supreme court scotus second amendment protest demonstration
Courtesy Kevin Hulbert
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The federal circuit courts are unanimous that the government has some power to bar convicted felons from owning guns, but they are divided on why, and on how far that power reaches. The Supreme Court has not yet ruled on this issue.

In D.C. v. Heller, which recognized the individual Second Amendment right to bear arms, the Court assumed that laws barring felons from owning guns were valid in general and cautioned that it was not overturning those laws. However, nobody before the Court raised the issue directly, so it did not examine their scope.

When you are convicted of a felony, you lose some of your civil rights. The government can lock you up. But not all rights are restricted in the same way.

While you are imprisoned, even your personal, natural rights such as free speech and freedom from searches are more limited. Other consequences follow even after a criminal sentence is served.

There are historical reasons why American law and the Constitution have not treated all of those consequences the same way. Free speech and the right against self-incrimination, for example, are fully restored once all aspects of a sentence are fully served. Felons’ rights to own guns and to vote are more restricted, but not in the same ways, and not for the same reasons.

This is not something Amy Coney Barrett made up, and it does not reflect well on people who are mad at her for taking the law and history in this area seriously.

– Dan McLaughlin in Amy Coney Barrett Is Right about Guns and Voting



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  1. “Convicted of a felony.”

    Some felons just ran a weight loss scam in two states. Some felons just forgot to give the IRS $1500 in taxes on something. Other felons cut your sister’s head off with a chainsaw.

    • That is correct!! People being labeled a felon can be anything from selling a small amount of pot to being a serial killer!! I think calling someone a felon long after they paid for their crime is bad or worse than calling a black a Nigga.

      This is probably why many so called felons end up going back to prison! They are labeled forever and never forgiven by society!!

      As God’s Word says we have all sinned and fell short of the Glory of God!!

      What gets me many politicians and especially the democrats are evil and hell and many have cotton people killed!! But they get away with it because they are rich and powerful!!!

      I think so called felons need their gun rights restored once they have paid society back and proven themselves to be good citizens! Even a man or woman who made a mistake in life has the right to protect themselves and their families from thugs that may try to rob kill them.

      We are see the evils of BLM & Antifa today as they burn down building and attack innocent people!!

      God Bless

      • Has anyone gone to prison for merely selling a small amount of pot or was it just a lesser charge they plead down to.

        • People have gone to prison for a first offense dui at 18. No injuries, no fatalities. Unless they’ve recently changed the law there is no non felony drug charges in Nevada.

          We do not seek justice in this country. The court system is to generate revenue. The more folks in the system, especially longterm, the more money that is budgeted for the system.

        • Has anyone gone to prison for merely selling a small amount of pot or was it just a lesser charge they plead down to.

          There was a time when a roach in your cars ashtray could get you up to five years, particularly in Texas and some Southern States…

    • Yes.
      When I was putting people like that away, the published recidivism rate was over 95%.
      (That was for predator types. Not the 18 year old who gets caught boinking his 17 year old girlfriend.)

      They should never be let out.

      • “Not the 18 year old who gets caught boinking his 17 year old girlfriend.”

        That’s an important distinction. I bet the recidivism rate for the typical violent gangbanger is different from the guy who was in jail for assaulting his wife’s lover. Does this mean going back to 100% normal after serving your time depends on the situation? We know making them prohibited doesn’t keep them from getting guns. I was just curious what people thought about this.

        • Does this mean going back to 100% normal after serving your time depends on the situation?

          THAT question begs another question.. Should crime and punishment be a “one size fits all” situation OR should other factors be looked at? Should the “Gang Banger” that beats up some old lady be treated the same as the guy that assaults his wifes lover, both have shown an inability to control their emotions and a propensity to commit violence and could possibly be a greater danger to society later on (the guy seethes while sitting in jail and decides to kill his wife when he gets out, the Gang Banger gets out and elevates his game to murder for higher status in the gang OR they both get out and NEVER re-offend… You can’t punish someone for what they MIGHT do so both men MUST be treated equally and their “rights” MUST be reinstated.. If either man wants to escalate his criminal behavior simply telling him he can’t have a gun will not stop him from acquiring one…

        • It’s a very important distinction, indeed.

