President Trump Betrays his Voters and the Constitution? [Updated]

 

Bethany Mandel nicely laid out the virulently hateful reaction of the Democrats, at every level, to President Trump’s address to the nation on the two mass murders this past weekend. She noted how the New York Times was driven by its own mob to change it’s headline on the president’s address. However, the change, while making the ideological lines clearer, was still fairly accurate:

The first headline read “Trump Urges Unity Vs. Racism” while the second said “Assailing Hate But Not Guns.” 

Would that this were fully accurate. Sadly, the president has given life to a massive gun grab, done the way American politicians prefer. This president knows full well, by his own words, that he has been targeted by leftists wrapped in black robes. He has learned, and all of us know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the “least dangerous branch of government” has been fully weaponized.

This weaponization starts at the trial court level, the very level at which this massive gun grab will occur. While President Trump is dealing with federal district court judges, the anticipated venue for the “gun violence restraining order” will be a state or municipal court. These are very vulnerable to local politics, facing elections or periodic appointment reviews. Further, such courts are seen as the first step to bigger and better jobs. Even if the judge is a supporter of the Constitution, she will be fearful that refusing to grant a “temporary” order exposes her to catastrophic criticism if the targeted individual actually commits some act of violence. So, on this matter, judges absolutely cannot be trusted to faithfully follow the Constitution, on aggregate.

Not only is there no real safety in the oath taken by trial court judges or in their code of judicial ethics, the contemplated legislation unleashes the mob. The mob? Yes, the mob on social media, that turned your friends and family members against you.

Remember what happened in 2016? President Trump and every Republican surely does. Remember how Facebook went from a place where you could enjoy sharing family and friendship memories and connections, to a seething cauldron of political bigotry? Remember the great wave of “unfriending?” The pattern of family members and friends from the left hatefully cutting off kith and kin, who dared to not fulsomely damn the president and his voters, is real and widespread. Everyone knows this.

Now this spiteful mob is about to be given the boot with which to really grind under heel the objects of their hate. You know that this is going to happen, and that local judges will be right on board. No problem; just add mental health experts to the mix.

Experts? Like the crew that tried to medicalize away murder as a crime, rather than mental disorder? Or the crew sequentially rewriting their diagnostic manual to impose their leftist agenda, via sexual identity politics? Do you think for one minute that the “reputable” experts will testify in favor of individuals retaining their right to effective self-defense? How is that going to work out at their next professional gathering?

Ah, but David French says it is a great idea, and so does the Heritage Foundation.The problem is that Conservatism Inc’s constant compromises, their rear guard actions, with the left, are exactly what caused such revulsion as to lead to President Trump’s election in 2016. If this gets rushed through and he signs it, state legislatures will have plenty of time to start the gun grabbing before the 2020 election. If it happens that way, he will have burned support without getting any credit from those who were never going to support him anyway. It will be a much harder campaign than it was going to be.

In 2016, President Trump barely won, by a relative handful of votes in traditionally blue states, in important part by women who own guns and rejected the strong call to vote in gender solidarity. He got back a piece of the old Reagan Democrat voter bloc by both his economic talk and Donald J. Trump’s strong stand on the Second Amendment.

President Trump is trying to be a practical problem solver. He sees the public frustration with decades of posturing. He wants some practical actions that will make some real difference. And. He had better look extremely closely, and listen very carefully to single moms with a gun, whose families resent their deplorable, heretical vote for Donald J. Trump and against Hillary Clinton.*

[Update with key documents follows.]

Several states, like California, already have some form of the proposed law, so why a call for federal action? The truth is that it is about scratching the itch to “do something.” The legislation would likely entice every state that has not gone the way of California to take some federal government cheese, money taken from the states’ residents in taxes, or borrowed from the Chinese Communists, to be repaid with interest by Generation Z.

With the signal of broad national political elite support, across the first two branches of government, the Supreme Court will likely give more leeway to state legislatures and courts. Expect the Court to give a much weaker meaning to the Second Amendment, so long as the “public safety, gun violence” flag is waved. Count on Chief Justice Roberts to write that opinion with the leftists. 

Just as George H.W. Bush said “read my lips, no new taxes,” Donald J. Trump made unequivocal commitments to protect the Second Amendment. It is time to review them against his remarks from the White House. 

Here are his words, in full, from the 2016 campaign, followed by his recent remarks as president [emphasis added by underline]:

Second Amendment Rights

Donald J. Trump on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.

[Full text of what became the Second Amendment: 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 guarantees a fundamental right that belongs to all law-abiding Americans. The Constitution doesn’t create that right – it ensures that the government can’t take it away. Our Founding Fathers knew, and our Supreme Court has upheld, that the Second Amendment’s purpose is to guarantee our right to defend ourselves and our families. This is about self-defense, plain and simple.

