Unless California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes them by Sunday, all nine gun control bills presently sitting on his desk will become law.
Two of the most pernicious and dangerous concern expansions of the state’s already unconstitutional red flag laws, and illustrate the dangers of passing any such laws in the first place. Once enacted politicians then find it easier to expand definitions to make them more draconian in their impact on precious rights. It isn’t hard to imagine a time in the very near future when red flag laws, all by themselves, will enable the complete disarmament of every law-abiding citizen in the country.
As Steve Byas noted in his article appearing in the latest issue of The New American magazine, “Red flag laws are not benign. They are a serious threat to every American’s right to keep and bear arms.”
That threat is about to become reality in California.
At present California’s red flag (extreme risk protection order, or “gun violence restraining order”) law allows members of a person's immediate family, or law enforcement, to petition a court to remove his firearms. And under current law, those firearms may be removed for up to one year. Under Assembly Bill 12, the duration of the restraining order would be expanded to a period of up to five years, while Assembly Bill 61 would expand the list of those who can deem one dangerous enough to have guns removed to include present or past employers, coworkers, and employees of a school that the victim attended in the past six months.
If the list of those who can get one's guns confiscated can be expanded to include present and past employers, coworkers, and staff at a school the victim might have attended, why not expand the list to include anyone who knows him? And why stop there? Why not give anyone the freedom to disparage anyone with a firearm, using mere possession as grounds for the petition to take away the guns?
It doesn’t matter that there is scant evidence that red flag laws reduce gun violence. Wired magazine, using data from the anti-gun Giffords Law Center and fatal injury statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Wired ran two separate tests to see if there was any provable correlation between red flag laws and a decline in gun violence.
They could find none: “There is no data to support a causal link between mental illness and gun violence.… Mental health reporting laws … showed no correlation with homicide rates.” It added that “mental health reporting laws … did not predict lower suicide and homicide rates.”
Wired noted ominously that the present “conversation” about the efficacy of red flag laws in accomplishing its alleged purpose is almost completely missing: “Conspicuously missing from the conversation is proof that red flag laws will actually reduce gun homicides.”
So something else is clearly the objective: the disarmament, piece by piece, neighborhood by neighborhood, residence by residence, citizen by citizen, of the right guaranteed under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms. And as is the case in California, that confiscation will be driven by ongoing expansions of red flag laws that will ultimately, and deliberately, include every law-abiding gun owner in the nation.
What’s also ominously missing from the “conversation” is any attempt by any court in the land to challenge these clearly unconstitutional laws. Without restraint, red flag laws will all by themselves accomplish the purposes of gun grabbers: the confiscation of every firearm from every gun owner in America.
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