English poet Sir Walter Scott famously wrote, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave. When first they practice to deceive.” Translation: liars spin a disorganized web of lies designed to entrap their victims. Note: most if not all of these webs start with something simple, a lie that requires little to no explanation. It’s the Jews’ fault! The rich are robbing the middle class! We’re going to make America great again! We can eliminate “gun violence” if we ban dangerous people from owning guns! Yeah, about that . . .

On its face, d’uh. Bad people shouldn’t have guns. They can use them to hurt innocent people. Who can’t get their head around that simple idea?

Leaving aside the fact that disarming bad people is a virtually impossible task, how do we decide who’s too dangerous to keep and bear arms? It’s all very well and good to say “we” all agree that “bad people” shouldn’t have guns, but “we” don’t all agree on what constitutes a bad guy.

As I’ve pointed out before, gun control advocates argue that we — you, me, everyone — are all bad guys. Well, potential bad guys. Any one of us could lose control of ourselves, pick up a gun and harm someone. This idea, of course, flies in the face of reality; tens of millions of Americans own guns throughout their entire lives without ever harming a soul. “Even” the ones who carry guns on their person.

Gun control advocates adopt this position both from personal projection (i.e., they project their own inability to control themselves onto the general population) and their desire to further their disarmament agenda. If no one can be trusted with a gun — police and military excepted — no one should have a gun.

Backing off from that, proponents of civilian disarmament attempt to popularize their cause by creating a list of Americans who “we can all agree” shouldn’t have guns. Specifically, domestic abusers, terrorists, the mentally ill and convicted criminals.

We’ve written about the antis’ campaign to disarm domestic abusers, pointing out that their definition includes people accused of domestic abuse, thus violating their Constitutional right to due process (i.e., they’re guilty until proven innocent). And the antis’ failure to acknowledge the advantages of arming potential or actual victims of domestic abuse.

We’ve highlighted the antis’ efforts to disarm Americans on the government’s secret, notoriously inaccurate, unconstitutional “Terrorist Watch List.” A list that can be expanded at Uncle Sam’s whim to include anyone, for any reason, without a transparent removal process. The antis’ willingness to label the NRA as a terrorist organization indicates their lack of restraint in this regard.

We’ve shone a light on the antis’ desire to expand the concept of “mentally ill” to disarm veterans, people suffering from depression and people who’ve overcome mental illness. The large number of Americans who take anti-depressants — estimated to be one in ten — indicates the dangers posed by this unconstitutional strategy.

Which brings us to the low-hanging fruit of gun control: convicted criminals.

The average American supports the concept of banning guns from convicted criminals implicitly. If someone has shown themselves to be a “bad person” by their actions, they shouldn’t have access to a firearm. Whether or not they can be prohibited, they should be prohibited. No further thought required.

The efficacy of this gun control law — for that is what it is — has never been proven. In fact, the idea that banning guns from convicted criminals reduces “gun violence” is an obvious fallacy. Criminals get guns. Period. You could argue that banning felons from firearms gives police and prosecutors leverage to remove “bad guys” from society. Our revolving door justice system renders that moot.

The antis have seized on a recent case in North Dakota to assert that felons should be permanently banned from keeping and bearing arms: A Violent Felon Gets Back His Gun Rights, Then Fatally Shoots a Police Officer. What The Trace and the mainstream media don’t consider: many states permanently remove the gun right of non-violent offenders, men and women convicted of felony drug offenses (for example).

Also missing: any mention of the thousands of violent and non-violent felons who’ve had their gun rights restored who don’t commit further crimes. Rights they can use to protect themselves, their families and their community. More importantly, there is no discussion of felons’ Constitutionally protected gun rights in general.

Do convicted felons surrender their Constitutionally protected right to free speech, free assembly and due process after they’ve paid their debt to society? They do not. Nor should they. But their Second Amendment protected right to keep and bear arms are treated differently. They’re an exception. Why? Because felons are inherently dangerous.

This is unquestionably true. A convicted felon is far more likely to commit a crime than a non-criminal member of the general population, whether they’ve served time for murder, drug possession, fraud or any other crime. But, as the Supreme Court’s Heller decision affirmed, the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right. The government can’t cancel an American’s gun rights simply because he or she falls into a “high risk” group. At least in theory.

In practice, more than half of these United States enable gun rights restoration for convicted felons. Some of these states’ laws are less onerous than others. North Dakota, for example, automatically restores felons’ gun rights if they stay out of trouble for ten years. A law that allegedly led to the horrific death of Officer Moszer.

Riddle me this: does society’s interest in protecting itself from felons as a group outweigh an individual felon’s right to keep and bear arms? The antis would say yes, without question. What say you?

117 Responses to The Riddle of Gun Rights Restoration

      • No it’s not. A vasectomy is a medical procedure. A hysterectomy is a medical procedure. These are voluntary medical procedures. The life in the womb did not volunteer to be killed.

      • Kind of funny how you invoked the damnation of God on a ‘medical procedure’ used to kill a human child.

      • There are lots of ways to kill someone that you could label a “medical procedure”. A rose by any other name…

      • Oh yes abortion……yet another of the liberals free passes to remedy them of their poor decision making skills. Just like short / no prison terms for criminals and high wages / low taxes for lazy inept individuals. Don’t want to get out of bed? No problem! We’ll take care of you with unemployment, medicare, etc. Drug charge? it’s not your fault! Treatment for you. Can’t protect yourself or your family? We’ve got you covered! Fucked someone you don’t care for and are now pregnant? It’s not really a person. We’ll kill it for you!!! It all comes down to individual responsibility. We take it for our guns, our lives, and every decision we make. They want a free ride. This is why I’ll be voting for whoever wins the G.O.P. ticket. Even if I don’t care for them….sigh.

