Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf posted a meme meant to simplify how so-called ‘red flag’ laws work, including an explainer on how social media posts with pictures of guns and “cryptic” messages could lead to temporary gun confiscation.
‘Red flag’ laws allow authorities to confiscate firearms from individuals deemed a risk to themselves or others, without having been convicted of a crime, violating the right to due process.
If anything, the Democrat governor’s cartoonish attempt to explain them raises more questions than answers.
In Wolf’s example, a woman named Jane – (if you ask me, it would have been more appropriate to name her Karen) – sees “photos of guns and cryptic messages” on the social media account of a man named Randy.
She calls the police to report the posts and the police, in turn, petition the court for the temporary removal of Randy’s guns. Upon providing evidence that he is an alleged “danger” to himself or others, the court indeed approves the removal of the firearms.
And yay! – in Governor Wolf’s view, a mass shooting has been prevented.
Oddly enough, Tom Wolf’s meme is eerily reminiscent of a ‘red flag’ law wish once expressed by Pennsylvania GOP congressional candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz.
In a 2019 interview, Oz claimed these laws “help protect you and your family” and have been shown to prevent mass shootings, going so far as to suggest an anonymous call-in system for people to report concerns over others’ social media posts.
Just like Jane!
Taking guns from law-abiding citizens, even temporarily, based on social media posts is a very slippery slope. Here’s a hypothetical for you.
Let’s say Jane, from Tom Wolf’s ‘red flag’ meme, owns a gun because her stalker ex-boyfriend has been harassing her and making threats. She posts a picture on social media to let people know she’s a supporter of the Second Amendment and the right to self-defense.
Randy, however, is a pajama boy sitting in his mom’s basement and is absolutely verklempt over the image of a gun. He reports her post with nothing more than a phone call to police then falls to the floor and sobs in the fetal position.
Police then discover that Jane warned her stalker ex-boyfriend to stop harassing her because she has a gun. This is ‘evidence’ that she is a danger to somebody.
The court proceeds to temporarily take away her gun, allowing the stalker ex-boyfriend to carry through with his threats.
Obviously the scenario is a hypothetical one, but totally plausible. While defenders of ‘red flag’ laws may say “No, Rusty, that can’t happen!” I say, says who?
And does the say-so of a politician or journalist mean more than the possible abridgment of your constitutional rights?
As Rep. Massie points out, promises that such a law won’t be abused are just speculation.
A firearm for self-defense in the hands of a woman can be a great equalizer in the face of an attacker or criminal who is physically more intimidating than their victim.
Just ask Kimberly Corban, a rape survivor and mother of two.
Corban appeared in an NRA ad which is striking for its brutal honesty about what happened to her and how a firearm could have prevented it.
Perhaps the best line from the ad is this – “Now I’m a mother of two, and if that predator—or anyone else—tries to harm me or my family, they have to come through my firearm first.”
Earlier this week, a group of bipartisan senators – 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats – announced an agreement on a gun control framework that President Biden said would be the “most significant gun safety legislation to pass Congress in decades.”
All indications point to the bill establishing a federal grant program to encourage the creation of ‘red flag’ laws in the states.
Conservative lawmakers, however, have expressed concerns over those ‘red flag’ laws, and Axios reports that “frustration … is boiling.”
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), the #2 Republican in the Senate, recently tapped by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to “negotiate” with Democrats on gun control, has tried to quell the backlash through semantics.
“Cornyn has rebranded ‘red flag laws’ — a toxic phrase among conservatives — as ‘crisis intervention,'” Axios writes.
MAGA Rep. Matt Gaetz offered fire and fury in a rebuke of Republican lawmakers who back ‘red flag’ gun laws.
“If you back red flag laws as some reflexive response to some emotion that you have, you betray your voters,” he declared. “You are a traitor to the Constitution, the Second Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, you do nothing to make mass shootings less likely.”
Odd – Governor Tom Wolf’s ‘red flag’ meme mentions nothing about the Constitution or the Second Amendment, and it essentially proves why the Fifth Amendment would be thoroughly trashed.
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