USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “The city’s police department became the first law enforcement agency in the state to force the surrender of a firearm under a new law known as an ‘extreme risk protection order,’” KOMO News reported. “The incident involves a man who lives in Belltown, who neighbors said had been intimidating people for the past year – even staring-down customers through store-front windows with a gun holstered at his side.”
“There is no statute that addresses whether you can or can’t openly carry,” the Washington State Office of the Attorney General’s website advises, clearly meaning to discourage the practice but not empowered by law to do anything about it.
Hey, maybe the guy is a danger, as a police media advisory suggests, although we should note that if he is, he didn’t go down guns a-blazing when they came for his. Maybe he’s crazy as a loon, which a .25 as his defensive sidearm of choice might suggest. Then again, perhaps it was all he could afford and I wouldn’t automatically dismiss the deterrent effect such a weapon can have as evidenced by the reaction of hysterical locals, nor its effectiveness in a pinch.
But that hasn’t been proven. He’s been disarmed without being convicted of anything. And that concerns, of all groups, the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island:
“The heart of the legislation’s ERPO process requires speculation – on the part of both the petitioner and judges – about an individual’s risk of possible violence. But, the ACLU analysis notes: ‘Psychiatry and the medical sciences have not succeeded in this realm, and there is no basis for believing courts will do any better. The result will likely be a significant impact on the rights of many innocent individuals in the hope of preventing a tragedy.’”
But that hasn’t stopped so-called “conservative” pundits from jumping on the ERPO bandwagon.
And “A”-rated Lindsey Graham, who couldn’t team up fast enough with “F”- rated Richard Blumenthal…
Unsurprisingly for those of us who have been following such things (and subsequently enduring the scorn of Fairfax loyalists), the same goes for the National Rifle Association. (UPDATE: Hear for yourself starting at 3:15 in their video. Following that up by saying “they should have strong due process protections” does not change the fact that they really don’t and can’t by their very nature.)
With their sudden affinity for prior restraint gun owner control, they really offer no consistent reason why they wouldn’t also push for actress Troian Bellisario’s idiotic Everytown “boyfriend loophole.” Logically, there is no reason why they wouldn’t support it.
So is NRA’s new position that “gun control” works? Or just the kind they endorse?
“[A]s they are currently implemented, these laws come with major pitfalls and potential for serious abuse,” Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership warns. “They violate the principles of liberty and establish a dangerous ‘guilty until proven innocent’ standard. GVROs and ERPOs passed to date violate multiple Constitutional protections beyond the Second Amendment. These include the rights to equal treatment and against unreasonable search and seizure (4th amendment), the rights of the accused (6th), and the right to due process (5th and 14th).”
And, of course, there’s another indisputable reality that none of the proponents of restraining orders want to even acknowledge, let alone talk about:
“Anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted without a custodian.”
If proven violent persons are still truly dangerous, Robert J. Kukla made a brilliant observation in his 1973 classic “Gun Control,” equating their release from prison with opening the cage of a man-eating tiger and expecting a different result.
If there is “clear, convincing, admissible evidence” that a supposedly “restrained” party is a danger, how is it responsible to allow such a menace access to the rest of us until such time as it can be established that he is no longer a threat? Does anyone think he couldn’t kill with something else? Or, noting routine headlines from places like Chicago and Baltimore, that he couldn’t get a gun? Why wouldn’t he be separated from society, after being afforded real “due process,” with all appropriate protections of course?
Concessions on these measures by the NRA, which in turn gives the green light to Republicans, is nothing short of preemptive surrender. It won’t stop the Democrats from coming back for even more, especially as they perceive they can now effortlessly establish positions from which to launch their next assault. Meanwhile, they’ll still continue screaming how the “uncompromising and extremist” NRA is “a terrorist organization” (and talk about people who need to have ERVOs filed against them if allegations are all that are needed) and that Republicans are “fascists.”
We know where the “slippery slope” leads, and that the violence monopolists want it all. Giving them anything makes as much sense as tossing a scrap of flesh to a circling pack of jackals and believing that will satisfy them and make them go away.
It’s impossible to believe our “gun rights leaders” don’t know that, which makes it fair to ask — all their defiant fundraising rhetoric about the Second Amendment aside (you know, the one that says “shall not be infringed”) — just how much are they prepared to surrender, and at what point will they become effectively indistinguishable from the “bad” gun-grabbers?
Is this really, as some would have us believe, an elaborate game of three-dimensional chess that we “shall not be infringed” zealots are just too unsophisticated to see and appreciate? Or is the emperor really not wearing any clothes?
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.