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USA Today thinks California’s newly-enacted gun violence restraining orders are a wonderful idea. Because mainstream media. When they wanted an opposing view to run alongside theirs, though, they asked RF to contribute a piece expressing the views of the pro-2A side. Here it is:

Last May, Elliot Rodger stabbed three men to death in his apartment. Rodger then struck four victims with his BMW and fatally shot three more. Investigating Rodger’s attacks, detectives removed a knife, a hammer and two machetes from his home, and secured his BMW . . .

Rodger’s heinous crimes didn’t stimulate a call for a knife violence restraining order, so relatives could get police to confiscate knives from mentally unstable family members. Or a BMW violence restraining order.

Why would they?

You can’t “psycho-killer-proof” or “suicide-proof” a house, workplace or neighborhood. Common sense says removing dangerously mentally ill people from society is the best — and safest — course of action.

And yet California lawmakers responded by creating the gun violence restraining order.

If a judge approves a relative’s disarmament request — and why wouldn’t they? — California police will remove a gun owner’s firearms without advance notice. The cops will also confiscate the GVRO subject’s “writings, documents, blueprints, drawings, photographs, computer printouts, microfilms, X-rays, files, diagrams, ledgers, books, tapes, audio and video recordings, films, and papers of any type or description.”

The restraining order’s greatest danger is not its obvious unconstitutionality (trampling due process) or irrelevance (deranged individuals ignore firearms prohibitions). The main problem is the huge potential for abuse by disaffected spouses and/or angry, jealous or greedy relatives.

The penalty for false testimony by a relative: a misdemeanor. The penalty for being the subject of a false report of suicidal or homicidal intentions: losing your gun rights for years, if not forever, and being disarmed against those who could harm you.

GVROs are nothing more than anti-gun grandstanding masquerading as public protection. The courts will eventually strike them down. Meanwhile, amoral people engaged in family feuds will use GVROs to settle scores, depriving mentally fit Americans of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms. How great is that?

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58 Responses to RF’s Counterpoint to USA Today’s Pro-GVRO Editorial

  1. Good work, RF.

    Too bad that so many readers will dismiss your commentary as the rant of a “gun nut,” simply because it does not align with their misinformed prejudices.

    The headline USA Today used (“Who would fight disarming the mentally ill?”) perfectly proves my point.

    • Thus the dichotomy perpetuates. Antis don’t like logic or anything that may shake their fragile grasp on reality. Or at least what they are told is reality. The difference is having or not having the ability to figure out what is really ruining this county.

      • The irony that the antis think the NRA is some shadowy, secret organization that caters to the very worst of capitalistic greed… but then turn around and call people who want the truth about Fast the the Furious “Conspiracy Nuts” never ceases to make me chuckle.

    • I didn’t see any reference to a deranged spouse (or ex) using the courts to disarm their victim before they kick in the door and do things that deranged people do. I do wonder how long that scenario will take to play out.

  2. Good work. I doubt anyone will ever be prosecuted in California for false testimony in a GVRO case.

  3. Well put. That last piece – “being disarmed against those who could harm you” – I think is the main point we should be taking. They don’t care about constitutional rights, so arguing constitutionality is a non-starter. But framing this as “what’s to stop an abusive husband from using this to disarm his spouse?” – that turns their own arguments around on them, and possibly frames the issue in a way their dysfunctioning minds can begin to reason about.

  4. confiscate the GVRO subject’s “writings, documents, blueprints, drawings, photographs, computer printouts, microfilms, X-rays, files, diagrams, ledgers, books, tapes, audio and video recordings, films, and papers of any type or description.”

    Really? That eliminates the ability of many American to FEED themselves as would destroy their JOB. Yet the GVRO does not remove knives, hammers, machetes or autos? WTF? Komifornia dimwits.

    • Thank you; I’m glad I scrolled down this time before running my…keyboard mouth.

      This significant factor you point out, if the law is as stated in the response – being thrown into financial purgatory by confiscation of one’s computer “…and papers of any type or description.” – is hardly a small inconvenience and should have been included, even if only a single line, in the response as one of the draconian consequences that can befall anyone falsely accused and singled out for a GVRO.

    • I doubt that this is true. This language derives from the provision of the Penal Code providing for the issuance of warrants.(PenalCode section 1524.) That section has now been amended by this bill to include a specific provision for a search warrant to issue to seize guns which are the subject of the GVRO. (Penal Code section 1524(a)(14).) (There is nothing in the GVRO law itself which talks about papers or seizures of computers or any such thing. The only documents it discusses are police reports, convictions, and documentary evidence of the purchase of firearms within the last six months that may be admissible at a hearing on the issuance of such an order (as bearing on the individuals propensity for violence or self harm).

