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The Republican gubernatorial candidate in Michigan who was arrested by the FBI on misdemeanor charges of
petitioning his Government for a redres s of grievances attending the January 6th protest has been stripped of his firearms at the order of a federal judge.
According to a criminal complaint, Kelly is charged with four misdemeanors, including entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly and disruptive conduct, knowingly engaging in an act of physical violence against a person or property, and willfully injuring property.
I suppose it isn’t technically a red flag in the sense that Senate Republicans are contemplating, but let’s be clear on what it is. A member of the opposition party, running against one of the ruling party’s favorites, is arrested by the same state security apparatus that previously instigated a phony kidnapping plot centered around the very same party favorite. (No idea why the FBI has such a crush on Gretchen Whitmer; maybe it’s the unbridled authoritarianism.) Then, without any adjudication of the misdemeanor charges, the opponent of the ruling party has been relieved of his constitutional rights indefinitely.
One might also note that the aforementioned kidnapping plot also happens to align with the ruling party’s propaganda about the “dangers” of domestic insurgency and the need to expand the state security apparatus with particular focus on opponents of the regime.
And that isn’t even a paranoid description of what’s happening.
To be fair, the red flag laws currently being worked in the Senate, and already passed in some states, are actually worse than this. They don’t even require a misdemeanor indictment, just a snitch. Red flag laws invert due process; the Government presumes your guilt and you must prove your innocence to have your rights restored. With enough costly legal representation and months of persistent effort, those red-flagged may (or may not) have their rights restored. But the case above represents the potential for the political abuse of those laws against those who dissent.Published in