Sean Sorrentino opened my eyes regarding red flag laws. In a segment originally posted to the Assorted Calibers Podcast, he said we shouldn’t argue on due process grounds. Instead the argument against red flag laws is that they don’t work.
These laws arrest the gun and leave the dangerous or troubled person on the streets. There are a myriad of ways that they still can harm either themselves or us. You need only look in your kitchen or medicine chest to know that.
You may not agree with Sean on whether or not due process is afforded to the person in question. However, it is hard to argue that these laws are effective.
I met with Sean last week while he and his lovely wife were coming through the area on vacation. I mentioned I really liked that segment. He graciously has uploaded it to YouTube specifically so I could embed it. My thanks to Sean for doing this.
A friend pointed out a Twitter post by a Nathan Rubin. His Twitter bio says he’s an “award winning” author and Democratic activist. His book, Boomers to Millennials: Moving America Forward, does have some awards but it doesn’t look like it sold too many copies. Amazon puts it in the top 1.9 million best sellers.
Here is what Rubin wrote on Twitter:
New Rule — you can’t call yourself a law abiding gun owner if your response to a mandatory gun buyback is “come and get it.”
Either you’d follow the law and turn it in (because that’d be the law), or you’re an irresponsible criminal who has no business owning an AK-47 or AR-15.
You can’t call yourself a law abiding American if you don’t return fugitive slaves to their owners. You can’t call yourself a law abiding Chinese if you don’t report any disagreement with Mao to the authorities. You can’t call yourself a law abiding German if you don’t report the presence of any hiding Jews.
See how that works?
The only one I’d add is that you couldn’t call yourself a law abiding Soviet citizen if you didn’t report someone criticizing the Communist Party to the KGB. In Stalin’s time, that was enough to either get you an ounce of lead along with an unmarked grave or a trip to the Gulag Archipelago.
I think that is the dream in the back of the minds of the authoritarian gun prohibitionists.
If you saw the news yesterday, one of the biggest stories was that 145 corporateCEOs were calling on the Senate to enact gun control. The headlines made it seem like a good portion of the S&P 500 was calling for action on gun control.
Having read the list, the reality is much different.
Out of that list of 145 CEOs, only six are heads of S&P 500 companies. Those six companies are Ecolab, Gap, Interpublic, Omnicom, Royal Caribbean Cruises Lines, and Twitter.
Of the large non-S&P 500 companies on the list, you did have the usual suspects like Bloomberg LP, Levi Strauss, and DICK’S which wouldn’t have surprised anyone. The heads of Levi Strauss and DICK’S have been pretty vocal for a long time now. Moreover, could you have had such a list without Bloomberg LP? Not likely.
Only 47 out of the 145 companies have more than 500 employees. The rest are identified as being the CEO of companies with less than 500 employees. In other words, you aren’t talking about captains of industry.
You are talking about Jeff Sellinger who is listed as the founder and CEO of HipDot. You know! HipDot – the makers of cosmetics featuring Sponge Bob Square Pants.
OK. So maybe you don’t know about HipDot. I’m sure you know about Quartzy and SkySafe. The former is the maker of online lab management software and has 60 employees while the latter is an anti-drone company whose software prevents drones from entering secure airspace.
My point in all of this is that while these CEOs most certainly had the right to make their views known, they are no more significant than yours or mine. The media made it sound like corporate America was turning against the gun culture and the reality is that most of these companies are niche players located in gun control bastions like California.
You can read the letter and see the list of all the CEOs below:
I’m not sure how Mrs. Saxton has become the public face of the tragedy in Odessa and Midland. Neither she nor her family were injured and I’m thankful for that. A Google search on her name and Odessa pulls up many stories about her experience along with multiple interviews. In a sense, she has become the David Hogg of the Odessa tragedy – there but not injured.
Mrs. Saxton gave a tearful commentary intended to tug on your heartstrings. It is aimed at conservatives to make them agree that we need more gun control.
This awful experience has changed me. Things I once believed to be true have now been brought into question. Do private citizens need access to weapons as deadly as an assault rifle? This question and others like it are a hot topic here in Texas, and in other states around the nation. It is a very difficult question. How do we promote public safety whilst protecting the rights of people who choose to bear arms?