  5. I figure the anti-gun folks do not care about the violence because they want to dis-arm all the victims!

    The criminals and press also support this position. Criminals for the safer working environment. Press because they make money.

    Being that I have friends in California, I feel sorry for the poor people of the state who can’t seem to get it together enough to vote out the idiots in office.

  6. Ahh yes, California. Love the redwoods, the mountains and the ocean. But it wasn’t until I left the state and moved to New Mexico that I could see how dysfunctional the state and it’s coastal inhabitants truly are.

  7. Easily 75% of the news stories, including those long atfer the knife aspect was known, on rodger’s crime state all killed were shot, or imply it by failing to mention that half were knifed burgeoned to death.

    Just go to ABC, CBS, NBC or CNN and look at the stories. Better look at their video coverage. ABC still has “shootings that killed six” top of the fold on their analysis written long after.

    What the left wont touch is the real risk on domestic violence by gun, knife or sexual abuse of partners and children: prior criminal arrest records. Do you think they will ever state the truth, which is that gun owning home s of non criminals are not actually any more dangerous whatsoever ever to household members, and the real risk factor is criminals in a home, be they armed with a knife, gun or simply fists.

    As far as the mentally ill they kill MORE often with knives and bludgeoning than with guns. Gang members and criminals who should be in jail use guns more often

    • Say this law existed prior to the day this turdsack carried out his plan, and they took away his firearms, drawings, microfiche, etc., but not his hammer and not the steak knives from the kitchen. On the anointed day, he bludgeons and then stabs to death three innocents, then goes after more with his car.

      But all is well in hoplophobe-land because nobody got shot?

      Who’s crazy, again?

      • Exactly, and the three he killed with a knife were young adult males. so much for a gun being easier to use for murder

  8. Good job RF. Sorry for anyone in California. Coming to a state near you. The young rodger could have easily been stopped. Daddy supported him, gave him an expensive car and generally had little to do with his obviously disturbed son…

  9. It’s all about the coin. Cost of legislative ink slap on paper is significantly less than paying for mental health and covers truth concerning multiple organizations knowing he had problems but failed to do anything. The drive to do “something” trumps due process while the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  10. so when do all of the Hollywood elites, with their private bodyguards, get the restraining order version of being swatted? Wouldn’t it be a hoot for their gun-toting guards to be named and thus render their masters defenseless? Or what about the California politicians who approved this stupidity? What about their guards? Let’s not forget the police, especially the county sheriffs. Yep – we all know how the stresses of their jobs take a toll, don’t we?

    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I see this silly law as a benefit. When the people that shoved it down California residents throats are victimized by it, it will be amazing to watch their Road to Damascas conversion.

    • If you think that a Progressive judge would let this stand against one of the Progressive elite for more than 10 minutes, well, I’ll believe it when I see it.

    • Not so fast, Dirk. These orders can only be obtained by a close family relative or the police (and the police already have the power to do exactly the same thing through a “5150” mental health hold–which results in a 10 year ban, not just a one year ban). Nor can I see how the orders could possibly be applied to armed bodyguards. The provisions allowing anyone to get such an order were dropped pretty early on. So I don’t think the Holly Wood elite or the politicians have anything to worry about from the public at large.

  11. Nice editorial. I would have added that the abused could be deprived not merely their firearms rights, but their right to read, write, watch movies or film their family gatherings, or even keep a checkbook record.

  12. I will be happy if I never see this chode’s picture or any other POS searching for their immortalization or infamy through horrible acts. WOW, that USA today headline couldnt be more biased if they tried…

    This past week I was watching Law and Order SVU with my wife (she loves it, just part of the marital deal) and there was an episode that literally took the story of Rodger and created an episode about it, complete with sexually frustrated youtube videos and all(the kid in the SVU show rode a bike however). The desire for our society to glamorize these people is sickening.

  13. I would have concentrated more on the constitutional issue of confiscating property without due process of law. Since the typical liberal doesn’t believe in an individual right to keep an bear arms and doesn’t believe guns are useful for self-defense, the slippery slope of taking property is the only argument they could possibly understand.

      • I’ve been thinking the same thing ever since this GVRO idea was hatched. Property, taking, no due process–that should kill it in a real court, if one can be found these days.

