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Red-Flag Nation: Anti-Gun Laws, Sanctuary Cities and the Second Amendment

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"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." The Second Amendment to the US Constitution

We never learn.

In the right (or wrong) hands, benevolent plans can easily be put to malevolent purposes.

Even the most well-intentioned government law or program can be--and has been--perverted, corrupted and used to advance illegitimate purposes once profit and power are added to the equation.

Mark my words: gun-control legislation, especially in the form of red-flag gun laws, which allow the police to remove guns from people suspected of being threats, will only add to the government's power.

Seventeen states now have red-flag laws on their books.

That number is growing.

As The Washington Post reports, these laws "allow a family member, roommate, beau, law enforcement officer or any type of medical professional to file a petition [with a court] asking that a person's home be temporarily cleared of firearms. It doesn't require a mental-health diagnosis or an arrest."

While in theory it appears perfectly reasonable to want to disarm individuals who are clearly suicidal and/or pose an "immediate danger" to themselves or others, where the problem arises is when you put the power to determine who is a potential danger in the hands of government agencies, the courts and the police.

We've been down this road before.

Remember, this is the same government that has a growing list--shared with fusion centers and law-enforcement agencies--of ideologies, behaviors, affiliations and other characteristics that could flag someone as suspicious and result in their being labeled potential enemies of the state.

For instance, if you believe in and exercise your rights under the Constitution (namely, your right to speak freely, worship freely, associate with like-minded individuals who share your political views, criticize the government, own a weapon, demand a warrant before being questioned or searched, or any other activity viewed as potentially anti-government, racist, bigoted, anarchic or sovereign), you could be at the top of the government's terrorism watch list.

Moreover, as a New York Times editorial warns, you may be an anti-government extremist (a.k.a. domestic terrorist) in the eyes of the police if you are afraid that the government is plotting to confiscate your firearms, if you believe the economy is about to collapse and the government will soon declare martial law, or if you display an unusual number of political and/or ideological bumper stickers on your car.

Let that sink in a moment.

Therein lies the danger of these red-flag laws, specifically, and pre-crime laws such as these generally where the burden of proof is reversed and you are guilty before you are given any chance to prove you are innocent.

Red-flag gun laws merely push us that much closer towards a suspect society where everyone is potentially guilty of some crime or another and must be preemptively rendered harmless.

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John W. Whitehead is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. Whitehead's aggressive, pioneering approach to civil liberties has earned him numerous accolades and (more...)
 

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