Patton Oswalt Mocks Dan Crenshaw’s Argument Against Red Flag Laws

Comedian Patton Oswalt mocked Representative Dan Crenshaw’s argument against red flag laws on Sunday during an interview on CNN.

Calls for gun control were reinvigorated this week after 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos opened fire inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 students and two teachers on Tuesday. However, most Republicans have held firm in their opposition to gun reform.

When pressed on red flag laws, which allow law enforcement officials from preventing a person from owning a gun if they are believed to be in crisis, Crenshaw, a Texas Republican, said he continues to oppose them. The GOP lawmaker argued that it is unclear how they would be properly enforced, how due process would be adhered to and whether or not they would be effective against gun violence.

Patton Oswalt mocks Crenshaw's anti-red-flag law argument
Comedian Patton Oswalt ridiculed GOP Representative Dan Crenshaw’s argument for opposing red flag laws on Sunday. Above, Crenshaw speaks at a press conference in Washington, DC, on August 31, 2021.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

“What you’re essentially trying to do with a red flag law is enforce the law before the law has been broken, and that’s a really difficult thing to do. It’s difficult to assess whether somebody’s a threat,” he said. “If there’s such a threat that they’re threatening somebody with a weapon already, well then they’ve already broken a law, so why do you need this other law?”

His remarks were skewered by others on social media, including by Oswalt, who tweeted: “Dan’s right. We can’t try to prevent crime from happening, ever.”

Like Crenshaw, many Republicans have resisted calls for gun reform in the days following Tuesday’s shooting. Some have suggested alternative ways to prevent school shootings, including arming teachers, implementing more security in schools and reducing the number of doors that a school has.

Some Republicans even attended a convention in Houston for the National Rifle Association (NRA), a massive GOP donor, just days after the shooting.

Others also criticized Crenshaw’s remarks online. Writer Mark Follman accused him of not understanding how red flag laws work.

“It’s not a criminal procedure—it’s a civil one. A judge determines whether to remove a gun temporarily from a person based on evidence that person poses a danger to himself and/or others,” he tweeted.

“‘By the same token,@DanaBashCNN, I am against restraining orders, no fly lists, sex offender registries, and all preventive medicine’ @DanCrenshawTX probably,” tweeted Rachel Vindman.

A handful of Republicans have signaled support for some gun control measures following the shooting.

Florida Senator Rick Scott said he would be open to the possibility of national red flag laws, while Representatives Adam Kinzinger, of Illinois, and Chris Jacobs, of New York, have both announced support for strengthening some gun regulations.

Newsweek reached out to Crenshaw’s office for comment.

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