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View Full Version : Let's debate the unthinkable: is "felon disarmament" via GCA68 really a good idea?


1JimMarch
06-01-2009, 10:43 PM
As I mentioned, I have a job opportunity in LA. It's near Compton. It went pretty well, and I seem to have a chance with it.

What got me thinking was driving through Compton, as that's where the Grayhound (bus) let off and a friend picked me up.

God almighty is that a pesthole. Driving up South Long Beach Blvd. towards Lynwood was an eye-opener...worse than Richmond (California) circa 2000 era, my last experience with a wreck of a place.

I got to thinking about what kind of people were caught up in the worst part of that life - the gangs, the drugs, etc.

What if somebody wanted to quit?

That's a serious issue. As one example, I know how it's handled in the hardcore motorcycle gangs (the really criminal kind) in the US. If you want out but still want to cruise around on a Harley and swap old war stories with both friends and even former enemies, you can - there's a defined way out. It's called the "Christian Motorcycle Association" or CMA. You fly CMA colors, you don't haul drugs doing so, the past is forgotten. It's a long-standing gentlemen's agreement among people you'd hardly think of as "gents".

But this crap in Compton, "Bloods and Crips"? Ain't no such escape clause.

So they end up with three choices if they want out: stay gangbanging and be armed against enemies, get completely the hell out of there and hope it doesn't follow (read: "maybe get dead") and lose access to your remaining relatives, or "go legal", quit that lifestyle, disarm and almost certainly get dead.

What I'm saying is, by law, in order to go legit, they have to give up self defense - forever.

Doesn't that mean they're less likely to clean up their act?

Put another way: the message they're getting out of ALL forms of government (law enforcement, schools, etc.) is that *defense* via arms is just as evil as *offense*. So hell, you might as well go offensive, because you're busted eventually if you're armed yet you're in a place where it's borderline *insane* to be unarmed. Trust me, if the only place I can find near work is anywhere near that craphole, I'm gonna pack. Period, end of discussion, I said it. Difference is, I'm otherwise legal, handgun is registered to me and I know how to launch a constitutional counter-brawl if needed, so I'm running less risk.

(And being white I'm less likely to get searched...)

So is disarmament of those who've done their time really a good idea? Or is it preventing voluntary straightening-up of their lives? (That bit about the bikers I got from one formerly VERY nasty character who straightened up.)

Now yeah, I *know* how high the recidivism rate is. At least, the rate NOW. But even if that doesn't change...dayum, it's dead obvious the real problem people are going to get guns anyhow.

Thoughts?

socal2310
06-01-2009, 11:31 PM
It's a perennial debate here. I say prohibiting a felon from possessing arms is pointless since you are only going to disarm ex-cons who go straight. Those who remain criminally inclined are going to continue to pack, whether it is legal for them to do so or not.

Anyone who cannot be trusted to own a firearm, cannot be trusted to be let out of prison. Period. End of discussion. I would like to see permanent curtailing of rights only when someone is convicted of a crime where the maximum sentence is the death penalty or life in prison. All others regain their rights after finishing their sentence (to include parole and probation).

Ryan

unusedusername
06-01-2009, 11:31 PM
The issue here I think is the the illegal thing is not how you use a firearm when you become a felon.

Since mere possession is illegal a law would be broken even if you were to hang a gun on the wall and never use it.

I think it makes more sense to have types of uses of firearms be illegal instead of possession for most types of crimes (not including mental illness reasons).

But I'm probably preaching to the choir as this is a gun-related forum.

383green
06-01-2009, 11:46 PM
Well, if the only available choices are "go straight and end up dead" or "stay crooked and maybe spend some time in prison", I can guess how most rational people would choose.

I can see a clear hierarchy of needs, in strict priority order (some people may have a different list and/or order things differently, but this is my own list):

1) Doing what is necessary for survival.
2) Doing what is morally right.
3) Doing what is legal.

As a person who is generally law-abiding and who tries to contribute positively to society, I try to always do all three at the same time. Hypothetically speaking, if none of the available options overlap all three of those cases, then the higher-numbered ones get sacrificed for the lower-numbered ones.

So, even as a person who avoids doing felonious things on general principle, I can easily imagine situations where a good, upstanding person could get backed into a corner where they must break the law in order to do what is necessary and right, or even do something wrong in order to survive.

If I now imagine a person who has already crossed the line of legality and/or does not respect the rule of law, it seems that such decisions would get even easier.

I don't know if I have much to add to this debate, but I see merit to the argument that trying to disarm felons who have served their sentences may have the opposite effect from the one desired (namely, that these folks stop being lawless parasites on society).

7x57
06-01-2009, 11:48 PM
So far as I can tell, the felon prohibition only serves as some additional time that can be tacked on the next time they commit a crime, or jaywalk, or the police decide someone needs off the streets and don't have some other crime to charge them with. But I doubt that is an accident--prohibiting something necessary makes everyone guilty, and that's a useful way to control people.

Logically, the thing to do is to allow ex-cons a gun under precisely some of the rules the antis want to impose on the rest of us--they have to register the gun to their name and perhaps have a fired bullet on file. That particular gun is more easily traceable to them.

Since they seem to be able to get a gun anyway, that suggestion really only serves two purposes. The first is taking a few stupid criminals off the streets. The second is to reinforce the point that gun control is designed to treat citizens as criminals.

7x57

nick
06-01-2009, 11:58 PM
As it was pointed out, a criminal would get his gun, anyway. Buying it legally would make it easier, of course, but would also make his gun known.

While I might have reservations about allowing felons to own guns (mostly emotional reservations, mind you), I don't think prohibiting them from owning guns serves any useful purpose. Provided the law-abiding citizens can own, bear, and use arms themselves, of course. But that's a separate matter, anyway. The only thing it's good for is political posturing and showing the voters that "something is being done". Mind you, doesn't that describe most gun laws?

I also don't recall reading any limitations on ownership of arms in the Bill of Rights (it did say "shall not be infringed" in the 2nd Amendment, but what do I know. Per Supreme Court "shall not be infringed" means "can be infringed if we deem it reasonable").

Unrepentant criminals with guns are dangerous, sure. However, in a sane society (the one that doesn't disarm its law-abiding citizens), the law-abiding citizens still outnumber and outgun the criminals, so the criminals either get killed, or reform, or find safer occupations, or, well, get killed. Of course, that doesn't sit well with our obsession with safety, but nobody said that freedom was safe. In fact, freedom is probably the most unsafe state of affairs. Which is fine, it's better than the alternative. Now, how many people see it that way, is a whole other story.

bigcalidave
06-02-2009, 12:29 AM
Hate to say it but can we discuss getting people with a tendency to commit crime getting their civil rights back AFTER us law abiding citizens get ours? The last thing I'm worried about is that a child abuser can go buy a gun. Where do you draw the line on punishment served? I don't even want to go there.

nicki
06-02-2009, 1:49 AM
Jim,

You have hit multiple issues in this thread and what you have pointed out will require signficant changes in how we do alot of things.

It is obvious that our elected officials and many of our mainstream community leaders are clueless to these obvious facts.

What will need to be done will require changes in the juvenile system, the court system and the prison system.

It will also require societal change.

Perhaps what is needed is a simple 10 point plan on how to get things started.

Nicki

E Pluribus Unum
06-02-2009, 2:02 AM
I think this argument is a lost cause. There are way too many injustices that need to be fixed first.

For example; this idea of "qualifying misdemeanors" like "domestic violence". If you want to make "domestic violence" a felony then do it. Don't create this term "qualifying misdemeanor" because then it can be expanded. After a while, any misdemeanor conviction could be used to suspend gun ownership.

The other thing that needs to happen is STANDARDIZATION of what IS a felony. With regards to voting rights, gun rights, et cetera, all rights are lost upon felony conviction. This follows you across the entire country. What about certain California felonies that are perfectly legal in other states? For example, you put a pistol grip on your M1A because you don't know any better. You are convicted of the felony and you decide to move to Az where a pistol grip is legal. That doesn't matter; the fact that you were convicted of a felony precludes you from your rights; voting rights, gun rights, almost all rights are gone forever even though pistol grips are legal in 95% of the union.

I think for FEDERAL gun rights to be infringed, the felony convicted on must be illegal in ALL states or it does not count.

bigcalidave
06-02-2009, 2:09 AM
That's a much better argument. I can't wait to see the lawsuits from anyone convicted of a victimless crime like AW configuration after these laws are struck down. People who were only felons for a few years according to the state laws? lol, gonna be a mess.

AJAX22
06-02-2009, 4:04 AM
It is not ok,

If you cannot be trusted to own/cary a gun then you should not be out of prison.

We treat entierly too many crimes as felonys which are a simple matter of posession of an inanimate object with no actual victim.

Not to mention the fact that we ALL are potential felons, as everyone has broken the law at some point in their life (knowingly or unknowingly), the difference being that when we were young and stupid we were lucky enough to not get caught and now that we are older and wiser we know a little better.

The most patriotic, upstanding citizen I know of, is in jail in Utah right now on a felony charge and nothing he did was illegal when he started doing it. He stayed the same, the laws changed untill they eventually caught up with him.

He served two tours in vietnam, was the regional commander of the VFW, owned and operated a number of buisnesses and was a productive member of society. He dedicated his entire life to trying to help people and to giving back to his nation.... and now he is in jail because he took the 2A litterally.

The only crimes he committed were owning inanimate objects which were legal when he left to go to serve his country... when he was slogging through the jungles fighting to preserve those rights they took them away from him and he returned to the U.S. with more medals than most generals.... but was already a felon (68 had come and gone)

He was the last free American, and now he is sitting in a jail cell in Utah... he can barely walk using two canes because of the six bullet wounds he received in service to this country.... and since he is in prison the painkillers he has to take for the spinal injuries he received when the box mine killed his entire command are not available.

If you want to see the face of what the system has become, you can go to Utah and visit this 59 year old man who, although he won't be able to stand to greet you will firmly shake your hand and look you in your eye.

He has never committed a criminal act upon a person, he has never stolen, robbed, or killed outside of his service to our country... (for which he wakes screaming every night)... he is no threat to anyone, but he is in jail because his unwillingness to conform to the arbitrary and capricious laws which restricted his individual freedom.

Sutcliffe
06-02-2009, 5:39 AM
Period. If you are a felon that has served his time to make ammends for your transgressions then you ought to be able to protect yourself.

Untamed1972
06-02-2009, 7:20 AM
If someone really wants to get out of those kinds of gangs they're gonna hafta move to where no one knows them....period. If that means having to cut-off contact with family and friends then so be it. That is the consequence of the lifestyle they chose. We as a society simply MUST get away from this mentality that people should not have to face any consequences of the choices they make. None of those gangbangers can claim they didn't know what they were doing was illegal, even those who got into it at a young age. You knew it was illegal....so take the consequences and don't whine about it.

sholling
06-02-2009, 7:21 AM
My feeling is that once you've committed a violent felony with a firearm then you've given up that right for life. Now my preference this that violent felons never get out of prison or at least not until they are too old to be likely to commit another violent felony but that's never going to become law. But I do think it's wrong to deny a non-violent offender that has paid his/her debt the right to self defense. It wasn't that many years ago that it was still (long forgotten) Texas law that a released prisoner was entitled to $20 in gold, a horse, and a Winchester rifle.

Bugei
06-02-2009, 7:50 AM
Logically, the thing to do is to allow ex-cons a gun under precisely some of the rules the antis want to impose on the rest of us--they have to register the gun to their name and perhaps have a fired bullet on file. That particular gun is more easily traceable to them.
7x57

Just can't see this working. The "straight" ex-cons aren't going to misuse their firearms and thus registry and "ballistic fingerprinting" (come on, you know that doesn't work!) aren't necessary in their case.

And the "crooked" ex-cons are just going to do what they do now: pick up their heat black market and shoot whoever they feel like. The additional sentence isn't much of a deterrent, especially in cases where the primary offense (murder) can carry the death penalty.

And, once again (a voice in the wilderness), the Second Amendment doesn't have an exception for felons or minors or the mentally incompetent. You want to protect those folks or restrict them, you have to find some other way to do it. Making exceptions to human rights just weakens them for the rest of us.

GaryV
06-02-2009, 8:33 AM
And, once again (a voice in the wilderness), the Second Amendment doesn't have an exception for felons or minors or the mentally incompetent. You want to protect those folks or restrict them, you have to find some other way to do it. Making exceptions to human rights just weakens them for the rest of us.

