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View Full Version : 2nd Amendment (purely hypothetic and intellectual conversation)


calixt0
06-13-2010, 2:53 PM
I've been thinking and I see a lot of even 2A supporters add exemptions to violent felons or lunatics etc, then another part of our group will Quote and bold Shall not be infringed.

So hopefully on a purely open discussion I was wondering the thoughts about the Shall not be infringed part of the 2A. I have a hard time making exceptions ok (even for violent felons/rapos/ murders/ lunatics) but then saying they can't step on my right because I'm not this or that. If it can be infringed then can be infringed. Even to the extent that some arms are ok but others are not. Nukes not OK. helicopters/fighter jets not ok but fully automatic ok. I can see the nuke or missile as your not going to go after a single target with it but on the other hand if the point of the 2A is to protect against tyrannical rule, I have no doubt our government with the right situation would shove a cruise missile down our throats and laugh.

So I guess its 2 questions
1) does shall not be infringe leave any grounds for any infringment of certain class/history criminal or otherwise? Or does shall not be infringed mean shall not be touched for any reason. If certain histories or people can have it infringed please explain why with more than I just wouldn't wan't it.

2) at what level does a weapon knife/gun/missile/nuke/fighter jet with napalm become no the arms covered by the 2A.

Again just for conversation not argument. Hopefully we can keep this civil and intelligent. I know the government would say none of it applies and we can take it all.. so not even talking legality just your "perfect world understanding" of the law and how it should be and why.

bigstick61
06-13-2010, 3:25 PM
The only exception would be for those who have had the right specifically taken away as part of their sentence for commission of a crime that justifies it (and I think there are more crimes that result in loss of RKBA these days than there are crime that truly justify such measures). I could also see some of the most sensitive places (a much shorter list than what is currently considered sensitive) being off limits without permission, although i also think storage must be provided for weapons if relinquishment is to be required, and armed scurity must be provided as well for those inside. Finally, WMDs, such as bio weapons, nukes, and the more dangerous, harmful, and deadly chemical weapons capable of mass dispersion, can also have limits justified upon them due to their nature. Such massive and possibly even uncontrollable levels of destruction cannot be considered an acceptable exercise of any of the rights pertaining to the use of arms, to include use of force against others, even under the most liberal use of force laws. And if something goes wrong, such as an accident due to improper storage, potentially millions can die. I'm not sure they can be justified in a system where natural rights are protected, again due to their inherent nature. I also think that those who own property open to the public can be allowed to disallow firearms on their property, provided that it is not done in such a way that it prevents the exercise of the right off of the property ad that no crime be considered to have been committed if someone violates this, unless they committ a crime alongside it or refuse to leave once the firearm has been discovered; this should not apply to outside and unenclosed property.

Outside of these things, I don't think any restrictions are acceptable. All the above deal with extreme situations or with private property rights. Our right to keep and bear arms is otherwise fairly absolute, IMO, as is the right to exercise that right for the defense of ourselves, our liberty, and our property, and that/those of others. Almost all gun related legislation is an unjustifiable infringement upon our rights, IMO, and this includes things like the FBI backgrond check to purchase a gun, even if it only takes a minute.

Fmt662
06-13-2010, 3:36 PM
Since the 2nd amendment was meant to protect the state (...being necessary to the security of a free State...), my opinion would be that it should apply to people who haven't been shown to disrupt the security (& peace) of said state. Anyone who commits violent crimes/murder/rape or who is unable to contribute to the same peace & security (insane/nuts/loco...), IMO, gives up the right to bear arms. In other words... I see the 2A saying that people can own arms for the purpose of protecting the people, and anyone who has committed major/violent crimes against the people should be ineligible.

As to #2, i think that the 2A should apply to weapons that can be operated individually or in small groups. Fighter jets & nukes that require extensive support, maintenance, and logistics trains to operate should be left to the government. Just give me a nice Ma Deuce to mount in the bed of my truck and I'm happy.

huck
06-13-2010, 3:39 PM
Your point is valid, though. There is a line as far as the type of weapon. We just don't like where they drew the line here in CA.

calixt0
06-13-2010, 3:41 PM
The only exception would be for those who have had the right specifically taken away as part of their sentence for commission of a crime that justifies it (and I think there are more crimes that result in loss of RKBA these days than there are crime that truly justify such measures). I could also see some of the most sensitive places (a much shorter list than what is currently considered sensitive) being off limits without permission, although i also think storage must be provided for weapons if relinquishment is to be required, and armed scurity must be provided as well for those inside. Finally, WMDs, such as bio weapons, nukes, and the more dangerous, harmful, and deadly chemical weapons capable of mass dispersion, can also have limits justified upon them due to their nature. Such massive and possibly even uncontrollable levels of destruction cannot be considered an acceptable exercise of any of the rights pertaining to the use of arms, to include use of force against others, even under the most liberal use of force laws. And if something goes wrong, such as an accident due to improper storage, potentially millions can die. I'm not sure they can be justified in a system where natural rights are protected, again due to their inherent nature. I also think that those who own property open to the public can be allowed to disallow firearms on their property, provided that it is not done in such a way that it prevents the exercise of the right off of the property ad that no crime be considered to have been committed if someone violates this, unless they committ a crime alongside it or refuse to leave once the firearm has been discovered; this should not apply to outside and unenclosed property.

Outside of these things, I don't think any restrictions are acceptable. All the above deal with extreme situations or with private property rights. Our right to keep and bear arms is otherwise fairly absolute, IMO, as is the right to exercise that right for the defense of ourselves, our liberty, and our property, and that/those of others. Almost all gun related legislation is an unjustifiable infringement upon our rights, IMO, and this includes things like the FBI backgrond check to purchase a gun, even if it only takes a minute.


If a right can be lost due to crimes committed and sentencing then why no federal or fbi check? I don't understand how something can not be infringed yet still have them taken away by a court? Care to explain? Can our right to free speech be taken away if the courts deem it ok? I'm personally not comfortable with the courts or legislatures taking rights away. Can the courts take the 5A away or the right to a jury trial? It just seem like a very slipperly slope to be standing on.

NightOwl
06-13-2010, 3:41 PM
If a person is free, they have a fundemental right to defend themselves, and should have their gun rights in place. If they are incarcerated for a crime, then not, they're not free. When they get out, the gun rights should be restored-they're free again.

This would require getting rid of a bunch of BS laws/jail time convictions that overcrowd our prisons and cut sentences dramtically due to that, though, so those who shouldn't be free wouldn't be.

calixt0
06-13-2010, 3:47 PM
Your point is valid, though. There is a line as far as the type of weapon. We just don't like where they drew the line here in CA.

I personally think that if our government can use such a weapon (any weapon) the only way to make sure that those weapons are not used against the people is to make sure those weapons are available to the public. I think back at the revolutionary war and no weapon (including canons and ships) were unobtainable to the masses except by price. any musket or rifle the army used the average joe was able to have and use as well.

bigstick61
06-13-2010, 3:50 PM
Since the 2nd amendment was meant to protect the state (...being necessary to the security of a free State...), my opinion would be that it should apply to people who haven't been shown to disrupt the security (& peace) of said state. Anyone who commits violent crimes/murder/rape or who is unable to contribute to the same peace & security (insane/nuts/loco...), IMO, gives up the right to bear arms. In other words... I see the 2A saying that people can own arms for the purpose of protecting the people, and anyone who has committed major/violent crimes against the people should be ineligible.

As to #2, i think that the 2A should apply to weapons that can be operated individually or in small groups. Fighter jets & nukes that require extensive support, maintenance, and logistics trains to operate should be left to the government. Just give me a nice Ma Deuce to mount in the bed of my truck and I'm happy.

In regards to the former, it is a reference to the main utility of the RKBA in regards to government, but it is not a statement of purpose, since a right is somethign we simply possess due to our own human nature. In this sense it is devoid of a "purpose" in the way you mean to use the term. Is purpose really is to preserve and protect the three fundamental natural rights, those to life (and limb), liberty, and property, both against infringement by other men, and also by the forces of nature to some degree (like using arms to prevent starvation by hunting, or to protect life against dangerous animals). Even so, the security of a free state has a double meaning. It can mean both the physical protection of a state that happens to be free, i.e. a protection of the state and its citizens, and also the protection of the "free" part of "free state," i.e. ensuring we have liberal governance, which can sometimes require the force of arms, to include heavier arms, especially when state forces can be expected to have such weapons.

