By: José Niño
While Republicans tend to be better on the Second Amendment than the Democrats, they cannot always be trusted to defend our right to bear arms consistently.
Texas Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw is one of those Republicans who claims to be a pro-Second Amendment champion and an overall proponent of limited government. The problem is that his actual track record largely belies his image. Crenshaw finds himself in hot water with some pro-Second Amendment organizations, especially Gun Owners of America, for his controversial vote on the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a military spending bill.
This wasn’t just any spending bill. This bill contained a red flag gun confiscation order provision that would have granted military courts the authority to ban gun ownership via protective orders. AWR Hawkins of Breitbart News noted that this red flag order would have prohibited gun ownership in the following ways:
1. By giving the subject of the order an “opportunity to be heard on the order.”
2. By issuing the order ex parte.
The original NDAA bill with red flag provisions was passed in late September with the support of 135 Republicans.
Last week, a revised version of the NDAA bill was passed, which did not feature gun control. Crenshaw voted for this bill as well, and he stressed in an email to his supporters that this iteration of the 2022 NDAA bill did not contain red flag language. In this same email, Crenshaw called out GOA, saying, “[T]hey [GOA] want to make you outraged because then you will click on their article or donate money to their organizations.
“On that particular lie, the grifters went full force ahead, the Gun Owners of America, because they were trying to fundraise,” Crenshaw added.
Crenshaw also criticized members of the House Freedom Caucus, who accurately pointed out that he supported the original version of the NDAA, which featured the red flag gun confiscation provisions.
At an event on December 5, Crenshaw accused the House Freedom Caucus of also being “grifters” and defended his support for the original House version of the NDAA. He rationalized his vote by arguing that “everyone knew” there was already a deal to take out the red flag provisions on the final version of the bill, and he was the “only member of Congress” who introduced a bill to prohibit red flag laws.
Crenshaw’s sketchy record on pro-liberty issues doesn’t stop at red flag laws. P. Garder Goldsmith of MRCTV reported on the Congressman’s support of the TAPS (Threat Assessment, Prevention, and Safety) Act. The TAPS Act functions as a pre-crime bill that incentivizes law enforcement to give countless individuals a personal threat assessment and single-out the select few they consider to be threats. From there, the information acquired during this process could subsequently be used to stop allegedly “dangerous” individuals before they can carry out an act of violence.
"The solutions aren't obvious, even if we pretend they are. But we must try. Let's start with the TAPS Act. Maybe also implement state ‘red flag’ laws, or gun violence restraining orders. Stop them before they can hurt someone," Crenshaw tweeted.
Crenshaw is one of several Republicans who talks a big game about limited government but does little to promote that cause while in office. This is standard operating procedure among D.C. Republicans. In this instance, Crenshaw is doing damage control over his previous flirtation with red flag gun confiscation orders.
Politicians’ behavior, not their words, is what should ultimately be observed. When they step out of line, they must be punished. Pro-Second Amendment activists will have to come to terms with the reality that Crenshaw will need to have a credible primary challenger who either unseats him or causes enough political pain to make him change his ways. Republicans should never be given a pass for their legislative misbehavior.
José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him viaFacebook, Twitter, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.