Recently, in the wake of several high-profile shooting murders, Texas Representative Dan Crenshaw came out suggesting the passage of TAPS legislation. Well, I’m not in a position to discuss TAPS knowledgeably at this time. However, Mr. Crenshaw went beyond that. He also advocated “Red Flag laws”, the common term for “Extreme Risk Protective Orders.”
I have, of course, made my displeasure on the subject of Red Flag laws known previously on this blog. It was utterly dismaying to see such endorsement. Furthermore, when called on it he offered an explanation where he claimed there were “good” and “bad” red flag laws and he would only support the “good” ones. Just trust him.
I’ll be blunt, there is no such thing as a good “red flag” law. Nothing that goes by the name cannot be a blatant violation of the 2nd Amendment (RKBA), the 4th (Unreasonable search and seizure), and the 5th (due process). If you limit it sufficiently not to be a violation of those things, one wonders what you have that isn’t already covered by various psych-hold laws. Almost all states already have such laws. Whether they use them or not is a separate question, but in cases where they were not (like, for instance, in the lead up to the Parkland school shooting), why give them more power when they’re not using the power they already have?
But what really dismayed me is the number of people, supposedly of conservative to libertarian mindset, who were willing to give him a pass on it apparently because he’s “their guy.”
The thing with apologists for folk with an “R” after their name. I am reminded of Milton Friedman’s statement on how you change things. It’s not by electing the right people (although that’s nice when you can). It’s by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right things.
But for it to be politically profitable for them to do the right things, it must be politically _un_profitable to do the wrong things. If you cannot even raise loud objections when a politician of “your side” is doing the wrong thing what possible incentive for that politician, or any other, to do the _right_ thing?
You can love Crenshaw (or whoever) on ninety-nine out of a hundred points, but if you don’t make your displeasure heard loudly about that hundredth one then you are making yourself heard–and what you’re saying is that the politician need not care about that issue.
I don’t care who the politician is or how much you love them overall. When they do something with which you disagree don’t sugar coat it. Make your displeasure known in no uncertain terms. And make sure they know that the issue _will_ be one you are considering come the next election.
Make them aware what really is “politically profitable” for them, and what is not.