First, let me say that I agree with you here. But the reason why this will never fly is that, even though the final version didn't, most of the prototype versions of what became the 2nd Amendment did have exceptions for dangerous criminals. Since there's a strong pressure to include "reasonable restrictions" on the RKBA, even from members of the court who side with us, and they can easily make the case that the Founding Fathers understood that the right could be so limited in the case of felons, this is the one restriction that will undoubtedly remain.

AJAX22
06-02-2009, 8:42 AM
First, let me say that I agree with you here. But the reason why this will never fly is that, even though the final version didn't, most of the prototype versions of what became the 2nd Amendment did have exceptions for dangerous criminals. Since there's a strong pressure to include "reasonable restrictions" on the RKBA, even from members of the court who side with us, and they can easily make the case that the Founding Fathers understood that the right could be so limited in the case of felons, this is the one restriction that will undoubtedly remain.

It would never have been rattified with restrictions... which is why in the final version they were removed.

The 2A is an absolute.

command_liner
06-02-2009, 9:06 AM
The answer, or at least some insight, lies in the Brogan Decision.

Brogan held, among other things, that an argument, just a verbal discussion,
about speeding in a National Park, is a federal felony. This is a real USSC
decision. Read it and weep, or vomit, as might be appropriate.

If we have gotten to the point, and we have, that arguing with the government
is a felony, then the term felon is meaningless. But once you are branded
with that term, you have to give up your "inalienable" rights.

Folks, we have gone way, way out on a limb here, denying people their
enumerated, inalienable rights for trivial reasons.

A neighbor or mine got into a fistfight defending his girlfriend at school.
The fight lasted 40 seconds. No disfiguring or permanent injuries
resulted, and my neighbor was not the aggressor. The school violated
its own written policies in many ways. All this is in the court record.

Because he refused to plead guilty, he was convicted of 2 felonies.
It is this type of lunacy that needs to end.

evan69
06-02-2009, 9:11 AM
If you can't trust somebody to own a firearm, because they are more likely to commit a crime, why did they get let out of prison?

leadchucker
06-02-2009, 10:08 AM
.........the Brogan Decision............If we have gotten to the point, and we have, that arguing with the government
is a felony, then the term felon is meaningless. But once you are branded
with that term, you have to give up your "inalienable" rights.

And therein lies the evil of "Case Law"....incrementalism. It's high time that "Case Law" be done away with and we start over with a clean slate- using only the original laws as the only valid bases for interpretation.

The Second Amendment is not a "Federal Law" only. It is a protection of a basic pre-existing individual right that was recognized as being "God-given" and, therefore, inalienable. Every free citizen was viewed as having a perfect right to keep and bear arms in order to secure the freedom of the States (and their individual peoples) from Federal (now there's the word in it's proper place in regards to the Second Amendment!) abuses. Again, every free citizen. Any person who has served his sentence should be restored to full free-citizenship. It is the criminal justice system that has failed us in that "rehabilitation" has overshadowed punishment.

As has been pointed out, many (most?) "felonious" offenses today are based on what should be considered liberties, where no criminal intent or action has been involved at all. Those people should not even be imprisoned, and the remaining true convicted criminals should not have such a (relatively speaking) good time of their incarceration experience. Make them pay to be free again so they can appreciate freedom for what it is supposed to be. But, if we don't feel truly free outside of imprisonment due to illegal laws, then how much contrast (and, therefore, incentive) can violent offenders feel while being "rehabilitated", knowing that they deserve a worse punishment?



Constitutional Freedom---------------------------------------Hard, slave-like labor

vs.

----------------regulated "freedom"------------"rehabilitation"---------------------

Once the wider contrast is restored, then there will be less crime. As things stand today, we are all under a form of imprisonment.

GaryV
06-02-2009, 12:19 PM
It would never have been rattified with restrictions... which is why in the final version they were removed.

The 2A is an absolute.

Do you have references on this?

gunn
06-02-2009, 12:25 PM
If someone really wants to get out of those kinds of gangs they're gonna hafta move to where no one knows them....period. If that means having to cut-off contact with family and friends then so be it. That is the consequence of the lifestyle they chose. We as a society simply MUST get away from this mentality that people should not have to face any consequences of the choices they make. None of those gangbangers can claim they didn't know what they were doing was illegal, even those who got into it at a young age. You knew it was illegal....so take the consequences and don't whine about it.

I agree with Untamed's comments here. The biggest problem is that people are NOT willing to take responsibility for their actions. It saddens me to see things like a) the two thugs who taunted the tiger getting a $900K payday for the death they incited and b) all the moms (ex: Louvelle Mixon and the thug who got shot by the pharmacist) saying that their son's actions had NOTHING to do with the deaths that resulted. That's BS - pure and simple. Whatever happened to families feeling ASHAMED for the actions of their spawn?

If you commited a crime, were convicted of a felony, and served your time, you are NOT entitled to all the rights and privileges of this great society when you get out. If you have to run away and start a new life away from friends and family just to avoid getting gang retribution, so be it. That's the result of the choices you made. There is no reason you should be allowed to be legally armed again.

Now, if like the other guy who was defending his girlfriend a few posts before mine were convicted of a felony "by mistake", well, there are ways to get your rights back. Sure, they involve lawyers and $$$, but them's the breaks.
You made the choice to "defend your girlfriend" and you should live with the consequences. That's life.
-g

Bugei
06-02-2009, 12:31 PM
First, let me say that I agree with you here. But the reason why this will never fly is that, even though the final version didn't, most of the prototype versions of what became the 2nd Amendment did have exceptions for dangerous criminals. Since there's a strong pressure to include "reasonable restrictions" on the RKBA, even from members of the court who side with us, and they can easily make the case that the Founding Fathers understood that the right could be so limited in the case of felons, this is the one restriction that will undoubtedly remain.

And I have two problems with that.
The first is that to use the term "reasonable" means that we get incremental legislation. NFA 34. Then GCA 68. Then black-weapon bans. None of these things are reasonable to me, as they violate my natural/God-given (pick the one you prefer) right to own the tools for self-defense. It is not reasonable to allow legislators who can be proven to be ignorant of firearms and their use in defense to legislate these matters. And it's repugnant to me. That's not what I was raised to believe.

The second is that the same term -- "reasonable" is used for the incremental nature of court decisions. Until DC v Heller, I thought I would never see the clock moved back on gun rights in this country. I was heartened, even though the clock only really moved back to 1970 or so. I'd like to see it moved back to 1800...but that will never happen.

I agree about the prototypes. As others have pointed out above, those prototypes couldn't be ratified because no one trusted the govevernment far enough. The Second Amendment as written has no exceptions because the signers didn't want any.

Everything that happened vis-a-vis gun law since then has been just plain illegal. Moreover, it's been just plain wrong.

Heller surprised me. Perhaps more surprises are in the offing.

leadchucker
06-02-2009, 12:33 PM
If you commited a crime, were convicted of a felony, and served your time, you are NOT entitled to all the rights and privileges of this great society when you get out.

Agreed that this is how it is today. But you seem to be saying, "If you commited a crime, were convicted of a felony, and served your time, you should NOT be entitled to all the rights and privileges of this great society when you get out." That's your opinion, and the crux of the discussion. Now please explain why not, and back it up with the Constitution.

Untamed1972
06-02-2009, 1:56 PM
I will add to my previous statement that I do agree that too many things, ie simple possession or unknowingly transporting an object in an incorrect manner, are labeled as felonies. Go see my posting about carrying a newly purchased knife out of the store in a shopping bag. Was there intent to commit a crime? No....just doing what all normal people do when they buy something at the store.

I think felonies should be reserved for crimes which involve a victim, where an act was perpetrated by one person upon another. Obviously violent/physical crimes, thefts, burglaries and so on. There should have to be INTENT involved. Carrying a knife out of the store in a shopping bag along with other newly purchased items is absent of intent therefore should not be considered a criminal act. And in such an example who was the victim? Was anyone harmed by the carrying of the newly purchased knife in shopping bag from the store to the car?

Untamed1972
06-02-2009, 2:04 PM
Agreed that this is how it is today. But you seem to be saying, "If you commited a crime, were convicted of a felony, and served your time, you should NOT be entitled to all the rights and privileges of this great society when you get out." That's your opinion, and the crux of the discussion. Now please explain why not, and back it up with the Constitution.

I think it could be argued along the same lines as someone who was convicted of embezzling money from the bank they worked at likely never getting a job again that involves handling money. You demonstrated that you cannot be trusted in that arena.

Hence someone who has demonstrated that they have a propensity for committing illegal acts of violence upon another person(s) has demonstrated that they cannot be trusted with deadly weapons. They have not been stripped of the right of self-defense, simple the choice to use certain tools for that defense.

I also think however that not ALL felonies should be automatic when it comes to loss of gun-rights. Disqualifiying felonies should be those which tend to show someone has a disposition towards illegal violence against others or crimes of a criminal enterprise type nature that would tend to put one situations where violence is likely to be committed.

Untamed1972
06-02-2009, 2:06 PM
I would also ask: Has someone who sat in a jail cell for the period of his sentence and lived off the taxpayers all that time REALLY paid his debt to society?

How about stating that once released that person engages in a payment plan which will reimburse the taxpayers for the cost of his imprisonment and he keeps his nose 100% clean till it's paid off then, with exception for certain violent offenders, his full rights can be regained?

leadchucker
06-02-2009, 2:16 PM
How about stating that once released that person engages in a payment plan which will reimburse the taxpayers for the cost of his imprisonment.......

How about that be done WHILE he is imprisoned, like it used to be. Kills two birds with one stone, and when he is free, he is free in every sense of the word. If a private business doesn't want to hire a prior-imbezzler due to his past, they should still retain the liberty to choose not to hire him, right?

Kestryll
06-02-2009, 2:21 PM
I know this is a serious thread but I just saw the title and it struck me, isn't 'debating the unthinkable' kind of like dividing by zero??

GaryV
06-02-2009, 2:30 PM
I know this is a serious thread but I just saw the title and it struck me, isn't 'debating the unthinkable' kind of like dividing by zero??

Not if you debate without thinking, which is demonstrably possible to do.

383green
06-02-2009, 2:31 PM
I know this is a serious thread but I just saw the title and it struck me, isn't 'debating the unthinkable' kind of like dividing by zero??

Why don't you check the server logs and see if we threw any exceptions? :1eye:

Untamed1972
06-02-2009, 2:34 PM
How about that be done WHILE he is imprisoned, like it used to be. Kills two birds with one stone, and when he is free, he is free in every sense of the word. If a private business doesn't want to hire a prior-imbezzler due to his past, they should still retain the liberty to choose not to hire him, right?


I have no problem with convicts being expected to do hard labor. But I don't think the labor a convict could do during a 5yr sentence could cover the actual cost of his burden to the taxpayers so some repayment afterwards would likely still be required.

My embezzlement analogy was just to highlight how a persons actions could create a diqualification for that person to engage in certain activities following that action. In that example the person is not LEGALLY prohibited from holding such a position again. But in the case of a person who demonstrates a propensity for engaging in violent crimes against innocent parties what other course of action is there but to prohibit that person from LEGALLY aquiring the tools of a dangerous criminal?

Perhaps you could liken it to someone who has their drivers license revoked because they have demonstrated that they cannot operate a vehicle in a safe and legal manner? I realize that driving is not an enumerated right like 2A is.....but I see it in the same light. If someone has shown they can't be trusted with certain things....they lose the right to have those things.

Do you want someone driving who has demonstrated they can't drive safely or just plain don't give a crap about the laws and safety of others? I dont......so how is a violent offender any different? They have demonstrated they don't give a crap about the law or the safety/rights of others, so they must pay the price for that. Should they not?

AJAX22
06-02-2009, 2:36 PM
I have no problem with convicts being expected to do hard labor. But I don't think the labor a convict could do during a 5yr sentence could cover the actual cost of his burden to the taxpayers so some repayment afterwards would likely still be required.

My embezzlement analogy was just to highlight how a persons actions could create a diqualification for that person to engage in certain activities following that action. In that example the person is not LEGALLY prohibited from holding such a position again. But in the case of a person who demonstrates a propensity for engaging in violent crimes against innocent parties what other course of action is there but to prohibit that person from LEGALLY aquiring the tools of a dangerous criminal?

