On Wednesday's episode of "The Michael Knowles Show," Knowles discusses why red flag laws are just whistling past the graveyard and are not the proper response to the escalating mental health issue. Video and partial transcript below:
What do red flag laws do? They say that if there are red flags in a person's history, you know their behavior, what they're writing, they're getting in trouble at school, they're posting things on the internet — it's pretty nebulous — then you can bring that kid before a judge, and the judge can deem him incapable of holding a gun. They can take away his constitutional right to own a gun in certain states. The parents can haul their kids or family members, [they] can haul their crazy uncle before the judge and say he shouldn't have his constitutional right to own a gun. The judge can say, "OK that's fine," and then this is regularly brought back up, and this lack of a constitutional right can be extended, basically in perpetuity. Why is this so bad? I'm not against taking guns away from crazy people. I don't think crazy people should be able to get guns, and we do have a problem in this country with crazy people getting guns.
But it should be very, very, very difficult to take away someone's right to have a gun. Why? Because the right to own a gun is not the same as the right to drive a car. Driving a car is a privilege. Owning a gun is your civil right. It is your Second Amendment right; it is right there in the Constitution. So how should we make it such that you can take away guns from crazy people? So, I think we should be able to take guns away from crazy people, but totally believe that red flag laws are not the way to do it. It should not be the same as taking away someone's right to drive a car. You know, if you get too many speeding tickets, they can take away your driver's license because you don't have a civil right to a driver's license. There is no constitutional right to drive a car, so it's easier to take away that right. Guns are different. You have a civil right to a gun.
So, if we're going to take away people's civil rights, you've got to go for it. You got to really go for it. You should basically not be able to take away someone's right to own a gun, unless you are willing to throw them in a padded room and lock the door. Put them in a straight-jacket, take away their right to vote, take away their right to live on their own, take away their right to work, and be a part of polite society on their own. I'm fine [with that]. I think we should be able to do that. This ties in with the mental health aspect of all of these mass shootings. We don't have a system in this country anymore to lock up crazy people, who are a danger to themselves and a danger to others. We should have that. It was very well-intentioned when we got rid of the insane asylums. We got rid of them… because of the development of psychiatric drugs, whereby people would take them, and they would stop being crazy, they would get even. They would be able to behave in normal society.
Trouble is that once they got out of the asylums, they stopped taking the drugs, they wind up on the street, they wind up a danger to themselves and to others. We went way too far in that direction. Many of the pioneers of closing down the asylums now regret it because we let way too many people out. We need to make it easier in this country to involuntarily commit people. When you involuntarily commit people, you are taking away their civil rights. But this is not an infringement on their liberty because when you are insane, you are not capable of liberty. You need to be sane, in order to access your freedom, otherwise you become a slave to passions and lunacy.
What the left wants to do, though, they don't want to go all that way. They don't want to follow those ideas to their logical conclusions because they don't really view guns as a civil right. They don't really view your Second Amendment rights as a core civil right. They view it as this unfortunate vestigial part of the Constitution, and they want to get rid of it. And so, they're going to chip away at it slowly and consistently. Don't let them do that. And conservatives shouldn't fall for this. Whether it's the president, whether it's senators, whether it's your rank and file conservative.
Fine, you want to "do something," that's the quote. "Do something to fix the shootings." "Do something," even if it won't stop the shootings. Do something like pass red flag laws, which did not stop the shootings in the states where those laws were passed. Fine. Don't stop halfway through. Don't let them have their cake and eat it too. If you want to take away people's civil rights, take away their civil rights. But don't lie to me, and only take away the civil rights that you want to take away.