The last thing any of us want to see is another mass shooting. To say they’re awful is to phrase it far too mildly.
What we should all hope to see is that they are stopped before they happen. That’s an overall win, though not as big of a win as somehow preventing even the desire for such a thing.
Some think you can’t do such a thing without a red flag law.
Well, Florida has one. They passed it in the wake of Parkland. They didn’t need it.
Deputies in Florida arrested a man on Sunday morning after he allegedly planned to “start a war” with law enforcement officials, they say.
The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said Glen Ressler, 42, had planned to engage deputies in a shootout, in retaliation for having his driver’s license seized during an earlier traffic stop. His license had been suspended, they said.
The sheriff’s office said they received word of Ressler’s threats toward deputies early on Sunday morning.
He had “armed himself intending to initiate an ‘active shooter’ situation with deputies and planned to ‘start a war,’” the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a statement.
Deputies responded to Ressler’s home. Via night vision, they saw him arming up and putting on body armor. However, he was taken into custody without incident.
He may have wanted to start a war with the police, but I guess he didn’t want to start it right then.
“But that’s just evidence we need more gun control,” someone might say, arguing that the police got lucky in this case.
However, it should be noted that Ressler is charged with four counts of aggravated assault and one count of violating a domestic violence injunction. That means he couldn’t lawfully own a gun as it is, yet he had them.
Funny how that shakes out.
What a lot of people don’t understand is that planning a mass shooting is an illegal act in and of itself. It doesn’t matter if you target police, school children, or anyone else. It’s a crime.
So rather than use Florida’s red flag law and leave Ressler on the streets where he could find a different way to hurt people, they arrested him for his plan to “start a war” with deputies.
With that, he’s now off the streets and can’t hurt anyone.
That’s part of how you stop mass shootings. You keep an eye out for the signs that someone is planning such an attack, then you arrest them before they can do it. We’ve seen numerous examples of mass shootings stopped without any need for a red flag law.
This is yet another example.
It’s only too bad that it won’t be enough to convince some people that such laws aren’t needed at all. To them, the potentiality of stopping a mass shooting, at least in theory, is good enough.
However, we don’t know that such a law has ever stopped a mass shooting. Not definitively. All we have is them screaming about how often it’s used as evidence the law works.
Clearly, it doesn’t work well enough to prevent Ressler from getting guns in the first place. Luckily, they’re not needed anyway.