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Felons should not have their gun rights revoked. In fact, I don’t believe they can have their gun rights revoked. Like free speech, the right to armed self-defense is a natural right; it exists with or without government regulation. Don’t get me wrong: I’m OK with laws that punish the misuse of a natural right. It’s perfectly acceptable for the government to make it a crime to murder someone with a gun. Or a knife. Or a car. Or a pencil. But it’s not OK to give the government the power to cancel a natural right. It accomplishes little in terms of public safety and a lot in terms of increasing government tyranny. The question is, should The People of the Gun shut up about this and other contentious issues (e.g., eliminating background checks) so as not to “scare the horses” or should we counterattack now, while we still can?

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  1. I think there are certain people who should definitely not be allowed to buy guns. Violent recidivists and severely mentally ill people.

    But I also think there needs to be a functional appeals process to get these rights restored, like if someone can demonstrate that they have been rehabilitated and can show years of good behavior. Or if a mental health professional will testify that thus person has been cured and is no longer a danger.

    In addition, these should really only apply to VIOLENT felons. If someone is convicted of embezzlement or some other non violent crime, they are probably not a danger.

    • There needs to be a common sense (snicker) approach to this. I completely agree with your assesment that this should only apply to violent felons.

    • I agree 100%. The Federales should have to bear the weight of permanent disarmament, with ample and FAIR! FAIR!! FAIR!!! and reasonably-priced access to multiple appeals processes.

      And I am a HUGE fan of those guys’ instructional videos. And YES, that is a BITCHIN’ beard!

    • And those who don’t understand “a natural right”. the 2nd or any others. You’re statist property. Sit down.

      • Natural rights are pretty darn hard to enunciate. How many times did Jesus tell slave to fight for their freedom. How would Solomon have felt about one man/one woman makes a marriage? How would Aristotle feel about women being the equal of men? I feel that there are natural rights, but I know that my most of the rights on my list would make no sense to a person from another time and another society.

    • I do think there are at least some felonies the perpetration of which should remove a person’s right to own a weapon, but most all of them are the same ones I believe remove an individual’s right to be considered a person, and demand the death penalty.

    • Arguably, we should simply execute murderers, rapists, and the recidivists who just can’t seem to give up robbing people at gunpoint. If we really can’t trust them with a gun, they need to be either behind bars or in the ground.

      With respect to mental health, I highly doubt any psychiatrist would sign off on restoring a patient’s gun rights. One, it’s a liability issue, as it would not necessarily be covered by malpractice insurance. Two, many physicians are not comfortable with firearms, period. Rights restoration needs to go through the courts, as does the process of taking rights away.

      • If they are out of prison, they should get all their rights back, if they didn’t face the death penalty first.

        • So you’re of the opinion if a murderer didn’t get the death penalty due to a leftist justice system you’d like to compound the error by re-arming him?

      • Re shrinks – that’s fairly easy to fix. You need a regime where 2 shrinks have to deliberately sign-off every x years or else the no-gun order automatically lapses. That way the default, do nothing, setting leads to restoration of rights.

    • IF someone is violent enough that this is a concern, they need to be in FUCKING JAIL WHERE THEY BELONG.

      Period. End of story.

    • Why?
      If a convict has gone through the prison system and is no longer deemed a danger to society, then he should have every single right restored.
      If he’s still a danger to society, then why the hell is he not still in prison!?!? Oh, he was probably let out early to make room for a guy serving his minimum mandatory sentence for nonviolent pot possession.
      Ironically, the reformed convicts (the ones we could trust with guns) don’t buy them because it’s illegal, and they’re trying to stay clean; while the non-reformed guys (the ones we can’t trust with…anything) have no problem buying guns on the black market.

    • If they commit a crime so heinous as to require forfeiture of any Natural Rights, then they have no business on the street. Period. If they have a mental condition that precludes their exercising of all their Natural Rights, the same applies.

  2. Oh? Where’s this right come from? Who’s it guaranteed by? “Natural right” is as meaningless and empty as your imaginary deity.

    “Rights” exist only as granted by a government. If you don’t like the rights your government gives, change the government. God clearly isn’t going to do it.

    • Maybe I don’t understand the concept of a natural right, it makes it sound like it’s made up somehow. I believe I have a natural right to keep and bear arms, therefore I do? I believe I have a natural right to screw sheep, therefor I do? I think, therefore I am? Where are these natural rights laid out at? By whom?

      I hate to admit it, but I tend to agree. Rights are based upon groups of people getting together and deciding what is right and wrong, and putting it down on paper. Hence, the Bill of Rights. Some groups (read countries) have them, some don’t. If you want rights, you need to be with the group of people that believe in them…

      • Except that the Bill of Rights does not grant us rights, it affirms rights that already existed, and are inalienable. It is clearly explained that even without the Bill of Rights, those rights enumerated therein would still exist.

        Additionally, the 9th Amendment makes it clear that the people possess rights not laid out in the Bill of Rights. The government may make laws against those rights, but the rights themselves are inalienable and those laws would be unjust.

        • There is no such thing as a natural right. Ever looked around in nature? See any rights? The right not to get eaten as a baby, for example? Or how about in regions of the world were rape and murder are rampant? Where is this magical right, there? What is the point of a “natural right” if it can be violated so easily?

          It’s bullshit. Our rights are what we declare them to be, and what we protect. Once we stop proclaiming and protecting a “right,” it is gone- regardless of if someone wants to call it natural or not.

      • I agree 100%. The Federales should have to bear the weight of permanent disarmament, with ample and FAIR! FAIR!! FAIR!!! and reasonably-priced access to multiple appeals processes.

        And I am a HUGE fan of those guys’ instructional videos. And YES, that is a BITCHIN’ beard!

