Eroding Liberty: Red Flags & Gun Bans

The Rush Towards Tyranny ~ Gun Control Makes Americans Less Free

Americans are rushing towards tyranny more frequently these days, in the wake of three recent mass shootings, and they are calling for unconstitutional and illegitimate new laws that penalize honest and decent Americans in an unconscionable manner, while doing little in the way of creating real solutions. If anyone believes red flag laws, expanded background checks and bans on semi-automatic weapons will make them safer, they are so sadly mistaken, and, if enacted, not only will they not be any safer, they will be less free, with their God given rights further eroded and suppressed.

Every law-abiding U.S. citizen should be up-in-arms and in an uproar over President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and others, such as key Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC), Sen. Pat Toomey (PA), Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) and Sen. John Cornyn (TX) pursuing new gun control legislation and “compromises” with Democrats, such as Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA), Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA), especially when any real compromise doesn’t exist, and never will. Even as Republicans showed their willingness to enact stronger background checks and red flag laws, Democrats were screaming for stores, like Walmart, to stop selling ammo and guns and for laws that invoke higher taxes on both, as well as a law banning semi-automatic rifles; Republicans are becoming willing accomplices in the Democrat goal of eradicating the Second Amendment.

Despite his bluster and tough talk as a strong defender of the Second Amendment, President Trump is not to be trusted on this issue, since he has a long standing known propensity for gun control, favoring gun bans as late as 2009, and as President, Donald Trump has already violated the Second Amendment through his Executive Order that authorized the Department of Justice to regulate bumpstocks, which also flies in the face of D.C. vs Heller, in which the Court acknowledged that an individual has the right to keep and bear arms of the same sophistication and technological advancement of the U.S. military, since the Second Amendment was written as a measure to ensure U.S. citizens’ rights to arm themselves against any tyrannical government, not to hunt deer.

As noted by the Court in 2010 in McDonald vs. City of Chicago, “The right to keep and bear arms is ‘among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty.”

With McDonald vs Chicago, the Court ruled that the Second Amendment was “incorporated”. This legal term placed states and local governments on notice that they must follow the limitations of the Constitution’s 2nd Amendment and could not make laws more restrictive than allowed by the 2nd Amendment, which states “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

And now, most recently, all America heard President Trump state, “I have called for Red Flag Laws, also known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders.” Regarding background checks, he stated on August 9th, that he thinks “Republicans are going to be great and lead the charge along with Democrats.”

One should also note that although President Trump once suggested foregoing “due process” after the Parkland High School mass shooting in February 2018, he did state on August 5th 2019, that “those judged to pose a great risk to public safety [should] not have access to firearms and if they do, those firearms can be taken through rapid due process.”

On August 8th, Senator McConnell told NPR that the Senate would be addressing bans on “assault weapons” and expanded background checks, when the Senate reconvenes in September. McConnell’s use of the term “assault weapons” is part of the Democratic Party narrative that seeks to negate the true and legal use of these weapons for self-defense, and it only serves to further erode the Bill of Rights and our liberty if we allow it to go unanswered.

Nobody in America wants to see anyone who is mentally unstable enough to commit violence having a powerful firearm in their hands, but there already exist numerous laws, that if properly enforced would alleviate that problem. Peddling his staunch “defender” title in 2015, even President Trump noted: “Too many states are failing to put criminal and mental health records into the system [making the system ineffective]. … fix the system we have and make it work as intended … don’t … expand a broken system.”

However, unconstitutional Red Flag Laws are not the answer, especially once one considers the many government abuses that have already occurred in the seventeen states (and the District of Columbia) that have legislated Red Flag Laws. They allow police to convene a Chekist-style secret meeting, that strips an American of his Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights and violates “due process of the law”, since the firearm owners are barred from participating in the hearing and presenting their counter argument, and often, they are unaware of the “Extreme Risk Protection Order” until the police knock on the door and ransack their house or arrest or shoot them, just as they shot Gary Willis, in Baltimore, MD, at 5:17 a.m. on November 5th 2018 for resisting their ERPO.

Willis was executed for resisting a government overreach, intrusion and violation of his basic God given rights. I guess America could have just skipped the bloodshed of the War for Independence, since so many now seem to prefer authoritarian controls, serfdom and a King over freedom and liberty.