It’s been said that the Second Amendment is America’s first freedom. That’s because the Right to Keep and Bear Arms protects all our other rights. We are the only country in the world that has a Second Amendment. Protecting that freedom is imperative. Here’s how we will do that:

Enforce The Laws On The Books

We need to get serious about prosecuting violent criminals. The Obama administration’s record on that is abysmal. Violent crime in cities like Baltimore, Chicago and many others is out of control. Drug dealers and gang members are given a slap on the wrist and turned loose on the street. This needs to stop.

Several years ago there was a tremendous program in Richmond, Virginia called Project Exile. It said that if a violent felon uses a gun to commit a crime, you will be prosecuted in federal court and go to prison for five years – no parole or early release. Obama’s former Attorney General, Eric Holder, called that a “cookie cutter” program. That’s ridiculous. I call that program a success. Murders committed with guns in Richmond decreased by over 60% when Project Exile was in place – in the first two years of the program alone, 350 armed felons were taken off the street.

Why does that matter to law-abiding gun owners? Because they’re the ones who antigun politicians and the media blame when criminals misuse guns. We need to bring back and expand programs like Project Exile and get gang members and drug dealers off the street. When we do, crime will go down and our cities and communities will be safer places to live.

Here’s another important way to fight crime – empower law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves. Law enforcement is great, they do a tremendous job, but they can’t be everywhere all of the time. Our personal protection is ultimately up to us. That’s why I’m a gun owner, that’s why I have a concealed carry permit, and that’s why tens of millions of Americans have concealed carry permits as well. It’s just common sense. To make America great again, we’re going to go after criminals and put the law back on the side of the law-abiding.

Fix Our Broken Mental Health System

Let’s be clear about this. Our mental health system is broken. It needs to be fixed. Too many politicians have ignored this problem for too long.

All of the tragic mass murders that occurred in the past several years have something in common – there were red flags that were ignored. We can’t allow that to continue. We need to expand treatment programs, because most people with mental health problems aren’t violent, they just need help. But for those who are violent, a danger to themselves or others, we need to get them off the street before they can terrorize our communities. This is just common sense.

And why does this matter to law-abiding gun owners? Once again, because they get blamed by anti-gun politicians, gun control groups and the media for the acts of deranged madmen. When one of these tragedies occurs, we can count on two things: one, that opponents of gun rights will immediately exploit it to push their political agenda; and two, that none of their so-called “solutions” would have prevented the tragedy in the first place. They’ve even admitted it.

We need real solutions to address real problems. Not grandstanding or political agendas.

Defend The Rights of Law-Abiding Gun Owners

GUN AND MAGAZINE BANS. Gun and magazine bans are a total failure. That’s been proven every time it’s been tried. Opponents of gun rights try to come up with scary sounding phrases like “assault weapons”, “military-style weapons” and “high capacity magazines” to confuse people. What they’re really talking about are popular semiautomatic rifles and standard magazines that are owned by tens of millions of Americans. Law-abiding people should be allowed to own the firearm of their choice. The government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people are allowed to own.

BACKGROUND CHECKS. There has been a national background check system in place since 1998. Every time a person buys a gun from a federally licensed gun dealer – which is the overwhelming majority of all gun purchases – they go through a federal background check. Study after study has shown that very few criminals are stupid enough to try and pass a background check – they get their guns from friends/family members or by stealing them. So the overwhelming majority of people who go through background checks are law-abiding gun owners. When the system was created, gun owners were promised that it would be instant, accurate and fair. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case today. Too many states are failing to put criminal and mental health records into the system – and it should go without saying that a system’s only going to be as effective as the records that are put into it. What we need to do is fix the system we have and make it work as intended. What we don’t need to do is expand a broken system.

NATIONAL RIGHT TO CARRY. The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway. That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state. If we can do that for driving – which is a privilege, not a right – then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege.

MILITARY BASES AND RECRUITING CENTERS. Banning our military from carrying firearms on bases and at recruiting centers is ridiculous. We train our military how to safely and responsibly use firearms, but our current policies leave them defenseless. To make America great again, we need a strong military. To have a strong military, we need to allow them to defend themselves.


Remarks by President Trump on the Mass Shootings in Texas and Ohio

Issued on: August 5, 2019

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. My fellow Americans, this morning, our nation is overcome with shock, horror, and sorrow. This weekend, more than 80 people were killed or wounded in two evil attacks.

On Saturday morning, in El Paso, Texas, a wicked man went to a Walmart store, where families were shopping with their loved ones. He shot and murdered 20 people, and injured 26 others, including precious little children.