    • As much as I think rtempleton is a douche, he’s right. If rights need to be enumerated and spelled out so the government can’t do what it wants, they are effectively constructs. In the state of nature there are no “rights,” beyond kill or be killed. The rights we exercise and celebrate are a byproduct of rule of law.

        • The Ninth is a “cover your ass” Amendment that is basically pertaining to interpretation of the Constitution itself. It does not provide much in the way of a guarantee.

      • That might be the best case ever for the Second Amendment. What’s more fundamental than each individual person’s right to exist?

        In the natural world, where other people can try to kill you, the right to protect yourself is the most fundamental natural right of all.

    • So the management didn’t like my short answer. Here is my long answer:

      A little over 100 years ago the French radical syndicalist Georges Sorel wrote a generalized theory of collectivism. He rejected the concept of natural rights and claimed that governments were organized around a man-made self organizing principle. In Sorel’s view all political, moral and legal systems were self referential and without need to claim a higher authority. This political theory found many adherents in the twentieth century, the first being this Italian guy named Benito Mussolini. Lenin, Hitler, Stalin et. al. soon followed afterwards. Mr. rTempleton is just following in the footsteps of these political giants.

      Now does that sound better than simply calling him out as a Fascist?

      • So what are my “natural” rights? Who made them, where are they enshrined at? I don’t understand…

        • “So what are my “natural” rights? Who made them,”


          ” where are they enshrined at? I don’t understand…”

          Clearly you don’t. Please go back and read the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights in the Constitution before you engage further in this debate.

        • Start reading the Federalist Papers for a start. Then read the history of the Virginians and their political debates before and following the Revolution.

          The reason why you don’t understand is that you’re uneducated, not because the philosophical doctrine had not been fully explained and advanced.

        • A natural right is a capability granted by nature that doesn’t violate the rights of another.

          If someone tries to strangle you, they are abrogating your personal sovereignty and you’ve the right to brain them.

          Basically, the idea is that we’re all self-contained, generally equal individuals and that any attempt at subjugation violates that inherent sovereignty.

          Armed self-defense may be considered as an extension (via brains, opposable thumbs and such) of our natural right to self-preservation by tooth and nail.

          While this may not be provable, it’s a reasonable axiom – like parallel lines never meeting.

          Deity really doesn’t come into it.

      • rTempleton:

        God falls into one those categories that can neither be proven nor disproven (See Gödel’s Theorem) hence your statement is nonsense.

        I understand that it is convenient for you to not believe in a Supreme Being so that you can elevate yourself and your political faction to absolute power. You may consider yourself the superior individual but you are on the same plain as Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot.

    • They come from a person’s mere existence and don’t need any more justification. Your concept of rights is highly fraught with danger. What if the people in charge of the government decide you have no rights at all, let alone the right to change the government? What if they decide you’re really not a real human being, but a “thing” which can be used and disposed of however they see fit?

      A “right” granted at the whim of authority is no right at all. It’s a privilege and a lever the rulers to use on the ruled.

      • So my rights are whatever I think they are…Hmmmm. What if it’s my right to come ride your women and rape your horses and take your stuff? Thats my right…it’s OK right?

        • “So my rights are whatever I think they are…”

          No, lib(er)turd, they come from God, and in the case of America, they are enumerated in the Bill of Rights.

          “mmmm. What if it’s my right to come ride your women and rape your horses and take your stuff? Thats my right…it’s OK right”

          No, it’s not your right; You’re welcome to try, but I and thousands of others here suggest you wear a toe tag (and also get your schmeckle tattooed if do you come over.

          Same if you insist attack our neighborhoods / are standing at the barricades / with your jihadi-appeasing, obama-licking friends.

          I may only be able to hit 150 yards with iron sights in my old age, but I bet there’s many here with better eyes and good scopes standing with me.

        • I have been troubled by the concept of “natural rights”; I think tyrannical governments can easily “disprove” them; leaving us peons with nothing to show for them.

          Where ARE they? Where do they come from? They’re veneer, a tissue. The rights we enjoy were PAID FOR with anguish, suffering, blood, tissue, bone, sweat and tears of rage. Pray to God, but don’t ask for anything, because sometimes the answer is resounding SILENCE. Natural Rights is a mind- trap!

          So does this make me a “collectivist”, you simple-minded gibbons?

        • No, it isn’t.

          Refer to Jefferson’s explanation of the legitimate powers of government, from Notes on Virginia, 1782.

      • Indeed.

        What we have here are a couple of children trying to keep up with an adult conversation.

        And failing badly.

        • What we have here are a bunch of smart asses who can’t debate or explain thier position…they can only insult.


          But because I’m such a terribly generous man, I’ll give you a couple of pointers to works you should read and ponder before you decide to issue forth on this topic again.

          Start with John Locke, “First Treatise of Government” and “Second Treatise of Government.” It is from Locke where we obtain the idea of “life, liberty and property,” or as it was written later by Locke, “the pursuit of happiness.”

          Then you might want to read up on a Swiss gentleman by the name of Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui, and his work, “The Principles of Natural Law.”

          Both of these men were highly influential upon the ideas and ideals of the Founders.

          Then move on to the debates and writings of the Founders, especially those from Virginia, of which Thomas Jefferson was but one.

        • What we have here are a bunch of smart asses who can’t debate or explain thier position…they can only insult.

          I have read several excellent explanations, Russ and DG to name a few. To the uneducated (I can think of a more fitting name but don’t want another flame deleted) they probably come across as insults and unable to debate, but to all others (intelligent and average) the question of natural rights has been answered and once again rsimpleton has lived up to his name.

        • A bunch of people who based all their assumptions on the existence of god, a disproven hebrew fairy tale. Next.

