Friday, December 28, 2018

Red Flag Follies

A lot of people are concerned about Red Flag Laws being misapplied.

There's certainly a great deal of reason to be justifiably concerned given how such laws have been used so far.

Red Flag laws are yet another "Do Something" response to incidents like the Parkland School Shooting and the comforting idea that "just one more law" will solve the problem and prevent violence.

The problem is, it won't.

As at Parkland, plenty of laws existed that would have stopped the miscreant from carrying out his action. The problem was they the multitude of existing laws weren't enforced and all the multitude of warning signs were ignored.

One more law, on the books but unenforced, isn't going to help.

The problem with Red Flag Laws is not just that they're a knee-jerk reaction to a complex problem, but also in how they're being enforced, oft times with dubious process, against those who don't pose a threat to make it appear that the powers that be are "doing something".

For example: The Addison County Independent: UPDATED: Police, school officials avert Middlebury middle school shooting

How did they avert it, exactly?

They used an "Extreme risk protection order", Vermont's "Red Flag Law", not to disarm or indeed even criminally charge the known wrongdoers who were planning to shoot up a school, but instead to confiscate firearms from an innocent third party from whom the wrongdoers allegedly planned to steal the firearms to be used in the shooting.

So far the wrongdoers themselves have yet so far as we know to be charged with a crime nor locked up. So they're free to find another source of weapons to steal, assuming they actually meant to carry out their threat.

So this touted use of an extreme risk protection order was used, to much fanfare, not against the actual wrongdoers, but an innocent third party to confiscate his/her property for an indefinite period of time. That is certainly a problematic application of the law.

If you were worried about the misuse and problematic enforcement of Red Flag Laws, you were certainly justified to be concerned.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Red flag laws, but yet sanctuary cities/states... Something is SIGNIFICANTLY wrong in America today...