Red flag orders are controversial enough already. After all, you’re taking someone’s guns based on suspicions and little else. Nevermind that we’ve found time and time again that it’s not really necessary to stop mass shootings.
However, a recent investigative report has found some particularly alarming trends in some places regarding red flag orders in the Sunshine State.
Florida’s new red flag law – created to protect the public from future mass shooters – has temporarily stripped gun rights from more than 2,500 people across the state, including at least 100 kids, an I-Team review found.
I-Team Investigator found law enforcement seeking orders to take away gun possession and ownership rights from children as young as 8-years-old – even though state law already prohibits anyone younger than 21 from buying a gun.
“That’s insane,” said Orlando defense attorney Kendra Parris when she heard about the I-Team’s findings.
Among the people hit with so-called risk protection orders since March 2018:
- • A 91-year-old man, who claimed he wanted to “even the score” with his late wife’s alleged lover;
- • A former U.S. Marine-turned-teacher, who admitted he told students during a lockdown drill how he could be “the best” school shooter;
- • And an 8-year-old in Polk County who got mad at school and then threatened to “get a gun and shoot everybody up.”
The judge denied the order against the elementary school student, but the I-Team found Polk County has successfully issued more than 400 red flag gun orders against people deemed a danger to themselves or others – including 20 percent involving children.
Now, bear in mind that children can’t legally own a firearm anyways. Nevermind that no one under 21 can buy a firearm in the state of Florida, either. Polk County still issued 80 red flag orders to children since the law went into effect.
Seriously, how in the hell do you disarm a child who isn’t legally armed?
To make it worse, there’s absolutely no differentiation between juveniles and adults when it comes to red flag laws.
Florida is one of 17 states that now have red flag laws. State laws don’t restrict juveniles from being issued orders. In Florida, most counties file risk protection orders in open court, so even juvenile cases are accessible to the public.
“Since the statute has been implemented, I’ve been somewhat surprised at the number of cases we hear, but I’ve never felt these cases should not be in front of the court,” said Judge Bruce Smith of the 10th Judicial Circuit.
Look, most of the cases cited aren’t actual threats. They’re just not. They’re the result of hypersensitive ninnies pitching a fit because someone said something or did something they didn’t really like. The Marine cited above? He said he could be the “best” school shooter, not that he would or wanted to be. A lot of combat vets would be quite effective at such an undertaking if they wanted to. While it was a poor choice of words to the extreme, it doesn’t mean he should be stripped of his gun rights.
Yet with so many children being covered by these orders, we’re forced to wonder just what in the hell do people think they’re accomplishing here? These children can’t legally own guns. That’s a simple matter of law. So what good are these orders going to do?
Except, these orders aren’t about preventing mass shootings. That may have been why the law was passed, but their purpose is quite different now. Now, they’re about punishing behavior that someone dislikes. That’s all this is about.
Anyone with half a brain knows these kids don’t have guns of their own. Oh, they might have a gun in Mommy or Daddy’s safe that’s referred to as “their” gun, but legally? Nope, and we all know it. Even the morons trying to level the boom on these kids know it.
Just as we suspected, red flag laws are being used to punish behavior someone else doesn’t like instead of being reserved for actual threats.
Good job, Florida. Good job.