Red Flag Laws, 2nd Amendment and an Idea to Stem the Flow of Potential Mass Shooters
Let me preface this post by saying that I am a patriot. I believe in the First and Second Amendment. I've been watching the news and deeply disturbed that mass shootings seem like commonplace these days. And with every tragedy, the battle for the Second Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, inevitably trends on social media.
The news latches onto the biggest stories because that's what sells newspapers and gets people to tune into their TV programming. Do not be fooled into thinking that you are getting unbiased, objective, fact-based news - at least not through mainstream media (MSM). To get REAL news, you have to be stubborn enough to cut through the bullshit or look for reports directly from the street or independent journalists.
I digress - I mention the "news" because the nation is outraged by the mass killings in Dayton, Ohio (9 dead plus shooter) and El Paso, Texas (22 dead), but NO ONE is talking about the daily tragedies; the victims of gun violence. In fact, on Sunday, August 4, 2019, Chicago's Mt. Sinai Hospital had to temporarily close their trauma center because they could not handle more incoming gunshot patients. The overflow of shot, bleeding patients had to be redirected to other hospitals.
I'm going to leave this here for you to think about.
Pick Your Side
On the left are the people who think we need more stringent gun control laws. The NRA is bad. Here's an example:
On the right are the people who will feel justified in starting a civil war if you come after their guns.
At center stage of the gun debate are Red Flag Gun Laws. These are laws that empower the courts to take away your weapons if you are deemed a "dangerous person."
This raises red flag with me because I have questions!
- Who determines if you are dangerous?
- How is "dangerous" defined?
- How is this proven in a country where one is presumed innocent until proven guilty?
- If a person is deemed dangerous, do you think they're going to give up their guns without a fight?
- Does this infringe on our Second Amendment rights?
There are currently 17 states that have some form of Red Flag Gun Laws.
Senators Lindsey Graham (Rep) and Richard Blumenthal (Dem) have put together a bipartisan bill that would "create a federal grant program to assist states in adopting “Red Flag” laws." 1
There are several other bills that have been proposed and rejected, but I want to point to this particular bill. Two words are key phrase here: "assist states". Why is this important? Because no one wants the Federal government to overreach and impinge on a State's rights to govern.
"Assist states" makes me believe that individual states will receive federal grants to research local issues and come up with local solutions.
I still have issues with Red Flag Gun Laws. Having been through the court system when my ex decided to "anonymously" call CPS during our divorce to harass and bully me; the ensuing interviews and house visits were absolutely an accusation of guilt and I felt like I had to prove my innocence. It was a terrible experience and I was court ordered to bring my children to a therapist despite the fact that there was no proof of any wrong doing or abuse on my part. I bring this up because I do not see how a law-abiding citizen can defend themselves against vindictive, anonymous calls against someone. How do you defend innocence when everyone thinks you're guilty without due process?
For this reason, I cannot approve of Red Flag Gun Laws, but I do come with an idea for a solution.
- For anyone applying for a gun permit, there should be a public or legal notice printed in the local newspaper and available online at the local government website. We already do this for foreclosures, starting a business, county and state job bids, etc.
- The application must remain online for at least 30 days and printed at least twice.
- The public has an opportunity to speak up or write in their concerns.
- All concerns must be researched, which includes deep diving into the applicant's social media.
- If there are no complaints within the 30 day application period, then a permit will be issued.
Let me argue my case.
- If I know my neighbor has a permit then I'm going to assume it's for self-protection or hunting.
- If my neighbors know I have a permit then the shady ones will be less likely to try and break in.
- The 30 day window allows family, friends and neighbors to chime in. Let me reference the Dayton mass shooter. There were MANY people who came forward to share how disturbed he was in high school but he was a minor and it wasn't in any kind of record. He legally purchased his weapon. The locals were not surprised that he did this terrible thing. Had this 30-day announcement been in place, maybe someone would have said something that tripped a second look. Maybe that second look could have prompted a visit from a community mentor and help him pivot to a healthier tract.
To make something like this work, there needs to be mass adoption. Additionally, states or counties need to have a budget that maintains the website, printed legal notices, manpower to research any concerns. They need an advertising budget to get the word out that this program exists so the impetus is on the community to say something if they've seen something BEFORE a permit is issued.
There is a certain amount of transparency in this process and the bonus is that the public becomes active participants and advocates in keeping their communities safe. It also gives the county (or state) a head start on who needs to be watched - not because they were discriminating but rather because they were tipped off.
I am very aware that bad people will do bad things through any means necessary if the mood strikes. Criminals don't worry about getting legal permits for illegal weapons. What this does address is stemming the flow of people who are legally buying guns because they remained under the radar and no one spoke up until it was too late.
What side of the gun debate are you on?
Do you think my idea infringes on your privacy or rights or does it make sense?
Do you have other solutions to this ongoing problem?
created by @kookyan