In regards to the latter, I must disagree. No restrictions can be tolerated except those dealing with extremes. Heavier weapons are useful in utilizing the RKBA to the fullest regarding its "purpose." If someone is willing to pay the costs for the weapon, its maintenance, logistics, etc. then they should be able to have it. So long as the weapon is such where it can be used discriminately and with a reasonable degree of precision, whether against an individual target or an area target of reasonable size (taking out a city with one shot is not discriminate or reasonable), by either a crew or an individual, one should be allowed to own it.

Dangerpin
06-13-2010, 3:52 PM
This would require getting rid of a bunch of BS laws/jail time convictions that overcrowd our prisons and cut sentences dramtically due to that, though, so those who shouldn't be free wouldn't be.

I think the final result of this would mean much longer sentences. If the government and a jury of peers doesn't think person X should have gun right they might be persuaded to make sure they don't walk the streets as a free man/woman for much longer.

However, I have to say I do agree. If you are free and not on probation you should truly be free. Debt to society paid and all that.

bigstick61
06-13-2010, 4:00 PM
If a right can be lost due to crimes committed and sentencing then why no federal or fbi check? I don't understand how something can not be infringed yet still have them taken away by a court? Care to explain? Can our right to free speech be taken away if the courts deem it ok? I'm personally not comfortable with the courts or legislatures taking rights away. Can the courts take the 5A away or the right to a jury trial? It just seem like a very slipperly slope to be standing on.

In regards to the first, it is because it presumes guilt on the part of the individual in question, who has to verify/prove his innocence, a reversal of how our system should work, and it basically amounts to asking the government for permission to exercise our right in a particular manner, which essentially makes it a privilege granted by the state, rather than a right. if someone who is prohibited gets a firearm and gets caught or committs a crime with it, they should face the consequences of their crimes, but the law should not act in a preemptive manner, and this goes well beyond RKBA issues. It is a central part in the debate between security and liberty.

In regards to your second concern, when you committ a cime, all punishment comes at a cost to your rights. There could be no punishment of any significance otherwise. Imprisonment is an infringement upon your right to liberty. The death sentence is an infringement upon your right to life. These are acceptable, though, when one has been found guilty through a good process for determing whether someone is guilty or innocent (such as our jury system) and the degree of punishment fits the crime committed. The RKBA is one of the rights which can be removed by sentence, just like all those not related to due process itself can be. If someone is convicted of armed robbery and recieves something less than death or life without parole, upon his release, on parole or otherwise clear, it would not be inappropriate to bar his use of arms, provided this was a part of the sentence imposed by the court. If he was not sentenced in such a manner, then upon release his RKBA must be restored, and ex post facto laws should not be able to touch him since such alws are not legitimate to begin with, such as making a prohibtion retroactive, like with Lautenberg.

If you are uncomfortable with restricting rights as a punishment for committing crimes, then perhaps you should consider eliminating the justice system and law enforcement, unless you think letters of reprimand are sufficient punishment for all manner of crimes.

thayne
06-13-2010, 4:12 PM
If a person is free, they have a fundemental right to defend themselves, and should have their gun rights in place. If they are incarcerated for a crime, then not, they're not free. When they get out, the gun rights should be restored-they're free again.

This would require getting rid of a bunch of BS laws/jail time convictions that overcrowd our prisons and cut sentences dramtically due to that, though, so those who shouldn't be free wouldn't be.

I agree. If someone is deemed so dangerous that they shouldnt have the right to arms, they shouldnt be released. The problem right now is these dangerous people are released and even though they have no rights to be armed, they are.

FatalKitty
06-13-2010, 4:18 PM
Since the 2nd amendment was meant to protect the state (...being necessary to the security of a free State...), my opinion would be that it should apply to people who haven't been shown to disrupt the security (& peace) of said state. Anyone who commits violent crimes/murder/rape or who is unable to contribute to the same peace & security (insane/nuts/loco...), IMO, gives up the right to bear arms. In other words... I see the 2A saying that people can own arms for the purpose of protecting the people, and anyone who has committed major/violent crimes against the people should be ineligible.

As to #2, i think that the 2A should apply to weapons that can be operated individually or in small groups. Fighter jets & nukes that require extensive support, maintenance, and logistics trains to operate should be left to the government. Just give me a nice Ma Deuce to mount in the bed of my truck and I'm happy.

The Right to keep and bare arms is a "god given" right, something we inherently posses - so the "purpose" of the right is clearly to allow us to protect our other rights.
a "free state" doesn't mean CA, NY, whatever - it means a body of people - so the RKBA ensures that we CAN continue exorcising free speech, freedom of religion, and an about to govern ourselves (or elect people to do it for us)
Back in the day we had what they called "outlaws" those were people who had broken the laws governing the state and were now "outside the law" meaning they could be hunted, killed, whatever. Obviously our system is a little better now... these people can recover from their mistakes, and attempt to live a normal life. But I think their actions demonstrate they cannot be trusted with the lives of others, or even their own life, and therefore must give up their RKBA for a time until they can prove they can be trusted by the state - I don't believe in lifetime bans.
RKBA allows us to defend our family and neighbors from "crusades" or government overthrows and that sort of thing. it also allows us to do the things our other "god given" rights allow us to do, such as own property, live life, and be happy

IMHO - that means protecting your home, protecting your life (against hunger or threat), and having fun at the range

as for nukes - and the "shall not be infringed"
I simply don't have a problem with gun owners being required to take safety courses - though I feel the should be free and provided by the state, similarly if you can take a course and being qualified to own and safely operate a nuke - then fine - we don't need some rich kid millionaire with no training owning a nuke, fighter jet, or any type of massively destructive device.

press1280
06-13-2010, 4:25 PM
I've been thinking and I see a lot of even 2A supporters add exemptions to violent felons or lunatics etc, then another part of our group will Quote and bold Shall not be infringed.

So hopefully on a purely open discussion I was wondering the thoughts about the Shall not be infringed part of the 2A. I have a hard time making exceptions ok (even for violent felons/rapos/ murders/ lunatics) but then saying they can't step on my right because I'm not this or that. If it can be infringed then can be infringed. Even to the extent that some arms are ok but others are not. Nukes not OK. helicopters/fighter jets not ok but fully automatic ok. I can see the nuke or missile as your not going to go after a single target with it but on the other hand if the point of the 2A is to protect against tyrannical rule, I have no doubt our government with the right situation would shove a cruise missile down our throats and laugh.

So I guess its 2 questions
1) does shall not be infringe leave any grounds for any infringment of certain class/history criminal or otherwise? Or does shall not be infringed mean shall not be touched for any reason. If certain histories or people can have it infringed please explain why with more than I just wouldn't wan't it.

2) at what level does a weapon knife/gun/missile/nuke/fighter jet with napalm become no the arms covered by the 2A.

Again just for conversation not argument. Hopefully we can keep this civil and intelligent. I know the government would say none of it applies and we can take it all.. so not even talking legality just your "perfect world understanding" of the law and how it should be and why.

Remember the "Right" referred to in the 2A is a pre-existing right(it was not created by the Constitution), so any of the pre-existing limitations would still be in effect. Felons and mentally ill were long standing prohibitions on the RKBA.
As far as "arms" go, the common definition would be any small arms that can be carried by an individual. Obviously long guns and pistols qualify, but traditionally swords and knives were considered arms. Typically what put a weapon on the wrong side of "arms" was if it was a favorite of minority gangs, like switchblades.

calixt0
06-13-2010, 4:37 PM
so far some great conversation guys... thanks and keep it up

Scratch705
06-13-2010, 4:38 PM
i think that if criminals who are let free get their gun rights back, then when they do commit a crime again they are automatically put on death sentence by dropping into lava. but if they don't have a gun, and commit a crime again, they are treated like it is now for repeat offenders.

this way it will imprint the importance of responsible ownership to those ex-cons and to dissuade them from committing future crimes if they want to have gun ownership again.

of course, the level of crime will be determined, since traffic ticket would be a bit of a stretch to impose this level of punishment on. but like murder or robbery may fit (felony level and above probably, and some misdemeanors)

thayne
06-13-2010, 4:40 PM
Remember the "Right" referred to in the 2A is a pre-existing right(it was not created by the Constitution), so any of the pre-existing limitations would still be in effect. Felons and mentally ill were long standing prohibitions on the RKBA.
As far as "arms" go, the common definition would be any small arms that can be carried by an individual. Obviously long guns and pistols qualify, but traditionally swords and knives were considered arms. Typically what put a weapon on the wrong side of "arms" was if it was a favorite of minority gangs, like switchblades.

