Prisoner Holding Cigarette Between Bars

“A Louisiana law barring convicted felons of possessing firearms doesn’t conflict with the state’s constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms, Louisiana’s Supreme Court decided this week,” washingtonpost.com reports. “The law prohibits those convicted of various crimes including burglary, drug violations, as well as sex offenders, from possessing firearms or carrying concealed weapons. A violation can result in 10 to 20 years of hard labor.” The ruling relies on precedent to declare, “Like other rights guaranteed by our State constitution, [the right to keep and bear arms] is not absolute.” Section 11 of the LA Constitution reads: “The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms is fundamental and shall not be infringed. Any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.” So subject it to strict scrutiny: is the right to keep and bear arms “absolute”?

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157 Responses to Question of the Day: Is the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Absolute?

    • like any other state, LA makes more money with criminals walking the streets and paying probation officers every month than if they were locked up in a cell not doing anything

    • I hear this one often, its one area where I have to disagree. Perhaps a felony conviction shouldn’t mean a life time 100% across the board prohibition, but even as it stands some felons are able to earn back their gun rights through the courts. So that blanket prohibition doesn’t exist. Could this process be tweaked here and there to be more fair? Perhaps…

      However, newly released felons may or may not have be rehabilitated. The uncertainty is a necessity. There is no possible system you could construct that would be 100% reliable predicting the future behavior of released felons for any extended period of time. The only way to know for certain is in hindsight, or keeping every last felon in prison from the moment of conviction until they die.

      Assuming the latter option is unacceptable, should we really be deliberately blind to someones past? They have, after all, earned their prohibited status through acts of their own volition. Past performance does not guarantee future results (as those prospectuses often state), but they do give us an indication of who that person was, and if unchanged by their time in prison, remains.

      • I think that non violent felons should be allowed to regain their right to own firearms, providing their have served their prison time and or probation. Once those conditions have been met, they should be allowed to possess and purchase guns.

      • But a felon is not supposed to be released unless either rehabilitated or completion of sentence. So using blame on the system for a reason to deny someone a right for having complied with the system is ok with you? Boy can we start messing up your life then…all fully within the screwed up system of course.

      • …. and because that corrupt system needs to keep these and the majority of people disenfranchised in order to keep the elites in power.

        Once a man has paid for his crime, the Constitution doesn’t say he can be denied his 2nd amendment or any other rights. Every time they lock someone up and refuse to reinstate him with full citizenship rights, all they do is create another enemy to the people. And why not? What have they got to lose?

        Show me a state that does NOT pull a former felon’s 2A rights and I’ll bet that state would have a far lower recidivism rate because at least the state made some attempt to reinstate the man’s sense of self worth instead of continually reminding him that he’s no better than a caged dog.

        The politicians, then, as well as the rest of us, get exactly what we paid for. Rather than have any chance of a reformed man, all we get is dog with a bad disposition.

        • Paid for his crime? Are you serious? They haven’t paid for their crime, they’ve been incarcerated. That’s all. When a felon pays back his victims for everything he’s taken from them, then you can say he’s paid for his crime.

          I’m talking about restitution. Unless a felon has paid restitution, he hasn’t paid a damn thing. His victim has paid for his crime. We have paid for his crime. But he hasn’t paid sh1t.

        • In that case, it is my opinion that you can never fully repay us for the damages you have done with your words here…..forfeit your rights and report to sing-sing indefinitely.

        • “Absolute(ly)” BR549, Why people have such a hard time understanding this, to me, basic concept is beyond me.

          What incentive does an ex-con have to reintegrate with society when that society has permanently and for a life time barred them from voting and especially the right to KABA? They are serving a life time sentence of being officially a peasant, peon and outright slave; forever barred and disarmed, to never again be a free man to be able to effectively defend their life or their loved ones from any predator, human or animal.

          I call such a sentence as cruel and unusual punishment. But most people seem to be completely with out compassion or even a sense of justice.

          These people to me are savages, brutal, unfeeling and absent an ounce of empathy, worse than the criminal they want to continue to punish.

          So those ex-cons that do abide by the law are fair game; defenseless to any predator that might be about, and the real criminals that would never be rehabilitated any way will simply ignore the gun laws and continue to carry a gun. and you wonder why the recidivism rate is so high?

          Nice going people.

        • There you have it….. regarding ex-felons, those who listen will be killed or shot by those who don’t. All the whimpering and worrying by hand wringers here doesn’t change the idea that such laws only AGAIN hurt those intending to abide by the laws, even after doing time.

        • @ThomasR: Spot on!

          Further, if government is disarming them then government is responsible for their reasonable safety. Government can’t fall back on police because it’s already been determined that police don’t have a duty to protect. Each free individual is responsible for his or her own safety. Therefore, when government deprives them of the lawful use of arms, government becomes responsible for their individual safety. Government is unconstitutionally depriving while withholding its end of the Faustian bargain. Government is just ducking the reality of calling these life sentences.

    • because simply “being dangerous” is not a crime. by your rationale you could be imprisoned without ever committing a crime.

      • Even though that’s not his rationale at all, and that conclusion cannot be in any way, shape, or form even be drawn from what he said.

    • Agreed, Slammy. Soooo………….you’re cool with EVERY convicted child molester who’s completed his/her prison sentence being able to work at YOUR child’s school?

