Today, I delivered the following testimony before the Maine Judiciary Committee in opposition to a trojan horse "Red Flag" Gun Confiscation bill.

My testimony follows: (1/22)
The principle of gun confiscation without due process has been loudly and repeatedly opposed by Maine people and routinely rejected by bipartisan majorities of the Maine Legislature. (2/22)
As I read this legislation, it is in principle a Red Flag bill, using harassment orders as the trojan horse for gun confiscation without notice or due process. (3/22)
These orders are unfit to serve as the legal basis for depriving an individual of basic human liberties, including the right to self-defense. (4/22)
First, the conditions for a harassment order are legally vague (including “intimidation”).

Also, the requirements for evidence are low, requiring a mere “preponderance of the evidence” (called by some legal scholars the “50/50 standard”). (5/22)
Further, provisions in the law allow harassment orders to be issued under “ex parte" proceedings, which would mean the target of the order could be forcibly disarmed with no notice or opportunity to defend him or herself in court. (6/22)
Finally, there is no legal downside to making a false complaint. A harasser could conceivably file for such an order to disarm their victim, turning the expressed purpose for this legislation on its head. (7/22)
I understand the impetus for legislation like this.

Ever since Cain slew Abel, we’ve asked ourselves: “Can we do better?” (8/22)
The culmination of hard lessons over 6,000 years has blessed us to live in the freest, safest, and most prosperous civilization in all recorded time. And even still, we will never be able to stamp out the violence in human nature. (9/22)
To believe the law can make us perfectly safe is positively utopian.

To disarm people absent the commission of a crime and due process is positively dystopian. (10/22)
Our state Constitution declares the rights of the people to protect us all against unjust laws such as these. (11/22)
In the “Declaration of Rights" of the Maine State Constitution, Article I, Section 16 reads, "Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.” (12/22)
And further Section 6- A reads, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of the law...” (13/22)
These principles were enshrined because of two brutal lessons of history: government cannot protect us from the wolves and government cannot protect us from itself.

The people must be able to defend themselves. (14/22)
We can gamble with these principles and ignore the advice of Ben Franklin who warned that those who give up essential liberty to gain temporary security will lose both.

We will never, however, fully stamp out man’s inhumanity toward man. (15/22)
In Israel and the Middle East, people fear suicide bombers.

In France (and now Washington D.C.), people fear vehicle-ramming attacks. (16/22)
Not too long ago, the murder rate in London recently surpassed New York City as the “Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife” campaign pushes forward and government officials call for knives to be implanted with GPS devices. (17/22)
We can chase solutions down the 1984 rabbit hole all we want, but no government edict is going to fix human nature. (18/22)
But living by these principles and upholding the self-defense rights of the people, Maine is ranked the safest state in America with the #1 lowest violent crime rate. (19/22)
And when you look at other states with high safety rankings, four of the top five --- Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Idaho --- are all constitutional carry states. Meanwhile, 92% of all mass shootings take place in areas the law has declared “gun-free.” (20/22)
The conclusion I draw from this is clear. When we are free to defend ourselves, the people are safer. When we are disarmed, the wolves come out. (21/22)
The best thing we can do to prevent violence is to protect the right of self-defense, not create legal avenues for the state to confiscate firearms without due process.

Please vote Ought Not To Pass. (22/22)

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