First, I want to let you know how much I admire your bravery. Standing up against your fellow classmates, who became anti-gun media giants overnight surely wasn’t an easy thing to do.
As a die-hard Second Amendment supporter, it was great to see somebody standing up for what I believe in against the David Hoggs of the world. Despite the left’s attempts to shut you up and slander you, your words have only become more powerful.
But despite my admiration for you, my support for the Second Amendment comes first. That’s why I wanted to explain to you why your recent support for “red flag” gun bills is extremely dangerous. I wanted to write to you after seeing this recent Tweet:
A sawed off shot gun is illegal. Pipe hombs are illegal.
You know what wouldn't have changed anything? Gun control.
You know what could've? School safety and red flag gun laws.
— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) May 18, 2018
I have written in the past about the dangers of these bills, oftentimes dubbed “Gun Violence Restraining Orders,” or “Extreme Risk Protection Orders.” That’s why I wanted to write directly to you explaining my position, not to attack you, but rather to educate you about the other side of this issue.
As I’m sure you already know, “Red Flag” bills operate by allowing a relative, family member, or in some cases, an acquaintance to petition a court to remove firearms from an individual they believe to be a danger to themselves or others. The laws do include a process to allow individuals effected to prove their innocence and regain their firearms, but that process is where the problem with this legislation lies.
That is the reason that pro-gun groups like Gun Owners of America and the National Association for Gun Rights are opposed to these measures. Our right to keep and bear arms is a natural right protected by the Second Amendment in our Constitution. Also included in that Constitution is the right to due process.
Is it really due process if a vindictive, or just radically anti-gun relative convinces a judge you are crazy, therefore allowing police to ransack your home and take away your guns? Because that is the reality of these bills. Once your guns are taken away, the burden of proof is on YOU to convince a court you should be allowed to have your guns back.
I know a likely reason for your support of these bills comes down to the fact they could have been used against the monster that shot up your school. But in reality, it probably would not have been used in his case.
Police had every justification in the world to take away Nikolas Cruz’s guns. Between the police and school disciplinary officials, they came into contact with him almost one hundred times. There were also multiple occasions where Cruz could have been charged with a felony, resulting in his guns being taken away.
But the reason none of his offenses prevented him from owning a gun comes down to an Obama-era regulation designed to protect young offenders. If just one of his major offenses had been placed on his criminal record, he would not have been able to purchase the firearm he used.
The fact of the matter is: no new gun regulation will stop future shootings. If you are serious about preventing shootings, which I know you are, you must focus on the core of the issue. The real problem is gun free zones. As long as we allow the children of our nation to spend their days in gun free zones, the shootings will continue.
Research compiled by the Crime Prevention Research Center shows that over 98% of U.S. mass shootings from the 1950’s until 2016 have occurred in gun free zones. Rep. Thomas Massie has filed a bill to end these gun free killing zones. I can’t tell you how to spend your time, but I believe you would be much better served using it to advocate for his bill, which would repeal the Gun Free School Zones Act.
I hope you take my words not as criticism, but as advice from a friend. Thank you for all that you do, Kyle.
— Luke Rohlfing
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