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When you’ve paid off a debt, that debt is paid. Right? Not when that debt is a debt to society and you’re a convicted felon. When you’re convicted of any crime with a maximum penalty of more than 364 days in jail you’ll lose your rights to vote, serve on juries, and possess firearms. And you don’t usually get them back, even after you’ve served your time and paid your fines and complied with the terms of your probation.

United States Attorney General Eric ‘J. Edgar’ Holder thinks this is unfair for many felons. He wants their voting rights to be restored automatically, so they can vote Democratic. But what about their rights to possess firearms? . . . crickets . . .

You might not have much sympathy for felons, and in many cases you shouldn’t. Felonies used to mean serious crimes like murder, rape, robbery and arson. Anyone who commits such crimes against another person, IHMO, has permanently forfeited their right to be trusted with firearms.

But the vast majority of convicted felons have never committed these crimes, or ever committed serious violence against another person. As the power and reach of the state has grown, the list of federal and state felonies has ballooned to include thousands of victimless and purely regulatory crimes.

Most drug offenses are felonies, as are many tax offenses. Shipping an unloaded, lawfully-owned firearm through the U.S. mail can be a felony. Incorrectly answering a Form 4473 can be a felony, as can the possession of a single evil ‘assault weapon’ in the hoplophobic madworld of New York State.

Many state laws allow some provision for at least some convicted felons to restore their rights. In some states like my own, this remedy is very slow (seven years at a minimum) and restricted to certain nonviolent, first-time felons.

Eric Holder thinks this is a shame. But he doesn’t think the loss of all these rights is a shame: just that bit about voting. In a speech at Georgetown University Law Center on Tuesday, he called for the automatic restoration of felons’ voting rights.

“It is time to fundamentally reconsider laws that permanently disenfranchise people who are no longer under federal or state supervision.” Holder said, and we couldn’t agree more.

Little that the Obama administration does is not motivated by electoral politics, and Holder’s speech is no exception. This ‘get-out-the-vote’ campaign for felons is motivated solely by a desire to get more ex-cons to vote Democratic, but we think Holder’s proposal doesn’t go far enough.

For nonviolent offenders, and particularly for those convicted of victimless or regulatory offenses, there is no reason to deprive them of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms once they’ve served their sentence and paid their fines.

The Obama Administration disagrees, of course. Any excuse is a good excuse to ‘disenfranchise’ Americans of their right to possess firearms. And any way to create more Democratic voters is worth trying.

 

103 Responses to Eric Holder Proposes Restoring Felons’ Voting Rights. What About Their Other Constitutional Rights?

  1. I have no problem with this idea….so long as the more important, specifically enumerated rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights are given similar treatment.
    Granted, it takes no crystal ball to see the reasoning behind Holder’s idea.

    • The reasoning is crystal clear: To get more currently ineligible Democrats to vote, so they can demographically overwhelm the R party and become a permanent majority.

      • It’s a much lower rate and not everyone gets convicted of something violent. You really mean to tell me you see Martha Stewart as a threat to the safety of the general public? Or how about the Founding Fathers? They were all guilty of treason to England. How about the guy that sees some laptop unattended and swipes it 20 years ago and hasn’t committed anything violent in his life? They should all lose the right to bear arms for life? Where is that in the second amendment? And you realize by allowing the federal government to take away what’s an allegedly inalienable right you gave them the power to take it away from misdemeanor convicts, too. What’s to stop them from going after traffic violators? And how about all the people who are admitted felons but never got caught like GW Bush who admitted to using cocaine? How are they more trustworthy? because they’re better at getting away with felonies? How is that the measure of someone safe to have guns?