      After all, they’ve served their time. Why continue to punish them by restraining their right to work?

      • John…so when you have no argument you fake it? The “child molester working in the school” idea has no connection whatsoever to any constitutional right.
        He may have every right to apply for the job, and some school may even hire him, but most people would not accept such school administrators doing this. They have the right to remove their children, and to demand certain standards.
        See how easy that works? I know, it sticks in your craw when things work the way they are supposed to work, and your imbecilic “what-if”s are shown for the BS they are made from.

      • “Agreed, Slammy. Soooo………….you’re cool with EVERY convicted child molester who’s completed his/her prison sentence being able to work at YOUR child’s school?”

        Pardon me for jumping in here …….. but the way our system is being managed NOW, there is no collective support to expect better behavior from these people, anyway. I can speak from professional managerial experience that such idealistic expectations are, indeed, possible, but with the caliber of managerial talent we have in Washington, that system ain’t likely to change anytime soon.

        Maybe after we flush the toilet in Washington and get some actual “responsible” and dedicated people running our affairs, perhaps we could actually have realistic expectations of felons turning around.

  1. If criminal convictions based on due process cannot remove peoples’ rights, then there is no criminal justice system, since depriving people of life (death penalty), liberty (prison), and property (fines, confiscation), is unconstitutional.

    • Except that all but the most heinous crimes have maximums on he duration of the denials of rights. Not so much for gun confiscation. Is somebody who got into a fight decades ago and has been a model citizen since a real threat?

      • I am not saying that there shouldn’t be an expungement process for felonies, but saying a right is absolute means it cannot be refuted by anyone. Absolute rights exist even for prisoners.

        • While the person is a ward of the state, the state has co-opted that person’s rights, and is responsible for their safety and well-being.
          Once that person has finished their sentenced punishment, all rights need to be restored. The person is once again responsible for his own safety and well-being, and needs that innate right to defend himself.

        • It’s absurd and contrary to all modern and historical law to think that the only restriction of rights due to criminal activity can take place in a custodial environment.

      • If permanent disenfranchisement of voting rights has been held constitutional (which still happens in some places), and DNA/fingerprints lives on forever (meaning you are forever a suspect and your bodily characteristics are searched in the database) removing gun rights as part of the punishment is constitutional as well.

        • Except that any permanent disenfranchisement of voting rights isn’t held to be Constitutional. Not anymore anyway.

        • Permanent felony disenfranchisement has passed muster (Richardson v. Ramirez (1974):), unless it had racial motivations when passed.

    • Please tell me where in the constitution that we the people are guaranteed life, liberty and property. Because I am pretty sure that those words come from the Declaration of Independence which is not a governing document.

      • Even if the Declaration was a binding government document, it would “guaranty” nothing. It declares that the creator endowed people with the rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” among others, and that the founders are p1ssed off because the King was denying those rights. It’s a statement of grievances.

  2. “Considering again, by leap, Priority, in relation to the notion of weapons; in the
    juxtaposition of societal continuance, it is not counter-societal to amass weapons. However, it
    may be counter-societal to amass weapons in absolute disproportion to the accumulation of any
    other resource in the furtherance of society [tomorrow] [7] Mutual threat being the permeating
    and lasting assumption, it is the prioritization of threat when other prioritization and discernable
    action has been to similarly posture on threat.
    Also, when societal agreement has been previously abandoned, or neglected, the
    prioritization of any other outlay, other than society, is Threat. For example, a person who has
    committed a felony is no longer permitted (by law) to obtain, possess or carry a firearm, even in
    the furtherance of their own personal protection. It is because, as a felon, that person is believed,
    by societies, and so labeled by Law, to be a person who has already willingly abandoned the
    notion of, and in fact the encapsulation of, human interconnectivity that is societal agreement.”
    TERMS, J.M.Thomas R., 2012, pg. 89.

  3. Yes…and no. CONVICTED of violent felony? No gun rights. Other than that it’s pretty absolute to me. Losing your rights forever for selling a bag of pot 30 years ago-not so much.

  4. So subject it to strict scrutiny: is the right to keep and bear arms “absolute”?

    Actually I would say no. It is not absolute in this state’s case. If it were, it would be subject to NO scrutiny.

  5. If 2A was absolute, incarcerated murderers would still have the right to keep and bear arms while in prison. Once you admit that such a result would be insane, then you admit that RKBA cannot be “absolute.”

    The next question is, how much restriction or regulation is permissible. That’s the whole argument.

    • Pretty sure the 8th amendment remains in full force during incarceration. I’m not saying it shouldn’t.

        • While incarcerated, you are a ward of the state, thus the state determines which rights you shall be allowed, in concert with certain legal rulings. A free man is not a ward of the state./

        • Ralph, You are absolutely wrong. Denying a person their HUMAN RIGHT to K&BA IS cruel and unusual punishment. You are essentially sentencing them to a horribly painful death at the hands of their former criminal colleagues once they’re out of prison. When a prisoner you TEMPORARILY loose many of your rights, but once you have served your time ALL RIGHTS are restored.

          That being said, no, I don’t believe rapists, murderers, and child molesters should be allowed to have guns. They should only be in prison long enough for their 2nd(or third, if you insist) appeal to be turned down, at which point they are summarily executed.

