Red flag laws
Dear Sen. Sinema/Gov. Ducey:
To preface this, to say the childhood I had was a difficult one would be an understatement. Constant beatings which crossed the threshold of regular spankings were common in my childhood, with my abusive, gun-owning, alcoholic father and his family facilitating many of these beatings.
I am writing this letter to you not only as a constituent, but also as a first-generation Filipino-American immigrant and a former victim looking to have a normal life. In the wake of the recent shootings, I cannot stay silent as these red flag laws are reintroduced.
I am against these new red flag laws, as those with trauma-related mental illnesses, such as combat veterans who have served our country alongside traumatized individuals such as me, are open to abuses by these laws. These red flag laws could easily twist an innocuous comment posted to social media into a threat and cause an individual’s personal right to self-protection to become forfeit in the eyes of the legal system — or worse.
The red flag system currently being proposed relies mainly on hearsay and rumors. This can be easily weaponized by individuals who consider themselves to be “concerned relatives.” Alongside this, the system is already poorly set up and violates the individual’s second, fourth, sixth and 14th amendments by denying an individual not only their firearm rights but their right to a reasonable search and seizure through this system. It also creates an atmosphere where a fair and speedy trial is unable to be found, as the trial is already unbalanced and weighs against the individual whose firearms were taken away.
This system lacks oversight and does not properly investigate threats, making verification nonexistent. In its current state, this system could easily be used as a state-sponsored harassment campaign, which would allow the state to disarm an individual and in turn leave them open to threats against their life should any arise during these legal
proceedings to get their firearms back. According to the FBI, most murders are committed by people the victims know, so giving these very same people the ability to disarm their victims is unwise at best. The same laws being used to push for individuals to be disarmed for being deemed threats can become laws that allow criminals to disarm their targets.
In summary, the proposed laws compromise the right of the individual in the name of creating a false sense of security. Given that these laws were being reintroduced on the heels of our recent shootings, it is clear that they are intended for preventing further mass shootings. The caveat to this, however, is that it opens gun owners to state-approved reprisals in the name of public safety.
Texting while driving
Even though I am not old enough to drive yet, I am very supportive of the new law that prohibits texting while driving. The law has been needed for a very long time. One of the reasons I am supportive of it is that 25% of car crashes are caused by texting while driving. A tragic example of this is the death of Officer Townsend in January. I would think people would have sense enough to put away the phone, but now perhaps the law will make people put them away and make our roads safer.