If you want to protect your own rights, it means you have to protect the rights of people you can’t stand. It sucks, but it’s something you have to do. That means, in the case of defending the Second Amendment, you sometimes have to defend the gun rights of people you might rather not have a gun in the first place.
Especially if they’ve never actually broken the law.
That’s the position I keep finding myself in when it comes to Andrew Casarez, an alleged neo-Nazi leader.
Now, his attorney is arguing Casarez should have his guns back.
An attorney for Andrew Casarez, a 27-year-old man who is accused of being the ringleader of an online neo-Nazi group and was forced to forfeit his 9mm handgun to sheriff’s deputies, is arguing that the seizure was unconstitutional.
In an opposition filed Aug. 10 in Sacramento County, criminal defense attorney Alan Donato argues that the court should not extend a 21-day temporary Gun Violence Restraining Order because the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office has not met the burden of proof establishing that his client is a danger to the community.
Donato claims the sheriff’s department violated Casarez’s right to due process and “fueled a media spectacle” that was used to “strip Mr. Casarez of his constitutional rights.” The attorney declined J.’s request for comment.
On July 15, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office seized the handgun at Casarez’s residence in the suburb of Orangevale, where he lives with his parents and grandmother, over concerns that he would commit an act of violence after he was publicly outed by Anonymous Comrades Collective, a group of anti-fascist researchers.
Here’s the problem with the case against Casarez, though: He didn’t actually do anything.
While Casarez is alleged to have made a lot of horrible statements support racially-fueled mass murder, he apparently didn’t make any statements that suggested he would carry out any such attack. That’s not surprising since many of those who celebrate such monstrous behavior rarely carry it out themselves. They tend to lack the cajones.
Yet Casarez’s guns were seized using a gun violence restraining order–a red flag order–despite anything that looks from here like credible evidence he was even considering an attack.
In other words, it sure as hell looks like Casarez was targeted because he said things other folks didn’t like.
Well, I don’t like what he said, either. I have absolutely no use for racial supremacists of any stripe, after all. But we don’t go around stripping people of their rights simply because we don’t like what they have to say. That’s not how a free society works and if you want a free society, you simply can’t do things like this simply because you don’t like the words that have come out of people’s mouths.
Honestly, I’ve seen some outright hateful rhetoric coming out of the left, for example. I’ve seen feminists talking about how all men should be herded into camps and kept separate from society, used only for manual labor and reproductive purposes. I’ve seen people talk about how people who disagree with global warming should be imprisoned.
And yet, I don’t want to see any of these people imprisoned or punished because of such hateful rhetoric. Instead, I want to beat their ideas. Until they cross the line from talking and into action, I don’t want any action taken against them except for mockery.
Casarez’s attorney makes the case that his guns should be returned, and he’s right. While the man has said some disgusting things, what he hasn’t done is do anything to warrant having his weapon taken away.
Not yet, anyway.