No Easy Button For Infringing on Second Amendment Rights

California’s Governor recently vetoed for the second time a massive expansion of the state’s Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO), or so-called “Red Flag” laws. He did sign other useless gun control measures, including a couple of minor additions to the GVRO law, but not this one. While some are calling it a victory, I call it sad that we are celebrating when only minor incremental infringements on our Second Amendment rights are signed into law.

I’ve ranted about this before, the first time imbecilic bill crossed the governor’s desk. This year’s version was no different. The vetoed legislation would have expanded the list of who can secretly petition the courts to confiscate all your firearms and ammunition without your knowledge or ability to contest it ahead of time. The expanded list would have included employers, co-workers, teachers, professors and ANY other employees of secondary and post-secondary schools the person has attended in the last six months.

Pushing for these so-called Red Flag laws have become popular gun control tactics since the shootings in Las Vegas and Parkland, Florida. Using Las Vegas and Parkland as their rally cry, proponents claim that had these laws been in place then they could have stopped these events from every happening. In other words, lies.

Las Vegas is easy; there were no red flags. Nobody in this sicko’s circle of family or friends had any inkling of any of his intentions to harm anyone else. Even after a year of investigation by local, state and federal authorities, no motivation has been found. The only ‘odd behavior’ anyone can come up with is legal purchases of firearms and ammunition. But then, that’s kind of the point. He was legally purchasing firearms and ammunition, something the gun control fanatics think is a positive indication of future violence.

Parkland of course is another story. There were so many missed opportunities to stop this from ever happening it is absolutely nauseating. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office had received literally dozens of complaints about the suspect in the years leading up to the shooting. Any number of them in and of itself would have been sufficient to charge him criminally. The FBI ignored two credible reports identifying the suspect by name where he claimed “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” The Florida Department of Children & Families determined he was receiving adequate support from his school and outpatient care from Henderson Behavioral Health in Broward County. A team from Henderson found the suspect “stable enough not to be hospitalized.”

The Parkland school’s progressive anti-disciplinary polices could have removed him from the school and initiated criminal proceedings numerous times, but that would have made the school look bad. The school had even commissioned and received it’s own threat assessment of the facilities ahead of the incident, and chose not to act on them. In the moments leading up to the shooting itself the school security guard who saw the suspect going into the school did not sound the alarm and a second guard locked himself in a closet. And of course, when the shooting began, responding Broward County Sherriff’s deputies cowardly hid outside instead of going to confront the shooter.

So you tell me. Does it look like nothing could have been done to stop this incident without some new law? Given the utter incompetence of the agencies involved — the very same agencies who are claiming they did everything by the book and couldn’t have done anything to stop the shooting without a new so-called Red Flag law — wouldn’t screw up that as well?

All of these laws relate back to the 2014 Isla Vista, CA attack that resulted in six dead (three from stabbing) and 14 injured near the University of California, Santa Barbara. Much like Parkland, all of the information necessary to make an appropriate interdiction was there; it was just ignored. Now as a result of the inept police work of the multiple agencies involved, we now have new and improved ways to strip people of their Constitutional rights.

The basis to initiate firearm confiscations under the so-called Red Flag laws were set purposefully low. It can be as simple as conversation between two people where one hears what they think is someone contemplating suicide or violence towards others. Following the ex parte hearing, all firearms, ammunition and magazines — magazines just added by the California Governor — are confiscated. The order may now be issued verbally by the Judge, the other new addition to the law.

As is the latest fad, the person accused, the one who had their firearms confiscated now has the burden of proof to show they are innocent and not a threat to others. Legal costs, time and wages lost from work, mental health evaluations, costs related to the return of their property — if the law enforcement agency will even return it after a legal order to do so — are all born by the person accused, even if accused unjustly. The legal recourse for being falsely accused is of course up to the very same people who are advocating for the removal of your firearms in the first place.

Why should it be easy to strip away someone else’s constitutionally protected rights? Why should anyone have such as low burden of proof to strip you of your Second Amendment rights in secret? Why should the person accused then be responsible for proving their innocence to avoid permanent infringement of their rights? Why should they be financially responsible for the costs incurred by someone else’s accusations?

GVRO’s are nothing more than an Easy Button for gun control fanatics who don’t believe anyone other than themselves should have firearms. Stripping away someone’s firearm rights, even temporarily, should be hard as hell. It should require no less burden of proof than a criminal conviction. Yet to compensate for the inadequacies of investigatory prowess at all levels of government, we grant them the easy way out.

At the same time, nobody seems to want to address the amount of crime, the amount of violence or the number of suicides committed with weapons other than firearms. If you were really interested in saving lives or public safety, wouldn’t you address the actual behaviors and indicators for ALL violence? It’s as if your life doesn’t matter unless you are killed by a gun.

So while the celebrations continue for the brief moment of sanity from California’s Governor, consider this. This massive expansion bill has come from the legislature twice before and with sparse opposition to stop it; it will be back on the Governor’s desk again next year. With California’s Lt Governor’s coronation to the big chair virtually assured in this year’s mid term elections, what do you think the chances that one of the biggest gun control advocates in the history of state will veto it?

Maybe it’s time you got out to vote.

Bob

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