Well you know what they say, if something doesn’t work, double down on it and give people more power to abuse it. We’ve probably attacked the absurdity of Red Flag laws at least twenty times since the idea of them came out and only supported the idea once, in its infancy when we were too stupid to see how it’d eventually be abused. Because it was eventually abused. But, since we absolutely adore beating the shit out of a dead horse as long as someone keeps trying to saddle it up and ride, we’re going to attack the absurdity of it ONCE AGAIN!
Washington state…first off, let’s all admit that we’re not surprised where this expansion of the red flag laws is coming from. Like, it’d be crazy if it was somewhere like Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho (residents), Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota (residents, concealed carry), Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming (residents) who all seem to be pretty cool guys in regards to gun rights, i.e. they all have constitutional carry of some sort…wow didn’t expect Vermont to be on that list, or New Hampshire either, oh well moving on. Nobody is surprised that Washington state is attempting to further disarm its people via House Bill 2305.
House Bill 2305 basically states that the subject of a protective order can have their guns confiscated due to “preponderance of the evidence but not by clear and convincing evidence.” Ok, so what’s the difference between preponderance of the evidence and clear and convincing evidence.
Clear and convincing evidence…we can all reasonably assume we know what clear and convincing evidence is, right? However preponderance of the evidence, that’s not something we read about every day. So what does it mean?
From Legal Dictionary.com; Preponderance of Evidence
“The greater weight of the evidence required in a civil (non-criminal) lawsuit for the trier of fact (jury or judge without a jury) to decide in favor of one side or the other. This preponderance is based on the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not on the amount of evidence. Thus, one clearly knowledgeable witness may provide a preponderance of evidence over a dozen witnesses with hazy testimony, or a signed agreement with definite terms may outweigh opinions or speculation about what the parties intended. Preponderance of the evidence is required in a civil case and is contrasted with “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is the more severe test of evidence required to convict in a criminal trial. No matter what the definition stated in various legal opinions, the meaning is somewhat subjective.
Fuck. That’s a lot of legal jargon, but we called our local barracks lawyer who is actually a lawyer and he broke it down in this way. There are three levels of evidence, in order of like how good the evidence is…
Preponderance of evidence
Clear and Convincing
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
So, basically what has happened in Washington State is they went from needing a bit more evidence to remove your rights to needed a little bit less evidence to remove your rights. Or at least that’s how we’re reading it. Still has to pass the Washington state senate. Now all of you up in Washington state can blow up your state senator’s phone and let them know how you want them to vote on this latest “Red Flag” law update.