A new law has been passed and signed here in California. In a distorted example of synchronicity, a very parallel law has been signed into being in Great Britain, and no matter which side of the pond you live on, or which side of the “gun control” debate you take comfort in, you should be very, very afraid.
California’s law allows a mental health professional, or a law enforcement officer, or a family member, or (possibly; there is some ambiguous information out there) even someone sharing a residence with you—a roommate, if you will—to get a “gun violence restraining order” against you. On a single individual’s statement, you will be adjudicated a danger to yourself or others and any firearms you own will be confiscated until you can prove you are fit to own them.
In Great Britain, the new law allows the police to search the home of any gun owner (and in Great Britain all firearms must be registered) at any time, without any prior notification or justification.
Let’s assume you fear and hate firearms, and that you would like to live in a world where such things did not exist in any hands except those of law enforcement and the military, so let’s assume you would like to see the second amendment eradicated. How do you feel about the fourth amendment? Just to remind you, that’s the one that reads:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
If you like that amendment and feel protected by it, too bad Honeychild; you can kiss it goodbye both in Great Britain and in California.
Also, if you should happen to be fond of the American judicial system’s “presumption of innocence,” that too you can kiss goodbye, at least here in merry old California, because under the new law, you now have to prove you are not a danger to yourself or anyone else before your firearms will be returned to you.
And just in case you really are naïve enough to believe that California’s new law will save even a single life, I would point out that even legitimately crazy people can be very cunning and lie about their actions or intentions—the man who shot me did—so it could come down to a he-said-she-said where the only winner will be the best liar. Not exactly the kind of legal system our Founding Fathers had in mind.
For a moment forget about guns and your hatred or fear of them, and think only about laws. Think about the following exchange from A Man For All Seasons, between Sir Thomas More, his wife, and his would-be son-in-law, William Roper, arguing about whether one of More’s most dangerous and subtle enemies should be arrested, something More has the right to do. The man in question leaves, and More’s wife says bitterly: While you talk, he’s gone!
More: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law.
Roper: So now you’d give the Devil the benefit of the law!
More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to that!
More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you—where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast—man’s laws, not God’s—and if you cut them down—and you’re just the man to do it—do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?
Taking Sir Thomas More’s analogy of laws as protective trees, when laws are passed that undermine or negate fundamental rights, they may be considered as evil and insidious alien species. The two laws that have been passed in these two countries count as invasive alien species, and they will infect and destroy many of our good native laws, and not only those laws pertaining to guns. When that happens, no one, gun owner or rabid anti-gunner, absolutely no one will benefit.