          One of my relatives is a registered Sex Offender for life, due to this very situation (he was 18, his former girlfriend was under 18). She was the one who pursued him that fateful day and initiated the one-time “event”, but the girl’s parents were livid and pressed charges. He’s now a felon and cannot own guns for the rest of his life. The irony is that if the event had happened only a couple of months earlier before his 18th birthday, he would not have been eligible for lifetime registration and loss of rights.

          Our system is flawed, to say the least.

        • MADDMAXX, that sounds logical. If we go full on logical, then why not go by the data? If you fit this particular data set, then you have to prove yourself first. But, like you said, you never really know. So why not let everyone prove themselves with a clear path back to normalcy? Sitting in jail doesn’t prove anything.

        • Sitting in jail doesn’t prove anything.

          BUT there must be some consequence for anti-social behavior, you can’t make a grown man sit in a corner for an hour and expect to change his behavior and the use of “stocks” aka public humiliation is no longer acceptable, however if you deprive a NORMAL person of his freedom for a prescribed period AND make him understand that should he reoffend he will be deprived of his freedom again for an even longer period he may think long and hard about that probability.. I emphasize NORMAL because there are those who become “institutionalized” and become dependent upon the care of the state at the cost of their freedom.. Part of “prison reform” should include mandatory education and job training AND the removal of private “for profit” ownership of prisons that offers no incentive for rehabilitation (if I own a for profit prison why would I NOT want you to get out, commit another crime and land right back in my prison)..

        • This shows the fundamental flaw with the idea of “punishment” for crimes committed. It may feel good to the victim, but does nothing for the reduction of crime. The idea of prison is completely useless. If a person is too dangerous to be in society, they need to be removed. The method of removal is irrelevant. Put them on a d*** island, and make them grow their own food. Making them a burden on the tax-payer is immoral. On the other hand, if a person is not a threat to society at large, all rights must be maintained. They should be made to serve indentured to their victim, but all rights retained. Also, if there is no victim, THERE IS NO CRIME. Full stop.

        • We need to rework the entire criminal justice system. Victimless crimes need to be eliminated. That would include all drug crimes, all crimes involving only the perpetrator such as drug possession offenses, and all crimes involving consenting action between two adults such as buying selling drugs or sex. It would also include eliminating all gun related crimes that did not contain the element of pointing it at someone or firing it at someone.

          For crimes with a victim the focus needs to be on restoration, not punishment. A person cannot lose bits and pieces of their basic human rights. People who are not safe to be around other people and weapons are the only people who should be locked up and they should be locked until they are no longer a threat to others.

        • “The idea of prison is completely useless.”

          Not exactly. People have been led to believe that prison is used to reform violent criminals. Prison should be thought of as a way to separate the violent/dangerous criminals from the rest of society. The same can be said of major scam artists. Criminals have swindled people out of their life savings, ruining their life, and sometimes leading the victim to commit suicide.

        • Madly, I complement you on your post, that was a good use of the equivalent and comparison method.

          You made some good points, thanks!

      • I’ve never seen recidivism rates broken down in great detail, but for prisoners convicted of “rape or sexual assault”, 95% is ridiculously high. These statistics from BJS show that such prisoners had a 9 year recidivism rate of 67% for all offenses, less than 8% of those subsequent arrests were for rape/sexual assault.

        • Incarceration isn’t going to change someone’s sexual preferences. A pedo is still going to be a pedo. A rapist is still going to enjoy raping. It makes as much sense as expecting a homosexual to turn straight because he was thrown in prison. There might be a small percentage that can control their desires because they fear punishment, but the desires are still there.

        • Hey man, those are the numbers. If they don’t comport with your theory of sexual offenses, sooner or later you’re going to have to grapple with the possibility that it’s your theory that’s wrong.

    • Yes, sexual predators of a certain threat level should be on a list forever and should be restricted in their activities forever. It is up to the States to determine what threat level that is.

      • I see Dictator Trump sent his goons to beat up free speech advocates over the weekend. Oh wait a minute those were Biden-Hartis supporters beating a person of color up.

        • Don’t give a rat’s southern hind quarter about such noise.

          Trump is a Traitor to the Republic. Maybe he’s going to be voted out, maybe not, I certainly ain’t making any calls on this one.

          But afterward, there’s lots of debt collectors and prosecutors after the guy.

          So I figure in the end he will get what he deserves for betraying his country.

        • in the end he will get what he deserves for betraying his country.

