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?