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TPaine7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 04:27 PM
Original message
On Second Amendment Rights and Violent Felons
Edited on Sat Aug-30-08 05:14 PM by TPaine7
Many people who oppose gun rights make arguments that they would not make on any other Amendment (or any other law, for that matter).

Here is a paraphrase of a comment from a gentleman on another site:

The Second Amendment says that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." There are no exceptions specified. If you admit that guns can be banned for Charles Manson, you therefore admit that government can keep anyone at any time from having any gun. After all, that is no more a violation of the Amendment as written than banning possession by Charles Manson.


With all due respect to him--he was very intelligent and well read, and unlike many here, amenable to reason--this is nonsense. Good, honest, informed people can only believe nonsense like this when they are under the "gun control reality distortion field."

What he said would only be true in an alternate universe, a place without the historical and situational context of life in American--or even on earth. This is why no one would ever make analogous arguments about the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


(Almost) everyone would recognize the following as silly:

The First Amendment says that "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..." There are no exceptions specified. If you admit that citizens can be prevented from disclosing troop positions, war plans and other legitimate government secrets, you therefore admit that government can keep anyone at any time from communicating anything. After all, that is no more a violation of the Amendment as written than banning treasonous communication.


The Second Amendment was not written to ensure the right of mass murderers to bear arms any more than the First Amendment was written to ensure the right of traitors to betray their country. Furthermore, people at the time the Bill of Rights was written took it for granted that both traitors and murderers could be executed--a penalty that deprives them of all rights.

If we can legitimately, through juries made up from our number, condemn traitors and murderers to death, by what contortions of logic can we not strip them of their gun rights?!

"That which proves too much proves nothing."

PS: this does not mean that it is constitutional to define jaywalking or littering as felonies and stri someone of his gun rights because lint falls out of his pocket. Thanks to Mojorabbit for the first post, I forgot to include a disclaimer.
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. One has to be careful
as almost everything is a felony these days.
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TPaine7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. True.
I forgot to explicitly say that, but that is why I limited myself to murderers and traitors.

If, for instance, jaywalking is defined as a felony, and then someone is stripped of their gun rights upon conviction that is a very clear and unconstitutional abuse. There is no logical connection between jaywalking and gun violence. There is a connection between murder and gun violence. Ditto for treason. A person who commits treason cannot be trusted to keep weapons out of enemy hands.

Felony inflation can make stripping felons of gun rights unconstitutional.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think once you serve your sentence, you should get your gun rights back
And that includes parole and probation. Why should someone who has paid their debt to society not have the right to defend themselves?

People who are criminals are going to get guns no matter what kind of laws you put on the books.
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TPaine7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I think that some violent felons should probably get their rights back
but that they should have to humbly submit their requests for reinstatement before a court of law--like many want citizens with pristine records to submit to a police chief.

The OP was about the constitutionality of stripping certain criminals of their rights.

People who are criminals are going to get guns no matter what kind of laws you put on the books.

And when violent felons are caught with guns they can be charged with an additional crime. If the penalty is steep enough and actually enforced it will have a deterrent effect.
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TPaine7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Their debt to society can be defined as
10 years of imprisonment,

2 years of probation,

and a lifetime of disarmament,


In which case they can never be said to have "paid their debt to society."

I do agree that murderers who resurrect their victims should have their gun rights restored when they leave prison, however. :evilgrin:
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tburnsten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. I think the crime and individual history
should play the largest role in that. Clearly a white collar criminal guilty of felony tax evasion shouldn't lose their gun rights, that would just be silly administrative punishments without any real cause, on top of their fines and prison sentence. Overboard.

Someone with a history of misdemeanor assaults who gets nailed for any felony, totally different story. I don't want someone with a tendency to get into it with any tom dick or harry to get their right to keep and bear arms back without some pretty serious judicial review. If he can't convince a judge, preferably one who had sentenced him in the past, that he has grown up and is no longer a violent individual, than he can settle for the ole baseball bat or cap and ball revolver for home defense. Agreed that no written law will ever prevent the bad apples from acquiring arms, but maybe someday in the future when someone actually deserves it our judicial system can start applying the weapons violation laws already on the books, while the rest of us can continue to remain equipped to fight off home invaders and other violent offenders.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-31-08 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
16. Throughout common law history, felonies have carried lifelong consequences
For a long time any felon was branded with an "f" on his thumb. It's a long-standing part of common law that felonies can carry penalties that extend beyond a jail term and can only be removed by special clemency.
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TPaine7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-31-08 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. This is not a challenge, but do you have any citations?
If so, please share. If not I'll research it myself.