          Please DO go on… I’m sure you have some fine examples of the aforementioned betrayals.. I know…

          Was it lying to the entire country about how Obamacare would NOT affect private health insurance and Doctor choice? No. that was Obama/Biden..
          Was it selling out our Ambassador in Libya and then LYING to the world about it? No, that was Obama/Biden/Clinton..
          Was it selling us out to the Iranians and financing their global support of terrorists? No, that was Obama/Biden/Kerry
          Was it when he said police “acted stupidly” without any information? No, that was Obama
          Was it the time he sold out 25% of our Uranium production to Russia? No wait, that was Obama/Clinton
          Was it when he relayed the message to Vlad that he would have “more flexibility” AFTER his reelection? No.. surprisingly, THAT was Obama
          Was it when he allowed the rise of ISIS and the occupation of Northern Iraq and Southern Syrian Territories by Islamic Terrorists a term which he REFUSED to utter? No, that would be Obama…
          Was it when he made up a bunch of shit about an opposing candidate and directed a three year plus, multi-million dollar investigation by his Department of Justice complete with Special Prosecutor, lying to the court and destruction/alteration of PUBLIC records? No? Again with Obama/Biden/Clinton? I’m beginning to sense a pattern here..
          I know it was while he was VP and he introduced his derelict son to powerful members of the Communist Party in China and Russia and to powerful criminal types in the Ukraine and other parts of the world so he could cash in on his sons GOOD fortune after he left office… Oh hell no, Trump was never VP, THAT was Creepy “The Big Guy” Uncle Joe..
          Was it the time he opposed the assault on the Bin Laden compound to capture or kill the most wanted criminal terrorist in the WORLD? Oh no, THAT was BIDEN?
          Is it all the lies he’s told during this campaign about attending Black Colleges and Black Churches or forgetting where he’s at or what office he’s running for or what day it is OR…….? No, that would be Biden…
          There really is too much to list like Creepy “Big Guy” Uncle Joes propensity for putting his hands on women and young girls whether they want it or not or Joe and Kamaltoes difficulty with context and truth, but I’m not going to go into detail about ALL the indiscretions of the previous administration (highlights are bad enough) so, go for it… And no fair using Schiffs made up version of “the phone call”…
          I also realize that this is NOT an exact chronology of past events, but it’s close enough to convey the idea…

        • So has Trump used the organs of government to go after his political opponents like Obama and Biden?

          Has he defied the courts like Whitmer and Evers?

          Has he shutdown Churches like Newsom?

          Has he gone after the Jews like Cuomo?

          Does he have an army of thugs that burn, loot beat up his opponents and chant Kill the Jews?

          You going to answer this time or don’t you have talking points for that

        • “those were Biden-Hartis supporters beating a person of color up.”

          The media report I saw said they were merely counter protestors. They were protesting a right wing Pro-Trump group. Some of the photos showed the counter protestors waiving the Antifa idea flag. enuf doesn’t care about propaganda being fed to the public as long as Orange Man Bad goes away.

        • @Dude:

          According to the media there is no such thing as Antifa and all we have is fiery but peaceful protests. Harris was on TV urging people to be out in the streets. She was told to cool but other Democrats like Squad and their supporters are on board with this.

        • enuf in a previous comment:
          “Now in the news is that Trump’s own FBI is investigating the Rudy Giuliani supplied hard drive as a Russian disinformation scheme to influence the election in favor of Trump. Who Putin has always favored as a useful stooge.

          On the whole, the only thing this episode tells me is that voting to remove Trump continues to be in the vital security interests of the Republic.”

          Reality today:
          Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Monday said the information contained on Hunter Biden’s laptop revealed by The Post last week “is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign.”
          “Let me be clear: The intelligence community doesn’t believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that. And we have shared no intelligence with Adam Schiff, or any member of Congress,” he said.

          So enuf bases his decision to remove Orange Man Bad on the reliability of CNN’s famous anonymous sources. There’s a sucker born every minute. Or maybe enuf is just another partisan shill?

        • “betraying his country”

          Hey enuf. You should write an essay on this. Compare and contrast Biden with Trump. You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. I’m interested in finding out what you know that no one else does. Obviously you should provide citations.

        • Dud, are you talking about DNR John Radcliffe, who has publicly released unverified information regarding a political opponent that originated from a foreign adversary?

