Tracking ID UA-126977798-1
RED TEAM THOSE RED FLAG LAWS
In general terms, "red teaming" just means trouble shooting any plan to determine any possible negative outcomes or consequences. In 'best practices' you do red teaming before you present a plan. You utilize the results of a thorough red teaming to refine and/or change your plan. A number of states already have "red flag laws" enacted as a means of gun control. Do they actually work? This week let's red team those new prospective Federal "Red Flag" laws people, politicians and pundits are talking about. What could possibly go wrong?!
For many American citizens the 2nd Amendment to the US constitution is a vital part of our American culture and a cornerstone to our other freedoms. As a reminder I have included the original text in an easy to read image inserted here. Please read and consider these words carefully and consciously. Notice it does not specify "all" people but rather "the people". In historical context this meant only citizens - who were only Caucasian (white) men and who owned property. This has changed significantly since it's ratification in 1791. American citizens now include both women and men, all races, creeds and backgrounds/economic status. See this short video for some verifiable statistics and reasons for carrying a weapon today-the title is: "I Carry A Gun" www.youtube.com/watch?v=1alljvP_org
American citizen's rights can be taken away because of criminal indictment, being reported as being a mental incompetent, mental defective, having a mental illness, voluntarily giving up one's American citizenship or through denaturalization - although rare - which is possible if an American citizen (for example) goes to fight for a foreign nation that is the enemy of the USA i.e. Daesh/ISIS/Taliban/Al Qaeda/Hezbollah/Hamas, FARC, etc.
Other than these specific situations or conditions, currently American citizens will retain all their constitutional rights as long as they reside in the USA for the duration of their adult lives. By the way September 17th is "Constitution Day" in the USA. Happy Constitution Day!- especially to those fortunate enough to be born and/or live as an American in the United States.
Red flag laws are a constitutional and legal labyrinth. As of 2019, seventeen states and the District of Columbia have enacted some form of "red flag" laws as gun control. Connecticut was the first state to pass legislation in 1999. Indiana was next in 2005 and the rest followed after 2014. Some states have 'Extreme Risk Protection Orders' (ERPO)-Oregon, Washington, Vermont and Maryland and others have Risk Protection of Gun Violence Warrants such as Florida and California.
Senator Kamala Harris from California who is running for President of the United States, even proposed a "domestic terrorist" legislation as a red flag law which would infringe on US citizens right to freedom of speech.
Matt Olsen, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center during the Obama administration, stated that "Senator Kamala Harris's proposed domestic terrorism prevention orders legislation should include a provision that a person cannot be deemed a domestic terrorist solely based on First Amendment-protected activity". It doesn't.
Kamala Harris runs on a platform which would not support the "right to bear arms" and would use executive orders to severely limit access to guns, require full registration, make personal selling of firearms (more than 5) illegal unless the individual is licensed and performs official background checks, all in addition to enacting red laws which would include the possibility of designation of an individual as a "domestic terrorist" based solely on political activities and social media or personal speech and not necessarily based on previous physical threats, violent acts or inciting others to violence. www.ontheissues.org/2020/Kamala_Harris_Gun_Control.htm
This is an extremely hostile approach to upholding the second amendment.
What could go wrong here?
'Guilty until proven innocent' is not supposed to be part of our American justice system, but these 'red flag' laws have turned due process upside down. Most red flag laws make provision for "anticipation of a danger to the person cited or to others" and if someone reports or petitions for an individual to be "red flagged" they have to prove they are not "dangerous" or a "domestic terrorist" and they will have their weapons collected and stored by law enforcement first....then they will have to appeal and go to court to have them returned. They will also be liable for any "fees" stipulated by the court or law enforcement, no matter if the call/petition against them proved to be invalid, harassment or false, even based on lies or slander.
In some states, the petitioner can make the request via phone. They don't even need to look the judge in the eye. Let's assume your ex or a disgruntled co -worker calls in, swears under oath (and no one has ever lied under oath, right?) that you are dangerous, crazy and might kill them. Because...what? You're supporting Trump and everyone knows that that's irresponsible and dangerous? (There are lots of activist judges.) Your house is searched and any weapons are seized and you may be arrested. Then you need to hire a lawyer and may possibly be held in jail.
Within 21 days, 90 days, 6 months or a year-you have your appeal hearing before the judge and the judge decides that you are not dangerous after all, and you can get your guns back. False alarm-misuse of the red flag law. What happens next?
You go to the police station where your guns have been stored and you're told that you have to pay the storage fee which is usually around $500/day for each day. In many states including California, the storage fee per day is even higher.
They took all your 5 guns, so that's $2,500/day.
For 21 days, you owe $52,500.
You don't have the money so, "Oh, so sorry, you cannot get your guns back...the $2,500/day is still accumulating, every day".
Technically you can retrieve your guns but effectively you are a victim of search and seizure. Your guns, your private assets have now been appropriated by the state.
See how these red flag laws can easily be misapplied?
Let's examine another example of how red flag laws can be manipulated against American citizens from actual case histories of military veterans. There have been a number of military veterans returning from overseas deployments where their neighbors call into local police and social welfare organizations that there is "suspicious behavior" by this individual they often do not know. There is no evidence needed for the phone call to be followed up.
