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By John Zmirak, a Senior Editor, The Stream, August 7, 2019
In his address in the wake of the massacres in Dayton and El Paso, President Trump said some very wise things. He denounced an ideology he never held nor sympathized with in any way, white nationalism. Trump called for national calm. He spoke up for national unity.
But Trump also made a very serious error, in offering support for “Red Flag” laws aimed at legal gunowners. I can understand why he might make such a mistake. Such laws sound plausible at first. They promise to keep us safe. But they’re also deadly dangerous, as I’ll explain. Dana Loesch accurately described such laws at The Federalist:
The people who report your Twitter account and your Facebook pages because they dislike your opinion want you to trust a government-run system where people can, without serious penalty of law, report you and have your property confiscated before you’re allowed to defend yourself in court weeks, even months, later.
Red flag laws, also known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), have passed through a number of state legislatures across the country; Sen. Marco Rubio has a somewhat new legislative proposal titled the Extreme Risk Protection Order and Violence Prevention Act. Sen. Lindsay Graham joined Sen. Richard Blumenthal to co-sponsor red flag legislation; even Rep. Dan Crenshaw has mentioned ERPOs for potential consideration.
Guilty Till Proven Innocent
Under Red Flag laws, the burden of proof is not on the government or your accuser. It’s on you, the gun-owner. You don’t get a free lawyer, as criminal defendants do. You must pay to fight this seizure of your property. The person who lodged a false accusation against you? He can sit back and relax. The state does his job for him, and there’s no effective penalty he faces for lying. ….