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TTAG commentator Andrew Stickler posted this underneath our post OMG! 666 GA Felons’ Gun Rights Restored! OMG!

I am a felon, since I was a kid. Hopefully, in about two more years, I will have my rights restored. I’ve already got my application prepared. I shouldn’t have the right to ever defend my family ? somebody mentioned shoving a girlfriend and getting a misdemeanor, Well, while drunk at a bar, I threatened a man, not with a gun, just threatened to fight him. He pulled out a knife . . .

and said he would stab me. So I busted a beer bottle on the table and told him fuck it lets do it, Mind you I had just turned 21 and was drunk, and still didn’t touch anyone.

I was arrested for felonious assault, for speaking, and went to prison for it, not jail, state penitentiary. Since then I got out, completed parole, almost finished school, started a business and had three kids, plus a dog.

You fucking serious, you think I should never have a gun, ever ? Never be able to hunt which I loved as a kid? Never defend my family or myself (and we live in Detroit, Michigan by the way)?

I’m sure you know what that means, and how often there are shootings within blocks of us, muggings at the same gas stations or stores we go to, rapes in nearby alleys. And you think I’m the one, who shouldn’t have a gun ?

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  1. That sucks big time. But it does highlight exactly why I do my best to make good choices. The system is all too good at taking our rights away and I hope the process to get your rights restored goes smoothly.

    • On making good choices, remember that if YOU are a felon, no guns in a house can be accessible to you. This effectively means that your spouse/GF/BF/roommate/etc, will have to be sans guns.

      My wife would be hella mad if any dumb-assery on my part cost her her gun rights.

    • The problem is this guy could be 50 and been making great choices for the last 25 years. But one bad choice at the age of 21 has cost him the ability to (lawfully) own firearms and even to vote.

      That’s wrong.

  2. Sounds like a line from Tombstone: “all right lunger, let’s do it” I love that movie.

    Sounds to me that he inserted a weapon into a verbal situation which is like pointing your gun at another car during a road rage. No different in my view.

    • Oops, the other guy pulled a knife! My mistake. Never mind the second part of my comment above.

      My advice, avoid bars!

    • Yeah, he’s no Martha Stewart but… actually wait, she also lost her rights for no good reason.

      Hey, brandishing a weapon is bad. Making threats is bad. But without any physical contact at all let alone any physical harm done, I don’t see a reason to make it a felony under the law. Prison time and felony conviction for this? That’s outrageous.

      • Laws are not always applied fairly and evenly. Especially for folks of color or people who are educationally and financially deficient. One thing to remember, many times people are held in jails before trial. The state has an unfair advantage on influencing a plea, even when unfair to the actual facts, where a person with financial means would be out of jail and be able to play the legal game by having an actual criminal defense attorney, not an over-worked public defender.

        How long do you think someone could do what Bill Cosby has been doing if they didn’t have the kind of money he does? Once or twice maybe.

        • Yeah I’d have to agree. I don’t know the laws in Detroit or MI in general, but find it highly plausible that a halfway decent lawyer would have had this knocked down to a misdemeanor without issue. Of course, even if a public defender is a good lawyer they probably don’t have the time anyway. Which reminds me of a really good episode of “This Week Tonight:”

        • Nothing matters but the ‘financial deficiency’. Bill Cosby has been at it for forever, it has very little to do with color – except for the color green.

          Let’s say your name is, I dunno, Busch. 4th lives in a tiny ‘burb in STL policed by another tiny ‘burb with a tiny police force. After another long night of blow, your girlfriend dies from an accidental oxy OD. There’s still coke on the premises that no one even confiscates, let alone gets arrested for. Don’t worry they won’t take his guns either, which he sometimes discharges in the house because, well, he’s loaded (literally and figuratively).

          Although to be fair, he’s gotten pretty good at getting away with things that would have mere mortals in jail forever. Fleeing an accident that kills a girl and shows up 6 hours later like Ted Kennedy? Check. Get into a police chase for over a hour (’80s, life was different) which ended with the cops shooting out his tire (they were trading gunfire) then actually changing it for him once they learned who he was. Check.

          The color of your skin means nothing – it’s the color of the money to pay your lawyer that is all that counts. Eventually after a few murders yo might get caught, but as long as you have money, the first one, or two, you will get away with.

      • “But without any physical contact at all let alone any physical harm done, I don’t see a reason to make it a felony under the law…”

        So if I shoot at someone and miss, I’m all good right?

        • Sure, why not. Umm, no. As you infer, he was busted for assault with a deadly weapon, and that is a felony in all states, whether harm occurred or not, The lack of harm may be a factor in restoration of rights, but does not take away from the conviction.

        • From his description, he didn’t attempt to harm the person. Threatening harm and attempting harm are different in my mind. I suppose I shouldn’t have said no physical harm committed, but should have said no physical harm attempted.

