We’re told that red flag laws are essential if we want to stop mass shootings. These laws allow certain parties–just how varies from state to state–to petition the courts to disarm people, who then get to go and try to prove their innocence.
However, we’ve seen numerous examples of how such laws haven’t been needed to stop mass shootings. Now, we have one more.
A potential mass shooting at a middle school in Washington state was thwarted this week after an eighth-grade student was found in possession of a gun, ammunition, and a hit list.
In a Facebook post summarizing the incident on Monday, the Moses Lake Police Department reported that officers were tipped off by school administrators after concerned students expressed that a classmate was making threats to “shoot up” the school.
Shortly after, officers entered the school and made contact with the student, searching his person and backpack. During the search, they found a pistol and two magazines of ammunition — as well as a list of targets.
The student was immediately placed under arrest and removed from school grounds. He has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and felony harassment, according to KREM-TV.
First, let me just say how glad I am that this went down this way, rather than how the kid planned.
I get the kid being angry. For a lot of people, that’s just how you roll through school, often because your peers are little jackwagons and often for a variety of other reasons.
What cannot be tolerated, obviously, is allowing that rage to drive someone to try to commit something so horrible as a school shooting.
Note, however, that they didn’t need a red flag law.
That’s because schools, in particular, have the authority to search anyone coming onto the property without needing a warrant, and just planning a school shooting is a crime. There’s no reason to have a mechanism that disarms people when you can actually arrest them.
I mean, jails tend to do a decent job disarming most people. Just sayin’.
However, kids like this also need help. It’s not rational for a 13-year-old to want to take human life like this. He needs psychological counseling at a minimum. Maybe in the process, we can start to get a handle on why people do this.
After all, if we could figure out how people get this degree of broken, maybe we could do something about it. Then, yet again, red flag laws wouldn’t be needed to stop mass shootings.
Look, the key to stopping mass shootings is what it’s always been. It’s people taking threats seriously and acting like you take them seriously. Doing that has stopped dozens of potential shootings and no innocent person has lost their gun rights because of something petty.
The desire to keep people safe matters, but so does the right to keep and bear arms.
This is yet another example of how those two things can easily co-exist without one infringing on the other.