Michigan Sheriff Reneges on Pledge to Not Enforce Red Flag Edict

The real red flag should be when government tries to restrict rights.

“Despite previously vowing not to enforce Michigan’s recently approved ‘red flag’ gun law, Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy was one of the first in the state to use it,” Fox 2 Detroit reports. “This comes after the sheriff previously called the law unconstitutional.”

He was right the first time.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Democrats used all the right buzzwords to praise passage of the Extreme Risk Protection Order package enacted last year, playing to the emotions of the uninformed with manipulative declarations like “No Michigander should fear going to school, work, the grocery store, or their own home because of gun violence,” “Too many Michiganders have lost people they love to the senseless tragedy of gun violence,” and “Protecting our children and communities from gun violence is a top priority.”

The best way to do that is by making government protection of rights and submission to Constitutional limitations the top priorities. And Red flags, or ERPOs, or whatever they’re called, not only impose infringements on the right to keep and bear arms that were unheard of at the time of ratification, and thus violative of the text, history, and tradition standard established in the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision, they eviscerate the concepts of due process and “innocent until proven guilty.”

Citizens are literally having fundamental rights disallowed without even being charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. At one time, even children understood how absurdly tyrannical that was, as illustrated by Lewis Carrol’s bloodthirsty Queen of Hearts in his classic Alice in Wonderland:

‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first — verdict afterwards.’

To publicly excuse himself from going along with what he knows to be wrong, the sheriff offered an unconvincing anecdote “involving a man having a mental health crisis”:

“He answers the door, he’s got pistols in each pocket –kind of like an old western six shooter– threatens he’s going to kill us, he’s going to kill the neighbors,” Murphy said. “So we take him into custody, and we took his guns.”

There aren’t laws against that, for which he can be arrested and prosecuted, and incarcerated if convicted? How does just taking his guns and then leaving him free to do whatever his violent lunatic mind dreams up make anyone safer? And who says he can’t get more guns? The Bureau of Justice Statistics, or just typical weekend headlines from Baltimore, St. Louis, and Chicago put the lie to that.

But it’s harder to build a criminal case against an individual, isn’t it? That this ultimately leaves no one any safer misses the point, because “gun control” isn’t really about public safety, it’s about citizen disarmament—any way they can get it.

Then take the guy in the sheriff’s example and say they do get a conviction. What’s he going to get, a few months or years?

An undeniable truism is anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted without a custodian.  If proven guilty violent persons are still truly dangerous, Robert J. Kukla made a brilliant observation in his 1973 classic Gun Control, equating their release from prison with opening the cage of a man-eating tiger after a set time and expecting a different result.

Is he still a threat? Some people are broken and can’t be fixed and releasing them with unfettered access to victims as long as they are proven dangers is irresponsible. That doesn’t mean no one can ever get out; it means demonstrating that they can be reintegrated is up to them – with checks and balances along the way to restoration of unmonitored, fully enfranchised citizenship.

“I still have a lot of concerns about the law,” Murphy told Fox 2, trying to have it both ways. “I don’t agree with the law and there’s a lot of reasons for that, but at the end of the day it is the law.”

He’s ignoring another Supreme Court decision, that “A Law repugnant to the Constitution is void.” And he seems to have forgotten that “just following orders” is just about the most offensive excuse an enforcer can argue for violating rights.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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