        • this is the original poster, Andrew Stricker. I wasw just 21, I had just gotten out of the Army, I’m a pretty muscular guy, I weigh 200+ lbs, but I’m only 5’7″, and I’m white. My head was fucked up from being a combat veteran, and a very large black guy pulled a knife on me for hitting on his girlfriend. BECAUSE I’m white, even though HE initiated violence, he pulled the first weapon, and I never touched him, they charged me and tried to make a racial incident out of it. I got charged with “felonious assault WITHOUT intent to commit harm”…. I don’t know how you can assault someone without touching them, or intending to hurt them, but thats michigan for you, if the police get called, SOMEONE is going to jail period. I was a Soldier, Combat veteran, first time felon, and got sent to prison and lost my right to vote for this.

  3. One hopes you have learned in the years since, as I have in my life, restraint, anger management, self limiting when partaking of beverages or other medicinal substances, and perhaps gained in wisdom. No offense, I managed to avoid trouble with the law, but it was most likely due to dumb luck and my Momma’s prayers than any common sense on my part. I wish you good luck with the process.

    • This is actually one reason I think kids should begin their exposure to alcohol with their responsible parents before things like high school parties start to appear on their calendars. I was allowed to have a beer while grilling & BBQ’ing in my early teens, with slow easing of that restriction as I got older. There was no sexy appeal of the naughty, banned toy that I couldn’t have access to. Heck, by junior year in HS I was allowed to have beer in the fridge in my room. Stocked it with Guinness and stuff, no less, cuz I didn’t learn to drink beer via Natty from a keg. What I did do was learn how alcohol works well ahead of finding myself at house parties. A handful of friends in college who didn’t drink until they turned 21 got themselves into the most absurd situations. To the hospital in one case. But I never went nuts at bars because it’s so much more expensive than what I had been doing for many years before I turned 21 anyway, and the novelty of having a drink wasn’t there for me in the first place. …so…Anyhoo… that’s my “controlled exposure” theory haha

      • I have believed the same thing for years. I grew up during the time when the legal drinking age was 18.
        By the time I joined the Marines there was no desire for alcohol for me, I had gotten it out of my system (it did return later in life via JD). I also believe that the low legal age stopped the experimenting with drugs which is out of control today.

      • Here, here. I had access to the liquor cabinet around 12. I had a shot here and there, a decent glass of whiskey for the sake of appreciation. I’ve had my fair share over the decades, but I always new what I was doing.

        I had a friend who’s parents never let him (and he obeyed). He was hospitalized the 2nd night of college with a .40, or something close.

        Alcohol is a drug, and like most drugs it should be sampled, and occasionally enjoyed in moderation.

    • Good judgement at the time wasn’t really possible. I was 21, a combat veteran who came home from the army 6 months prior to this event. its been years since this thread took came up but I just looked it up on accident and seen all the posts. I believe in a city as dangerous as detroit. My neighborhood, not my city, my Neighborhood, has had multiple murders this year. the community center where my kids go after school had a shoot out in the parking lot over a drug deal less then 3 months ago, 7 blocks from me, on the route my kids would walk to school if I didn’t drive them, drive by shooting last month. and I’m white, in a almost entirely black neighborhood, with a white family. not to make it racial, but I’ve grown up being a target for attack. My kids go to private schools, but my son, after a fight at the school and getting attacked by an older black kid. I took him to inkster, a REALLLY bad neighborhood near us, and put him in the most hoodlum filled, dangerous boxing club in the area(of course I sit with him) I just want him to grow up with no fear like me, without having to go through the bullying I did. This is a very dangerous city, especially so if your white. and I was considered normal enough to defend our country, and participate in combat. But a bar fight when my head is still clearly in that zone of “fight for your life” in a city like detroit where if you don’t defend yourself you will get attacked anyways means I can’t protect my family. the average response time by Detroit police IF shots have been fired is 56 minutes. I got attempted car jacked once, called 911, and the operator asked if anyone has been shot, I said no, they said their not coming at all. thats detroit. the police may not even come to “protect me” if a home invasion gets committed on us. Yet I still can’t even protect myself in my own home. All I’m asking for, is the right to have firearms in my house. If a attacker broke in, tried to rape my wife, kill me or my children, and I shot him. I’m going to jail for felony firearm

  4. You have paid for the crime of which you were convicted. Your status as a citizen needs to be fully restored.

    • All criminals should have their right to bear arms restored once they are released from prison. Basic human rights must not be permanently denied because of committing a crime (once the criminal has paid for his crime). We do not deny felons freedom of religion. We do not deny them freedom of speech. We, as a society, have no authority to deny them the right to bear arms.

      That said, I do favor executing all murderers, and some other extremely violent offenders. I also favor permanent exile, and/or lifelong incarceration for other extremely violent offenders. These people really cannot “pay for their crime” other than with their life.

      The man who posted the article didn’t even really assault anyone. He did threaten it, but that is no felony in the real sense of the word.

  5. And therein lies the rub: he did his time, paid the price, and yet here they are continuing to punish him by keeping his rights hostage. If he had not paid his debt, then this would not be an issue, but he has. Why are some guaranteed rights held hostage while others are not?