2a doesnt say anywhere its limited to small arms, although I would agree nukes would have no problem passing even strick scrutiny. As far as tanks, missiles and fighter jets go I dont know. I know you have to draw the line somewhere, but I think all small arms should be off the table as far as restrictions go.

FatalKitty
06-13-2010, 4:43 PM
i think that if criminals who are let free get their gun rights back, then when they do commit a crime again they are automatically put on death sentence by dropping into lava. but if they don't have a gun, and commit a crime again, they are treated like it is now for repeat offenders.

this way it will imprint the importance of responsible ownership to those ex-cons and to dissuade them from committing future crimes if they want to have gun ownership again.

of course, the level of crime will be determined, since traffic ticket would be a bit of a stretch to impose this level of punishment on. but like murder or robbery may fit (felony level and above probably, and some misdemeanors)

we already have violent and massive crimes committed by people with "nothing to lose" - add this to the equation and that multiply s

Scratch705
06-13-2010, 4:48 PM
yes but there are also people who get slapped with moderate non-violent crimes and that really do try to change their ways after going to jail who are now stripped of that right.

there is also going to be bad apples, but as it is now, it won't stop these same bad apples from getting guns illegally.

Nodda Duma
06-13-2010, 5:55 PM
On a side note, OP's examples of helicopters and fighter jets *are* ok. There are several F-86 and Mig-15s in private hands, as well as Hueys, etc....unarmed, of course, but the potential is there. Heck, there are heavy bombers in private hands (B-17s, B-24s, B-29s), fully functional with exception of dummy guns as placeholders for the real thing.

Don't forget the tank owners out there, too....privately-owned tanks which *are* live-fired. Ownership made possible by the 2nd Amendment? Undoubtedly.

-Jason

BigDogatPlay
06-13-2010, 7:17 PM
There is no unlimited right to anything. Nothing is an absolute, no matter how much we may or may not wish it was.

** The old example of Amendment One not protecting someone who hollers fire in a crowded theater.

** Felons and the mentally ill barred from the ownership, use or carry of firearms is not an infringement under Amendment Two.

** Valid, reasonable cause searches and seizures without warrant by the police are not barred by Amendment Four.

Applying the strict scrutiny standard there must be a compelling interest of the government, as representing the people, for a fundamental right to be restricted or abridged. There is ample case law and scholarly work on all three of the points above going many decades back up to a couple of hundred years, in some cases.

There must be a balance between the interests of the state and the interests of the people. Over the past few decades, as relates to Amendment Two issues, that balance point was shifted greatly to the state. Now, through good cases and diligent lawyering, the pendulum is swinging back.

But even in a best case decision on McDonald, I do not expect nor do I want the proscriptions against felons and the mentally ill to go away, And I doubt very seriously that the SCOTUS, however constituted would do that now or in the future.

choprzrul
06-13-2010, 7:34 PM
I guess that I look at 2A rights should mirror my 1A rights. I recognize that there are extreme instances when my 1A rights are (and should be I think) limited. The 'FIRE' in a crowded theater is an example where my freedom of speech has gone beyond the extent of what I should be doing. In the same manner, standing up and shooting the screen in that theater is also outside the boundaries of my 2A rights.

We are all allowed, without question, to enter the theater with the full ability and capacity of yelling 'FIRE'. Any one of hundreds of people have it within their power to create mass hysteria, panic, and resulting injury and/or death at any time during a movie. And yet I have never heard of this happening.

I feel very strongly that I should have the same opportunity to freely exercise my 2A rights without infringement. I also feel very strongly that if I step outside the accepted limits of my rights, I should pay a penalty. Once the terms of the penalty are fulfilled, I should expect to have my rights restored to me; whether it be 1A rights or 2A rights.

Granted, I have only scratched the surface of the questions that abound in this discussion; but there is a movie on and the rest of the family is wondering why I am on the laptop commenting on CalGuns forums

alex00
06-13-2010, 7:43 PM
I couldn't have said it any better than BigDog above. I would add that while I don't think every felon is a lifetime danger to society, we need to draw the line somewhere. We have settled upon felonies being serious enough to limit one's ability to possess firearms. If we were to start picking and choosing which felonies or which people lose or keep their gun rights we start treading in dangerous territory. It opens up a system for playing favorites, subjective choices and unfair application.

As far as Nukes, as pro 2A as I am, I just can't see it. I don't care how well adjusted, responsible, trained or perfect a person is. Humans are fallible. If someone has a full auto and twists off, the police have a fighting chance of stopping him. That same person with a nuke twists off... Not to mention theft, accident, misuse, whatever. I would have no problem with my neighbors owning tanks, fighter jets, helicopters and what not. I wouldn't feel the same way about my neighbor owning a nuke. If that punches a hole in my 2A card, so be it.

berto
06-13-2010, 7:51 PM
If a right can be lost due to crimes committed and sentencing then why no federal or fbi check? I don't understand how something can not be infringed yet still have them taken away by a court? Care to explain? Can our right to free speech be taken away if the courts deem it ok? I'm personally not comfortable with the courts or legislatures taking rights away. Can the courts take the 5A away or the right to a jury trial? It just seem like a very slipperly slope to be standing on.

We've long since slid down the slope where rights being absolute are concerned.

BigDog nailed it.

calixt0
06-13-2010, 8:03 PM
Alex00 as far as I'm concerned you still get to keep your 2A card with no holes in it. I also wanted to make it clear that I'm not sure I would want the average citizen owning nukes... was just trying to go to an extreme in the question to post and get some real answers.

Now as far as the police or government having a hard time stopping it from happening that was part of my point exactly. If part of the reason for the amendment was to protect states against tyrannical rule how would we stop such devestating power the government has if we the people or even a formal run "state militia" don't have something equal? Of course these are things I don't have real answers to just things that run through my mind and questions it creates.

Once again... thanks all for your kind and well considered remarks

steelrain82
06-13-2010, 8:08 PM
isnt going to jail the punishment for your crime. and your debt to society has been paid. am i correct. this is how it supposed to be. so then if you do your time you should get back your right to 2a. this is how according to the op's theory of no infringement it should be. but i think under certain conditions they should lose their 2a. in my opinion full auto weapons arent really necessary as i dont believe in the point of wasting ammo. but if a person wants hi cap and full auto they should have be allowed to buy them.

chuckdc
06-13-2010, 10:31 PM
Going to jail is not necessarily the SOLE punishment for a crime committed. Remember that here in CA, among other places, felons also lose another VERY fundamental right.. the right to vote.There are also certain professions that they can no longer practice, and so forth (would not the right to practice a particular profession be part of the 'pursuit of happiness' in the original language framework?) I don't see a problem with part of a sentence being loss of certain rights even AFTER the confinement portion of your punishment is completed. It goes along with those crimes that have a punishment of confinement plus a fine. It's an added punishment that is part of the total penalty for doing that particular crime.

Paragun
06-13-2010, 11:12 PM
Here's my scenario,
Everyone has the RTBA, and everyone should exercise that right. We have become dependent on the flawed court system where the criminal has more rights than the victim. No CCW, just open carry. If someone tries to rob, harm you or your family and or friends. Or you help another in time of grave need, and you shoot and kill that criminal, then there is no need to incarcerate that person is there?

Just like in the old west (I do not say the "wild" west because that's just Hollywood). It's just the fear of death that drives the laws. Everyone is afraid to die, so many do not want to take the chance of drawing a gun. Many are afraid to kill too. I have read articles about people who are armed, but do not use it. Partly because it is hard to take a life, but also that they might face criminal charges themselves if they survive. Any fear is justifiable, the fear of getting beat up, robbed, damage to my property, and even the fear of death. Like they say, an armed society is a polite society.

So I say if the "bad guys" have the RTBA, it wouldn't be for long, if we are all armed and not afraid to use it.

NightOwl
06-14-2010, 12:38 AM
Going to jail is not necessarily the SOLE punishment for a crime committed. Remember that here in CA, among other places, felons also lose another VERY fundamental right.. the right to vote.There are also certain professions that they can no longer practice, and so forth (would not the right to practice a particular profession be part of the 'pursuit of happiness' in the original language framework?) I don't see a problem with part of a sentence being loss of certain rights even AFTER the confinement portion of your punishment is completed. It goes along with those crimes that have a punishment of confinement plus a fine. It's an added punishment that is part of the total penalty for doing that particular crime.