    • Indeed, Ralph. As far as I am concerned, if you commit an act of violence against someone, say bye-bye your weapons rights.

      • Permanently lose them when falsely accused and wrongly convicted as well. I’d rather 1st time non-violent felons get them back upon return to society than deny an innocent weapons for life.

  6. I’m not all that bothered with banning firearms to felons. I can see arguments for and against, and whichever side prevails I can accept.

    To me the bright line is due process, as it was to he founders. To look back to the first version of what became the 2nd:

    “That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals”

    Disarming an individual, through due process, because of the criminal actions of that individual, can be acceptable. Disarming groups, without due process, or for reasons other than the criminal acts of the individuals involved can never be.

  7. I disagree with the conclusion that the right to bear arms is not absolute but perhaps there is more context that defines the word “absolute” and we assume it means that in certain conditions the right does not apply; a criminal does not have the ‘right’ to bear arms. Therefore there really is not restriction or infringement (not saying that this scenario is correct in the long run).

    How can the right to bear arms not be absolute when following their constitution “The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms is fundamental and shall not be infringed.”. Restrictions to the right (same as limitations?) should be such as type of firearm, type of carry, which indeed should be strictly scrutinized. We still have the right, and it is not infringed, but it is limited or restricted.

    Personally I disagree that once convicted a person should loose forever their right to bear arms. Perhaps there are conditions to be met but once the time is done are we not holding the person to an unreasonable standard. For example there are bunch of young sex offenders simply because the are too stupid not to send a nude selfie or re-send someone elses. Do we prohibit this person from owning a gun to protect their family or themselves once the grow into a responsible adult?

    • ” not infringed, but it is limited or restricted.”

      You need a remedial vocabulary lesson. “Limited or restricted” is the bloody DEFINITION of “infringed.”

  8. So subject it to strict scrutiny: is the right to keep and bear arms “absolute”?

    Yes. People who are deemed too dangerous to have a gun should remain locked up until reformed (or executed if reformation is impossible). Putting them back on the streets to use knives, cars, poison, etc to harm people is idiotic. Banning one specific item (which they often obtain illegally anyways) that they might use to cause harm is just silly.

    Also, outside of potentially a probation period, it’s detrimental to society that we treat ex-cons as second class citizens (not just socially, but legally). Denying them rights and denying them the ability to get a decent job only provides incentives for them to return to crime instead of being a productive member of society.

    • Why can’t dangerous people who are locked up have guns while in prison? If prisoners can be legally barred while in the joint, then 2A is not absolute. Nor should it be.

      Rather than getting bogged down in the crazy argument that 2A is absolute, we need instead to pay attention to how much regulation of guns would be lawful and proper. The real answer — really the only answer — is “as little as possible.”

      • Their rights have been temporarily after due process of law. During said due process, it is determined that the prisoners are to have their rights suspended for a pre determined amount of time. That is their punishment for their crime.They have served a punishment that a judge has deemed warranted by a crime that a jury of their peers have agreed was committed. Extending the punishment, curtailment of rights, beyond the time frame of the judge’s assessment, should be the scope of an additional trial. Also, criminals do have weapons in prison, they just have to make them by hand, using whatever materials are available, or pay somebody for it. Just like outside of prison. Only difference is, in prison everything is illegal, so you have to be a bit more cautious about it. Getting a gun in a federal prison is only slightly harder than legally obtaining a gun in New Jersey.

        • If rights can be “temporarily suspended”, they are not absolute by definition.

          For example, consider the right to not be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. If this right were not absolute and could be suspended for breaking the law, that would kinda defeat the point of it, would it?

      • Wow, Ralphie. You’ve reached a new low. Thank you for demonstrating that no one here should ever listen to anything you have to say.

      • The real answer — really the only answer — is “as little as possible.”

        The problem is that even this statement is ambiguous. If someone sees even common small arms as posing extreme public danger, his or her idea of the smallest possible might be pretty high by our standards. I have no legal background, so I am not sure how all the different levels of scrutiny would relate to the idea of “as little as possible”, but they do seem related at least in some sense. And some judges believe that intermediate scrutiny is enough to permit disallowing the bearing of arms in public altogether (or to permit a may issue system rather than a shall issue one). Whether they could stretch strict scrutiny this far I am not sure, but I bet it even that would ultimately depend on how dangerous one regards the public bearing of arms to be. And this is largely a cultural issue.

  9. The 2nd A, along with the rest of the Constitution, is merely an idea written on paper. Therefore it cannot be absolute, because we as humans are not absolute.

    • The 2A and others in the bill of Rights are enumerations of rights extant naturally. That is not an idea on paper.

      • I agree.

        But ask the people in NYC how their natural right to defense themselves (ie firearms) is doing…

        If the people do not hold true to the principes of a right, it can be forgotten and lost.

  10. No civil right is absolute, not the 1st Amendment, the 2nd Amendment, or any other.

    That being said, the 2nd Amendment is rapidly catching up to the 10th in terms of legal obsolescence. A problem I think is cultural, rather then exclusively legal in nature.

    • You think that 2A is becoming obsolete after Heller, McDonald, Peruta el al?

      I think that you and I have a different idea of what “obsolescence” means.

