Washington Post Misses Fact About Red Flag Laws

One doesn’t expect the Washington Post to present unbiased reporting. That’s not its way. Not these days, at least.

That’s why I shouldn’t be surprised it’s fully supportive of red flag laws.

While singing the praised of Maryland’s law, however, it missed something.

Maryland courts have seized guns from 148 people in the three months since the state enacted a law designed to take weapons from people who are danger to themselves or others.

Four of the gun owners posed “significant threats” to schools, an official told state lawmakers Tuesday.

Montgomery County Sheriff Darren M. Popkin (D), who has helped train police officers across the state about the “red-flag” law, said he could not provide details about the gun seizures — including those that could have led to school shootings — because of a confidentiality rule.

But, Popkin told the House Judiciary Committee, “these orders . . . are saving lives.”

Maryland is one of at least nine states, including California, Connecticut and Delaware, that allow a relative, spouse, legal guardian or roommate to seek a court order to keep a person from possessing a gun.

The Washington Post failed to mention the one death attributed to Maryland’s red flag law.

Gary J. Willis, a 60-year-old gun owner, answered a knock on his door at 5:17 in the morning. Like most of us, he decided to answer the door armed, suspicious of why anyone would come calling at such an ungodly hour.

It was police, who came to take away Willis’ guns in accordance with a red flag law.

A struggle followed, and Willis was shot and killed by police.

That didn’t show up in the Washington Post‘s article. It ignored that.

It also ignored some reports that claim the protective order was taken out against Willis by a family member after an argument as a means of punishing Willis for his political opinions. The fact that there has been no official word about what the order entailed and why it was taken out isn’t helping the speculation in the least.

And that’s part of the problem.

So many of these laws are written in such a way that they can be used as a means of punishment.

Further, while Maryland is touting it stopped all of these people, it’s also impossible to know how many of those people could have been stopped without the red flag laws. After all, planning a mass shooting is illegal. Could these “significant threats” have been stopped without red flag laws?

Of course they could. They could have been stopped and the planners arrested, all while not infringing on other people’s Second Amendment rights. But that wouldn’t advance the anti-gun notion that red flag laws are somehow a net good for society.

They’re nothing of the sort. They’re a direct infringement of our rights, both people’s Second Amendment rights, and their due process rights.