The problem, by necessity, will require compromise from both sides. No one is going to get exactly what they want; life just isn’t that way. (I learned this lesson as a young girl with six brothers.) But we can look for common ground and be willing to give and take.
There are two problems with this argument. First, the ideas being promoted – red flag laws, assault weapons (sic) bans, and mag restrictions – would not have changed a thing in Odessa and Midland or anywhere else. Dangerous people are going to use whatever tool is at their disposal. Red flag laws remove the weapon but not the dangerous person.
The second problem with her argument is that the only side giving up anything will be gun owners. The gun prohibitionists will be getting something. The only compromise they make is not to take everything now.
Mrs. Saxton concludes:
As Congress reconvenes, I call on all its members to be men and women of action. I implore our leaders to recognize this growing danger for what it is, and act upon it. If we continue to do nothing, these tragedies will repeat themselves, and more innocent lives will be lost.
To the leaders of this great country, I say, take up the mantle of the responsibility you have been given. Be courageous. Stand for those who you represent. We pray daily for you that you will do the right thing, and that you will be honorable in your work, indeed, that you will find a solution by which all Americans can benefit.
We must take action. We must do something. Doing nothing is not an option.
Doing nothing is always an option. As a former student of public policy at the graduate level, doing nothing is always on the table. Indeed, doing nothing is often the best option. “Doing something” in response to a tragic event leads to bad and ineffective policies.
I’m afraid that in the current political climate politicians will agree with Mrs. Saxton and think they have “to do something”. It won’t save anyone but “they did something”.
UPDATE: The video of Mrs. Saxton’s commentary has been removed from both YouTube and from the CBS News website. You get this message when you click on the link to it above: “The page may have been removed, had its name changed, or is just temporarily unavailable.” Interesting.
Virginia’s state motto is Sic Semper Tyrannis. Translated into English it means “Thus always to tyrannts”. I say those who would abridge your God-given right to self-defense as enshrined in the Second Amendment are indeed tyrannts.
Unlike John Wilkes Booth, I think there is a better way to deal with these petty tyrannts. Don’t vote for them.
Washington, D.C., August 29 — Following its endorsements for Virginia’s General Assembly — which included Sen. Dick Saslaw for State Senate, and Dan Helmer and Sheila Bynum-Coleman for the House of Delegates — the gun violence prevention organization Brady is proud to announce its second set of endorsements in the Commonwealth. The organization has officially endorsed a diverse set of candidates that have made gun violence prevention a top-tier issue:
House of Delegates: Wendy Gooditis (House District 10), Sam Rasoul (House District 11), Chris Hurst (House District 12), Danica Roem (House District 13), Larry Barnett (House District 27), Joshua Cole (House District 28), Kathleen Murphy (House District 34), Eileen Filler-Corn (House District 41), Kathy Tran (House District 42), Alfonso Lopez (House District 49), Hala Ayala (House District 51), Marcus Simon (House District 53), Jeff Bourne (House District 71), Schuyler VanValkenburg (House District 72), Shelly Simonds (House District 94), and Phil Hernandez (House District 100)
State Senate: Mamie Locke (Senate District 2), Herb Jones (Senate District 3), Cheryl Turpin (Senate District 7), Missy Cotter Smasal (Senate District 8), Ghazala Hashmi (Senate District 10), Amanda Pohl (Senate District 11), Debra Rodman (Senate District 12), John Bell (Senate District 13), John Edwards (Senate District 21), Creigh Deeds (Senate District 25), Adam Ebbin (Senate District 30), Janet Howell (Senate District 32), Jennifer Boysko (Senate District 33), and Dave Marsden (Senate District 37)
Working on the enemy of my enemy is my friend doctrine, I have to assume that the opponents to these 33 are at least marginally better. I notice at least one of these candidates – Creigh Deeds – was at one time endorsed by the NRA.
These candidates are expected by Brady to support red flag laws, magazine bans, and a state “assault weapons ban” (sic). I’m sure both Brady and Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) have more on the drawing board.
