“Red Flag” Laws, or, Why Gun Owners are Stupid

What is it about gun owners that makes us argue stupid things? We get all facts and logic about something but the reality is that facts and logic don’t change minds. If facts and logic worked to change minds, no one would be pro gun control.

Case in point. So called “Red Flag” laws. Sometimes called “Extreme Risk Protection Orders,” these laws basically say that someone can report you to the government, usually in secret, and a judge will secretly order your guns seized without ever giving you a chance to dispute it in court. At some later date, you are expected to show up in court, with a lawyer you’ve paid for, and try to get the judge to agree that you’re not a danger to anyone.

Cue the gun rights activists:

This seems like a fair criticism, doesn’t it? Secret Star Chamber rulings that take away enumerated fundamental civil rights seems like it would be totally against the Constitution. Kind of a slam dunk 4th and 14th Amendment violations.

Here’s the problem.


Is that a little harsh for you? Too bad. No one gives two hoots in hell about the due process of law for gun owners. The gun grabbers actively want to prevent you from getting any due process, and the middle ground people just don’t give a damn one way or another.

Why does this matter? Because gun owners are so stupid that they make unpersuasive arguments that no one but they care about. Only gun owners actually care about due process of law for gun owners. So stop making the argument and pretending that you’re moving public opinion.


To my mind there’s a much better argument against so called “Red Flag” laws.

They don’t work.

It’s not because they are gun control laws and gun control laws by their very nature just don’t work. No, “Red Flag” laws don’t work because they were never intended to work. They literally cannot achieve their stated purpose.

Let’s take a look…

Imagine that you were a person of good will, just trying to prevent crazy people from doing damage to the rest of society with their craziness. For the purpose of this discussion, “crazy” encompasses everything from “psychotic” to “hates people because of their skin color.” While technically being a racist isn’t in the DSM-V (as far as I know), people who murder others based on their skin tone are crazy for our purposes. Regular well adjusted people (even racist ones) don’t murder people. Only crazy people do that.

For the purposes of this discussion, we’re going to imagine the “best case scenario.” In this case, the “Red Flag” law works EXACTLY as it is intended. Nothing at all goes wrong. No one does anything foolish, stupid, venal, or criminal in the process. Everything works perfectly.

  • A person is actually dangerously crazy for whatever reason.
  • A person with a legitimate concern goes to the appropriate reporting agency and reports that the person is dangerous.
  • The reporting agency does their due diligence and verifies all the information given to them.
  • That agency takes the reporting person in front of a judge, who carefully evaluates the reports of the person reporting and the agency that evaluated the situation
  • After careful review the judge comes to the correct conclusion that the dangerously crazy person is actually a danger to himself or others and authorizes seizure of his/her/xer’s firearms.
  • The local police, in a carefully planned and perfectly executed mission capture the dangerously crazy person, expertly search his house, car, and all his possessions, and seize every single firearm the dangerously crazy person has.
  • Then they walk away, leaving the dangerously crazy person free to do whatever he wants with the kitchen knives, gasoline, and the chemicals under the sink.

Remember, this scenario is the BEST CASE SCENARIO.

Let Gru explain the process to you:

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Would anyone with even half a brain have come up with this stupidity? Get a judge to rule that a person is dangerously crazy but instead of putting him somewhere he can be helped (or punished) just leave him on the side of the road after taking his guns? No one with a lick of sense would even consider a law this dumb. A two year old could figure out that if a person is so dangerous that you need to take his firearms, he’s so dangerous that you need to invite him for a custodial stay at the happy place with the nice young men in clean white coats. Or he needs to go to jail.

This is how you know that the gun grabbers are lying. They say, “It’s not about the guns, it’s about safety!” But in the end all they’ve done is seize the guns. No attempt is made to put the dangerously crazy person in a mental institution. Nope, just take the guns. It’ll be fine!

So called “Red Flag” laws are a lie. There’s no way to make them work. They aren’t designed to work. They’re designed to violate your civil rights while not actually solving the problem of preventing crazy people from killing themselves or others.

Stop making the weak Due Process argument. Judges might be interested in that argument once it gets into court, but the public doesn’t care. Use the stronger argument. That argument is “If you’ve gone to all the trouble to convince a judge that dude is nuts, why not take dude down to a safe and secure location where he can get the treatment he needs?”

Anyone who cannot be trusted with a firearm cannot be trusted without a custodian.

5 responses to ““Red Flag” Laws, or, Why Gun Owners are Stupid

  1. don’t refer to them using the gun controllers and media preferred labels, call them what they are: Gun Confiscation Orders.

    We use the softer, kinder, gentler language of the enemy and our side is lulled into a false sense of security. We properly point out that these orders are without the subject’s prior knowledge and results in a no knock warrant on their house in the middle of the night by teams of storm troopers and things are portrayed more accurately

    You’re right also, the GCOs cannot be reconciled with a free society.

  2. riteturn/ Mac'

    Not only that – but if the person is really nuts and bent on death and destruction it is easy to get weapons for cash on the streets of any major city. Just because they acquired the seized weapons legally doesn’t mean they now have no other route to get them. Criminals don’t respect laws. (Liberals gasp in horror at reality.)

  3. Guess what. They don’t care. They know “Red Flag” laws don’t perform their stated purpose. That’s the point.

    It’s Motte and Bailey all the way down.

  4. I’m curious what data states they don’t work? I’m not aware of any and curious.

    It’s hard to discuss other than ‘they don’t work’ if you really are trying to discuss in this day and age vs. just yell at each other. I had a close friend lose his only son in a situation that a red flag *might* have avoided. A horrible divorce, a wife who was in the criminal legal system and was using it against him to try and destroy him, she failed, and had her parental rigths terminated. She beat him to his home, convinced her parents to slow him down as she ‘said goodbye’ and then went and got her 9mm and murdered the young boy and offed herself.

    If there was any form of law that said ‘hey you’ve reported this guy for sex abuse, student abuse, maybe we should take your gun for a bit’ could that have been avoided? i don’t know, I don’t have a simulator that would let me figure that out. it makes me wonder, and I know this is a very personal experience for me so I try to look at it impartially but again and again I think maybe there might have been a difference there.

    I mean if the flag can be challenged and there is recourse, and it calms people down maybe it’s a good circuit breaker. I mean it looks like blocking and tackling to me, not necessarily omg give up your rights.

  5. So, Tom, let me see if I can understand this.

    Crazy woman loses her court case
    Crazy woman goes to HIS house
    Crazy woman takes HER gun
    Crazy woman shoots their child.

    Your proposal is that someone *could* have reported her as being the crazy person she was and the cops would have gone to her house and taken her gun. But left her free to stab, strangle, or burn the kid do death.

    Am I getting that right? Do I understand your plan correctly?

    I have to tell you that your plan kinda sucks.

    So-called “Red Flag” laws do not work because they were never designed to work. They were designed to take guns, not stop crazy women from murdering their children. If it was designed to stop crazy women from murdering their children, then it wouldn’t put their guns in jail. It would put the crazy women in jail. Or at least a padded room.

    It’s not “blocking and tackling.” It’s a lie offered by gun grabbers in an attempt to take away guns without even attempting to offer something that might possibly look like public safety.

    If someone is so far off the beam that a judge decides that they are a danger to themselves and others, they should be locked up. Just going to their house and grabbing their guns isn’t nearly enough. And if they’re not dangerous enough to put them in a padded room or a cell, then they’re not dangerous enough to take away their guns.