      • Many felons continue to lose rights, other than firearm rights, after release from prison. Pedophiles, embezzlers, drug abusers among them.

        Nobody ever said that incarceration was the totality of one’s punishment. In fact, it’s the oposite. Sure loss of gun rights has been a known consequence of felony convictions for decades now. If you can’t lose the right, don’t do the crime. (I know, it doesn’t rhyme and it isn’t catchy, but you get the point.)

        Besides, I bet there’s more to this particular story than we’ve been told. Anything’s possible, of course, but every sob story out of a felon who wants his guns back seems to play the same: good kid in the wrong place, wrong time, with the wrong crowd, just a one time mistake we all could’ve made….

        Uh huh.

        Reminds me of thugs who get shot while fighting cops: he was a good boy, did a little typical hell raising, maybe, but a good boy who was just turning his life around……

        Uh huh.

        • I had just gotten out of the army. I was white, the “victim”, a big black bouncer who initiated the situation. I was out of the army for less then 6 months, and a combat veteran. My prison number is 796877, can look it up. “felonious assault WITHOUT intent to commit harm”. The truth was my head was still fucked up from being in the army, and yeah I said some threatening shit as far as more to the story. But he started it. I tried to strike up conversation with his girlfriend, he said hey white boy shes with me. I was drunk, I grew up here in detroit so I hate the “white boy thing” so I responded “oh yeah, well go ahead and enjoy your n***er b***h” and he tried to hit me, I ducked it and squared up, he pulled a knife out of his security belt, I busted a beer bottle, again dropped the N word, and said lets do it then. people started screaming and called the police. when they showed I refused to make a statement, and everybody elses statements while acknowledging he started it, and was bigger then me, made all kinds of horrible statements ” he was like something out of a nightmare !”, “it made me think of some vicious klansmen down south”. I had been Army Intel, not a combat MOS, but with a combat unit, and ranked army combatives 2, and had gone to airborne school and ranger school. They made a huge deal out of the race issue, presented me as some mentally unstable PTSD suffering animal(couldn’t be farther from the truth, I’m a pretty normal guy. happy family, my kids are well adjusted and happy, stable work history with a really good job) but my defense lawyer tried to play up the nonsense PTSD angle and it helped the prosecution. they ended up giving me, 366 days in prison and a felony assault without intent to commit harm.

    • There you have it. This is not a right given by the government and it is not a right the government has any authority to take away. At best, while you are in government custody and/or incarceration they can do their best to inhibit your ability to exercise your natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

      • Well, fact is that the government has. What are you going to do about it? Sue? Good luck with that. With a fifty percent recidivism rate among ex-cons, no court in the land will find these laws unconstitutional. The risk that a felon may abuse his privileges, and that serious harm will result, is simply too high.

        • I’m pretty sure, almost ALL of the mass shooters, have had ZERO criminal history and legally buy firearms. I’m more scared of people without felonies then I am of people with them. If you have any type of real masculinity, you will end up army, police, fireman, private security, or live in rural area not heavily patrolled by the police. I watched the new “bare knuckle boxing league” and one of the big country boys said “growing up we solved differences with our fists”. if you are a regular fighter in the city, willing combatant, in urban or suburban areas, where most of the population live. you will spend some time in jail in this country. just how I feel. Do your time, and its over. the only people who shouldn’t have any forgiveness is child abusers/molestors and rapists, and murderers, unless its something like, I dunno, I met a couple mobsters in prison, who out in the world have nice homes and families, businesses, etc. so I dunno, even some murderers, as long as it was something gang associated or something,should have gun rights restored too

  6. Why do all felons have their rights taken away? Aren’t there “little” felonies and “big” felonies? Seems like permanently banning gun ownership is a life sentence to limited self-defense. Is that something society should do? After someone completes jail and probation, why is there a life sentence regarding self-defense? Isn’t our justice system designed to rehabilitate offenders?

    • Well, if we’re being technical, it’s not really DESIGNED to rehabilitate…
      More like hold you in a sad box that’s the closest thing the government can create as both reasonably safe (for a given definition that more or less says you’re not “legally dead”) AND Hell, while being as cheap as possible, for several years.

    • Yes there are small felonies and big felonies. Actually, I’m very well versed on the subject, at least in Washington State. I have done legal research for gun rights restorations for legal cases that have gotten rights back for people who were previously unable. Washington State law on possession rights restoration is not the model of clarity by any stretch of the imagination. To address your comment as far as big and small felonies, at least in Washington, there are class A, B and C felonies Class A felonies may not have gun rights restored. Sex offenses, which while not impossible, are extremely difficult to do. For Federal felonies, you are just plain toast. Possession rights under federal felonies are not currently done except under rare procedures including pardons. Having domestic violence convictions also precludes restoration of possession rights, although there are ways to restore in those cases also. In Washington State however, people with just a felony or two, who went to prison for a class B or C who did their time, got out, stayed on the straight and narrow, got a certificate of discharge, can apply to the superior court in the county of conviction for restoration of rights which SHALL reinstate those rights. The judge has no discretion in doing so other than to determine eligibility. If the person is eligible, the judges job is simply procedural and it can not be denied. The biggest hurdle for people seems to be the inability to pay the cost of legal representation as the average cost is $2500 plus costs and many folks don’t come close to possessing the skills needed to do it themselves or have the money to hire a lawyer. It is a rather involved process and people with a bunch of felonies, it’s difficult and expensive.

