A somewhat over-the-top Eric Greitens political ad triggers a leftist
Eric Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, former Missouri governor, and current U.S. Senate candidate, put out an ad that tries to buff his MAGA credentials by riffing off his Navy SEAL background in a hunt for "RINOs." I put it in the category of ads that try way too hard and, therefore, fail. But for one Missouri Democrat, it was a perfect opportunity to give us a preview of coming attractions if Senate RINOs help Democrats strengthen existing red flag laws across America or fund new ones.
I'm ambivalent about Eric Greitens. I reflexively admire Navy SEALS because it takes a huge amount of determination to become one. They don't seem to make the best politicians, though. Dan Crenshaw hasn't impressed me because I think he is just a bit too chummy with House Democrats, including Liz Cheney (well, she's almost a Democrat).
Greitens, too, has been a problem. He was a Democrat until about five minutes before he decided to run for Missouri governor. Once in office, he ended up in the crosshairs of Kimberly Gardner, a leftist prosecutor determined to drive Greitens from office on various charges, ranging from felony invasion of privacy to campaign-related expenses. It turned out that the prosecutor was corrupt, but the problem was that Greitens had issues, too, not the least of which was a dangerous amount of arrogance. The whole affair was messy and distasteful.
Still, Greitens was a pretty good Republican governor, which probably explains why the prosecutor went after him. He tried to clean up government corruption and signed off on bills enacting tort reform, Missouri becoming a right-to-work state, limiting abortion, improving foster care, etc. Based on his record, he seems like a viable candidate, if he can limit his arrogance to supporting his principles rather than riskily affecting his private behavior.
With an actual record behind him, Greitens is now running to be a senator for Missouri. In that capacity, he released a video that used his Navy SEAL background to urge people to go "RINO hunting." Despite Greitens holding a gun and participating in a mock SEAL break-in into a house, any halfway sentient being understood that this was not an incitement to kill politicians. It was, instead, a metaphor. Here, see for yourself:
We are sick and tired of the Republicans in Name Only surrendering to Joe Biden & the radical Left.— Eric Greitens (@EricGreitens) June 20, 2022
Order your RINO Hunting Permit today! pic.twitter.com/XLMdJnAzSK
Twitter, as you see, put a judgmental little message at the top. Meanwhile, it's done nothing to shut down death threats aimed at Libs of TikTok.
The Twitter wokesters aren't the only ones who didn't like the ad. Neither did Missouri state Senate majority leader Caleb Rowden. If Missouri had a red flag law, which it does not, it's obvious that Rowden would have tried to deprive Greitens of his Second Amendment rights without any semblance of due process. Denied that avenue of attack, Rowden did the next best thing, which was to call the Highway Patrol on someone for having a political viewpoint with which he disagreed and making a campaign ad he disliked:
We have been in contact with the Missouri Highway Patrol and hope that former Gov Greitens finds the help he needs.— Caleb Rowden (@calebrowden) June 20, 2022
Anyone with multiple accusations of abuse toward women and children should probably steer clear of this rhetoric. #MOSen #MOLeg https://t.co/gpmbK508AE
Red flag laws shouldn't be allowed, given that they deprive people of their Second Amendment rights without due process of law. Congress should not be able to enact them at the federal level or fund them at the state level.
Rowden's actions perfectly illustrate why. He knows that Greitens isn't a threat. However, he's hoping to deprive Greitens of that all-important Second Amendment right. If Missouri had red flag laws, Rowden's complaint could well have done so.
All states already have laws that allow people to be observed for 72 hours to determine whether they're dangerous. Additionally, as the Buffalo shooting demonstrated, the red flag law in that state did nothing to thwart the killer. And in Texas, lots of people alerted local law enforcement and (I believe) the FBI about the killer, but nothing was done.
Given that existing laws don't work, new red flag laws won't work, either. But, as the Greitens video episode reveals, people who hate you will use them against you, whether to silence you politically or make you dangerously vulnerable to someone who hasn't been forced to lose his right to bear arms.
Image: Eric Greitens Senate ad. YouTube screen grab.