Look to state-level gun rights organizations for evaluations of their opponents. These include the Virginia Citizens Defense League and the Virginia Shooting Sports Association. VCDL has a page with candidate evaluations from the 2019 primary. I think contributions made to state-level organizations like these go much further than to national organization. Both have ways to contribute online. I can’t speak for VSSA but I do know that VCDL does have their own PAC which endorses and supports candidates.
The bottom line here is to prevent Virginia from becoming another Maryland or worse for Constitutionally-enumerated rights. Moreover, as a North Carolinian, I don’t want the state next door to become a gun control haven. Stuff like that has a way of migrating.
Eight years of Obama brought no new gun control at the federal level. Three years of President Trump has brought an unconstitutional ban on bumpstocks, no Hearing Protection Act, no national reciprocity, and now a call for more gun control in the wake of the murders in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.
We cannot let those killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, die in vain. Likewise for those so seriously wounded. We can never forget them, and those many who came before them. Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying….
If he thinks that Democrats will trade gun control for funding a “the wall”, he is sadly mistaken. They will do a bait and switch saying they will support “the wall” after passing red flag laws and universal background checks (and other gun control) but then do nothing about funding the wall.
Right now I don’t give a big rat’s ass about a wall along the border that would have marginal effectiveness. I do care about any denigration of the Second Amendment and gun rights.
By the way, all indications are that virtually every mass murderer in the last 10 years has gone through a NICS check. These bills would do nothing to have prevented them from obtaining the firearm in question.
Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) you may remember called a special session of the Virginia General Assembly after the murders in the municipal building in Virginia Beach. His intent is to have a number of gun control bills passed ranging from universal background checks to red flag laws. As I wrote then, none of his proposals would have changed a thing in Virginia Beach.
Delegate David Yancy (R-Newport News) has an idea for a law that might impact the criminal misuse of firearms. While it wouldn’t have changed things in Virginia Beach, it might have an impact on armed crime in Virginia. Many criminals obtain their firearms through the criminal black market where stolen firearms are bought and sold.
And one tool they (law enforcement) told him that wish they had is one federal law enforcement agencies have used for seven decades. It is the power to ask judges to cut convicts’ sentences if, once in prison, if those offenders give police the information needed to bring drug-smugglers, gun-runners and other organized criminals to justice.
“I think this could help,” Yancey said, adding that in his experience, most gun crime in Newport News and many other communities involves stolen weapons.
“You’ll see someone crashing a car into a pawnshop and clean out all the guns, then those guns end up on the street,” he said.
The Virginia Pilot story goes on to note:
The average time federal offenders serve after a Rule 35 sentence reduction is just under seven years, according to a recent U.S. Sentencing Commission study. On average, Rule 35 results in a 39% reduction in the length of a sentence, the federal agency found.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia grants the most Rule 35 sentence reductions, or some 1,645 out of a national total of 10,811 between 2009 and 2014, the study found.
Though such a rule wouldn’t have prevented a gunman from killing a dozen people in a Virginia Beach municipal building last month, Yancey said it would be a way of addressing gun violence that doesn’t infringe anyone’s Second Amendment rights. The right to bear arms doesn’t include the right to steal guns or possess a stolen weapon, he noted.
It’s also in line with legislation enacted last year that allows judges to reduce sentences for offenders who provide a lot of help to an investigation or prosecution of drug dealing.
Yancey’s proposal would allow a judge to revise a sentence after the offender has already started serving it.
His concern with stolen weapons led him last year to introduce a bill that would have set a series of mandatory minimum sentences for stealing guns with the intention of selling them, receiving or selling stolen firearms, or using stolen guns in a crime. The bill died in committee.
Providing incentives to criminals to turn in their source makes sense. His bill introduced last year to add to sentences for the theft of firearms with the intent to sell them also makes sense. Both might have a great impact on crime by drying up the supply of stolen firearms than anything Northam or the gun control industry has ever proposed.
When Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) isn’t trying to figure out if it was actually him in the picture wearing the Klan hood, he is pushing gun control. Now he is taking a page from the Rahm Emanuel playbook and calling a special legislative session of the Virginia General Assembly to push for more gun control after the murders in Virginia Beach.