      Still, other states have laws that automatically restore rights of firearm possession as soon as you have completed terms of your sentence for non-violent felonies. Minnesota and Montana are two that have similar laws.
      You do your time, get out, do what you’re supposed to and your gun rights are automatically restored and you are able to have your guns.

      • Shouldn’t a person completing probation get a certificate allowing restoration of rights? And if probation is not required a certificate when let out of prison?

        • After completing terms of the JAS (judgement and sentence), the court will discharge the case and issue the certificate. It restores all rights lost by application of law EXCEPT gun rights. They are explicit and VERY careful to make sure offenders are very much aware of that fact. Not getting a certificate is just an error. Happens all the time. It’s the job of the offender to make sure every little thing is done. I’m actually helping a guy right now who did a short stretch for VCSA. He did his time, got out, works and in every sense is the model citizen. I went to restore his rights and found out he had no certificate. You have to wait for five years after getting a certificate. He has been off probation ten years. If he to court now and got a certificate, he’d have to wait ANOTHER five years.
          He wants to vacate his conviction and restore his gun rights. He’s going to have to spend the $2500 and get a lawyer to get an agreed order or argue the case so the certificate is retroactive from the date of original discharge, otherwise, he’s waiting again. Get out the checkbook!

  7. A sentence served should be a sentenced removed from record. If a crime warrants the loss of any right for a lifetime, then that should mean a lifetime of incarceration. However, if a sentence has been established to fit the crime, and the sentence served, then that citizen should have ALL rights restored… Full stop.

    • Certain dangerous crimes, while hideous, do not merit a life sentence. Until a convicted, violent felon does his time, plus any probation AND MAKES FULL RESTITUTION TO HIS VICTIM(S), there is no basis for reinstatement of his gun rights.

      In this case, if I can believe the OPs claim, it doesn’t appear that the “victim” suffered any harm, so no restitution is required.

      But it offends me that some POTG are so fanatical about their own rights that they dismiss the rights of the victims.

      • In what bizarro alternaverse, does banning someone from carrying a gun or a pencil or a cucumber, help the victims of a crime he may have committed at some earlier stage?

        Also, in addition, one should be very, very careful about dragging the law and the State into a matter, unless it is sufficiently grave to warrant some pretty harsh response. Non observance of this, is what leads to situations like the current one, where everyone commits “felonies” every day, simply to keep lawyers and apparatchiks well fed, while giving the oppressors almost complete leeway to Gitmo anybody at their discretion, since anybody has committed a “crime.”

        The purity of the old school way of, either hang him or leave him alone; while perhaps a smidgen too stark for today’s age, had lots of value that has now been lost.

      • The rights of victims are fully respected by locking their attackers for as long as they remain a threat. If it is for life, then so be it (i.e. someone who has carried out even something minor like assault, but shows no remorse over his actions, shouldn’t ever be out again, as a matter of public safety).

        If they are let out, all their natural rights should apply in full. This includes right to vote and, yes, RKBA.

        If they’re “too dangerous” to allow a gun, they’re also dangerous with a kitchen knife, and should remain locked.

        In any case, the question of restitution to the victims is completely orthogonal to their rights. You don’t “buy” or “buy back” rights.

        • The problem with overly harsh sentencing laws is that they have historically resulted in overly harsh treatment of victims in order to avoid being captured and prosecuted and sentenced. That is, criminals have a great incentive to murder their victims if the sentence for robbery and the sentence for murder are one and the same.

        • Where, under any jurisdiction in the US is there a requirement in law that a violator apologize to a victim? Restitution and/or imprisonment are not synonymous with apology. If people want to keep violators in jail until a sincere (by who’s definition?) apology is rendered, that requirement should be an element of the law violated. Or it should be part of the laws that govern sentencing. Once a violator completes a jail term, or a jail term plus probation (which is really a loosely supervised prison stay), that should be the end of it.

      • Restitution can get tricky in white collar crimes. A rogue broker could end up improperly and illegally trading $1million of a clients money with good intention that he’ll make the client a bazillion extra but end up losing $500,000 of it and then he’ll be asked to make $500,000 in restitution. Since the broker loses his securities licenses and on account of being a felon he’ll only be able to get $40-$80k/year jobs the rest of his life, this means the $500,000 restitution is still a life sentence against his gun rights.

        How does this man being defenseless serve the victim, and how does it help society at large to disarm a harmless person?

      • you’re right, I had a restitution of zero. not a penny owed to the “victims”, only a 125 dollar fee for “crime victim processing” to pay back the state for assessing any damages

  8. This is exactly why I have my feelings about losing rights: If you can’t trust someone who has control of their faculties with a firearm then they should be incarcerated or executed.

