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?