Loading...
BYH to the city Public Works department for paying for an expensive public input session on sidewalks and not telling...

Red Flag laws don't suspend gun rights, they violate them

Knapp

Thomas Knapp

Loading…

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Hanna Scott of Seattle's KIRO radio reports that prosecutors in Washington state are wrestling with the question of whether or not the state's Red Flag law applies to minors, and trying to stretch it to do so.

Under the law, Scott writes, a judge can issue an "extreme risk protection order" to "temporarily suspend a person's gun rights, even if they haven't committed a crime."

Scott gets that part wrong. Judges who issue extreme risk protection order aren't "suspending" their victims' gun rights and constitutionally mandated due process and property protections. They're ordering police to violate those rights and ignore those protections. There's a difference.

Rights are inherent characteristics possessed by all human beings, not privileges to be granted or withheld at the whim of a bureaucrat in a black dress. And the point of the 5th Amendment's due process clause is precisely to protect the life, liberty, and property of Americans against arbitrary judicial edicts. Under the U.S. Constitution, "laws" which violate those protections are null and void.

Several state governments have passed, or begun more active implementation of, these Red Flag laws since a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, in February.

Maryland's version of Red Flag went into effect on Oct. 1. As of Nov. 20, at least 172 complaints had been filed under the law, which allows courts and police to steal a victim's guns and keep them until a judge decides whether or not that victim is "at risk of violent behavior or suicide."

In one case, Maryland's law has already put the victim at more than risk of violent behavior. Police officers in Ferndale, Maryland, murdered 61-year-old Gary Willis when they showed up to steal his guns and he declined to cooperate.

Neither the cops who killed Willis, nor the judge who sent them to do so, will likely be held accountable for the killing of a man accused of no crime and minding his own business on his own property. That's the very definition of lawlessness.

Why did a judge order police to steal Willis's guns? We're not allowed to know. The contents of such orders are considered state secrets.

What might we call a system under which anonymous judges can secretly order anonymous police officers to expropriate property from citizens who have neither been accused of nor convicted of crimes, on pain of death for resistance?

The only term that seems to fit is "police state."

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Op Ed

May 18, 2019

I’ve been watching the emerging election for North Carolina’s Senate seat and wonder if we are seeing symptoms of a larger trend. Our traditional tribalism — Republicans and Democrats — has morphed into contentious sub-tribes within each party. Instead of a sure re-…

Tom Campbell.jpg

May 17, 2019

Tom McCuin served two tours as an Army public affairs officer in Afghanistan and worked closely with local nationals hired by American forces.

"They were not only our language interpreters, they were our cultural interpreters," McCuin wrote on clearancejobs.com, a site that lists openings for…

Steve and Cokie Roberts

May 16, 2019

Congressional elections in odd-numbered years? Odd is certainly one way to describe what many North Carolinians are experiencing right now. But in some ways, the special elections of 2019 are confirming rather than breaking the political rules.

Those elections are in the 3rd District, which spans…

john hood.jpg

May 15, 2019

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Economics at Ohio University Richard Vedder's new book, "Restoring the Promise," published by the Independent Institute based in Oakland, California, is about the crisis in higher education. He summarizes the three major problems faced by America's colleges and…

Walter Williams

May 14, 2019

We were hopeful that this would be the year North Carolina changed the way it does redistricting for congressional and General Assembly seats. After all, we’ve been slapped by the courts so many times we’ve lost count. Our record is so bad that the U.S. Supreme Court, which has long…

May 14, 2019

Amid the hoopla surrounding educational inputs in North Carolina, it's nice to hear some state lawmakers focusing attention on educational outcomes.

A couple of outcome-focused bills caught this observer's attention last week. Those bills attracted far less scrutiny from reporters and pundits than…

Mitch Kokai

May 14, 2019

On May 7, voters in Denver, Colorado narrowly approved a measure de-criminalizing "magic mushrooms" — mushrooms containing the consciousness-altering compound psilocybin. The measure, National Public Radio reports, "effectively bars the city from prosecuting or arresting adults 21 or older…

Knapp

May 14, 2019

North Carolina already bans texting and driving. Now state lawmakers want to prohibit all handheld use of smartphones and tablet computers behind the wheel.

House Bill 144, the Hands-Free N.C. Act, seeks to reduce distracted driving dangers by creating the new traffic infraction of unlawful use of…

012419Distracted-1.jpg

May 13, 2019

The Denver Post

Kendrick Castillo is a bright light of selflessness and love in days where Americans move from one tragedy to the next, marking their sorrow with headlines and social media posts.

The 18-year-old Colorado senior died Tuesday while saving his classmates from one of two shooters who…

May 13, 2019

Although the North Carolina House has approved its version of a biennial budget, there’s a lot that North Carolinians can’t yet know about how much will be spent, and on what, over the next two years. But here’s something we can assume with near-certainty: Gov. Roy Cooper will…

253 stories in Op Ed. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 26
        Next Page»   Last Page»