          “Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Tuesday declassified a Russian intelligence assessment that was previously rejected by Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee as having no factual basis, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

          The extraordinary disclosure, released to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) earlier Tuesday, rankled Democrats, who said the move effectively put Russian disinformation into the public sphere in order to boost President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about the government’s efforts to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.

          “It’s very disturbing to me that, 35 days before an election, the director of national intelligence would release unverified Russian rumint,” or rumor intelligence, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) told reporters.

          And several former senior intelligence officials described Ratcliffe’s move as incendiary and irresponsible, given the manner in which he was publicly releasing unverified information that originated from a foreign adversary.”

          I am so glad to find that Trump is not using his political appointees to US intelligence agencies in order to attack his political opponents

        • “And several former senior intelligence officials described Ratcliffe’s move”

          Miner, You know what I’m talking about because, unlike you, I provided a source. You, on the other hand are relying on these convenient anonymous sources. Plus, your anonymous sources are FORMER intelligence officials. You have nothing, as usual, so you attack the messenger, not the message.

    • The question is ill-formed. There is no offense that I know of in any state known as “sexual predation”. Offenses that can land a person on a sex offender registry run the gamut from public urination and relationships between 18 and 16 year-olds, to serial incestuous child molestation.

      • “The question is ill-formed”

        I’m referring to EVERYONE that ends up on the list. If they did their time, then why do they have to stay on a list? This is no different than the topic of felons and their rights.

        • Which kind of exposes that the question of depriving felons of rights, globally and without individual distinction, is itself an ill-formed question.

        • I’m not sure what you mean by that Dave. This seems like an important conversation. Like Haz said, everyone on the list isn’t the same.

        • That everyone one the list is not the same is exactly my point. That’s true whether “the list” refers to a sex offender registry, or a list of convicted felons. Therefore it makes no sense to ask whether some punishment should apply to them, as if that were a simple “yes or no” question.

        • “Therefore it makes no sense to ask whether some punishment should apply to them, as if that were a simple “yes or no” question.”

          …Which is the entire point of this conversation.

    • That depends on your definition of sexual predator. Bang some willing jail bait? No. Hired a hooker and got caught? No. Wagged your dick at someone to be funny while your were drunk? ( My neghbor did this and did 10 years for felony indecent exposure when he was 17 and the girls were 14) No. Violent rape or had sex with a child? Yes.

    • It should be decided on a case by case basis underage children can be labelled as sex offenders in fact it is not unheard of for a teenage boyfriend and girlfriend to both be charged as sex offenders for having sex with each other.

      • it is not unheard of for a teenage boyfriend and girlfriend to both be charged as sex offenders for having sex with each other.

        Yes it is (unheard of that is)…

  2. Go back and listen to her (Amy B.) answers concerning this.

    She correctly stated that Dicta was not binding to the ruling in Heller. (I’m paraphrasing)

    Scalia and the rest can write in the margins all they want, but is doesn’t apply.

    From the interwebs….

    The part of a judicial opinion which is merely a judge’s editorializing and does not directly address the specifics of the case at bar; extraneous material which is merely informative or explanatory. Dicta are judicial opinions expressed by the judges on points that do not necessarily arise in the case.

  3. I was once convinced that felons shouldn’t get rights back. I guess that was part of my upbringing.

    Life has taught me differently. The primary issue on this forum being 2A rights – it doesn’t make any real sense that a felon can never recover the right to defend himself from attack. That’s pure idiocy. Self defense is a natural right after all. Not even an animal can be faulted for fighting back when provoked. Why should we create a class of people who can never defend themselves? Again, that is idiocy, no matter what we all grew up believing.

    The terms “dangerous people” and “convicted felon” are not synonymous. Dangerous people shouldn’t be free – that is as simple as it gets. The man who genuinely poses a threat to society should be locked away, forever. Any man deemed “safe” to walk the streets should get all of his rights restored. Can’t have it both ways – he is safe, or he isn’t safe.

    • Loss of some rights of citizenship should be the standard for all felons.

      There should be a process in every state where prisoners at the end of their time behind bars may petition for restoration of rights. It should not be automatic, it should not be assumed that their period of punishment is the equal of a reformed character. Let them prove in a court of law they are trustworthy once again.

      If they are dangerous, I agree, they should not be walking around.

