The Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, recently posted this absolutely asinine graphic on Twitter. Through it, he works to assure his followers that red flag laws, gun control proposals that allow for the confiscation of firearms, are a good idea. He even goes so far as to say that they uphold due process and are “temporary.”
Red flag laws allow us to take action when someone who has a gun begins to act erratically.
Red flag laws still require due process, and any removal of weapons is temporary. pic.twitter.com/IVPHgbrvhD
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) June 16, 2022
The graphic explains the process of red flag laws like this: Jane sees a Facebook friend, Randy, post “photos of guns and cryptic messages.” She then reports him to the police. (Holy escalation!)
The police then petition a judge to “temporarily” remove Randy’s Second Amendment rights. Police provide “evidence” (seemingly a cryptic Facebook post in this scenario) that Randy is a threat to himself or others. The court agrees to temporarily take away Randy’s rights.
Kumbaya. The justice system is perfect. Nothing to see here.
The absolute ignorance of our justice system and its operations it would take to genuinely post this and to think it makes a good point is jaw-dropping. It’s ironic, too, because proponents of red flag laws say that they’re only going to be used in extreme cases, like when someone is publicly threatening to shoot up a school, for example. But this graphic actually proves the opposite—it all starts over “photos of guns” and “cryptic messages,” neither of which are illegal or even necessarily concerning.
I find it impossible to believe someone could rise to the level of governor, particularly on the Left, and be this naive. Rather, it seems indicative of a kind of tribalism that only cares about injustices when they go against one’s political friends.
Democrats are the first to complain about our criminal justice system, and often for good reason. Yet pointing out that police frequently lie both under oath and to obtain warrants, that wrongful convictions regularly occur, and that most people don’t get their day in court anymore because 99% of cases are pleaded out, is all useless if you then go on to make everything worse with your other policies.
Red flag laws seek to remove the basic constitutional protections guaranteed to all Americans before their liberties can be taken away. There is not sufficient due process, because the accused have no representation and get no trial before they have their rights taken away.
And while there may be “recourse” or a method for targeted individuals to petition the court and get their rights back, that really becomes a question of means. Can you afford an attorney to fight back? Do you have the time away from work to pursue recourse? And even if you prevail, can you recover the damage done to your reputation in the process?
Furthermore, why would anyone think these protocols are not prime for abuse from other citizens as well. Society has been grappling with the Karen effect for some time. The honest truth is there are a certain number of very bored, empty individuals running around out in society with nothing better to do than rat on their neighbor for the slightest imagined infraction.
Can you imagine how overrun our courts would be if every left-wing Karen could report people for merely owning guns and not liking their government? We have an environment where people are being told speech is violence and where a not insignificant part of the population believes they are justified in “canceling” someone for simply holding differing political views.
We already knew that the red flag law system is ripe for abuse. But Tom Wolf just proved our point all over again.