Gun Control Advocates Push Red Flag Law After Lakewood – Bearing Arms

Gun Control Advocates Push Red Flag Law After Lakewood – Bearing Arms

The shooting at a Lakewood church kind of died out of the news cycle pretty quickly. That’s unsurprising since it wasn’t an angry white dude trying to kill minorities or gay people and there wasn’t a massive body count. Instead, good guys with guns were there in the church and put an end to the threat quickly.

It kind of goes against the prevailing narrative.

But it was still an attempted mass shooting, one that could have been particularly ugly without those good guys with guns.

Yet that doesn’t mean Texas Democrats aren’t going to give it the old college try.

Moms Demand Actions, the gun control advocacy group, called for Texas leaders to consider so-called red flag laws at a news conference. Gun control advocates have said that a red flag law, also known as an extreme risk protection order, could allow courts to seize guns from or stop purchases by people deemed a public safety threat. Twenty-one states have some form of red flag laws, but efforts to get similar laws passed in Texas have failed.

“Here we are again, after another senseless incident, that happened at Lakewood, that we can’t be numb to or that we can’t desensitize ourselves to as another headline,” state Rep. Ron Reynolds, a Democrat from Missouri City, said before name checking state leaders, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbot.

“Enough is enough,” Reynolds said. “When are we going to start prioritizing people over politics?”

Well, that’s what we’re doing. The rights of people matter, even if it makes some people uncomfortable. Our right to keep and bear arms allows us to protect ourselves in the event that the police are either unable or unwilling, as in Uvalde, to protect us.

But, for the sake of argument, just what kind of gun control are we talking about here?

Well, what do you know. It’s a red flag law.

The Rev. Colin Bossen, the senior minister at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston, where the news conference took place, said his church has in recent years taken to hiring armed security to watch over services, out of fear the church would be the target of a mass shooting.

“Having common sense gun legislation, including red flag laws, would make it so that we wouldn’t need to take such measures,” Bossen said. “It’s just not the sort of environment we want to create on Sunday morning. I don’t want somebody to see an armed police officer. I don’t want to have to lock our doors all the time.”

State Rep. Ann Johnson, a Democrat from Houston, said she introduced a red flag law to lawmakers last year, but the bill received little interest in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

“I’m tired of fearing the inaction of not getting this type of bill passed,” Johnson said, vowing to reintroduce the bill during the next session in 2025.

This isn’t overly surprising, particularly since the woman who tried to carry out the shooting was clearly disturbed.

The problem here, however, is that this wasn’t someone with a temporary mental health crisis. This was someone with a long history of mental illness, the kind which doesn’t really go away. This is the kind of person the term “adjudicated as mentally defective” was designed for.

She should have been in court and had her right to keep and bear arms removed because she was “mentally defective.”

She wasn’t.

Because no one took that step, we’re supposed to believe that a red flag law would have prevented it? I’m sorry, but no. First, we all know why red flag laws are problematic for so many of us. We’ve talked about it plenty. Just hit the “red flag law” tag at the bottom for hours of reading pleasure on the topic.

Yet a bigger problem is that while no one took the step of either having her declared as incompetent to own a gun nor undertake a 72-hour hold for someone having a crisis, they would have taken the step of getting a red flag law?

Instead, we’d have a case where it still happened, but the red flag law that was used to wrongfully disarm however many people wasn’t really the problem, something else was. 

Texas isn’t likely to pass a red flag law and that’s terrific news.

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