      • SgTexas>Some of us prefer the term “baby murder”. I ASSume you were in your mommy’s womb at one time? Aren’t you glad she didn’t “procedure” you out of existence?

        • I honestly don’t care given how crummy things are for hundreds of millions of people. I’m thankful to be alive but you can’t justify something using emotions.

        • Gee Sg-I married my kids mother 42 years ago. He’s alive and doing well. Not an abstract idea in my world. Troll somewhere else…

      • Yes indeed, puncturing the skull of a live and viable baby and having to suck it’s brain out to kill it, a medical procedure. You should give that a try for yourself! I’m sure it would improve your cognizant abilities.

        • @jwm: Actually, no it’s actually evolution in action. Selecting against those who would limit their reproduction.

        • There are a (very) few arguments that can be made in support of abortion in limited and specific instances. The greatest argument to be made for abortion in general is that for the most part it prevents people like SG and other Progressives from reproducing themselves. Imagine the trouble our country would be in with an additional 50 million Liberals approaching voting age.

      • Lethal Injection is technically a medical procedure too. But everyone knows it’s VERY different than a simple medical procedure. How about euthanasia? Just a medical procedure, right? Turning off life support is just a medical procedure. What’s the big deal? I’m thinking that it’s not so simple–from various perspectives.

      • Baby killer. If you didn’t think you could raise a kid right then KEEP YOUR DAMN PANTS ZIPPED.

        PS you are DOUBLE FOS cause you used some cultual marxist “reasoning” of “medical procedure” when in honesty you just have no self control.

        Why don’t you admit it, you go along with the feminazi BS that a baby IS JUST A PARASITE.

        What else is in your bag of tricks? Open borders? Sodomite marriage? OH I KNOW, allow illegals to vote, AND let felons have guns.

        Suck a barrel.

    • According to Roe v. Wade, abortion kills no one. An unborn child, even one who is moments from a healthy, viable birth, is not a person. He or she is not a member of “We the People” and is afforded none of the rights or protections thereof. Of course, there is no Constitutional basis for that but they found one somewhere, while completely ignoring the 9th and 10th Amendments.

      • There is a long legal and religious tradition behind it. In the Bible, and in Orthodox Jewish tradition, an unborn child is not a human being until birth, not getting its soul until it takes its first breath. Miscarriages then, and in many places to this day, were common. I have not studied the reasons for this stance, but I am sure it has to do with the fate of unsanctified souls (who of course can never enter the Kingdom of Heaven)–without a soul, a miscarried fetus suffers no such fate. Which is why many sickly babies were baptized at birth in Christian tradition so that their souls could go to heaven. This religious tradition carried over into the law; the death of an unborn fetus or embryo was not classified as a homicide (in the US) until late in the 20th century.

        • Soooo, a SCOTUS ruling is based on religious dogma and folklore, instead of deferring to the highest authority in the land: The People, as the 10th Amendment says. Why do you think the 9th and 10th Amendments are even there?

        • Stop mixing up how Orthodox rabbis explain what constitutes a soul with permission to abort FOR CONVENIENCE.

          That does NOT exist in religious Judaism

    • It’s ok to suck a babies brain out under the pretense of the term “medical procedure” – it’s just not ok to kill them with a gun.

      It’s called legislating irresponsibility and immoral acts masked by a facade called “women’s rights.”

    • This line of argument, right or wrong, is a waste of words. The two are unrelated and should not be linked.

      If we somehow outlaw all abortion, would we then, decide its cool to repeal the 2nd amendment and send police door to door to pickup all the guns?

      …guessing no.

      • Unrelated but parallel. Abortion has been settled law for over 40 years. Pro-Life dominant legislatures still pass laws to place limits on when and where it can be done. Pro-Choice proponents still argue about rights infringed.

        If SCOTUS affirmed tomorrow everything POTG believe, it would not end restrictive laws and infringements. There would still be many new antigun laws and court battles. Still. Always. Until the next civil war. Individual Liberty against Statist Collective.

    • Please think about the 36m abortions. Who had them? Why?

      No, the zygote was not given a choice, but for the most part, there was no thought put into the process of mixing these chemicals. No forward thinking at all, and the ramifications of immediate gratification.

      Do you really think your life, the state of the country, and your tax burden would be better with 36m addition unwanted potentially uncared for children running around?

      His Holiness the Dalai Lama said the only way to prevent a person from suffering…is to NOT create them.

  1. HA! so restoring gun rights is bad because felons might kill someone? Kinda like all the felons killing peopld with illegal guns anyway? What is the problem here? Sustaining hypocrisy out of fear to prevent something that happens anway is stupid. Full stop.

    • Since there is a great deal of discussion lately that due to rampant government regulation each person commits up to three felonies EVERY DAY, allowing that government to use conviction of a felony as an excuse to revoke your Constitutionally protected RKBA is ridiculous. All they have to do is either begin prosecuting their political enemies for one of the thousands of felonies on the books, or write another law turning some misdemeanor into a felony and there you go…

      If you agree that the government has the authority to create, maintain and enforce a list of persons who, in the opinion of the very government the Second Amendment was intended to protect us from, may not exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, how will you keep your name off of that list?

