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Dan Schinhofen: Caution urged when it comes to ‘red-flag’ laws

By no means take this as I don’t care about those that were murdered by sick, evil people, but do you realize that more people were murdered by guns in Chicago over the same time we had these recent mass shootings?

Those calling for more or tougher gun laws may not be aware that Illinois and Chicago have, arguably, some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. Even if you have a concealed carry permit you cannot carry it concealed as it must be visible. (Yeah, doesn’t make sense.)

So, while the politicians are all crying out for tougher gun laws, I am wondering if they have considered the old saying, “Outlaw guns and only outlaws will have guns.”

Also, I have to wonder how Joe Biden and any of the other Democrats who worked with Barack Obama can say with a straight face anything about needing stricter gun laws. After all, they held the House, Senate and presidency for years and what did they decide was their top priority? Health care.

You’ve heard them saying this for years now, that health care is a right. Well, as I read the Constitution and Bill of Rights, I do see that we have a right to “bear arms” but somehow, I missed the health care right. The socialism push also states that having a home, food, car, computer and cell phone are rights too. (Obama even gave cell phones away.)

So, what is the answer? We do have a problem with evil idiots killing people, but do any of you remember back in about 2016 a person stabbed at least nine others while at the California state capitol? No gun needed.

It seems that “red-flag” laws are the latest idea and while I do not oppose them outright, I think we need to be very careful. These new laws state that if you know someone that is threatening violence or is mentally unstable you can petition a judge to take away their firearms. This should only be done AFTER that person has had a chance to defend themselves and not just administratively.

So, what is my real concern with them? Not long ago, homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Maybe believing in God will be a mental illness next. (Arguable for some it is. Especially if you think God is telling you it’s OK to kill those that do not pray to your God.)

Guns are not the real issue here, but rather mental illness is. After all, most all of us use a deadly weapon every day and more deaths are caused by them than any mass shooter. Did you guess it? Automobiles are deadly weapons if not used correctly and have been used by drunks and idiots for years, but where is the cry for stricter laws for cars?

What do I expect will happen from this column? Nothing more than those who disagree to scream and yell and call me stupid, as that is the only way they seem to know to respond.

While we all cannot agree on “common sense” gun laws, we can agree that these laws should be driven by state, not federal laws. The red-flag laws are the first step toward that but be careful what you ask for as your beliefs may limit your right to bear arms if we are not vigilant.

It seems simple to me: if you have been convicted of a violent crime or adjudicated by a court of competent jurisprudence to be mentally ill, no guns or cars for you.

Also, we give all our information to Facebook and other online companies and yet we balk when the government wants to look at what we put out freely.

Something has to give here, and I do not think it should be our freedom. If your friend or family member has a “hit list” or writes or talk about committing a mass killing, then YOU should help them. Don’t wait till they actually do it. If we don’t take action, the people we elect to public office will. Or might, maybe, if it’s an election year and will get them votes.

I hope that we can all agree that the government is not the answer. Our families, community, fraternal organizations and religious groups should be reaching out to these sick, evil people. If we do not, then we ceded that to politicians. I have said for years, and this was my guiding principle while in office, “Family, Faith and Friends” before government.

We will never be able to stop sick, evil people from doing evil things, but maybe we can be a bit more caring and aware of those we deal with every day.

Dan Schinhofen is a former Nye County commissioner.

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