With the recent mass shootings across the country within a span of a few days, this have led multiple Republican and Democrat leaders to support the implementation of red flag gun laws, including here in Arizona.
First, we must understand what these “red flag gun laws” are. A red flag gun law allows members of law enforcement or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves.
With this, comes the direct violation of citizen’s right to due process. The United States Constitution states that no one shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” Taking the property of citizens who have not been convicted of a crime violates this provision.
Sure, these types of laws sound great and could stop another mass shooting from happening. But here’s the problem, it hasn’t. In fact, it even caused the death of a 61-year-old Maryland resident in late 2018. According to the CBS article, It wasn’t clear why the “red flag” order was issued.
On Monday night, six Philadelphia police officers were shot while serving a warrant on a suspect who already had an extensive criminal record. By Pennsylvania state law, this suspect was already prohibited from possessing firearms. But guess what, he was still able to shoot six police officers.
Unfortunately, this type of incident has happened all over the country where people who are prohibited possessors still access firearms and do harm.
Calls to enact these laws here in Arizona now coming from the Governor’s Office, are quite alarming. Arizona is still considered by many as the wild west, where we cling to God and our guns.
According to a Washington Post article, a mass shooting is defined by 4 or more people being injured or killed. By that definition, Arizona has had 5 mass shootings since 1990…including the Buddhist temple massacre and the 2011 Tucson shooting where former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot and US District Judge John Roll was killed.
Now, if you compare that to other states that have “red flag gun laws” such as California and Illinois, the number is far greater than Arizona. This is ultimately related to innocent people being stripped of the right to protect themselves. We saw this especially in the 2015 San Bernardino shooting where a couple (who used guns that were already illegal in California) marched into a gun free zone and murdered 14 people and injured 22.
It’s so sad and shocking that leaders from both sides can’t comprehend the comparison that more gun laws, only stop innocent people from protecting themselves, which ultimately result in the deaths of more people. If these “red flag gun laws” are passed here in Arizona, it won’t stop shootings…it’ll only increase the chances of innocent people being killed due to the inability to protect themselves.
To the leaders here in Arizona wanting to enact legislation that restricts the right of people to protect themselves…back off. Use your time and resources to focus on treatment for those who are mentally ill or come from broken homes.
From a 2018 Patheos article, 26 out of 27 of the mass shootings that happened, the shooter came from a fatherless or broken home. This ultimately stems from the lack of God and family values in our society…which were being stripped away in multiple years by the Obama administration.
So please, let us continue to defend ourselves without any type of government interference or violation of our God given rights.
Marc Bretz is an Arizona native and partner at Win Right Strategies, LLC which is a conservative consulting firm.