      The solution is the intent of the Second Amendment itself – when all people have the right to keep and bear arms the Bad Guys (and criminally insane) will be outnumbered and outgunned whenever they exhibit criminal intent.

  2. Those that will continue to be predators once they are out of jail; will do so, with any tool available, including the “illegal gun”.

    Those that want to no longer be predators once they are out of jail have two choices; Be a disarmed subject; hated and despised by the criminal and the law abiding alike; vulnerable to attack by those predators that he knows so well; or continue the predator life style. Respected by fellow criminals, feared by the general public; and if he ends up back in jail; well, at least he will be on equal footing with all of his compatriots.

    I know what choice I would make if I had followed a different path. This is another reason, I believe, the recidivism rate is so high.

    What’s that old saying; “If they don;t love me, if the only other choices are to fear me, or to despise me; then i will have them fear me”.

    • I think after 10 years of keeping your nose clean your right to own a firearm should be restored. The lautenburg act needs revised,loose your second ammendant for a class b misdomeanor, I dont condone spousal abuse but to many times its used as a stick. A felon gets out of incarceration, they cant get suitable employment, they cant meet their parole requirments, so the system creates a recitivist.Drug offenders are offered counseling but at their expesne, most states demand drug testing, but at their expense. As a matter of fact a close freind of mine administerd the drug test
      He said a majority of the ofenders simply couldnt afford the test. Hed have to fill out a report then the judicial court puts out an arrest warrant. The mental health issue is going to be another can of worms, because it will be just like the latenberg act, good intentions gone awry. Have you ever taken an anti-depressant, you cant own a firearm. I believe the court system should look at cases individually. Theyre so overloaded now its mass produced sentancing,one size fits all, so to speak.Somehow our government is going to find away to dissarm “us”. Hitler did it, then schooling. Poverty,ignorance and disease, control of the masses. I go so far as to venture that the prrsidential elections are rigged. I believe “they” could tell us today whom will be the next president will be. If a felon or nonfelon wants to do harm, they will find away. By denying some the right to exercise the second ammendmant it conditions “us” to accept that the constitution can be circumvented, with a law be it state or federal. Murderers are normaly locked away for life so the owning firearms is a moot point. However a dv charge,ancholic, or drug offenders second ammendment rights are revoked. The riddle is how can we the people stop the chipping away of the constitution. And no, voting for whom we get to vote for is playing good cop, bad cop. Your city mayor bowes to the threats of big government. “They” can put sanctions on him too. We are told threats from ISIS, North Korera, and all these other global threat smoke screens to get our attention from the pressing issues at hand. Goerge Orwells1984 is here

    • I favor restoring the firearm rights of convicted felons for three reasons:
      (1) People can change and become “good people” — they should have all tools available to defend themselves.
      (2) Some people are wrongly convicted — they should have all tools available to defend themselves.
      (3) Quite literally every single one of is “guilty” of some “felony” and the state could come after any one of us at any time if they had a reason to do so — we should have all tools available to defend themselves.

  3. liars spin a disorganized web of lies…

    a lie that requires little to no explanation…

    We’re going to make America great again!…

    Clearly, Robert Farago is no fan of Trump.

        • Trump’s not my first choice. Fiorina was and she gone! Carson is a great person, but can he lead this country out of the hell hole we continue to dig? Cruz is the most Constitutionally principled. I don’t believe he is a liar like the two liars say. Bush was going nowhere along with Christie. Rubio might be the most electable in the general but what he does with both houses of congress and the SCOTUS will make or break the Republican party. I don’t like him but I can’t believe he would fuck that chance up. Rather have Cruz as prez but there is a lot of talk of him sitting on the bench. And that would plug a major hole. Trump is 100 times a better leader than the eloquent speech reader Rubio.
          We need a leader in the white house, not another legislator. We already have over 500 of them. What difference does it make what his tax plan is? The one we have is fucked up. What difference does it make what his stance on abortion is. The law we have is fucked up. What difference does it make what his immigration policy is. The one we have now is fucked up. What difference does it make what he wants to do about health care? Obamacare is fucked up.
          Trump is a builder and a buisnessman. He wants to build a wall. Great! He wants to screw China the way they screw us until they stop. Great! He wants to build a strong military. Great! So what if he doesn’t know what the nuclear trifecta is. You think he knows who to ask? Of course he does. What he knows is money. Money is what we do not have. He can get it and not by taxation. By growth. I say why not do something different? Insanity says do the same.

        • Trump will bankrupt this country like he does his businesses. How the hell can you conflate being loud and obnoxious to being a good leader?

        • We are already bankrupt. Trump didn’t make a name doing stupid deals. I don’t like his New York style either but I’m not voting for a BFF. I’m voting for someone that will go to bat for this country. Do you not believe the trade deficit exist with Mexico and China?
          I hate lawyers too but when my ass in on the line, and this country’s ass is, I want a leader that can dispel with PC diplomatic BS and fight for America rather than apologise for it.

      • So what’s your big idea then? We give up? Impose “harmonious anarchy”? Yeah, I’ll take a slice of that along with a side of those fries that make me lose 20lbs, make me 10 years younger, and grows my dong double its size.

  4. My oldest and dearest friend was busted 39 or so years ago growing pot just more that 5 plants. He hasn’t had any problems or issues with the law or anyone ever since, not even a speeding ticket. He has worked hard his entire life, raised a good family, put his kid through college and pays all his bills. He is honest and generous and courteous. He is a very good outdoorsman and was a great hunter and shooter. Now 60 years old. There is no good reason on this earth he shouldn’t be able to protect himself and family and own and carry a gun. That’s how I feel.