Perhaps you could liken it to someone who has their drivers license revoked because they have demonstrated that they cannot operate a vehicle in a safe and legal manner? I realize that driving is not an enumerated right like 2A is.....but I see it in the same light. If someone has shown they can't be trusted with certain things....they lose the right to have those things.

You can't loose a right.... that's what makes it a right and not a privilege


In fact that is ALL that makes it a right

Its the definition

Untamed1972
06-02-2009, 2:41 PM
You can't loose a right.... that's what makes it a right and not a privilege


In fact that is ALL that makes it a right

Its the definition

Is not the simple act of putting someone in prision subjecting that person to a loss of certain rights? Certainly a loss of freedom and liberty is it not? How about the death penalty? Seems kinda like depriving a person of life does it not? The rights enumerated in the constitution are not absolute and even the framers did not consider them so. If they had then why all the ammendments about right to bail and trial, search and seizure and so on? Even they realized there are situations that can bring about the loss of rights when it comes to persons who engage in criminal activity.

1JimMarch
06-02-2009, 3:13 PM
The whole "there's too many felonies" thing is actually a separate subject. It's an issue, for sure. One of the finest human beings I know is age...57 I think(?), and at age 19 he was caught with a "CheechandChongload" of pot (22lbs). Is he trustworthy with a gun? Absolutely.

But setting that aside. And even setting the issue of constitutional rights aside: is total felon disarmament good public policy?

I don't think so anymore. I want to see if anybody has a contrary argument. And by that I *don't* mean "I don't like bad people and want to punish them some more" as some in this thread have said (paraphrased of course).

The question is, does total felon disarmament (to the point of eliminating personal defense) cause violence to DROP, or RISE?

Now, I can see various forms of "partial disarmament"...tracking their guns and ammo maybe, *if* it works, yeah, OK, I can see that. I can even see firepower limits...six shots with a reasonable max power level somewhere around 45ACP horsepower, or something.

---

We might eventually solve this with high-tech, via really serious non-lethal weapons. We already have "tasers" that are fired with 12ga shotgun shells and fly through the air complete with their own battery (in other words, "fire and forget"). Build a high-impact plastic pump shotgun that isn't strong enough for real rounds but can still shoot those (sorta like a flare gun) and you're pretty close with current tech.

Untamed1972
06-02-2009, 3:49 PM
Is not the simple act of putting someone in prision subjecting that person to a loss of certain rights? Certainly a loss of freedom and liberty is it not? How about the death penalty? Seems kinda like depriving a person of life does it not? The rights enumerated in the constitution are not absolute and even the framers did not consider them so. If they had then why all the ammendments about right to bail and trial, search and seizure and so on? Even they realized there are situations that can bring about the loss of rights when it comes to persons who engage in criminal activity.


Perhaps a better example than the embezzler not geta nother bank job would that of a convicted pedophile/child molester being legally prohibited from ever working in a job that puts that person in the proximity of children.

I doubt there is anyone here, especially parents, that would say they think once a molester has done his time he should be able to work where ever he wants even if it's a school or day care. Why? Because that person has demonstrated that they cannot be trusted when it comes to certain things.

I think it is just reasonably understood that once someone has demonstrated they can't be trusted in a certain arena then they are simply going to hafta deal with the consequences of the loss of that trust.

So for this discussion I am restricting my comments to apply to violent and criminal enterprise type felonies.

Not to mention.....how many of these supposed "reformed felons" are there coming out of prison? Not many. So do you risk re-arming a large number of non-reformed felons for the sake of the small number of reformed ones? And I still contend that if someone is truly reformed and wants to "get out" then there are means available for them to do that and the sacrifices that come with those options are just the price they must pay and I dont feel sorry for them.

Untamed1972
06-02-2009, 3:52 PM
Not to mention.....as is commonly stated here...aren't most criminals armed anyway?

And how would the you, or I, or the state, or anyone really to know if a reformed felon was really reformed? How do you trust someone who'd led a life of crime?

Vectrexer
06-02-2009, 4:02 PM
End of complete sentence = total restoration of all rights!

Anything else is only inviting the long term erosion of the rights we all enjoy now because I see any conviction at any level as having the possibility of letting the government restrict some part of your rights permanently. Or at least so long as to be effectively permanent.

B Strong
06-02-2009, 4:14 PM
As I mentioned, I have a job opportunity in LA. It's near Compton. It went pretty well, and I seem to have a chance with it.

What got me thinking was driving through Compton, as that's where the Grayhound (bus) let off and a friend picked me up.

God almighty is that a pesthole. Driving up South Long Beach Blvd. towards Lynwood was an eye-opener...worse than Richmond (California) circa 2000 era, my last experience with a wreck of a place.

I got to thinking about what kind of people were caught up in the worst part of that life - the gangs, the drugs, etc.

What if somebody wanted to quit?

That's a serious issue. As one example, I know how it's handled in the hardcore motorcycle gangs (the really criminal kind) in the US. If you want out but still want to cruise around on a Harley and swap old war stories with both friends and even former enemies, you can - there's a defined way out. It's called the "Christian Motorcycle Association" or CMA. You fly CMA colors, you don't haul drugs doing so, the past is forgotten. It's a long-standing gentlemen's agreement among people you'd hardly think of as "gents".

But this crap in Compton, "Bloods and Crips"? Ain't no such escape clause.

So they end up with three choices if they want out: stay gangbanging and be armed against enemies, get completely the hell out of there and hope it doesn't follow (read: "maybe get dead") and lose access to your remaining relatives, or "go legal", quit that lifestyle, disarm and almost certainly get dead.

What I'm saying is, by law, in order to go legit, they have to give up self defense - forever.

Doesn't that mean they're less likely to clean up their act?

Put another way: the message they're getting out of ALL forms of government (law enforcement, schools, etc.) is that *defense* via arms is just as evil as *offense*. So hell, you might as well go offensive, because you're busted eventually if you're armed yet you're in a place where it's borderline *insane* to be unarmed. Trust me, if the only place I can find near work is anywhere near that craphole, I'm gonna pack. Period, end of discussion, I said it. Difference is, I'm otherwise legal, handgun is registered to me and I know how to launch a constitutional counter-brawl if needed, so I'm running less risk.

(And being white I'm less likely to get searched...)

So is disarmament of those who've done their time really a good idea? Or is it preventing voluntary straightening-up of their lives? (That bit about the bikers I got from one formerly VERY nasty character who straightened up.)

Now yeah, I *know* how high the recidivism rate is. At least, the rate NOW. But even if that doesn't change...dayum, it's dead obvious the real problem people are going to get guns anyhow.

Thoughts?

Jim, I don't know how or where you picked up the CMA story, but I can tell you it's smoke blown up the fundemental.

Patch holders that want out can get out, there is a price, and it isn't trading one patch for another.

In fact, a member that went to CMA after resigning as a full club member would be at more risk than somebody that left and went their own way.

And no, I don't want any violent felon to retain their Second Amebdment rights after release.

Untamed1972
06-02-2009, 4:27 PM
End of complete sentence = total restoration of all rights!

Anything else is only inviting the long term erosion of the rights we all enjoy now because I see any conviction at any level as having the possibility of letting the government restrict some part of your rights permanently. Or at least so long as to be effectively permanent.


Then why bother putting them in jail at all? Just screw all the laws and make it every man for himself.

I am certainly not an advocate for more gov't intervention, I would like to see it scaled back...ALOT...as a matter of fact. But I also see no point in allowing people to exercise certain rights when they have clearly demonstrated they have no regard for laws or the life and liberty of others.

I think we should worry about restoring the 2A rights of us law-abiding folk...LONG before we worry about convicted felons. Perhaps if us law-abiding folk could get our rights back we'd see a decline in the number of new felons and the existing ones would slowly disappear by means of attrition.

That sounds like a better plan to me.

383green
06-02-2009, 4:33 PM
I doubt there is anyone here, especially parents, that would say they think once a molester has done his time he should be able to work where ever he wants even if it's a school or day care. Why? Because that person has demonstrated that they cannot be trusted when it comes to certain things.

While my gut reaction is that child molesters should be shot on sight, I'm opposed to the sex offender registration laws, at least as they're currently implemented. When we hear the term "child molester", we naturally think of a twisted pervert who gets off on molesting 8 year old kids. However, as I understand it, an 18 year old guy who got caught banging his 17 year old girlfriend (depending on the specific age of consent laws in a particular state) could be charged and convicted of statutory rape, branded as a child molester, forced to register as a sex offender with his picture ID and home address published on a public web page, and forever stripped of all of his basic civil rights. Just for getting caught having consensual sex with his girlfriend, even on the day before she turned 18. Does having consensual teenage premarital sex imply that he can't be trusted around young children ever again? I don't think so.

Thus, we need to be careful about blanket statements like "people of Category X should forever be stripped of their rights." If the definition of Category X may be changed to encompass a larger group of people, then that's one way to use a law as a tool of oppression against a class of people who the law was never intended to apply to. It is intellectually dishonest when the anti-gun activists spout laws about the number of "children" killed by guns, when the definition of "children" is quietly changed to include 20 year old gan bangers murdering each other over turf. It's also intellectually dishonest to call somebody a "child molester" when all they did was to get nasty with their slightly younger girlfriend.

I certainly wouldn't want a convicted groper of 8-year-olds anywhere near my kids (if I had any), and I'd need to fight a strong urge to put the guy underground on general principle. I just want to bring up the point that we must be very careful about making statements like "child molesters can never be trusted near children", because "child molester" and even "children" might not mean the same things in practice as we have in mind when we make such statements.

383green
06-02-2009, 4:43 PM
But I also see no point in allowing people to exercise certain rights when they have clearly demonstrated they have no regard for laws or the life and liberty of others.

Being convicted of a felony does not necessarily mean that the person in question has no regard for the life or liberty of others. It's entirely possible to be convicted of a felony without ever engaging in violence, hurting another person, depriving somebody else of their life, liberty, health, freedom or possessions, and without even having the intention or knowledge of committing any crime. This gets easier as time goes by, more and more things become illegal, and there are more and more ways for a generally upstanding person to inadvertently do some innocuous act that gets them branded as a felon and stripped of their rights.

E Pluribus Unum
06-02-2009, 5:16 PM
Being convicted of a felony does not necessarily mean that the person in question has no regard for the life or liberty of others. It's entirely possible to be convicted of a felony without ever engaging in violence, hurting another person, depriving somebody else of their life, liberty, health, freedom or possessions, and without even having the intention or knowledge of committing any crime. This gets easier as time goes by, more and more things become illegal, and there are more and more ways for a generally upstanding person to inadvertently do some innocuous act that gets them branded as a felon and stripped of their rights.

It is the ultimate loop hole.

Make every crime a "felony" or "qualifying misdemeanor".

No more voting, no more gun rights.

Get pulled over for speeding?? Lose your gun rights.

Pvt. Cowboy
06-02-2009, 5:27 PM
When we hear the term "child molester", we naturally think of a twisted pervert who gets off on molesting 8 year old kids. However, as I understand it, an 18 year old guy who got caught banging his 17 year old girlfriend (depending on the specific age of consent laws in a particular state) could be charged and convicted of statutory rape, branded as a child molester, forced to register as a sex offender with his picture ID and home address published on a public web page, and forever stripped of all of his basic civil rights. Just for getting caught having consensual sex with his girlfriend, even on the day before she turned 18.

Since that's never the case, the point is irrelevant.

Other than that, good point!

Untamed1972
06-02-2009, 5:53 PM
While my gut reaction is that child molesters should be shot on sight, I'm opposed to the sex offender registration laws, at least as they're currently implemented. When we hear the term "child molester", we naturally think of a twisted pervert who gets off on molesting 8 year old kids. However, as I understand it, an 18 year old guy who got caught banging his 17 year old girlfriend (depending on the specific age of consent laws in a particular state) could be charged and convicted of statutory rape, branded as a child molester, forced to register as a sex offender with his picture ID and home address published on a public web page, and forever stripped of all of his basic civil rights. Just for getting caught having consensual sex with his girlfriend, even on the day before she turned 18. Does having consensual teenage premarital sex imply that he can't be trusted around young children ever again? I don't think so.

Thus, we need to be careful about blanket statements like "people of Category X should forever be stripped of their rights." If the definition of Category X may be changed to encompass a larger group of people, then that's one way to use a law as a tool of oppression against a class of people who the law was never intended to apply to. It is intellectually dishonest when the anti-gun activists spout laws about the number of "children" killed by guns, when the definition of "children" is quietly changed to include 20 year old gan bangers murdering each other over turf. It's also intellectually dishonest to call somebody a "child molester" when all they did was to get nasty with their slightly younger girlfriend.

