Another Red Flag Failure
Written by David Risselada,
in Section Gun Politics
There was another tragedy in Florida. Though, this one did not involve a gun. If a gun had been involved it is all too obvious that Florida’s increasingly oppressive gun control laws would have done little to stop it. Florida was one of the first states to adopt the unconstitutional red flag laws after the Parkland school shooting two years ago. Since that time, over 3,500 people have been stripped of their firearms after being deemed a danger to themselves or others. Thirteen-year-old Corey Johnson should have been considered a danger to himself or others. Perhaps that would have stopped him from slashing the throat of young Jovanni Alexander Sierra after he converted to Islam.
Johnson bought the knife from a local Publix store. The parents of Sierra are seeking to sue Publix for selling him the knife because it is illegal for people under the age of eighteen to purchase one. Prohibiting the sale of a knife to minors would most definitely prevent them from obtaining one from just about anywhere else. Perhaps they should institute a national background check for knife purchases because it has kept firearms out of violent criminals’ hands so well. It is a good thing Florida doesn’t have knife control laws in place because they would be a colossal failure.
Johnsons conversion to Islam should have been a red flag because according to the journal “Combating Terrorism Exchange,” the number of Islamic converts committing acts of violence has risen dramatically since September 11, 2001. This isn’t to suggest that all people who convert to Islam are potential threats, that would be a bigoted assumption. There is anecdotal evidence however, that shows “they constitute a growing pool of hundreds, if not thousands, of very dangerous people who represent direct security threats” (Arasli, 2011).
There is also evidence suggesting a high percentage of Muslim terror attacks involve people who have recently converted to the religion. For example, Arasli (2011) states that out of forty-two Islamic terror plots foiled in the U.S. immediately following 9/11, twenty-six of them involved converts. After September 11, Johnsons conversion would have likely caught the attention of investigators.
Today’s rampant political correctness has entirely changed the way terrorism is investigated. Over fears of appearing “Islamophobic,” former FBI director Robert Mueller removed hundreds of pages of documents which identified the growing threat of radical Islam from the training manuals. Taking its place as the new terrorist threat is the American gun owner.
Red flag laws are becoming the go to solution for an imagined gun violence epidemic. Under these draconian, soviet style laws, a person can file a petition with the court to have an individual’s firearms removed based on behavior alone. Dr. Dennis Petrocelli, a clinical psychiatrist, writes in his article Raising Red Flags, that confiscating guns based on the premise that someone may commit a violent crime is not something that can be proven effective. There is no evidence, according to Petrocelli, that any medical doctor or psychiatrist has, or can, successfully predict an individual’s future behavior.
Red flag laws have just become a convenient excuse to disarm America one person at a time. They have accomplished little in the way of public safety by focusing on people who have committed no crime. Even in the case of Johnson, there is no law that would have prevented this tragedy. Even if the FBI had been keeping tabs on Islamic converts, there was nothing in this individual’s behavior suggesting that he would commit a murder. Florida claims its red flag law has been enormously successful, however, in August of 2018 there was another school incident where two people were shot.
On February 19, 2020 a man was shot dead near a North Miami Dade grocery store. On February 18, 2020 a home invasion left one man dead and another wounded, with no information on the suspects. A shooting on February 17, 2020 left one dead in Miami Gardens. Finally, three hours after the last one a twenty-three year old was shot dead at Lauderdale Lakes. This is four murders, excluding Johnson, in a three day period that Florida’s red flag law did nothing to prevent.
The only thing red flag laws are doing is disarming innocent people and denying them their rights to due process.