  5. In principle I’d support the removal of gun rights for violent felons, but in practice it’s an exercise in futility that does far more to inconvenience law abiding gun owners than it does to keep us safe.

  6. There is no correlation between whether a felon has the right to have a gun and whether he has a gun. They’re felons, remember. The law says he can’t kill a cop, he doesn’t care about that law. But he would theoretically care about a law that says he can’t have a gun. That’s just stupid.

  7. “The efficacy of this gun control law — for that is what it is — has never been proven.”

    Wrong. We know that a given career criminal will commit a range of serious crimes in his life. If an ex-con gets popped for felon in possesion of a firearm, then he serves time again. He’s off the streets and not committing the crimes he otherwise would have.

    As for the old saw “if he’s too dangerous to possess a firearm, thrn he’s too dangerous to be free”, I agree. The ex-cons who violate the law by possessing firearms just demonstrated to the world that they’re dangerous, that they still refuse to abide by the law; this law or any law, it doesn’t matter.

    So back they go to prison, off the streets, just like you wanted. Soooo……what’s the problemo, mi amigo? What? You don’t even want to give ex-cons a second chance at freedom, albeit sans firearm rights?

    • Does the gun ban stop convicted felons from re-offending? There’s no emperical evidence for that.

      But I get it: the prohibition against firearms possession for felons gives society a chance to put the bad guy back behind bars for being bad. Where they can’t re-offend.

      Yes but — is simple gun possession by a convicted felon proof positive that he or she isn’t rehabilitated? Legally, yes. But generally?

      • To me there is a very real possibility that many convicts might eschew a continuing life of crime if they become a full fledged citizen. That is, once they’ve paid their debt to society they regain all of the rights and privileges of a citizen. Knowing how easy it is to lose these rights again many may actually act in a more responsible manner, proud of what they’ve accomplished. Further, is it not cruel and unusual punishment to deny an ex-con the ability to defend themselves and their family for the rest of their life for what may have been a youthful indiscretion gone awry? Given the fact that many ex-cons live in higher crime neighborhoods because they cannot afford better digs, lifetime bans might amount to a death sentence.

      • Apparently not Bob.

        After prisoners are released they cannot be afforded rights of self defense with firearms for themselves, their family, their livestock, etc. because guns! And the limitless possibilities of “due process.”

      • I say lets just cut off their hands. Due process allows it…. Right? That way they can’t shoot a gun, hold a knife or sharp object, they can’t steal anything, if they threaten anyone, those people can just laugh at them. This is the solution people. After all – they are felons – guaranteed to be career criminals. They are going to go back to prison anyways to be housed and fed by the state. Let’s just cut their hands off and put them on welfare.

    • ” The ex-cons who violate the law by possessing firearms just demonstrated to the world that they’re dangerous”

      Your fallacy sits right there. A man possessing a firearm is not dangerous, in fact such a man could end up saving someones life thereby stopping a truly dangerous bad actor.

      This goes right back to the fundamental issue. If a man is in fact a danger to society, why are we letting them be free and thus able to hurt other peaceful men? This is insane!

      If you complete your sentence and are allowed back into society, all your rights should be – must be – restored.

      Restricting 2a rights from this group of people is nothing but more gun control, which is all the state wants to do; remove guns from as many citizens as possible. They do not care how this is done or what lies they need to push to accomplish it, from the perspective of the state removing any gun from any citizen is the goal.

      And this is against the constitution, period.

      • “If a man is in fact a danger to society, why are we letting them be free and thus able to hurt other peaceful men? This is insane!”

        It’s also the law in many states, especially when it comes to relieving so-called “prison overcrowding”. These felons might be nowhere near “done” serving their sentence, and yet they are let out because the state that put them there didn’t dedicate enough long-term resources to KEEP them there. Look at the dangerous violent felons the Obama administration was letting out of jails just because they were illegal immigrants, and they didn’t want to “deal” with them. Another batch of violent criminals who will be preying on the innocent, changing lives, ending lives.

        It sounds like I’m against you, but I’m really not. I think we SHOULD keep them locked-up — period. Or kill them, if the crime was bad enough and we have a high confidence in the reliability and details of their conviction. But BECAUSE we lack the resources or balls to keep them locked up for as long as they should be, that’s not a rational argument for giving them gun rights back on release, either.

        These folks made a choice, a BAD choice, and now they have to live with it. We’re not saying they can’t defend themselves, we’re saying they can’t do it with a legally-purchased firearm — which is EXACTLY the same circumstances as many law-abiding citizens who live (for whatever reasons) in anti-gun cities/states.

        If it’s good enough for those non-convicted citizens, then it’s fine for felons.

        • We’re not saying they can’t defend themselves, we’re saying they can’t do it with a legally-purchased firearm — which is EXACTLY the same circumstances as many law-abiding citizens who live (for whatever reasons) in anti-gun cities/states.

          If it’s good enough for those non-convicted citizens, then it’s fine for felons.

          So we explain and encourage gun owners and non gun owners that the firearm is the best tool for self defense having employing one vastly increases chances for survival compared to other methods, then later, when discussing felons, we say they “can” defend themselves, just not with a gun? Then we go on to say that because anti-gun states don’t want people to own guns for self defense, this justifies felons also not having guns for self defense, but then when not talking about felons, we vehemently argue that the people in those states are denied their rights to self defense.

          I tried to feed this into a Karnaugh map, but was unable to.

