Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), commonly referred to as red flag laws, have been all the talk in Washington. Politicians on both sides of the aisle seem to think red flag laws are the answers to the mass shootings taking place in our country.
The House Judiciary Committee proved once again that they don't understand or value the Constitution. They green lighted ERPOs, despite many Second Amendment advocates concerns over the lack of due process.
Talk radio host and pro-gun activist Dana Loesch compiled a Twitter thread giving Americans 10 reasons why we should all be against this move.
Ten reasons why you should oppose #RedFlagLaws, a brief thread.— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 11, 2019
1) #RedFlagLaws are an inversion of “innocent until proven guilty.” The standard of evidence is low and while state laws vary, many different people, not just family, can report you.
"Innocent until proven guilty" is the bedrock of our justice system. Prosectors have a job to prove the defendant is actually guilty. With ERPOs, a person is deemed guilty and it's up to them to prove themselves innocent. Rather contrary to what our Constitution says.
2) You don't have to be in the room (and advance notice isn't required) for the petition to be granted meaning you must wait to defend yourself. Most laws provide no penalty for abuse and no state law allows for civil cause of action against false accusers.— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 11, 2019
We have no way to know that someone isn't going to use red flag laws for retaliation. Think of the ex-boyfriend or girlfriend who would love to get back at their 2A-loving former significant other. See how that could be a problem? There's nothing to keep them from lying and making false accusations.
3) Time varies as to how long until respondents can have their day in court. A study conducted on Indiana's law, which said 14 day wait, revealed that the average wait was 9 months. Rights delayed are rights denied.— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 11, 2019
Even when a person does finally have their day in court, it's not exactly something that is jumped on right away.
4) @davekopel , who has done excellent research on this, has noted that of the four states with the oldest gun confiscation laws, Connecticut, Indiana, California, and Washington, no research has revealed any statistical reduction in crime. #RedFlagLaws— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 11, 2019
(Also still No. 4) Furthermore, Kopel notes that nearly 1/3 of such orders are improperly issued against innocent people.— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 11, 2019
And those states that have implemented these laws haven't had any reductions in crime. California implemented their red flag laws in 2016 yet we had the Thousand Oaks shooting last November, the Poway Synagogue shooting in April and the Garlic Festival shooting in July.
5) No advance notice is given ahead of serving a #RedFlag order. That worked out horribly for Maryland resident Gary Willis, who was shot and killed when answering his door early morning before the sun was up. This puts LEO in a HORRIBLE position of enforcing these orders.— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 11, 2019
6) Counsel is not provided (Blumenthal draft does, it's of little solace considering), meaning you could be like FL man Jonathan Carpenter, who is waging an expensive court battle to clear his name and reclaim his property because his name was too similar to a drug dealer's.— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 11, 2019
Florida resident Jonathan Carpenter's case is a prime example of red flag laws gone wrong. A woman filed a complaint against a drug dealer with the same name. Police came knocking on Carpenter's door, confiscated his firearms and then he had to go to court to prove they had the wrong person. It wasn't until he showed up in court, the plaintiff saw him and told cops they had the wrong person, that Carpenter was allowed to get his guns back.
7) We aren't arresting people, we're arresting guns. State laws ignore the very reason the petition was granted in the first place: danger resulting in violence or mental instability. No mental evaluations given, no charges for a crime.— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 11, 2019
8) How will confiscated firearms be stored? Local police will be tasked with figuring out storage and bearing the cost of any liability or insurance -- at a time when some struggle with budgets to afford body cams.— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 11, 2019
Our law enforcement agencies are struggling as it is to keep afloat and provide for their community. Taxing them with additional issues, like the liability of temporarily storing and protecting firearms.
9) This isn't just about the 2nd Amendment. It doesn't matter if you're a "gun nut" or even own guns. The deconstruction of due process calls into question your 5th and 14th Amendment rights, too.— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 11, 2019
Cherry picking what rights are worth keeping and protecting is dangerous. It creates a slippery slope for the government to come in and take away whatever right is important to you (whether it be your right to free speech, religion or even voting).
You can't be okay with forfeiting others' rights if you don't want yours forfeited down the road.
10) Lastly (not really, but I'm sticking to 10), if there is enough evidence to strip you of your rights THERE IS ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO CHARGE YOU or commit you. There are NUMEROUS other options to start fixing this problem WITHOUT sacrificing due process.— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 11, 2019
The biggest issue our nation has is the lack of law enforcement. Yes, we have cops, the FBI, the CIA, ICE but what we're missing is adequately enforcing every single law that's on the book.
Anti-gunners want to strip more rights guaranteed to us by the Second Amendment but they're not looking at the flaws that already exist, the biggest one being with background checks. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) isn't a completely wholesome system. Assuming a criminal decides to go through the "legal process" of purchasing a firearm, there's a chance that he or she may be given the green light when really they're a prohibited possessor. That's not something that will be fixed by adding another law. It's something that's fixed by enforcing the law and requiring every government agency, at every level, to provide their convictions to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), which oversees NICS.
The other issue is to stop letting people off with a slap on the wrist. If the court thinks you're mentally unfit or unstable enough to take away your firearms, there's a pretty good chance they have enough evidence to convict you of a crime. Right?
Let's start by:— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 11, 2019
- demanding all agencies comply with reporting prohibited possessors to the federal database to stop ineligible people at point of sale.
- demanding prosecutors stop reducing charges and judges issuing weak sentences for felony gun crimes & reduce recidivism...
... and let's demand that schools stop coddling dangerous offenders. When kids make rape lists on bathroom walls, have them evaluated. When they message classmates threatening to kill them, that's actionable, arrest them. ENFORCE THE LAW.— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 11, 2019
We need to stop holding everyone's hand and get serious about addressing this issue. Until we, as a society, stop sweeping this under the rug, nothing will change. We need to make sure those who need mental help get it before it's too late. We need to come together and agree to say something when we see another person acting suspicious or they seem like they're in distress. How many times have we learned about acquaintances, co-workers and friends of mass shooters who thought something was off with the person but they never said anything? Far too many to count.
We need to remove the shame behind seeking mental health treatment. We need to tell people, especially young men, that it's okay to struggle and have issues but there's nothing wrong with asking for help.