(Opinion editor’s note: Editorials represent the opinions of the Star Tribune Editorial Board, which operates independently from the newsroom.)
The new year started with news of the tragic shootings of two children in the Twin Cities when shots were fired into their homes. In Minneapolis, an 11-year-old girl was shot in the face while in her North Side bedroom. And in St. Paul, a 10-year-old boy was hit in the stomach by gunfire directed at his Frogtown-area home.
It’s impossible to know whether the red-flag law that went into effect Jan. 1 in Minnesota could have prevented that horror. But it might have made a difference in the Minneapolis case, where the suspect randomly fired an AR-15 rifle into the air to celebrate the new year. The accused is a Fridley man who is a convicted felon barred from having a firearm. The ban wasn’t enough, but had someone close to him who knew he had the rifle sought an order under the new law, the rifle might have been taken away from him.
Let’s review the case:
- Shooting into the air for no reason endangering the public is illegal.
- Felon in possession of a firearm also illegal.
- Felon shooting a gun is also very illegal.
Just the first one is enough to immediately call 911. After that the proper enforcement of the laws broken should be enough to send the Felon back to prison for a long time.
But the message by the Star Tribune Editorial Board is that those felonies and the blatant endangering of human life by the felon is simply not enough to call the cops and have him arrested thus possibly preventing a tragedy. No, the solution is to pass and support Red Flag laws and just like Socialism, this time we will have peace and security and not the failures we had with other laws like felon in possession or assault with a deadly weapon or even murder.
And once Red Flags fails and another Flavor Du Jour Gun Control idea pops up, we will have the editorial board once again bemoaning about how ERPOs are not enough, but this time the new law will take us to Paradise.