Then, in the early hours of Sunday morning in Dayton, Ohio, another twisted monster opened fire on a crowded downtown street. He murdered 9 people, including his own sister, and injured 27 others.

The First Lady and I join all Americans in praying and grieving for the victims, their families, and the survivors. We will stand by their side forever. We will never forget.

These barbaric slaughters are an assault upon our communities, an attack upon our nation, and a crime against all of humanity. We are outraged and sickened by this monstrous evil, the cruelty, the hatred, the malice, the bloodshed, and the terror. Our hearts are shattered for every family whose parents, children, husbands, and wives were ripped from their arms and their lives. America weeps for the fallen.

We are a loving nation, and our children are entitled to grow up in a just, peaceful, and loving society. Together, we lock arms to shoulder the grief, we ask God in Heaven to ease the anguish of those who suffer, and we vow to act with urgent resolve.

I want to thank the many law enforcement personnel who responded to these atrocities with the extraordinary grace and courage of American heroes.

I have spoken with Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, as well as Mayor Dee Margo of El Paso, Texas, and Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton, Ohio, to express our profound sadness and unfailing support.

Today, we also send the condolences of our nation to President Obrador of Mexico, and all the people of Mexico, for the loss of their citizens in the El Paso shooting. Terrible, terrible thing.

I have also been in close contact with Attorney General Barr and FBI Director Wray. Federal authorities are on the ground, and I have directed them to provide any and all assistance required — whatever is needed.

The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate. In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul. We have asked the FBI to identify all further resources they need to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism — whatever they need.

We must recognize that the Internet has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds and perform demented acts. We must shine light on the dark recesses of the Internet, and stop mass murders before they start. The Internet, likewise, is used for human trafficking, illegal drug distribution, and so many other heinous crimes. The perils of the Internet and social media cannot be ignored, and they will not be ignored.

In the two decades since Columbine, our nation has watched with rising horror and dread as one mass shooting has followed another — over and over again, decade after decade.

We cannot allow ourselves to feel powerless. We can and will stop this evil contagion. In that task, we must honor the sacred memory of those we have lost by acting as one people. Open wounds cannot heal if we are divided. We must seek real, bipartisan solutions. We have to do that in a bipartisan manner. That will truly make America safer and better for all.

First, we must do a better job of identifying and acting on early warning signs. I am directing the Department of Justice to work in partisan — partnership with local, state, and federal agencies, as well as social media companies, to develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike.

As an example, the monster in the Parkland high school in Florida had many red flags against him, and yet nobody took decisive action. Nobody did anything. Why not?

Second, we must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this, and it has to begin immediately. Cultural change is hard, but each of us can choose to build a culture that celebrates the inherent worth and dignity of every human life. That’s what we have to do.

Third, we must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence and make sure those people not only get treatment, but, when necessary, involuntary confinement. Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.

Fourth, we must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms, and that, if they do, those firearms can be taken through rapid due process. That is why I have called for red flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders.

Today, I am also directing the Department of Justice to propose legislation ensuring that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders face the death penalty, and that this capital punishment be delivered quickly, decisively, and without years of needless delay.

These are just a few of the areas of cooperation that we can pursue. I am open and ready to listen and discuss all ideas that will actually work and make a very big difference.

Republicans and Democrats have proven that we can join together in a bipartisan fashion to address this plague. Last year, we enacted the STOP School Violence and Fix NICS Acts into law, providing grants to improve school safety and strengthening critical background checks for firearm purchases. At my direction, the Department of Justice banned bump stocks. Last year, we prosecuted a record number of firearms offenses. But there is so much more that we have to do.

Now is the time to set destructive partisanship aside — so destructive — and find the courage to answer hatred with unity, devotion, and love. Our future is in our control. America will rise to the challenge. We will always have and we always will win. The choice is ours and ours alone. It is not up to mentally ill monsters; it is up to us.

If we are able to pass great legislation after all of these years, we will ensure that those who were attacked will not have died in vain.

May God bless the memory of those who perished in Toledo. May God protect them. May God protect all of those from Texas to Ohio. May God bless the victims and their families. May God bless America.

Thank you very much. Thank you.


See Salena Zito and Brad Todd, The Great Revolt, Chapter 5, “Girl Gun Power,” page 109:

The Great Revolt Survey found that the one demographic group among Rust Belt Trump voters most likely to agree with the notion that “every American has a fundamental right to self-defense, and a right to choose the home defense firearm that is best for them” is women under age forty-five.

Published in Guns
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There are 38 comments.

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  1. Stina Member

    A long while ago, during the election, a small but vocal group of Trump voters claimed Trump would listen to conservative voices on policy decisions.

