A US Marine in Kansas was stripped of his lawfully-owned firearm last week, after he drew his gun to defend his family from a road-raging idiot. Hopefully, the story of what happened to Aaron Childress will be useful to highlight the ways in which “red flag” laws are absurd and unconstitutional.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is moving full steam ahead to pass a federal red flag law that will apply to all 50 states – a proposal that all gun owners should be fighting against. Here’s the outrageous experience that US Marine Aaron Childress just went through.
Childress was driving to a store in Wichita, KS with his family. Some dummy cut him off in traffic, so Childress honked at the guy. The driver then pulled aside and allowed Childress to pass him. However, he did this so he could follow the Childress family. When they got out of their vehicle in a store parking lot, the road-raging driver ran up to the family, screeching at them like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when she sees a MAGA hat.
Mr. Childress drew his sidearm and pointed it at the ground. Kansas, by the way, is a part of real America, so it has constitutional carry and stand your ground laws in place. There is nothing illegal about what Childress did and he had no duty to retreat from the screeching lunatic that was advancing on his family. The road-raging loon said that he had a gun too, and then walked away. Childress called the police.
But when the cops arrived, they confiscated Aaron Childress’s gun! What they did was basically red-flag Mr. Childress, right on the spot. The cops on the scene made a bad judgment call and disarmed him. The man who accosted the Childress family was not arrested.
Frustrated by the stupidity of the situation, the Childress family decided to drive back home. Then, they had to call the police again because now that Aaron was disarmed, the road-raging lunatic was still following them and harassing them – and he had already told Childress that he had a gun.
When Childress stopped to meet with the cops, the other driver fled the scene. And after all that, the US Marine who broke no laws is still the one facing possible criminal charges.
This incident is exactly why gun owners need to be speaking out against Lindsey Graham’s red flag anti-gun bill. Aaron Childress’s constitutional rights were violated through this ordeal – and that is the exact same standard that will be applied to all gun owners if a federal “red flag” law comes to fruition.
As other constitutional scholars have pointed out, red flag laws shred the Bill of Rights in multiple ways. These laws are not simply a violation of the Second Amendment.
First, due process is eliminated by red flag laws. That’s exactly what happened to Childress. The cops made a judgment call that he was somehow a danger, and they took his firearm away. The 14th Amendment states, “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law.” This is a reiteration of the Fifth Amendment, so it’s a two-for-one whammy for gun-grabbers.
Second, Childress didn’t get to consult with an attorney or be represented by legal counsel before his gun was taken away. There was no legal process at all, other than an on-the-spot determination to disarm him. Lindsey Graham’s red flag bill is exactly the same in this manner. You’re not entitle to representation by an attorney before your guns are taken away.
Third, no cross-examination of accusers takes place. The Sixth Amendment? What’s that? There’s certainly no Sixth Amendment requirement in Lindsey Graham’s bill, and it didn’t apply to Aaron Childress, either.
Finally, red flag laws violate the “clear and convincing” evidence standard required by the 14th Amendment. The state cannot take custody of a child without clear and convincing evidence that the parents are a danger; a person can’t be committed to a mental institution involuntarily without clear and convincing evidence; and the state cannot strip someone of a constitutional right without clear and convincing evidence. But under a red flag law, the state somehow can take a person’s guns away without meeting that standard.
Gun owners and gun rights groups need to fight against Lindsey Graham’s red flag bill, tooth and nail. The violations of US Marine Aaron Childress’s constitutional rights will become the law of the land if this bill passes in the Senate, because you know Nancy Pelosi is chomping at the bit to pass it in the house.