I certainly wouldn't want a convicted groper of 8-year-olds anywhere near my kids (if I had any), and I'd need to fight a strong urge to put the guy underground on general principle. I just want to bring up the point that we must be very careful about making statements like "child molesters can never be trusted near children", because "child molester" and even "children" might not mean the same things in practice as we have in mind when we make such statements.

I agree.....that's why I said "child molester/pedophile" and not "convicted sex offender".

But I would toss this notion out.....although most, including me, think it's a little ridiculous for a guy who turned 18 yesterday to be convicted as a sex offender because he shagged his GF who turns 18 in a month even though they've been shagging eachother for a year as minors......the fact is that IT IS illegal whether we like it or not. If you can't do the time then don't do the crime right? So at this point if a person wants to take that risk...then he must accept the consequences that come it does he not?

I could CCW w/o a permit if I wanted to.....but I can't gripe if I get busted and loose my gun rights now can I? Although we all know the CCW laws suck, for now it is still illegal for most in CA. So if one chooses to do it, knowing it's illegal, then the risk is on them.

Untamed1972
06-02-2009, 5:55 PM
Being convicted of a felony does not necessarily mean that the person in question has no regard for the life or liberty of others. It's entirely possible to be convicted of a felony without ever engaging in violence, hurting another person, depriving somebody else of their life, liberty, health, freedom or possessions, and without even having the intention or knowledge of committing any crime. This gets easier as time goes by, more and more things become illegal, and there are more and more ways for a generally upstanding person to inadvertently do some innocuous act that gets them branded as a felon and stripped of their rights.

That's why I said I was restricting my comments to include violent and criminal enterprise felonies. There is a long list of felonies that shouldn't be felonies or that don't concern me so much when it comes to a person's gun rights.

DDT
06-02-2009, 7:16 PM
Since that's never the case, the point is irrelevant.

Other than that, good point!

Actually it is the case in some situations. Though usually it's more like 19 or 20 and 16.

383green
06-02-2009, 8:18 PM
Since that's never the case, the point is irrelevant.\

There's a guy in my own neighborhood who comes up on the Megan's Law web site. The site doesn't list much detail about the charges that the listed folks were convicted of, but he's quite clearly lumped in with all of the other so-called child molesters on the site. Now, I would expect that the majority of the folks listed there are true scum, and my first reaction upon learning that a guy in my own neighborhood is listed there is that he's using too much of my precious oxygen. However, word on the street is (and I can't confirm or deny it) that he was charged with the exact sort of statutory rape case that I outlined above when Dad found out that he was banging his precious daughter and pled out without any time served, all over 30 years ago.

Fast-forward 30 years, and he suddenly finds himself listed as a child molester on a public web site, with picture and home address there for all to see.

Never the case? It doesn't seem that way.

I agree.....that's why I said "child molester/pedophile" and not "convicted sex offender".

But the problem is that an 18-20 year old convicted of having sex with his horny and willing 16-18 year old girlfriend is classified as a "child molester" under law, with no distinction between him and a monster who rapes babies. Even decades after the fact, somebody convicted of teenage sex can find himself lumped in with the actual baby-rapists on a government-sponsored public web site when a new law related to "child molesters" is enacted. That really doesn't seem right to me, even if most of the people listed on said web site deserve a slow and painful death.

The point was made that "child molesters" shouldn't ever be trusted around "children", but the fact is that somebody convicted of teenage sex decades ago is still considered a "child molester" despite not necessarily posing the slightest risk around anybody's kids, and depending on who you ask, "child" includes 17 year olds with driver's licenses and jobs, or possibly even 20 year olds with rifles and voting rights (i.e., the misleading statistics about children killed by handguns touted by anti-gun activists).

If you can't do the time then don't do the crime right? So at this point if a person wants to take that risk...then he must accept the consequences that come it does he not?

It seems a tad unreasonable to me to deny somebody of their civil rights for life because they had sex with their girlfriend, possibly even before they had a chance to learn what their rights are or what the arbitrary legal consequences might be, even if they took all reasonable precautions to avoid pregnancy or transmission of STDs, when the magic instant in time when said sexin' becomes legal varies by multiple years from state to state, and when the act itself is a hard-wired biological imperative which we repress in a very unnatural way.

redneckshootist
06-02-2009, 8:29 PM
It is not ok,

If you cannot be trusted to own/cary a gun then you should not be out of prison.

We treat entierly too many crimes as felonys which are a simple matter of posession of an inanimate object with no actual victim.

Not to mention the fact that we ALL are potential felons, as everyone has broken the law at some point in their life (knowingly or unknowingly), the difference being that when we were young and stupid we were lucky enough to not get caught and now that we are older and wiser we know a little better.

The most patriotic, upstanding citizen I know of, is in jail in Utah right now on a felony charge and nothing he did was illegal when he started doing it. He stayed the same, the laws changed untill they eventually caught up with him.

He served two tours in vietnam, was the regional commander of the VFW, owned and operated a number of buisnesses and was a productive member of society. He dedicated his entire life to trying to help people and to giving back to his nation.... and now he is in jail because he took the 2A litterally.

The only crimes he committed were owning inanimate objects which were legal when he left to go to serve his country... when he was slogging through the jungles fighting to preserve those rights they took them away from him and he returned to the U.S. with more medals than most generals.... but was already a felon (68 had come and gone)

He was the last free American, and now he is sitting in a jail cell in Utah... he can barely walk using two canes because of the six bullet wounds he received in service to this country.... and since he is in prison the painkillers he has to take for the spinal injuries he received when the box mine killed his entire command are not available.

If you want to see the face of what the system has become, you can go to Utah and visit this 59 year old man who, although he won't be able to stand to greet you will firmly shake your hand and look you in your eye.

He has never committed a criminal act upon a person, he has never stolen, robbed, or killed outside of his service to our country... (for which he wakes screaming every night)... he is no threat to anyone, but he is in jail because his unwillingness to conform to the arbitrary and capricious laws which restricted his individual freedom.

I know a few people just like the guy in this story.
I agree with ajax on this issue. he pretty much summed it up.

leadchucker
06-02-2009, 10:38 PM
Then why bother putting them in jail at all?

But, that's exactly what I hear you saying! i.e. keep punishing them forever after they get out. Hey, might as well just punish them forever without incarceration. Afterall, what does incarceration really accomplish? That's what I get from your arguement.

I say, keep them incarcerated until they are fit to be completely free citizens again.

FIRST, get rid of the illegal laws and review the cases. That would free some of the wrongfully imprisoned right off the bat.
SECOND, kill the capital crimes offenders NOW. That would free up a whole bunch of cells, not to mention tax dollars.
THEN, punish the true offenders to the fullest. No basketball. No television. No anything except chain-gang labor.
I'd be perfectly happy knowing I was paying for a system that would reduce crime in the long run, and yet keep the Constitution a document that doesn't need to be argued with all the "ifs" and "buts" and "on the other hand"s. Yes, the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights ARE definitely absolute for any FREE citizen. A citizen is only not free while under incarceration, and no longer. I don't know how else to make it any more clear.

383green
06-02-2009, 10:43 PM
SECOND, kill the capital crimes offenders NOW. That would free up a whole bunch of cells, not to mention tax dollars.

That's one item where I strongly disagree. There have been too many cases where people convicted of capital crimes have later been proven innocent. I'd rather spend my tax dollars to keep 9 bad guys locked up for life (with the possibility of getting out if they're ever exonerated), than to have the murder of that tenth guy who's entirely innocent on my conscience. For this reason, I am opposed to capital punishment as an available tool for the government to wield, even though I do believe that there are people who do not deserve to share my oxygen supply and who would provide more benefit to society in a different portion of the carbon cycle.

Untamed1972
06-03-2009, 7:44 AM
But, that's exactly what I hear you saying! i.e. keep punishing them forever after they get out. Hey, might as well just punish them forever without incarceration. Afterall, what does incarceration really accomplish? That's what I get from your arguement.

I say, keep them incarcerated until they are fit to be completely free citizens again.

FIRST, get rid of the illegal laws and review the cases. That would free some of the wrongfully imprisoned right off the bat.
SECOND, kill the capital crimes offenders NOW. That would free up a whole bunch of cells, not to mention tax dollars.
THEN, punish the true offenders to the fullest. No basketball. No television. No anything except chain-gang labor.
I'd be perfectly happy knowing I was paying for a system that would reduce crime in the long run, and yet keep the Constitution a document that doesn't need to be argued with all the "ifs" and "buts" and "on the other hand"s. Yes, the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights ARE definitely absolute for any FREE citizen. A citizen is only not free while under incarceration, and no longer. I don't know how else to make it any more clear.


I don't consider removing a right from someone who has proven BY THEIR OWN ACTIONS they cannot be trusted with it "punishing them forever". The choice was their's to commit the crimes, in committing the crimes they CHOSE to FORFEIT those rights. That is a choice THEY made as far as I am concerned. We as a society simply MUST start to remember that some choices come with consequences, sometimes consequences that will follow you for life. That IS life.....deal with it! If you do not wish you forfeit your rights.....then DO NOT commit crimes. It's really pretty simple.

If someone has been locked up and doing forced labor.....how in that environment can you know if they are reformed and can be trusted with full restoration of rights immedisately upon release? At a minimum there would need to be a forfeiture of rights for a period of time after release for the person to demonstrate that they are now reformed and choose a law abiding life. Based on the repeat offender rate I think reality shows that most cannot be trusted with full restoration of rights.

If your BoR rights are absolute then why have the courts long held that for example your 1A rights are not so absolute so as to allow you to yell "Fire" in a crowded theater simply because you want to, or to incite riots, or to interupt court proceedings or religious servies and so on?

383green
06-03-2009, 7:50 AM
If your BoR rights are absolute then why have the courts long held that for example your 1A rights are not so absolute so as to allow you to yell "Fire" in a crowded theater simply because you want to, or to incite riots, or to interupt court proceedings or religious servies and so on?

That's an entirely different situation. The example of not having the right to yell "fire" in a non-burning crowded theater is a limitation of the exercise of a right by a person who has it, but we're discussing removal of the right entirely.

Untamed1972
06-03-2009, 7:55 AM
That's an entirely different situation. The example of not having the right to yell "fire" in a non-burning crowded theater is a limitation of the exercise of a right by a person who has it, but we're discussing removal of the right entirely.


I would contend that limiting access to firearms for convicted violent offenders (ie those who have shown by THEIR OWN actions they can't be trusted) is not removing their right to self defense, just limiting the the tools with which they can do it.

As I stated before.....I am far more concerned about getting MY gun rights restored a free and completely law-abiding citizen. Give me mine back first and we will worry about the felons later.

In times past restoring gun-rights for felons was prolly not much of an issue because if you stole a horse or killed someone they hung you!

Bugei
06-03-2009, 8:28 AM
Look, as soon as you're willing to strip anyone of his gun rights by legislation or ajudication, you're just saying that it's all negotiable. This year, it's felony child molesters. This year, they want to make it "domestic terrorists" or people on the no-fly list. Next year, it's any damn thing they want.

The only logical place to draw the line -- the only place that doesn't make it negotiable -- is at point zero. "Shall not be infringed." No exceptions. Not for felons, minors, mentally incompetent. Not for rocket launchers or nukes.

Problems with those things must be dealt with in another fashion and not by prior restraint.

GaryV
06-03-2009, 8:46 AM
I would contend that limiting access to firearms for convicted violent offenders (ie those who have shown by THEIR OWN actions they can't be trusted) is not removing their right to self defense, just limiting the the tools with which they can do it.

In times past restoring gun-rights for felons was prolly not much of an issue because if you stole a horse or killed someone they hung you!

Except that there is also a right to Keep and Bear Arms, not just of self defense, so it is removal of a right.

But even if we were only discussing the right to self-defense, there's still a big difference. Permanently removing access to the tool would be like requiring someone's tongue to be cut out just to prevent them from shouting fire in a crowded theater simply because we don't trust them not to.