    Much to the chagrin of his more ardent supporters, he’s done just that a little to frequently (John Bolton comes to mind).

    The GVRO is a conservative think tank brain child. It is a compromise with the left. If there weren’t prominent conservatives backing this, Trump wouldn’t do it.

    • #1
    • August 6, 2019, at 3:02 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Stina (View Comment):

    A long while ago, during the election, a small but vocal group of Trump voters claimed Trump would listen to conservative voices on policy decisions.

    Much to the chagrin of his more ardent supporters, he’s done just that a little to frequently (John Bolton comes to mind).

    The GVRO is a conservative think tank brain child. It is a compromise with the left. If there weren’t prominent conservatives backing this, Trump wouldn’t do it.

    I think you are right on this. The problem is that Conservatism Inc. is exactly what caused such revulsion as to lead to his election in 2016. If this gets rushed through and he signs it, state legislatures will have plenty of time to start the gun grabbing before the 2020 election. If it happens that way, he will have burnt support without getting any credit from those who were never going to support him anyway. It will be a much harder campaign than it was going to be.

    I’ve updated the OP to incorporate your feedback.

    • #2
    • August 6, 2019, at 3:11 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. Guruforhire Member

    He was always a squishy center left moderate democrat. I don’t know what people thought he would advocate.

    • #3
    • August 6, 2019, at 3:36 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    I am open to considering this. We already allow for temporary restraining orders against those who may potentially threaten violence. One of the few court appearances in my legal career was to obtain a TRO against a women threatened by her violent ex-husband. I also have experience with the limits on family members to take preventative action against potential violent relatives.

    Before deciding on whether I would support laws in this area, I’d like to know more about the practical history of how they have worked, and any potential abuses, in the states where they are already in place.

    I also think that those who can seek an order should be strictly limited so this does not become a public hunting ground and that those against whom an order is sought can quickly obtain a full hearing. One other helpful wrinkle would be something that already applies in the mental health area. To the extent, mental health professionals are allowed to seek such orders, they should be held personally liable in the event such actions are found to be negligent.

    • #4
    • August 6, 2019, at 4:07 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. lowtech redneck Coolidge

    Guruforhire (View Comment):

    He was always a squishy center left moderate democrat. I don’t know what people thought he would advocate.

    I’m not surprised, just apprehensive; he also tends to listen to backlash* among his support base, lets hope he chooses to do so this time.

    *Ironic that the squishy types who approve of such ‘compromise’ with Progressives are generally the same people who complain that Trump has unconditional support from his base.

    • #5
    • August 6, 2019, at 4:14 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    By the way, as a practical matter, any GOP proposal at the federal level to encourage state adoption of such laws will be opposed by the Dems. They will only support it if the GOP agrees to also include a lot of proposals that are going to be completely unacceptable. The Dems want to own this issue and will not allow the GOP to pass anything for which it can claim credit. They did the same thing in 2016 after Omar Mateen shot up the nightclub in Orlando. The GOP proposed allowing the government to deny firearms purchase to anyone on the no-fly list, provided the government could show reasonable cause to a court within 72 hours, but the Dems filibustered the bill. 

    • #6
    • August 6, 2019, at 5:43 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. The Reticulator Member

    A simpler way to deal with the violence problem would be to prohibit Democrats from owning or using guns. 

    • #7
    • August 6, 2019, at 9:18 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  8. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Before deciding on whether I would support laws in this area, I’d like to know more about the practical history of how they have worked, and any potential abuses, in the states where they are already in place.

    If this can be accomplished at the state level – states which have courts and license the psychiatrists in the first place – whyever would we need it at the federal level? 

    • #8
    • August 7, 2019, at 12:02 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    TBA (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Before deciding on whether I would support laws in this area, I’d like to know more about the practical history of how they have worked, and any potential abuses, in the states where they are already in place.

    If this can be accomplished at the state level – states which have courts and license the psychiatrists in the first place – whyever would we need it at the federal level?

    The federal itch to be seen “doing something” by doling out a few earmarked dollars back to the states from whose residents they taxed filched the money in the first place.

    • #9
    • August 7, 2019, at 12:40 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. philo Member

    Clifford A. Brown: When the system was created, gun owners were promised that it would be instant, accurate and fair.

    I believe they were also promised that the data would not be kept (i.e. as a registry / database). 

    • #10
    • August 7, 2019, at 4:11 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor

    My husband has a concealed carry permit, but I don’t. Up until now, I saw no reason to even consider having one. In these times–not because of the mass shootings, but the ugly national dialogue–I’m reconsidering.