The problem with your arguement is that it's not only felons that lose that right. Misdemeanor domestic violence is now also a ban on the right to bear arms. When will it be other misdemeanors? When will it be all misdemeanors? When will it be some/all infractions? When will nobody be able to have a gun because everyone has been convicted of something? People have been saying the line was drawn to just felons for a long time...until it wasn't just felons anymore. Even now, in this quote, it's just listed as felons.

If there is to be a line, the line must be freedom. If you are free to be in society, you are free to bear arms. You have a right to protect yourself, and denying a free person that right is tantamount to saying that anybody can come rob/hurt/maim/kill them at any time, and they're not allowed to fight back. The line must be freedom, because when free people are disarmed, we get situations like Virginia Tech or Cumbria. EVERY free adult must be on equal footing to defend themselves, and the gun is the great equalizer.

Accepting anything else results in this:

"THEY CAME FIRST for the Felons,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Felon.

THEN THEY CAME for the Misdemeanor Domestic Violence convicts,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Misdemeanor DV convicts.

THEN THEY CAME for the rest of the Misdemeanors convictions,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Misdemeanor convict.

THEN THEY CAME for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up."

...unless, of course, someone wants to make the arguement that the government would never try to expand it's authority.

RomanDad
06-14-2010, 6:03 AM
First of all.... You have to legally define "infringe"....

Barabas
06-14-2010, 7:22 AM
1. If they are trustworthy enough to release from prison/jail, then they are trustworthy enough to exercise their rights. If they aren't, don't.

2. What part of "bear" don't you understand?

juicemansam
06-14-2010, 7:25 AM
The way I see it is, a right is tantamount to breathing or eating, it's your God-given right to do so. If what you call a right can be taken away "legally" then it's not a right, but a privilege. I personally don't care if felons or loonies can have weapons, they too have the God-given right to be able to protect themselves, as is everybody else's right. "Laws" only punish after the fact of getting caught. Let's say there were no "arms," we would use our hands to defend our lives, would we then cut-off a felon's hands? No. "Laws" are the programming of our matrix. We are but batteries for the system that governs us. But I digress. If man can turn a right into a privilege for some, then it's a privilege for all.

That's my 2 cents.

press1280
06-14-2010, 1:23 PM
2a doesnt say anywhere its limited to small arms, although I would agree nukes would have no problem passing even strick scrutiny. As far as tanks, missiles and fighter jets go I dont know. I know you have to draw the line somewhere, but I think all small arms should be off the table as far as restrictions go.

I think what we're stuck with is the "common use" test. Tanks and jets would not be in common use primarily since they are too expensive for the common person to own. Machine guns would be an interesting case, because they are the weapon used in warfare, and may not be common only because they are so heavily regulated.

bulgron
06-14-2010, 1:30 PM
I agree. If someone is deemed so dangerous that they shouldnt have the right to arms, they shouldnt be released. The problem right now is these dangerous people are released and even though they have no rights to be armed, they are.

This is the right answer.

Some criminals cannot be rehabilitated. Sexual offenders and sociopaths top that list, but not far down are people committed to making a living from the drug trade, and people who are perpetually addicted to some substance or another and so end up preying on the population to feed their addiction.

These people should not be free to roam our streets. Ever.

Everyone else who is out of prison and no longer on parole should be allowed their 2A rights. Period.

Unfortunately, our society has decided to be soft on criminals and then use their bad behavior to restrict the actions of law abiding citizens. Makes you wonder who they truly feel their constituents are, doesn't it?

bigstick61
06-14-2010, 2:17 PM
The way I see it is, a right is tantamount to breathing or eating, it's your God-given right to do so. If what you call a right can be taken away "legally" then it's not a right, but a privilege. I personally don't care if felons or loonies can have weapons, they too have the God-given right to be able to protect themselves, as is everybody else's right. "Laws" only punish after the fact of getting caught. Let's say there were no "arms," we would use our hands to defend our lives, would we then cut-off a felon's hands? No. "Laws" are the programming of our matrix. We are but batteries for the system that governs us. But I digress. If man can turn a right into a privilege for some, then it's a privilege for all.

That's my 2 cents.

Yes, people have a God-given right to keep and bear arms, but those rights can be infringed upon in a civilized society as a punishment for committing crimes, just like almost any other right, including the right to life. That's the whole point that people seem to be missing. Should anyone labeled a felon, especially when the term is used so lightly now, automatically lose their RKBA as part of their sentence? No. Should those convicted but without such a sentence imposed lose their RKBA ex post facto because of some law (of questionable legitimacy)? No. However, some crimes do warrant this sort of punishment. There will always be serious criminals who do not get the sentence they really deserve and will be let out of prison at some point. If their sentence is served, kepping them longer because we believe them to be dangerous is not an option anymore; they would hae to be convicted of another crime. But they should still have limitations upon their release. For some crimes certification of rehabilitation and suspension of this part of the sentence should be a viable option. Anyhow, suspending rights as punishment for crimes committed is not the same as treating a right like a privilege.

kcbrown
06-14-2010, 3:27 PM
Yes, people have a God-given right to keep and bear arms, but those rights can be infringed upon in a civilized society as a punishment for committing crimes, just like almost any other right, including the right to life. That's the whole point that people seem to be missing. Should anyone labeled a felon, especially when the term is used so lightly now, automatically lose their RKBA as part of their sentence? No. Should those convicted but without such a sentence imposed lose their RKBA ex post facto because of some law (of questionable legitimacy)? No. However, some crimes do warrant this sort of punishment. There will always be serious criminals who do not get the sentence they really deserve and will be let out of prison at some point. If their sentence is served, kepping them longer because we believe them to be dangerous is not an option anymore; they would hae to be convicted of another crime. But they should still have limitations upon their release. For some crimes certification of rehabilitation and suspension of this part of the sentence should be a viable option. Anyhow, suspending rights as punishment for crimes committed is not the same as treating a right like a privilege.

Um....so you would reduce the right to bear arms to a carefully-regulated privilege simply because you're not comfortable with the results the current system of laws produces?

If commission of a particular crime automatically implies that the person in question is so dangerous to society that it is too much of a risk for them to retain their right to keep and bear arms, and the sentence for the crime is such that they are released back into society despite the degree of danger they pose, then that means the sentence for the crime is insufficient. Fix that, and the "need" to restrict RKBA of otherwise free citizens goes away.

If you have a problem, you fix the problem. You don't "fix" some other "problem" as a bandaid on the original problem.


Regardless, the entire reasoning process you employ above is flawed to the core. The "danger" in question is that the person who is released will commit another crime. If they are intent on doing that, no restriction on their right to keep and bear arms will stop them. If they're not intent on doing that then there is no danger. The end result is that it is pointless to remove an individual's right to keep and bear arms while simultaneously releasing them back into society, because nothing of practical value is gained. If you want sentences for additional crimes committed by someone after they've been released back into society to reflect the fact that they have prior convictions then fix the sentencing that way. Don't infringe on the rights of people who might violate the law later on just because you're uncomfortable with the possibility that they might commit further crimes.

ETA: My above argument should look very familiar to you -- it's the very same argument we use against the anti-RKBA types who wish to strip law-abiding citizens of their arms because they fear those citizens might commit crimes with them. You can't have it both ways. Either that argument against the anti-RKBA types works in both cases (felon released into society and someone who hasn't committed a crime yet), or it works in neither. Take your pick.

calixt0
06-15-2010, 6:29 AM
This whole discussion has made me think down a different path. With people convicted of a crime, we are comfortable removing some of their rights, freedom/ possible life itself, but we at least as a society seem to be very concerned with their rights being upheld as in being treated humanely, no cruel and unusual punishment etc. We've got laws and rules to cover other laws and rules and it just doesn't seem to fit very well. Why can't we as a nation go back to the basics of our country and rule by principle instead of law on top of law on top of law.

Mulay El Raisuli
06-15-2010, 7:24 AM
The Right to keep and bare arms is a "god given" right, something we inherently posses - so the "purpose" of the right is clearly to allow us to protect our other rights.
a "free state" doesn't mean CA, NY, whatever - it means a body of people - so the RKBA ensures that we CAN continue exorcising free speech, freedom of religion, and an about to govern ourselves (or elect people to do it for us)


How spooky!

JK! :)


As for the subject at hand...

My thinking is that "arms" are primarily weapons carried by light infantry. Still, the examples of tanks & warplanes being owned by private citizens lead me to re-think this.

