By Tom Quiner
Democrats are the party of Government. The bigger the better.
Following each successive mass shooting, and they just don’t stop coming at us, Democrats cry out in unison for more top down gun laws.
There is seldom any discussion as to the why so many people want to kill as many people as they can. Nor is there any discussion as to the why the laws already on the books continue to fail.
The tragic shootings in Florida last week are a case in point. This was the 4th time the Feds had info about potential mass shooters, but didn’t stop them:
√ Parkland School shooter –> 17 dead
√ Charleston church shooter –> 9 dead
√ Orlando nightclub shooter –> 49 dead
√ Sutherland Springs church shooter –> 26 dead
101 dead, and far more wounded. Do we need more top-down laws when the ones on the books aren’t working? Or do we need more bottom-up laws which empower the folks in local communities to take effective action when they identify someone with the potential to become a mass shooter?
Writing in the National Review, David French makes a good case for shifting our interventions to the local level through a legal device called a gun-violence restraining order (GVRO). Says French:
“While there are various versions of these laws working their way through the states (California passed a GVRO statute in 2014, and it went into effect in 2016), broadly speaking they permit a spouse, parent, sibling, or person living with a troubled individual to petition a court for an order enabling law enforcement to temporarilytake that individual’s guns right away. A well-crafted GVRO should contain the following elements (“petitioners” are those who seek the order, “the respondent” is its subject):
It should limit those who have standing to seek the order to a narrowly defined class of people (close relatives, those living with the respondent);
It should require petitioners to come forward with clear, convincing, admissible evidence that the respondent is a significant danger to himself or others;
It should grant the respondent an opportunity to contest the claims against him;
In the event of an emergency, ex parte order (an order granted before the respondent can contest the claims), a full hearing should be scheduled quickly — preferably within 72 hours; and
The order should lapse after a defined period of time unless petitioners can come forward with clear and convincing evidence that it should remain in place.
In other words, French says that if an individual is making threats, posting violent images, and seems infatuated with mass murder, immediate family members would have a legal course of action to prevent him from purchasing guns.
The FBI received information about the Parkland shooter that would have justified a court issuing a GVRO. Would the GVRO have kept a gun out of the shooter’s hands? Don’t know, but we know the outcome couldn’t have been any worse, and in fact, how could it have not have helped to some degree?
It seems that an approach like this would enjoy bi-partisan support. It won’t end all shootings, but it just might help reduce the carnage.