Governor Ralph “Infanticide” Northam has called a special session of the Virginia General Assembly to address gun control legislation. This comes less than a week after the tragic mass shooting in Virginia Beach. A couple of bill’s that he is hoping to have brought up are restrictions on high capacity magazines, a ban on silencers ( which already take a special license to purchase), mandating universal background checks, limiting handgun purchases to one gun a month and what I feel is the worse violation of not only our 2nd Amendment rights but also those rights covered by the 4th and 5th Amendments and that is the introduction of Red Flag Laws.
None of these proposed laws would have altered the outcome of this tragedy in Virginia Beach. DeWayne Craddock had purchased the two handguns he used on separate occasions months apart. So, a one handgun a month law would not have made a difference. He also had to pass an FBI and Virginia State Police background check both times so a universal background check would not have made a difference. The silencer he used on the handgun as far as I know was purchased legally and requires an even more extensive background check that can take up to 6 months to process and is expensive, and as far as I can tell this is the first time a silencer has been used in a mass shooting in recent history. To ban high capacity magazines which seems to mean anything over ten rounds would also make little difference to anyone who has any experience with semi-auto handguns. It just takes one or two seconds to change out an empty magazine. However a ban on these magazines would negatively affect anyone relying on a gun for self-defense. Most people I know who carry concealed cannot always carry extra magazines and therefore rely on a weapon that has a higher capacity.
Finally, the biggest problem I have with Northam’s proposals is the one for Red Flag Laws, instituting these laws would be the equivalent of legalized swatting. It is supposed to allow people to report someone who they believe may do harm to others or themselves and without any reliable proof the authorities can seize the persons weapons without so much as a court order or allowing the accused to confront his accuser. In most cases the accused does not even know there is a problem until the police or in some cases the swat team is banging on their door. (Here is a previous post were I discuss the similarities of Red Flag Laws and swatting).
To summarize none of these new laws could have prevented the Virginia Beach shooting. The guns were legally purchased, and background checks were done. Magazines with 10 rounds or less would not have made this man decide against going on a shooting spree. The use of a silencer did not make the gun more deadly. The weapons were purchased months apart so the one gun a month law would not have been effective, and the Red Flag Law would not have made any difference since this man gave no sign of being a danger to others or himself. So, what we are looking at from our Governor is just another excuse to push his gun control agenda that he failed to get through during the last legislative session.
With the warm weather hitting our state I figured it was time to visit the local ABC store to purchase some gin to go with our tonic and limes. Upon approaching the counter the customer in front of me a 40 something woman was told that she needed to show her ID. I thought this a little strange since she was obviously over twenty-one but I didn’t think to much about it. That is when I heard the clerk say that as of July 1st all retailers that sold alcohol would be required to see ID from anyone purchasing these type of beverages. What bothered me however was not that requirement but the fact that at least at the ABC stores they are required to scan the ID’s, this serves no purpose but to gather information about the purchaser.
According to an official that I spoke with from the regional ABC office he stated the only reason that they scan the ID’s is to verify the date of birth. A date of birth which is clearly stated on the ID. Now I am sure that this scanning procedure is supposed to filter out altered ID’s but why then is it necessary for someone like myself to provide proof of age and have it scanned when it is quit apparent that I am several decades passed the minimum age to purchase alcohol? If anything I would alter an ID to make me younger not older.
Maybe I am a little paranoid but with states passing Red Flag Laws (Are Red Flag Laws Much Different Than Swatting), what is to stop someone or the government from using your history of alcohol purchases against you? This information could be used any number of ways, in civil suits, divorce proceedings, child custody cases or violating your 2nd Amendment rights via Red Flag Laws. The state and federal government already compile to much information about us and we need to try and stop them even on what may be considered an inconsequential ID scan.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Red Flag Laws are being implemented in many states and the Federal Government is also supporting and encouraging this violation of our 2nd Amendment rights. These laws can allow for relatives and neighbors to report to the authorities individuals who they believe could do harm to themselves or others. With out any due process police have and do appear at peoples homes to confiscate a persons lawfully owned firearms.
The reason I am comparing this to swatting is that anyone who has an issue with a relative or neighbor can contact the authorities to report them as dangerous. Because of the lack of due process the person reported does not know he is being targeted until the swat team is breaking down his front door. I can foresee this law being used to get back at someone who has pissed you off, thus no different than swatting.
As I have said in a previous post on this subject, the state does not remove a persons drivers license because he is an alcoholic. They wait until he has broken the law. So why should citizens who lawfully own firearms not have the same right?