As for who, the 2A Right is like any other Right. It can be lost as a result of misbehavior. Would that include guys on parole? Of course. Would it include guys off parole? Of course NOT.

As for where the Right to "and bear" extends, it would be everywhere open to the public. The recent brouhaha with Rand Paul comes to mind. He questioned whether private property owners should have been forced to respect civil Rights. ALL the commentary (that I've seen, anyway) is that OF COURSE they should. My thinking then is that just as a guy can't be barred from a privately owned lunch counter (or church, or bus station, or anywhere else) just because he's black, then there's no justification for barring me from a lunch counter (or church or bus station) just because I'm exercising an enumerated Constitutional Right either.

The Raisuli

locosway
06-15-2010, 8:38 AM
It's almost like by committing this crime, you've allowed yourself to be judged by the law, which can determine if you're unfit to be a "normal" citizen under the law. Yes, you can still have "some" rights, but because you've gone against your fellow people, you've waived your rights to "normal" citizenship, thus waiving some of your inalienable rights such as firearms ownership.

I personally have no problem with people who're unstable or have committed a crime against others as being prohibited from owning firearms.

macadamizer
06-15-2010, 1:33 PM
Regardless, the entire reasoning process you employ above is flawed to the core. The "danger" in question is that the person who is released will commit another crime. If they are intent on doing that, no restriction on their right to keep and bear arms will stop them. If they're not intent on doing that then there is no danger. The end result is that it is pointless to remove an individual's right to keep and bear arms while simultaneously releasing them back into society, because nothing of practical value is gained. If you want sentences for additional crimes committed by someone after they've been released back into society to reflect the fact that they have prior convictions then fix the sentencing that way. Don't infringe on the rights of people who might violate the law later on just because you're uncomfortable with the possibility that they might commit further crimes.

ETA: My above argument should look very familiar to you -- it's the very same argument we use against the anti-RKBA types who wish to strip law-abiding citizens of their arms because they fear those citizens might commit crimes with them. You can't have it both ways. Either that argument against the anti-RKBA types works in both cases (felon released into society and someone who hasn't committed a crime yet), or it works in neither. Take your pick.

I think your argument here pretty much hits the mark if you are looking at any particular individual -- but fails when you look at the situation in the aggregate. The difference between a law-abiding gun owner and a released felon is that the released felon has already shown a propensity to not be a law-abiding citizen. Rates differ depending on the study, but the overall incarceration rate is less than 1%, while the recidivist rate can be as high at 60% or 70%. Simply put, someone who has already spent time in prison may be roughly 70 times more likely to commit another crime than the average citizen.

Sure, you can never say that any particular individual is going to commit another crime upon release from prison. That person may well be in the 30% or more than don't end up back in the justice system. The problem is, the data suggests that more likely than not the former felon will commit another crime.

If there was no recidivism -- if former felons were no more likely to commit future crimes than the population as a whole -- then your argument would be sound, and there would be no reason to continue to abridge the rights of former felons. But so long as former felons commit crimes as a far higher rate than does the (overwhelmingly law abiding) population as a whole, there is at least a sound rationale as to why we might treat former felons differently, even after they have "served their sentence."

That said, the high recidivism rate might well be a product of the way we, as a society, treat former felons or criminals overall -- but that's a much different, and much larger, question than simply the second amendment.

kcbrown
06-15-2010, 2:00 PM
I think your argument here pretty much hits the mark if you are looking at any particular individual -- but fails when you look at the situation in the aggregate. The difference between a law-abiding gun owner and a released felon is that the released felon has already shown a propensity to not be a law-abiding citizen. Rates differ depending on the study, but the overall incarceration rate is less than 1%, while the recidivist rate can be as high at 60% or 70%. Simply put, someone who has already spent time in prison may be roughly 70 times more likely to commit another crime than the average citizen.


That may be, but this fails to address the core of my argument (which, as I noted, is identical to the one we use against the anti-gunners), which is that someone who is intent on committing a crime will do so no matter what the law says.

That means that removing a convicted felon's 2A rights is irrelevant in terms of its impact on the safety of society.



Sure, you can never say that any particular individual is going to commit another crime upon release from prison. That person may well be in the 30% or more than don't end up back in the justice system. The problem is, the data suggests that more likely than not the former felon will commit another crime.

If there was no recidivism -- if former felons were no more likely to commit future crimes than the population as a whole -- then your argument would be sound, and there would be no reason to continue to abridge the rights of former felons. But so long as former felons commit crimes as a far higher rate than does the (overwhelmingly law abiding) population as a whole, there is at least a sound rationale as to why we might treat former felons differently, even after they have "served their sentence."
We don't protect rights merely to make it possible for the majority of people to do what they want to do -- we protect them to make it possible for everyone, majority or minority alike, to do what they want to do even in the face of majority opposition. That's what rights are: the freedom to do something even if others disagree with it.

By rescinding the 2A rights of convicted felons, you make it impossible for a law-abiding citizen with prior felony convictions to exercise his rights. You do nothing to impede the ability of a non-law-abiding citizen to commit further crimes. Furthermore, by doing so, you make it possible for the state to arbitrarily decide who may and may not have 2A rights simply by redefining what is and is not a felony. One need only examine the plethora of nonviolent felonies on the books to see the injustice of that.

So what benefit, therefore, is there to restricting the 2A rights of convicted felons? I see none. But I see significant drawbacks, because it gives the state arbitrary powers that it should not have.

Something that has no benefits but has considerable drawbacks is known as a "bad idea"...

macadamizer
06-15-2010, 2:36 PM
That may be, but this fails to address the core of my argument (which, as I noted, is identical to the one we use against the anti-gunners), which is that someone who is intent on committing a crime will do so no matter what the law says.

Isn't that true of any law, though? Are you arguing that we shouldn't have any laws at all? No restrictions at all because some might not follow the restrictions?

There is a real difference between the two arguments that you fail to address -- that being that there is no evidence that law-abiding gun owners are more likely to engage in illegal activities that law-abiding non-gun-owners, but there is substantial evidence that convicted felons are far more likely to commit another crime than are law-abiding citizens.

The argument may be the same, but the population that it is being used against is not.

That means that removing a convicted felon's 2A rights is irrelevant in terms of its impact on the safety of society.

Why do you think it has no impact on safety? Just because it's not impossible for a convicted felon to obtain a firearm doesn't mean society has to make it easy for them. Society can limit the avenues for obtaining a firearm, even if it can't eliminate them completely. If a felon decides to commit another crime, wouldn't making it harder to obtain a firearm be a net benefit for society, even if it doesn't make it impossible?

We don't protect rights merely to make it possible for the majority of people to do what they want to do -- we protect them to make it possible for everyone, majority or minority alike, to do what they want to do even in the face of majority opposition. That's what rights are: the freedom to do something even if others disagree with it.

I don't disagree with you. But as others have pointed out, when you commit a crime, and are duly convicted of the crime, then you get punished for the crime. Removal of rights is part of the punishment.

By rescinding the 2A rights of convicted felons, you make it impossible for a law-abiding citizen with prior felony convictions to exercise his rights. You do nothing to impede the ability of a non-law-abiding citizen to commit further crimes. Furthermore, by doing so, you make it possible for the state to arbitrarily decide who may and may not have 2A rights simply by redefining what is and is not a felony. One need only examine the plethora of nonviolent felonies on the books to see the injustice of that.

It's generally not trivially easy to end up with a felony conviction. It usually takes a lot more than mere negligence (not always, but usually). If one ends up with a felony conviction, then for better or for worse, they have thrown their lot in with those who can't be trusted to not commit another crime. Simply put, convicted felons have, at some level, self-selected to join a group that is statistically far more likely to commit crimes in the future than the public as a whole.

Honestly, it's really not that hard for most people to avoid getting a felony conviction on their records. Usually you have to do something, usually something pretty significant. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, and it always sucks to be the exception to rule, not going to argue with that. Personally, I don't think I even know anyone with a felony conviction on their record.

You seem to be focusing on the impossibility of keeping criminals from behaving, well, criminally. And you would be right -- but society doesn't have to make it easier for them.

So what benefit, therefore, is there to restricting the 2A rights of convicted felons? I see none. But I see significant drawbacks, because it gives the state arbitrary powers that it should not have.

