“Concerned a Co-Worker Is Dangerous?” a KQED News headline asks. “Bill Would Let You Petition State to Take Their Guns.”
To make the case for adding to the state’s citizen disarmament options, a couple examples are given of California “gun violence restraining orders” being used to take guns away under petitions filed by family members or law enforcement officers. This latest push expands the list of those eligible to initiate gun seizures to employers, co-workers, high school and college staff members and mental health workers.
The expansion is the “brainchild” of Assemblyman Phil Ting, unsurprisingly a San Francisco Democrat, and this is actually his second attempt to enact it. Also unsurprisingly, both times have been in response to murders that happened in so-called “gun-free zones,” where the killers evidently didn’t get the message (or more likely, got it loud and clear).
That this doesn’t sink in with Ting’s constituents is also no surprise. His violating Assembly rules by “ghost voting” didn’t bother them enough to give him his walking papers. And the unvarnished support he received from convicted “gun criminal” (and former rabidly “anti-gun” California politician) Leland Yee hasn’t raised any eyebrows in his district either.
On the surface – to those who don’t look too deeply below it – protection orders can sound reasonable and what the gun-grabbers call “common sense” (as long as you don’t question American citizens being stripped of a fundamental right without being convicted of anything). And that has put the ACLU, of all groups, on the right side of the issue and at odds with the NRA and no shortage of supposed “conservatives.” Per their Rhode Island chapter:
“The heart of the legislation’s [Extreme Risk Protection Order] 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 protection order bandwagon. Ditto for President Donald Trump and for NRA “A”-rated Lindsey Graham, who couldn’t team up fast enough with “F”- rated Richard Blumenthal… Unsurprisingly for those of us who follow such things, the same goes for the National Rifle Association. (Hear for yourself starting at 3:15 in their video. Saying “they should have strong due process protections” does not change the fact that such orders really don’t, and can’t by their very nature.)
“[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 are better positioned to launch their next assault. Meanwhile, they’ll still continue screaming how the “uncompromising and extremist” NRA is “a terrorist organization” 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.
Well on its way down that slope, California is on a “gun control” binge reminiscent of an eye-rolling shark feeding frenzy. Thanks to practically unchallengeable Democrat dominance, it has the votes to do pretty much whatever it wants, so don’t be surprised if Ting’s bill passes this time, and that after it does, he and his fellow gun-grabbers, both in and outside of California, will be demanding more.
—Guest post by David Codrea
A long-time gun rights activist and grassroots leader, David Codrea has been writing professionally on the subject of the right to keep and bear arms since 1999. Initially writing for GUNS & AMMO magazine, then moving on to HANDGUNS before spending the last eight years at GUNS, where he is a field editor producing the monthly Rights Watch column.
In 2007, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms named Codrea Gun Rights Defender of the Month for persuading the Bush administration to strike collective rights language from the Federal Register in an FAA ruling. Codrea’s groundbreaking work exposing the Fast and Furious ATF gun-walking scandal earned him the title of Journalist of the Year in 2009 by the Second Amendment Foundation, a co-recipient of Soldier of Fortune Magazine’s 2nd Amendment Freedom Fighter Award, and Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership’s David and Goliath Award for his work on that story.