It’s getting increasingly difficult to determine whether congressional Democrats and their party’s current crop of presidential candidates are actively trying to antagonize America’s great middle or are just trolling those of us who care about and value the right to keep and bear arms. Then again, come to think of it, there’s no reason they couldn’t be actively trying to do both.
Last week saw an obscure former congressman from west Texas trying to resuscitate his failing presidential campaign via the liberal use of on-air f-bombs and threats to confiscate some of Americans’ favorite firearms.
“Beto” succeeded in getting lots of ink and electrons spilled in his direction, though many — even some in his own party — think that all he really accomplished was killing off the always-bogus “No one wants to take your guns,” narrative while simultaneously energizing gun owners who aren’t particularly inspired by the smoke signals emanating from the White House these days.
To the extent that Beto’s little display — and the cheers he got from his fellow candidates — finally ends the charade that Democrats don’t really want to see a fully disarmed civilian populace, we should all be grateful. That kind of clarity is refreshing and, ultimately, useful.
One of the disturbing signs emanating from Congress and the White House is the reported support “red flag” laws are getting after the recent spate of shootings in Texas and Ohio. While there are a lot of questions as to the effectiveness of red flag laws in preventing actual crimes, there’s little dispute about their total disregard for the due process rights of gun owners who are targeted.
The ostensible reason for red flag laws is, of course, to prevent crimes by removing firearms from individuals who are adjudged to be a danger to themselves or others. And you know who tend to possess firearms and have present an unambiguous threat to those around them? Why, gang members, of course.
So if some jurisdictions are going to have red flag laws on the books, why not use them to yank the heaters from some of society’s most violent and criminally-predisposed individuals?
Well, as the Washington Examiner reported over the weekend, when Congressional Dems were drafting the federal bill they’re currently pushing to incent state to enact their own red flag laws, they balked at applying the statute to known criminals.
Colorado Republican Ken Buck offered up an amendment designed to disarm known criminals.
Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee amended the measure during a Wednesday mark-up to authorize the federal government to issue extreme risk protection orders in some instances, but they rejected an amendment that would have red-flagged anyone who law enforcement lists as a gang member.
My amendment is quite simple. It would allow the issuance of a red flag order against anyone whose name appears in a gang database if there was probable cause to include that individual in the database.
But Democrats couldn’t quite stomach the thought of grabbing guns from people known to commit a significant percentage of America’s violent crimes and most of the criminal instances of “gun violence.”
Democrats objected with reasons that sounded very familiar to Republicans.
GOP lawmakers have staunchly opposed “No Fly, No Buy” proposals Democrats have tried to pass in the House in recent years because the lists flag the wrong people.
Like the no-fly lists, which have erroneously flagged many innocent individuals as terrorists (including the late Sen. Ted Kennedy), the gang databases are often inaccurate, Democrats said.
Just to recap the Democrats’ logic here, governmental agencies are competent enough empower them to violate the due process rights of people suspected of possibly committing a crime in the future…but they’re not nearly proficient enough to finger known gang members and grab their guns.
Buck pointed out his amendment requires law enforcement to limit red-flagging to only those with probable cause to be included on the list, which is a stricter criteria.
Democrats kept objecting, arguing someone could be misidentified as gang members simply for writing “13” on a piece of paper and having it wrongly identified as an MS-13 gang sign.
“Maybe you are just doodling because it is the 13th of June,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York said.
The jaw-dropping double standard in play didn’t go un-noticed.
“It’s amazing to me,” (Georgia Republican Doug) Collins said. “We had a large blow-up on the floor of this House just a couple years ago about the ‘No Fly, No Buy’ list, which was shown to have issues, but at that point, nobody from the other side brought this is as a concern, and now we are bringing it as a concern,” Collins said.
“If we can’t bring this list up, even with due process put in, then don’t ever bring the ‘No Fly, No Buy’ list up again.”
“Don’t ever bring it up again because there is no due process on that list.”
It’s nice that congressional Democrats give gang members more benefit of the doubt than they afford average law-abiding Americans when their Second, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights are at stake.