Texas/United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- The controversy over “red flag” laws, also known as Emergency Response Protection Orders (ERPO), is not going away. Anti-Second Amendment extremists have been pushing versions that are being signed into law. The first problem is that those versions have real problems. The second problem is that after the repeated screw-ups of the bumbling cowards of Broward County and the FBI’s fumbling of two tips prior to Parkland, there is a real desire to see some form of EPRO passed.
Now, Senator Marco Rubio is coming under fire for his support of one flawed bill – but Rubio is no foe of our rights. The fact is, Second Amendment supporters owe Rubio a huge debt of gratitude for outing the desire of Bloomberg and his ilk to ban all semi-automatic firearms during that CNN orgy of Second Amendment shaming they claimed was a town hall. Rubio, even though his current bill is flawed, is likely to be open to polite feedback about the problems with that bill. But that feedback needs to be backed up by a push from other pro-Second Amendment officials.
There is good news: Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a very strong supporter of our rights, is working to highlight matters of concern for Second Amendment supporters on the “red flag”/ERPO issue.
During a hearing on the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act, he questioned David Kopel of the Independence Institute as to which states did protect due process.
Kopel noted that Connecticut had an excellent procedure for starting the “red flag” process by requiring an independent investigation prior to a hearing. He also praised Vermont’s system for not only having penalties for false and malicious allegations, but also for allowing someone who did get placed in a “red flag” law to hand the firearms over to a federally licensed dealer or to someone else.
Some might complain that Cruz is “negotiating rights away” or selling out, but that is not the case. He's giving vulnerable pro-Second Amendment supporters cover to oppose the “red flag” laws proposed by anti-Second Amendment extremists. The testimony Cruz elicited in question also managed to reveal the insincerity of one major gun control group, which opposed a process to create a uniform “red flag” law with due process protections.
It’s not – it’s smart strategy. The fact of the matter is that we can’t beat every anti-Second Amendment proposal with nothing but assertions that it violates the Second Amendment. Sometimes, we need to have an alternative proposal so that elected officials who support the Second Amendment can have cover to vote against the worst anti-Second Amendment proposals.
In the best case, it means our rights remain intact for the short term, buying us time to educate the general public and win hearts and minds. In the worst case, it limits the damage done to our rights. But both options help keep the pro-Second Amendment officials in place, where they can slice away at bad laws, advance good legislation, and even limit damage when all else fails. Before you damn the pre-ILA NRA for the 1968 Gun Control Act, remember that LBJ wanted a federal licensing and registration scheme – and the NRA stopped it.
Keep in mind, Ted Cruz came off a shockingly close Senate race against Beto O’Rourke last year. He will need Second Amendment supporters to pull him over the line in 2024, whether for another presidential run or for re-election to the Senate. The focus every two years should be to not only keep him and those like him in office, but to send them reinforcements and to educate the public so as to increase our options against the anti-Second Amendment nonsense too many politicians introduce.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.