California has had red flag laws on the books for a few years now. They’ve been in place, yet as per usual with these laws, it’s impossible to tell just how effective they really are. While proponents will cite the number of times red flag orders are issues as proof they work, we don’t know how many times they represented an actual threat to human life and how many times they were the result of panicky friends or family.
What we do know is that red flag laws failed to prevent Gilroy. They also failed to prevent Thousand Oaks.
Yet it seems a hotel worker in California appears to have been stopped in his plan to carry out a workplace shooting, and a red flag law doesn’t appear to have been used.
A Marriott employee in California allegedly amassed a large arsenal of weapons and tactical gear in hopes of carrying out a mass shooting at his workplace, authorities said Wednesday.
Rodolfo Montoya, 37, of Huntington Beach, was planning to take out his co-workers with high-powered firearms — including two assault rifles and a pump-action shotgun — which were found by officers during a search of his home.
A worker at the Marriott that Montoya was allegedly targeting, located in Long Beach, called police and told them that he had made a “verbal threat of violence” on Monday. Authorities investigated and wound up searching Montoya’s home the following day.
“Multiple firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and tactical gear were seized, including high-capacity magazines and an assault rifle, which are illegal to possess in California,” said Long Beach Police officials in a press release Wednesday.
Montoya was charged with manufacturing and distributing assault weapons, possession of an assault weapon and making a criminal threat. He was being held on $500,000 bail at the Long Beach City Jail.
Police got a tip, investigated it, got a warrant, and were able to stop a mass shooting before it could happen.
No red flag law needed.
In the wake of mass shootings, we often look at it through the lens of hindsight. I’m quite guilty of that myself, especially after Parkland. I asked over and over how people could have missed those warning signs.
That’s why red flag laws are popular, though. Everyone sees this in hindsight, but they forget that no one put the pieces together at the time. There were already enough laws on the books to have stopped Parkland and most any other attack. The issue is that unless people realize what they’re seeing and act on it, such as this individual did regarding their co-worker, nothing gets stopped.
We don’t need red flag laws. There’s little to no evidence they actually work.
What we need is for people to understand the warning signs and for law enforcement to step up and actually investigate. That didn’t happen in Parkland, and look how that turned out.
I’m glad this attack was stopped.
However, I also want to note that those assault weapons are illegal in California, yet this shooter clearly had them. Sounds to me like another example of California’s gun laws failing to work as advertised.
We’re just lucky other laws didn’t fail the people.