        • A bunch of people who based all their assumptions on the existence of god, a disproven hebrew fairy tale. Next.

          Heh, and you have offered just a metric tonload of evidence of this. I’m reasonably confident that you’ll come up with some ridiculous and insulting retorts to what I say, but you can’t disprove what I’m about to say. This is an opportunity to perhaps get you to think for maybe just a second that your preconceived opinions could possibly, maybe be the real erroneous assumption here.

          Try this thought experiment. Explain to me what salt tastes like. Assume I have never tasted it, at least not in enough quantity to identify it as a separate taste. Do so without using the words ‘salt’ or ‘salty’ or anything derived from it. Good luck with that.

          Not everyone has had spiritual experiences and manifestations from God that show He exists, but I have. No angels or anything like that, but I’m not sure at this point that seeing one would be terribly surprising to me. I’m definitely beyond the hope or belief stage and probably into the “I’m in big trouble with Him if I deny it” stage. It all starts with the assumption of faith, of course, but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t answer in time (and in His way). I’m here to say He is there, and He does answer. I’ve also had experiences that provide strong evidence that the opposite personage is also real (Satan). You may like to think to yourself that the definition of good vs evil is mostly made up by evolving societal standards and just based upon currently observable conditions, but I can tell you that these principles are not transient, but eternal in nature.

          Now, about natural rights, or god-given rights, they are very real. We have been given the ability to think before we act, to defend ourselves, but above all we are given our agency (freedom) and ability to choose our actions. God does not inhibit us from choosing what we do, even if it harms others, because He can make that up to the victims in the long run (e.g. after this life if necessary). Our freedom is easily discernible as important, and is a bedrock of our existence. One of the most fundamental choices we can make is to protect ourselves and others from physical harm, so we all can continue living and learning and growing and loving. Take that away, and what have you got? If you are forcibly disallowed from defending yourself in any reasonable manner, you are already dead, because there’s no other right you can enforce in the end.

          rtempleton: for me, God is not an assumption. Natural rights are not a made-up construct. Our freedom is not something a bunch of people got together to decide we should have (wait, isn’t that circular anyway, and shows freedom predates the decision?). It’s sad that you don’t know who you are, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know who I am, or prevent other people on this board from having a pretty good idea who they are. I’ve tasted salt, and no amount of table-pounding from you that salt doesn’t exist will change the reality that it does. Maybe someday you’ll have the humility before it’s too late to sincerely, patiently try the experiment for yourself to find out if God exists, and if He cares about us, our rights, and our long-term development.

        • @rtempleton: One cannot prove a negative.

          Ironically, this statement applies even to itself.

        • Rtempleton. I believe “unproven” Hebrew “folk lore” would be a better choice. At least until you can prove that “God”, and the many incarnations of “God” don’t exist.

    • Natural rights are all those liberties for which men are willing to die to preserve for posterity. Rights exist only where men guard them vigilantly, with words, and, when necessary, with weapons. Governments can neither grant rights nor take them away without the acquiescence of their peoples.

    • @rtempleton

      If you say so. Or natural rights are God-given, and the contrary view is empty and imaginary.

      Seems to me the arguments against the notion that rights come from God are very awkward indeed. Basically, the comments supporting you in this thread quickly lead to the abandonment of the whole concept of rights. I can’t speak to whether it is imaginary, but your philosophy seems pretty empty.

    • So the creature of the people then grants them rights? Sounds like you would have been right there, toadying up to Cornwallis, with the rest of the Tories

  3. I think if we shut up about it then the “other side” wins. As Tom Gresham is fond of saying, “A lie left unchallenged becomes the truth”. We need to keep pounding them with it so they give up and we can finally exercise our rights unfettered.

    My wife is a middle-school teacher and current pedagogy says that a fact or statement needs to be uttered/repeated up to 20 times before it’s remembered. I think we’ve only begun…

    • @ OODAloop
      This has already been going on for a long time; what you describe is exactly the strategy of the grabbers; create antigun rhetoric on flimsy, nonexistent illogical (but “common sense”) misinformation, broadcast it incessantly with the help of sympathetic co-conspirators in big media including the mainstream press and the entertainment industry, and the lies start to take on the air of accepted fact.

      If it weren’t for the internet, the grabber cause would dominate our sociopolitical reality and the RKBA would probably already be on the way out. With primary education in the hands of predominantly progressive oriented educators (particularly in urban areas), we’re facing an uphill battle at best.

      Of course, who knows what the future holds. Coming events, new technology could easily redirect the outcome of this struggle. I only hope cooler heads prevail.

      • Other than championing one’s cause and hoping for a favorable outcome, it’s near impossible to anticipate how this will all play out; nothing that’s happening is occurring “in a vacuum”.

  4. I agree with the sentiment that, if we release a violent felon onto the streets, then we are assuming they have been rehabilitated. Right? If they’re still so dangerous that they cannot possibly be trusted with a firearm, then they should still be in jail… because, of course, firearms aren’t the only dangerous tool there is. If you can lose your voting rights for various felonies, I don’t necessarily have a problem with losing your right to a firearm or category of firearm. Just the crux of the issue still stands: if the person is dangerous, then why are they out of jail? Are they rehabilitated or not? If so, then they should be able to own a firearm like anyone else. If not, then then shouldn’t be walking the streets.

    • They are out of jail because they have served the sentence proscribed by law and imposed by the court. I have little doubt that incarcerating someone simply because they had a propensity for violence would constitute cruel and unusual punishment and would therefore be unconstitutional; we can punish an act, but not an intent or proclivity to perform a future act. (See Minority Report).

      • Nonsense and seldom the case. Typically out of jail due to “over crowding” or been a good boy for ___days.