What benefits? Well, keeps convicted felons -- someone who is maybe 70 times more likely to commit a crime than the average citizen -- from going into a gun store and buying a gun. Or buying or borrowing a gun from a law-abiding gun owner. To many, that's a benefit. Does it eliminate the possibility of a felon getting a gun? Nope. Does it reduce the number of avenues a felon can use to get a gun? Absolutely. Many people see that as a benefit.

The drawbacks, of course, are the usual slippery-slope arguments, and the point that this makes it tough on those felons who are not planning on committing another crime. And yeah, like I noted above, sucks to be them -- but perhaps they should have made different decisions earlier in life.

As others have noted, losing your second amendment rights isn't the only thing that happens with a felony conviction. You lose your right to vote in some states. Good luck getting certain types of security clearances, or getting certain types of licenses. You may lose your opportunity to obtain a student loan for college. Punishment is not limited to incarceration.

Turn the argument around -- why should convicted felons -- persons who have been shown to not be generally law-abiding (or, at a minimum, not law-abiding all of the time) be given all of the same rights as those who have, somehow, managed to avoid going through life without a felony conviction?

Something that has no benefits but has considerable drawbacks is known as a "bad idea"...

Maybe it is a bad idea, but I don't think that most people (maybe not most people on this board, but most people in general) would say that there are no benefits whatsoever.

stix213
06-15-2010, 3:34 PM
But the 2A doesn't say anything about your right to guns, you only have the right to bear arms so taking guns from criminals is ok :p

http://images.wikia.com/uncyclopedia/images/9/9b/Right_To_Bear_Arms.jpg

Sorry couldn't help myself. What I believe is that once you have done your time you have done your time. I've never been comfortable with a criminal being perpetually punished for the rest of their life after they already served their sentence. I think this tendency toward perpetual punishment is partiality to blame for criminals being repeat offenders.

For example, a guy robs a store, then goes to prison for 5 years. He gets out and has to check the "felony" box on every job application from then on so he never gets a job that can pay the bills.... so he goes back to robbing stores cause he doesn't see any other option.

At the same time I also don't think criminals should get out before their sentence is completed either. Good behavior in prison just means you are a good butt kisser but doesn't change what you did to land yourself there in the first place.

USAFTS
06-15-2010, 4:22 PM
First of all.... You have to legally define "infringe"....

+1 We have a winner.

kcbrown
06-15-2010, 4:32 PM
Isn't that true of any law, though? Are you arguing that we shouldn't have any laws at all? No restrictions at all because some might not follow the restrictions?


Laws are the means by which we standardize the arbitration of the collision of freedoms. One of the primary reasons we have laws is to make it possible to, in a fair and even-handed manner, remove from society (at least temporarily) those who violate the rights of others, and to create a disincentive for those who might think about violating the rights of others but who aren't far enough over the edge to do so in the presence of those disincentives.

So for your argument here to hold water, you have to prove via evidence that the removal of 2A rights acts as a sufficient disincentive in its own right, independent of other laws to keep people who would, without such a restriction, violate the rights of others. But that's not all you have to argue. Read on...



There is a real difference between the two arguments that you fail to address -- that being that there is no evidence that law-abiding gun owners are more likely to engage in illegal activities that law-abiding non-gun-owners, but there is substantial evidence that convicted felons are far more likely to commit another crime than are law-abiding citizens.
And what does that have to do with the removal of 2A rights?

I don't dispute that you're right about the chance that a convicted felon will commit another crime. What I dispute is how removal of their 2A rights will do anything to deter someone who does.

Let me put it another way: convicted felons are already restricted from RKBA, and yet despite that, they are (by your own argument!) far more likely to commit another crime than are law-abiding citizens. So how well is that 2A restriction working out for you?

On the other hand, that restriction permanently removes RKBA from the subset of convicted felons who are and remain law-abiding.

So congratulations: just as with restrictions on RKBA against the general population, you have managed to punish the law-abiding without doing diddly against law-breakers.



The argument may be the same, but the population that it is being used against is not.
A difference that makes no difference is no difference. The difference in population is irrelevant. The logic of the argument is just as sound regardless.



Why do you think it has no impact on safety? Just because it's not impossible for a convicted felon to obtain a firearm doesn't mean society has to make it easy for them. Society can limit the avenues for obtaining a firearm, even if it can't eliminate them completely. If a felon decides to commit another crime, wouldn't making it harder to obtain a firearm be a net benefit for society, even if it doesn't make it impossible?
Can't the same thing be said of the general population? The harder you make it for the general population to get firearms, the harder you make it for anyone, past history or no, to commit a crime with a firearm.

That is precisely the argument the anti-gunners use. It doesn't work for them and it doesn't work for you, either.




I don't disagree with you. But as others have pointed out, when you commit a crime, and are duly convicted of the crime, then you get punished for the crime. Removal of rights is part of the punishment.
The removal of rights is supposed to be temporary, unless it can be shown that the individual in question poses such a danger to society that society has no other choice for its own safety.

Core rights are supposed to be treated with the utmost care, and removed when there really is no other reasonable choice. That most definitely does not apply to the removal of RKBA from convicted felons who have been released back into society. You can't even show that removing their 2A rights makes any difference!



It's generally not trivially easy to end up with a felony conviction. It usually takes a lot more than mere negligence (not always, but usually). If one ends up with a felony conviction, then for better or for worse, they have thrown their lot in with those who can't be trusted to not commit another crime.
Except that almost anything can be a crime these days. As a member of this board, you of all people should know that.

When you're talking about a core right, you have to do better than to be concerned that a given individual might do something bad with it. You have to show that removal of their right is necessary to achieve the legitimate goal in question and that it will actually do so.



Simply put, convicted felons have, at some level, self-selected to join a group that is statistically far more likely to commit crimes in the future than the public as a whole.
Yes, and as we all know, our justice system never gets the wrong guy, or convicts him of the wrong crime, or convicts him of a crime that clearly shouldn't be a felony, or anything else... :rolleyes:

Frankly, I can't believe I'm arguing this with you. You're arguing that someone in New York State who is caught possessing a 17 round Glock magazine made after 1994 should permanently have his RKBA stripped???

Like I said, anything can be made a felony. You do not want to go down the road of giving the government "legitimate" power to arbitrarily decide who may and may not exercise their core rights. By making it possible for the government to permanently strip RKBA from convicted felons, you make such arbitrary exercise of power possible.



Honestly, it's really not that hard for most people to avoid getting a felony conviction on their records. Usually you have to do something, usually something pretty significant. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, and it always sucks to be the exception to rule, not going to argue with that. Personally, I don't think I even know anyone with a felony conviction on their record.

You seem to be focusing on the impossibility of keeping criminals from behaving, well, criminally. And you would be right -- but society doesn't have to make it easier for them.
And that same argument can be used against normal citizens: society doesn't have to make it easier for them to commit crimes, either, right?

And can't your same argument be used for all other rights as well?

No, it's best not to go down that path. You have to decide which you value more: safety or freedom. My take on that is:


I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it. -- Thomas Jefferson (http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Thomas_Jefferson/), to Archibald Stuart, 1791 I'm on the side of freedom. I can hardly believe you're not.



What benefits? Well, keeps convicted felons -- someone who is maybe 70 times more likely to commit a crime than the average citizen -- from going into a gun store and buying a gun. Or buying or borrowing a gun from a law-abiding gun owner. To many, that's a benefit. Does it eliminate the possibility of a felon getting a gun? Nope. Does it reduce the number of avenues a felon can use to get a gun? Absolutely. Many people see that as a benefit.
Many people see the restrictions on RKBA here in California as a benefit.

So what? We're talking about a core right here.

It's not enough that society sees restriction of a right as a "benefit". For such a restriction to be legitimate, it must prove that it's necessary.



The drawbacks, of course, are the usual slippery-slope arguments, and the point that this makes it tough on those felons who are not planning on committing another crime. And yeah, like I noted above, sucks to be them -- but perhaps they should have made different decisions earlier in life.
Perhaps they have. But nobody's perfect, and everyone changes over time. Everyone.

Your approach fails to account for the fact that people are not machines.



As others have noted, losing your second amendment rights isn't the only thing that happens with a felony conviction. You lose your right to vote in some states. Good luck getting certain types of security clearances, or getting certain types of licenses. You may lose your opportunity to obtain a student loan for college. Punishment is not limited to incarceration.
That may be, but RKBA is a fundamental core right. It derives from the right to self-defense, which derives from the right to life. Unless you wish to argue that all convicted felons should permanently forfeit their right to life (not necessarily their life, just their right to it), you cannot argue that all convicted felons should forfeit their right to keep and bear arms for life.