        • The constitution also has a statement about “cruel and unusual.” Do you have an example of a released prisoner around 1776 whose gun rights were taken from them? How about anyone whose 1st amendment or 4th amendment rights, etc, were taken from them?

          Nope. Just the second… Because guns… And balls – or the lack thereof.

          Please elaborate on where the line is drawn for “due process?”

          Can we start cutting off people’s hands and feet – due process allows it after all. Let’s cut out vocal cords too – due process allows it.

        • Congratulations! You are today’s winner of the reductio-ad-absurdum/appeal-to-the-extremes challenge! You are now automatically entered in the annual contest, where other equally brain-dead statements will vie with yours for the top award!

        • So nineshooter, I couldn’t help but notice that you didn’t actually address the question asked. Was there any 2a, 4a, 1a rights taken from prisoners back then? how many more rights-less ex-prisoners are we going to make?

          If there is nothing limiting due process – are we not to assume that it can be taken to extremes? Maybe not today – but 100 years from now who knows what those extremes would be. The founding fathers probably would have thought it ridiculous to take arms from released prisoners (free men).

          Where is the line drawn for due process?

          Didn’t see any noteworthy remarks from your end.

        • I love the Constitution.

          “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” – The Constitution of the United States of America, Amendment #2.

          Where exactly does that statement allow any “due process” for the government to revoke, restrict or even inhibit the right to keep and bear arms? Any legislation or court action that claims the right of due process in this area is unconstitutional on its face, SCOTUS decisions notwithstanding.

    • The right for a felon to own a gun (the constitutional right) hinges on the ability of one to protect their own life. Government shouldn’t have any ability to strip such a basic and essential right away. Most of the felons, even so-called violent ones, will not use a gun to commit a crime. I don’t care if a minority of them will, they deserve to be able to protect themselves. If we don’t believe they have a right to life, then let’s just execute them?

      I had an employee who was an ex-felon for a check writing scheme. Despite being a felon, he was a reformed family man as far as I knew and I trusted him with watching over my stuff as he managed my store. He needed some money and did something lawful, went to sell a personally owned smart phone on craigslist and met up with a buyer. It turned out to be a robbery setup. He needed the money so he took his chances and made a run for it. He even made it to his car and started driving off before he was shot through the vehicle in the leg and head.

      Ex-felons deserve the right to be able to protect themselves too. No amount of social utility supercedes the basic right of being able to protect yourself from being a victim.

      • “The right for a felon to own a gun (the constitutional right) hinges on the ability of one to protect their own life. Government shouldn’t have any ability to strip such a basic and essential right away.”

        Do you make the same impassioned argument for citizens in anti-gun cities/states? The government has certainly stripped away the basic right for THOSE folks, and THEY haven’t committed ANY crimes, let alone violent crimes.

        The felons can defend themselves the same way the honest citizens do in anti-gun cities/states. If it’s good enough for honest citizens, it’s good enough for less-than-honest-at-one-point citizens.

        Or are you claiming that released felons should have MORE defensive rights than honest people living in anti-gun states?

        • That is the most asinine argument I have seen or heard ever! The law-abiding citizens in gun-rights restrictive states are having their Second Amendment rights unconstitutionally violated and we, as a group, are doing our very best to protest this violation and to reverse these restrictions by every legal and Constitutional method we can. Vote Republican. Cruz in the primaries, whichever candidate gets the Republican nomination in November.

    • If an ex-con gets popped for felon in possesion of a firearm, then he serves time again. He’s off the streets and not committing the crimes he otherwise would have.

      How do you know this person was going to commit another crime? ( you know – A crime that actually has a victim)? Guilty until proven innocent? He could have a very good reason to seek a firearm. A reason not to make others victims, but to protect himself from being one. How can we afford others the right to protect their families with firearms – but not this guy?

  8. There’s not a whole lot of correlation between someone being a felon and being a “bad” or “dangerous” person. With the proliferation of malum prohibitum laws we navigate through these days, practically everyone commits at least one felony at some point in their lives. More likely, we commit felonies and/or misdemeanors each day, without even knowing it. If you happen to own guns, the risk of going afoul of some obscure paper prohibition increases manifold.

    Even your location may be enough to convert you from a “normal” citizen to a bad person. Drive around Idaho or Montana with a few boxes of shotgun or .30-30 shells rattling around in your truck console – no problem. Try that in Jersey or DC? Felon.

    • There’s also a whole lot of plea-bargaining felony counts down to misdemeanors, even multiple felony counts. To be CONVICTED of a felony means you probably actually did something far worse than what you were convicted of, but they only convicted you of one tiny serious part of the complete crime, for whatever reason. There is enough evidence of this type of behavior/results that I don’t think I even have to give any examples.

      I also don’t think there is a large number of otherwise not-criminally-oriented people walking around suddenly getting charged and convicted of felonies that many/most of the rest of us are happily committing on a regular basis. But if you have evidence to the contrary, I’d be happy to look at it.

      I’m very comfortable saying that most people who are convicted of “a” felony, are actually guilty of much much more.

  9. An armed felon is nothing but another human in an armed society. The great part about everyone being armed is that the bad guys know that they’re not the only ones with weapons and the willingness to use them. Self preservation is the first priority of a predator. Predators don’t like to attack targets that can fight back much. Ruins their whole predator vibe.

    I have long maintained that a felon is a human and all humans have the natural right to armed self defense. If we strip their claim to the right of armed self defense then we strip their humanity and they’re reduced to the status of simple unruly animals. We have ways of dealing with unruly animals that have proven effective over millennia.

