Everybody and his uncle is calling for enactment of so-called “red flag” laws in the aftermath of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. That includes President Trump.
The essence of such laws sounds good. That’s why polls show support. Sounds good.
Under these laws certain individuals could seek temporary seizure orders, called gun-violence restraining orders, for a gun if they can present admissible evidence that the gun’s owner is exhibiting threatening behavior.
Have we lost our minds?
If a guy looks funny, looks weird, looks strange, etc., we can violate his Constitutional rights?
Besides, how many times have the “warning signs” been there that signal “red flags,” including these latest incidents, and nobody does anything about them anyway? Apparently the Constitution be damned.
Columnist Jacob Sullum is spot on when he writes:
So far there’s no firm evidence that red flag laws prevent homicide. One thing is clear: Taking away people’s guns based on predictions of what they might do with them raises thorny due process issues.
MORE (This is a great piece): Under Red Flag laws, the burden of proof is not on the government or your accuser. It’s on you, the gun-owner. You don’t get a free lawyer, as criminal defendants do. You must pay to fight this seizure of your property. The person who lodged a false accusation against you? He can sit back and relax. The state does his job for him, and there’s no effective penalty he faces for lying.
Not enough is known about Connor Betts — the 24-year-old man who killed nine and injured 14 early Sunday in Dayton, Ohio, before being killed by police — to say whether a red flag law would have stopped him. But it doesn’t appear to be the case: Many of Betts’ former high school and middle school classmates said they had reported him to school officials for making a list of people he wanted to kill or rape, but that was years ago, and police said Betts had nothing in his background that would have kept him from buying the rifle he used in the attack.