Copper John: Red Flag Laws And The Left’s End Run Around The 2nd Amendment

A NEW original OP-ED authored by The New Americanist’s own Copper John…

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The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is very specific and narrow in scope on the issue of personal gun ownership. It states:

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.”

The Second Amendment is the shortest and most concise of all the Amendments in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights and it couldn’t be worded clearer or easier to understand.  This particular amendment refers to well regulated militias, self defense and the RIGHT of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms.  But perhaps the most significant words in this Amendment are, “…shall not be infringed.”  This is the ONLY place in the entire Constitution where this particular phrase is used; as the Founding Fathers believed the Government of the United States should not in any way ever be allowed to impede the right of the PEOPLE to self defense by keeping and bearing arms.

However, gun control laws slowly began to appear on the books starting in the early 20th Century. The VERY first national gun control law was the National Firearms Act of 1934 which imposed a two hundred dollar tax on the manufacture, sales & importation of items such as silencers, short barreled shotguns and machine guns.  That particular piece of legislation was riddled with so many flaws that it needed to be redrafted many times before it actually passed. The next very significant Supreme Court ruling came in 1939 (United States v. Miller :: 307 U.S. 174) when the court ruled Congress could in fact regulate the interstate sales of short barreled shotguns. This landmark Supreme Court ruling was based on the argument that since a specific type of weapon did not have an apparent association to being required in a well regulated militia, the Second Amendment did not guarantee the individual’s right to own & keep such an weapon. 

Lawmakers would later use this ruling as a precedent to justify increased regulation of other specific types of weapons. The end result of this Government meddling in the Second Amendment has resulted in a type of selective infringement where Government has assumed the role of selectively dictating which kind of weapons Americans may own and which they may not. In other words, a way of equivocating the Second Amendment while still being able to claim the People are free to own guns.

Since the National Firearms Act of 1934 was passed, there has been constant series of back and fourth Supreme Court rulings attempting to redefine what exactly is Constitutional and not Constitutional in regards to the freedom to keep and bear arms. However, a new form of legislative infringement has emerged to become popular with lawmakers during the last decade: Red Flag Laws.

A Red Flag Law is a law which allows local law enforcement officials to confiscate a person’s firearms if that person has been deemed to be a danger to himself or others. Most of these Red Flag Laws are written in such a way they do not require any proof that a person may actually pose some sort of danger. In many cases, all that’s required is for an accusation to be made and then the guns can be confiscated.  In 2022, President Joe Biden signed the “Safer Communities Act,” a “bipartisan” bill labeled as a gun safety bill. The language of this bill’s name is quite significant and worth noting because the strategy of anti-gun legislators is now to call anti-gun legislation a “gun safety” bill rather than what it really is, a “gun control” bill.

The Safer Communities Acts is undeniably a gun control bill as it contains legal provisions for the Government to take guns away from Americans. The Safer Communities Acts was sponsored and endorsed by RINO Republicans such as John Cornyn, Tom Tillis, Suzanne Collins, Mitt Romney, Lindsey Graham and all the other usual suspects. This bill focuses on school safety, mental health and of course, expanding Red Flag Laws across the country at the state level. As in so many other policy bills involving “bipartisan cooperation,” the Republicans have basically given the Democrats everything they wanted.

When we take a closer look at these Red Flag laws, we find lots of room for anyone to accuse someone of being an extreme risk. The wording may vary from state to state; but generally, family members, friends, co-workers, doctors and a host of other types of social acquaintances are able to make these types of accusations. Once an accusation has been made, it’s usually taken before a judge to provide a hearing for the parties involved.  Second Amendment supporters maintain that a simple hearing is not enough to determine if a person is a risk. They also insist a single hearing lacks sufficient due process and deprives a person of their Second Amendment rights. However when challenged, many courts have upheld these rulings and claim they are enough to satisfy the constitutional standard of due process. Judges can make these kind of rulings without the testimony of expert witnesses, personal physicians or mental health professionals.  Evidence is presented from both sides and then the judge can simply make a decision if the firearms should be taken from the accused. The newest Red Flag Law in Oregon doesn’t even provide the accused a means of later appeal to clear their name after the Red Flag Law ruling has gone into effect.

One very important thing to note about these Red Flag Laws is the specific legal wording.  Once someone is publicly accused of being a danger either to themselves or others in order to trigger the process, the accusation can be made regardless of whether any specific threat has been demonstrated. This opens up an entire range of possible abuses of these laws. If a neighbor does not like the fact a gun owner lives next door; or that their neighbor may carry or fire guns on their own property, they can invoke a Red Flag case just for their own “safety.”  We are now seeing many veterans who have not been in combat during the last 20 years refuse important treatments they so desperately need for conditions such as PTSD and other mental health issues specifically because of these Red Flag Laws. Knowing that their physicians could make accusations against them to deprive them of their Second Amendment rights has made veterans very apprehensive about seeking the mental health support they may desperately need. Regardless, government confiscation of firearms from veterans has not slowed the rate at which veterans are killing themselves. They are just forced to find other methods of suicide.

So here we are, now.  Almost anyone can make an accusation directed at almost anyone else they believe presents some type of “danger” or “extreme risk” before a judge who can immediately order the confiscation of firearms from that individual without proper due process.  All that’s required to deprive an American citizen of their God given, constitutional right to provide for their own self defense is a single accusation followed by an informal hearing. Not a trial to prove GUILT OR INNOCENCE. It’s not only the Second Amendment which is now under attack, but also the 4th Amendment which provides that no one may be deprived of their life, liberty and property without DUE PROCESS. The Second Amendment is also the lynchpin which protects the First Amendment, so in effect, the legislative dilution and corruption of the Second Amendment diminishes the power of the entire Bill Of Rights.

An armed society is a polite society, and a society which respects the Rule Of Law. Deliberate attempts to infringe upon the Second Amendment in the United States has created a more dangerous environment where criminals are empowered because they no longer fear for their safety as a deterrent to crime. Infringement of the Second Amendment has actually greatly increased criminal gun violence; the exact opposite outcome of what our politicians claim. The Constitution is very clear, “…shall not be infringed” means exactly what it says as written and is not open to constant reinterpretations; yet our lawmakers continue to believe it is their job to limit the most important of our guaranteed freedoms and rights; the right to personal self defense. All under the claim of their concern for “public safety.”  Americans must DEMAND now that we return again to strict national adherence to pure constitutional principles; if for any reason, in order to provide for our own self defense against this corrupt and intrusive government. ✪

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