Since the shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, President Donald Trump has made statements indicating he wants and supports red-flag laws and other measures in an attempt to prevent further attacks.
In general, red-flag laws allow someone considered a danger to themselves or others to be denied their Second Amendment constitutional protection to keep and bear arms.
Now that may sound reasonable to some, but we are not talking about people losing their right based on committing a crime or even being found mentally unstable by a competent authority.
We are talking about taking away the rights of Americans based on what they might do according to police officers, family members, teachers or others — depending on exactly how the laws are written — without due process.
Their hearing or appeal before a judge comes afterwards, which is the exact opposite of how it should be.
Now, I could find a bunch of statistics to post about how many more people are killed in car wrecks every year, or with weapons other than guns.
But the real issue we face is not about whether it makes sense to focus on guns or even mental health issues, or if Chicago-style gun restrictions even work, because obviously they don’t!
Red-flag laws deny rights based on what some people — including some who take an oath to uphold the Constitution (law enforcement officers and judges) — think about the likelihood that some citizens might be a threat to society, often because others in society (e.g., ex-wives or co-workers) think or want those in power to think that citizen X is a threat.
It’s ripe for abuse and is similar to the many cases of “swatting” across the country, where people have deliberately given false information about their neighbors or others, who are then paid a visit by a local SWAT force.
It’s sad and infuriating that tragedies like the ones in Dayton and El Paso and others are used as an excuse to infringe on the rights of the law-abiding and to ignore the plain language of the Bill of Rights.
No doubt many veterans who risked life and limb for this country will likely be punished by red-flag laws.
And considering the FBI recently equated people who believe in conspiracy theories with terrorists, social media posts can certainly be misconstrued by the feds.
But, red-flag laws are not just a threat to an individual’s Second Amendment constitutional protection and the right of due process. The Second Amendment is what keeps us free and guarantees the other rights.
Think about how easy it would be with red-flag laws and other tools already in place to take away the Second Amendment rights of millions.
Do you think the people in Hong Kong would like to have a Second Amendment right now?
The Second Amendment states, “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.”
The Second Amendment is not about hunting, or even primarily about individual self defense, although it certainly includes the right of self defense.
It is primarily about defending against a tyrannical government. That is something of which the Founders had personal knowledge.
In fact, I think an argument could easily be made that our government now is more tyrannical than King George ever dreamed of being. They are certainly more involved in our lives and wallets!
Imagine if they had no reason at all to fear us.
I know some people think it’s ludicrous to think that Americans armed with semiautomatics could pose a credible threat to the U.S. government if it became even more tyrannical than it currently is.
But those people make the mistake of thinking there is enough law enforcement officers and military to protect the civilian leadership that is guilty of the tyranny in the first place.
Does anybody think we will undo these laws once enacted? If anything, the criteria for using them will broaden to the point where the Second Amendment will be a constitutionally protected right in name only.
As for Trump, not only is he talking about breaking a campaign promise, but also he is talking about destroying a key right and the only right that gives us a chance against federal tyranny.
He is talking about destroying the Constitution!
So, when the question about whether or not he can be re-elected if he passes a red-flag law or similar infringements is brought up, his die-hard defenders ask, “Who else are you going to vote for?”
My response will be nobody! I won’t bother voting. I don’t think I’m the Lone Ranger on this, either.
We will officially be in a post-constitutional American period — yes we are, and have been for 100 years plus — with no political way to restoration.
Trump’s four years won’t matter. The damage will be done!
Trump has accomplished a lot in his time in office with the deck stacked and restacked against him time and time again by the Left and the RINO establishment, as well as the courts.
He deserves a lot of credit, and I have no doubt he loves the country.
I doubt he sees passing red-flag laws as destroying the Constitution, but it will be.
I really hope he changes his mind and recants, but it will be hard, since he has already told the GOP he wants to do this or something similar.
The irony of this tragedy is that if Trump passes a red-flag bill, he will be doing to himself what the Left has been unable to do despite their best efforts — undermine the support of his base enough to lose the election.
That’s a red flag he should heed.
DAVE VANCE of Stewart County is a member of the local Volunteers for Freedom Tea Party. His email address is email@example.com.