    • Seconded. I think the only way to make serious changes
      will be to start pressuring those in the legal system to
      stop practicing law as a game without consequences.
      Unfortunately, without any skin in the game all to
      many in the legal profession don’t seem to care much
      about the public good or whether their legal twisting
      will have any negative affects. Parole boards definitely
      come to mind.

      • I like this. In fact, I am elated by the notion.

        We are eventually going to have to lay our pitiful asses on the line, as so many before us have done.

        Be prepared for it or perish. You may perish anyway. Get used to this idea.

  5. rtempleton; I believe the operative definitions declare a right as pre-existent and endowed by our Creator while a privilege is what is extended by our wonderful and beneficent government.

    • So…what rights are pre-existnat and endowed…by which and what and whose Creator (lots of those to choose from), and where is it written down or explained at exactly? I’m confused…

    • I am confused as to how “rights” can be endowed by something made up in people’s minds.

      • At one point in our history, the Founders were pretty consistent in their understanding of who “our Creator” was. No…they weren’t all Christian, but the balance were Deists and yes, the lists vary depending on t he historian.

        But the point is, they were not conflicted that “God” may be Gaia or Issa or some expression of God inconsistent with the Old, or New Testament.

        So if you are looking for a specific “author” of rights, this is not that complicated. Men are simply annoyed, in this day and age because a larger segment of this society are either agnostic, atheist, spiritualists or of a conflicting religion.

        If you start with Scripture then, it is not hard to find corroboration even from Christ on this issue.

        It then follows where the concept of a Creator endowment comes from and even if they “conjured God up in their minds”, they never-the-less declared, in their writings, where they believe the rights of men originated – and it certainly wasn’t with human beings.

        So we either choose to honor their belief and the documents they drew up, or we choose to ignore them as the writings of a lesser and bewildered mind and go about the business of destroying the whole thing and establishing something else “conjured up in the minds of men”.

        • So natural rights are based upon the belief of a superior being who created us all, and thier alleged thoughts as to what are rights are, as written down by mortal beings such as ourselves, and passed down thorugh the centuries?

        • Killercod;

          I got your sarcasm but, yes. Its called faith. But that is no longer an issue here because those particular men delineated what those rights are, enshrined in the BOR, protected by the Constitution which established basic law in the USA.

          I was wondering if you find it as bewildering if the question was about murder; the first mention of which is in Scripture which, as a document of man predates almost anything written.

        • Seriously, go and read for yourself the writing on natural rights before you comment further. There are many more arguments out there than the theological ones, and the idea of natural rights is truly ancient, and cross-cultural, appearing in all sorts of philosophical systems over the centuries.

        • OK, I can kinda get behind that…even if it leaves the atheists and agnostics out in the cold a bit. In the end it comes down to your faith that the Creators’ wishes and thoughts were passed down accurately through history…then reaffirmed by government via the BOR…etc…

      • The belief in gods (or the lack thereof) by anybody now or the founding fathers then doesn’t have anything to do with it. Those documents have created a societal framework that many people like and would like to see perpetuated. That’s why we still hold them up as valuable: because they make sense to us and we want what we get when we follow them, not because they’re from the gods. (And BTW, scripture isn’t anywhere close to the oldest writing.)

      • That’s why a Government can’t grant right’s. Government’s are, after all, something made up in peoples minds

    • The Constitution does not contain the word “Creator.” It does not define from whence our rights flow. Rather it says that the People (acting in their capacity as sovereign) create the government. By definition, then, the government is subservient to the will (and the rights) of the People. The government has only those powers that are granted to it by the People through the Constitution. In its day, this was an extremely radical ideology.

      More significantly, the government created by the People need not and does not seek its authority from some higher power (Hebraic or otherwise), as all the Kings throughout all of history had done before. Monarchs almost universally claimed their right to rule descended from a heavenly force, from the ancient Pharaohs (if not earlier) to the Kings of England. In that day it was necessary, as government was almost entirely imposed by force of arms, not by consent of the governed. Might makes right. If a king was defeated, it was because the god(s) had abandoned him.

      The American experiment did away with gods as the source of power of government. The only right to govern arise from the consent of the people governed. Thus is encapsulated the doctinary ideology of personal freedom conjoined with the necessity of joint administration of domestic affairs.

      Natural rights are not rights descended from the gods. Rather, they are the necessary corollaries of the rights of free men to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as long as those pursuits do not impinge the rights of other free men. This is not anarchy, where there are no rules, but they re rules imposed by consent, not by force.

  6. Rtempleton:
    So no victims of government tyranny (Jews, Armenians, black slaves, etc.) Ever had any right too complain about their treatment, because their government decided their have no rights and that makes it so? That’s what you’re saying, correct?

  7. I don’t know that all of the “People of the Gun” are going to come down on the same side of this issue. Personally, there’s no way I’m going to stand in front of the statehouse, waving a sign, and demonstrating for Randy the Rapist’s right to buy a gat. And I’m aware that the actual law doesn’t have much effect on Randy, but waving the sign makes me look BAT SHIT CRAZY.

    • I agree. There are far more important issues before us than convicted felons retaining their right to own a gun. It’s tough enough for responsible people – gun owners and others – to fight for our own rights. Start supporting criminals and all credibility is lost.

      • Depriving a nonviolent “felon” of his 2nd Amendment (Natural) Rights differs from taking your’s how?

        • I am a bit bothered by the violent/non-violent dichotomy that is present here. There are plenty of felons who are not violent but who have created massive destruction of human happiness and economic capital. Pyramid schemes of various types have forced elderly people out of their homes, have destroyed companies, have cheated the young out of their education savings. Why should an economic psychopath get his rights back when a “violent” felon does not?