While there seems to be a common-sense argument that these people shouldn't be trusted, the facts don't completely support it. Before congress cut off funding for the federal program to restore gun rights to convicted felons, the ATF approved 1/3 of the 22,000 applications they'd received (over 7000). Of those approved, only 69 were ever re-arrested (and most of them for drug crimes). That's less than 1%, indicating that the vast majority of convicted felons with restored gun rights have remained responsible with them. So the "common-sense" reasoning doesn't appear to be any more valid than the "common-sense" gun laws that the antis propose.

Deadred7o7
06-03-2009, 9:11 AM
This is a perfect example of "Collectivism vs. Individualism" in its purist form.

leadchucker
06-03-2009, 10:08 AM
If someone has been locked up and doing forced labor.....how in that environment can you know if they are reformed and can be trusted with full restoration of rights immedisately upon release?

You can't know. You can never know. But, I guarantee the incentive would be there for him to NOT RETURN!!!

By your line of reasoning, either the convict should just serve a life sentence out and about but having forfeited his rights, since incarceration, if I am following you, does not really solve anything for certainty, or the convict should be incarcerated for life, since one can never "know" if or when he has been "reformed". Why should there be an inbetween, where both elements need be combined?

Simply put, a prior-convict who wishes to continue a life of crime can easily obtain firearms, whereas the truly "reformed" has his "inalienable" rights as a free citizen stripped. It is exactly the same arguement we use for any other free citizen, i.e. that if guns are banned, criminals will still be able to get them. So, how is this any different? What good does "forfeiture or rights based on prior convictions" really solve? NOTHING GOOD AT ALL! So, what's the point to it?

Theseus
06-03-2009, 11:09 AM
This question comes around now and again.

I think that felons should not be disbarred from firearms ownership without due process of law to determine the particular felons risk factors.

Some are admittedly better not having them,but the majority, depending on the nature of their crimes and situation, should be allowed to defend themselves and family.

Untamed1972
06-03-2009, 2:31 PM
Except that there is also a right to Keep and Bear Arms, not just of self defense, so it is removal of a right.

But even if we were only discussing the right to self-defense, there's still a big difference. Permanently removing access to the tool would be like requiring someone's tongue to be cut out just to prevent them from shouting fire in a crowded theater simply because we don't trust them not to.

While there seems to be a common-sense argument that these people shouldn't be trusted, the facts don't completely support it. Before congress cut off funding for the federal program to restore gun rights to convicted felons, the ATF approved 1/3 of the 22,000 applications they'd received (over 7000). Of those approved, only 69 were ever re-arrested (and most of them for drug crimes). That's less than 1%, indicating that the vast majority of convicted felons with restored gun rights have remained responsible with them. So the "common-sense" reasoning doesn't appear to be any more valid than the "common-sense" gun laws that the antis propose.


So why were the other 2/3 not granted their rights back?

7x57
06-03-2009, 2:44 PM
That's an entirely different situation. The example of not having the right to yell "fire" in a non-burning crowded theater is a limitation of the exercise of a right by a person who has it, but we're discussing removal of the right entirely.

Actually, the whole "yelling fire" thing is basically not analogous at all, and I don't know why it has the mindshare it does (well, because it's memorable I guess). In fact, it is entirely legal to yell "fire" in a theatre; however, if you do so falsely, there are consequences. The illegality, however, revolves around whether what you said is true, not about the act itself, fairly analogous to slander.

Free speech is more squarely about being able to tell the truth when it is uncomfortable. Abridging it would be analogous to being thrown in jail for yelling "fire" when there really was one.

Or, say, being threatened and investigated by the government for not worshiping the demagogue that became the first black president in American history, or being profiled as a terrorist by your own government because you have exercised your enumerated Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Wait, did I say that out loud?!? :eek:

OK, just to be fair, we could add any number of patriot-act type of rights violations too.

Free speech violation <--> jailed for correctly yelling "fire"

Slander laws <--> jailed for falsely yelling "fire"

7x57

Untamed1972
06-03-2009, 2:47 PM
Except that there is also a right to Keep and Bear Arms, not just of self defense, so it is removal of a right.

But even if we were only discussing the right to self-defense, there's still a big difference. Permanently removing access to the tool would be like requiring someone's tongue to be cut out just to prevent them from shouting fire in a crowded theater simply because we don't trust them not to.

While there seems to be a common-sense argument that these people shouldn't be trusted, the facts don't completely support it. Before congress cut off funding for the federal program to restore gun rights to convicted felons, the ATF approved 1/3 of the 22,000 applications they'd received (over 7000). Of those approved, only 69 were ever re-arrested (and most of them for drug crimes). That's less than 1%, indicating that the vast majority of convicted felons with restored gun rights have remained responsible with them. So the "common-sense" reasoning doesn't appear to be any more valid than the "common-sense" gun laws that the antis propose.

But if you hold to the BoR as absolute then could not one contend that to imprison someone period is a violation of their rights? Some rights are retained when in prison like the right to legal counsel, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, right to due process. Yet others like your right life & liberty are not. So are why some rights retained and others are not?

Criminality is just an accepted part of humanity and the framers of the Constitution accepted that as well, and made provision for the fact that when it comes to criminality there would be a need for forfeiture of certain rights. The only question then becomes, which ones and for how long.

In a sense I agree with you "absolutist", when it comes to drawing a line and if you allow that then what will it be next. But if someone was convicted of attacking me, or a family member, especially if that person used a gun, I can't say that I'd be real thrilled about him heading down to the gun store as soon as he gets out to rearm himself. Would you?

I will say again......first let's focus on getting rights restored for those of who have are not criminals and we can worry about those who have lost the trust of society later. And again I state.....I am refering to VIOLENT and CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE offenders who are obviously predators in society.

A rancher knows he may lose some cows or sheep to predators, but he doesn't have to make it easy for them either now does he? Nor should society tie the hands of the rancher so as to make it nearly impossible to protect his livestock. I see it the same with human criminal predators.

Untamed1972
06-03-2009, 2:54 PM
Free speech violation <--> jailed for correctly yelling "fire"

Slander laws <--> jailed for falsely yelling "fire"

7x57

2A rights violation <---> jailed for justifiable use of firearm for self defense

Murder/ADW laws <---> jailed for UNjustifiable use of firearm

Slightly off topic:
Someone correct me if I am wrong, just thinking out loud here. Is not 2A the only part of the Constitution that lists as a right the posession of a specific object (arms)?

GaryV
06-03-2009, 3:07 PM
But if you hold to the BoR as absolute then could not one contend that to imprison someone period is a violation of their rights? Some rights are retained when in prison like the right to legal counsel, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, right to due process. Yet others like your right life & liberty are not. So are why some rights retained and others are not?

Except that there is no right to not be imprisoned in the BoR. In fact, the Constitution does allow for imprisonment, forfeiture of property, loss of freedoms, etc. as long as it is done through due process.

I understand that people could be uncomfortable about rights, especially gun rights, being returned to convicted felons. But then many people are uncomfortable for them ever being released, or even allowed to continue to breathe. Just allowing them back in the population creates the same threat, because, as we all know, if they want a gun to commit new crimes, they can get one easily. But killing every felon, or keeping them locked up forever, is neither practical nor just. Neither is creating a permanent social underclass by permanently depriving an ever-growing portion of our population of their basic rights.

I agree that gaining back the rights for the law-abiding is important, and that we should continue to work as hard as we can for that. But to ignore the fact that increasingly actions that almost everyone is guilty of, either intentionally or unintentionally, are becoming a legal cause to remove our rights needs to be addressed as well. The laws allowing this to happen need to be changed.

GaryV
06-03-2009, 3:36 PM
So why were the other 2/3 not granted their rights back?

I don't know. I'm not privy to the mechanism by which the ATF made these decisions. For all I know, they simply hadn't processed those requests before the funding was cut (though I doubt that was the case). But it makes the point that there's no reason to automatically believe that the rest of the group would be different from the 1/3 we know about.

leadchucker
06-03-2009, 10:47 PM
But to ignore the fact that increasingly actions that almost everyone is guilty of, either intentionally or unintentionally, are becoming a legal cause to remove our rights needs to be addressed as well.

Or even NO INTENTIONAL OR UNINTENTIONAL ACTION on the part of the one who is stripped of his rights, as is the case in many restraining orders. I just found out about this one a month ago, and was dumbfounded by how corrupt the system had become while I wasn't paying attention! NO DUE PROCESS. NO CONVICTION. YET SOMEONE CAN FILE A RESTRAINING ORDER ON A WHIM OR OUT OF VENGENCE AND THE VICTIM IN THIS CASE IS REQUIRED TO SELL OR OTHERWISE DISPOSE OF OR TURN IN HIS FIREARMS (WITHIN 24 HOURS!!!)?! WT*?

383green
06-04-2009, 12:51 AM
NO DUE PROCESS. NO CONVICTION. YET SOMEONE CAN FILE A RESTRAINING ORDER ON A WHIM OR OUT OF VENGENCE AND THE VICTIM IN THIS CASE IS REQUIRED TO SELL OR OTHERWISE DISPOSE OF OR TURN IN HIS FIREARMS (WITHIN 24 HOURS!!!)?!

I really hope that things like this will become challengeable in court before too long. Denial of basic rights without due process trips my capslock key, too.

Pre-Heller and Pre-Incorporation, I wouldn't have felt too optimistic about getting somebody to care enough to make the right ruling on this matter, but maybe that will change once more judges are grudgingly forced to accept that the 2nd Amendment actually protects an actual basic right (or at least to accept that legal precedent forces them to treat the 2nd as protecting a real right, even if they still don't believe it themselves).

I wonder when it might be strategically sound to begin attacking this in court? My gut feeling is that a bunch more legal precedent would need to be set before it would be advisable to take this on. I would consider attacking this denial of rights without due process to be a higher priority than the main topic of this thread (that is, denial of rights with due process, and whether that is justifiable or even helpful).

Untamed1972
06-04-2009, 7:16 AM
I agree....the whole restaining order thing is just purely wrong. To require someone to dispose of otherwise legally owned property without due process is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Instead of requiring the person to dispose of their property within 48 hours and THEN wait for 3 weeks for a hearing, the hearing should be required to take place within 48 hours, and if the need for a restraining order is found to have merit THEN the order for disposal of firearms could be issued.

I'm not saying I even agree with a person having to give up their guns just because of an RO....but IF they're gonna do it....that is how it SHOULD be done. The burden should be place do the filer of the RO and the court....NOT the accused.

I honestly don't see why those laws couldn't be challenged right now under existing case law, ie: innocent till proven guilty, right to due process, right to legal counsel and so on.

If you're gonna strip of their guns, why not everything else the person could use as a weapon including every knife in the house and their car since they could run someone down with it?

Untamed1972
06-04-2009, 7:36 AM
What sucks about those TRO's is they are mostly useless anyway.

A good friend of mine had to get one against a true stalker, nutjob. So she gets the TRO, attacked her twice physically, he violated the TRO several times by showing up at her house and following her in her car and was arrested each time, slashed her tires, smashed her windshield, called her literally 100's of times a day and sent 100's of emails and texts msgs, even called her from jail once when he'd just been arrested for a TRO violation.

Was the guy ever actually convicted anything?

NOPE! The guy never did more than a few hours of time in jail till he made bail.

So there's my up close and personal experience with what a joke and a waste the whole TRO thing is.

1911_sfca
06-04-2009, 7:45 AM
Last night, I spoke with an ex-felon, a mid-20's young man, 2 1/2 years on parole (i.e. almost done) for a robbery conviction. His girlfriend just had a baby daughter who I met, 3 months old, and he moved out of the big city and got them a small apartment in a nearby town to get away from the hustle and bustle. He has been working in construction/landscaping, a legit job, and trying to save up money to buy a house (very hard in the bay area). He seemed like a genuinely nice guy with a checkered past who had made some progress in turning things around.

And he keeps a loaded gun. When I asked him about it, he said that you never know when someone is going to break into your house and you have to defend yourself. He also articulately cited the case of "the abortion doctor who was killed a couple of days ago in Witchita, Kansas. In church! -- who would have thought?"
He explained that he's not one of these bad guys who goes around waving his gun and causing problems. He just wants to protect his family. At least that's what he told me; I don't have any way of knowing the true situation.

You see, he also has this side business to augment his income. He sells cocaine. And ecstasy. And probably other drugs too. Keeps them in his home and car, where the gun also frequently travels. Because he is an ex felon, he couldn't buy the gun legally and so there's no trace of it in the DOJ database.

