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OPINION: States’ congressmen all loudly say ‘No,’ to red flag laws

by By Maylon Rice | June 15, 2022 at 5:25 a.m.

Does Governor Asa Hutchinson think for one minute that the Arkansas General Assembly, in a special session, will pass any semblance of a "Red Flag" law in our state?

Arkansas's four elected congressmen, all Republicans, and each with no real opposition in the upcoming November election, this week loudly said "No," in a 224-202, vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Does Gov. Hutchinson think that will be ignored by the 135 members of the Arkansas General Assembly?

Some Arkansas lawmakers, fresh out of a heated GOP primary and others still facing Libertarian or Democrat opposition in November, will cave and vote "yes," given the absolute cover from the elected members of Congress from Arkansas this past week.

And never mind polling our two United States senators, John Boozman, who just whipped back the ultra-conservative wing of the GOP in Arkansas, or the ever gun wielding Tommy Cotton.

Both will vote "No" in the U.S. Senate chambers soon.

Cotton, will of course, shoot off his mouth along with his vote in this matter.

"Red Flag" laws, mind you, gentle readers, are a series of possible laws to allow district judges or circuit judges in Arkansas to suspend a person's right to own a gun or guns, in a case in their courts.

In a domestic battery case, for example, that is before a District Court (formerly Municipal Judge) the judge might ask all the household weapons be held by the courts or the attorneys in the matter, until a future date – thus making the home a gun-free zone while the domestic battery charges have been adjudicated by the courts.

And then, and only then, can the guns be returned to the gun owners.

Sounds reasonable?

But highly unlikely in a gun-happy state like Arkansas where more citizens (think) they know the ins and outs of the Second Amendment than anywhere else in our nation.

Most people spouting off the Second Amendment do not have a clue about the other amendments.

Just to prove this to yourselves, the next time Uncle Joe or Auntie Sue is haranguing about the need for the Second Amendment, ask them if we need the Third Amendment or the Sixth Amendment just as much.

Uncle Joe or Auntie Sue, will stop mid-sentence, and ask you point-blank (get it) just what are the darn third or sixth Amendments?

I have already written that the General Assembly will not, to my way of thinking, pass raising the age limit to buy assault rifles from 18 to 21. Not when at 18 you can enter military service and be professionally trained on such and even more deadly weaponry by the U.S. Military.

And since you can vote at age 18 – what elected official out there wants to take on the voters in such a scrum?

Governor Hutchinson might be trying to link a tax break or even a raise for public school teachers to passing a Red Flag law.

That proposal – will – not – work.

The more pay for teachers with a tidal wave, begun in the Hutchinson administration, to reduce if not totally eliminate the state's income taxes – will simply in the future bankrupt the state.

No, the Hutchison administration and his top gubernatorial aides had better not get the four 'No' votes and they're loudly reasoning of "infringement of the Second Amendment and the course of due process," in the legal system.

There are currently 19 states, but not Arkansas, passing some such "Red Flag" laws in their courts system.

The failure of Arkansas's quartet of Congressmen to vote for "Red Flag laws" that passed the U.S. House, was not unexpected.

Northwest Arkansas's own Congressman Steve Womack, of Rogers, said in a statement: "... the focus needs to be on hardening schools, supporting mental health, expanding information sharing and proactively identifying and halting threats."

More words, useless words to try to soothe citizens and voters in the wake of these slaughters of human lives.

Straddling the AK-47 issue with Hutchinson are now the four congressmen in our state.

We cannot expect any more from the members of the General Assembly should they be asked by Arkansas voters to do so.

• • •

Maylon Rice is a former journalist who worked for several northwest Arkansas publications. He can be reached via email at [email protected] Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Print Headline: States’ congressmen all loudly say ‘No,’ to red flag laws

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