When Josiah Brisco was 22-years old, he made a terrible decision. He shot into a home with people inside, was caught, and eventually served nearly two years in prison. Once he was released from his sentence, however, he began to turn his life around. In the decades since he’s never received so much as a speeding ticket, much less been arrested for another violent crime. He settled down, had kids, got a job, and became involved in the community. What he couldn’t do was pick up a gun, at least not legally, because as a convicted felon, his right to keep and bear arms was forfeit.
Now, 21 years after committing that crime, Brisco has his rights restored, thanks to a Virginia judge (and over the objections of the local prosecutor).
Brisco said he was “young and dumb” when the shooting occurred and the motive was a dispute over a woman. He reflected on his actions while incarcerated.
“What ate me up for awhile was, what if I actually hurt somebody,” he said. “What if someone had actually died? I never would have been able to live that down. That gave me a better outlook.”
Brisco, the father of sons ages, 5, 9 and 14, said his experience made him want to look out for people and be a good role model to his boys.
“I have to be the person that’s mature and steps up and lets them know what to look for in the proper way and handle it in the proper way,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what that other person thinks of you. It’s who you are inside. Make yourself the best you that you can be.”
As the Winchester Star notes, when then-Governor Terry McAuliffe restored civil rights to more than 170,000 felons in Virginia with a stroke of a pen, they could vote, but they couldn’t own a gun. The right to keep and bear arms wasn’t automatically restored along with their voting rights, leaving Brisco and others to petition the local courts to have their rights restored. Frankly, it’s another example of anti-gun politicians treating the Second Amendment as a second-class right. Why treat the right to keep and bear arms any differently than any other civil right?
I’m glad to see that Josiah Brisco will now be able to hunt with his kids, take them target shooting, as well as expand his part-time work in personal security and teaching self-defense. Who knows, he might even become a certified firearms instructor. Regardless of whether he uses his newly restored rights to better himself personally, professionally, or both, it’s good to see that Josiah Brisco’s road to redemption now includes his Second Amendment rights as well.