    I don’t think many people will like living in a society like that. Certainly not me. I won’t ever trust a state that executes its own citizens. So the only obvious course is to acknowledge that convicts exist, they’re human and they have human rights. If we can’t deal with that then we should deal with them the way we deal with unruly animals.

    Being two-faced about the matter simply doesn’t do anyone any good.

  10. “Any one of us could lose control of ourselves, pick up a gun and harm someone.”

    And here I thought (via gun controller advocates) that the guns kinda go wild and start shooting off all by themselves. Hmmm, that can’t be a lie, right?.

  11. I think part of what we need to look at here is A)a judge approved this, and B)If a person is dangerous enough that we are concerned about them killing someone why are they turned loose on the streets anyways? It is a problem here in IL where they seem to be purging the jails so they don’t have to pay to incarcerate people.

    • Yeah, if only the world were so black-and-white.

      What about the felons that haven’t even served the reduced sentences they were given, but were released due to overcrowding, or because the government didn’t dedicate enough resources to keep them locked-up in a declining economy, or because a defective administration didn’t want to deal with criminal illegal aliens?

      Not so simple, now, is it?

      • If government/society doesn’t think it is WORTH it to keep them locked up or supervised, then they must not be so dangerous as to not be able to possess firearms and the government/society is willing to take the chance that those people will kill (or not).

        So yes, it really IS that simple.

        Under current laws they aren’t guaranteeing that those people won’t kill or use a weapon in a crime, they are only making sure it won’t be with a LEGAL firearm.

        • You are treating government and society in general as if they are one and the same thing, have the same concerns, and share the same risks. None of these notions are true. When the government releases these thugs, it will be done by people who have no liability, no risk of prosecution for making poor/bad decisions, and most likely, no danger to themselves as they live in gated/guarded/doorman-equipped communities.

          If it was up to the government, some of these people would never had gone to jail in the first place.

          And if it was up to society, the same might be true, but for very different reasons and outcomes…

  12. Rights should not be able to be restricted AT ALL by legislative fiat. That is not justice. If a judge feels it necessary to restrict gun rights for a specified time or even indefinitely pending periodic review for a particular individual based on the facts of a crime, that’s one thing.

    Saying that all criminals convicted (or even accused) of X are in addition to their sentence automatically subjected to penalty Y is tyranny.

    It really is that simple.

    • So laws passed by an elected legislature and enforced by police and the judicial branches is tyranny, but giving the same power to deny rights to a single person (a judge), isn’t?

      Wow. What color is the sky in THAT world?

      • Nine,

        Rights should not be able to be restricted AT ALL by legislative fiat. That is not justice. If a judge feels it necessary to restrict gun rights for a specified time or even indefinitely pending periodic review for a particular individual based on the facts of a crime, that’s one thing.

        Ok, we are talking about blanketing a law on everyone (with restricts their freedom), vs the judgement of an individual for an individual crime. Currently, if you are a felon, it is unlawful for you to possess a firearm. That means if you shoot a bear in Michigan (when not defending yourself) you lose your gun rights. It is a felony to commit adultery in the state of Michigan:

        http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(dvstkgnwoppfmqjy2ohjjarb))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-750-30

        Record a movie inside a movie theater? Felony. In Wyoming, cut more than 1/2 of a sheeps ear off – felony. Non-commericial streaming infringement (piracy) – felony.

        We are committing felonies all the time – come on:
        http://mic.com/articles/51551/most-americans-commit-three-felonies-a-day-and-here-s-what-happens-if-they-get-caught#.sT79ROFTQ

        So blanketing the nation with a law that says – if you are a felon, you don’t get to own firearms – is unjust.

  13. The way I see it, if they are to dangerous to own a firearm they are to dangerous to be out of prison.

    I would change a few things, the minimum sentences for murder, attempted murder, rape and a couple others would be changed to life without the possibility of parole. But once a person has served their time their rights should be restored.

    • If you make the penalty for rape harsh enough, you give the rapist an incentive to kill the witness.

      Beware of unintended consequences.

      • Same thing applies to murder witnesses, or even those who might be able to help convict the perp.

        If the price for the first one is no-parole-life, then any additional murders are “free”.

        • The “witness” I am referring to is the victim.

          Harsh penalties for rape will lead to more murder-rapes.

        • Steve, I understood that perfectly.

          But my point also stands. If the penalty for one is the same as the penalty for 1+?, then you’re going to get more 1+? of any serious crimes. There’s no reason NOT to do it, at that point, especially if you think it might help you get away with it.

        • My point being, a murderer is already a murderer. Threatening the death penalty, or life incarceration without parole, for a rape, is liable to turn someone who only wants to rape, into a rapist murderer. It wouldn’t be doing his intended victims any favors.

          Or to put it in terms of your statement that after the first one, the rest are free…why make rape a “first one”?

  14. Limiting the restoration of previously convicted felon’s rights is interesting.

    That it exists at all suggests that the imprisonment system as a rehabilitation tool is completely broken and that, we the public, are the quality control mechanism to determine if a felon is rehabilitated. That kind of sucks. A lot. However, I’m not really a big believer in rehabilitation, I am more a proponent of grinding violent felons into Soylent Green and feeding it to the homeless.

    With that said, if you are really too dangerous to posses a firearm, you are too dangerous to be walking free. If you can point at a person and state “that person should is too dangerous to posses a firearm” do you really want them standing behind you and your children at the grocery store? Or sharing the a dark parking lot at midnight?