        • Actually, there is due process. First of all, there is a hearing before a judge before issuance of a temporary order. Evidence must be admissible, and testimony must be under oath. Further, the court must meet the following standard:
          18155. (a) (1) The court, before issuing an ex parte gun violence restraining order, shall examine on oath, the petitioner and any witness the petitioner may produce. (2) In lieu of examining the petitioner and any witness the petitioner may produce, the court may require the petitioner and any witness to submit a written affidavit signed under oath.

          (b) (1) In determining whether grounds for a gun violence restraining order exist, the court shall consider all evidence of the following:
          (A) A recent threat of violence or act of violence by the subject of the petition directed toward another.
          (B) A recent threat of violence or act of violence by the subject of the petition directed toward himself or herself.
          (C) A violation of an emergency protective order issued pursuant to Section 646.91 or Part 3 (commencing with Section 6240) of Division 10 of the Family Code that is in effect at the time the court is considering the petition.
          (D) A recent violation of an unexpired protective order issued pursuant to Part 4 (commencing with Section 6300) of Division 10 of the Family Code, Section 136.2, Section 527.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure, or Section 213.5 or 15657.03 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
          (E) A conviction for any offense listed in Section 29805.
          (F) A pattern of violent acts or violent threats within the past 12 months, including, but not limited to, threats of violence or acts of violence by the subject of the petition directed toward himself, herself, or another.

          (2) In determining whether grounds for a gun violence restraining order exist, the court may consider any other evidence of an increased risk for violence, including, but not limited to, evidence of any of the following:
          (A) The unlawful and reckless use, display, or brandishing of a firearm by the subject of the petition.
          (B) The history of use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force by the subject of the petition against another person.
          (C) Any prior arrest of the subject of the petition for a felony offense.
          (D) Any history of a violation by the subject of the petition of an emergency protective order issued pursuant to Section 646.91 or Part 3 (commencing with Section 6240) of Division 10 of the Family Code.
          (E) Any history of a violation by the subject of the petition of a protective order issued pursuant to Part 4 (commencing with Section 6300) of Division 10 of the Family Code, Section 136.2, Section 527.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure, or Section 213.5 or 15657.03 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
          (F) Documentary evidence, including, but not limited to, police reports and records of convictions, of either recent criminal offenses by the subject of the petition that involve controlled substances or alcohol or ongoing abuse of controlled substances or alcohol by the subject of the petition.
          (G) Evidence of recent acquisition of firearms, ammunition, or other deadly weapons.

          (3) For the purposes of this subdivision, “recent” means within the six months prior to the date the petition was filed.

          The order is only good for 21 days (I said 15 days somewhere else, but it is 21), at which point there is a hearing. At the hearing, the petitioner shall have the burden of proving, by clear and convincing evidence, that both of the following are true:
          (1) The subject of the petition, or a person subject to an ex parte gun violence restraining order, as applicable, poses a significant danger of personal injury to himself, herself, or another by having in his or her custody or control, owning, purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm or ammunition.
          (2) A gun violence restraining order is necessary to prevent personal injury to the subject of the petition, or the person subject to an ex parte gun violence restraining order, as applicable, or another because less restrictive alternatives either have been tried and found to be ineffective, or are inadequate or inappropriate for the circumstances of the subject of the petition, or the person subject to an ex parte gun violence restraining order, as applicable.
          (c) (1) If the court finds that there is clear and convincing evidence to issue a gun violence restraining order, the court shall issue a gun violence restraining order that prohibits the subject of the petition from having in his or her custody or control, owning, purchasing, possessing, or receiving, or attempting to purchase or receive, a firearm or ammunition.
          (2) If the court finds that there is not clear and convincing evidence to support the issuance of a gun violence restraining order, the court shall dissolve any temporary emergency or ex parte gun violence restraining order then in effect.

  14. Great reply RF. Too bad USA Today’s editors chose the cute way to set up the slant. Reminds me of the cheesy NPR radio show, where the host put yiu up vs Assemblywoman Skinner, and pulled the ringer out of the reader responses, to try to score points with anti-2A activists, while ignoring the many mental health professionals and social sorkers who pleaded for attention to the long underfunded facikities, and lack of training for LEOs, that Skinner claimed “she was workkng on for months prior. ”

    Instead, we Californians got a duplicative and confusing set of new laws and guidelines, aimed at confiscating one ‘tool’ of a mentally ill person, instead of the help they need, or the training LEOs need to recognize the issue, and get them help.

