Let’s Talk about Gun Violence Restraining Orders

Story By: Derek Bullis, Opinion Editor

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We can’t predict the future. 

But on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed hundreds of new bills into effect. Among them was AB-61. It criminalizes individuals based on the assumption that they will pose a threat in the future. 

AB-61 expands on an already existing Gun Violence Restraining Order law that will be updated to allow employers, co-workers and college faculty the ability to petition to have an individual’s Second Amendment right temporary taken away without due process or the completion of a crime. 

The current GVRO law that started in 2016 allows only direct family members, and neighbors the ability to petition for a GVRO against an individual that they suspect has a substantial likelihood in the near future of being a harm to self or danger to others. 

Once the restraining order is in place law enforcement officers can then come into the home and confiscate any legally possessed firearms, and ammunition that an individual might have. 

That individual then has to plead for their innocence of any violent intent in court to have their possessions and amendment rights returned to them. 

This is the equivalent to the DMV taking your driver’s license away because someone reports that you will be a bad driver. 

AB-61 reminds me of Minority Report, one of my favorite sci-fi films.

The film is set in 2054 and revolves around Chief John Anderton, an investigator with the cities new and experimental Pre-Crime Unit. 

At Pre-Crime Anderton’s job as an investigator is to hunt down and arrest violent criminals before they can commit their crimes.

Sounds all too familiar. 

I would be jailed a 100,000 times over for the number of times I thought about running a red light or thought about jaywalking but didn’t act on it. 

The reason all of this sounds ridiculous because it is ridiculous. 

We do this for no other crimes but it’s something that is allowed and tolerated when dealing in the realm of preventing gun violence and mass casualty shootings. 

This is the moral dilemma that we are asked to face; is the safety and security of the majority less important than maintaining and upholding an individual’s human and constitutional rights? 

These are not rational laws, they are emotional laws. 

It starts with thinking that we want to help create more security and end gun violence, so we allow ourselves the ability to convict suspects without just cause and due process. 

So much for innocent until proven guilty. 

Red Flag laws allow a disgruntled neighbor or co-worker to put a 21 day restriction and confiscation of firearms that were legally acquired. 

We can’t predict the future so the presumption of innocence is absolutely critical and needs to be maintained in order to continue to have law and order. 

Our future as a nation hangs on maintaining those basic principles. 

 

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