    • #11
    • August 7, 2019, at 6:02 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  12. Stina Member

    Clifford A. Brown: The Great Revolt Survey found that the one demographic group among Rust Belt Trump voters most likely to agree with the notion that “every American has a fundamental right to self-defense, and a right to choose the home defense firearm that is best for them” is women under age forty-five.

    I resemble this quote!

    • #12
    • August 7, 2019, at 6:45 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  13. DrewInWisconsin, Influencer Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    A simpler way to deal with the violence problem would be to prohibit Democrats from owning or using guns.

    That does seem to be the case, doesn’t it?

    • #13
    • August 7, 2019, at 6:51 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. GrannyDude Member

     If we outlaw “assault rifles,” you only eliminate those mass shootings committed with a legally-purchased assault rifle. That leaves out Sandy Hook and Columbine, for example, not to mention all the murders committed with handguns. 

    If we raise the age at which it is legal to buy a gun to 21, you only eliminate those shootings in which an under-21 year old legally purchased his weapon. 

    If we go whole-Hogg and repeal the 2nd Amendment, the new, draconian laws that would follow would have to be enforced before they would have any effect on mass murders. Since we aren’t doing a particularly good job of enforcing existing gun laws, advocates should be pressed to explain how they plan to inspire a vigorous and effective enforcement effort. 

    Progressives are inclined to ignore data suggesting that good guys with guns frequently foil bad guys with guns (knives, bombs, airplanes, matches) but they do tend to be deeply concerned about preventing unpleasant interactions between members of minority groups and the police. Gun-law enforcement will necessarily be concentrated on black and hispanic neighborhoods where compliance with laws are low and rates of gun violence high. Such enforcement will require techniques like Stop and Frisk (and even more aggressive and intrusive searches of persons and domiciles) that progressives decry.

    Even if a mandatory gun buy-back successfully disarmed the majority of law abiding citizens (a very big if) plenty of criminals will be inclined to hang onto their guns. Replacements (plus ammo) will, in any case, flow merrily across our Southern borders in the same way that drugs, trafficked women and children and other contraband does today. Progressives aren’t big on border enforcement as you may have noticed.

    Even if all these difficulties could be overcome and the number of guns in American hands and homes radically reduced by new laws enforced by aggressive, empowered police, other weapons will remain available to would-be murderers. These include but are not limited to knives, hand grenades (illegal and yet strangely common in Sweden!) bombs, airplanes, fire (30+ people murdered recently by fire in Japan for instance) and the ubiquitous motor vehicle. (See Nice, France and New York, NY for examples). And this is before we consider the imminent prospect of widely available 3-d printers guns and ammo. 

    Any attempt to repeal Second Amendment and outlaw guns, even if successful, would impose significant burdens on Americans including losses of property, privacy, livelihood, actual and perceived personal safety and actual and perceived damage to the relationship between the U.S. citizen and his/her government. One would have to be pretty sure that the result would be worth the price paid. Removing guns from the equation seems to me a zero-sum solution. 

    If, on the other hand, our inadequate mental health system is overhauled, much good will result even if “only” 25% of mass murderers are diagnosed with a mental illness before they commit their crimes or, for that matter, none at all. We could hope to reduce mass shootings by 1/4, but at the same time millions of our fellow Americans could be given a chance at happier, healthier, more meaningful and productive lives. Removing guns would reduce gun-suicides. Addressing mental health might reduce all suicides, and the agony suicide inflicts on families regardless of the means.

    The same goes for other efforts to address underlying possible causes/contributions. The violent culture that has taken hold in welfare-dependent communities is clearly a factor in the vast majority of mass shootings where these are defined as three or more victims in a single episode. If we could do something—anything, really—to change or disrupt that culture, mass shootings might decline and a whole lot of other misery (school failure, addiction, fatherlessness, domestic violence, you-name-it) could be ameliorated at the same time.

    And so on. 

    Which is a long, long way of saying that I agree with the OP—enforce existing gun laws (no matter the race of the offender) fix the broken mental health system and protect the rights of law abiding gun owners. 

    • #14
    • August 7, 2019, at 7:01 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  15. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    TBA (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Before deciding on whether I would support laws in this area, I’d like to know more about the practical history of how they have worked, and any potential abuses, in the states where they are already in place.

    If this can be accomplished at the state level – states which have courts and license the psychiatrists in the first place – whyever would we need it at the federal level?

    Good point. I am much, much more inclined to consider action at the state level.

    • #15
    • August 7, 2019, at 7:04 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    @cliffordbrown thanks for the updates. I am very supportive of enforcement of the existing laws re guns and reforms to the mental health system. These should be the priorities.

    • #16
    • August 7, 2019, at 7:05 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Fake John/Jane Galt Thatcher

    Guruforhire (View Comment):

    He was always a squishy center left moderate democrat. I don’t know what people thought he would advocate.