    If the system, can’t or won’t, keep them locked up, then logically (via reductio ad absurdum), these incredibly dangerous people should have more of their rights stripped away, even things that aren’t “rights”. Banned from voting? Banned from reproduction? Banned from marriage? Banned from owning businesses? Bank loans? Driving? Owning sharp knives or sticks longer than 3 inches? No Karate classes? Limit their physical strength? Etc, etc…?

    How much do you have to strip away from a dangerous person before you suddenly consider them “inert” and harmless?

  15. My view on the subject of felons is that society is rather unfair to them, setting them up for failure after they’re released by making it a lot more difficult to get an honest job, denying them gun rights FOREVER, taking away their right to vote. Denying them gun rights is reasonable for a short period of time after they’re released. They should be rehabilitated after they get out of prison, but you don’t know until they’ve had a chance to prove it. If they manage to get through their probation period then there is no reason why they shouldn’t be treated as everyone else. Of course, repeat offenders should not be tolerated.

    • Why would you allow a person who couldn’t make good/honest/non-criminal choices in their OWN life, participate in making choices for everyone ELSE’S lives (voting)? Do you currently seek-out felons to help you make lifestyle choices? To elect trustworthy politicians? To help in urban planning (“No, no, we need more sidewalks going into unlit areas with limited visibility and easy escape routes.”)

      Start education at an early age that tells people “If you choose a life of crime, you are choosing to give up the following rights. Forever.”, and then let them chart their own course in life with full knowledge of the consequences.

  16. how do we decide who’s too dangerous to keep and bear arms?

    “We” don’t have to. The violent felons have made that decision for us by raping, murdering, burning or beating others.

    Yes, I agree that banning violent felons from possessing firearms doesn’t stop them from having guns, but it does add a tool to put violent felons back where they belong. And forbidding them from heading off to Bob’s Gun Store to snag their next murder or armed robbery tool means that we are not complicit in their next shooting.

    And I do not want to hear any more crap about violent felons “paying their debt to society.” Debt to society my ass. What about their debt to their victims?

    Crimes of violence leave behind ruined lives and families who never receive any compensation from the rapists and killers who harmed those victims or their loved ones. Victims get nothing. Violent felons deserve everything they get.

    “If you can’t trust them with a gun you can’t trust them on the street” is absolutely true. You can’t trust them on the street, but we can’t pay for their imprisonment forever. So we cut them loose and they re-offend, time after time.

    You want to make it easier for those scumbags to re-arm? If you do, you are clinically insane.

    • The problem is you are talking about violent felons, while the law just says “felons.” As it sits, people can be arbitrarily denied gun rights forever, by the simple device of reclassifying malum prohibitum offenses as felonies.

      How about we repeal the automatic, one size fits all law against a felon owning a firearm…and let judges tack that on as part of the sentence where it is warranted.

  17. Meteorites do strike persons once in a billion. There will always by an exception. Criminologists have demonstrated repeatedly that no “gun control” has more than a statistically insignificant impact. Most criminals get their guns from the 24/7, home delivery black market in which restoration is irrelevant.

  18. I have not flown on a commercial airline in over 10 years, since left the corporate work world. So don’t know if I’m on some super secret “no fly” list or not. If 5 year old children and over 80 year old grandparents can be on no fly list, why would I know I’m not on this highly Unconstitutional list. I do know I have passed NIC check to purchase guns but right now, much to the chagrin of liberals, in spite of no criminal record, probably think I should just for being an opinionated senior citizen!

  19. Anti’s really pushing the domestic violence angle in Australia. Just being accused now will mean surrendering all firearms until after court hearing and most local courts never refute any accusation by women. Several cases now mean even some police who can only have issued weapon on duty and nothing for any private use.

    Not helped by murder at lunchtime just before Xmas of lady in car park of McDonald’s outside major tourist theme park. Over a 100 witnesses Days later in fine print he is convicted drug dealer, unlicensed and black market gun plus numerous other offences. But all the headlines are BAN GUNS

    Laws never bother criminals only the law abiding

  20. I live in Fargo, I love guns, and I hope you’ll consider what I have to say. In 1988 Schumacher murdered an unarmed 17-year-old, and also shot an unarmed 21-year-old, then was sentenced to prison for murder and attempted murder. If a person commits murder with a gun then I don’t think they should be able to own guns again. How could you rationally argue any other point? Now a police officer is dead by the hands of a felon who legally owned a gun. I would like to hear how you’d explain your position to Officer Moszer’s widow and children. I am very disappointed in you, and this blog as a whole for allowing this particular post.

    • ” I would like to hear how you’d explain your position to Officer Moszer’s widow and children.”

      I shouldn’t have to. It wasn’t the gun that killed them. It was the man. Why not blame the system that allowed a convicted murderer out or didn’t execute him in the first place?

      • I do blame the system. But that same system is influenced by scores of people whining about the RIGHTS of criminals, how criminals who shouldn’t have their RIGHT to see their kids taken away by long jail sentences, who should have their RIGHT to a jail cell of a certain size (so we have to let some go before they finish their already-too-short sentences), who should have the RIGHT to any religious-restricted diet that they want (which boosts the costs of incarceration, forcing us to let some go early), etc., etc.

        Honest people on the outside don’t have RIGHTS to certain dwelling sizes, foods, entertainment, uncrowded conditions, free legal help, etc.; they have to WORK for these things But the convicted criminals don’t.

