Extreme Risk Protective Orders, better known as “red flag laws,” are the latest rage in gun control ever since Parkland. Never mind that there was already enough things the authorities could have done to stop the Parkland killer, somehow this one law would have made that horrific event never happen.
And I ride a unicorn to work every day, too.
Still, it’s a push that’s happening in part because some Republicans are finding themselves supportive of the measures. That wasn’t a factor for the District of Columbia, to be sure, as they just became the most recent jurisdiction to pass a red flag law.
A law requiring police to confiscate weapons from people deemed dangerous to themselves or others passed the D.C. Council on Tuesday, in the District’s latest effort to curb gun violence in the area.
The legislation, called an “extreme risk protection order” or more commonly, a “red flag law,” has gained widespread support from proponents of tighter gun control laws. Similar measures have been implemented in 13 states, including Maryland.
Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), chairman of the public safety committee, called Tuesday’s vote “a significant step forward in the District’s response to gun violence.”
Unfortunately, Allen is deluding himself.
Red flag laws are for people who might do something violent due to mental health issues. They’re effective in disarming suicidal people or those who are mentally deranged, but that’s not what D.C.’s problem is. There are plenty of mentally deranged people walking around the city, sure (we call them “Democrats”), but that’s not the direct cause of the city’s violence.
The District’s violence is a result of crime, much of which is gang related. Red flag laws are unlikely to do a damn thing to impact gang violence. It’s also unlikely to do anything about armed robberies, muggings, rapes, or any number of other violent crimes carried out by people who probably aren’t supposed to have guns anyway.
There’s nothing about a red flag law that will stop those kinds of crimes.
No, if you want to stop those crimes, you have to do very different things. Perhaps by looking at the socio-economic causes for violent behavior? Maybe look at programs that may have reduced people’s involvement in criminal activities later in life? I mean, seriously, there are ways to reduce crime in the District.
Red flag laws aren’t one of them.
Instead, expect to see people start using them as a way to punish those they disagree with, like what happened in Maryland. That was a man who wasn’t a risk to anyone, but it seems a family member got bent out of shape, filed an extreme violence protective order, and look at what happened.
I don’t blame the police so much in that incident. I blame the idiot family member who tried to use the law to punish someone for disagreeing with them.
Yet that’s going to happen and happen more often that proponents are willing to concede.