    I agree. Trump views himself as a Kennedy Democrat. He is only on the right because the Democrats are becoming socialist.

    My belief is that when we lose the 2nd, and we will eventually. It will come from the right.

    • #17
    • August 7, 2019, at 8:06 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Stina Member

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    My belief is that when we lose the 2nd, and we will eventually. It will come from the right.

    The thinkers that craft policy on the right certainly are doing a great job of undercutting the 2nd.

    • #18
    • August 7, 2019, at 8:11 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Goldgeller Member

    I’m just concerned that if Republicans are seen to be insincere on this the Democrats can capture a lot of scared suburbanites in the next election and then there may very well be something like an “assault weapons” (meaning semi-auto long-gun) ban. If that’s reasonable, and Red Flag Laws can keep the Republican coalition together, then Red Flag laws, narrowly crafted, could be okay. If that is what it takes to keep worse things from coming down the pipe, I’m sympathetic but not convinced.  Florida has used them to take a lot of guns away. And there may be some logic to them, at least anecdotally.

    Some instances listed in the article make sense. Some I’m not sure you actually needed the law for. I don’t like that the article ties this to Parkland by suggesting that the law would have prevented the shooting. The shooter, like the Dayton shooter almost certainly qualified for involuntary commitment or committed felonies by making multiple death threats. But there is some logic to it. It is more narrow than California’s where you can have co-workers snitching for basically any reason.

    What scares me now about the laws is that people on my twitter feed are going crazy, wanting an overly broad interpretation of what a red flag is. The major issue with red flag laws is that it is hard and unfair to ask people to play amateur psychiatrist. You will only catch major outliers, outliers who are probably subject to existing laws. The Lott and Moody paper suggests they don’t actually work (though I think they need more observations tbh). 

    • #19
    • August 7, 2019, at 8:59 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    My husband has a concealed carry permit, but I don’t. Up until now, I saw no reason to even consider having one. In these times–not because of the mass shootings, but the ugly national dialogue–I’m reconsidering.

    Having a permit doesn’t obligate you to carry, but not having a permit obligates you to not carry. 

    • #20
    • August 7, 2019, at 9:07 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  21. Goldgeller Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    My husband has a concealed carry permit, but I don’t. Up until now, I saw no reason to even consider having one. In these times–not because of the mass shootings, but the ugly national dialogue–I’m reconsidering.

    Having a permit doesn’t obligate you to carry, but not having a permit obligates you to not carry.

    Depending on where you live, you may consider getting it now, just in case some legislature decides to impose onerous requirements on the ability to get a permit. If enhanced background checks means asking someone if you’ve ever had a bad day (and then denying the permit), you’ll be happier to at least have the option. 

    • #21
    • August 7, 2019, at 9:18 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    If enhanced background checks means asking someone if you’ve ever had a bad day (and then denying the permit), you’ll be happier to at least have the option. 

    Thanks, @goldgeller, in that case I’d be in trouble. Actually, that’s why my husband got his. I should at least have the option. Thanks.

    • #22
    • August 7, 2019, at 9:47 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. Fake John/Jane Galt Thatcher

    Goldgeller (View Comment):

    I’m just concerned that if Republicans are seen to be insincere on this the Democrats can capture a lot of scared suburbanites in the next election and then there may very well be something like an “assault weapons” (meaning semi-auto long-gun) ban. If that’s reasonable, and Red Flag Laws can keep the Republican coalition together, then Red Flag laws, narrowly crafted, could be okay. If that is what it takes to keep worse things from coming down the pipe, I’m sympathetic but not convinced. Florida has used them to take a lot of guns away. And there may be some logic to them, at least anecdotally.

    Some instances listed in the article make sense. Some I’m not sure you actually needed the law for. I don’t like that the article ties this to Parkland by suggesting that the law would have prevented the shooting. The shooter, like the Dayton shooter almost certainly qualified for involuntary commitment or committed felonies by making multiple death threats. But there is some logic to it. It is more narrow than California’s where you can have co-workers snitching for basically any reason.

    What scares me now about the laws is that people on my twitter feed are going crazy, wanting an overly broad interpretation of what a red flag is. The major issue with red flag laws is that it is hard and unfair to ask people to play amateur psychiatrist. You will only catch major outliers, outliers who are probably subject to existing laws. The Lott and Moody paper suggests they don’t actually work (though I think they need more observations tbh).

    When the red flag laws go in the 2nd may be gutted. There will be no gun owner that a Leftist will not feel is a threat to them some way.

    • #23
    • August 7, 2019, at 10:10 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  24. Full Size Tabby Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    A simpler way to deal with the violence problem would be to prohibit Democrats from owning or using guns.

