Guns Siezed In VA's First "Red Flag" Case

We here at Bearing Arms haven’t been real fans of “red flag” laws. That’s not likely to change, either. While it may have sounded good in the immediate aftermath of Parkland, during the cold light of day, the whole idea falls apart. It’s still taking guns from people who haven’t broken any laws, no matter how you cut it.

This has been the case in every state it’s been implemented in.

Now, it’s happened in Virginia.

“What’s the point in living?” “I just want to die.”

Those were the comments police said a man made prior to having his guns taken in the first local case involving Virginia’s new “red flag” law. The case was adjudicated on Monday in Winchester Circuit Court.

The 45-year-old Winchester man made the suicidal threats while in possession of a pistol on July 17, according to police. He voluntarily surrendered three guns to police and will not be allowed to possess guns until at least Jan. 30. The man didn’t attend the hearing on the “substantial risk order,” according to Marc Abrams, Winchester commonwealth’s attorney. The Winchester Star isn’t naming the man because he hasn’t been charged with a crime.

The new law, which went into effect July 1, is designed to keep guns away from potentially violent people. There are approximately 36,000 gun deaths annually in the U.S. including about 1,000 in Virginia, according to the Gifford Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which analyzed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics. That includes about 22,000 suicides and nearly 13,000 homicides.

Unfortunately, there’s an issue that’s being ignored.

If the individual in question was such a risk to himself, then why wasn’t he hospitalized instead? There have been laws on the books for decades allowing people who are suicidal to be admitted to the hospital involuntarily. If he was such a threat, why didn’t they admit him instead?

After all, there are still other means he can use to kill himself.

“But guns are more effective for suicides,” some might counter, and that’s not untrue. However, as noted in a post on Monday, that’s not to say that other methods aren’t nearly as effective. There are still some pretty surefire ways to kill yourself that don’t involve firearms.

Yet, with a red flag order in place, everyone can pat themselves on the back and delude themselves into believing that they’ve saved this man’s life.

They haven’t.

Either he’ll kill himself with another method or he won’t. If he doesn’t even try to commit suicide, then it’s a pretty good indication that maybe he wasn’t that suicidal to begin with.

After all, a lot of people feel that way–that they want to die and don’t see a point to go on living–without actually wanting to commit suicide. And that’s likely why he wasn’t admitted. After all, you don’t admit people against their will for being depressed, you admit them because they’re likely to do something.

But proponents of red flag laws will look at this and pretend they’ve done some good.

I wonder if they’ll feel the same way when someone dies because of this nonsense?