I’ve got a lot of friends in Utah, which is weird because I think I’ve spent something like five minutes in the state in my entire life. Still, it’s a beautiful state with a history of oppression all its own. Because of that history, Utahans remember that oppression is real and not restricted to a handful of markers. It can come against any group.
I’m somewhat sure that plays into how pro-gun the state is.
If there was any doubt, a panel of lawmakers decided to clarify that position loudly.
A panel of lawmakers signed off Tuesday on a declaration that Utah doesn’t need new gun-control measures like a so-called red flag law.
The vote came after a number of people spoke for and against the resolution from Republican Rep. Cory Maloy, a pro-gun rights lawmaker who said the state should enforce its existing laws.
He said “red-flag” laws, which temporarily take guns from people acting dangerously, infringe on constitutional rights before people have done anything wrong. His proposal now goes to the full House.
“We don’t want to turn law-abiding citizens into criminals,” said Maloy. His resolution was supported by groups like the National Rifle Association while others like the student-led March for Our Lives spoke against it. It wouldn’t block gun-control bills, but is a signal that they could face an uphill battle in the conservative, gun-friendly state.
The rest of the article is talking to all kinds of people who support the red flag laws, but without talking to non-lawmakers who oppose such measures.
However, Maloy’s point is pretty well made.
There are already a ton of laws on the books that need to be enforced properly. If they are, a lot of these events won’t happen. I’m not just talking about gun control laws, either.
For example, the Parkland killer should have been arrested a number of times for domestic violence. Had he been, he likely would have been convicted and become ineligible to purchase a firearm. That may well have prevented the Parkland massacre.
While that’s one very high-profile example, there are numerous instances where various laws properly enforced would have prevented someone from acting out dangerously.
Red flag laws are nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to Parkland where everyone ignored the red flags in the killer’s profile. Everything screamed violence about the jackwagon, yet they did nothing, and now lawmakers want to “Do Something (TM)” so it won’t happen again.
But it will. It will because the failings weren’t with the law, but with the people charged with enforcing that law. While I’ve spent a lot of time beating up the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in the last year, the truth is that it’s also not likely to be unique. There’s another department out there doing almost the same thing with another future high-profile mass shooter.
Will red flag laws help in those cases? Considering how many people ignored the issues with the Parkland killer, I’m skeptical.
All of that is to say that the Utah Panel is dead on to refuse to pass a law just for the sake of doing so. There are plenty already there, and there’s no need to treat people like criminals just because people don’t like the way the other person is thinking, and that’s precisely how it will be applied. If there’s a threat to other people, then act on the plan which is already illegal. There’s no need to make things more difficult for everyone.