        Does it really matter why he wants to do this? gun rights are gun rights. You guys cry about losing the right to things like silencers and 30 round clips, etc claiming it’s an inalienable right, but then groups like the NRA lobby FOR stripping gun rights for life from ALL felons, some misdemeanor convicts, and some other people. You can’t say it’s a right that can’ be touched no matter what then say, “well, except for this guy, and her, and that guy over there.” Either it’s an absolute right or you admit the government has the right to restrict you in any way they see fit including banning them altogether. I know the weak argument some republicans make that the 14th Amendment allows the government to strip any Constitutional right for any reason by due process, but that means they can seize your house if they decide to put a highway through it and pay you ten cents on the dollar and you’ll say, “Thank you, Uncle Sam, can I please have it a little deeper?” Right? You do realize if you ever copied a single movie, downloaded a song or movie without paying for it, or photocopied anything copyrighted ever in your life each time you did it that was a felony, right? Can you imagine losing the right to protect your family’s life over copying a movie? Some people HAVE lost that right for stupid reasons like that and some of you fools actually say “They got caught, that proves they shouldn’t have guns.” YOU people are the enemies of the state.

  2. I say if you’ve paid your debt to society you should receive full rights including firearm ownership and a chance at jobs. Most of the time when you have repeat offenders it is because they can’t get a job, place to live, or a chance by people.

    • I must echo this statement. If we entrust a felon to be back into society he should come back with all rights, otherwise why bring them back at all if they have not served their due time and learned their lesson?

        • Back in the olden days they hung thieves, rapist, and murderers by torchlight and pitchforks. Child molestors should be done the same. You can’t be reinstated rights if you’re dead in a perfect world.

        • NO! Toss the key…

          Irregardless of ahhh errrrr ahhhh National origin affiliation. or legal status… I smell a 1A censor moderator now. Obama/Holder, another, is that you?

        • Pedophiles and other perpetrators of sex-fetish crimes are different from your average felon. It has been well documented that even after serving their mandated sentence for the particular crime they were caught and convicted of committing the psychosis that compels them to commit such crimes greatly increases the risk of recidivism and no known treatment is effective in ensuring they do not re-offend. Their’s is a crime of compulsion and psychological satisfaction, not of economics or even sociology such as gang-affiliation or drug culture.

          It is precisely for this reason that many states have enacted laws that treat sexual offenders differently and allow or even require their registration and publication of their residence.

          There is an argument here frequently as to whether these people, given the nature of their psychosis, should be “granted” their 2A rights on release. To that I respond that the government has no power or authority to “grant” or return a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right. If they are still considered to be a serious threat to society then they should be under some form of incarceration under which their RKBA can be restricted. If they are released to the street and feel the need for a defensive weapon they will find a way to obtain one, whether or not they have the “legal” right to carry. And if more law-abiding people also carried they would be more likely when confronted in the commission of their next crime to be shot down like the rabid dogs they are. Sorry, is that over the top?

          The state cannot protect you from mentally damaged vermin such as this except in the rare cases they are actually captured and convicted, and then only for the short while they are actually incarcerated. Your safety and the defense of your women and children is and must be with you and your neighbors, not the state that is hamstrung by its own confining legalities.

        • Cliff H, I agree with what you said. Your answer would pretty much be my answer. I just wondered to what extent this rights renewal thing extended.

        • Pedophilia is universally considered as incurable and irredeemable.

          As such, it is literally in a class by itself. But not restoring voting and 2A rights to them seems rather pointless, doesn’t it?

        • Pedophilia is a mental disease and should be treated as such (i.e. patient isolated unless and until cured – and if that never happens, well…)

        • Not only is there no recognized “cure”, but it’s widely believed that there can be no cure. I’m not going to go that far, but it may well be true. There seems to be no record of anyone being “cured”.

    • American exceptionalism is not about your country’s healthcare system (there are other mixed public-private systems), or gun control (less strict than some U.S. states, in other countries), but two other things: the lack of voter ID requirements (and those crazy, Rube Goldberg voting machines), and the lifetime scarlet letter of a conviction for an indictable offense/felony. Even in Canada, a person convicted of an indictable offense can get a Possession and Acquisition License after five years.

      • Darn Canuck liberals! 😉

        Seriously, just or unjust, the stigma of being an ex-con (or between cons) is a very real problem, and being a hard-ass about it contributes to the myriad problems a paroled con faces upon parole or completion of sentence.

        If you can’t see this, you are part of the problem! Everyone but the really violent monsters should be given an opportunity to begin again.

        A couple times, anyway.

  3. I doubt this motion has much traction on Capitol Hill, and I really hope it doesn’t gain any at least until Ovomit is out of office.