      • Think he means being falling behind Gov’t power grabs. 10A is running thin, and as this is a 2A site, we know how badly it is encroached.

      • The bearing arms part has not yet been shown to be alive at all. The keeping arms part is, at least for the time being, in force.

      • Except that Heller really wasn’t as big as most gun owners want to make it out to be. SCOTUS left that gaping wound of “You can still restrict the living f*&k out of it” in the ruling, and states are having a field day with that loophole.

    • Actually all rights are absolute. Its the voluntary surrender and/or fear of reprisal issues that are in question.

        • I am sorry you don’t understand. Civil rights are enacted, natural rights exist. Maybe you shouldn’t make statements about things you don’t understand.

        • Mark, you dance with semantics in so many of your posts, seriously, do you understand the meanings of rights and privileges?

  11. Why not have “restricted” rights for some felons. That is, Felons who have served their time and were not convicted of a crime of violence, should be able to keep a firearm in their home?

        • Keep trying. your semantic games aren’t even mildly entertaining. They are even less intellectual.

    • It seems some people here use the concept of rights and privileges interchangeably. No fault of their own, we have been conditioned to accept many if not all of our rights as privileges.

  12. The Fourteenth Amendment allows the abridgment of voting rights for “except for participation in rebellion, or other crime.” Since the right to vote is the fundamental right in Republican government it stands to reason the other rights may be abridged under the same circumstances.

    • That is quite a stretch. Originally a great many persons were excluded from voting rights, and voting rights are nowhere considered uninfringeable. It actually took a number of amendments to reduce some of the reasons voting rights may be infringed upon. No such thing regarding rights to arms. Nice try though.

  13. Well, it does say it’s fundamental and shall not be infringed.

    Fundamental: ‘a central or primary rule or principle on which something is based’. I dunno, you tell me.

  14. I have been mulling this over for a while and not sure if I’ve ever put it to words here, so I will now and see what people think.

    Recidivism is clearly a very complex problem. But I feel the single easiest to identify factor is that when someone has paid their debt to society, we saddle them with another debt that can never be paid. They are second class citizens. Labelled. Stigmatized. Vilified at large and probably in private. How do you expect them to act? People can only put up with being treated a certain way before they just give up. If someone is going to treat you like a criminal either way, what is the point of not acting like one? Know what I mean?

    It’s a culture problem, and it’s only reinforced by lousy laws. Remember, people change every day, we need to all start treating them like humans and reinstate innocent until guilty once and for all.

    So in short. Yes. 🙂

  15. Rights are either inalienable, or they are privileges. Enough of the pseudo-intellectual, semantic patty cake games.

    • I suggest you look up “inalienable” before engaging in this “semantic game,” as you call it.

      • Mark, maybe you should look up the definition, what don’t you understand about my comment? If a right is not inalienable, it is not a right.

  16. The is no absolute right that can stand in the face of a legitimate government “need”. They are going to walk all over the Constitution, and not just the 2nd amendment.

  17. It’s ok, we’re in no danger of such a wonderful problem. We’re at a point where even a writer for this site says only the police and other “only ones” should be allowed to carry guns on airplanes.

    • IMO, much of the writing on this site supports the expanding police state apparatus. I see this site as a Trojan horse on the 2A; pretending to be a forum promoting free discussion and the rights of gun ownership, but there is a clear underlying message/agenda here in many of the articles and many of the posts that supports the opposite of what the site is pretending to represent.

      • Cannot tell if this a /sarc type of comment or not

        The authors of this site have stated thousands of times “shall not be infringed” — they are also CCW holders. If all you want is a site that stands up and cheerleads a singular non-opposing view and presents no other views, there are plenty of other blogs you can go to. Nobody forces you to come here.

        Some of the posts, such as this one are to create discussion. It is a question, food for thought, the chance to talk about a scenario — that is not the same as agreeing with a position

        • Not sarc at all, how does being a CCW holder debunk my opinion? In fact doesn’t asking the state for a license to do something that is allegedly a right support my opinion? Who said anything about cheerleaders and looking for only 1 side? these are your assertions, not mine.

  18. I don’t know why this is controversial. Break the law, lose your rights. It’s not even the case that felons always get their voting rights back. Very often they give up their 4th amendment rights long after they leave jail. On the one hand you might say: if they are so dangerous, why aren’t they in jail. But, danger notwithstanding, its part of the punishment.

    • >> I don’t know why this is controversial. Break the law, lose your rights.

      Because that implies that the rights are not absolute or natural. Furthermore, it leaves a backdoor for the government to trample on people’s right by making them all criminals (by writing and enforcing laws that are practically impossible to not break eventually), and then taking their rights away from them under that pretext.

      >> It’s not even the case that felons always get their voting rights back.

      Yes, and it is an abomination. US is the only republic in the world that consistently does that kind of thing.

      • Government has as its primary power the ability to make things against the law. I love your thought process….until they get around to applying it to your overuse of the internet, or hot water, and presto, your rights are gone, you felon you. Maybe you like your milk unpasteurized, fresh from the cow…no, no, no…felony for you! Then you will complain. Too f-ing bad. Keep giving the government control over your natural rights, but do not think your simple mindedness is appreciated by the rest of us.