      • ” prove in a court of law they are trustworthy ”

        Horsesh!t. How is one supposed to prove they will not offend again? It’s like trying to prove a negative — logically impossible.

        When the legislature passes a law to make something a felony, that is the time to state what rights can or cannot be restored. Make it part of the text of the law itself, and all doubt is removed, plus it makes later review and revision of that law possible in future. But just dumping everything into one basket marked “felony” and using a one-size-fits-all approach is both wrong and counter-productive.

  4. The 2nd Amendment does NOT come with “qualification”.. IF you are an American citizen you have the uninfringed “right” to keep and bear arms.. IF you commit a crime there are prescribed punishments after which ALL Constitutional rights and guarantees should/must be reinstated, this includes jail and or probation/parole time AND payment of all fines and restitution (unless a fair and equitable payment plan is agreed to)…. To continue to punish someone after they have met all of the requirements under the statutes becomes cruel and unusual… ALL rights of citizenship including voting rights and gun ownership must be returned until/unless the individual re-offends at which time a deeper consideration needs to be entertained…

    • No.

      A period of punishment is not proof of reform. It is not proof you are ready to once again be one of “The People”. They should have to prove themselves reformed in a courtroom to regain full rights of citizenship.

      • They should have to prove themselves reformed in a courtroom to regain full rights of citizenship.

        And where in the Constitution exactly did you find that little gem of wisdom… If jail time does not meet YOUR standards of rehabilitation then I assume you would do away with it all together and just have the offender humbly and passionately express his/her/its regret at having been a bad boy/girl/thing and convincingly assure everyone that it will never happen again… Well, alrighty then…. Problem solved…

        • ” Well, alrighty then”

          Holly Hunter was the best part of that movie!

          Although John Goodman is always a terrific character actor and sometimes more so.

          T.J. Kuhn, Jr was exceptional.

          I think Nick Cage was in there too someplace???

      • So how does a person prove he is reformed??? I think once time is served, fines paid etc. Give them some time maybe a few years to prove they are good citizen, family man, etc. Then give them the right to own a gun back

    • :….The 2nd Amendment does NOT come with “qualification”.. IF you are an American citizen you have the uninfringed “right” to keep and bear arms….”

      That was not always the case and not how the Constitution was written originally. For the most part the Constitution is a document stating what the Federal Gov. can not do and did not really apply to the States. (see 10th Amendment) That is until the mad dictator lincoln started a war for power and control. Now we all answer to the federal Gov. (see 14th Amendment)

      The difference being “The Untited States ARE vs The United States IS”

      • The difference being “The Untited States ARE vs The United States IS”

        And I REALLY do appreciate ALL of the history lessons I am receiving this morning, however, FREE SPEECH, RELIGIOUS FREEDOMS, EXPESSION, PRESS and yes GUN OWNERSHIP (personal protection) are ALL considered NATURAL (God given?) rights that are simply protected (NOT granted) by the Constitution and have nothing to do with those POWERS granted and/or withheld from the Federal Govt or the States and every law written/passed and enforced by Federal/State/Local governments that strives to deprive ANY citizen of those Natural rights defined in the 1st and 2nd is in direct violation of the 14th… No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law

        • “….are ALL considered NATURAL (God given?) rights that are simply protected….”

          Understand that. Funny the Framers thought that the Federal Gov needed stopping from doing “things” Unlike the thought process of many today.

          The 10th Amendment has been gutted and is dead now for all practical purposes. The Fed Gov now makes the rules instead of each State.

        • Funny the Framers thought that the Federal Gov needed stopping from doing “things” Unlike

          The Framers were looking for solutions to issues they knew from from experiences under the rule of a despotic King… Today people have become lazy and complacent, it’s easier to “let someone else do it” That’s how we wind up with politicians in office for 50 plus years and why states have relegated their POWERS to the Federal Government….

  5. No, SCOTUS needs to state whether the Due Process Clause of the 5th Amendment allows a permanent or only temporary loss of rights. If it’s the former then it is up to legislative bodies to determine which rights and if it’s the latter than no rights may abridged once the person is no longer under confinement or judicial supervision.

    • Indeed. Yet even in cases where the proof is beyond doubt it can take years to complete a trial, and there still remains a high chance that even for something as detestable as the molestation of children, or the murder of innocents, after 10, 15 years the perpetrator will be unleashed on society once more.

