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Red Flag Laws

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Your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker is as horrified about the recent mass shootings as any other red-blooded American. It seems as if every few days we have another tragedy caused by a sicko with a gun. Yesterday, a lone gunman killed seven and wounded another 22 innocent people in Odessa and Midland, Texas – including two law enforcement officers (LEOs). This latest shooting in Texas taking place just more than three weeks after the El Paso shooting left 22 dead and another 24 injured.

Unfortunately, the liberal media and politicians wasted no time using a tragedy to promote their narrative that guns kill and need to be restricted by “common-sense” gun reform. Here are a few of their most recent pronouncements from the gun grabbers on the Left:

From the Politicians

From the Media

Common Responses from the Left

There is a common theme perpetuated in many of these Twitter posts. Stand up to the National Rifle Association (NRA), gun manufacturers and if you are Beto O’Rourke, “This is fucked up!” The media is expounding how Texas laws just taking effect have loosened gun regulations and Congress just “needs to act.” But is there anything any liberal is expounding which would prevent one of these mass shootings? In the humble opinion of Grey Beard, the answer is a resounding NO! Not one of the politicians, talking heads or opinion writers has proposed one idea which would do anything to prevent the next mass shooting.

Commonalities in Mass Shootings

Reflecting back on recent mass shootings, there are commonalities.

  1. Warning signs witnessed by people that knew the shooter
  2. Manifestos or social media posts which should have tipped authorities off
  3. The shooters were loners or had been scorned or bullied
  4. Mental health issues

While these four bullet points certainly are not all inclusive, each of these mass murderers most likely exhibited one of these things. Maybe more.

What Is Being Proposed

The list of things being proposed by the politicians filling the Twitter and Facebook timelines are worn out and very tired:

  1. Stand up to the NRA
  2. Pass Universal Background Checks
  3. Pass more Red Flag Laws
  4. Require guns and gun owners be federally or state licensed
  5. Enact an Assault Weapons Ban
  6. Enact bans on high capacity magazines
  7. Enact bans on semi-automatic weapons
  8. Confiscate assault weapons

Let Grey Beard dissect these. First, the NRA does not support, defend or otherwise turn a blind eye to mass shooters – or for that matter, any criminal. Nor do the manufacturers of firearms. Universal Background Checks will not close any “loophole” which exists – because there are no loopholes. These background checks require gun registration in order to know if a gun is being transferred between private citizens – which will never happen. Federal and state licensing of guns and gun owners is nothing more than a feel-good proposition which would only serve to create another bureaucracy which can’t get out of its own way. High capacity magazine, assault weapon and semi-automatic bans could be enacted, but without confiscation what good would a ban do? And confiscation will Never. Ever. Happen.

I have purposely saved the Red Flag Law bullet point for last. While they may seem “commonsense,” these laws are an assault on the Bill of Rights – specifically illegal search and seizures of property and due process. To learn more about this, please read my previous post on these laws: Red Flag Laws – What You Need to Know.

Grey Beard Biker Knows What Will Work

Being that I am the Grey Beard Biker, and he is very wise with regards to firearms, here are the list of things which will help prevent the next mass shooting.

  1. End the non-stop stream of 24 hour news on these events. Never name the suspected gunman. Many of these people are incredibly narcissistic and want to become famous – even if it’s for being a mass murderer. It is at least refreshing that the Midland shooter was not named for over 24 hours and you can count on me never giving the assknozzle any publicity.
  2. If a friend, family member or fellow student is threatening to kill or maim people call the police. This is common sense. We do not need Red Flag Laws to make this an effective tool to stop the next killer.
  3. Enforce all existing Federal and state gun laws – especially those dealing with obtaining and purchasing a firearm. ATF Form 4473 provides severe criminal penalties for someone trying to purchase a firearm illegally. You are an illegal purchaser if you are: purchasing the gun for anyone but yourself (straw purchase), felon or under an indictment for a felony, fugitive from justice, unlawful drug user, mentally defective, were dishonorably discharged from the armed forces or convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. Lying on Form 4473 can carry a five year prison sentence.
  4. Require every state to provide the FBI with all voluntary and involuntary mental health commitments on a timely basis. These records are what allows the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to deny gun purchases to those with a background of mental illness. Mental health issues are the very root of mass shootings. These shootings are not crimes of passion. They are perpetrated by mentally ill individuals that should not be allowed to own firearms. Unfortunately several states submit few, if any, mental health records: Rhode Island, Vermont, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Montana, New Hampshire and Alaska. Others report sporadically. This will inevitably be the cause of another tragedy.