      • “Absolute” and “natural” are not synonymous. For example, your “natural” right to keep and bear arms ends at my property line, and are therefore not “absolute.” Your natural right to use arms for self-defense ceases to exist when, in your schizophrenic paranoid fantasies you believe that everyone at the mall is a zombie set on killing you and you need to open fire to protect yourself; you may be deprived of your arms to prevent you from doing so, and therefore your rights are not absolute.

      • That is a silly 4th grade way to look at it. If you kill someone, after a fair trail you can be put to death. Anything less than that for a murderer is a generous bargaining position. We can discuss degrees of punishment for certain crimes, sure – I am not sure its just to get (say) 10 years for a burglary, but then again I think child rapists could not possibly be punished enough.

        Here is a simple solution if you don’t want your rights taken away: don’t break the law. I am not super sympathetic to felons “rights.”

        • The problem is law makers keep changing minor offences into felonies. Keep medicines after their expiration date? Take meds out of their original bottles for travel? shoot a police dog in self defense? etc etc. These acts make you a felon. The term no longer means what it used to mean: violent criminals.

  19. Considering that they can kill you in most states, which is a deprivation of more important right to life, there is no absolute rights.

  20. Twenty years ago I would have said that it is *not* absolute.

    Today my opinion is much different in that it *is* absolute. I believe that virtually every weapons-related law is an infringement and unconstitutional. I believe that the 2nd Amendment covers all individual combat arms past, present and future and is not limited to firearms. I believe that the only way to have a right “of the people” infringed is for someone to be removed from “the people” by incarceration or institutionalization through due process and that the infringement be lifted when rejoining “the people.”

  21. IMO it should depend on the felony. NO ONE with a violent crime felony should EVER be allowed a weapon of any kind. Non violent felonies id be fine with a probation period and then allowing them to have their right back.

    • You can be felon for “faking financial-aid applications” — I doubt that those people are major threats to the public.

      It has to be clear, violent vs. non-violent

      • White collar felons do more damage to more people than any simple murderer ever did. Bernie Madoff?

  22. Should the mentally unsound have rights of gun ownership? As in the case of a young man needing psychotropic drugs to keep them somewhat balanced and yet going off their medicine, stealing registered guns from his mother, killing her first, then proceeding to kill students and others at a school, or other unsound minded young men stealing guns and killing those at a movie theater or some other location.

    I am not advocating a permanent right which cannot be compromised by gross misconduct/criminal behavior and conviction, or mental incapacity.

    I would not want criminals, mentally unsound, or jihadists having the rights to own any guns they want, though they would have little difficulty in stealing what they want, so the rest of us would need to be prepared to defend ourselves and others at all times.

    • SP, gotta call you on this…your post is full of half truths, and possibly many untruths, and much innuendo. Your reference to “young man needing psychotropic drugs to keep them somewhat balanced ” is 100% fiction. There is no proof, scientific or otherwise, that psychotropic medication balances anything. There is a lot of evidence however that some of the more commonly used psychotropic drugs cause both homicidal and suicidal behavior.
      Who gets to decide who is mentally unstable? Pretty subjective topic there SP, and Jihadists? Really? It’s statements like this that make this board look like like a propaganda machine instead of an objective gun forum.

      • “There is no proof, scientific or otherwise, that psychotropic medication balances anything. There is a lot of evidence however that some of the more commonly used psychotropic drugs cause both homicidal and suicidal behavior.”

        Indeed, and the fact that we have so many people suddenly seeming to fall from grace is based at least in part on the fact that the corrupt legislature has spent so much time lining their pockets with agricultural bribes, while the nutrient capacity of the soil has been severely depleted, thereby making the food available to the general population insufficient to promote sound cognitive behavior. They’ve known about this problem for decades yet have changed nothing because it drives the population further into the clutches of larger government.

        Secondly, the mere addition of marine lipids into ones diet, since nutrient deficient diets don’t support proper fatty acid conversion, can do small miracles relative to helping a person to maintain their balance in society, the family and other relationships. Fish Oil has even proven more successful that Prozac. Is it any wonder then, why Obama’s March 2012 Executive Order on Defense Preparedness further clarified the need to take control of all marine fats. Put another way, under martial law, people will be under higher levels of stress and the government will have control of the single most natural way for people to control their anxiety, depression, anger response, etc.

        So, taking this prescriptive model into the penal system, one can draw some amazing conclusions when looking at the diets at many of these “cons”, especially the crappy diets within the prison system. It becomes easier to see how we’ve come to this road, when we look at the failure of the food supply system across the board and yet look what the corrupt legislators have done to keep people in the dark while promoting the toxic pharmaceutical industry. The FDA has become a joke in protecting the population and they are openly endorsing Monsanto while penalizing small farms and the organic industry. Meanwhile, the penal system has become a lucrative business.

        • Your points about government controls not working or better undoing things is true, and this being the 4th. July , I wish to point out we have no national defense at all. no civil defense , no EMP defense , no star wars defense, all we have is 2A that the founders gave us.(we spent many billions on military) Government is about always more controls , never more freedoms and liberty.. Everyone has a right to any and all firearms they want and it’s also our DUTY to be armed and have some training … if you are on the run for CRIMES (outlaw) you must show good faith and go to court and get cleared …and also the current medical answers are all unproven… the Federal government must be kept out of the controls of everything….

