The gun community is somewhat divided on red flag laws. I, personally, think they might be useful under some very specific and controlled circumstances as a temporary measure at most. Maybe. Color me skeptical, especially based on what we’ve seen so far from legislatures who have enacted them.
Others are vehemently opposed to them, regardless of any supposed good they might do. That’s certainly understandable as well. Even before they resulted in a death.
Still, others are solidly pro-gun, but support the measures as a means to disarm those who are likely to hurt themselves or others. Honestly, I can see where they’re coming from too.
But I’m pretty sure the vast majority of us can agree that when the government takes the guns away from someone who wasn’t going to do anything, they’ve gone too far.
Yet that’s what precisely happened in Vermont.
Two 14-year-old Middlebury Union Middle School students have been indefinitely pulled from classes and face juvenile court citations after allegedly cooperating on a plan to shoot a fellow student and possibly others on campus today, Tuesday, Dec. 18.
Middlebury police are still investigating the case and are withholding the names of the two suspects because they are both juveniles. They are also not disclosing the names of the alleged target(s) in this case, nor the identity of a heroic student who tipped off adults about the alleged shooting plot.
Police quickly got officials from the Vermont Department for Children & Families (DCF) and the Counseling Service of Addison County (CSAC) involved in the investigation.
After confirming the whereabouts and establishing short-term plans for both young suspects, police turned their attention to securing their alleged source of guns.
“We executed what is called an ‘extreme risk order’ (Monday) night at a relative’s house who had all these firearms,” [Middlebury Police Chief Tom] Hanley said. “They were locked up (in the home), but one of these kids said he had access to them and could get them. So we took advantage of that extreme risk order statute that was passed. We needed to separate the person from their ability to do this.”
Hanley on Tuesday morning wasn’t sure of the exact inventory of the more than 10 confiscated weapons, but said they largely consisted of hunting rifles and handguns. He doesn’t believe any semi-automatic assault rifles or shotguns were among the bunch.
They used the red flag law to take guns away from someone who wasn’t a risk to a living soul.
I can’t even begin to describe how infuriating this is. Chief Hanley has clearly infringed on the Second Amendment rights of an ordinary, apparently law-abiding American simply because someone else was going to do something wrong. It’s disgusting on every level.
The gun owner stands accused of doing nothing wrong. Hanley even admits the guns were locked up. But because some 14-year-old said he could get access to them, that’s enough grounds to take guns out of someone else’s home? I mean, it’s not like 14-year-olds aren’t known for talking a bunch of trash or anything. Nope, let’s take this kid’s word that he can get access to locked-up guns and then take them from the person this same kid said he was going to steal them from.
Sweet dancing baby Elvis on a rocket-powered moped, really?
Then again, doesn’t this encapsulate the entire gun control argument? Let’s take the guns away from people who are doing nothing wrong because someone else might do something bad. I mean, that’s it in a nutshell. That’s also why Hanley probably doesn’t see any issue with taking them from an innocent gun owner.
Look, if that gun owner is reading this right now, my advice is simple. Call the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of Vermont, or some other gun rights group, and file a lawsuit immediately. This needs to be challenged before it happens to other people.
For the rest of us, it’s a good time to reach out to lawmakers to demand language that if these laws are going to happen, they don’t empower law enforcement to seize the private property of people other than the person named in the order.
We need to end this before it becomes a common thing. That means we need to end it now.
Hat tip: The Truth About Guns