By the way, this conversation all happened in the pre-booking area of the County Jail. I booked him in with five new felony counts (in addition to a parole hold), one of which was Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

He seems like a nice guy and has a good story that makes him look pretty decent, just like many of the people I bring to jail. But I'm glad that law is on the books, and I feel safer today since he is in jail, and his drugs, money and gun are off the street. JMHO.

Untamed1972
06-04-2009, 8:13 AM
:thumbsup: 1911!!!

JDoe
06-04-2009, 9:23 AM
What is the purpose of disarming felons in the first place? :confused:

7x57
06-04-2009, 9:23 AM
He seems like a nice guy and has a good story that makes him look pretty decent, just like many of the people I bring to jail. But I'm glad that law is on the books, and I feel safer today since he is in jail, and his drugs, money and gun are off the street. JMHO.

Hey, this is a pretty good opportunity to have this conversation with someone who works directly with these laws and the people they affect (or do not affect). I wish to analyze this in detail and learn what a beat cop sees that I don't see.

I certainly agree that if he's dealing drugs on the side he has not in fact decided to go straight--he simply wanted his life of crime to be quieter. He wanted to have his cake and eat it too, by doing the crime and then clocking out and going home to a safe, quiet family life. If he really wanted to take care of that wife and baby staying far away from drug dealing would probably decrease their chances of harm more than all the self-protection in the world.

But how does the gun prohibition for felons help here? He is subject to the prohibition, and yet he had a gun simply for wanting one (rationally, too--dealing drugs certainly is a high risk factor). The only actual effect is to provide another charge when he's caught. But this only does one of two things. It could increase his sentence. But if it does that regardless of whether he's done anything with the gun, then it's a bad law because it would be better to simply increase the sentence for the substantive crime involved (which sounds like drugs, principally--and let's leave the discussion of drug laws for another time, this is how it is now).

On the other hand, maybe it gets plea-bargained away. That's *very* bad, because it shows that the system doesn't actually *care* about "gun crime" when it is connected with actual crime. Otherwise law-abiding citizens caught on a gun charge don't get it plea-bargained away--they receive disproportionately harsh penalties for what they *might* someday do. But the probability of a felon doing something bad with a gun are astronomically higher. So this means that in practice these gun laws are specifically assuming that people with no record are far more dangerous than those with one.

It also helps to assault legal gun owners in another way. We pass "tough new gun laws." Then we use them against inadvertent violations by law-abiding citizens, but refuse to apply them against felons because of the plea-bargain process. Then we use their ineffectiveness as proof that we need still more gun laws, not as proof that we should either apply the laws we have or get rid of them.

So I just don't see how the felon-with-a-gun charge does anything for you as a beat cop (say, by making you less likely to stop bullets in the line of duty), for me as a citizen (say, by making me less likely to be a victim), or for society as a whole (say, by reducing the overall crime rate or by making criminals rationally choose a less dangerous crime over a more dangerous one).

It seems positively harmful to society, in fact, precisely because it is going to send people to jail who were convicted of something minor twenty years ago and, unlike your perp, actually do stay clean. What would be the effects of this law on an imaginary felon who has your man's past, but really has gone straight and isn't a pharmaceutical entrepreneur on the side?

Well, let's see. He has some pretty unsavory acquaintances in his past--that's a risk factor. He has a wife and baby--the ideal levers if one of his "friends" decides to track him down and ask for some "favors." In short, he has a rational expectation of increased risk.

Now what happens if he's sent to jail? It doesn't benefit society--he wasn't going to commit crimes later, because ex hypothesis he has gone straight. It doesn't benefit any potential victims, because there aren't any. What it does so is make him more likely to return to crime--he's locked up with the same people he knew in his old life, and when he gets out he has still more difficulty in making a living doing honest work. It also breaks up that family, and makes it less likely that the cycle will be broken. It's more likely that the child will become a felon himself.

So while it sounds like you got someone off the street (for a while, depending on how badly the rest of the system screws up the rest of the story) who ought to be off the street, how did the felon-with-a-gun law really help you, me, or society? And if it did, how much did that help cost us in terms of other people who find it infeasible to ever go straight?

7x57

383green
06-04-2009, 9:29 AM
What is the purpose of disarming felons in the first place? :confused:

We don't disarm all felons. We only disarm the law-abiding ones.

7x57
06-04-2009, 9:40 AM
We don't disarm all felons. We only disarm the law-abiding ones.

Hey! I spent ten paragraphs arguing that. Don't do it in two sentences and make me look bad! ;)

7x57

Untamed1972
06-04-2009, 9:42 AM
What is the purpose of disarming felons in the first place? :confused:

I wouldn't call it "disarming felons" perse. They are disarmed when they go into prison for obvious reasons. What we're talking about here is choosing NOT to REARM them once they are released.

What I would ask is, if what people here are saying is true, then why can't an ex felon become a COP, or join the military and so on? Shouldn't he have a right to those things too once he's done his time? I think the reason they are restricted from such things is again because of the loss of societies trust which is the cost of their choices. I know a young man facing this right now who's knowing choices as a juvinle may prevent him from now joining the military. But he cannot say he didn't know what he was doing then was wrong and he certainly cannot say that no one tried to warn/stop him. So in that regard I can't feel sorry for him. Because how is that fair to those who DO keep their nose clean?

Again I am refering to violent and criminal enterprise offenders. I realize there are a maze of confusing laws that can cause and otherwise law-abiding citizen to inadvertantly and w/o intent "commit a crime". I am not refering to those types of situations and agree that those need to be addressed and fixed. I am talking about violent criminals who KNOWINGLY commit violent criminal acts.

To me doing your time in prison is your punishment and your time to reflect. Suffering some loss of rights after you are released is the period in which you now have the chance to prove to society you learned your lesson and regain its' trust.

383green
06-04-2009, 9:49 AM
Hey! I spent ten paragraphs arguing that. Don't do it in two sentences and make me look bad! ;)

You provided the detailed analysis; I provided the executive summary and sig line material. ;)

383green
06-04-2009, 10:02 AM
I wouldn't call it "disarming felons" perse. They are disarmed when they go into prison for obvious reasons. What we're talking about here is choosing NOT to REARM them once they are released.

The felons who pose a threat to us will rearm themselves without our permission. The ones who we successfully prevent from rearming themselves did not pose a threat to us anyway.

To me doing your time in prison is your punishment and your time to reflect. Suffering some loss of rights after you are released is the period in which you know have the chance to prove to society you learned your lesson and regain its' trust.

As I understand it, we presently disarm (or choose not to rearm) them for life. We deny them the right to vote for life. We deny them a lot of other things for life. This does not provide them a chance to prove to society that they have learned their lesson and regained its trust. It tells them that they will never be trusted, and they will never again have a voice in the operation of that society. How does this provide them any incentive to prove their trustworthiness, when the only reward for doing so is the absence of further incarceration? How does this provide them any incentive to do other than respecting the laws of their society even less than they did before?

A repeat violent offender shows that they simply cannot be trusted to function as a member of free society. Placing further restrictions on them which they will ignore serves no helpful purpose. For these people, it is evident that serving prison time does not deter them from their violent behavior, and the only remaining option society has is to declare them a lost cause and then permanently remove them from that society. This may be accomplished by lifetime incarceration, or by execution (which I do not support as an available tool of government, because of its potential for abuse and its proven record of murdering innocents).

With this in mind, why should we place post-incarceration/post-probation restrictions on a non-repeat/non-violent felon, when doing so incentivizes them to sink further into a life of crime and does nothing to protect us from the felons who are actually dangerous to us?

Untamed1972
06-04-2009, 10:15 AM
The felons who pose a threat to us will rearm themselves without our permission. The ones who we successfully prevent from rearming themselves did not pose a threat to us anyway.



As I understand it, we presently disarm (or choose not to rearm) them for life. We deny them the right to vote for life. We deny them a lot of other things for life. This does not provide them a chance to prove to society that they have learned their lesson and regained its trust. It tells them that they will never be trusted, and they will never again have a voice in the operation of that society. How does this provide them any incentive to prove their trustworthiness, when the only reward for doing so is the absence of further incarceration? How does this provide them any incentive to do other than respecting the laws of their society even less than they did before?

A repeat violent offender shows that they simply cannot be trusted to function as a member of free society. Placing further restrictions on them which they will ignore serves no helpful purpose. For these people, it is evident that serving prison time does not deter them from their violent behavior, and the only remaining option society has is to declare them a lost cause and then permanently remove them from that society. This may be accomplished by lifetime incarceration, or by execution (which I do not support as an available tool of government, because of its potential for abuse and its proven record of murdering innocents).

With this in mind, why should we place post-incarceration/post-probation restrictions on a non-repeat/non-violent felon, when doing so incentivizes them to sink further into a life of crime and does nothing to protect us from the felons who are actually dangerous to us?

I can agree with that. That's why I've said more then once in this thread, there should be a loss of rights AT LEAST FOR A TIME following release to give them time to earn that trust back. If they do, then there should be a process for restoration of rights. What I dont like (although I get the point) is calling it "incentive to do the right thing". How about calling the loss of rights the "incentive to NOT do the wrong thing"?

To me it's a slippery slope in some respects. Society must EXPECT/REQUIRE you to do the right thing and the incentive to do so is you don't spend time in prison and you don't lose precious rights. Society should not have to bribe you to do the right thing. But I agree that if someone is to truly reform there must be some incentive to do so.

But I will tell you this.....my freedom means enough to the that if I did something stupid and got busted.....spending even a few hours in jail would be enough to get me to straighten up. So if a person does a few months/years in prison and comes out and goes right back to the same crap they were doing......they've made their mentality and intentions pretty clear to me.

383green
06-04-2009, 10:20 AM
I agree that loss of rights during a probationary period may be justifiable and beneficial. I think that permanent loss of rights without permanent incarceration just makes things worse, though.

GaryV
06-04-2009, 10:20 AM
What I would ask is, if what people here are saying is true, then why can't an ex felon become a COP, or join the military and so on? Shouldn't he have a right to those things too once he's done his time?

But these are 1) not rights, and 2) are not prohibited by law but by agency policies (which are sometimes changed or waived). To argue that rights can be removed simply because of a lack of trust implies that any gun-control law is valid as long as it is passed because of a lack of societal trust in those being restricted, even if that includes everyone.

Untamed1972
06-04-2009, 10:37 AM
But these are 1) not rights, and 2) are not prohibited by law but by agency policies (which are sometimes changed or waived). To argue that rights can be removed simply because of a lack of trust implies that any gun-control law is valid as long as it is passed because of a lack of societal trust in those being restricted, even if that includes everyone.

But we have already established that the constitution allows for imprisonment, which on it's face is a deprivation of liberty for the INDIVIDUAL being imprisoned is it not? Why is that deprivation of liberty allowed? Because that INDIVIDUAL was afforded his DUE PROCESS rights granted under the constitution and found to have warranted removal of his liberty. I don't see the restriction of other rights for THAT INDIVIDUAL any different as long as it have been done thru due process. The lack of trust the society has for THAT individual is because of HIS choices/actions as determined thru due process.

To blanketly restrict or a remove a right from all of society because of fear, there by depriving an individual who has either, done nothing wrong, or has not been afforded due process is unconstitutional.

AJAX22
06-04-2009, 11:13 AM
But we have already established that the constitution allows for imprisonment, which on it's face is a deprivation of liberty for the INDIVIDUAL being imprisoned is it not? Why is that deprivation of liberty allowed? Because that INDIVIDUAL was afforded his DUE PROCESS rights granted under the constitution and found to have warranted removal of his liberty. I don't see the restriction of other rights for THAT INDIVIDUAL any different as long as it have been done thru due process. The lack of trust the society has for THAT individual is because of HIS choices/actions as determined thru due process.

To blanketly restrict or a remove a right from all of society because of fear, there by depriving an individual who has either, done nothing wrong, or has not been afforded due process is unconstitutional.

Life liberty and property can be removed through due process, a right cannot.

There is no way to remove something which cannot be infringed upon.

Vectrexer
06-04-2009, 11:21 AM
As with many things realted to felons and rights in general the US Government (AKA: Joe US Citizen) has taken the easy path to process the greatest number of ex-criminals at the lowest cost, effort, and what appears on the surface to be the least emotional impact for the public in general.


In other words most of us are too lazy to actually fight for a fellow citizen's rights after the have served the sentence we have imposed on them. Thereby making a statement that you are legally damned forever for most of the EX-criminals. Even when the person is truly reformed.

