Red Flag Laws: Myth Vs. Reality

There is no better way to distill the argument against gun confiscation orders aka red flag law than with good infographics.

First, we have the mythical argument for them as posted by Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA).

In the mythical view, you have the words “cryptic”, “temporarily”, and “evidence”. It would have you believe that Randy made serious threats, that the police had evidence of it, that Randy was given due process, and that the judge determined beyond a reasonable doubt that removing Randy’s weapons would resolve the danger posed by Randy. Unfortunately, this is only a myth.

Now let’s look at two different versions of the reality of gun confiscation orders. The first version shows the political approach that many gun prohibitionists would take. If you have ever read some of the anti-gun posts in that cesspool known as Twitter, you know this could happen. It has been threatened many times in many tweets.

If Randy decides to fight this infringement of his civil rights, it will cost him in the neighborhood of $10,000 in attorney’s fees and court costs. Those are not made up numbers. They come from many posts by attorneys stating what they have charged to actually defend someone in such a hearing. This presupposes that Randy is even made aware of the court hearing and given a chance to fight it.

Longtime blogger and podcaster Sean Sorrentino has long made the argument that if the person is such a danger to himself/herself or others that they have their firearms removed then why are they still freely walking around on the street. Should not such a dangerous person be involuntarily committed for a period of observation and evaluation?

Sean created the infographic below illustrating this reality.

Courtesy of Sean Sorrentino

Crazy Randy has his firearms removed by the court. Unfortunately, there are a number of items still available to Randy to take his revenge on Jane and her family. Looking around the average person’s suburban home, you will find sports equipment, kitchen knives, lawn equipment, pool and cleaning chemicals, and gasoline for the lawnmower. Any of these can be misused to cause harm to others.

They perceive that red flag laws will be the be all and end all solution to mass murder. We identify the disturbed people and take away their firearms and all will be right with the world. Sorry it just doesn’t work that way.

Politicians are looking for a panacea and there just is not one. The sooner that Republicans in the Senate acknowledge this reality, the better.

4 thoughts on “Red Flag Laws: Myth Vs. Reality”

  1. Something I never see mentioned when talking about red flag laws.

    Assuming that the person in question is a real danger, what guarantee do we have that the police will get all of the guns and all of the ammunition? A dangerous and paranoid person will probably stash a gun or two away from all his other weapons just in case something like this might happen. That way when the police come to confiscate his or her firearms, they’ll likely miss the gun(s).

    Let’s assume though that the person isn’t actually a danger, but needs something relatively bad to happen to them in order to become one. How many of these situations will become self-fulfilling prophesies, where the person who is targeted by these laws had no intention of hurting anyone until someone else hurts them by essentially stealing thousands of dollars worth of their personal property?

    Thousands of dollars of ostensibly politically protected property.

    I can see that kind of thing ending very badly.

  2. The other problem with Red Flag laws has nothing to do with guns. Rather, it is an undermining of due process that is easily expandable to other areas. We already have civil forfeiture and various administrative seizures (IRS, EPA etc.). Just as we are developing some momentum to redress these abuses, along come Red Flag laws.

  3. I personally like this one.

    This is Randy, Jane’s angry ex. He used to beat Jane.
    Jane is stunning and brave and owns a gun.
    When her friend asks Jane if she is afraid of Randy getting out of prison, Jane posts a picture of her gun with the caption “Nah. I’ll shoot him.”
    Randy is evil. He red-flags Jane, and after she has been disarmed by the police he stops by her house and beats her to death.
    Happily, no one was shot.

Comments are closed.