    Democrats do keep telling us openly that they are incompetent with firearms. They project their incompetence on everybody else. But before we take away everybody else’s firearms, let’s keep them away from self-acknowledged incompetents – Democrats.

    • #24
    • August 7, 2019, at 10:45 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. Goldgeller Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    If enhanced background checks means asking someone if you’ve ever had a bad day (and then denying the permit), you’ll be happier to at least have the option.

    Thanks, @goldgeller, in that case I’d be in trouble. Actually, that’s why my husband got his. I should at least have the option. Thanks.

    Sure! Pretty much one of the reasons I got mine.

    • #25
    • August 7, 2019, at 11:15 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    If we outlaw “assault rifles,” you only eliminate those mass shootings committed with a legally-purchased assault rifle. That leaves out Sandy Hook and Columbine, for example, not to mention all the murders committed with handguns.

    If we raise the age at which it is legal to buy a gun to 21, you only eliminate those shootings in which an under-21 year old legally purchased his weapon.

    If we go whole-Hogg and repeal the 2nd Amendment, the new, draconian laws that would follow would have to be enforced before they would have any effect on mass murders. Since we aren’t doing a particularly good job of enforcing existing gun laws, advocates should be pressed to explain how they plan to inspire a vigorous and effective enforcement effort.

    Progressives are inclined to ignore data suggesting that good guys with guns frequently foil bad guys with guns (knives, bombs, airplanes, matches) but they do tend to be deeply concerned about preventing unpleasant interactions between members of minority groups and the police. Gun-law enforcement will necessarily be concentrated on black and hispanic neighborhoods where compliance with laws are low and rates of gun violence high. Such enforcement will require techniques like Stop and Frisk (and even more aggressive and intrusive searches of persons and domiciles) that progressives decry.

    Even if a mandatory gun buy-back successfully disarmed the majority of law abiding citizens (a very big if) plenty of criminals will be inclined to hang onto their guns. Replacements (plus ammo) will, in any case, flow merrily across our Southern borders in the same way that drugs, trafficked women and children and other contraband does today. Progressives aren’t big on border enforcement as you may have noticed.

    Even if all these difficulties could be overcome and the number of guns in American hands and homes radically reduced by new laws enforced by aggressive, empowered police, other weapons will remain available to would-be murderers. These include but are not limited to knives, hand grenades (illegal and yet strangely common in Sweden!) bombs, airplanes, fire (30+ people murdered recently by fire in Japan for instance) and the ubiquitous motor vehicle. (See Nice, France and New York, NY for examples). And this is before we consider the imminent prospect of widely available 3-d printers guns and ammo.

    Any attempt to repeal Second Amendment and outlaw guns, even if successful, would impose significant burdens on Americans including losses of property, privacy, livelihood, actual and perceived personal safety and actual and perceived damage to the relationship between the U.S. citizen and his/her government. One would have to be pretty sure that the result would be worth the price paid. Removing guns from the equation seems to me a zero-sum solution.

    If, on the other hand, our inadequate mental health system is overhauled, much good will result even if “only” 25% of mass murderers are diagnosed with a mental illness before they commit their crimes or, for that matter, none at all. We could hope to reduce mass shootings by 1/4, but at the same time millions of our fellow Americans could be given a chance at happier, healthier, more meaningful and productive lives. Removing guns would reduce gun-suicides. Addressing mental health might reduce all suicides, and the agony suicide inflicts on families regardless of the means.

    The same goes for other efforts to address underlying possible causes/contributions. The violent culture that has taken hold in welfare-dependent communities is clearly a factor in the vast majority of mass shootings where these are defined as three or more victims in a single episode. If we could do something—anything, really—to change or disrupt that culture, mass shootings might decline and a whole lot of other misery (school failure, addiction, fatherlessness, domestic violence, you-name-it) could be ameliorated at the same time.

    And so on.

    Which is a long, long way of saying that I agree with the OP—enforce existing gun laws (no matter the race of the offender) fix the broken mental health system and protect the rights of law abiding gun owners.

    Amen. Worthy of its own OP.

    • #26
    • August 7, 2019, at 12:12 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. Guruforhire Member

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):

    I’m just concerned that if Republicans are seen to be insincere on this the Democrats can capture a lot of scared suburbanites in the next election and then there may very well be something like an “assault weapons” (meaning semi-auto long-gun) ban. If that’s reasonable, and Red Flag Laws can keep the Republican coalition together, then Red Flag laws, narrowly crafted, could be okay. If that is what it takes to keep worse things from coming down the pipe, I’m sympathetic but not convinced. Florida has used them to take a lot of guns away. And there may be some logic to them, at least anecdotally.

