Stalkers are creepy people. Some may well be clueless putzes who got all their relationship advice from 80’s romantic comedies or something and don’t know any better, but others are genuinely terrifying people.
However, stalking isn’t always a felony. As a result, sometimes people convicted of stalking don’t become felons and are still able to own firearms.
A Maryland bill seeks to change that, however.
A group of Maryland state senators have introduced a bill that would bar people granted probation before judgment on stalking charges from owning guns.
With probation before judgment, a judge sets aside a guilty plea and places the defendant on probation. The defendant must complete the terms of probation or return to court.
The Capital reports the bill introduced Monday would expand prohibitions on owning firearms.
Sen. Susan Lee, a Democrat, says she is introducing the bill as part of the broader discourse in the discussion of violence against women.
But it’s not.
Oh, I think Lee believes that, but it’s not part of that. This is yet another shot in the war to move the needle on who it’s acceptable to disarm. First, it was the felons. Then it was the domestic abusers. Now it’s an attempt to disarm those didn’t hurt anyone but were way too creepy and crossed some (maybe a lot of) boundaries, but not enough to land them a felony conviction.
And, honestly, most people aren’t going to say a thing about it because, well, who wants to defend stalkers?
But that’s exactly what they do. Democrats continue to ramp up the outrage, creating groups that no one will want to defend, then disarm them systematically.
Now, understand that I’ve had my own brush with stalking. Had a girl who was way too obsessed with me and I have no idea why, so I get how creepy it can be. I have no doubt it gets a whole lot worse the more intense the stalking gets. In fact, I urge anyone dealing with stalking to get a gun and learn how to use it.
The problem is that we have a line drawn between felony charges and other charges for a reason. If we start blurring those punishments, there’s a fair chance that some of those who never cross that line will figure, “Why the hell not.”
In Lee’s efforts to advance the cause and combat violence against women, she may be escalating it.
Let’s also note something here. Lee wants to disarm people who are on probation for this crime. It doesn’t do anything beyond adding a penalty during their sentence. Does she think that’s going to accomplish anything? While they’re on probation, there’s plenty of other ways to keep the threat they represent in check, why this?
Further, these people will get off probation. What then?
Honestly, if Lee believed these people represented a danger, I have to think she’d be offering up something stronger. However, as she said, this is about discourse. In other words, she doesn’t want to protect women or punish stalkers. Not really.
She wants to grandstand a little bit.
That doesn’t mean she doesn’t want this to pass, though. After all, it will pave the way for more restrictions later one.