On August 22nd 2014, Patrick McLaw, a 23 year old middle school teacher — once nominated for Teacher of the Year, was taken into police custody for a psychological evaluation, after he wrote two novels about high school massacres, under the pen name “Dr. K.S. Voltaer”. McLaw had no criminal record, no guns or bombs were found in his home, but the State Attorney claimed McLaw drew police attention through a four page letter he sent to officials in Dorchester County. And in the end, no warrant was issued, no charges were filed and no arrest was made, however, he remained detained in police custody, while they investigated crimes he may or may not have committed, as the State utilized psychopathological mechanisms, the touchstone of totalitarian governments, and fully displayed the great distance our society has drifted from liberty.

Dave Workman, senior editor at the Second Amendment Foundation in Bellevue, Washington recently wrote: “It’s (Extreme Risk Protection Order) a great idea on paper. In practice, however, you’re guilty until you prove yourself innocent.”

A Red Flag Law in Tennessee might even scoop me up, since in my youth, I used to have a hair-trigger temper, cracked many a ridge-runnin’ redneck’s jaw and quite possibly should have been charged with assault myself, at one time or another in my life. No excuses made from me; I am a strictly no nonsense man who never took being called out of my name or having hands placed on me in anger lightly, and in every case where the law ever questioned me, the attending officer agreed with me, for whatever the reason. However, some past recipients of my wrath would certainly be quick to turn such a law against me, even though I am a much cooler head today, years later.

But, having a pistol or rifle in my hands always leveled my thinking, whenever I encountered danger and imminent harm, having traveled the most dangerous areas of America, at one time or another. It tamped down any anger, since I have always been all too cognizant of the power of firearms and the damage they can do, my entire life; and, due to my respect for all life, I never wanted to take another person’s life, if there was anyway to avoid doing so.

I’ve had a firearm of one type or another in my hands, since I was eight years old, when my father first started teaching me firearm safety, and I received more instruction in the 6th grade at a summer camp at Columbia Military Academy (Columbia, TN), where all the children were handed .22 caliber semi-automatic rifles, in 1969, for a well supervised target practice; and of course, I received further instruction upon joining the U.S. Army years later. Good people raising good children will make for a safer society. Teach your children well, starting with the Ten Commandments, or a similar moral code.

If more gun laws worked, Mexico wouldn’t have had 100,000 people killed by firearms in the past decade. It has the most restrictive gun laws one might imagine, and it has only one gun store, that sits in the middle of a military base and has soldiers for clerks. Restrictions on the good and decent citizens, whether in Mexico or America, only favors the criminals.

There is also a much more serious issue at hand: If the Constitution can be suspended in a secret hearing, this can only lead to a despotic government and great tyranny. The Democrats have already proposed the forced confiscation of the American people’s firearms and weapons by armed squads of police.

What if this publication could be shut down without due process, based on a secret complaint? Or individuals could now be arrested or imprisoned for 21 days, or more? How far off can torture be? Eroding the Second Amendment in this manner erodes the entire Bill of Rights.

Any American who values our rule of law and the Bill of Rights and the inalienable rights that preexist politics and government should be opposing all the new gun control measures coming our way, as we work to keep the legal and justified means of self-defense in the hands of all law-abiding citizens, since not one state law in this respect is constitutional, and a federal law would not be either. Taking away rights from law-abiding citizens due to terrible acts by criminals, a small percentage of the population, is precisely what our Constitutional Republic was designed to protect against and expressly forbids. The legal philosophy behind these laws is dangerously illegitimate, and far from bipartisan or consensus proposals, they represent a constitutional Rubicon and the point of no return.

Y’all can give up your semi-automatic weapons if you’re of a mind to do so. As for me, they’ll have to pry them from my cold, dead hands.

August 11, 2019

~ The Author ~
Justin O. Smith has lived in Tennessee off and on most of his adult life, and graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1980, with a B.S. and a double major in International Relations and Cultural Geography – minors in Military Science and English, for what its worth. His real education started from that point on. Smith is a frequent contributor to the family of Kettle Moraine Publications.

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