Of course the same legally damned people also get up every day to make your bread and fill your glass. Think about that when you are on your pulpit. Perhaps some of them deserve more support from you after all?

Untamed1972
06-04-2009, 11:36 AM
Life liberty and property can be removed through due process, a right cannot.

There is no way to remove something which cannot be infringed upon.

The constitution says you have a RIGHT to life, liberty does it not? So then how can you say a right cannot be removed, yet your right to life and liberty can be removed thru due process? You statement contradicts itself.

To say 2A is a right that cannot be infringed when it comes to felons, by your definition would mean they have a right to arms even while imprisoned, because according to your statement that right cannot be removed.

AJAX22
06-04-2009, 11:42 AM
The constitution says you have a RIGHT to life, liberty does it not? So then how can you say a right cannot be removed, yet your right to life and liberty can be removed thru due process? You statement contradicts itself.

To say 2A is a right that cannot be infringed when it comes to felons, by your definition would mean they have a right to arms even while imprisoned, because according to your statement that right cannot be removed.

No you have a right to pursue life liberty and property but none of those are enumerated in the constitution, the only enumerated rights you have are those in the amendments.

you can be denied the liberty and property themselves through due process.. however your right to continue pursuing them remains.

(not to mention the whole inalienable rights phrasing wasn't in the constitution but in the declaration of independence)


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

* Second Amendment – Militia (United States), Sovereign state, Right to keep and bear arms.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. [5][6]

* Third Amendment – Protection from quartering of troops.

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

* Fourth Amendment – Protection from unreasonable search and seizure.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

* Fifth Amendment – due process, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, eminent domain.

No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

* Sixth Amendment – Trial by jury and rights of the accused; Confrontation Clause, speedy trial, public trial, right to counsel

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

* Seventh Amendment – Civil trial by jury.

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

* Eighth Amendment – Prohibition of excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

* Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

* Tenth Amendment – Powers of States and people.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people

Bugei
06-04-2009, 11:46 AM
Hey! I spent ten paragraphs arguing that. Don't do it in two sentences and make me look bad! ;)

7x57

Yeah, but he did it pithy.

Untamed1972
06-04-2009, 11:56 AM
No you have a right to pursue life liberty and property but none of those are enumerated in the constitution, the only enumerated rights you have are those in the amendments.

you can be denied the liberty and property themselves through due process.. however your right to continue pursuing them remains.

(not to mention the whole inalienable rights phrasing wasn't in the constitution but in the declaration of independence)

How can you pursue liberty and property when you're in prison?

But again I say....according to your interpretation, a prisoner should be entitled to his 2A rights while in prison.

And would not arms also fall under the classification of property which you admit may be denied a person by means of due process?

GaryV
06-04-2009, 11:57 AM
The constitution says you have a RIGHT to life, liberty does it not? So then how can you say a right cannot be removed, yet your right to life and liberty can be removed thru due process? You statement contradicts itself.

To say 2A is a right that cannot be infringed when it comes to felons, by your definition would mean they have a right to arms even while imprisoned, because according to your statement that right cannot be removed.

One problem I have with this is that the laws that these people break in order to become felons specify what the punishments for those crimes are, and the due process they go through is to impose those punishments (which do, and rightfully can, include the temporary or permanent suspension of certain rights). But none of them specify the permanent removal of voting or gun rights. Instead, these rights are removed through separate laws for which there is no due process. These are extra punishments not considered when the laws that felons violate where written. Also these laws do not impose these punishments in response to any particular crime, or even a uniform set of crimes (what may not be a crime at all in one jurisdiction might be a felony in another); their only effect is to create a permanent underclass by discriminating against a class of people. And that is unconstitutional, or at least should be. Any punishment imposed for a specific crime should be specified in the law that criminalizes the act in order to insure that the punishment fits the crime.

Untamed1972
06-04-2009, 12:07 PM
No you have a right to pursue life liberty and property but none of those are enumerated in the constitution, the only enumerated rights you have are those in the amendments.

you can be denied the liberty and property themselves through due process.. however your right to continue pursuing them remains.

(not to mention the whole inalienable rights phrasing wasn't in the constitution but in the declaration of independence)

Dont forget the preamble:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

The whole purpose of the constitution was for THE PEOPLE to SECURE LIBERTY. So I think it's safe to say that the whole context of the constitution (as supported by the declaration of independence) was that of the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and pursuit happiness.

And to correct your statement above it is NOT "the pursuit of life, liberty and property" it is the right to "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness."

Happiness is a not a guarantee....simply your right to pursue it by means of your right to life and liberty.

Pursuit of liberty is what the 2A fight right now is all about. We're not supposed to have to pursue liberty because that means you've already lost it or never had it and are trying to get it. We are only supposed to have to DEFEND liberty....meaning we should have never lost it in the first place and must simply keep from losing that which is already ours.

Untamed1972
06-04-2009, 12:13 PM
(what may not be a crime at all in one jurisdiction might be a felony in another); their only effect is a create a permanent underclass by discriminating against a class of people. And that is unconstitutional, or at least should be.


I can go along with that. If there is this whole "states rights" thing and each state is free to make it's own laws, why should the state then by means of classifying something as a felony under state law then be able to deny you your federal right to vote for example?

If states want to claim "states rights" then they should not be able to remove from you rights which are above their jurisdiction.

Sounds like an equal protection issue to me.

AJAX22
06-04-2009, 2:23 PM
Dont forget the preamble:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

The whole purpose of the constitution was for THE PEOPLE to SECURE LIBERTY. So I think it's safe to say that the whole context of the constitution (as supported by the declaration of independence) was that of the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and pursuit happiness.

And to correct your statement above it is NOT "the pursuit of life, liberty and property" it is the right to "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness."

Happiness is a not a guarantee....simply your right to pursue it by means of your right to life and liberty.

Pursuit of liberty is what the 2A fight right now is all about. We're not supposed to have to pursue liberty because that means you've already lost it or never had it and are trying to get it. We are only supposed to have to DEFEND liberty....meaning we should have never lost it in the first place and must simply keep from losing that which is already ours.

that statement of "the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness" is a purposeful misquotation... I was referencing a Locke work which provided the reasoning behind WHY we have the right to pursue life liberty and property (or as Jefferson adapted it, life liberty and the pursuit of happiness)

the 2A is a specifically enumerated right, your right to keep and bear arms can not be infringed upon (note they don't state that it can't be removed... as you CAN NOT remove a right, only a privilege)

Inprisonment does not serve to strip the prisoner of their rights, it meerly curtails their ability to exerciese those rights because of past behavior.

People are still allowed to pursue life liberty and property while inside prison, they can file appeals, write books, work jobs, have their lawyer work on appeals etc. hell you can still broker real estate deals or through a number of legal mechanisms pursue that stuff in other ways.

and once they are physically no longer segregated and kept from society (nominally done because they have exhibited behavior which interfered with other people attempting to pursue life liberty and property) they are perfectly free to pursue life liberty and property.

And once again, the suspension of the ability to exercise the rights can be performed through due process (as is enumerated in the BOR) you can not strip a man of his rights however.

1911_sfca
06-04-2009, 2:35 PM
I'm not going to wade into the whole Constitutional law debate here, as it's a bit too academic for my taste (my Master's degree is in engineering, not philosophy). And for the record I'm not a beat cop, I'm a Reserve. Which means I have a day job, but also volunteer my time as a sworn Police Officer to benefit the community.

With regard to the original topic, I understand the adage "when you outlaw X, only outlaws will have X." However, I don't believe it's the case. Having a law that prohibits felons from owning firearms really does reduce the number of felons that have firearms. First off, they can't buy them legally, so it makes it much more difficult to get a gun, and that reduces the number whether they are "law abiding" or not -- the store abides by the law and that's what matters. If they are so determined as to commit another set of Federal felonies and get a friend/family member to make a straw purchase, yes I suppose you could say that the non-law-abiding felon now has a gun. But think about the guy I had a conversation with last night. We took his gun, because of the law. So the law in this case helped to disarm a non-law abiding felon too.

With respect to the argument that people shouldn't be judged solely on their past behavior but rather their present state, I keep trying to tell that to my fiancee whenever she brings up that thing I did a year ago and haven't done since. But it doesn't seem to work. Human nature is to judge people on past mistakes, whether that's right or wrong. Go figure.

SgtDinosaur
06-04-2009, 2:45 PM
I'll keep it real short and simple. I don't think anything in GCA68 was a good idea. And I don't remember the world being a more dangerous place before it was enacted.

7x57
06-04-2009, 4:13 PM
IHaving a law that prohibits felons from owning firearms really does reduce the number of felons that have firearms. First off, they can't buy them legally, so it makes it much more difficult to get a gun, and that reduces the number whether they are "law abiding" or not -- the store abides by the law and that's what matters. If they are so determined as to commit another set of Federal felonies and get a friend/family member to make a straw purchase, yes I suppose you could say that the non-law-abiding felon now has a gun. But think about the guy I had a conversation with last night. We took his gun, because of the law. So the law in this case helped to disarm a non-law abiding felon too.


Fine. But the question is whether it means he's disarmed the next time he commits a crime. I gather it is common practice to have a girlfriend carry the gun, and while that technically disarmed a criminal it's hard to see how produced any good for society.

What I have heard from people who actually interview criminals is that they think such laws are a big joke. I'm curious about your experiences to the contrary.


With respect to the argument that people shouldn't be judged solely on their past behavior but rather their present state, I keep trying to tell that to my fiancee whenever she brings up that thing I did a year ago and haven't done since. But it doesn't seem to work. Human nature is to judge people on past mistakes, whether that's right or wrong. Go figure.

I guess the question is whether it's good public policy.

7x57

Untamed1972
06-04-2009, 7:13 PM
that statement of "the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness" is a purposeful misquotation... I was referencing a Locke work which provided the reasoning behind WHY we have the right to pursue life liberty and property (or as Jefferson adapted it, life liberty and the pursuit of happiness)

the 2A is a specifically enumerated right, your right to keep and bear arms can not be infringed upon (note they don't state that it can't be removed... as you CAN NOT remove a right, only a privilege)

Inprisonment does not serve to strip the prisoner of their rights, it meerly curtails their ability to exerciese those rights because of past behavior.

People are still allowed to pursue life liberty and property while inside prison, they can file appeals, write books, work jobs, have their lawyer work on appeals etc. hell you can still broker real estate deals or through a number of legal mechanisms pursue that stuff in other ways.

and once they are physically no longer segregated and kept from society (nominally done because they have exhibited behavior which interfered with other people attempting to pursue life liberty and property) they are perfectly free to pursue life liberty and property.

And once again, the suspension of the ability to exercise the rights can be performed through due process (as is enumerated in the BOR) you can not strip a man of his rights however.

So again I say that by your analysis a prsioner should be entitled to arms while in prison should he not? Isn't that what you are basically saying?

If a liberty can be suspended thru due pricess as you state, then why are we debating this? A felon is a felon because due process found him to be so, therefore his liberties, including the right to arms which IS property can be suspended or restricted as due process dictates.

1911_sfca
06-04-2009, 8:03 PM
Fine. But the question is whether it means he's disarmed the next time he commits a crime. I gather it is common practice to have a girlfriend carry the gun, and while that technically disarmed a criminal it's hard to see how produced any good for society.

What I have heard from people who actually interview criminals is that they think such laws are a big joke. I'm curious about your experiences to the contrary.


Let's agree to disagree. You and Ajax22 seem to think it's a good idea for Felons to be allowed firearms; Untamed1972 and I do not. Not sure what you mean by the laws being a "big joke" -- I'm sure the guy I put in jail last night is not laughing about it. And the potential victims of felons w/ firearms who were saved by the law don't think it's very funny either..or maybe there aren't any, according to your line of thinking.


I guess the question is whether it's good public policy.


Don't know; I'm not a public policy expert. But I'd bet my last dollar that there's been way more pontification and speculation on the subject in this thread thans ever happened when legislators created a law like this. Whether we're the better for it or not, I can't really say.. No one looks to Calguns for public policy advice anyway so I suppose it's just a pastime and not much else.

7x57
06-04-2009, 9:05 PM
Let's agree to disagree.

Why? Are you under the mistaken impression that I have some sort of rigid agenda in this matter that I campaign regularly? Hardly. It rarely comes up, because I think anyone who breaks the social contract risks losing the benefits of the contract, and usually we argue about the rights of law-abiding citizens instead of felons. I simply do not hear compelling arguments made about the effectiveness of this policy as policy.

