “feeling safe” IS a right, and one that supersedes the rights to self-defense and free speech.

    2. I understand that the probability of a student being killed in a school shooting is something like 1/614,000,000 [feel free to challenge and correct that if you wish; I like being held to to reasonable level of accuracy; maybe it;s only 1 in a couple of hundred million…].

      But thanks to the coverage and the splashing of the miscreants pictures on manifestos all of mass media [which only serves to validate and inspire the next wing nut; these happen in clusters for a reason] we have folks and pols swooning over how unsafe they are. And when it comes to feelz only a child hating psycho would even think the question it. Today some 145 corporate CEOs signaled their virtue by urging the Senate to take action [aka “do something”] about gun violence because it is “simply unacceptable” to do nothing.

      1. Guns don’t kill people, manifestos do.

        1. We all know violence comes from the inner city?

          Why not have the police do periodic sweeps of public housing projects for contraband?

  15. Since when do the gun grabbers care about due process?

  16. Red flag laws are only going to get innocent people and police killed. They will likely be the trigger for our latent civil conflict going hot. Soon it will be time for the electric boogaloo.

  17. I’m old enough to remember when we didn’t want to be like countries with red flags.

  18. No one is looking at a possible bright side. Possible.
    As I seem to have read, there is no provision for malicious reporting.
    Thus every election season ads could go like this;
    “Senator Graham has had the local police at his residence over a dozen times for extreme protection orders. Is he really who want in Congress?”
    It could be really fun.

  19. So ex-wife calls the cops on her ex-husband who she thinks, incorrectly, is a risk. The cops do their usual SWAT raid and, although they don’t hurt him, they ransack his home looking for weapons. Now he has a reason to harm his ex, with a knife, club, hammer, etc.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  20. Politicians on both sides who support this notion will regret the day they ever heard of red flag laws. They’re so incendiary, they could cost the president his deserved reelection. Their legacies will carry a Supreme Court scolding and perhaps be the landmark of their careers. Writers, politicians and demonstrators have been hoodwinked by Bloomberg’s rhetoric and haven’t read his 2018 data.

    It reveals gun homicides declined seven percent, firearm injuries declined 10 percent, fatal child shootings (under 18) declined 12 percent and unintentional shootings plummeted 21 percent. Generally, since 1991, the murder rate has fallen by 45 percent and the overall violent crime rate has fallen by 48 percent. It’s bizarre that Bloomberg wants to change all that. Since 1999, the statistical probability of a student being killed in school by a gun has been one in 614,000,000.

    Inexplicably, Bloomberg wants everyone to believe the nation is in crisis, suffering an epidemic. Folks, there is no crisis, no epidemic. Generally, shooting incidents involving students have been declining since the ’90s. During that time, citizens were buying a record number of firearms. In 2018, more than 26 million firearms were purchased, a number exceeded only by 27.5 million in 2016 when purchasers were mortified that Hillary might be elected.

    Further, regarding many new laws, the Supreme Court isn’t about to jeopardize its own reputation by reducing the ability of private citizens to defend themselves. It’s especially important because currently, half the nation’s murders occur in only 63 counties while the other half are spread across the other 3,081 counties. Said another way, 15 percent had one murder and 54 percent of the nation’s counties had no murders at all.

    Besides, they’re sick of our paralyzed congress creating ambiguous laws that ultimately land in the Supreme Court. They know it’s easy to blame the tools used for murder and to write acts that impede acquisition by peaceable, lawful citizens. They know it’s far more difficult to focus on the more complex reality of why incomprehensible murderers do what they do. If something is to be done, perhaps it should be focused on the mental defectives, criminals, terrorists and illegal aliens.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.