    • Of course you can’t trust them – they’re criminals! If there is a law against them possessing firearms after they are released, and they are still criminals, do you really believe they will not possess firearms? This is another one of those laws that only applies to law-abiding people – those that have done their time and want to get back to a normal life not related to criminal activity. This law affects career criminals NOT AT ALL.

      It also totally disregards the Second Amendment shall not be infringed requirement. The correct response is that all citizens who care to be armed should be armed and when the bad guy(s) reveal themselves, with their weapons, they should be shot down where they stand by an irate and incensed populace. Problem solved.

      • A person who is jailed is a convict. A person who completes the jail sentence is called an ex-con. Why would you apply the tag “criminal”? Are you saying a person should be marked for life with the restriction of rights? Only second amendment rights? No other?

  9. Right to ….
    If you commit violent crime against innocent persons, then no. If, as described above, you were acting in self defense, then yes.

    • Actually, not self defense. The OP threatened a man, then that threatened man pulled out a knife in defense, to which the OP broke the bottle.

      • the threatened man was a big black guy, in a mostly all black bar. I said something to his girlfriend, then he approached ME for trying to hit on his girlfriend. I had just recently gotten out of the army, my head was a little bit fucked up still, plus I’ve lived in detroit my whole life so saying “white boy”, as in “hey white boy, that’s my b***h mind your business”, I said basically ” f*** her and you n****r” that started the altercation, after he produced a weapon, I created one with my beer bottle. he approached me with a weapon, I made a make-shift one in response, yet because I’m white in detroit and dropped the N word, and been in combat, and supposedly(never diagnosed, just something the prosecution alleged) suffering from PTSD

  10. I say all felons who serve their time and are released should have all rights restored.

    I mean we aren’t letting murderous maniacal lunatics out on the streets into society are we? That would be insane.

    • And what about the victims?

      Mark Wahlberg was convicted of a crime when he attacked an Asian man during a racially motivated attack. When a friend of the man intervened, Wahlberg beat him too. Now Wahlberg wants a pardon, yet he has never apologized to the victims or made restitution to them.

      I say no. Wahlberg hasn’t balanced the books, and it appears that he never will. But that doesn’t man that I want Wahlberg in prison.

      • Ralph,

        I hear you on the restitution idea and support it by and large.

        Now here is an interesting question on restitution. Suppose I handle my finances irresponsibly, end up broke and utterly unable to ever repay my debts, and thus file for bankruptcy. As a result, my creditors will never receive full repayment and they take a loss. How is this any different from criminals who, realistically, will never be able to fully repay their “creditors”, e.g. their victims?

        If a person gets into financial trouble and is excused from their debts, why isn’t a criminal who spent years in prison excused from their “debt”?

        • MW turned his life around from street thug to actor, producer, savvy business and family man.
          His movies have involved firearms and he appeared to know what he was doing.
          As a felon, how does an actor look that comfortable and convincing with out live fire, spit ball guns?

      • Even Diane Warren can’t reasonably figure a way to Un-Beat My Friend. Hence, restitution will forever remain a chimera in this, and most, cases. It’s simply way too subjective. And, when it comes to government, subjective inevitably leads to abusive.

      • >> But that doesn’t man that I want Wahlberg in prison.

        Why not? If he wants a pardon yet doesn’t apologize, it implies that he doesn’t see anything wrong with what he did, and would do so again if he knew he could get away with it. He had his chance to demonstrate that he’s a decent human being before he carried out the act, and he had his chance to repent after. He didn’t use either. We put him in prison for the sake of public safety, and insofar as he remains a threat, why shouldn’t he stay there?

      • What does an apology or restitutio have to do with anything? If a right is a right, it is a right. If one restriction on gun possession is valid, then so is another. The reason here for denying the right to own a firearm is based either on “I just don’t like people I don’t like having guns”, or “It is just common sense; past behavior is predictive of future behavior”. If the reason to deny a felon restoration of the right to own a gun is just prejudice, then such restriction is invalid. If the reason to deny a felon restoration of the right to own a gun is based on some sort of crime prediction (Minority Report), then we should be using predicted behavior to deny all sorts of rights after release from prison.

        A restriction on rights is a restriction on rights. We are only talking about who’s restrictions are preferable.

      • Well I don’t know the details of this story but if he physically attacked two people that sounds like a person who should be punished with some significant time in prison. Especially if he caused serious injury to the victims.

        Couched in my post was the point that I believe far too many violent unbalanced people who commit serious crimes spend far too little time behind bars.

        My real point is yea, lets punish bad actors in a real way – we see people in and out of prison time after time causing mayhem and misery against law abiding victims over and over again, lots of times with the crime involving a gun. If these dirt bags are just going to re-commit why do we keep letting them out over and over again?

        And on the other side we have the drug violators who in many cases really shouldn’t be behind bars.

        We have our priorities all bass ackwards.

        It is a complex problem indeed.