  23. If it’s not absolutel then it isn’t a right. We already have the word “privilege” for the things which can be revoked on a whim.

    • The right to defend yourself is absolute — that does not go away. What is question is the means of which you defend yourself.

      In the end, the problem is the prisons are like “college for criminals” — there is no reform, there is no teaching them how to stay away from crime, it only trains them to be better criminals. Some people can never be reformed and thus should never be released but our system does not allow for many of those cases.

      • So, because some function of society is problematic, we take it out on the citizens…..hey, you should run for office!! Preferable, in some other country, of course.

    • New Chris, according to the 5th Amendment, you can be deprived of life or liberty with due process of law. Are life and liberty therefore privileges?

  24. The right to defend yourself IS absolute. Another person’s property rights will supercede your ability to possess and carry weapons upon their property. They MUST specifically inform you that they do not want your to be upon their property while armed. By law, you must comply. A posted sign is not enough to deprive you of your rights. You must be personally informed.

    • Are you telling us that a bank robber or murderer has an ABSOLUTE right to defend himself against the police officers who are trying to apprehend him? And that therefore it is not a crime if he shoots and/or kills an officer “in self-defense”?

  25. Does “Shall not be infringed” mean that the RKBA shall not be infringed at all? Or does “Shall not be infringed” mean that the RKBA may be infringed at the whim of the Powers that Be as long as they can get away with it?

    • The first question is a philosophical one, the second a practical one. Ne’er the twain shall meet.

  26. On paper it seems reasonable that ex-convicts (for felonies) should never legally own/possess a firearm. There are three huge potential problems.
    (1) Governments, through legislative fiat, can pass any law they like and instantly turn huge portions of the population into felons. Governments could thus exploit this and prohibit most people from owning firearms.
    (2) A person could be “in the wrong place at the wrong time” and be convicted of a crime. (Young man defends self in street fight but, in the confusion, ends up being convicted of aggravated assault). Said person serves a two year sentence in prison and, upon release, is a model citizen which includes marrying and raising a family. There is no legitimate reason why such a person cannot own and possess a firearm for defense of self and family.
    (3) A person could be prosecuted for a myriad of non-violent felonies — many of which are bogus. Those people have no violent tendencies whatsoever and may have literally been prosecuted for ignorance of some stupid, obscure law. Or worse, a person didn’t commit any crime at all but pleaded guilty to a known sentence of two years in prison versus risking a guilty verdict and 15 years in prison. Denying those people from having the means to protect themselves and their families does not make society safer. In fact it endangers many people.

    The farthest that I am willing to go is:
    (a) Restrictions ONLY for ex-convicts who were CONVICTED of serious violent crimes.
    (b) Restrictions guaranteed to end something like 5 years after release from prison.

    We have to remember that no system is perfect. My limits protect the occasional person who was, for all intents and purposes, wrongly convicted or is not a violent person who present any danger to society if they own firearms. And my limits encourage ex-convicts to turn their lives around and be good people.

  27. I’m not going to get started on feelings towards our nation’s prison industrial complex, but when more than 50% of your prisoners are in prison for drug related offenses you have a problem. Losing 2A rights is the least of the problems facing ex-cons, they also lose their voting rights in many places and most importantly they are essentially bared from the formal employment sector. Virtually every corporation in the US does a pre-employment background check and they don’t care if you were convicted of a simple assault 30 years ago, you will fail that check and will not be offered employment. One reform that I would like to see would be a restoration of all an ex-offenders rights after a certain period of time has passed. If you are clean after some time period say 7 years (same as credit reports), you automatically receive back your 2A rights, voting rights, and have your record sealed so you can pass background checks.

    • Thank you Pete S. That was as an intelligent argument for reinstatement as I’ve seen. And if I can pipe in here, some people will just return to their old way of life because they don’t know any better and are not willing to turn to the light side, but there are many many individuals who just need to know someone was willing to give them another shot at life and they are the ones who would potentially become model citizens.

      The problem is that the current power elite wants everyone one of us in some form of chains and they aren’t about to start in with the forgiveness thing or looking to set any good examples for model citizenship through their own behavior. I think what we are seeing with the prison system is a perfect example of the term “projection”, where the legislature and judiciary are projecting onto these less than socially cooperative miscreants the punishment they believe they, themselves, should be receiving for their crimes and abuses while in office.

  28. Felons by my estimation are no longer citizens, and thus get no #2.

    The felony classification system needs and overhaul and the prison system needs to actually be held accountable for rehabilitation success. Not just being used as glorified “time out”

    • The right to keep and bear arms isn’t limited to citizens. It’s universal. A free people can keep and bear arms. Indeed, they must. The RKBA is independent of citizenship.

    • People who think that they are arbiters of other’s citizenship probably would be better off renouncing their own first.

  29. Will someone please tell me what the point of open carry is? I have heard “because we can” and “because it’s our right” which by itself is not a reason. You can walk down the street wearing a bunny outfit, but are you going to do that, and attract a lot of attention to yourself?