  4. My feeling is that if a person cannot be trusted with being able to purchase and use firearms, then they really can’t be trusted in society without them. Conversely, if we *can* Trust them to live in society, which they should be if our justice system is truly effective, then we should have no reason to deny them their rights.

    • People will get all huffy and puffy about this, of course. They will say “you want a felon to own a gun!?”
      We will say “you want a person who you wouldn’t trust with a gun to be able to vote?!” They will look at us like we’re crazy because they don’t trust ANYONE with a gun. The beat goes on.

      • I would reverse that, why would you trust some one with the awesome power of a vote if you would not trust them with a gun.

        • Bingo! Reverse it with: You trust the felon to vote for the guy with the nuclear football, but not have a gun? How enlightening.

  5. Felons definitely should have their rights restored after their sentence has been served. As you point out in the article, any discrepancy between restoring voting rights and gun rights would be a logically indefensible position for the DOJ, and could be leveraged by the right court case to repeal yet another unconstitutional provision of the Gun Control Act of 1968.

  6. I agree that there are lots of BS felonies. A hit and run with any injury – even the most minor complaint of pain – is a felony. It could be a legitimate lack of communication.

    I’ll say this though: restoring the rights of felons is absolutely at the bottom of my list. Our justice system is a mess, and these minor crimes listed above (the victimless ones) should not even be felonies. As to the rapists, violent felons, etc., I have no desire for their rights to be restored. Let’s face it, they’ll vote for Democrats and other dirtbags.

    I do stand for the 2nd exactly as written, I just realize that a lot of work must be done to restore the US to the society that the Founding Fathers intended. If we actually put people in jail for serious crimes only, then matters would be much simpler. We’d actually have the jail space to keep violent dirtbags locked up (or executed), and we’d all be better off for it.

    As it is, statism and rampant law making are strangling the essential freedoms that were once the hallmark of our nation. We are weaker for it.

  7. If you serve your time your rights should be fully restored.

    If you’re too dangerous to have those rights restored, you shouldn’t be out of prison – or maybe even alive.

        • Yes. Theory, meet reality. Also, lots of dirtbags are never even incarcerated in the first place because juries are largely populated by morons.

          Violent felons haven’t served a damn thing. Prison costs are roughly $26-$35 K / year from your taxpayer money.

  8. Holder is taking a page of the DNC playbook in Puerto Rico (yes, I know. Roll your eyes if you must, but read on). Felons in PR are not only allowed to vote but all prisioners can (and are expected to)vote while still in jail. What this has created is a political subdivision into which every election, local politicians meet with the penal sector leaders (kingpins) and negotiate privileges and other leverages for their votes. Then said leaders coerce their fellow gang members into voting for the highest bidder. The total number of inmates is about 17,000. Which represents a significant portion of votes in a contested election. It was touted as a progressive marvel of the rehabilitation process. But you may know by now, that Puerto Rico is a sinking sailship of failed liberal policies.

    • OK ayyy +1

      I’ve heard similar stuff from PR members in the Army during my days in .. Not good stuff. Kinda like down south, stay in the tourist areas and then ya not safe.mon.

  9. Once you commit a felon, you lose your rights. Simple as that. Do not commit the crime if you can not handle the consequences.

    • Yeah, losing some civil rights (sometimes permanently) is part of the punishment. I would be willing to consider some restoration of rights in exceptional cases, or if some of the “comforts” of prison life (gym, cable, conjugal visits, etc. etc) were discontinued. Aside from all that, losing the vote is part of the deal. Simply doing the time should not guarantee a restoration of all rights.

      But the reality is it’s just a Democrat vote grab.

      • Col. I worked for the state of Iowa, at the Iowa State Penitentiary, for 20 years. The punishment for Iowa felons, was being locked up. TV’s, the gym, and hobby craft, are used as an incentive to behave. If they are disruptive, they will end up in some level of lockup. It is much easier t run a penitentiary with the inmates, in general population and working at a job. The last 13 years at ISP. I worked in Iowa Prison Industries, and I had face to face confrontation with several inmates. After each face off I had inmates tell me “we had you covered in anything happened” . If an inmate had no sex offences, or drug offences, I can see them getting another chance.

