A 16-year-old boy in Colorado has been told he cannot return to school because of an anonymous tip claimed that he posted “threatening” content on social media. What was the “threatening” content? A video of him and his mother at a gun range, safely exercising their Second Amendment rights.
According to Complete Colorado, Nathan Myers, a junior at Loveland High School in Loveland, Colorado, posted the videos to Snapchat last week showing several guns he and his mother were taking to the gun range that day, with the caption “Finna be lit.”
Thanks to this Snapchat video, Myers has been suspended from school and is not even permitted to access any of his work in order to continue his education from home while the district runs its investigation.
Complete Colorado reports:
Complete Colorado sent Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams the Snapchat with no context to what was happening and asked him how he would interpret the post, he said it appeared to him someone got a new gun and was excited to go shoot it.
When told of the outcome, Reams could not believe one person’s fears were causing such a shakeup for another. He said this is the perfect example of the damage the Red Flag Law could do.
“People base their apprehension on their own paradigm and their own fear of guns and gun culture,” Reams said. “One kid is totally excited to go out and train on how to use a gun responsibly, while another kid is totally freaked out about seeing a gun.”
While it’s important for people to be able to anonymously report legitimate safety concerns, there is a clear need for some type of screening method to prevent people like Nathan Myers from having to suffer such profound consequences where no actual threat exists.
“This is exactly the mechanics of the Red Flag Law,” Reams continued. “Someone filed an anonymous complaint, without the other person knowing it was being filed, but instead of him being deprived of his Second Amendment rights, he’s being deprived of his ability to go to school without due process.”
Myers simply “exercised his First Amendment right to use his Second Amendment right,” Reams said, adding that he hopes Myers doesn’t come to fear exercising either right when he eventually becomes an adult.
The very crux of the problem with the Red Flag Law and law enforcement’s efforts to focus on “pre-crime” intervention is that it denies individuals of due process. A crime has not even been committed and the only “evidence” against Nathan Myers is an anonymous tip. This ought not to be in the United States where we are afforded the right of due process and the privilege of being innocent until proven guilty. Myers is guilty of nothing and is still being treated like a criminal.
This is justice in 21st century America.
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