      • Ralph – you seem like an intelligent and reasonable guy. That is why I got to call you out on this one. We can debate all day on if Wahlberg made restitution or not. There is always going to be a huge debate on what (and who) determines if restitution has been paid in full. But to state that Mark Walhberg has never apologized is just plain wrong. He has given in depth apologizes on numerous occasions. Not just for the crime he was convicted of, but of general pattern of bad behavior as a young person.

        As mentioned before, he has lived a peaceful life as an adult. Not mentioned is that the Commonwealth (is it even a state) of MA went out of its way to convict MarkW as an adult when he was a minor (15 I believe). Wahlberg’s situation is almost an archetype example of why if you believe in rights restoration it should be automatic and not on the basis of some formula that is bound to be flawed.

  11. I agree with the concensus above. I have always felt that if you have served your sentence and finished parole, your debt has been paid and ALL your rights need to be restored.

    Before anybody afraid of this big bad man jumps on me, think, if someone is dangerous, then the sentences need to be longer. If someone is no longer a threat, why keep punishing.

    I don’t care about his past, or if the prison system is a joke. FIX the system, don’t punish a free citizen, which is what he is once he is deemed rehabilitated.

    People can change, and often do. He had grown up! He was a 21 year old punk who was full of piss and vinegar. He is a grown man and a dad now. Restore his rights!

    • Murderers often get out after only a decade or two in prison. I’m sorry, but that is not a debt paid. Prison time is only a punishment and can not wholly pay back a debt, esp. for rape or murder. People convicted for violent crimes such as rape, murder, attempted murder, etc., are released from prison every day. A lost life or innocence can not be repaid even with a life sentence or the death sentence. It is barely justice. Just because those people are released doesn’t mean they deserve to be free from scrutiny by society. I don’t want a convicted rapist or murderer to have a firearm after they’ve been released into society for they can never repay their debt. But, any non-violent offense, or something weak like what the OP was charged with, give ’em their right back.

        • a rapist or child molestor, should be involuntarily castrated and locked up for life.and a murderer the same. but TONS of people, end up in prison for things like child support, just plain old fist fighting and everything in between

      • Assault with a deadly weapon is a crime of violence. Would you feel different if he’d pulled a gun and said, “Let’s do this!” Well, the law does not distinguish between one deadly weapon and another, nor should it.

        • I do not believe that is a fact. In several states, additional punishment is available for those who use a gun in commission of a violent crime, which I feel is correct and a valuable tool for those of us who believe law abiding citizens should be able to own firearms un infringed.eérrdp
          Look, if we want to expound “shall not be infringed” than those in prison shall be able to gun up behind bars, as they should retain their “right to defend themselves”. The mere fact that those in prison can have their rights to gun ownership suspended, means that said rights can be suspended as the constitution so allows (via power to courts and congress). I am good with the commission of a violent crime against innocent person then results is loss of 2a rights for life…it is part of personal responsibility and results of actions.

      • If the law allows early release, then it is indeed a paid debt. Blame the lawmakers, not the fellow who was released early.

        • It’s not a debt paid, it’s a punishment served (often times not long enough). There’s a difference.

          • Ok, “debt paid” is the polite form. Point is, early release is not a function of prisoner desire, demand or subterfuge. It is a function of laws and/or court orders. In any event, if the law says the prisoner completed the legally required sentence, then it is complete. If the law says the prisoner completed the legally required sentence, plus probation, then it is complete. Whether the public thinks early release is a good thing is a matter of politics. The general population has no authority to punish the former prisoner further. As to whether the former prisoner forfeits certain constitutional rights (for any length of time), that also is a political matter.

  12. Then, why parole boards and commissions and programs and projects that all explain that justice can only be done if we rehabilitate the convict to become a “productive citizen”? Other countries make no pretensions to “fix” criminals. The use prisons to punish only.

  13. First, you were acting in self defense. Now, had you been armed, and robbing the bar, I might feel differently.

    However, I keep lecturing my (almost) 18 year old son to keep his nose clean, if he wants to have his long guns transferred in March, a concealed carry license, at 21, and keep them. I’d like to put a gun in daughter’s car, but she can’t car carry, until she’s 21, or she’ll never car carry.

    • He wasn’t acting in self defense. He threatened to fight a man and then said man pulled out a knife in his own defense. That’s pretty clear from his short description of events.

  14. There are numerous points here that I don’t believe and don’t make sense. What you describe is clear cut self-defense. What happened to the other guy, legally? Also, OP did not go to prison for “speaking”. He made a statement and the critical point here is that he did an overt act as a step to further the threat. This makes the “victim” AKA as the other guy here, in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury. That is clear cut assault. Now, my state has simple assault and aggravated assault. Simple assault is a misdemeanor so I’m guessing we’re talking about an agg assault or the state’s equivalent (regardless of the title, the elements are being met).

    The only way OPs claims can be true is if there was some wonky police work done by responding officers to determine who the primary aggressor was. A felony arrest isn’t made on the spot based on hearing both parties unsubstantiated testimonies. Witness statements, physical evidence (whether or not the other guy had a knife on his person or nearby, the broken bottle, CCTV, cell phone video) are all gonna be taken into consideration before an arrest is made. Further, supervisors, investigation supervisors, and on duty/call investigators are going to be contacted before the arrest is just made by patrol.

