Beginning January 1st, new gun-safety legislation goes into effect which will allow authorities to seize a person’s weapon for 21 days if a judge determines that there is a potential for violence.
The bill is presented as a means of having an emergency “gun violence restraining order” to impose on a loved one should they be experiencing some sort of incident or reaction that would create a situation in which allowing that person to posses a firearm “poses an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to himself, herself or another by having in his or her custody or control.”
“The law gives us a vehicle to cause the person to surrender their weapons, to have a time out, if you will,” Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Chief Michael Moore told a local NPR affiliate. “It allows further examination of the person’s mental state.”
“It’s a short duration and it allows for due process,” he continued, adding: “It’s an opportunity for mental health professionals to provide an analysis of a person’s mental state.”
Despite the gentle phrasing of the Chief’s statement, clearly designed to pacify with his good-natured “Time-Out” that is offered, it should be clear that this bill is a flagrant violation of every American’s 2nd Amendment rights. Cloaked in good intentions, this new law allows for the ability to disarm one perceived as a threat based on the assumption of potential violence or crime. That is assuming one is not shot dead in the seconds following the officers arrival.
Based on the rising death toll of the nation’s collective police force in 2015 (which has surpassed 1100) this country’s officers are not known for their ability to disarm a possibly unstable man with a gun. Their track record has shown that if one decides to call the police to warn of a potential violent act or possible crime a family member might commit, and said family member is armed, statistics would suggest that the family member will be shot dead before any “Time-Out” is given.
This law gives the authorities the right to disarm one who has committed no crime, based on the opinion of a family member, or the assertion that such a claim has been made.
“[I]t’s the family members, it’s the people closest to the perpetrator who are in the best position to notice red flags,” Dr. Wendy Patrick, a San Diego State University professor and attorney, told San Diego’s CBS affiliate this week.
This is dangerously grey area being ventured into. Once one can cast restrictions on another’s constitutional rights based on the assumption of a crime, or potential violence that might be committed, there is no going back. That is the beginning of the end of Western Democracy, or the illusion of its existence that all so deftly hold on to. The very Orwellian/Minority Report dynamic that is taking place here is unprecedented. In a perfect world citizens could depend on their officials to not abuse this ability. In this perfect world one could depend on those is positions of power to relieve an American of their 2nd Amendment right for only just and moral reasons. Yet, sadly, this is not the world in which we live, and a simple glimpse back over the previous year will show that men with such power will inevitably abuse it.
“We don’t need another law to solve this problem,” Sam Paredes, the executive director of Gun Owners of California, told The Associated Press. “We think this just misses the mark and may create a situation where law-abiding gun owners are put in jeopardy.”
Sources: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/dec/29/california-gun-violence-restraining-order-law-goin/, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/01/the-counted-police-killings-us-database