This is useful information.
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
7. I'm always up for a stroll

through the 18th century. Thanks for the lovely nostalgic thread!

Of course, we all know that nothing has happened since then.

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TPaine7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. ????
Many things have changed since the 18th century.

We've been to the moon, we can fly, we have light at night that doesn't involve fire, we can split atoms.

None of this is relevant to the OP, to the right to bear arms, or even to freedom of speech and the press.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Are you feeling okay?
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TPaine7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Some comments are not supposed to actually make sense.
Edited on Sat Aug-30-08 09:53 PM by TPaine7
It is hard to defeat nothing, so if you say nothing--laced with sarcasm and hostility, of course--you can lash out against truth that you can't refute. And you don't face the certainty of having your untenable position ripped to shreds in embarrassing fashion.

It makes sense, in a twisted, hypocritical, unprincipled and cowardly way.

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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. goodness gracious!

I thank you for the lovely promenade through the ashes and petals of my long-ago undergrad philosophy major youth, and you react like that. Tsk. Hostility indeed.

As it was in the beginning, is now and always shall be. World without end. Amen.

The Truth. So glad you've found it.


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TPaine7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. iverglas was an undergraduate philosophy student
in the 18th century?!

Wow!

I knew she was old, but wow! Maybe I should have more respect for my elders. Living that long is an accomplishment, regardless of one's reasoning skills at that age.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-31-08 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #12
21. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Boomer 50 Donating Member (288 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 10:38 PM
Response to Original message
13. I look at it this way...
If we can't trust someone with a gun, why are we letting them out of prison in society?
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TPaine7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-31-08 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. We allow people to run free who we don't trust with cars.
How is that different?
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virginia mountainman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
14. One of the things that trouble me most
Edited on Sat Aug-30-08 10:41 PM by virginia mountainman
Is the "life time ban, for those found guilty of misdemeanor domestic violence".

I am not talking about those that harm their family, but those, who in a fit of rage, tell their mother in law, to "Go to hell bitch" can in Virginia, find themselves stripped of their 2nd Amendment rights.

That could be considered "domestic violence" here.. And along with those 4 words, can easily come a lifetime ban, no matter how clean your record is.

That law, is deeply flawed.

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TPaine7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-30-08 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Agreed.
The Supreme Court should do its duty and correct that flaw.

Actually, the first court to hear the challenge should.
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Hangingon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-31-08 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
19. Personally I don't mind the situation as it is.
I don't think anyone ever convicted of a crime involving a gun should have their rights to gun ownership restored. When a person has served their sentence for non gun crimes - including parole and probation - and has paid all fines and charges, I think they should be allowed to apply for a pardon that would restore their full citizenship rights - including voting gun ownership.
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virginia mountainman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-31-08 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. I do...
Another example, a bad check, for over $200 is a FELONY in Virginia...


Should that person, have his right to vote, and own a gun, for life, REVOKED???
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ManiacJoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-08 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. I think you missed the part about
Edited on Mon Sep-01-08 12:42 PM by ManiacJoe
"felony involving a gun" in his acceptance of the restrictions.

Otherwise, you are correct about many things being wrongly classified as felonies.
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high_and_mighty Donating Member (62 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-02-08 12:55 AM
Response to Original message
23. I don't think the founding fathers would take Manson's guns away
Nah, he can keep that right. I think they might take away his right to life though and that might impede on his right to keep and bear arms.
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-02-08 06:58 AM
Response to Original message
24. In some states, violent convicted felons also lose the right
to vote, for life.

I'm not very happy with the idea of most of them legally having guns, though - long stretches in prison does not make them better people.

mark
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