      • I think RF’s point is that our rights, and the rights of felons are one and the same. I find there is some power in that notion. As we see in the number of comments here, this is a though-provoking idea.

  8. In a perfect world anyone too dangerous to own a firearm would not be free to walk the streets.

    Unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world, and so those that are still considered “too dangerous” are allowed to walk about in public, but some of their rights are apparently still imprisoned. I don’t particularly like that, but that is the harsh reality of life.

  9. I believe we should counterattack, but with caution.. If we come on too strong right out the gate, then we risk making the same mistakes the republican party made in the last election. That is, coming across like hard line extremists. Slowly increasing the pressure, bit by bit, is the name of the game… It’s the exact same tactics the anti gunners have been using for decades. Think frog and boiling pot of water……

    Just my 2 pennies worth

  10. For non-violent felons??? But for violent felons anything that would make it easier for them to perpetrate violence is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. Here’s an idea–if you’d like to keep your gun rights, don’t be a felon. It’s a win for the felon and a win for society.

      • WTF does the number of each have to do with anything? The differentiation I was making was between violent and non-violent.

    • People with more knowledge than I have, estimate that the average American commits 3 felonies a day.

    • JK What about those that have been convicted a felon. And, are later found to be innocent of the crime. They are still a felon, and do not get the right to own a firearm.

      That happened to a friend of mine. And, it’s been over ten years. And he STILL is not allowed to own a fire arm.

      They need to do something to help some of these people to get ALL of their rights back. Not just the one’s the government wants to give them.

  11. If a Felon has paid their debt to society, they should have all their rights restored. If that Felon may be a danger with a firearm, they’d be a danger without a firearm and should not be released from prison. By releasing a felon from prison, we’re saying they are reformed and are no longer believed to be a danger…and, in theory, are no longer a threat to anyone…even with a gun. If there is doubt of this, keep them in prison. Simple.

      • Because we don’t execute recidivist violent felons and other subhuman scum. The problem is that we believe that they can be rehabilitated which is a fanciful lie. Put a bullet in their skulls and be done with it. Then bill their next of kin.

    • Not so. Many felons are released from prison because they have served their sentence, not simply because they have qualified for parole.

    • Because jail/prison is about PUNISHMENT. Then making the victim as whole as possible.

      Forget the BS newage progressive nonsense about rehabilitation/debt to society. Is moronic as everything else the progressive degenerates spew.

  12. I think it should depend on the crime. Any “felonies” or similar non-crimes based on drug possession/use, violation of some bureaucratic fine print or non-violent offenses should not result in permanent infringement of ANY rights, voting and gun ownership along with other rights should be reinstated as soon as you’re released.

    But burglary, armed assault, domestic violence, rape, pedophilia, murder, etc. etc.? Considering the high rates of recidivism and the curse of prison culture I don’t think we should be letting violent felons out at all barring exoneration, and I’m fine with meting out the death penalty for the worst of the worst–serial killers, spree murderers, etc.

  13. “Should The People of the Gun shut up about this and other contentious issues (e.g., eliminating background checks) so as not to “scare the horses” or should we counterattack now, while we still can?”

    No. This is a permanent culture war. The antis took the death of 20 children as their opportunity to get their biggest wet dreams of restrictions passed. They failed, miserably. They were embarrassed, and they will continue this push through the 2014 elections. I think that Bloomberg truly believes that Newton somehow changed the landscape. It is up to us to prove him wrong. If we fail to kick the NY, CO, and other restrictive states’ politicians who voted for this crap out, he may very well be right.

    • +100. Those who want to deprive non-violent felons of their rights spit upon the graves of those who died for liberty and justice for all. The other side is open to you; go to them and suffer the eternal justice of pimps and scoundrels. Begone!

  14. No matter how you slice it, we will all come up with variations. No one wants someone who is potentially dangerous (based on a record in this discussion), running around with a gun – or a knife for that matter. As a matter of principle and precise definitions of what separates a right from a privilege, I would say government has no authority to intervene – period, but being as we have all recognized when the expression of a right interferes with another person’s “right” or good order (defined as not creating a situation leading to death or injury), it is then difficult to generate a specific definition.

  15. This is a hard topic to disect. Personally, I don’t want violent recurring felons to be able to get a gun any time they want at Wal Mart…but all felonies are not equal in my eyes either.

    I think metal illness is the same…someone who is depressed about his marriage failing shouldn’t be labeled mentally unstable forever and denied thier right to have a firearm….but bat shit crazy people who want to kill everyone for any reason I’m all for restricting thier rights.

    I’m unclear on the “natural rights” thing right now too, hopefully it will expand during this discussion, but at this point…I’m just hesitant to

  16. That’s the most idiotic thing I’ve ever read. Someone convicted of armed robbery, domestic battery, murder, etc, should never be allowed to own a gun again, legally. After all, it is from THEM that WE defend ourselves. Stop talking stupid.

    • Maybe it would not seem so idiotic if you consider that using the law to little or no effect makes a mockery of it.

      Really, do you think this violent recidivist monster you picture here gives two sh1ts about the law prohibiting his possession of a firearm? Such laws dilute the authority of the law in general. They turn it into a bitchy, impotent nag, rather than a dignified, fearsome standard.

      We don’t defend ourselves from rapists, murders, or robbers; we defend ourselves against rape, murder, and robbery.


    From my home city Bristol, England. The monkey business begins at 0:09.

    Rico Gordon murdered by fellow gang’stas armed with the strictly controlled pistol firearm.

    Use youtube for the video below, in order to take a closer look at the Ape enclosure problem that has a particular ‘origin’ and is spreading across the world like a cancer.