So, since you are convinced of it, perhaps your arguments will be better than those I know. Perhaps you have experienced situations where it's value is evident. How can I judge the better policy if I don't know what the stronger arguments are? I would not have considered how great a barrier this is to a felon going straight if I hadn't heard it discussed by a felon, who could explain quite clearly how it was his biggest difficulty in keeping clean. It would be useful to hear similarly penetrating discussion by someone on the other side.

Someone who does parole work might have the most insight, come to think of it.

7x57

leadchucker
06-04-2009, 10:39 PM
But think about the guy I had a conversation with last night. We took his gun, because of the law. So the law in this case helped to disarm a non-law abiding felon too.


Who cares? If he's going back to jail he wouldn't have access to his guns anyway! As mentioned before, what REAL good did stripping him of his 2A rights do once he was freed? What real good does it do to strip ANY free citizen of his 2A rights, whether ex-convict or not? Didn't you say yourself that he obtained the gun illegally? Frankly, there is no way to "illegally" obtain a firearm, but the fact that you assumed so for the sake of arguement only further proves that this "law" did no REAL good since it didn't prevent him from obtaining one anyway- as is the case with any gun control "law".



You and Ajax22 seem to think it's a good idea for Felons to be allowed firearms;

I can't speak for 7x57, but it is obvious to this reader that he "seem(s) to think it's a good idea for EX-Felons to be allowed firearms". Your subtle ommission of this prefix is deceptive and misleading with regard to his clearly stated position. (For the most part I agree with Ajax' point of view, but I'll leave it to him to defend his statement that seems to imply that rights cannot be stripped while under incarceration)

7x57
06-04-2009, 11:52 PM
I can't speak for 7x57, but it is obvious to this reader that he "seem(s) to think it's a good idea for EX-Felons to be allowed firearms".

That's more or less the case, though it is more that I cannot really see any concrete benefit from prohibiting them from having them. I rather suspect the government was always viewed as having the power to do so, contra some views in this thread, I simply would like to hear a persuasive defense of the policy's effectiveness in reducing crime because I can't make one that convinces me.

The background of my interest in the topic is hearing an ex-con interviewed on the radio; before that, I had no reason to question the "obviously" good idea of prohibiting them from having guns. Now, I'm interested in the real (as opposed to feel-good) effects of such a law. Has there been any attempt to study the effects?

Given that someone mentioned Texas' former practice of giving prisoners some money, a horse, and a rifle upon being released, it also seems (if true) that the logic hasn't always been persuasive to others either. I'd also like to know the history of such prohibitions in common law; was this commonly done before 1968? In Britain before they became barking mad?

7x57

Untamed1972
06-05-2009, 7:29 AM
That's more or less the case, though it is more that I cannot really see any concrete benefit from prohibiting them from having them. I rather suspect the government was always viewed as having the power to do so, contra some views in this thread, I simply would like to hear a persuasive defense of the policy's effectiveness in reducing crime because I can't make one that convinces me.

The background of my interest in the topic is hearing an ex-con interviewed on the radio; before that, I had no reason to question the "obviously" good idea of prohibiting them from having guns. Now, I'm interested in the real (as opposed to feel-good) effects of such a law. Has there been any attempt to study the effects?

Given that someone mentioned Texas' former practice of giving prisoners some money, a horse, and a rifle upon being released, it also seems (if true) that the logic hasn't always been persuasive to others either. I'd also like to know the history of such prohibitions in common law; was this commonly done before 1968? In Britain before they became barking mad?

7x57

As far as the old texas law goes.....I'm sure there were not much in the way of stats gathered back then to document how many of those released cons went out and used that rifle in a short period of time to commit another crime. So just cuz they did it....doesn't mean it was a good idea. It could be argued that back them perhaps what they were doing was giving them the means to hunt for example so they could provide for themselves immediately upon release so they would not be inclined to start robbing people simply to survive.

I still go back to my example of convicted child molesters (please skip the 18yo guy banging his 17yo GF arguements, I'm talking the about the kind of guys that molest small children) being prohibited from work in jobs near children (schools, daycare and such). Does that completely prevent such persons from ever molesting a child again? No......but the point is we as a society do not have to make it easy for someone to have access to things they've proven BY THEIR OWN ACTIONS they cannot be trusted with.

And please remember the "BY THEIR OWN ACTIONS" part. We are not talking about arbitrary denial of rights to whole segments of our society who have done nothing wrong. We are talking about people who have been convicted of a crime thru the due process provisions of the supreme law of our nation. We as a society simply MUST start REQUIRING personal responsibility from our citizens, and that includes bearing the full burden of the consequences for poor choices. A civilized society cannot survive with any less required of it's populace.

leadchucker
06-05-2009, 9:08 AM
I still go back to my example of convicted child molesters (please skip the 18yo guy banging his 17yo GF arguements, I'm talking the about the kind of guys that molest small children) being prohibited from work in jobs near children (schools, daycare and such).

Working with children is not a right. Sorry. This doesn't fly.



And please remember the "BY THEIR OWN ACTIONS" part. We are not talking about arbitrary denial of rights to whole segments of our society who have done nothing wrong.

But the reasoning is still the same. Gun control has never worked, doesn't work today, and will never work, no matter what cross section of society is affected. Anyone intent on obtaining a firearm will do so, irregardless of the "laws". Breaking the law, by definition, is what criminals do. I don't understand how so simple a premise can become so convoluted with all the "buts" and "what ifs".

We are talking about people who have been convicted of a crime thru the due process provisions of the supreme law of our nation.

So, when is due process completed? If a person is freed from incarceration, he should be deemed a free citizen, otherwise the criminal justice system has failed it's purpose. If he is not free, then why was he freed?!

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -Thomas Jefferson.

I think this discussion is now a dead horse:rolleyes:

KCM222
06-05-2009, 9:58 AM
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -Thomas Jefferson.

Someone recently posted something about a law Jefferson proposed that would deny poachers the right to have a "gun".

The point of the posting was that when reading that proposal you had to take into consideration the context of what they referred to as "gun", which was to mean a rifle (for hunting. As opposed to a handgun for self defense).

This illustrates the intent of at least some of the founding fathers that this right could be partially removed by due process. Arguably I believe this law was shot down, and therefore the logic may have been disproved, but the idea of losing, at least partially, your right to bear arms was not foreign to Jefferson.

You aren't seriously going to suggest that the framers of the constitution thought there was a right to bear arms, but not a right to life? And obviously, through due process, you can be deprived of life.

I'm not trying to argue against the logic that denying felons the right to bear arms does not have any positive impact, I'm just saying that I think, legally, and constitutionally, the government may have the right to strip your second amenment rights.

I'll add a link to the Jefferson remark above when I find it.

GaryV
06-05-2009, 10:20 AM
Someone recently posted something about a law Jefferson proposed that would deny poachers the right to have a "gun".

The point of the posting was that when reading that proposal you had to take into consideration the context of what they referred to as "gun", which was to mean a rifle (for hunting. As opposed to a handgun for self defense).

This illustrates the intent of at least some of the founding fathers that this right could be partially removed by due process. Arguably I believe this law was shot down, and therefore the logic may have been disproved, but the idea of losing, at least partially, your right to bear arms was not foreign to Jefferson.

You aren't seriously going to suggest that the framers of the constitution thought there was a right to bear arms, but not a right to life? And obviously, through due process, you can be deprived of life.

I'm not trying to argue against the logic that denying felons the right to bear arms does not have any positive impact, I'm just saying that I think, legally, and constitutionally, the government may have the right to strip your second amenment rights.

I'll add a link to the Jefferson remark above when I find it.

You need to research the whole game law issue during the time of the Founding Fathers. He was familiar with the concept because it was one of the most common ways in which people were deprived of firearms in Europe at the time, where ALL game, even on your own land, was the property of the King, and was forbidden to hunt without permission. The Founding Fathers understood that this was mostly really about disarmament and not about protecting resources, and several of them wrote or spoke out against such laws in the new US.

KCM222
06-05-2009, 10:48 AM
You need to research the whole game law issue during the time of the Founding Fathers. He was familiar with the concept because it was one of the most common ways in which people were deprived of firearms in Europe at the time, where ALL game, even on your own land, was the property of the King, and was forbidden to hunt without permission. The Founding Fathers understood that this was mostly really about disarmament and not about protecting resources, and several of them wrote or spoke out against such laws in the new US.

Ok thanks, I'll read up on that.

But still the idea that due process can not deprive your right to arms, but it can deprive your right to life does not make any sense.

The point is that you can't deny rights to people arbitrarily.

crazydru
06-05-2009, 10:58 AM
I cant find the part of the us consititution that authorizes the denial of civil rights to convicted criminals.

The difference between guilt and innocence is timing.

WHenderson
06-05-2009, 11:38 AM
I found this an interesting thread. It is a difficult topic, it covers a lot of ground. I see many of these problems being a result of not enforcing the current laws (example only: illegal immigrants everywhere), misinterpreting the existing laws (shall not be infringed), and disingenuous application of our legal system (plea bargaining). Among other things. Trying to elaborate all this takes someone with more wisdom than myself. -W

KCM222
06-05-2009, 12:19 PM
I cant find the part of the us consititution that authorizes the denial of civil rights to convicted criminals.

The difference between guilt and innocence is timing.

5th amendment:

No person shall be ... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law

GaryV
06-05-2009, 12:36 PM
Ok thanks, I'll read up on that.

But still the idea that due process can not deprive your right to arms, but it can deprive your right to life does not make any sense.

The point is that you can't deny rights to people arbitrarily.

I agree completely. Rights can clearly be suspended temporarily or even permanently as long as due process is observed.

But I would argue that the laws that do nothing but deprive felons of rights after serving their sentences, on top of whatever punishment the laws they broke impose, ARE arbitrary. There is no separate due process involved in depriving people of their rights under these laws (it's automatic upon conviction, even before sentencing), and there is no separate appeals process against them. Also, the level of what qualifies one for deprivation of rights under these laws varies incredibly: A 15 year-old who gets prosecuted for "sexting" gets the same punishment as someone who commits mass-murder.

KCM222
06-05-2009, 12:52 PM
But I would argue that the laws that do nothing but deprive felons of rights after serving their sentences, on top of whatever punishment the laws they broke impose, ARE arbitrary. There is no separate due process involved in depriving people of their rights under these laws (it's automatic upon conviction, even before sentencing), and there is no separate appeals process against them.

I can buy that; that seems right to me.

I can imagine if people ever challenged this the first step could be to establish a separate disarmament process.

leadchucker
06-05-2009, 1:58 PM
Ok thanks, I'll read up on that.

But still the idea that due process can not deprive your right to arms, but it can deprive your right to life does not make any sense.



Of course due process can deprive you of your arms! Not many will question that!
Are you referring to a permantent deprivation of the rights- life vs. arms? Obviously, depriving one of his right to life through due process cannot be a temporary sentence!!! What has that to do with a sentence having the element of time. Once the time is served, the person regains all of his rights as a free citizen.:sleeping:

Untamed1972
06-05-2009, 2:02 PM
I agree completely. Rights can clearly be suspended temporarily or even permanently as long as due process is observed.

But I would argue that the laws that do nothing but deprive felons of rights after serving their sentences, on top of whatever punishment the laws they broke impose, ARE arbitrary. There is no separate due process involved in depriving people of their rights under these laws (it's automatic upon conviction, even before sentencing), and there is no separate appeals process against them. Also, the level of what qualifies one for deprivation of rights under these laws varies incredibly: A 15 year-old who gets prosecuted for "sexting" gets the same punishment as someone who commits mass-murder.

So my final comment on this will be this:

I agree with the basic premise that some people, by their own actions and choices, do things that bring upon themselves deserving suspension of deprivations of rights to life, liberty or property when such is done thru due process.

That is not to say that the ways and means by which such are applied under the current system is pefect and could not use some revision.

But when it comes to the basic notion of denying violent offenders and criminal predators LEGAL access to firearms, at very least for a period of time following release, I don't see that as unconstitutional. Because the whole due process system is setup for an orderly and regulated means of deprivation of rights to persons whose actions have deemed such deprivation nessecary. If the 5th ammendment states you can be deprived of life, liberty and property thru due process then one cannot claim those rights as absolute. Because if they were absolute you could not be deprived of them, period!