        • The equation of sex offenses with drug offenses makes absolutely no sense. Excluding armed robbery from the same category as sex offenses vis a vis rights restoration makes no sense to me either.

          All the so called drug offenses were no offense at all until some 20th century politicians decided to run with a brown-people panic. Selective charging and prosecution for drug offenses is standard practice.

          Example: VP Dick Cheney’s physician at GW Hospital was caught illegally obtaining synthetic opiates to feed a $57,000/year habit-addiction. Punishment? Roughly nada. A 22-year-old on the block caught growing a common weed, cannabis, in his house? 5 years or more in state prison.

          Law-enforcement and prison unions love to equate serious crime with drug crimes, for obvious reasons: They get credit for lots of “serious crime” busts and lots of business. Alcohol producers love the idea that DUI-Cannabis is equated with DUI-Drunk. It is totally absurd, but I don’t think Seagram’s or Drunks will agree.

          I’m not for drugs. I’m against the felony label and prison time for possessory offenses.

      • ^This.

        It’s funny that some of the guys who always shout “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED MEANS SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!!!!!” in all the other posts don’t seem to give a shit about the fact that anyone who exercises a little 2nd amendment civil disobedience would lose their rights too.

    • Where exactly is it written in the Constitution, again? Seeing how every time a new law comes that limits 2A, the favorite comment that is reposted ad infinitum around here is “shall not be infringed”…

    • What you and other people who support you miss is that if this excuse stands, then you are basically giving the government a carte blanche to strip you and any other citizen of any constitutional rights whatsoever. All they need to do is pass a law that makes something trivial that you do every day a felony. And, bam! No 2A rights. And while we’re at it, if 2A can be stripped away like that, why not 1A? 4A?

    • Please, please, PLEASE!

      L. Neil Smith: “The freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and Constitutional right — subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility.”

      Since the government did not “give” you the right to keep and bear arms and is prohibited from infringing on that right it is a logical impossibility for the government to “restore” the right to keep and bear arms. Q.E.D.

      The very most the government can accomplish is to convict you of a crime under the judicial system and incarcerate you for a period of time during which they will do their very best to restrict your RKBA. Even in their wildest dreams they cannot take away or repeal completely this right since even prisoners will find some way to buy, steal, smuggle or manufacture whatever arms they can, even while incarcerated. Once out from under constant supervision there is NO LAW or threat that can or will prevent them from tooling up if that is what they desire.

      The Second Amendment is in place to protect our right FROM the government and has absolutely nothing to do with what the government thinks is or is not a good idea.

  10. Felons do not “pay off a debt”. That phrase has no legal significance. They are punished for a crime. From before the Founders onward, the insane and convicted felons have been barred from the ownership of arms. If you want your rights back as a convicted felon, then every state has a pardons board or a process by which rights can be restored by the executive. Violent felons, at least, should NEVER have their rights restored. Anglo-American courts have always recognized that most inherent rights may be lost by volitional illegal action. If this is not so, then we could not Constitutionally have the death penalty b/c the convicted murderer has an “inalienable right to life…” according to the Declaration. If the right to life can be forfeited by the intentional, illegal killing of a human being, then other rights can be taken for just cause and with due process. The violent felon has demonstrated his willingness to compel others to his will and just b/c he’s spent time in jail for it does not “make up for” what he’s done, it’s merely the due consequences of his actions. It is a deterrent for some to know they will lose these rights. For violent felons, who are not deterred by such considerations (of losing the right), it becomes a sepate crime which acts as both a deterrent and a sentence enhancement that puts them away longer for their next crime. Finally, don’t give me , “Well, if he hasn’t learned his lesson, don’t let him out!” First, no one short of God knows whether someone has “learned his lesson”. This government that doesn’t think you’re smart enough to own a gun- you will trust to say when you’ve corrected your attitude? A thousand years of Anglo-American law has decided on proportional sentencing, i.e. “Let the punishment fit the crime.” You really want to tell me a litterbug should stay in jail until we KNOW he’ll never litter again? Or we can just do what they did before proportional punishment and the prison system- make everything a crime punishable by either a fine or the death penalty(which you could get in 18th century England for stealing a loaf of bread). Criminally violent people will be criminally violent when and where it suits them. Giving them back the ability to legally keep and bear arms is folly.