    All I see is lots more work for divorce attorneys, and more abuse of the already stretched thin California county family and probate courts. Which, I guess if you look at the backgrounds of those elected officials in Sacramento, makes perfect sense to them.

    I dont see thoughtful media in CA or the nation discussing this, which, sadly does not surprise me, much, at this point either. The lesson learned, as proven by the the lessons presented in the scholarly research paper, and now available on kindle, “The Rise of The Anti-Media”, or more broadly in the prescient “Army of Davids” by constitutional law Professor Glenn Reynolds,

    is this: that citizens have to look outside the ‘traditional media’ for factual news, when it has become corrupted to the lowest of lost credinilty in the annals of yellow journalism, for the sake of Prgressive v2.0.

    And what works; to continue to work in grassroots up organizations, when traditional politics become non-representative, as in California, now controleld by the Democratic Party, in the State Legislature for decades, including a veto proof super majority fof the last two years. And in the courts, where at least we see proof of the continuing trend to ensuring our rights as free individuals, vs a tyrranical state, are slowly being won, in spite of court packing and obstructionism, as we see happening, in the stonewalling of POTUS own Pettiest AG, Kamala Harris. Say, didng her brother in law just resign the DOJ #3 top job, the prize for bundling San Fran limo liberal bucks of Obama in 2012. Hmmm. Might there be a story there?

    Sacramento has become the poster child for the abuse of citizens rights, and hypocrisy, and somhow I am not a bit surprised the USAToday article misses the background, and the irony of this GVRO ‘solution’ without mentioning one of Sacramento’s biggest gun grabbers, the formerly “third most important democrat” State Senator Leland Yee, now under RICO indictment, along with former San Francisco School Board President and Oakland lawyer Keith Jackson for attemted gun-running thru gangs via overseas islamic terrorists.

    You couldn’t even sell a script this crazy in Hollyweird, yet here it is, in USA Today. Priceless.
    http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_25521869/leland-yee-pleads-not-guilty-gun-trafficking-corruption

    • Sorry for the run on sentences there and typos…I blame the itty bitty kindle keyboard and too fast edit window…
      heres a link to thatattempted hit job on RF by NPR, putting him up against Assmywmn Skinner. Before it gets disappeared, you can sed the coments of thoughtful mental health pro’s and how NPR ignored them, to scor cheesy gun-grab points. I dont mind that USA Today puts an obvious slant on the “news”. Its their business, and you can ask any business traveler, that no matter how many frre papers they leave outside your hotel door, there is no news there. And judging by their wonky Social Media ad generating popup, confusion vs content digital format, I suspect USAToday is a hop skip and a stumble away from Newsweek status…the same smell of desperation and rotten meat thrown to the progtard dogs is wafting thru it now, imho. Does anyone really think Bloomberg Bux works, anymore, post MAIG, Moms Demanding, and EveryFoolsTown is widely mocked?

  15. This is a great start, even if the paper’s title stacks the deck up front. One of our guys is out there making an argument, and a sound one at that.

    Next steps remain, however. Unless and until the POTG come up with a better idea as to how to identify and segregate the obvious psychos out there, the antis and the ignorant, complicit masses will continue to exploit these events for further infringements.

    Even last Friday’s killer, as predicted, turned out to have had an online trail of disturbing outbursts. Yet, nobody addressed it. So long as we continue to ignore the crazies, the antis will continue the charade that everyone “just snaps” and use that alleged unpredictability as a pretext for denying everyone their firearms.

    Counter rants about constitutional rights and potential for abuse will mean nothing. Stoic acceptance of the occasional spree shooting is not an option. Glib responses of “Well, what are ya gonna do? Stuff happens” will not placate the “Do *something*!” crowd, who instead will embrace whatever opportunist measures the statists put forth.

    If we insist that the individual, not the implement, is the problem, then we need a strategy to address the insane individual and not just defend the inert implement.

  16. I would like an explanation of the process by which the police verify that someone is a “relative”. What stops a next-door neighbor from claiming he’s your cousin, in order to assure that you’re going to be defenseless when he comes over to rob, rape, or murder you? I’d also bet there are dozens (literally) of other serious problems we haven’t thought of. RF could probably have gone on for hours, but what he put out there was certainly good enough to make any thinking person realize the stupidity of the law. Too bad there are no thinking people in CA.

