February 28, 2018: “Common Sense”

 

“Common sense” proposals always seem to infringe on one group or class of Citizens.  Such a proposal would be to add persons who have been expelled from any educational system to be prohibited from purchasing a firearm.  In the simplest form this would be an additional prohibiting condition like a felony conviction or misdemeanor domestic violence conviction. 

Being expelled demonstrates a person’s inability to play well with others. It demonstrates a lack of conformity.  It demonstrates a lack of self-control in a mainstay of American society.  And by any educational system I am speaking of public and private schools.  Homeschooling looks like a loophole that would require further investigation. 

But unlike a felony conviction or a domestic violence conviction, where due process has been done to arrive at the conviction, any proposal that infringes on Constitutional Rights BEFORE due process should be eventually struck down as UN-Constitutional. 

Politicians like Senator Nelson who call for “Common Sense” after mass shootings are always taking an ass-backward approach to prevention of violent acts. Senator Nelson wants to limit law-abiding Citizens liberty and call it “public safety”.  That approach does nothing to identify or remove violent mentally ill people from our society.

Anti-Gun advocates think it is acceptable to remove the liberties of mentally stable gun owners but they are loath to imping on the liberties of people who spew violent rhetoric and make threats against other Citizens. They think removing all the implements will prevent the violence.  That does nothing to address the cause of the violence, mental illness.

The problem of schools shootings in particular and violence in American in general is a multi-faceted problem. Contributing factors include individuals inability to resolve conflict non-violently along with a prominent display of violent rhetoric for which there is no consequence. 

Apparently if you’re a successful entertainer you can say you’ve thought about blowing up the White House to hundreds of people in a public place without repercussion.   But if you’re a no-body airline traveler in a security line, you can’t say a movie you just watched was a “bomb” without being detained and cavity searched because someone over heard the word “bomb”. 

Any new legislation must provide for due process BEFORE restricting the rights of a group of Citizens or at least be associated with an arrest for criminal behavior.  Violent behavior and verbal death threats need to be addressed where first responders or family members can request intervention and Law Enforcement can obtain a warrant  for confiscation when an individual has been declared mentally defective.

Then the issue becomes the reporting to the NCIS. There are multitudes of examples of agencies that should have reported individuals that have not.  Has there been any consequence for those agencies?  How is the Air Force or those responsible for reporting Devin Patrick Kelley’s domestic violence conviction being handled?   Making the background check “stronger” is really about ensuring the reporting that should be done is being done. 

 

The “C” word is a big deal in the gun rights arena. Confiscation without due process is the biggest fear of Second Amendment supports.  Anti-gun supporters want confiscation no matter how they get there. 

If enacted in some form, confiscation will likely follow to the home of the children who commit breach of peace by carrying a firearm to school. Either the child is devious enough to overcome the safeguards, or the parents or guardians lack safeguards.  In either case the firearms need to be removed if it is determined that the child obtained the firearm from the home.  In Florida it is a crime (790.174) to leave firearms accessible to children.

Confiscation does not equate to seizure. It should not be a permanent infringement in every case.  A mandatory minimum could be enacted as a period to correct to situation that triggered the confiscation.  Security systems are put in place, the child moves out, there is no repeat of the offense or the people petition to have their firearm disability restored.  In each case it would be up to the persons who has committed, or allowed a commission or an illegal act that leads to a conviction to take steps to ensure they are acting responsibility toward the rest of society. 

The State would be responsible for holding the confiscated firearms for the mandatory period. During that time the prohibited person could use the existing system for relief of the firearms disability.  If that has not been accomplished within the mandatory period, or there has been another conviction for a prohibiting act, then the firearms would be forfeit to the State.  Forfeit firearms sold at auction would offset some of the cost. 

 

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