    Some instances listed in the article make sense. Some I’m not sure you actually needed the law for. I don’t like that the article ties this to Parkland by suggesting that the law would have prevented the shooting. The shooter, like the Dayton shooter almost certainly qualified for involuntary commitment or committed felonies by making multiple death threats. But there is some logic to it. It is more narrow than California’s where you can have co-workers snitching for basically any reason.

    What scares me now about the laws is that people on my twitter feed are going crazy, wanting an overly broad interpretation of what a red flag is. The major issue with red flag laws is that it is hard and unfair to ask people to play amateur psychiatrist. You will only catch major outliers, outliers who are probably subject to existing laws. The Lott and Moody paper suggests they don’t actually work (though I think they need more observations tbh).

    When the red flag laws go in the 2nd may be gutted. There will be no gun owner that a Leftist will not feel is a threat to them some way.

    It is a tool for griefing.

    • #27
    • August 7, 2019, at 12:22 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Full Size Tabby Member

    One thing advocates of preemptive action against, say, the “mentally ill” a la “red flag laws” is that to be effective, the actions will be significantly over-inclusive.

    To be sure of denying firearms to the individuals who would otherwise actually kill people the process will inevitably also deny firearms to a much larger number of individuals who would never actually kill someone else. There is no predictive algorithm to target actual future killers and only actual future killers

    How many not actual future killers are we (society) willing to deprive of their rights? If the answer is “many” then there will be a significant social cost to the program in people stigmatized and perhaps feeling less safe (since they will not be able to have a tool to defend themselves). If the answer is “very few,” then it is highly probably that actual future killers will escape the preemptive net and we will not have solved the problem we claim we want to solve. 

    Alan Dershowitz has an opinion column in today’s (Wednesday, August 7) Wall Street Journal (probably behind the paywall) that urges caution on “red flag laws” because the predictions will be unreliable, and implementing them we will deprive a non-trivial number of citizens of their rights. 

    • #28
    • August 7, 2019, at 12:32 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Readers may find this informative – it’s the testimony of David Kopel of the Cato Institute at the Senate Judiciary Committee in March of this year, regarding Red Flag Laws.

    He recommends the following provisions for any state law and for any federal action encouraging such laws:

    Such orders can be legitimate when fair procedures accurately identify dangerous individuals. Such laws include the following features:

    •Petitions initiated by law enforcement, not by spurned dating partners or relationships from long ago.

    •Ex parte hearings only when there is proof of necessity.

    •Proof by clear and convincing evidence, which has been corroborated.

    •Guarantees of all due process rights, including cross-examination and right to counsel.

    •Court-appointed counsel if the respondent so wishes.

    •A civil remedy for victims of false and malicious petitions.

    •Safe and orderly procedures for relinquishment of firearms.

     •Strict controls on no-knock raids.

    •Storage of relinquished firearms by responsible third parties.

    •Prompt restoration of concealed carry permits for the falsely accused.

    •Prompt return of firearms upon the termination of an order.

    •Renewal of orders based on presentation of clear and convincing proof.

    •Not allowing time-limited orders to be bootstrapped into lifetime federal prohibition.

    He notes that some existing state laws have these features but others do not. Kopel also testified that the model law being pushed by the Giffords and Bloomberg organizations does not contain these protections (no surprise there).

    He concludes:

    Federal funding can encourage states to adopt confiscation laws that safeguard public safety and respect civil rights. Federal funding should reward adoption of best practices, many of which have already been enacted in some states. Federal incentives should aim to reduce the high error rate of ex parte orders, and to ensure protection of due process at every step. States should be rewarded for due process protections, such as appointed counsel for all respondents, and careful controls on ex parte proceedings. States that thwart cross-examination, promote unnecessary no-knock raids, leave innocent victims without a civil remedy for false or malicious petitions, or deny any of the seven core elements of due process should not be rewarded with federal funding.

    Whether or not you agree with the need for such legislation his analysis helps to understand the issues associated with this type of proposal.

    • #29
    • August 7, 2019, at 2:27 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  30. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    On his departure for El Paso, President Trump went completely wobbly on the Second Amendment. He said yes to “background checks” which is Democrat code for universal gun registration. See his 2016 campaign answer in contrast.

    He even said that there was no support for an “assault weapons ban” but that he was open. That was a flat contradiction of his written 2016 campaign promise and a complete deal breaker. He seems completely rattled now, for some reason, and in real danger of throwing away the 2020 election, like GHW Bush.

    All of his positive positions on guns as tools of self defense, of the danger of “gun free” zones, of concealed carry holders as the real first responders, have evaporated this time.

     

    • #30
    • August 7, 2019, at 4:10 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
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