    • For a relative to obtain a temporary order (good until a formal hearing within 15 days), an application supported by affidavits or other evidence under penalty of perjury are submitted to the local court for a review by a judge, and the judge issues the order which is then executed by the police/ sheriff/ marshal. The standard of proof in the formal hearing is “clear and convincing evidence” that the person to be restrained posses a risk of harm to himself or others, a standard that is less than “beyond a reasonable doubt” but much greater than “preponderance of the evidence.” This is considered a civil proceeding, such that the “accused” may be represented by counsel, but is not entitled to an attorney provided at public expense, as would be the case were it a criminal proceeding.

      • Yes. BUT the law specifically lists acquisition of a firearm or ammunition within the past 6 months as “evidence of an increased risk of violence,” and does not require that such acquisition also be accompanied by other risk factors.

        The same California legislators who enacted a law that officially makes any handgun not on their “not unsafe” roster an Unsafe Handgun, and who passed another law arbitrarily labeling any rifle with certain cosmetic features an Assault Weapon, have now codified, in law, that the mere purchase of ammunition by an otherwise law-abiding individual qualifies as legal evidence of an increased risk of violence.

        What’s next, a list of “Persons Who Have Been Determined Not to Be Unsafe,” with everyone not on the list legally determined to be at increased risk of violence? Come to think of it, in California’s won’t-issue counties and in the mind of AG Kamala Harris, that’s exactly the way it works.

  17. “Hey, now that we have trashed the 2nd Amendment, let’s trash the 5th!”

    ” … nor shall any person … be deprived of life, liberty, or PROPERTY, without due process of law; … ”

    “Bill of Rights? Constitution? Hey, we have PROGRESSED way beyond those! After all, those are just negative checks on what the government can do to (oops, I mean “for”) you.” – B. Hussein Obama

  18. “The main problem is the huge potential for abuse by disaffected spouses and/or angry, jealous or greedy relatives” … or neighbors or co-workers…

      • Who knows how loosely that term “relative” might be interpreted in California? These are people who believe it takes a village to raise a child. So I guess anyone in the same or an adjoining zip code might qualify as a relative for these purposes.

        • The statute allows orders to be sought by “immediate family members” as defined in Penal Code section 422.4: “Immediate family” means any spouse, whether by marriage or not, domestic partner, parent, child, any person related by consanguinity or affinity within the second degree, or any other person who regularly resides in the household, or who, within the prior six months, regularly resided in the household.

  19. OK, I keep seeing that Texas has a similar law. I’ve never heard of it, and I can’t find it–just now googled it, all I came up with was domestic-violence related orders. Could someone out there give me a cite?

  20. Every time I see this kid’s pic it makes me wonder how big of a douchebag you have to be to look ok, AND have money, AND live in CA (where there are cute girls everywhere) and still not be able to get a gf. Then to compound that epic failure by going on a rampage…. what a loser.

  21. i say again….
    grabbers do not care about rights, the care about caring

    grabbers think the second ammendment is a bad ammendment and should be abolished

    grabbers don’t think, they emoite if it was truly “for the children” they would lead marches to ban anything that can harm a child in any way (but all those non-gun threats of injury are just something we must accept as part of life, guns aren’t),

    the worst of the GVRO is not the gun grab, it is the destruction of all your personal papers, electronics, pictures, and “whatever papers”. the worst is just getting your life back. getting your gun back is actually low on the priority list.

    the mantra of “god-given, constitutional right to keep and bear arms” falls on deaf ears of those who can wreck our rights. they cannot be convinced that it is proper, fair or just that a piece of paper stands in the way of “doing the right thing” (confiscate guns). logic cannot penetrate emotion. “there is no cure for stupid.” better yet, an old crusty marine DI teaching grenade throwing asked the question, “what is the lethal radius of stupid?”.

    we need to argue the emotional side of self-protection, the benefit to others when ‘a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun’. we need to meet the opposition where they are weak, we need to meet the undecided where they “live” and how a properly armed populace prevents their family from being destroyed. we need to find ways to get beyond self-congratulatory slogans (really, no one on the other side will actually believe, ever, that the armed citizens will take on a tyrannical government machine, or the police or the military; the revolution was 250+ years ago, been there done that, game over). instead of “shields up” we need to develop phaser weapons and photon torpedoes that will blast thru the grabbers self-satisfied whining and emotional barricades. i know how difficult this is, there is a woman in my office, a screaming left-wing radical activist who thinks all salary or net worth above $100,000 should be confiscated and re-distributed….but when asked if her straight-A daughters should offer up two grade levels to those who didn’t “win the academic lottery of life”, she goes into a rage about how her daughters worked hard, and should not be asked to give up anything.

    just sayin’

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