Delaware Republicans want to deny bail to gun-toting felons

Delaware Republicans want to deny bail to gun-toting felons
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One of the biggest problems we have in this country is recidivism. Nearly 44 percent of all felons return to prison. That’s proof that what we’re doing currently just isn’t working.


Yet when these people get out of prison, not only do they not work the straight and narrow, many of them go on to commit violent crimes.

That means they get guns.

Republicans in Delaware think they have a solution to that problem. They want to deny gun-toting felons bail.

Delaware Republicans are pushing for a constitutional amendment that would deny bail for criminal suspects who use firearms while committing a felony.

The proposal, which is expected to be introduced in next year’s legislative session, calls for amending the state’s Constitution to deny bail to suspects charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Danny Short, R-Seaford, said unlike many other firearms-related bills introduced in the General Assembly in recent years, the proposed amendment “targets the individuals who are actually perpetrating gun crimes.”

“Anyone who chooses to carry a firearm while committing major criminal acts is demonstrating a calculated willingness to use violence against others,” Short said in a statement.

Backers of the plan cite law enforcement data showing that of the 158 people suspected of being involved with a shooting in 2020, at least 77% had at least one prior arrest for a violent felony, and 57% had at least three previous arrests.


I get where they’re coming from on this.

I’m just not sure I can get on board with something like this.

For one thing, people are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. Denying bail entirely suggests that they’re already guilty of what they’re accused of. More accurately, it treats them as if they’re guilty simply because they were charged.

More than that, though, these Republicans are playing into the idea that the problem here is the gun, not the felon.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying they’re a bunch of anti-Second Amendment gun-grabbers in Republican clothing or anything. However, they’re basically doing the same thing those gun grabbers do. They’re blaming the guns, treating them differently than literally any other weapon, which the problem is and has always been the felons themselves.

It just bothers me, I suppose.

Especially when we know that most criminals really don’t think they’re going to get caught. Deterrence doesn’t seem to do a whole lot when the felons in question figure they’re not going to be arrested in the first place. That may be some kind of self-delusion or whatever, but deterrence isn’t going to work in a case like that.


With all that said, I don’t see Second Amendment supporters losing sleep over this one. Armed criminals are the natural enemy of the armed citizen and we all know it, so felons with guns being denied bail won’t bother all that many people up that way.

Assuming, of course, there’s enough support to actually pass it.

Since anti-gunners can see it as a gun bill, they might. Then again, it’s a “tough on crime” bill, which anti-gunners seem to hate, so it should be interesting to watch.

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