Our current FBI/NICS system is a very good system. It has its flaws, but with proper state reporting, it will be vastly improved. But none of these improvements to NICS will help if the Department of Justice does not prosecute violators immediately – and to the fullest extent of the law. A September 2016 DOJ Inspector General report showed that from 2008 through 2015 only 254 violations of Form 4473 were even considered for prosecution by the local U.S. Attorney’s Office. These are people trying to buy firearms illegally. The actual prosecution rate revealed by the IG Report was 0.04%. This is beyond abysmal. Get these people off the street and prosecute them!

Together, we can help prevent these saddening mass shootings.

Grey Beard Biker
@GreyBeard_Biker on Twitter

These days are quite divisive. They never fail to make your ever-lovable Grey Beard Biker take pause – and inventory – of the things which are important to us. Specifically, the 1st and 2nd amendments. Freedom of Speech and the right to “Keep and Bear Arms” are central to the founding and long-term health of the United States. Today, the liberal Mainstream Media (MSM) and many leftist congresspeople would like to take action to restrict both amendments.

First, let’s look at some of the assaults on the 1st Amendment – specifically its clauses which provides us Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Assembly. We see blatant disregard for this from the MSM and liberal politicians.

  1. The left is constantly trying to restrict Freedom of Speech. It is done by squashing conservative speech on social platforms where Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are throttling conservative free speech. They restrict who can see our posts and even our search results on Google, Yahoo and Bing. They do not want our message getting out.
  2. Today’s press is highly aligned with liberal and socialist ideologies. When breaking news which does not fit their narrative takes place, you will hardly see a mention of it in print or any major network (NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN Et. Al.) – a good example of which is the recent mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio. None of the supposed “unbiased media” mentioned that the shooter was a YUGE supporter of Elizabeth Warren.
  3. Freedom of Assembly is being trampled on constantly by politicians, hate groups (Antifa) and social justice groups like the Women’s March. These groups will counter protest against non-violent assembly of conservatives at every turn. Antifa, specifically, will resort to violence against groups they do not agree with, as witnessed recently in Portland, Oregon.
  4. Liberal legislators continually attack Trump, and his supporters, as being Racist Xenophobes, to try and extinguish our message. This is pure hatred and is used to suppress our voices.

Red Flag Laws Are Harmful to the Second Amendment

The latest feel good “commonsense” gun reform, being proposed regularly, appears to be so-called Red Flag Laws. These are also known as (AKA): Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs). They are being positioned as a regulation which the majority of law-abiding gun owners support. This is pure hogwash. Once you understand more about these ridiculous laws, no law-abiding gun owner – especially those who partake in Concealed Carry – would ever support these laws.

Several states have passed ERPOs including Vermont, Washington, Illinois, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada, Indiana, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Colorado, Maryland, Delaware, Hawaii and Florida. What’s most surprising about this list is that several of these states have been considered very Pro-2A:  Nevada, Indiana and Florida. Florida enacted their Red Flag Law in the wake of the Parkland Shooting.

Red Flag Laws = No Due Process

So, what specifically do most of these Red Flag Laws attempt to do? In the event that someone you know considers you a danger to yourself, or others, they can go to a court and seek an ERPO against you. If the judge grants the motion for the ERPO, law enforcement will come to your home, unannounced, and remove all of your guns. This may seem “commonsense,” but it is anything but. The biggest issue with these laws is what talk radio host, Dana Loesch (Dana Radio) calls, “inverted due process.” These ERPOs are granted Ex Parte. This means that you are not able to be there to represent yourself. Hell, you won’t even know it’s going on until they come for your guns. If you were aware this was taking place you would have the opportunity to hire an attorney and defend yourself against what is nothing more than an illegal seizure of your personal property. Making matters worse, in some states, is that an ex-spouse/lover, neighbor, acquaintance or even someone who barely knows you can make such a claim – not just someone very close to you. This is a total perversion of another one of our Bill of Rights: Amendment IV, regarding unreasonable searches and seizures.

The last pitfall of these laws is that in most cases, besides being “guilty until proven innocent,” you have very limited recourse to repossess your improperly seized property (guns). Most of the states with these laws require you wait a specified amount of time to petition the court to remove the ERPO. Plus, there is a cost to do so, as you will probably have to hire an attorney to represent what should be an inalienable right – the right to keep and bear arms – a right which the 2nd Amendment says, “shall not be infringed.” Obviously, the leftists do not care about this amendment.

Act today. Contact your state, local and Federal legislators and let them know you do not want them to support Red Flag Laws!

Grey Beard Biker
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter