BY ALLEN WEST
I know everyone right now is beating the bushes over the ignorance of two congressional representatives. Yep, Tlaib and Omar, both of whom failed to learn the lesson: “if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” I have stated my piece about these two who believe that we must all acquiesce to their Islamic radicalism and the belief that their insidious and offensive comments and associations should have no consequences. I just gotta tell ya, Democrats (socialists) are making it a really easy decision for 2020.
Something else the left is doing is making the decision next year even easier; it’s quite elementary if you ask me. The progressive socialist left, and some Republicans, knee jerk reaction to a tragedy focused on disarming legal, law-abiding American gun owners called “red flag laws” are very telling. I have shared my thoughts and insights on the subject by way of this platform and for CNS News in an op-ed piece. I carefully reminded people of the failures of law enforcement in the case of the Parkland shooter and the lack of adhering to our laws and processes in the case of the Sutherland Springs shooter.
I told the story of 61-year-old Gary Willis of Ferndale, Maryland. Yes, someone who was just passed over by the 24/7 news cycle and many will never remember. I will not forget him. Gary Willis, as we shared, tragically lost his life for no reason thanks to red flag laws in the state of Maryland, enacted because of the Parkland, Florida shooting. However, the insane ramifications, consequences, of this stupidity continues and will continue on unless these unconstitutional laws are rescinded.
As reported by Townhall:
Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), commonly referred to as “red flag laws,” have been at the forefront of the gun control debate. The idea is simple: if a person is deemed mentally unstable, and a risk to themselves or others, he or she can be stripped of their firearms. Typically, family members, doctors and law enforcement have the power to petition a judge to deem the gun owner mentally unfit to own a firearm, at least for the time being. Some states, like Florida, have already implemented these laws. While they sound great on paper, they have a number of practicality issues. The biggest one is the lack of due process. Just last week, a man in Florida had his firearms confiscated simply because he had the same name as a criminal. That’s right. A man was stripped of his Second Amendment right . . . because the police failed to differentiate a law-abiding citizen with a thug.
According to Ammoland, Jonathan Carpenter received a certified letter from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services saying his concealed handgun permit had been suspended for “acts of domestic violence or acts of repeat violations.” Carpenter was forced to go to the Osceola County clerk’s office to have a form filled out stating he wasn’t the person law enforcement was looking for. At that point, the clerk instructed Carpenter to speak with the sheriff’s office.
The Sheriff’s office supplied Carpenter with a copy of the injunction. In the statement, the plaintiff stated that she rented a room out to a “Jonathan Edward Carpenter” and his girlfriend. She alleged that this Carpenter was a drug dealer who broke her furniture and sold her belongings without her permission. He had a gun, and she feared for her life. She was not sure if the firearm was legal or not. Carpenter had never met the woman in question and never lived at the address listed in the restraining order. Moreover, other than being white, he looked nothing like the man the terrorized the woman.
The man in question is 5’8. Carpenter is 5’11. The alleged drug dealer is 110lbs. Carpenter is over 200. The man has black hair. Carpenter is completely bald. Last but not least, the man in question is covered in tattoos, and Carpenter only has a few.
Even though it was evident they had the wrong man, Carpenter was forced to hand over his firearms. There was no hearing or any kind of court proceeding.
So, here we go again. Let’s remember, it was a Republican Governor, Rick Scott, now US senator, who signed Red Flag laws into place in Florida. We have law enforcement displaying an utter failure in not doing their due diligence as they violated a law-abiding citizen’s due process.
Yea, what could possibly go wrong?
Carpenter’s firearms had to remain in police custody until the plaintiff can say, in court, that he’s not the man that she filed a complaint against. He’d then have to petition the court to get his firearms back . . . and he would have to bear the cost. Carpenter will get his day in court later this month.
I suppose the progressive socialist left would say “see, this worked out just fine,” except for the fact that the real criminal is still out there. An innocent American has been stripped of and denied his constitutional rights. I guess it could be much worse: Gary Willis was shot to death, and no one knows who those police officers were that killed him.
However, Jonathan Carpenter has been disarmed, open to being a victim, because of law enforcement, government, failure. Jonathan Carpenter did nothing wrong, and imagine what would have happened if he simply disregarded the certified letter believing it to have been a hoax? Then, yes, he probably would have had a visit from law enforcement . . . perhaps at some ungodly hour?
So, now Carpenter, wrongfully accused in a horrific case of mistaken identity, does not get an apology. He does not even get his weapon back. He is further harassed by the all-powerful government and forced to receive punishment for doing nothing wrong. Ya know what else is infuriating in this entire asinine episode? The fact that there has to be a court hearing for the purpose of a plaintiff, whom Jonathan Carpenter does not know, to say what the police already knows — and the Florida taxpayers will pay for the court hearing.
Again, Jonathan Carpenter must beg permission of the government, law enforcement, to have his lawfully purchased firearms returned. Who knows what type of machinations he will have to endure in order to get his concealed carry permit restored.
Yep, Lindsey Graham, red flag laws . . . what could possibly go wrong?
What will go wrong will be that any politician advancing this beyond the idiocy of its current existence will pay a dear price at the ballot box. That promise is not so much for progressive socialists, it is for Republicans who support this unconstitutional lunacy.
Editor’s Note: This column previously appeared at The Old School Patriot. Used with the permission of the author.
Lt. Col. Allen B. West is the former U.S. Congressman representing Florida’s 22nd District, a Fox News Contributor, a contributing columnist for Townhall.com, the former Executive Director of the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas Texas, and the author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom. Col. West is the third of four generations of military servicemen in his family. During his 22 year career in the United States Army, he was awarded the Bronze Star, 3 Meritorious Service Medals, 3 Army Commendation Medals (1 with Valor device), and a Valorous Unit Award. In 1993 he was named the US Army ROTC Instructor of the Year. Col. West believes it will be principled constitutional conservative policies, not politics, which will secure a sound economic future for Americans.