    Story doesn’t check out. OP has either convinced himself what he is saying is true, is withholding details, or just not telling the truth. The oversimplification just doesn’t compute. This is coming from someone who knows the legal system and is very familiar with felony cases and how the real world works.

    AnyMouse, there aren’t “big felonies” and “little felonies”. There are less and more serious crimes (misdemeanors and felonies). There are also less serious and more serious misdemeanors (misdemeanors and misd. of a high and aggravated nature). Then with felonies there are violent and nonviolent felonies. So if you want to break them down, you can break them down into 2 categories and each of those categories down into 2 each as well.

    • Man with all due respect to your profession it seems you expect too much from the cops. A lot of them dont care and dont care to care.
      Or yes maybe the OP is being too succinct

    • The OP threatened to fight a man. The object of his ire drew a knife, which in most places would be considered an act of lawful self defense. The OP then armed himself with a broken beer bottle. This was NOT self-defense because he was the initial aggressor. For example, if I go into a store and tell the clerk to give me the money or I’ll beat him senseless, and then the clerk pulls a gun, I do not have the right to shoot him in “self defense.”

  15. Losing the right to protect myself with firearms is precisely why I don’t act like that. Protecting myself and my family is my #1 priority. Apparently it’s not really his #1 priority. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

  16. Glad i’m teetotal for life.
    Man, i hope you can get your guns as soon as possible. Just buy private if you can figure out a way and keep your mouth shut. If you are safe to be out of prison, you should be owning guns.
    Btw what’s the difference between prison, jail and penitentiary?

  17. There is a cost to all our actions. He should be thankful that there is a legal apparatus in place to get his gun rights back. In California, at least before I left, there wasn’t. But I’ve learned to drink alone these days. I’ve never got into a fight with myself by doing it that way. 🙂

    • Thank you !!

      So long as there is some sort of process to get your rights back, infringement/denial is legitimate.

  18. When he committed this crime was the law enshrined that a felon cannot own guns? If so, then the punishment is not a case of ex post facto. It might seem disproportionate to me but on the list of battles to fight regarding the 2nd this is not high on the list.

  19. For all the people who are saying “play stupid games, win stupid prizes” do you have any idea how many violations of the law or the equivalent you have committed in the last 2 months, I bet you don’t?

    while there are clearly cases where a crime should be considered a felony there are so many laws on the books that we all break them on a regular basis.

    All it takes is a ticked off district attorney, some time and bingo felony charge. Even a bogus charge can result in a conviction if they throw enough at you and then offer a plea agreement. I know I couldn’t afford to defend myself if a DA had a grudge and decided to ruin my life.

    And on the off chance I could win against the state, what penalty would the state face for trying to ruin my life…… not much I think, I might be able to sue the state for damages but what does the state care about that… it’s other peoples money.

    Respectfully Submitted

  20. Michigan has been unconstitutionally denying felons firearm rights for years. Michigan automatically restores rights to felons upon completion of sentencing see (191 F.3d 695 Dushon Hampton v. United States of America). In order to own a firearm you need to wait either 3 or 5 years after that ( MCL750.224f) and if 5 years you also have to petition the gun board. So after completing 750.224f, a felon in Michigan SHOULD be able to own and purchase a firearm, but in most cases, will be denied their 2A rights. When the NICS check comes back you will be denied. You can appeal but this will be to no avail. You can contact the FBI and ATF,but that will be no help because it is Michigan that has you flagged as a prohibited. The state of Michigan will tell you its a federal flag but the feds will tell you its a state flag. Who do you believe? 18 U.S. code chapter 44 section 927 states”No provisions of this chapter shall be construed as indicating intent on the part of Congress to occupy the field in which such provision operates to the exclusion of the law of any state on the same subject matter, unless there is a direct and positive conflict between such provision and the law of the States so that the two cannot be reconciled or consistently stand together”. Since Michigan’s firearm restoration echo’s the fed plan, except the feds cut spending for their program, then the state laws are trump. Another deciding factor is whether it is a state or Federal charge. Only state charges are subject to felon restoration rights. 18 U.S.C. section 921(a)(20) states “what constitutes a conviction if such a crime shall be determined in the accordance with the law of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings were held”. If you were convicted in a state court than state restoration law is what you follow, if it was Federal Court than your restoration can only be by the feds, which currently isn’t possible. This puts the denial solely on the state, which goes against the laws in Michigan.

    121 STAT. 2566 PUBLIC LAW 110-180-JAN. 8, 2008 addresses guidelines for NICS. The ” requirements for eligibility” (B) NICS updates states that “The State, on being made aware that the basis under which a record was made available under sub paragraph (A) does not apply, or no longer applies, shall, as soon as possible -(i) update, correct, modify, or remove the record from any database that the Federal or State government maintains and makes available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System……”

    So when you have completed your sentence, and have waited the specified time as stated in 750.224f, the state is suppose to clear your record from the NICS database. No LEO in my area is conscious of this. Instead Michigan leaves you as prohibited, by not correcting your NICS record and leaving thousands of tax paying Michiganders deprived of their 2A rights, Unconstitutionally.

