By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) In the wake of a pair of mass shootings on the same day a week ago, Americans around the country are increasingly angry and desperate for “something” to be done.
Without a doubt, these shootings are occurring more and more frequently. And yes, Americans are right to be upset about them. But looking at the various proposals being floated to ‘do something’ — in Washington and in capitals around the country — the so-called solutions are not only going to be injurious to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but they also won’t alleviate the problem.
Democrats’ playbook on dealing with these incidents is the same today as it’s been throughout the mass shooting era: Limit access to firearms, ban certain classes of firearms, and deprive Americans of their right to choose their self-defense tool. In other words, violate the “infringement” clause of the Second Amendment and in doing so, make people more vulnerable.
The difference today, however, is that a number of Republicans — once the party of the Second Amendment — are wavering in their defense of the right in order to appease a political party and anti-gun movement to the detriment of public safety and constitutional order.
They are even going so far as to couch their proposals in constitutional language, as Gov. Mike DeWine (R) of Ohio is doing.
On Sunday, during an interview on Fox News, he proposed something called a “Personal Protection Law” that walks, talks, and acts and awful lot like those rights-destroying “red flag” laws.
“What we propose, we don’t call a ‘red flag order,’ what we call it is a personal protection order,” he began. “We use that term because it has built into it constitutional protections.”
DeWine went onto say that he crafted the bill “with help from our Second Amendment friends,” ostensibly to ensure that a person’s guns are not taken away from them improperly or illegally.
But according to DeWine’s rather pained explanation, the law he’s proposing works much like a red flag law: Someone — a family member, friend, association — reports a person to police as being potentially dangerous, and police go to court to get a “personal protection order,” leading to the confiscation of the reported person’s firearms.
What part of that is ensuring that the person’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms and to due process are protected?
DeWine says, “You can’t take someone’s gun unless a judge makes that determination.”
Well, right. Like a red flag law.
“What our law would say is that if someone is a threat to themselves or a threat to others, you could go into court — the family can, it’s usually the family — or the police can go in,” he says.
Right. Like a red flag law.
And it wouldn’t just cover mental health. “Our law would say, someone who has a ‘propensity for violence,’ for example,” he continued. “Someone who is, for instance, a chronic alcoholic. So there are a number of different things that could trigger it, and the court would have to determine if the person is a menace to themselves or society.”
Just like a red flag law.
Fox News host Bill Hemmer made that point. He said what DeWine laid out is a proposal ripe for the same kind of abuses and denial of due process as red flag laws in other states. “How do you prevent that?” he asked.
“You prevent it, Bill, by the way we’ve written the law,” DeWine said, laying out a scenario in which an angry neighbor might want to report a gun owner to police. “You have to go to court. A judge has to make that determination.”
Sorry, governor. You can dress this up with another name and claim that it has “protections” built-in. But if the bottom-line premise of the law is that a court can “make a determination” to deprive an American citizen who has yet to commit a crime of his or her rights and property, that’s not due process and it is certainly an infringement on that person’s Second Amendment rights.
And on the back end, though rights have been demolished and the Left has won another victory on the road to dismantling our constitutional system, there will still be mass shootings.
“Doing something” should not include laws offered by Republicans that are not just as unconstitutional as what Democrats are pushing but every bit as impractical and ultimately ineffective, just under another name.
We’ve been down this path many times before. It’s time we stopped doubling and tripling down on failure just to assuage a political party that does not have our best interests at heart.
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