Red Flag Laws vs Involuntary Temporary Detention

The wolves are trying to pull the teeth of the sheepdogs ... to save the sheep.

I wrote this after a dear friend and I had a long conversation. They were surprised that I snickered and rolled my eyes when they began to talk about “Gun Reform.” For me, “Gun Reform” is the same as “Climate Change.” Both terms are ambiguous. They can be made to mean anything the user wants them to be.

I gave a very poor example of my opposition to any changes to gun laws. I want to give a much better one which should also give an understanding of why I will never, ever vote for someone that reflexively would vote for any form of Second Amendment limiting legislation. A level of knowledge of, respect for the Second Amendment and trust of the citizenry is in order, before I would vote for someone that has the potential to limit my rights and the rights of my fellow citizens.

In July a new group of gun control laws will come into effect. The most onerous one is the Extreme Risk Protective Order and is referred to as a “Red Flag” law. Essentially it would allow someone to go to the police and claim that a gun owner was unstable, had a gun, and may kill or harm themselves or others. After going before a magistrate and receiving an order, the police can enter the gun owner’s home and take any firearm that the police find. So much for “We don’t want to take your guns away.” (I know that is a lie.)

There is so much wrong with this law. No due process. No ability to stand before a judge and plead your case before the “Minority Report” style action is taken. No-Knock warrants. And a total disregard for the second and fourth amendment. And this law is truly unnecessary as there is another law on the books in all 50 states that is an even better was to separate a mentally ill person from all weapons not just guns. If you think Mr. Floyd’s treatment and murder was brutal, wait until the SWAT Team breaks down the door at 4:30 AM of a well prepared former military gun owner. There will be carnage that will make Ruby Ridge look like a picnic!

In Virginia there is a law entitled Involuntary Temporary Detention. Its wording is exactly the same as the new Extreme Risk Protective Order, except the person subject this law is taken into custody and transported to a facility that has the ability to evaluate the state of the subject’s mental health. They are removed from all weapons that they could use to harm or kill themselves or others. They are placed in a facility where they can’t hurt themselves. Then they are given the treatment they need. If the facility finds that they are not a danger, the subject is brought before the same magistrate that issued ITD order and released. If they are deemed to truly be a danger to themselves or others, they become a prohibited person by federal and Virginia law, Then and only then would those fire arms be seized by law enforcement.

I believe that every person who is not a prohibited person and wants should own a gun, be trained in the safe storage, transportation and use of a firearm. When I say person, in my mind that I see the diversity of humanity. So what to do? I honestly believe that Gun Safety should be a required course in every school after third grade and every year after including college and trade schools. Eddie Eagle should be as ubiquitous as Smokey the Bear. I also believe that we, the community, need to step up the anti-bullying campaign and we need to raise up our children knowing empathy. 

If you want to own a gun, fine! If you don’t, fine too! But as a black pastor with a church in the District of Columbia who transports offerings to the bank told me, “I can’t afford to spend 16 hours and $500 for a certificate of training and another $150 for the background check and then another $500 or so for a gun, holster, and ammunition just to bring the $300 of offerings to the bank on Monday mornings.” All these laws make it harder and more expensive for minorities and the poor to protect themselves.

God gave us the right and the duty to defend ourselves, our families, and others. The Second Amendment only codified it.  There are those who now seek to control and limit how we do that. There are those who seek to control the population, turning us into sheep they can shear. I will never vote for a  person that would try to turn the citizenry into sheep. 

This is the most divisive issue before us today because gun reform, gun control, however it is titled is really population control. Guns are everywhere. I have heard stories of unlicensed gun dealers rolling up in South Boston, MA and popping their trunks with handguns, new in the boxes. Many times the neighborhood would pool their money just to limit the amount of guns that dealer had to sell in the next neighborhood. Take the guns out of the law abiding and only criminals will have them.

I, gentle reader, would love feedback. Your comments, pro or con, are always welcome.