Portsmouth, VA Woman Works To Help Restore Gun Rights

(AP Photo/AJ Mast, File)

Gun rights are inherent in you as an adult human being. However, as a society, we routinely strip people of their gun rights when they commit a felony.

Now, for some felonies, this makes a degree of sense. Violent criminals, for example, may be difficult to trust with guns considering their demonstrated history of violence.

Yet many people who have been convicted of felonies aren’t violent at all. They’re not really a threat to anyone. Someone who thought they were just floating some checks, only to have them bounce may end up convicted of a felony, but are they really a danger to society?

While imprisoned for their crimes–something no rational person should have an issue with–they then get released and are still punished for their crimes.

In Portsmouth, VA, though, one woman works to end their punishment.

A felony in Virginia means you automatically lose your civil rights to vote, serve on a jury, run for office, become a notary public and carry a firearm.

All of those rights, except the right to bear arms, can be restored once a person completes their sentence and any probation.

Dashunda Washington is the CEO of Restoration of Rights LLC. She helps people move on from problems in the past.

“For someone who’s 56 years old and made a mistake or may have done a burglary 30 years ago, how long are we going to hold him to that?” she questioned.

Washington says a lot of people don’t know that they can get their gun rights restored.

She claims to have a 100% success rate with about 25 clients in total over the course of two years.

Washington says the key is her clients prove that they’ve done the work to positively impact their community.

“It could be teaching children how to tie [neck] ties, or it could be feeding the homeless,” she explained.

The truth is that people shouldn’t continue to be punished forever, yet denying them their gun rights is precisely that. While it may make sense to keep some felons disarmed longer due to the nature of their crimes, others should probably be handed their guns back the moment they step out of prison.

After all, not all felonies are created equal.

Frankly, I’m glad Washington is doing this. Yes, it looks like she makes some money doing it. Possibly a lot of it, I don’t know. I also don’t care. If she can help people get their gun rights restored, then just why in the hell shouldn’t she make a few bucks on the deal?

The truth is that we tend to punish people far longer than we should in this country. This is only one example of how we do it. This way, though, at least is a way we can correct.

And it sounds like Washington has been doing a lot of correction. More power to her, truth be told.

Who knows, if we’re really fortunate, she’ll have such success that she’ll franchise the company and we’ll get one in every city in the nation.

Dec 08, 2021 12:30 PM ET