Sen. Kamala Harris, in a desperate bid to revive her presidential campaign, is telling supporters that she will push Congress to enact laws that will allow judges and law enforcement officials to confiscate guns from “white nationalists.”
The proposal, which goes along with the “red flag” laws that have already been passed in about a dozen states already, would supposedly keep the general public safe by taking guns away from dangerous people. However, while the proposal may sound good on paper, Sen. Harris hasn’t clarified just who would be considered a “white nationalist,” and how such a person dispute such charges.
Here’s the problem: the definition of “white nationalist” by the modern American left is always changing. It ranges from legitimate Nazi wannabes, to traditional conservatives, and sometimes to nearly anyone who disagrees with the prevailing progressive orthodoxy. Should we really trust Kamala Harris — who suggested Joe Biden was racist for opposing a bussing policy that just about every other American opposed — to make that distinction?
The most insidious part of the plan is not the fact that it involves stripping Second Amendment rights away from those who would otherwise be legally permitted to own a weapon. The biggest problem with is that the new rule would inevitably infringe on people’s First Amendment rights.
White nationalism, as odious as it is to many people, is still protected free speech under the First Amendment. People have the right to believe what they want, and express themselves how they see fit — provided that doesn’t threaten or harm others. Punishing people for expressing their opinions in a peaceful manner goes against everything that a modern, free nation is meant to stand for.
Who would get to decide if a person is a “white supremacist”? The Southern Poverty Law Center has listed nearly 150 organizations as “white supremacist” organizations, including the “alt-right” which, by definition, is not an organization but rather a loosely connected movement that disseminates some right-wing ideas. Using that definition, police and judges could confiscate guns from anyone who follows or likes an “alt-right” website such as Infowars, WND or Breitbart. Even current White House staff members such as Sebastian Gorka, Stephen Miller, and Julia Hahn would be prime targets under the proposed law.
It’s worth noting that, in many instances, people who intend to carry out a mass shooting do not post advance notice. This was the case with Robert Bowers, who murdered nearly a dozen people at a Pittsburg synagogue. While Mr. Bowers regularly ranted against Jews on his social media accounts, there was no indication that he intended to actually shoot them until right before the attack, at which point it would have been too late to take away his guns. Dylann Roof, who shot members of an African-American church in Charleston, posted a racist manifesto but did not make it crystal clear that he intended to go on a shooting spree.
Democratic activists are sure to use these examples and others as well to justify a widespread gun confiscation from people who simply don’t agree with liberal positions.
Sen. Harris is stating that her new law would only target people who “may imminently perpetrate a hate crime,” but it doesn’t clarify how this is determined. Given this fact, it is easy to see this law being misused.
While preventing mass shootings is certainly noble, confiscating guns from people who are arbitrarily deemed to be a “threat” isn’t going to make the nation safer. Rather, it will polarize people, fomenting the hatred that drives people to go on shooting rampages in the first place.