Red Flag Laws – and Why They Should Scare Us All

American constitution, USA flag and a handgun

When we hear the term “Red Flag” we immediately think DANGER

Danger, riptides, falling rocks, exploding volcanoes – or something that can truly harm us. 

However, red flags, when woven into the law become even more dangerous than any of the immediate physical threats above. They create a legal framework that permits the state to take your freedom – and to do so without due process.

The arguments for these laws, on their face, seem sound, sane, and quite reasonable. 

Politicians call them “extreme-risk protection orders” – who would think that sounds unreasonable? But be assured, these laws are a dangerous abrogation of our constitutional rights – rights like those enshrined in the Second and the Fifth Amendments to The U.S. Constitution – and now Congress wants to impose yet another unconstitutional restriction on the entire nation.

So why are these laws so bad?

  • There is no evidence that red flag laws reduce gun violence
  • They violate the due process guaranteed to all Americans
  • These laws put law enforcement officers at extreme risk
  • These laws are effectively penalizing people for what they might do – not what they have actually done
  • There is often no time-limit on how long the state can keep a law-abiding citizen’s firearms

With the as-yet determined legislation pending in the US Senate – we’ve seen the media tout the advantages of red flag laws as a tool – primarily to stop mass shootings. However, there is no evidence that these laws accomplish this goal. In fact, gun crime has risen in most places where these laws have been enacted – and red flag laws have fallen far short.

Imagine you argue with your neighbor and they know that you or your spouse own firearms, and the next day officers show up at your door demanding that you turn over all of your guns. 

You have no choice, your home is invaded, your rights suspended, and now the burden of getting your property and rights back falls to you. You have no right to an attorney, none will be provided, and any resistance may result in being arrested – or subjected to force. 

Can you imagine the impact this would have on your life? It is an almost unimaginable horror, and it is already taking place in cities and towns in at least 14 states today.

Imagine further the position that law enforcement officers are placed in. They must now enter homes to confiscate firearms from people that have committed no crime. The danger we place our law enforcement officers in as we demand they carry out such a task must be seriously weighed against the benefit. In this case, these laws have shown no positive impact, so the benefit is a mere pipe-dream. Endangering lives in pursuit of utopian dreams is not something that our law enforcement officers signed up for nor deserve – and allowing the federal government to force local law enforcement into such situations is short-sighted at best.

Then there is one of the most disturbing aspects to all of this: taking people’s rights away for what they might do. It is clearly reminiscent of science fiction like Minority Report or 1984, but also reminds us of the tactics used by the totalitarian regimes we saw die in the 20th century. How long do you think it will be until a social media post critical of those opposed to means you’ll have your guns taken? You wouldn’t have to wait at all, because it already happened to a man in Broward County, Florida.

Those who are using the latest tragedy in Uvalde, TX to push for this legislation are the same people who believe all guns should be banned – and confiscated. They are rejoicing as they see their dream being carried out in Canada – where American Constitutional protections do not exist. 

It is not mere hyperbole to draw a line from suspension of Second Amendment rights and the historical tyranny that then falls upon the disarmed – much as was done in Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia,  Communist China, or even more recently in Rwanda.

These laws seem like an excellent solution, and thus we are at risk of being subjected to them as lawmakers from both parties bow to what they perceive as a vast public outcry for them…but it would be a huge mistake.

The danger of such legislation is that once you give the government powers – or in this case, give up your liberty – then you can kiss that liberty goodbye forever.  You can also count on the state to abuse that power from time to time, ruining lives – and continuing to fail in accomplishing the goal of protecting American children. The threat of the state seeking to protect us all cannot be understated.

But an even larger danger looms, as the tools to safeguard our republic are wrested away from every American…

We’ve already seen red flag laws used by ex-lovers, political opponents – and who else? The state may decide to deem entire swaths of the populace as “dangerous” – then what?

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