      It is a deliberate strategy on the part of the state to create and perpetuate a violent criminal underclass. After all, if we actually dealt with the problem of violent felons it would be difficult to justify the expansion and consolidation of power in the hands of a police state.

  6. Oh man back in the day(like early 1970’s)it was quite common for 18 year old guy’s to have “girlfriends” who were under 18. We could ALL be felons…I have a son in his 40’s who got a felony for entering a house in a psychotic daze. Didn’t steal anything or assault anyone. Completely non-violent. Yeah I would like it if his record was expunged. He delivers pizzas for a living. I doubt he cares if he has a gun but that ain’t my point. My life could have been destroyed for having a 17year girlfriend…

    • There was a time when people had common sense. High School kids date high school kids. Nobody was going to get prosecuted. We now live in a rule based versus common sense based society.

      • We live in a Liberal based Society that excuses Bad Behavior/Personal Responsibility because “I” was Held Down by the “Man”. Much the same Mantra as in the 60’s except now it’s on Steroids. Nothing is “MY” fault and Society Owes “ME” whatever “I” want because How “I” feel about myself is the most important thing in life.

  7. I see this issue in a different light. I for one am sick and tired of all the Criminal Justice Reform being bandied about. Criminals choose to be criminals and with that choice there are consequences. Those consequences should be dealt out with as swiftly as possible and be as harsh as possible. If a person “Chooses” to not be a productive member of Society then they should be removed from society until such time as the Law see fit to “Give” them a second chance. If upon the issuance of that second chance they again choose to continue to be a “Criminal” they should be Immediately Put To Death…Period. Far to much money is wasted every year on keeping people who refuse to be Lawful and Pry upon the Innocent Hard Working Members of Society. More money is spent each year on Criminals and Jails/Prisons than on Education, Schools and Programs that could help to raise children in a productive manner. Being a Criminal is about choice. It’s not about being Poor. i was raised Dirt Poor, It’s not about Single Parent Upbringing, I was raised by a single Father. It’s not about Environment, because thousand of people are raised in bad environments every and yet become the Honest Hardworking Members of Society that Criminals Prey upon. if you Don’t want to Do the Time…Don’t do the Crime. Choose Life Wisely

    • Good post. I grew up quite poor as well and despite that never turned to a life of crime. It is a conscious choice to become a criminal, and once a human makes the choice to stop looking at other humans and seeing his fellow man.. to seeing prey and a resource.. there is no longer any chance of “rehabilitating” them, and we need to stop deluding ourselves that they can be.

      Men get arrested. Dogs get put down.

      • I agree completely with both of you. A properly defined felony is not merely a violation, but a renunciation of the Social Contract. As such, it amounts to a declaration of war, not only against a particular person, right, law, or even a particular civilization; but against ALL persons, rights, laws, and the concept of civilization itself. Examples of absurd “felonies” amply justify the Court striking down those laws, but not categorically neutering the State’s ability to punish actual scumbag felons.

        As I see it, there are basically three positions:
        -Micromanage every decent, law-abiding citizen as though he’s a scumbag criminal (tyranny; the goal of statists)
        -Treat every scumbag criminal as though he’s George Washington (suicidal abnegation of government’s responsibility to decent citizens; the goal of left-libertarians)
        -Recognize that both extremes are ridiculous because “equality” (in the sense of “treating everyone exactly the same”) is not synonymous with liberty, justice, and good, but exactly the opposite: in either of the forms described above, it epitomizes evil.

        Finally, a felon who “repaid his debt to society” is a meaningless abstraction with zero correlation to 2020 realities. Thanks to the BS “reforms” Darkman mentioned, prisons COMPOUND criminals’ debts with free health-club membership, free education, free medical, free internet and TV, furloughs, conjugal visits, far better accommodations than any USN sailor at sea, snacks, AC, cigarettes, commissary privileges, PAY for easy, low-stress work, etc. Not a syllable of the Founders’ writings gives the slightest indication that any of them would consider today’s coddling horseshit as fair recompense for crime.

  8. A person with one or multiple felony convictions for a single event where the felon was not acting with utter and total disregard for human dignity and life should get all of his/her rights back after serving his/her prison sentence.

