It was the dumbest editorial I’ve ever seen, but particularly for one trying to push a red flag law. It started with a shooting that they tried to claim could have been prevented with a red flag order but failed to understand the shooter was a convicted felon. No one needed a red flag order to disarm him, just a call to the cops.
But it was just another in a long series of editorials I’ve seen pushing the gun control narrative.
I’m going to give the Minneapolis Star Tribune credit, though. They might have used the dumbest argument I’ve ever seen to push for red flag laws, but they also published this piece taking issue with such laws by Nick Majerus of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus.
This irresponsible editorial leads the public to believe that seizing firearms from prohibited persons, like the perpetrator in this case, wasn’t possible until the implementation of Minnesota’s new red-flag law. This is blatantly untrue.
Not only would the new red-flag law have failed to stop this tragedy, as the editorial asks, but another newly added gun law also failed to stop it.
Minnesota’s universal background check law has been in effect since Aug. 1, 2023. The law is intended to stop the transfer of firearms to prohibited persons, something that was already illegal prior to the passage of this law. In this case, the new law failed to stop the transfer of the rifle to the perpetrator of this crime. And the perpetrator in this case hasn’t even been charged with violating the new law.
Last year, Rep. Dave Pinto, chief author of the new universal background check bill, insisted in debate that two criminals who met up behind the “Gas-n-Sip” for an illegal firearms sale would conduct a background check before a sale and would “be held accountable” if they didn’t.
Honestly, I have to stop and point at this one so we can all have a laugh.
The best-case scenario for such a gun sale is that it gives police grounds to make an arrest right then and there, without checking the backgrounds of either party, but since the police aren’t likely to even see it, that’s kind of a moot point.
They’re damn sure not going to get caught for that transaction.
But let’s get back to red flag laws for just a second.
The editorial also argues that this new law could reduce Minnesota’s suicide rate. The data from every single other state that has instituted similar laws refutes this. Not one state that has implemented this law has seen their overall suicide rate decrease. There’s no reason to believe Minnesota’s results will differ.
The fact is, when someone is “red flagged” under this new law, they are left in their home with many other means of suicide or violent attack left to them. They’re not offered any other support under this law. The law does not get struggling Minnesotans the help that they need, and it’s wrong to pretend otherwise.
On the contrary, an unfortunate consequence of this law is that Minnesotans who are worried about losing their rights may avoid seeking mental health treatment in the first place.
We should be encouraging people to be proactive in their mental health. They should feel free to seek mental health treatment without worrying if their guns are going to be taken away by the court, simply because they asked for help.
Further, let’s also remember that one easy solution for these folks who might be experiencing a mental health crisis is for them to hand their guns over to a friend for safekeeping until the issue is over. This is a voluntary action as opposed to a red flag law, which means it’s not a violation of anyone’s rights.
It’s also illegal to do that in Minnesota because of the aforementioned universal background check law.
These laws, ostensibly passed to keep people safe, have only made the potential problem that much worse.
I’m glad to see that ridiculous op-ed addressed and, frankly, ripped apart for the stupidity it was. Nothing about what’s been going on in Minnesota makes sense, but that took the cake.