  11. When you’ve paid off a debt, that debt is paid. Right?

    Right. So when has any felon EVER paid restitution to his victim?

    What was that? Speak up. Did you say NEVER?

    Thought so.

    The only reason that Holder wants to restore felons’ voting rights is that there are a lot of potential Democrat voters in prison. Where they should be. We can only hope that some day Holder will be among them.

  12. Once you’ve paid your fines, spent your time in jail/prison, complied with the conditions of parole/probation, you should have all rights restored immediately. If you’re deemed to dangerous to vote or possess firearms you shouldn’t be free.

      • Devil’s Advocate:

        Victim? You mean the guys that called me day and night for decades looking for coke? Or the shmucks who gave me their life savings to invest in sketchy “derivatives?” Last time I checked, those f*ckers owed ME money.

  13. Before we deal with if/when felons get their rights back (which should be subject to some sort of probation period) it’s much more critical, and possibly more achievable, to properly define what should constitute a felony to begin with. In my opinion, one core requirement should be that it must be a crime against another individual, not the state.

      • I would be surprised if you did not think the demarcations of misdemeanor and felony do not need reworking. While the “victimless crime” moniker is often misused, would you really leave possessory drug offenses as felonies? Lying to a federal cop when not under oath? Draining 10 square yards of swamp not knowing it was protected? I think the current word ‘felony’ is meaningless in fact: A sentence of a year-and-a-day used to be rare. Today it is almost common. Statutes are written to allow a longer sentence just to rationalize the ‘felony’ label, even for offenses for which a long sentence is almost never ordered. To tell me someone “is a felon” is to tell me almost nothing.

  14. Chris Dunn,

    You have proof that felons would vote Democratic, or is that just your opinion? Cause I’m thinking that white collar felons will probably vote Republican. Of course, I’m stating that as my opinion and not as a fact.

    • These are not just my opinions. I work in prisons and in criminal justice, where a disproportionate number of defendants and prisoners are minority members. Minorities vote overwhelmingly Democratic in most areas of the country.

    • Many of the white collar felons are Democrats, too. I know that because of their political contributions, which are public record.

  15. Why the hell do so many people here want to arm convicted felons? This kind of nonsense is only going to help the antis. They have a consistent message. Misguided, but consistent.

    • I don’t know if we want it, that is to say, I don’t know if it is the desire of our hearts, but I am in favor of it simply because it is the right thing to do. The message is consistent: free people have the right to arm themselves.

      Unless you want to take the stance that the debt to society is never fully paid, which I can understand as well.

      • No, I don’t want felons rights restored. However, too many things are now considered felonies. Violent crimes that destroy another persons rights should be treated as felonies. Murder, kidnapping, rape, etc should qualify. Tex evasion, no. A murderer may serve 20 years and be released, fine, but I don’t want him voting or toting a glock.
        Also isn’t funny how the demos keep pushing to have illegals and felons added to their voting block. Seems like desperation. Come 2016 I hope it is.

        • If LPR’s that’s (Legal Permanent Residents (for censors)) can’t vote then hard felons should not. Pulling / negating constitutional rights due to a hard core felony must be like, non / modest constitutional rights to a LPR et-al in and of a sense..

    • “Why the hell do so many people here want to arm convicted felons? This kind of nonsense is only going to help the antis.”

      Adherence to the letter and intent of the Second Amendment is itself enough to “help the antis”. If we do something or do not do something then the antis will either use that against us or invent something else and spin it against us. You cannot win by appeasing your sworn enemies.

      It is important that we stay consistent in our convictions regardless of how that may get MDA’s panties in a bunch. But no one here is saying we want to arm felons. What we are attempting to explain is that the government, per the precise wording of the Second Amendment, has no authority to “take away” the 2A rights of anyone, felon or not. Further, as in the commission of the crime(s) that resulted in the felony conviction, no amount of legislation is going to cause a criminal to voluntarily relinquish his natural, civil and Constitutionally protected RKBA if he feels the need or desire to obtain and carry a weapon.

