NY Professor: ‘Red Flag’ Law Will Not Stop Gun Violence

Miguel Moreno
By Miguel Moreno
March 9, 2019New York

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo passed a “red flag” law on Feb. 25. The gun control law gives New Yorkers—specifically family relatives, law enforcement, and school staff—the ability to petition an order for the removal of another’s firearms.

The law is a response to gun violence, including mass shootings such as the ones that took place at Stoneman Douglas High School and Sandy Hook Elementary School. However, defenders of the Constitution believe that the red flag law infringes on the rights of Americans and is missing the point on reducing gun violence. In addition, the law has been criticized as a step toward authoritarian rule.

“The reason it’s not gonna fix anything is because we’re not exploring the issue the right way,” said Political Science Professor Nicholas Giordano during a panel discussion hosted by The Queens Village Republican Club. “We’re looking at problems as if guns are the problem, rather than culture being the problem.”

Culture of Violence, Sex, and Drugs

Giordano, who teaches at Suffolk County Community College, said that over the past 38 years, various forms of entertainment have progressively degenerated—now embracing vices and abandoning virtues. Declining morals mixed with advancements in technology have made for a pernicious concoction.

Boys play with games console.
Boys play with a game console in Paris on Oct. 27, 2010. (Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images)

“And then all of a sudden, in 2006, the iPhone comes out, social media starts really taking off, and that’s when we start seeing the mass shootings increase dramatically,” said Giordano. “With the social media, what I propose it’s done, is it’s dehumanized us.”

As people are exposed to an immoral culture, they become desensitized, in turn losing empathy and compassion for others, according to Giordano. Consequently, jealousy and envy are bolstered. Many studies have proven that limiting social media in your daily life decreases depression, including one published by the Guilford Press.

Mental Illness and Mass Shootings

Another panelist, Licensed Clinical Worker Donna Marino, said that most, if not all mass shooters, had some kind of mental illness. Though she emphasized that people should make sure not to stigmatize mental illnesses, saying that most mentally ill people are non-violent and unlikely to commit a crime.

Adam Lanza of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was diagnosed with a developmental and psychiatric disorder, according to Marino. He shot and killed 20 children and six teachers. Dylann Roof killed nine African Americans during a prayer service at the Charleston church shooting. Aside from having multiple mental disorders, he passed a flawed background check when buying his gun, even though he was previously convicted of a drug charge.

“When purchasing a gun, and during a background check, a general mental health history is excluded,” said Marino. “The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, also known as HIPAA, protects all of us. It also protects the potential shooter by not allowing the disclosure of mental illness and treatment.”

Marino believes that there isn’t one single reason for gun violence: something she calls symptoms of a broken system.

Seizing Firearms and Authoritarian Regimes

“One of the first things those authoritarian regimes do, is they first place restrictions on guns before they outright ban them. And we see this time and time again, the most recent case being Venezuela,” said Giordano.

In 2012, the socialist regime in Venezuela banned civilians from owning guns in a supposed attempt to increase safety in the country, according to BBC. Now, the people of Venezuela are being killed by gunfire from the Maduro regime when they ask for the dictator to step down.

The persecution of Jews in Germany began as early as 1933. In 1938, Adolf Hitler ordered all Jews to surrender their guns and ammunition, according to George Washington University. Before that order, the weapons of Jews would be seized if “public safety” required it.

“I am concerned about the abuse of governmental power; and I think it’s clear that government has consistently overstepped its boundaries,” said Giordano.

New York’s red flag law allows for the seizure of property without a court hearing. The 14th amendment of the Constitution reads that no property may be seized without due process of law.

Correction: The video incorrectly cited Nicholas P. Giordano. Giordano said that prior to the 1980s, there were virtually no gun laws. NTD regrets the error.

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