        And now we gotta hear about how violent convicts’ RIGHTS are being abused after they’ve been released for killing someone?!? Maybe we should re-frame that as the convict, having taken away ALL that victim’s RIGHTS forever, now has to give up a FEW of their rights forever, too?

    • FYI, Schumacher was not convicted of murder. He was in an altercation with two guys who followed him to his car. He shot and killed one guy for which the Jury found him guilty of negligent homicide, a lesser offense in ND than murder. But interestingly the jury did not find him guilty of attempted murder or aggravated assault for shooting and hitting the other guy.

      I found this info on a link in the original article Robert linked to above:
      http://www.inforum.com/news/3945846-suspected-shooter-fargo-standoff-was-charged-murder-1988

      • From the same article:

        “Schumacher testified that the men called him a derogatory name and followed him to his car. He grabbed his gun because he was scared, then accidentally fired it, he said.

        Boswell, however, testified that he and Clauthier approached Schumacher’s car and tapped the window, before 22-year-old Schumacher rolled down the window and shot them both…”

        Which of those do you really think is closer to the truth? (Hint: it’s not the one where a person who is safely inside his car, says he “accidentally” fired a weapon at two different people, killing one and wounding the other)

        • We can only go by the what the court and jury decided 25+ years ago. For whatever reason, Schumacher was not convicted of murder or attempted murder, only one charge of negligent homicide. PO2 description of the original conviction and sentencing is simply incorrect.

  21. Let me guess you also bitch about our huge prison population and overcrowding, then in the next sentence say more people need to remain in prison. Can’t have it both ways. What we need to do is open up room in the prisons with expedited public hangings.

    • Although you’re right to call someone who argues like that on their hypocrisy, there are two questions here:

      1) How many people are arguing like that?

      2) Dragging everyone who is on death row out and hanging them tomorrow afternoon would free up 3,125 spaces in prison. There are 2.2 million people in prison right now, so that’s a good indication of total capacity. 3,125 suddenly open spaces would be a drop in the bucket.

        • I don’t disagree, but I also don’t have a time machine. I’m pretty sure you can’t have stuff added on to your sentence unless you are tried and convicted of a new offense. (This is a good thing; Stalin was good for bumping up peoples’ sentences just before they would have gotten released.)

  22. In general I believe that someone who has served time has paid their debt. However, those convicted of violent crime should have to show they can behave on the outside before getting all their rights back.

    Those whose past actions demonstrate they care little for the rights of others should have to reapply for those rights. Just like those paroled for lesser crimes must demonstrate their effort to fit back into society.

    Our system does not guarantee justice, only due process. And we do have a process for rights to be restored.

  23. “Riddle me this: does society’s interest in protecting itself from felons as a group outweigh an individual felon’s right to keep and bear arms? The antis would say yes, without question. What say you?”

    Here’s what irritates me about the Anti’s argument: Math. What’s the ratio of law abiding citizens to criminals? 20:1? 50:1? I dunno. But there’s a helluva lot more of us than there are them. I wish the Anti’s would grow a pair and remember that if push were ever to come to shove, it’s the criminals who would need protection from us. History is rife with examples of this sort of thing. It’s what our system is supposed to prevent, if only it were functioning properly. But it’s not, and CPL holder numbers are on the rise. Coincidence? I think not.

  24. We have certain inalienable rights, the three named are life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We deprive certain individuals of the right of liberty, and occasionally life when they demonstrate that their pursuit of happiness infringes on others life liberty and pursuit of happiness.
    We also deprive them of other rights such as the right to vote and hold public office as well as their right to associate freely. A felon on parole cannot associate with other felons on parole.
    I believe that we should deprive them of every Constitutional right after a felony conviction. Make them in effect, aliens in their home land. Not permanently though. After a period of time those rights should be restored. That time frame should not exceed the time they were incarcerated, or possible the maximum time they could have been incarcerated.
    My views on crime and punishment conflict with the justice system. I am 100% in favor of the death penalty. We should use it rather than life in prison. All a life sentence does is create a caged animal, and too often those animals act like wild animals. Prison sentences should not exceed 20years. If we cannot punish them enough in 20 years, stick a needle in them and end it.
    Prison should be harsh. No creature comforts of home, just a bare cell and a mountain of work. It should also be short. these long sentences are a waste of money time and other resources.
    I also believe in a three strikes law. People who keep going back to crime have shown they want no part of society, so be done with it.
    For the ones who show they can keep their hands clean, restore their rights. Let them vote, let them own guns.
    We can do better.

  25. OK, the OP asked for my opinion and I will give it but I won’t debate it because I have learned this is not the site for civil discourse among POTG. But I won’t be silent about it.

    1. 2A says …the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. True, it does not say anything about “the people” being non-felons. However, it doesn’t say anything about them being incarcerated either. So if the premise is that felons should have the RTKABA, then it should apply IN PRISON also. Anybody up for that? Didn’t think so.

    2. There is an argument to be made that a felon is no longer part of the “the people.” The felon can’t vote in most states, can’t serve on a jury, can’t hold certain jobs. He is a second-class citizen for life AS PART OF HIS PUNISHMENT. I am OK with that. I will concede that our legal system does not draw the “felon” line in the right place, but I see that as a related, but still separate, problem.

    3. Felons have a remedy. They can apply for a commutation or pardon. That is how the system works.

    4. When, as a lifetime, law-abiding, military veteran citizen, I get my full RTKABA, I will be open to a conversation about felons getting theirs. But right now, the argument that felons should have guns is dragging the main cause down, so it gets no support from me.

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