    Guns are a very sensitive issue with some folks, so why do something that may keep them from coming over to our side. Open carry is fine for the range, the gun shop, and a gun show, and on your own property but it’s not going to keep you from being attacked by a bunch of hoods if you carry openly down main street. so then what is the point? Does it make you feel more like a “He Man”? Do you want to show people how much power you have in your two hands? Do you really think you are helping our cause? If you feel you need to carry for protection, fine! Get a concealed weapon permit.

    At the present time, Walmart allows concealed guns in their store. Open carry is probably dependent of location. I’ll bet you a dollar to a donut, that if a bunch of shabby looking creeps started walking all over the place with rifles at the ready, sooner or later they would declare all guns off limits, which would mean that I would not be able to CC in Walmart, and all because some idiots walking around scaring some old grandma’s

    If you must open carry, then at least show some “Class” and don’t walk around with an AR or AK with a bandolier of magazines slung over you shoulder like you are getting ready to start WW3

    • Well, somewhat a thread drift; but I’ll bite. I can OC without a license; but to carry a CC loaded weapon here in New Mexico requires a CCL, which means I have begged permission from what a I would be admitting is my master the state.

      OC as a free citizen practicing a right? Or CC as a peasant practicing a privilege after begging permission from my master?

      I chose OC.

  30. RKBA does not apply to criminals such as murders, rapists, etc….I do think white collar criminals should retain it however.

    • Treason is a pretty serious offense but some wise fellows managed to retain the right to keep and bear arms. In fact, they went on to form a nation. 😉

      Making the possession of firearms illegal for former felons won’t stop some from keeping and bearing arms any more than will “Gun Free Zones.” As the number of former felons increase exponentially due to bad law, expect more to break laws prohibiting possession. I’ve carried all of my life. If I were to be released after being convicted of a felony, do you really believe that I wouldn’t re-arm myself? It would be one of my first priorities after being released from custody.

      • Cute, but laws levied under a tyranny are not valid in the first place. Committing treason against a tyrant is a non sequitur.

    • Punishment-creep, to coin a phrase or rip one after that I just hadn’t heard before, is a legitimate concern and absolutely a proper focus of the political process. Perhaps we’ve been too accommodating over the years in shifting more and more infractions into felony territory, all in the name of getting tough on crime, without realizing the full impact of that approach.

      Crimes generally break down into two broad categories, misdemeanors and felonies, with the latter reserved for supposedly more serious crimes. Seriousness of a crime, however, results from multiple potential variables. It’s not just violent/nonviolent. The same crime committed against one person, could well be a felony if committed against a different person with a different status. That goes for violent crimes, as when committed against a senior citizen or a non-senior citizen, for example. It also goes for property crimes, as when committed against a private citizen or a government entity, for other examples.

      The victim and violence components aside, there’s also the value of the particular crime, as the difference between petty theft and grand larceny. There’s also the repeat offender aspect, such that a given crime might amount to a misdemeanor for a first time offender, but a felony for a repeat offender. So there’s more to defining the seriousness of a crime than solely any element of violence.

      What is the right and proper demarcation between serious and non-serious, i.e., misdemeanor and felony, and the attendant punishments of incarceration, fines, and post-prison restrictions on rights? Good question, and eternally debatable. Again, that’s for the political process to hash out; but let’s do acknowledge from the beginning some of the complexities of the issue, beyond the simple violent/non-violent dichotomy.

    • Now that is asinine. White collar criminals can inflict much more damage, yet you give them a pass.

  31. Hannibal and Vhyrus have it 100% correct. Paul and some others, well, need to do a little more serious thinking on the subject. For example, would you be cool with a convicted drunk and drug addict who, having served his/her prison sentence, being able to resume their prior professions, say, as………airline pilot? Surgeon? Pharmacist? What about your kid’s bus driver?

    One and done is great for nameless, faceless felons and restoration of a right which you hold oh so near and dear; but………..things get mighty real up in here, as the kids say, when it hits a little closer to home, now doesn’t it? Even so, that’s all irrelevant. The differing premises the two camps argue from are 1) whether post incarceration penalties *should* be imposed and 2) whether post incarceration penalties are allowed to be imposed. The former is a political issue. The latter is a constitutional issue. People willfully conflate the two to give their political policy preferences the gravitas of constitutional heft.

    The fact is, and yes, it is a fact, that the Constitution permits limitations and even denial of fundamental rights, provided that due process has been followed. By fundamental rights, I’m going all the way, as does the Constitution, and saying that includes life, liberty and property. Now, what constitutes due process is itself subject to debate for another day; but let’s accept that at any given moment, there does exist a protocol for providing due process, because that’s the reality on the ground. Let’s not traffic in fantasies and druthers, ok?

    NOWHERE in the Constitution does it read that release from incarceration marks the end of punishment. I dare anyone to prove otherwise. I get it, you think, feel, wholeheartedly believe, that it should indicate something like that. However, it does not. So please have the intellectual honesty to quit going around arguing that this is unconstitutional or the government has no proper authority to do this. You’re just flat out wrong and the Constitution proves it.

    Now, whether a particular policy should be instituted, among the myriad policies which would pass constitutional muster, is another discussion entirely. That’s part of the political process. You people, many of whom have no idea what you’re talking about, seriously need to pick up a text or two and read up on the subject. You go around swinging a big constitutional stick trying to bat down anything you don’t like, and then claim a halo for trying to impose your own personal political policy preferences under cover of counterfeit constitutional principles. Stop it. You’re the ones aiding and abetting the fraudulent and dangerous notion of a “living, breathing” Constitution, which in reality becomes an infinitely elastic and utterly meaningless framework of rights, roles and rules.

