Trigger warning: The US Constitution protects beliefs and speech that most find reprehensible.

While I absolutely do not share Kaleb Cole’s reported beliefs, which given the current state of media reporting should be taken with a pound of salt, I support everyone’s Constitutional rights.

As with a previous post I offer the disclaimer that I am relying on media reports and the media may not have all the details, and if they do they may not have reported all the details accurately.

Read the articles and then come back.

Apparently this investigation had been going for about a year. After that amount of time Cole was “believed ” to be the local leader of a hate group. Cole reportedly identified as a member of a group had been carrying the group’s flag.

Law enforcement officials are reportedly “continuing to discuss” what criminal laws might apply to the case.

“King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, whose deputy prosecutor Kim Wyatt argued the ERPO case before the judge, said the order to surrender guns is the right tool when law enforcement does not have enough evidence to file a criminal charge.” –King5 [emphasis added]

Finally, the New York Times, via the Seattle Times, is reporting that the feds have punted this to local officials to handle.

So after a year of investigating, someone believed to be a leader of a hate group who has apparently committed no crime, has had multiple rights violated and his guns seized.

If Cole were truly that dangerous, why is he not in custody? If he truly was the leader of a hate group intent on starting a race war, would taking his personal weapons solve anything? Could he go to a hardware store and buy implements to do great damage? Could he, fearing that law enforcement was closing in, order his alleged subordinates, who would still be armed, to initiate whatever plan they had been working on?

Most telling, from someone who has worked in law enforcement for over two decades, is the fact that the Feds aren’t taking the lead on this. There have been countless cases started by local law enforcement where the Feds have swooped in and taken over. But the opposite? If the Feds are giving up control of a possible criminal case, it must be exceptionally weak.

Which brings us back to: are you next? If the threshold for seizing weapons is now allegedly claiming affiliation with a group that has reportedly committed crimes and carrying a flag associated with that group, I imagine that the raids on members of Antifa will start in 3…2…1. Wait, why aren’t they happening?