    Gun control and background checks work fine if your shooting! But if your aiming to disarm and dominate the apes featuring in the videos above you will be sorely mistaken on how deep legislation can penetrate skulls.

  18. The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.

    – H. L. Mencken

  19. What we have is a failure to communicate, based I think upon differing vocabularies.

    How about this: the government cannot eliminate a natural right, but the many – through the agency of their government – routinely and correctly abrogate certain inalienable rights. Inalienable does not mean beyond curtailment.

    F’rinstance, the rights to life, liberty (as expressed by freedom of movement) and the persuit of happiness (when one is most happy while raping toddlers).

    There are certain proclivities which, once demonstrated, render one ineligible for full membership in the “human club.” Certain of these legal semi-persons cannot be permitted to walk among us at all, while others probably should be permitted only limited freedom.

    The stripping of 2A guarantees from a felon does not serve to keep some felons from obtaining arms, but does provide ammunition to the prosecution in the event of recidivism.

    Even though the government cannot strip one of a natural right, it is legal and constitutional – under some circumstances – for it to curtail or prevent the exercise of those rights.

    This extends to many rights, including the right to breathe.

    If you do not like this, then to please you the entire Constitution will have to go. Personally, I’d rather we not become Somalia.

    • So what will it take to convince you “natural rights” are a myth and a phantasm?

      Who granted them? Did Nature grant them, as it implies? DOES NATURE ENFORCE THEM?

      • Noone enforces rights. They exist, and those with power can violate them, but rights they remain.

        Laws can be enacted and enforced in order to protect rights, but the rights exist irrespective of the culture.

        Again, it is a matter of individual sovereignty, the ownership of self.

        Any and all rights may be traced to and logically extrapolated from that one basic principle.

        If you don’t get that, you don’t get that.

        • Edit: The second amendment states that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, not that it is granted.

          The pre-existence of that right is explicit.

          Nature does not grant rights. Rights are concomitant with being autonomous, self-aware and self-owned beings. They are natural, as they are a product of the Way Things Are.

          Nature does not grant me vision, however vision is natural.

          The civil war did not grant blacks rights, f’rinstance. It merely put an end to one abrogation of their rights.

          It’s a subtle distinction, akin to that between not wanting to do a thing and wanting not to do it.

          I do not wish to live in Louisiana (too damned hot and humid for me), but I very much want not to roll around in poison ivy.

          ‘Nuff said.

  20. You lose certain rights once adjudicated of a crime. Those incacerated do not have 4th Amendment rigths, no 2nd Amendment rights and even limited first Amendment rights (correspondence is censored). This is all OK under the 14th, and should be. As to rights restoration my belief is that we must assume any person we let loose will have access to a fully auto M16/AK with a 100 round drum mag and make decisions as to their ability to return to society based upon that. Not determine we need to remove such items because dangerous criminals we are going to release might use them. Punish the guilty, but also allow for reform. Oh, and the kid caught with a dime bag? Let’s just make that legal as well, he’s no threat, and is only a criminal because Hearst was worried about his timber empire being threatened by hemp paper, which is far “greener” to produce.

    • this.

      dont want your right revoked, don’t break the law. You can be put in a registry and even have your right to life revoked. people convicted of drug offenses probably should not have gotten time; some white collar financial thieves get away with grand larceny at taxpayer expense. “the law aint fair” isnt really a defense.

  21. Great. I was going to do my contest submission on this very topic and Robert goes and steals my thunder. Great minds think alike.

  22. Let’s try this again…

    What we have is a failure to communicate, based I think on differing vocabularies.

    How about this: the government cannot eliminate a natural right, but the people – through the agency of their government – do routinely abrogate certain inalienable rights. Inalienable does not mean not subject to curtailment.

    F’rinstance, certain persons are routinely deprived of life, liberty (in the form of freedom of movement) and the persuit of happiness (when they are happiest while raping toddlers).

    Once a person demonstrates certain proclivities, they may be judged suited to only limited membership in the “human club.” Of these legal semi-persons, some cannot be permitted to walk amongst us at all, and others had best be permitted only limited freedom.

    Stripping a felon of their protection under 2A will not prevent all such from acquiring weapons once they are physically able to do so, but it will serve as a deterrent because it gives the prosecution access to a very large weapon in the event of recidivism.

    While a government cannot strip a person of a natural right, it is legal and constitutional to curtail or prevent exercise cerain of those rights.

    In a DGU, one might with impunity violate certain rights of the person or persons at the other end of he gun, because their actions have placed their rights in subordination to those of the defender.

    This extends even to therightto breathe.

    If this is unacceptable to you, then in order to please you the entire Constitution will have to go.

    Personally, I’d rather we not become S0malia.

  23. We all have the “natural right” to liberty. In fact — please correct me if I’m wrong on this — I think I may have read something about “liberty” in the Constitution.

    Commit a felony and then tell me that the government can’t restrict your natural right to live outside of a cage. No, really — go ahead. I’ll visit you one weekend a month.

    If the G can take away your right to breathe free air, it can certainly take away your right to own a gun. All it takes is due process.

    • No you chose to forfeit your freedom with your felony Mr Statist. Though the progressive slime may chose to not imprision you if they approve of your “protest” or community organizing (and that is totalitarian Gov’t )

      • What he’s saying is that under the Constitution – the supreme law among this particular group of hairless apes – there are provisions for the prevention of the free exercise of certain rights.

        This does not make Ralph a statist. What a supremely laughable thought!

        It makes him an American. We are a democratic representative constitutional republic, not an anarchy.

        Great. I just fed a troll. [facepalm]

      • @neiowa, I hereby rescind my offer of monthly visitation. Why should I visit you if your own family won’t?

        Have fun playing with the boys in the yard.