The person calling in may have ulterior motives, a grudge or even be mentally unstable themselves. It doesn't matter. Once they report they see this individual as "dangerous to him/herself or others" that person is labelled and digitally, indelibly filed as a 302. This will probably disqualify them from certain jobs, holding a security clearance and will be on their medical and criminal records as being held as an involuntary patient. This is different from a 5150 which is less serious. A person on a 5150 can be held in the psychiatric hospital against their will for up to 72 hours. This does not mean that they will necessarily be held the entire 72 hours; it means that psychiatric hospitals have the legal right to do so if determined to be necessary.
An involuntary commitment, a 302 - is an application for emergency evaluation and treatment for persons who are a danger to themselves or others due to a mental illness. A person applying for the 302 because they are concerned about another is referred to as a petitioner. They do not have to be related to the person they are identifying as needing "emergency evaluation", nor do they have to be a qualified medical/health practitioner. A person with a 302 on their record will not be able to pass a background check for owning a firearm/weapon for the rest of their lives.
Moreover, under the previous (Obama) administration more restrictions were put on military veterans purchasing/owning firearms. When veterans registered to speak to someone at their nearest Veterans Affairs office for transition assistance into civilian life-they were often designated as "needy" and "defective"-incredible as this may seem it happened to tens of thousands of veterans. These veterans were already "red flagged" without knowing they were put on a list as "mentally defective" or "mentally incompetent" simply because they were asking for support.
"The VA suggests many of the veterans they deem “incompetent” and need financial assistance to manage their benefits, be categorized in the “mental defective” section. However, Grassley claims they fail to consider “whether a veteran is a danger to himself, herself, or others,” the federal standard for denying someone possession of a gun. He also noted the VA’s listings are too loose for the federal background check law’s standard." popularmilitary.com/veterans-unfairly-being-banned-from-owning-guns/
Did you know under the present system any federal agency can report people to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, (NCIS) but the VA's recommendations account for about 99 percent of the people who are listed in the mental defective category? thehill.com/regulation/administration/239012-doj-gun-ban-unfair-to-vets-republican-says
One terrible precedent is the case of US Marine Brandon Raub 26 years old. Brandon had served in both Iraq and Afghanistan from 2005-2011. Upon his return to the US in 2012, Brandon was forced from his home in his underwear and when he struggled with police to try and get his clothes on and ask why he was being arrested, he was cuffed and dragged to the police car which brought him to a psychiatric hospital. The Chesterfield, Virginia police told him the FBI and Secret Service were concerned he was mentally ill because of his facebook posts which said nothing more than constructive questioning and criticism of the Obama and other administrations. He did not have post traumatic stress. His mother and other family said he was fine, never violent, not a danger to himself or others. He did not own a gun. They do not know who initiated these actions against Brandon Raub. The FBI and Secret Service denied involvement. There have been other similar cases in other states since then.
John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, said the following:
"For government officials to not only arrest Brandon Raub for doing nothing more than exercising his First Amendment rights, but to actually force him to undergo psychological evaluations and detain him against his will goes against every constitutional principle this country was founded upon. This should be a wake-up call to Americans that the police state is here.
Whitehead stated that every year in Virginia more than 20,000 people are committed under similar circumstances and "that means a lot of people are disappearing" under the pretext of mental illness.
"I'm friends with the local police; I could call them right now and probably get you committed if you were in Virginia," Whitehead said. "They can arrive at your door based on somebody's testimony or your Facebook page and take you away to a mental hospital. There's a system here that is corrupt".
Yet when there have been individuals with a history of serious mental illness, repeated threats of suicide and harm to others, reported calls to local police with threats-these individuals were not even questioned by mental health authorities, police or the FBI and a few of them ended up being mass shooters in Texas, Florida, Ohio and California. There certainly are cases where it is legitimate to detain and evaluate someone due to cause. We already have systems in place for this in America-they are just under utilized or people are afraid of getting "involved" or doing their job diligently with follow on. We don't need more "red flag" laws - we need to enforce and utilize those already in place. We need competent court workers, social workers and mental health workers who do not let their own bias and agendas dictate their diagnoses.
The tactics and strategies against someone seen as 'dissenting' against the government is all too reminiscent of the Soviet gulags and mental hospitals used as prisons to silence any opposition to their regime. The Soviet hospitals used medications/drugs/electric shock to subdue their opponents. Brandon Raub was 302d because a police officer thought he needed more "evaluation" so he was forced to stay in a psych ward in a mental hospital and take medication for a further 30 days. One wonders if these were "beta tests" in the USA?! Can you see the potential for abuse of both the involuntary commitment to mental hospitals laws and the "red flag laws" nexus? Ever seen the movie "Minority Report"? A cautionary predictive programming film. I recommend you watch it soon.
Closing tonight with a song from the band Guns and Roses entitled: 'Welcome to the Jungle' a classic rock band and piece still relevant as we approach 2020.
Hell No - We Won't Give Our Guns to the Government - My Texas Ties Are Strong and Real Texans Will Never Stop Supporting and Fighting for Our Second Amendment! Remember to Keep Your Reactions Sharp. Shooting is a Perishable Skill.
Till next week,