AP Photo/Michael Conroy

The idea behind Extreme Risk Protective Orders, otherwise known as “Red Flag Orders” is that they can be used to disarm those considered to be a threat to themselves or others. That first bit is there so they can be justified under mental health grounds as proponents figure they can count those potential uses as wins to pad their statistics somewhere down the road.

But the idea of taking guns from people who may be a threat is a tempting proposition.

However, in Washington state, legislators are taking that concept and considering a proposal which would take it in a very different direction. Of course, The Trace loves the idea.

Now, the state wants to use ERPOs for more gun owners who, like the man who went to Northwest Hospital in early April, threaten to commit hate-fueled violence. Among a slew of gun violence prevention bills signed by Governor Jay Inslee in early May was an amendment to the current ERPO law that specifies that judges should consider whether a troubled gun owner has been convicted of “malicious harassment,” a category that includes behaviors like burning crosses and defacing property with swastikas. It’s the first hate-specific ERPO law in the country.

“Since the 2016 election, we’ve seen an enormous increase in hate-fueled animus,” said Marko Liias, the state senator who conceived of the reform. “If someone’s spewing hate and making threats in concrete ways, and law enforcement can detect that, we should encourage police to take action.”

First, that “increase in hate-fueled animus” is usually one of two things. The first is progressives who are lashing out at their ideological opponents at every opportunity. That includes shouting people out of restaurants, harassing people who are officials from the wrong political party, or things of that sort. The others are hoax “hate crimes” that almost always turn out to be false flag situations.

That’s not to say that there are no cases of racially motivated hate crimes out there. The Tree of Life Synagogue shooting is a prime example. The Chabad of Poway Synagogue shooting another.

However, as awful as those two shootings were, they’re still a minority of the supposed hate crimes out there. The vast majority either seem to come from the extreme left or are false flags. It’s that simple.

The problem with this new measure, however, is that it uses statutes that amount to thought crime to justify taking away someone’s Second Amendment rights.

White supremacists are filthy scumbags who try to intimidate people and lash out at folks of another race. White supremacist ideologies need to be purged from the world, but this isn’t how you do it.

If you’re going to have a law that says you can take a gun away from someone who represents a threat, then that’s all you need to consider. You don’t need to get into their personal beliefs and perhaps punish those who think in an unpopular manner. That’s all Washington state is looking to do.

Right now, it’s racism. The problem is that it always starts with something like that; something no one wants to defend. It doesn’t stay there, though. Next, it’ll be targeting someone else who is less than popular, maybe Christians who espouse negative opinions on gay marriage or transgenderism. Maybe it’ll be someone else. Who knows?

What I do know is that once you start targeting what people think, it becomes more and more likely that the groups of folks on the outs will continue to grow. Eventually, it will be folks like you and me.

If that doesn’t scare you, you’re not listening to what’s happening.