After the horrible carnage of the last two weeks, we have seen some folks and some organizations who claim to be staunch defenders of the Constitution and Bill of Rights fold like a cheap suit. Sadly, I always suspected President Trump would fold on gun rights, and this is not his first example of that. But what really took me by surprise was when Congressman Dan Crenshaw came out in support of “red flag” laws. First, as with all legislation, gun control laws should never be motivated by emotion but rather should be based on logic. Humans do stupid things when they are emotional, and people claiming to respect the Bill of Rights while pushing “red flag” laws is really stupid.
Let me start by saying I absolutely understand the desire to keep guns away from truly violent or mentally deranged persons. None of us wants a nutjob to get a hold of a gun and go on a killing spree. Let me say that again, because those who push gun control constantly say we feel otherwise: NONE of us, no matter how fervently we support the Second Amendment, wants some whackjob to grab a gun and start killing people. That said, many of us are not willing to throw away the rights of millions of people who have done absolutely nothing wrong on the off chance that it could possibly prevent some crazy guy from committing a crime.
Ignoring, for just a few moments, all of the violations of the Bill of Rights that are involved with “red flag” laws, the entire restraining order system is horribly susceptible to abuse, and that is the same system that is employed in these “red flag” laws. Need proof? Just ask any cop if there is rampant abuse of the current restraining order process, a process that requires a larger burden of proof than these proposed Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVRO) or Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO – from this point on I will refer to both interchangeably as GVROs).