We never learn. Even the most well-intentioned government law or program can be, and has been perverted, corrupted and used to advance illegitimate purposes once profit and power are added to the equation.
The war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on illegal immigration, asset forfeiture schemes, road safety schemes, school safety schemes, eminent domain: all of these programs started out as legitimate responses to pressing concerns and have since become weapons of compliance and control in the police state’s hands.
Mark my words: gun control legislation, especially in the form of red flag gun laws, which allow the police to remove guns from people suspected of being threats, will only add to the government’s power. These laws, growing in popularity as a legislative means by which to seize guns from individuals viewed as a danger to themselves or others, are yet another Trojan horse, a stealth maneuver by the police state to gain greater power over an unsuspecting and largely gullible populace.
Seventeen states now have red flag laws on their books. That number is growing. As The Washington Post reports, these laws “allow a family member, roommate, beau, law enforcement officer or any type of medical professional to file a petition with a court asking that a person’s home be temporarily cleared of firearms. It doesn’t require a mental-health diagnosis or an arrest.” There is no due process.
These gun confiscation laws, i.e. extreme risk protection order (ERPO) laws, may appease the fears of those who believe that fewer guns in the hands of the general populace will make our society safer. Of course, it doesn’t always work that way. Anything—knives, vehicles, planes, pressure cookers, etc. can become a weapon when wielded with deadly intentions.
With these red flag gun laws, the stated intention is to disarm individuals who are potential threats to “stop dangerous people before they act.” While in theory it appears perfectly reasonable to want to disarm individuals who are clearly suicidal and/or pose an “immediate danger” to themselves or others, where the problem arises is when you put the power to determine who is a potential danger in the hands of government agencies, the courts and the police.
We’ve been down this road before. This is the same government that uses the words “anti-government,” “extremist” and “terrorist” interchangeably. This is the same government whose agents are spinning a sticky spider-web of threat assessments, behavioral sensing warnings, flagged “words,” and “suspicious” activity reports using automated eyes and ears, social media, behavior sensing software, and citizen spies to identify potential threats.
This is the same government that keeps re-upping the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which allows the military to detain American citizens with no access to friends, family or the courts if the government believes them to be a threat.
This is the same government that has a growing list—shared with fusion centers and law enforcement agencies—of ideologies, behaviors, affiliations and other characteristics that could flag someone as suspicious and result in their being labeled potential enemies of the state.
If you believe in and exercise your rights under the Constitution (namely, your right to speak freely, worship freely, associate with like-minded individuals who share your political views, criticize the government, own a weapon, demand a warrant before being questioned or searched, or any other activity viewed as potentially anti-government, racist, bigoted, anarchic or sovereign), you could be at the top of the government’s terrorism watch list.
Moreover, as a New York Times editorial warns, you may be an anti-government extremist, a.k.a. domestic terrorist, in the eyes of the police if you are afraid that the government is plotting to confiscate your firearms, if you believe the economy is about to collapse and the government will soon declare martial law, or if you display an unusual number of political and/or ideological bumper stickers on your car.
Let that sink in a moment. Be warned: once you get on such a government watch list—whether it’s a terrorist watch list, a mental health watch list, a dissident watch list, or a red flag gun watch list—there’s no clear-cut way to get off, whether or not you should actually be on there. You will be tracked wherever you go. You will be flagged as a potential threat and dealt with accordingly. This is pre-crime on an ideological scale and it’s been a long time coming.
The government has been building its pre-crime, surveillance network in concert with fusion centers, data collection agencies, behavioral scientists, corporations, social media, and community organizers and by relying on cutting-edge technology for surveillance, facial recognition, predictive policing, biometrics, and behavioral epigenetics.
On top of that noxious mix, add in a proposal being considered by the Trump Administration for a new government agency HARPA, a healthcare counterpart to the Pentagon’s research and development arm DARPA, that will take the lead in identifying and targeting “signs” of mental illness or violent inclinations among the populace by using artificial intelligence to collect data from Apple Watches, Fitbits, Amazon Echo and Google Home.
It’s the American police state’s take on the dystopian terrors foreshadowed by George Orwell, Aldous Huxley and Phillip K. Dick all rolled up into one oppressive pre-crime and pre-thought crime package.
The Second Amendment’s right to bear arms reflects not only a concern for one’s personal defense but serves as a check on the political power of the ruling authorities. It represents an implicit warning against governmental encroachments on one’s freedoms, the warning shot over the bow to discourage any unlawful violations of our persons or property. As such, it reinforces that necessary balance in the citizen-state relationship.
Certainly, dictators in past regimes have understood this principle only too well. As Adolf Hitler noted, “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.”
Source: Anti-Gun Laws, Sanctuary Cities and the Second Amendment by John W. Whitehead