  24. To all the would-be Kants, Kirkegaards and Kafkas:

    A natural right is a capability granted by nature that doesn’t violate the rights of another.

    If someone tries to strangle you, they are abrogating your personal sovereignty and you’ve the right to brain them.

    Basically, the idea is that we’re all self-contained, generally equal individuals and that any attempt at subjugation violates that inherent sovereignty.

    Armed self-defense may be considered as an extension (via brains, opposable thumbs and such) of our natural right to self-preservation by tooth and nail.

    While this may not be provable, it’s a reasonable axiom – like parallel lines never meeting.

    Deity really doesn’t come into it.

    • I think some (who are not trolling) are tripping over the word “granted”. It might be better to think of “natural” not as from nature, but as innate, inherent, or fundamental.

  25. Liberty and the pursuit of happiness are also natural rights which we all agree can be destroyed by due process once a citizen has chosen to forfeit those rights b/c he ‘d rather rape rob, and murder his fellow citizens. Ergo, he also can and should be forced to forfeit his rights to armed self-defense in perpetuity.

    • So why place these characters in Prisons which are heavily guarded facilities.

      Why are these characters not put into the gulag?

      • Why are these characters not put into the gulag? Have you ever been to a prison? They are gulags.

        • You sir have no idea what a gulag is. If more than 90% of the inmates are not dead yet, that place is a resort comparing to a real gulag. Need I point out the incident in CA where the state was forced to pay for an inmates sex change operation?

  26. I think we gun owners and activist have a limited amount of time, money and energy to devote to the cause. I’m not wasting any of mine trying to restore gun rights to felons, violent or not. When all people in America that have lived their lives so as not to be pulling felonies have universal constitutional carry I’ll worry about restoring rights to the convicted.

  27. Felons should absolutely regain their rights upon completion of a probation. But we should first focus on getting the Lautenberg Amendment repealed, that is by far the most egregious gun control law in existence.

    • Yes, the Lautenberg Amendment should be repealed immediately. But it’s not really germane to this conversation, b/c it’s an ex-post facto law that applies felony disabilities to misdemeanor convictions.

  28. Yes, pursue this. If someone has done their time, and they are out, they should have full rights. I could be pursued that full rights are restored after probation is over. But if you can’t be trusted with a gun, you can’t be trusted period.

  29. I agree with Mr. Farago’s sentiment. Government should not be able to use classificationism to deprive broad swatch of the population the right to keep and bear arms. In today’s society, “felon” more often means “victim of the government and its unjust laws” or “enemy of the state” than “violent or depraved person who profoundly violates the rights of innocent people.”

    I do however, believe in the possibility of civil liability for folks who knowingly provide a firearm to someone whom they know to be of a violent character and who plans to engage in aggressive violence. Likewise, I believe in civil liability for folks who negligently allow profoundly disturbed people like Adam Lanza, who are known as such, to have easy access to firearms in the home.

    And remember, no one has the right to be sold a gun, they only have the right to deal peacefully, in voluntary transactons, without government intervention. If there is no seller willing to deal with them, that amounts to a sort of “gun control,” but it isn’t the kind that ends up with a totalitarian state.

    • When civil liability brings back the dead, then I’ll agree with you. Until then, the notion of violent or major felons with guns is insane.

  30. I think many people are missing an extremely important reason to consider fighting for felon’s restored 2nd Amendment rights:

    Imagine a setting where government defines all sorts of activities as felonies through legislative fiat. In fact imagine a setting where government makes sure that everyone is guilty of some felony. At that point government can come after anyone they choose and infringe on their right to keep and bear arms for defense of themselves.

    Think that cannot happen? I’ll bet no one thought that our beloved Internal Revenue Service would actively discriminate against conservative groups, either. History demonstrates with absolute clarity that governments have a huge propensity to operate with massive corruption. Why would we want to give our government — which is just as vulnerable to corruption as any other government — any more leverage than absolutely necessary?

    • I think this is in the wrong place, but so be it. @uncommon_sense:

      While some of your argument is sensible – and scary – some of it doesn’t fly.

      I doubt that the government as such could make everyone a felon. The Constitution would have to first take far too much damage, and this country would no longer be even recognizable.

      The removal of all 2A rights would have to have occurred – and we’d have to be largely disarmed – before such a regime could exist.

      The Constitution of the USSR made ours look like a plan for tyrany, save for one little clause: in an emergency, part our all of it might be spended. The Central Committee simply maintained a state of emergency, and so could do as they pleased.

      Kind of like the Patriot Act, but slightly worse. Actually, I’m convinced that the P.A, so widely loved by Shrubya’s base, was and is an attempt to usher in just such a back door to tyrany.

      As to IRS “discrimination,” it wasn’t. The tax code provides an exemption for organizations engaged in social welfare work to do some politicking, but only so much.

      Goodwill or the Salvation Army might lobby for better laws or regarding the homeless, access to prenatal care or food subsidies, f’rinstance.

      The names of the organizations which were given extra scrutiny did not lead one to believe that they ran soup kitchens, advocated for the poor or did vaccination drives. Their purpose was mostly if not wholly political, and the IRS was showing due diligence in keeping them from doing an end run around the tax code.

      • If the targeting was due diligence, why were no liberal groups targeted? I call bullshit.

        • Better names. “People for equality,” “Citizens united to end hunger” et cetera.

          Also, I believe “People for the American Way” was also given some serious scrutiny – even though advocating repeal of the Patriot Act might be construed as social welfare…

  31. The justice system was meant to allow people to pay their debt to society, once that debt is paid, the balance is zero and your natural rights are restored. A violent criminal who committed a violent crime does 40 years and gets out and starts a family, has reformed his ways suddenly doesn’t have the right to protect him or herself and their children?

