Red Flag Laws Aren’t ‘Common Sense’ Safety Measures. They’re 21st Century Jim Crow Attacks on the Constitution
After the Civil War, a majority of whites in Southern states weren’t ready to see ex-slaves become full citizens. Instead, they wanted them subjugated, deprived of power, bereft of land, retained as sharecroppers in quasi-slave arrangements, disarmed by the police, and terrorized by roving vigilantes such as the Klan.
As a condition of getting back their representation in Congress, their states had been forced to ratify the Reconstruction amendments. Those amendments abolished slavery, granted full citizenship to black Americans, guaranteed them their right to vote, and ensured them equal protection under the law.
White Southern politicians knew that these amendments were grossly unpopular with their voters. They knew that if blacks were allowed to vote, they might get enforced. So local “Jim Crow” laws cropped up all across the South, which nullified the effects of these well-intentioned amendments. Everything short of actual chattel slavery returned to the region, and persisted for a century, until the Civil Rights Movement. Even that might not have succeeded, had the U.S. not just fought a bloody war against an openly racist regime in Nazi Germany.
Christians and Deplorables Are the New Freedmen
So we see how profoundly wrong things can go in America. How fundamental rights of citizens can be stripped away by fearful, contemptuous, or simply hateful elites.
We’re at a similar turning point today. Those who wield power and own most of the wealth in America stand in the place of white Southern elites and their voters. They want to strip those whom they loathe and fear (this time not 10% of the country as in 1870, but at least half the population) of fundamental rights.
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We all saw during the COVID panic how social media companies collaborated with Mainstream Media, the U.S. government, and global institutions such as the World Health Organization. They acted in concert to suppress our basic free speech, our medical privacy, our right to try different treatments with our doctors. They locked us in our homes and closed our churches, destroyed our businesses, and forced us to take unwanted, untested vaccines tainted by abortion.
Meanwhile they actively spread COVID to the most vulnerable Americans in nursing homes, thereby pumping the death stats, to justify unconstitutional lockdowns, and outrageous expansion of vote fraud opportunities. That let them steal the 2020 election. Now they are holding political show trials of those who dared to protest it.
The Democrats Are Reviving Jim Crow
In other words, the Democrats are acting nationwide exactly the way they acted across the South during Reconstruction. Instead of race, it’s religion and ideology that helps them identify the “enemies” they must repress, and deprive of fundamental rights.
I’ve written here many times about how our God-given gun rights are the canary in the coal mine. Let the left take those away, and we’re rendered helpless — as helpless as any of the 170 million civilians murdered by modern, secular governments in the 20th century. Those victims, from Germany to Cambodia, had only one thing in common: the government had taken away their guns.
In the 19th century, nobody thought to use “public health” as a pretext for stripping blacks of their rights. Instead, they tapped into whites’ irrational fears of black men’s alleged sexual insatiability, using the dog whistle “white women’s honor.” They fanned fears that “race-mixing” would obliterate the white race. They pretended that blacks were essentially perpetual children, not rational or responsible enough to vote and take part in society.
Such talk was still current well into the 1960s, on the lips of Democrat senators whom Joe Biden still recalls fondly as colleagues. William F. Buckley was talking that way into the late 1960s, in debates against James Baldwin.
The New Group Hate
Well now this is how Democrats talk about Christians, conservatives, rural people, vaccine skeptics, pro-lifers, blue collar workers, and especially those who voted for Donald Trump. They project their hatred onto us, and invent hate-terms that make it okay for them to hate us. Terms like “Deplorable” and “Transphobe” and “Christian Nationalist.” These terms do the same job that “kulak” did for Bolsheviks, and “Untermensch” did for Nazis: they dehumanize the targets, make it feel okay to strip them of fundamental rights.
Such as gun rights. The Klan was obsessed with disarming blacks, so they couldn’t fight back against mob attacks such as happened in Tulsa in 1921. The Nazis scrambled to disarm political opponents and Jews before trying Kristallnacht in 1938. The George Floyd and Antifa rioters largely confined themselves to blue states, where their intended victims were already disarmed and helpless. (And in states where people resisted, the authorities targeted and tried to destroy uppity citizens such as Jake Gardner, the McCloskeys, and Kyle Rittenhouse.)
The “Gun Violence Epidemic” B.S. Generator
Now the fundamental right of self-defense against crime, mobs, and tyrannical governments is under attack. The propaganda is couched in terms of “public health,” with “gun violence” as an impersonal “epidemic” which must be “treated.” All rights can go by the wayside in time of epidemic, as the COVID panic taught us. That’s why the left is using such language, constantly, in a drumbeat of brainwashing from news media to church pulpits.
The chink in Americans’ armor, our power-hungry, hateful elites have decided, is fear for children’s safety. These same people who drag little kids to gay bars for stripper shows and want to block their puberty expect us to trust them to shield our children from violence. But we saw in Uvalde and previous schools shootings just how trustworthy the cops are. Nevertheless, the left hopes we’ll panic.
Red Flagging the Constitution
They hope we’ll fall for a “common-sense” “gun-safety” measure like Red Flag laws. Such laws strip every American of due process rights, and thus of gun rights. With a single phone call, the neighbor who hates your pro-life bumper sticker or yard sign can have the police raid your home and seize your guns. Then the burden of proof is on you to prove you are worthy of your rights, at your own expense, to some liberal judge. You’ll have as much luck as blacks had in the 1950s asserting their voting rights to white judges in Alabama.
No other fundamental right gets treated this way. I can’t call the cops and claim that my black neighbor is voting irresponsibly; that a writer I disagree with is abusing his First Amendment rights, and so must be silenced; that a church I disapprove of must be shuttered as “unsafe.” Read my previous piece on what it would look like to impose Red Flag restrictions on other basic Constitutional rights.
If we pass Red Flag laws, we’re accepting the claim that self-defense is not a fundamental right, but a privilege, like a liquor license. We’re surrendering ourselves to the new Ku Klux Klan, as malevolent and powerful as the first one.
John Zmirak is a senior editor at The Stream and author or co-author of ten books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. He is co-author with Jason Jones of “God, Guns, & the Government.”