Northam was joined by Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring, all Democrats, at a news conference with other Democratic leaders to challenge the Republicans who control the General Assembly and have repeatedly stifled efforts to consider any form of gun control.
“It’s time for decisive action,” Northam said. “Let Virginia show the nation that we can respond to tragedy with decisive action.”
Most gun-control bills have failed in previous sessions of the legislature, including those that would broaden the ability of local governments to limit firearms in public buildings, mandate universal background checks, limit purchases to one handgun per month and allow authorities to seize the weapons of a person found to be a threat to themselves or others. The bills have usually been killed in committee and not progressed to the full legislature for a vote.
Northam said he wants the General Assembly to debate and vote on the bills.
“These are common sense pieces of legislation we have introduced them year after year,” he said. “They have never received a fair hearing. … I want these pieces of common sense gun safety legislation to get to the floor and let these individuals elected by you, the people, to come to the floor and cast their vote.”
Gun control activists are also calling for a ban on “high capacity magazines” (sic). Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R-James City County) said in an interview that “none of the failed legislation met standards for merits, practical application, and efficacy.” That said, Norment might be open to restricting magazines to 10 rounds.
Specifically, Norment said he expects the General Assembly to tackle large-capacity or extended magazines.
“An extended magazine is optical, but does it change the outcome, I’m not sure, but it’s something the citizens like this would say at least it’s an incremental effort to do something,” Norment said. “At least that is an issue that it’s very easy to resolve.”
Norment did vote against a similar ban earlier this year in committee. Those pushing for a mag ban ought to view Joe Huffman’s video on reload times made after Gabby Giffords was shot in Tucson.
As to Northam’s proposals, let’s examine whether they would have done anything to have stopped the murders in Virginia Beach.
Limiting firearms in municipal buildings? The killer was a municipal employee of Virginia Beach and had access to secured sections of the municipal building. He would have also known how to avoid any metal detection devices.
Universal background checks? The guy passed background checks on both of his firearms.
Red flag law? The killer had no history of violent actions, interacted normally with another employee in a bathroom before starting his killing spree, had no disciplinary problems at work, and had received a satisfactory evaluation on his last performance evaluation at work.
Virginia gun owners have a fight on their hands if they don’t want to become the New Jersey of the South. When the Republican Majority Leader is waffling on standard capacity magazines, it is time to start to put the pressure on.
Sen. Cory “Spartacus” Booker (D-NJ), erstwhile presidential candidate, unveiled a proposal today that would warm the hearts of authoritarians like the late Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. Booker’s proposal would require a license to purchase a firearm. The license would only be good for five years, would require fingerprints, would require an in-person interview with the licensing authority, and would require a class in “gun safety” before issue.
“Senator Booker’s plan is bold and thoughtful,” said Peter Ambler, the executive director of Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization led by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords. He added that it was a “positive sign” that presidential candidates were “coming to the table with serious policy proposals to make our country safer.”…
John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy organization that seeks to end gun violence, said he had seen a “seismic shift” from past campaigns, when the issue of gun violence was considered the “third rail” of American politics.
“Today what we’re seeing is people coming out muscularly for gun safety,” Mr. Feinblatt said. “We’re early on in the 2020 cycle, and I think you’re going to see more and more of this.”
The gun owner licensing proposal is only one part of his 14-part gun control platform. The platform includes things like microstamping, an IRS investigation of the NRA, and the rest of the usual claptrap. The full platform is not on his campaign website but can be found here.
Given that Spartacus is polling at only 2% – down from 5% in late 2018 – it is no wonder that he is grasping at straws to improve his position. With gun control being the one thing that it seems the Democrats running
for President agree on, it looks to me like a desperate plea for
attention. That it is of dubious constitutionality seems not to bother the Rhodes Scholar and Yale Law graduate.
A group of ham actors on YouTube calling themselves “Gun Control Hunters” have created an excellent satire about red flag laws. The video below is a parody but it gets the message across that red flag laws are dangerous, evil, and contemptuous of the Constitutional rights such as due process.
Share this video with your friends, family, and especially those on the fence about red flag laws aka extreme violence protection orders.