      The insurmountable problem in even entertaining the idea that the government has the authority to restrict or remove the 2A rights of any citizen undermines the very CORE of the Second Amendment, “…shall not be infringed.” If you grant that they can maybe, occasionally, just in this instance, infringe on the RKBA, then there is no logical point at which you can put that genie back in the bottle.

  16. Most people seem quite opposed to restoring voting rights after someone has served the full terms of their punishment, so I don’t see this effort going anywhere.

    Just a thought, but if your Rights can be permanently revoked, are they really Rights at all? Seems many are okay with having State Granted Privileges in place of Rights. As long as you don’t step outside the State’s defined lines, you can keep your Privileges. It can get tricky to keep your toes inside the lines when the State moves them in sudden knee jerk reactions.

  17. One of my comments will be very partisan. They want to give them back their voting rights so they will vote across democrat party lines. Secondly, you are correct why only the voting rights? Why not the rest of them?

  18. The great majority of felonies today are malum prohibitum, not malum in se, and have nothing to do with violence against another person. Lifetime prohibition on firearms or ammunition possession by ex-felons, is a 20th century construct. Just as record checks for firearms purchase are a product of the 20th century.

    Consider how your support for lifetime firearm prohibition for any violation with the possibility of a 1 year sentence, acts as the base for virtually all gun control laws. Gun control laws, that most here will agree, have no real effect on violent crime.

  19. Let me put this in a different light for discussion here-

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/holder-state-laws-bar-felons-voting-are-too-unjust-tolerate

    “Such “outdated” laws have a “disparate impact on minority communities,” he said, suggesting that this is, at heart, a civil rights issue.

    Of the 5.8 million Americans who cannot vote because of current or previous felony convictions, 2.2 million are black, Holder noted.

    “And although well over a century has passed since post-Reconstruction states used these measures to strip African Americans of their most fundamental rights, the impact of felony disenfranchisement on modern communities of color remains both disproportionate and unacceptable.”

    Now setting aside the question everyone else is discussing about whether or not felons should be able to vote or bear arms, does anyone else find it somewhat offensive that he’s basically saying the problem is racism?

  20. He’s just doing that because he’s afraid that Immigration Reform/Amnesty/NAFTA II won’t go through. The Dems will need all the votes they can buy get this year.

  21. We all know what this is really about. Look at the figures of those incarcerated. Any question about which way they’ll vote? You just grabbed another huge block of democrat voters.

  22. Until recently you could petition the FBI to get your right to own firearms reinstated after you had served your sentence. Not too long after the FBI illegally pushed the firearm background checks off on the ATF (look it up, the law forbids them to do that), the ATF said they didn’t have the money and would process the petitions when they got around to it. Which means never. These forms were also supposed to reinstate the rights to people who were committed to an institution and then later cleared by a doctor.

    They still have the forms, and you can still submit one. But as of some time in the late 90’s they’ve done absolutely zero.

  23. “Of the 5.8 million Americans who cannot vote because of current or previous felony convictions, 2.2 million are black…”

    So, holder admits that although blacks/negroes/African-Americans or only about 18% of the population they comprise 38% of convicted felons. And we know through polling that approximately 95% of blacks vote Democrat. I hardly think this can be attributed to racism on the part of the judicial system.

  24. Chris, unless you are speaking of one felon only (“felon’s”), the correct usage is “felons'”.

    I taught my third-grade grandson how to use apostrophes (NOT “apostrophe’s”). Do you need my help with this one?

    One can learn the difference in less than five minutes. I suggest you look it up online. Everybody should be able to do right by their native tongue.

    I don’t mean to be cruel. This epidemic of lack of knowledge did not exist in my heyday.

  25. Serving a prison sentence does NOT repay a “debt to society”.

    A rapist cannot “unrape” their victim. A murderer cannot “unmurder”.

    When a con finishes their prison term, all it means is that they are out and about to offend again.

    Someone who rapes, robs, or murders should NEVER be allowed to have a say in who gets elected to public office.

    Now, the other side of that coin is that we call too many non-violent crimes felonies. That needs to change also.