    A couple clarifying examples:

    A person who kidnaps, rapes, and tortures a woman has demonstrated utter and total disregard for human dignity and life and should NOT get all of his rights back after serving his prison sentence.

    A father who severely beats a man who raped his daughter — and has an otherwise long record of being an upstanding citizen — deserves to have all of his rights back after serving a prison sentence for aggravated assault for beating up his daughter’s rapist.

    • after serving a prison sentence for aggravated assault for beating up his daughter’s rapist.

      In what fucked up vision of society should ANY father be convicted of a felony AND sent to prison for beating a guy “RAPING” his daughter…

      • That is insane that the dad only protecting his daughter from a rapists got charge for beating up the rapist!!! The system is upside down

        • It is not insane, nor is it upside down. It is precisely as intended. The state wishes to reserve a complete monopoly on force, and any use of force outside of their authorized agents is anathema and must be punished. In the view of the state it is in fact far better that you submit as a sheep to the wolf. It does not matter WHY you used force, you have encroached upon a right that the state wishes to reserve solely for itself, and therefore you WILL be punished and made an example of. This is why so many members of the justice system actively prosecute obvious self defense, and why legislators draft laws designed to persecute and discourage self defense. This is why “duty to retreat” laws exist in some states, stating that even in your own home, you must attempt to flee before defending your very life.

          When you realize that the “Justice System” is part of the deep state and is actively working to usher in their own vision of the future it makes a good deal more sense. They care more deeply for the life of the criminal (who after all, can be used to justify the growth and increased power of the state) than they do for the life of the law abiding citizen (a meaningless serf who can easily be replaced and forgotten).

          There are members of the judiciary who are sane. They exist. However they are far outnumbered by activists who are whole-hearted believers in the elitist view that they, and those like them in Government, are part of the aristocracy who must steer the ignorant masses… the greater good demands that some must be sacrificed. After all, what are a few bodies at the foundation of their brave new world? In this perfect world, there will be no need for petty concerns such as “rights”. The armed citizen who dares to assert that those rights not explicitly granted to the State are reserved to the people are their single greatest opponent and threat above all others.

      • MADDMAX,

        I was referring to a situation where a father seeks out and severely beats his daughter’s rapist several hours or days after learning about the rape.

        • I was referring to a situation where a father seeks out and severely beats his daughter’s rapist several hours or days after learning about the rape.

          That crossed my mind, but then I thought, nah, guy rapes my daughter and I find him days later?… I just watch the guy til opportunity arises to take him down quietly, no witness a shot of ether, a couple of strategic cuts to promote bleeding, dump him in the local “gator infested” lake and let nature take it’s course… No harm no foul no jail…

  9. I dated a 14 year old girl when I was in the Air Force and I was about 19. This girl wanted to go out with me I did not chose her. Her mother allowed her to go with me and we did date off and on for sometime but I could not see here often we lived about 250 miles apart. She look much older than 14 that is for sure.

    I never tried to have sex with her I did respect her age. Long story short she broke it off with me and got married at 15 years old. I think she would have married me but I was not ready for that.

  10. Prior to the National Firearms act of 1934, all felons were allowed to posses firearms after completion of their sentence. They paid their dues so to speak. After the NFA 1934 all violent felons were prohibited to own firearms. In 1968 the Firearms act was rewritten to add “ALL” felons as being prohibited to to own firearms.

    • That was enhanced to include misdemeanor domestics and any crime with a sentence over a year.

      They are working towards any infraction or crime up to and including DUI. Red Flag laws cut criminal prosecution out of the way and just disarm someone.

  11. i think some states return gun and voting rights at completion of sentence.
    here is the problem with that.
    lets say a guy in florida goes to montana, writes some hot checks and is sent to prison.
    when he gets out and stays in montana he can vote and get a gun
    if he gets a concealed carry permit and takes his family to florida on vacation, do they honor his right to carry concealed
    if he goes back to florida to live does he get his gun and voting rights back?
    now reverse it ,lose your rights buy being convicted in fla do you get your rights back when moving back home to montana?
    these type of things have to be standard under federal law. i shouldnt need to hire and take a lawyer with me every time i cross state lines

  12. IMO… Depending on the level of the felony depends on whether rights should be restored.
    Once a non violent felon has completed their sentence and let’s say 3 years have passed with no further violations then rights should be restored. Nothing should be made to look easy for committing a felony otherwise it may become an incentive to commit a felony..