    We continue to harp on here about how criminals will get access to weapons because they don’t follow background checks. If that’s the case why are we bothering to spend money on the system that’s incomplete and half-asses (re, no registration). We got through 200 years of this nation without background checks. Removing background checks and allowing Constitutional carry in all 50 states is the check and balance that is the extension of what we all also keep harping on that works. We as a firearms community continue to tell the anti-2A side that armed citizens are what keep crime down. If this is the case, then let’s push it to the max. Incarcerate those who break the law (ie. murder, rape, rob, etc), and make sure the punishment is strong enough that the debt to society will be paid. All I keep reading about is violent criminals back on the streets with probation in 18 months.

    Also the magical felon bullet can be changed over night, many gun control laws being passed around the country would make you a felon for exercising your 2nd Amendment rights, yet to that we hear people saying “come and take it”… are you not a felon now, shouldn’t your rights be taken away forever?

    • The point being, put violent criminals away for a long time, then you needn’t worry about them trying to buy a gun from an FFL for 50+ years.

      • Even that is not so simple. Put a murderer away for 40 years? Ok, let’s do it. How about a serial rapist? Give him 40 years. So, we now have the same penalty for murder and rape. Considering that the victims of rape are the primary cause for a rapist being captured and prosecuted, if the sick0 rapist would get the same penalty for murder, how many rape victims do you think would survive? All he has to do is kill him or her and the likelihood of being caught is dramatically reduced.

        • Based on your descriptions, you’re making it sound like catching murders is easy next to rapists, to which one would think that should a rapist decide to commit murder, it would be easier to instead of a rapist.

          However, It should be a DFGU. Again, the firearms community keeps on saying that the individual is responsible for their own safety, no?

          How exactly is doing a background check going to stop rape?

          All I’m saying is the firearms community keeps on saying background checks don’t stop criminals from getting firearms, so if that’s the case, why are we spending the money we are? We’re in a serious financial situation in this country right now.

          Also, while I don’t have the exact stat, but I recall hearing that of the 40,000 or so failed NICS checks last year only like 40 or so were followed up and turned into arrests and convictions… so again, why are we doing this?

    • There are in place procedures by which a felon may regain the free exercise of rights suspended upon conviction.

      However, release into society is part of the reformation process; they are still within the system upon release unless they have been exonerated or pardoned. Reinserting them into society is both a treatment and a test.

      Once truly out of the system they may petition for reinstatement of rights – or anyway the free exercise theref. No, the process does’nt work well and it is in need of overhaul, but there is a system.

  32. How quickly we forget. Convicted felons (even violent ones) were legally owning guns for years prior to the Gun Control Act of 1968. We are so used to this as the norm it is unthinkable that a convicted felon could just by a gun at Walmart . . . just like much of the world (outisde the U.S.) thinks its insane that you can buy guns & ammo at a common store w/ no license. You used to be able to buy a full auto Tommy Gun from a catlogue – que Carol O’ Conner and Those Were the Days.

    The same goes for drugs. Your drug dealer used to wear a bow tie and call you sir. They actually sold drugs at drug stores – what a concept. The Harrison Narcotics Tax Act is why you cannot buy Percocet or Morphine at the dollar store – cuz it would be that cheap. The same people who brought you the prohibition of alcohol brought the same w/ drugs and guns.

    The Prison Industrial Complex came way after the Founders and the world they lived in. Prison as punishment is a fairly new concept especially in th way it is carried out in modern America. For most of human history people would not bother with massive buildings to cage men indefinitely. The would just rather kill the offenders and be done with it.

    In conclusion . . . Felons already do have guns and them in spades. Convicted child molesters are still allowed to procreate. Oh, and Michael Vick can legally own a dog 🙂

  33. I say, focus. Today, the prime issue is the direct threat to the Constitution posed by the grabbers. Let’s get our rights secured, then talk about dealing with existing laws that might be unconstitutional.

  34. Governments have the power to cancel natural rights, and pretty much have since the days of Noah. They cancel life, liberty, and property very often, which are natural rights. They just have to employ due process to do it legally.

    I agree that it’s stupid to disarm certain types of felons and misdemeanants. But there’s a lot of stuff that’s stupid, and also constitutional. In a better world you could give a gun to a guy who shot his friend after a bender 20 years ago, and has since reformed. It’s possible through a pardon, but it’s not probable.

  35. Right on Farago!

    Why you’ll always be my favorite Italian-named Jewish homie.


    Principled to the core: your understanding of Natural Rights is 100% spot on!

    • When felons actually “pay their debt to society,” they should have their rights restored. That would include serving their incarceration and their probation, repaying society for the cost of trying, housing and feeding them, repaying the victims of their crimes, healing the bodies that they’ve broken and raising the dead that they killed.

      “Paying their debt to society” is a figure of speech. Felons just do time. Most never repay their debt.

        • There are in place procedures by which a felon may regain the free exercise of rights suspended upon conviction.

          However, release into society is part of the reformation process; they are still within the system upon release unless they have been exonerated or pardoned. Reinserting them into society is both a treatment and a test.

          Once truly out of the system they may petition for reinstatement of rights – or anyway the free exercise theref. No, the process does’nt work well and it is in need of overhaul, but there is a system.

        • In my less charitable moments, sometimes I wonder whether we shouldn’t go all sharia on everyone convicted of a felony, and I once considered having a bumper sticker printed up that would have read “TENT THE PRISONS.” Then I thought of the possible unpleasant consequences of having such a motto on my vehicle, and I decided that discretion was the better part of exercising my First Amendment rights.

  36. If God grants you natural rights, who’s to say He doesn’t grant divine rights to kings?

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