  21. Another example of our fine criminal justice system at work.


    The amount of BS nanny state laws in this country, it’s a wonder any of us walk free.

  22. I used to have an employee. He was a felon for some check writing scheme prior to me meeting him. I trusted him, he always did right by me.

    Anyway, he went to sell a phone to a guy on craigslist and it turned out to be a robbery attempt. He needed the money, so he made a run for it instead of letting the guy rob him. Got shot in the head while driving away.

    How is it morally okay to leave people defenseless?

    We had less gun crime before ANY felons were prohibited. Violent or otherwise. Think about that. The felon in possession laws only work against people that don’t plan on hurting anybody, the felons who plan on hurting people will get guns anyway.

  23. I’m with Ralph. And I have a son who got a felony for walking in a house in a psychotic daze. Nothing at all violent. Just really stupid and drug-addled. Nothing to “restitute”. He just scared some people. And nothing like the author of this piece…

  24. “Mind you I had just turned 21 and was drunk”

    Funny how some people use inebriation as a mitigating circumstance. I don’t think it is. If you think you’re mature enough to handle alcohol, then you’re mature enough to handle the consequences when it’s obvious you can’t handle alcohol.

  25. We all do dumb things when we were young and dumb. There should be a process to restore you rights if you have fulfilled your “sentence”, and made many positive changes in your life like the Gentleman above. This should also apply to all felons include those with certain inappropriate behavior as a teenager

  26. I understand the theory, and I support it, that there should be a limitation to the infringement of a felon’s gun rights, but I have to say that on the scale of gun laws that need to be changed, this one is near the bottom. My sympathy meter doesn’t come up off the peg.

  27. “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.”

    I don’t see where it says a felon, that has served his time in prison doesn’t have the right to keep and bear arms. This has always been something that has bothered me. If society doesn’t want someone to have a gun, then they should keep them in prison or execute them. Otherwise, if you are out and have served your time, you should be allowed to protect yourself.

  28. Of course people who go to prison are never guilty and they always have their side of the story. Let’s look at all the obvious BS in this story:

    “I am a felon, since I was a kid.” Lie! You later say you had just turned 21. That’s not a kid, or don’t you know what “age of majority” means?

    “Well, while drunk at a bar, I threatened a man, not with a gun, just threatened to fight him.” OK, there is never a good end to a story that starts out with a sentence like that. At that point, you may not be guilty of anything yet, but you are on the slippery slope and you got your own damn self there, all on your own.

    “He pulled out a knife . . .” Legally makes no difference. If you started the argument, you can’t claim self defense. At that point, you should have beat feet outta that bar.

    “So I busted a beer bottle on the table and told him fuck it lets do it.” Oh, yeah, this is how a responsible citizen handles a situation like this! You really want someone like that to have a gun!

    “I was arrested for felonious assault, for speaking,” Lie! No, not for speaking, but for starting a fight that led to your threatening someone with a deadly weapon, whether you used it or not.

    “Since then I got out, completed parole, almost finished school, started a business and had three kids, plus a dog.” Wow, that makes you a model citizen, doesn’t it? Maybe if you hadn’t been hanging around in bars starting fights, you would have actually completed school and not had a record.

    “You fucking serious, you think I should never have a gun, ever?” Yes, I’m fucking serious. I carry a gun to protect myself from people like you. What about my rights?

    1. I don’t believe half of what this guy says. There is always more to a story like this.

    2. I laugh when I hear this argument that “2A doesn’t say felons shouldn’t have guns, so felons should get their gun rights back ‘after they get out of prison?”‘ I don’t see anything about prison in 2A either. So seems to me, by that argument, people have the RTKABA in prison! Anyone up for that? Didn’t think so…

    3. I also laugh when I hear, “If they are OK to be out of the street, they are OK to have a gun.” Do you actually know anything about how our judicial and penal system works? If you think we are able to keep every dangerous person behind bars, you’re wrong. Even if we could, you wouldn’t to want to pay your share to house every single one of them. I know I don’t.

    4. Losing some of your rights for committing a felony is part of the punishment. You also lose your right to vote, your right to be on a jury, etc. I think you should lose even more rights, not less.

    5. If you think you have really been wronged by the system, you can appeal, even after you’ve served your sentence. You can request a pardon or commutation. The system isn’t perfect, but that’s how it works.

    6. I hate seeing the POTG trying to get out front with a stupid issue like this. It just gives the anti-gunners more to use against us.

    • Exactly.

      Plus he sounds like he still has an attitude problem.

      “You fucking serious, you think I should never have a gun, ever ? Never be able to hunt which I loved as a kid? Never defend my family or myself (and we live in Detroit, Michigan by the way)?”

      So MOVE.

      Oh, and what are you going to do? Challenge me to a fight?

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