Friday, March 22, 2019

Nacht und Nebel

German for night and fog, used to describe arrests of political enemies.  So called because arresting someone late at night makes it more likely the arrestee will be either asleep or tired, and thus more likely to make mistakes when resisting arrest and less likely any neighbors will witness it.

This is not a new story, but it should be a warning that red flag laws are both ineffective and dangerous.  11/5/18 CBS Baltimore:
FERNADALE, Md. (WJZ) — A 61-year-old man is dead after he was shot by an officer trying to enforce Maryland’s new ‘red flag’ law in Ferndale Monday morning.
Anne Arundel County Police confirmed the police-involved shooting happened in the 100 block of Linwood Avenue around 5:17 a.m.
According to police, two officers serving a new Extreme Risk Protective Order (Red Flag Law), a Maryland protective order to remove guns from a household, shot and killed the man listed on that order.
“Under the law, family, police, mental health professionals can all ask for the protective orders to remove weapons,” said Sgt. Jacklyn David, with Anne Arundel County Police.
These laws are supposed to prevent death and injury by persons who might harm others.  Well, this one caused at least one death of a person not actively engaged in a crime.

They are also ineffective because there are so many other ways to commit murder, and mass murder.  Motor vehicles are very effective for mass murder; all the ingredients for making poison gas are available at your local Wal-Mart.  If a person is really so potentially dangerous that they need to be disarmed, they should be involuntarily committed.  Of course, that requires due process: a hearing, a chance to cross-examine witnesses, and defend yourself.  These laws are very popular because they avoid asking questions about why the state mental hospital systems were systematically destroyed in the 1960s and 1970s.

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