What a piece of crapaganda. I could write an LtE in rebuttal, but I can tell it wouldn’t get published by these weasels; they clearly have a vested interest in concealing the truth. I can do a better job here. And probably get more readers.
Our View: ‘Red flag’ laws work to prevent suicide
Red flag laws have gained popularity since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last year. The shooter in that case had exhibited troubling behavior in the time leading up to shooting, but there were no mechanisms in the law for cutting off his access to guns.
And here we go. There were multiple mechanisms in place. The scumsucker could have been arrested and charged for any of his reported crimes. Said allegations included destruction of property, killing animals, and death threats; and that was just at home, with at least 40 reported responses by law enforcement.
He could have been reported by his school, where he had a history going back to at least middle school of destruction of property and assault. The school declined to have him arrested, preferring to pretend his violence didn’t exceed the thresholds of their diversion program (which it did).
He could have been Baker Acted. They specifically opted not to do that.
He could have been investigated and arrested by local law enforcement and the FBI, both of which had received multiple (are you seeing a trend here?) credible reports that he intended to shoot up his school.
On the day of the shooting, the assigned school monitors and on-site deputy could have stopped him. They chose to hide.
If no one will do their jobs, all the laws in the world won’t help.
In order to confiscate someone’s firearms, however, family members or police must convince a judge that there is probable cause that there is an “immediate and present danger” that the person will cause bodily harm to themselves or others.
If the judge rules that there is probably cause, the firearms are then confiscated. However, a hearing must be held within 14 days among all parties.
Note the bait and switch. If you were ignorant of red flag laws, you could easily get the impression that the hearing, held within 14 days, comes before the theft of firearms. It doesn’t.
Here’s how it really works: Anonymous snitch makes claim. Judge rubber stamps order same day without even letting the accused know there’s an accusation, much less hearing his side. Cops confiscate guns, that being the first time the accused knows anything is going on. Human/civil rights violated in a no-due process ex parte star chamber secret proceeding.
Opposition to red flag laws in Maine has largely come from sportsmen’s groups and gun-rights advocates. They say such laws take away a person’s right to due process and open the way for people to file false claims by way of revenge or retaliation.
Damned right we do. Perhaps the Editorial Board is unaware that due process is defined in federal law and red flag ex parte proceedings violate living hell out of it.
That was merely misleading. This part is an outright lie:
That is hardly any different from a protection-from-abuse order, which is created through largely the same process, and allows a judge to restrict who someone can talk to and where they can go.
No, it is extremely different. A protection-from-abuse order is issued after a hearing in which both parties are notified in advance and have the opportunity to give their side of the story, and can have legal counsel.
The very point of a red flag order is to not give the accused victim any notice; it’s supposed to be a surprise, and he won’t know who did it to him until he finally gets his day in court. Weeks after the fact.
And the orders are not given out capriciously – they are the result of a process with checks and balances that can suss out false claims.
There are no checks and balances in most versions of ex parte red flag laws. Proposed amendments to provide penalties for making a false claim to the judge have almost always been voted down. The order is issued the same day the petition is filed, with no time to “suss out false claims.”
This version has nothing more that a requirement that the court inform the petitioner snitch “that it is a crime to make a false statement under oath in a court document.” That’s easy to get around, since it isn’t a false report of something allegedly happening, like a real crime; the snitch must merely claim, “Well, I really did feel that something bad could happen.”
Disprove feelz. After the fact. Go ahead, try.
Red flag laws don’t trample on rights.
Red flag laws don their hobnailed jackboots and stomp human/civil rights into formless paste. Bloody paste.
They are not a shadow “gun grab.”
What else do you call anonymous claims behind the victim’s back, in secrecy’s shadow?
Every single state in the country already has constitutionally-vetted laws that allow for a potentially dangerous person (to self or others) to be briefly (generally a max of 72 hours during which the person is allowed outside contact) taken into custody for evaluation, during which time he has no access to weapons. All red flag laws do is strip away the rights to representation, and impose restrictions of rights for weeks without recourse.
While leaving the allegedly danger person on the loose. Without any evaluation.
This is probably the most complete collection of deception, prevarication, bait & switch, and snide innuendo in support of the evil of ex parte red flag laws which I’ve encountered to date. The Portland Press Herald should be ashamed of themselves and make a public apology for their crimes against journalism and humanity.