  13. Voting rights are returned in a number of states, gun rights are another story. A pardon is the best option for a felon, many states have programs that allow a felon to apply after x number of years. Pardons aren’t just for famous people, any felon can apply and with a clean record it’s possible.

  14. All gun laws are illegal. They are only there to control the population. Bad people doing bad things find ways to do bad things. Prohibited people create a market for stolen firearms. A felon has the same right to protect him/herself and their family against home invasion as anyone. Possibly, the felon in question beat the crap out of a guy who raped his 7 year old stepdaughter. Admitted doing it and was convicted of assault. This does happen. All that I am saying is that gun control has never made anyone safer. I lived on a island where the number one murder weapon was a rock. Number two was a hammer.

    • P.S. Look at Mexico. Venezuela. Nazi Germany. Austrailia.China. Cambodia.England. U.S.S.R. France. No firearms for the common man, massive crime or total government control of populace. Australia’s crime shifted to death by machete. England’s to death by knife so much they banned those also. Ha. Mexico has armies of criminals with .50cals and RPGs. But only one gun store in the entire country for those well connected. Jose Q public is screwed. The short answer for the powers to be is is you can deneigh rights because someone is a criminal, then just make anyone you don’t like a criminal. Easy.

  15. I received a conspiracy charge and am now a felon, this was 25 years ago, since the conviction I have worked my ads off, I’ve retired, I own a small cafe, own my own home, I’m active in my community, I did everything the federal government asked of me, completed my sentence, I don’t think my conviction should be a life sentence, should I get my gun rights back?

  16. I look at it from an idealogical perspective: either gun ownership is a right and therefore cannot legitimately be taken away, or it’s a privilege that’s dependent on an individuals behavior and the whims of the authorities. But by the same token, you can’t demand that it be a privilege for others and a right for yourself. To put it another way, it’s remarkably hypocritical to demand that “criminals” (which, by definition, simply means someone who violates the government’s own ever changing rules) lose their gun “rights” but then turn around and screech about how your own rights are being violated. Can’t have it both ways!

    I would also add that it’s become increasingly apparent (this has always been true but the events of 2020, particularly the early pandemic response and “shutdowns”, have REALLY driven it home) that no matter what, any power you give the state will eventually be amplified ten or a hundred times. If you give em an inch, they’ll take a mile. Once you’re ok with the government taking rights away from “certain people”, it becomes a very dangerous slippery slope.

    And from a practical standpoint, as we’ve all seen time and time again, convicted felons who want to continue to prey on others will acquire weapons after their release and continue to do so no matter what the law says. So the prohibition on felons owning guns does NOTHING to keep the rest of us safe, but it does afford the state a massive degree of power. Governments at all levels have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they CANNOT be trusted not to abuse their power, and thus I’m of the opinion that it should be kept to the smallest possible minimum. Them having more power is a FAR GREATER threat to the citizenry than a few gang bangers, who have no idea how to shoot, toting stolen Hi Points

    • Apparently I “do not have permission to edit this comment” (WTF TTaG, fix your website), but I wanted to add that there IS, built into the law, a mechanism by which ex cons who can show good standing can have their gun privileges reinstated. But, it’s been deliberately defunded as a backdoor gun control mechanism. This was LONG before my time but as I understand it, that mechanism was a sizable part of why people were originally willing to pass that law in the first place. But as I said, you give em an inch and they’ll take a mile….

    • Per the Due Process Clauses of the 5th and 14th Amendments, the government can take a criminal’s means of defending his life just as surely as it can take his life, property, or any other liberty. More precisely, by the core natural-law principle underlying those Amendments, the government isn’t “taking” those rights any more than it “granted” them in the first place. It is simply certifying, and then acting upon, the criminal’s own free choice to relinquish his rights by violating the rights of others.

  17. “The federal circuit courts are unanimous that the government has some power to bar convicted felons from owning guns . . .”

    That is because federal circuit courts don’t follow the Constitution. Show me anywhere in the Constitution where you can lose one of your Constitutionally protected rights beyond the point of doing time in prison. There is nothing in there allowing such an interpretation.
    Don’t expect any miracles from the Supreme Court either. As of now, only Clarence Thomas holds to the literal Constitution as clearly written with original intent. The rest make it up as they go, including even Kavanaugh.


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