Turn the argument around -- why should convicted felons -- persons who have been shown to not be generally law-abiding (or, at a minimum, not law-abiding all of the time) be given all of the same rights as those who have, somehow, managed to avoid going through life without a felony conviction?
BECAUSE RIGHTS ARE NOT GIVEN. They are inherent in our existence. They are something we have by default.

No, you must argue why convicted felons should, specifically, have their RKBA permanently removed. Being a core right, it's your responsibility to provide hard evidence of both its necessity and its effectiveness. Unless you can provide both, you haven't a leg to stand on.



Maybe it is a bad idea, but I don't think that most people (maybe not most people on this board, but most people in general) would say that there are no benefits whatsoever.Then someone in favor of permanently stripping convicted felons from their RKBA should prove the necessity of the supposed benefits in question, show actual evidence of the supposed benefits, and prove that there is no other less restrictive way of achieving the same benefits.

Good luck with that.

USAFTS
06-15-2010, 4:32 PM
This whole discussion has made me think down a different path. With people convicted of a crime, we are comfortable removing some of their rights, freedom/ possible life itself, but we at least as a society seem to be very concerned with their rights being upheld as in being treated humanely, no cruel and unusual punishment etc. We've got laws and rules to cover other laws and rules and it just doesn't seem to fit very well. Why can't we as a nation go back to the basics of our country and rule by principle instead of law on top of law on top of law?

Because "the basics of our country" is individual freedom...and individual freedom is the diametric opposite of big government socialism. Our "representatives" have spent the last 200+ years slowly chipping away at those individual freedoms and growing us toward a social system. I agree that we NEED to return to basics...but until "The People" DEMAND their individual freedoms be restored, we are in a death spiral.

Sorry...The question went down a different path and my response took it even farther off topic.

macadamizer
06-15-2010, 5:10 PM
So for your argument here to hold water, you have to prove via evidence that the removal of 2A rights acts as a sufficient disincentive in its own right, independent of other laws to keep people who would, without such a restriction, violate the rights of others. But that's not all you have to argue. Read on...

I disagree. The recidivism rate suggests that incarceration is largely insufficient to deter future crimes -- yet we have no problem with denying what is likely a more important right -- freedom -- when someone is convicted. You seem to be looking past the idea that removal of second amendment rights is not simply safety, but is also punishment.

Our justice system isn't about deterrence, it's about punishment.



[...]

On the other hand, that restriction permanently removes RKBA from the subset of convicted felons who are and remain law-abiding.

So congratulations: just as with restrictions on RKBA against the general population, you have managed to punish the law-abiding without doing diddly against law-breakers.

Again, if you don't think there is any deterrence or safety reason -- which I disagree with -- you could still restrict the rights as further punishment for the crime.



[...]

Can't the same thing be said of the general population? The harder you make it for the general population to get firearms, the harder you make it for anyone, past history or no, to commit a crime with a firearm.

That is precisely the argument the anti-gunners use. It doesn't work for them and it doesn't work for you, either.

The two populations are different, and so have different restrictions. The argument that we law-abiding gun owners should be making -- and have been making -- is that having a gun does not turn a law-abiding citizen into a criminal. That's a good argument, fully supported by the facts.

The removal of rights is supposed to be temporary, unless it can be shown that the individual in question poses such a danger to society that society has no other choice for its own safety.

That's not the way our justice system is set up. Part of the denial of the right is to punish.

Core rights are supposed to be treated with the utmost care, and removed when there really is no other reasonable choice. That most definitely does not apply to the removal of RKBA from convicted felons who have been released back into society. You can't even show that removing their 2A rights makes any difference!

To the extent that the 2A right denial is punishment, there is no requirement to show that it "makes a difference." If 2A denial is simply a safety issue, then once SCOTUS makes the 2A subject to strict scrutiny, then you would probably have a good argument.

But denial of 2A rights is clearly not solely related to safety -- otherwise only violent felons would have their rights revoked, and non-violent felons wouldn't.

Except that almost anything can be a crime these days. As a member of this board, you of all people should know that.

Yet I, and everyone I know, has been able to steer clear of being convicted of a felony.

When you're talking about a core right, you have to do better than to be concerned that a given individual might do something bad with it. You have to show that removal of their right is necessary to achieve the legitimate goal in question and that it will actually do so.

If it's a punishment, we only have to show that the aggrieved party had his due process rights followed and that the punishment is not "cruel and unusual." If the removal of rights is solely for safety, and SCOTUS decides that 2A is subject to strict scrutiny, then your argument is correct.

Yes, and as we all know, our justice system never gets the wrong guy, or convicts him of the wrong crime, or convicts him of a crime that clearly shouldn't be a felony, or anything else... :rolleyes:

Like I said before, sucks to be the exception to the rule. But that's true with regard to any rule.

Frankly, I can't believe I'm arguing this with you. You're arguing that someone in New York State who is caught possessing a 17 round Glock magazine made after 1994 should permanently have his RKBA stripped???

No, I don't. But the argument shouldn't be "give violent felons their gun rights back," the argument should be limiting the types of felonies that end up restricting 2A rights -- or eliminating them from being crimes altogether.

That said, anyone who owns a gun should know that there are lots and lots of rules involved, and anyone who remains blissfully ignorant, or ignores the rules...



[...]

Perhaps they have. But nobody's perfect, and everyone changes over time. Everyone.

Your approach fails to account for the fact that people are not machines.

No, they are not machines. But choices have consequences.



[...]



See above. Yes, I realize I have changed the thrust of my original argument from safety to punishment -- I still believe the safety aspect is not as off as you do, but opinions can differ -- but I wanted to point out that there is a separate branch that fully supports the removal of 2A rights from felons without worrying about strict scrutiny (which isn't in play yet anyway for 2A).

hnoppenberger
06-15-2010, 5:20 PM
Machine gun ban and DD registration is unconstitutional. Founding fathers would be disgusted and argue with the theory that if better weapons exist, citizens should be allowed access to defend themselves with similarly advanced weapons.

Bill Carson
06-15-2010, 5:58 PM
it seems that an ex-cons 2a rights are secondary to the rights that they lose. the first is their freedom even after they are released whether they be on parole or probation. Even if they have served out their entire sentence they are still considered ex-cons and have restrictions. I do not care about their loss of freedom or constitutional rights for they have caused their own demise. There will always be "sons of disobedience" among the "sons of righteousness:.

postal
06-15-2010, 7:20 PM
Now as far as the police or government having a hard time stopping it from happening that was part of my point exactly. If part of the reason for the amendment was to protect states against tyrannical rule how would we stop such devestating power the government has if we the people or even a formal run "state militia" don't have something equal? Of course these are things I don't have real answers to just things that run through my mind and questions it creates.

Once again... thanks all for your kind and well considered remarks

This right here... is the ONE SINGLE thing in the HELLER ruling from Justice Scalia that I personally disagree with.

Most all of us, and the Supreme court, know we are talking about small arms- any arm that can be carried by a single person- A "SAW" may come later... but we generally are talking small arms. Not "special" or "unusual" weapons... Weapons commonly carried by modern soldiers.


I have the greatest respect for Justice Scalia- I read his argument twice.

He however, along with you- go to the issue of "overthrowing a tryannical govt" and *assume* this means that we as a revolutionary militia would have to defeat the modern well equipped US military.

This is where I say Justice Scalia, and you- and *most people* who think the same as you- are flat out wrong.

"Overthrow a tryannical govt"- Think about it.... the tryants in govt are the problem, and therefore the objective. To accomplish this objective.... where do you come up with the notion that we must defeat the US Military?

The military isnt the objective remember? Tyrant politicians are.

If a real, and organized revolution were to occur, I think it could happen and win, before the National Guard even deployed. Consider how long it took to get troops into New Orleans.

A VERY small handfull of US politicians are highly protected. The rest are not. If corrupt politicians were the targets of a revolution against tyrannical politicians.... Most of them would be easy pickings, and happen before any organized military movement.

Anyone want to doubt or debate this- I say read up on the "DC Sniper". One man, one juvinile and one rifle brought the ENTIRE DC area to a grinding halt for 20+ days. This domestic terrorist targeted innocent civilians. Look at his accomplishment though none of us agree with his actions and targets.

Now consider, a REAL revolution. Imagine just 200-300 well trained riflemen who went after tyrannical politicians. With 200-300 all sent after different targets...