    • You have seriously crossed ideals. One does not have a right to be an airline pilot, or even a children’s bus driver. I support their right to apply for those positions, and to even be possibly accepted for such jobs. I also can respectfully decline to do business with those who hire such individuals. Your comparison is completely invalid. This has been explained a number of times in a number of threads, and you were on those threads. I can only conclude that you are an imbecile. Yet I support your right to be a greeter at Walmart anyways.

  32. Nowhere in the constitution does it allow revocation of rights. Not even after due process. Read carefully.

  33. As I pointed out before the people who were called OUTLAWS , till the time they came to court and was cleared of charges … to be called a outlaw you were outside the protections and rights of the Bill of Rights .. a bounty hunter could bring you in and collect a reward (some times dead or alive) this worked VERY well until the 1900’s . when the liberal Quaker Jail system was started in America ,, The Quakers were the for runners of this set in jail and be REFORMED ,,, Well the jail system has NEVER EVER WORKED also….also the bounty hunter got some of money you had taken and if found you did do the crime in court the bounty hunter got you stuff like your firearms and horse etc…Crime in the old west etc. was very low …

  34. . As far as sex offenders, murders, burglars, arsonists, and robbers are concerned, I am okay with them not legally being able to own guns. Mere possession of a firearm should not disqualify anyone. A bar fight should not disqualify anyone. The domestic battery laws are completely assbackwards when it comes to firearms. I’m 100% okay with non violent drug offenders or alcohol related offenders having guns. The only disqualification I could see is a drunk/high person committing vehicular manslaughter is reasonable. Misdemeanor anything should not disqualify anyone. X years after being released from jail, some violent offenders who have changed their lives should be able to own firearms. Some gang member who has left the gang and now is a responsible citizen should be able to own guns, even if the crime committed felonious assault, robbery, etc. Those people should be able to defend themselves or their families from possible gang retaliation or your typical burglary.

    Realistically, the only people I think who should have a life time ban are sex offenders and the mentally ill. If someone is responsible enough to own a gun when they leave jail, then they shouldn’t be leaving in the first place.

      • After reading that, I was also going to ask for a definition of mentally ill. Sex offender needs defining as well now a days. Some might be surprised at what kinds of cases are being swept up in that broad net these days.

  35. Jefferson stated “No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of Arms”.
    In the context of his words, the 2A rights of individuals are absolute so long they are a “freeman”.There exist only 2 instances where a person would not be a freeman. When they are either in prison or in a mental institution. At ALL other times They are free to exercise their 2A rights. You may agree or disagree with this position as that is your right to hold your own opinion but a persons rights are not defined by the approval or disapproval of others.

    • I agree. Usually I do my best by stating that anyone not in lawful, legitimate custody ought not be deprived the bearing of arms. Such examples would include in prison or jail, legitimately detained, in a mental institution, under the age of majority or under the guardianship of another (out of it under anesthesia, etc), or on trial in a criminal case during the actual time of the proceedings.

  36. This hypocracy about ex-felons being able to have a firearm. and why would an excon need a gun. Well people here is where the rubber meets the road. If you are going to be screaming the right to bare arms is protected under the Second ammendment. Guess what that means the second amendment is rated E for everyone. If a man serves his time in prison and has finished his parole, is not a mental case. Then he is considered a free man. Hes paid his debt to society, thus no free man shall be debarred upon his right to bare arms. Albeit if he commits a crime again with a firearm give the dumbshit life without parole. But they deserve the right to defend thier property and family as well. They are protected under the same constitution like the rest of us. I believe in reformed citizens owning firearms. Lets stop the hypocracy and be united on this and rid ourselves of the Gun grabbers.

    • and as was said time in jail is a JOKE that has never ever worked, the crime is not paid for , someone takes your car etc, and destroyed it how are you paid for it . no never …. the whole system is upside down and wrong … jail and saying time served makes the bad repent ,,no way… jail should only be a holding pen until trial. then we make them repay the person who was hurt, kill some one , get death , no if’s and’s or for’s ! TV and sports in jail also a joke ,, no one gets reformed…and crime is never paid for ,,, and you should lose ALL RIGHTS FOR LIFE …2A and even the right to vote forever… HANG THEM ALL HIGH .. and stop all this Nanny STATE (socialism)

  37. I just read (well skimmed) a 154 replies and I did not see a single one explaining where in the U.S. Constitution it says you can deprive a citizen of their Second Amendment Rights. I can tell you they skipped that one in law school. Please recall back in the good ole days (1700’s) misdemeanors got you locked up for a while. Felonies got you hung.

    • PS:Thomas Jefferson said “No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms”. I think you all need to decide if you are free or not instead of worry about all that Supreme Court slave think above.

  38. I’m a convicted felon in Oklahoma. I was convicted for assault with a dangerous weapon. I was 19 at the time. I’m 36 now I have a clean record ever since I have been released. I have held down a job ever since I was released. I have worked and paid taxes from the same employer for 12 years now. What I believe is there are certain cases that full rights should be restored.

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