    • “Mirders”. DAMN. You’re not worthy of consideration. Is a drug offender automatically a rapist? A robber? A MURDERER?

      I sincerely hope criminal law is kind to you, because you can’t conceive of yourself being inadvertently on the wrong side of the law.

      Laws make criminals, and unjust laws make unjustly-incarcerated prisoners.

      Best of luck.

  26. Precedent. Isn’t that what’s important in common law systems?
    So the precedent has already been set that US citizens can be deprived of the right to bear arms (amongst others), therefore it follows that the rights of all other citizens are more at risk and it is in their interest to defend the rights of those who have had them taken away for liking legally unnacepatable drugs or whatever.
    Obviously those crims who hurt or robbed people are a lot more difficult morally, shades of grey and all that.
    Have I understood this right? I’m British but we still have the remains of a common law system here, (what Europe allows us at least).

  27. Is voting a right? It seems to me that we have always had restrictions on voting. When the constitution was ratified, the franchise was restricted to male landowners, was it not? It’s only been a hundres years or so that women have been allowed to vote.

    We consider 18 to be the age of adulthood and consent, but until 1972 you had to be 21 to vote.

  28. Thanks for reminding me why partisan politics is so disgusting. Half of the commenters here are up in arms solely because “those felons mostly vote Democrat” – as if that has some bearing on their rights and freedoms. Of course, if the law would only be restricted to gun-related offenses (say, a felony of possessing a “hi-cap” magazine in Cali), the same people here would be cheering it and exalting its virtues and common sense approach.

  29. What a lot of people here won’t own up and say os MANY of the folks,that lose their rights as convicted felons are MINORITIES( its easier,”wink, wink” to say they are Democrats!) And sadly many rightwinger are dismissive of FACTUAL statistics that minorities are given disportionately HIGHER sentences than their white counterparts for like crimes!( so much for a fair and equal justice system)

    Many are convicted of low grade felonies like small quantity drug possession charges, or property( non violent) crimes. And ojce convicted they lose their rights( can’t even get a passport as a convicted felon:

    That,cuts to the heart of the problem many that post here rant and spew anti liberal views but fail to admit the conservatives have ALSO failed this nation too( the same companies that are exporting jobs and raw materials overseas for production also fund a BOATLOAD of GOP and conservative politicians!!) People keep ranting about,cutting taxes, but pur national tax rate is LOWER than it has been in decades, yet spending for upkeep of our nation continues to rise, with less revenue, amdajpr companies are dping employees onto welfare lines, while getting rightwing( and a fair amount of leftwing politicos to give them corporate welfare as well as cut their corporate taxes

    Simple equation, no jobs ,no tax base, no clean water, decent roads, decent schools, fire or police protection( which some here seem to want, cause it means they can go about “heeled” and “fix” every problem with a bullet).

    No jobs mean desperate people, means burglaries, drug sales, purse snatchings, and that means,more felons. We are in a bad situation. While we have to punish crime, we,seem to no longer believe in the rehabilitation part. Many felons can’t get jobs even at McDonalds,

  30. I’m classified as a felon because I had over three duis ,I never hurt any one nor was there ever and accident I just drank too much and was miserable in a relationship due to an insecure and evil female. I take responsablity for myself. I fix cars for a living and spent most of those years learning/knowing automobiles. None of dui ‘s was initiated with suspicion of DUI, is was stupid shit like no tail light and California stop. In a small town didn’t take very long and police had me in their sites. Anyway my bad “stupid kid” I did my time 19 months and got out “expired” meaning done, no p&p about 6 months after that I realized I didn’t want to be that guy anymore . I had to separate from my girl who I still lusted and loved but I felt that I was starting down the same path. In fortunately my relationship with my daughter suffered most I had to stay away. Sadley I’m a quail hunter since I was ten and now I can’t have my guns , its been 15 year but from everything I’ve found getting mybrecords sealed is a waste of money because its still seen by law enforcement . I think this year I’m going to buy a hunting license and just do it abiding by all the rules as I always had years ago. Its situations like mine I think I should have a right to hunt with my shotgun without harassment. I’ll find out soon enough hope I don’t become a felon again doingbeing who I am “a quail hunter”

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