How long would that take? How many tyrants would actually have to be killed before the rest went into hiding and govt as we know it completely ceased to function?

Much faster, easier, and far less bloodshed than most people care to admit...
In that scenario... what would I care about bombers, and nukes... and tanks... etc.?

As a militia, we need the same weapons as a typical soldier, including full auto M4's.

To revolt against a tyrannical govt... 200-300 people with scoped high-power rifles would work just fine.

bigstick61
06-15-2010, 8:43 PM
Um....so you would reduce the right to bear arms to a carefully-regulated privilege simply because you're not comfortable with the results the current system of laws produces?

Nope, read my post again. You entirely missed the point, which is obvious from your statement right here. Taking away rights as a punishment for committing crimes is the only way to punish criminals in any meaningful manner. This does not amount to carefully regulating rights in a manner like that of state-granted privileges. If taking away rights of those convicted of crimes is wrong, how do you propose to punish criminals in a meaningful manner? Or are you one of those anarchist types? I asked this question earlier and no one bothered to answer it.

An example of what I am talking about is the right to liberty, for example. To imprison someone for any length of time is to infringe upon this right. And yet for the majority of crimes this is quite justified. This can in some cases also be true for such restrictions unrelated to imprisonment. Imprisonment is hardly the only punishment that can be meted out for committing a crime. Things like flogging, RKBA or other restrictions for those in public (like those for sex offenders), probation/parole, death, community service, manual labor, house arrest, fines and forfeitures, the stocks (public embarassment), and even slavery (yes, this is not prohibited by the 13th Amend.) can all independently or in combination with each other be considered appropriate punishments for various crimes.

And it has nothing to do with being "uncomfortable" with the current results of the system. I'm not sure where the heck you got that idea.

If commission of a particular crime automatically implies that the person in question is so dangerous to society that it is too much of a risk for them to retain their right to keep and bear arms, and the sentence for the crime is such that they are released back into society despite the degree of danger they pose, then that means the sentence for the crime is insufficient. Fix that, and the "need" to restrict RKBA of otherwise free citizens goes away.

If you have a problem, you fix the problem. You don't "fix" some other "problem" as a bandaid on the original problem.


Again, you seem to have missed what I said. Read my post again. I recognized that people not getting serious enough sentences in regards to imprisonment or death is a problem. While we can largely fix this, it will never go away completely. Where a person is to be released to soon, it would not be inappropriate for a statutory part of the sentence (unless waived by the judge) to be loss of RKBA rights in some manner (and/or other rights) post-imprisonment. Again, punishment does not necessarily stop at imprisonment. Now, if a person has already been given too light a sentence, you cannot just go back and fix that and give them a harsher one. That itself would be unjust. What I am saying here is not saying after the fact that felons of some sort lose their RKBA, but that this has to be done at sentencing and for a good reason with its boundaries fully defined. If it is not done at sentencing, then it cannot be done, plain and simple.

Regardless, the entire reasoning process you employ above is flawed to the core. The "danger" in question is that the person who is released will commit another crime. If they are intent on doing that, no restriction on their right to keep and bear arms will stop them. If they're not intent on doing that then there is no danger. The end result is that it is pointless to remove an individual's right to keep and bear arms while simultaneously releasing them back into society, because nothing of practical value is gained. If you want sentences for additional crimes committed by someone after they've been released back into society to reflect the fact that they have prior convictions then fix the sentencing that way. Don't infringe on the rights of people who might violate the law later on just because you're uncomfortable with the possibility that they might commit further crimes.

However, if they are caught with arms, they can be sent back to jail where they belonged in the first place. Again, IMO this sort of punishment should be reserved for those convicted of more serious crimes, but who for one reason or another did not get the sentene they justly deserved. For most felonies, IMO this sort of restriction post-imprisonment is wholly inappropriate, and doing this ex post facto as has been done in our country is quite possibly even more inappropriate. This is true severalfold for those convicted of misdemeanors.

You stated I was uncomfortable, but maybe it is you who is unconfortable with punishment for crimes. Committ crimes and there are consequences, and no you will not like them, not one bit.

ETA: My above argument should look very familiar to you -- it's the very same argument we use against the anti-RKBA types who wish to strip law-abiding citizens of their arms because they fear those citizens might commit crimes with them. You can't have it both ways. Either that argument against the anti-RKBA types works in both cases (felon released into society and someone who hasn't committed a crime yet), or it works in neither. Take your pick.

Well, I think you completely missed the entire point of my argument and read into it things that were never there, using the strawman you built up as an example of my "flawed" argument.

kcbrown
06-16-2010, 2:47 AM
Nope, read my post again. You entirely missed the point, which is obvious from your statement right here. Taking away rights as a punishment for committing crimes is the only way to punish criminals in any meaningful manner. This does not amount to carefully regulating rights in a manner like that of state-granted privileges. If taking away rights of those convicted of crimes is wrong, how do you propose to punish criminals in a meaningful manner? Or are you one of those anarchist types? I asked this question earlier and no one bothered to answer it.


I'm not referring in the above to the temporary removal of rights. That is clearly necessary in order to effect any sort of meaningful deterrent at all and in order to give society some reprieve from those who infringe on the rights of others.

I'm referring to the permanent removal of rights. My apologies for not making that abundantly clear.

That said, even punishment must serve some sort of purpose. Otherwise, there would be no need to consider whether or not any given punishment is "cruel and unusual".

So the question naturally follows: what purpose does permanent removal of RKBA serve that some non-permanent punishment (e.g., jail terms) cannot?



Again, you seem to have missed what I said. Read my post again. I recognized that people not getting serious enough sentences in regards to imprisonment or death is a problem. While we can largely fix this, it will never go away completely.
No problem such as this will ever go away completely, thanks to our own imperfect nature.



Where a person is to be released to soon, it would not be inappropriate for a statutory part of the sentence (unless waived by the judge) to be loss of RKBA rights in some manner (and/or other rights) post-imprisonment.
So you propose that instead of setting up criminal legislation with appropriate penalties, we should use a potentially overbroad bandaid on it? Again, what purpose would that serve? As a deterrent? Please. As punishment? Again, that would be punishment only against someone who intends to be a law-abiding citizen.

What purpose does it serve to punish someone who intends to be a law-abiding citizen?



Again, punishment does not necessarily stop at imprisonment. Now, if a person has already been given too light a sentence, you cannot just go back and fix that and give them a harsher one.
Well, tough. Again, see the quote from Thomas Jefferson.

If you cannot stomach the consequences of erring on the side of freedom then you cannot truly be considered a supporter of freedom, for it means you only believe in freedom when it is convenient.




However, if they are caught with arms, they can be sent back to jail where they belonged in the first place.
How do you know jail is where they belong if all they are doing is exercising their (stripped) RKBA?

The answer is plain: you don't. You presume that any individual who has committed a felony deserves to have their RKBA stripped from them permanently, when the fact of the matter is that doing so serves no useful purpose except to make you feel better.

I'm sorry, but simply making you (and/or the rest of society) feel better is not sufficient justification for stripping an individual of their rights. There must be a greater purpose than that. Otherwise, one must conclude that you (and/or the rest of society) are simply interested in vengeance.




For most felonies, IMO this sort of restriction post-imprisonment is wholly inappropriate, and doing this ex post facto as has been done in our country is quite possibly even more inappropriate. This is true severalfold for those convicted of misdemeanors.
I most emphatically agree with this.

The only reason I think we disagree at all is that I perceive the sentence itself as the only legitimate punishment for the criminal. Any laws which apply only to convicted felons who have been released are discriminatory -- they discriminate against a well-defined class of people. That the people in question have committed a crime in the past is irrelevant, because they have served their sentence. Anything beyond that is inappropriate in my opinion, because it arises from a desire for vengeance, and not from a desire for justice. Justice is administered in the courts. It is inappropriate for it to be administered by the legislature.



You stated I was uncomfortable, but maybe it is you who is unconfortable with punishment for crimes. Committ crimes and there are consequences, and no you will not like them, not one bit.
No, I agree with you that crimes need punishment in order for there to be some deterrent and also for there to be some mechanism by which individuals who tread on the rights of others can be removed from society, even if only temporarily.

But I completely disagree that permanent removal of any core right is appropriate once someone has been released from prison. If they are such a danger to society, then they should stay in prison!



Well, I think you completely missed the entire point of my argument and read into it things that were never there, using the strawman you built up as an example of my "flawed" argument.Possibly. Is the above any better? I most certainly didn't intend to misread your argument.