The reason felons are stripped of their Second Amendment rights is because they’re consider too dangerous to be trusted with the right to keep and bear arms. It’s the reason any attempt to restore those rights through legislation is so doomed to failure that it’ll never even be offered.
It’s generally not because we believe in continuing to punish people after they’ve paid their debt to society. At least, that’s not how people who support this prohibition would phrase it, anyway.
Yet the problem with this idea is that not all felons are created equal.
Someone who has a history as a contract killer is very different from someone who bounced a $1,500 check. One is a truly dangerous individual while they other might just suck and handling their money.
Wt while legislation trying to fix this disparity is doomed to fail, there’s a chance the Supreme Court will have a chance to address it, and now media outlets like USA Today are starting to take notice.
Nearly 30 years ago, a Pennsylvania man falsified his income on an application for food stamps.
Because of it, he lost his ability to own a gun for the rest of his life.
Last year, in Mississippi, another man was pulled over for driving without a license plate. When police discovered marijuana and a loaded rifle in his car, they charged him with violating a law that bans drug users from owning a gun.
Both men now have cases before the Supreme Court with sweeping implications for the Second Amendment.
Seventeen months after the nation’s highest court handed down a landmark decision that redefined the standard used to judge gun restrictions, the Biden administration has queued up several cases on a host of federal gun laws – including those dealing with nonviolent crimes and drug use.
The cases are closely tied to one of the most significant disputes already before the justices this term: whether domestic abusers can be barred from owning guns. Advocates on both sides of the gun debate are eager to see how the Supreme Court resolves an appeal from a Texas man, Zackey Rahimi, who violated a law banning guns for people who are the subject of domestic violence restraining orders.
Win or lose – and Rahimi appears poised to lose – the court’s decision in that case next year could signal how the justices feel about similar laws that block people from accessing guns.
I’m not entirely convinced that Rahimi is poised to actually be the loss some think. I get why they’re saying that, but I suspect the Court will argue that Second Amendment rights can’t be stripped without establishing someone is actually dangerous and a lot of restraining orders don’t. But that’s just my gut talking.
On the issue of drug users and non-violent felons, though, I think we’ve got an interesting issue at play here. We’ve talked about the drug use thing before and I don’t want to repeat myself or any of our other contributors on the topic right now.
On the issue of non-violent felons, though, I fail to see the issue here.
Especially since they’re non-violent.
While fraud shouldn’t be tolerated in the least, if we’re going to say people paid their debt to society, then we need to accept that the debt is paid. Unfortunately for many felons, even non-violent ones, that debt is never fully paid. They’re felons. They’re forced to report it when they apply to many jobs, often scuttling that opportunity. They can’t vote. They can’t own guns. They can’t live the way most of us live.
That debt isn’t paid at all.
Then, of course, we wonder why so many return to a life of crime.
I’m not saying that everyone who comes out of prison is fully reformed. I’m saying we treat none of them as if they’re reformed. The only way that changes is if they go to court to get their rights restored, and a lot of times that’s not successful despite keeping their noses clean.
So for non-violent offenders to not have their rights, particularly their gun rights, because they’re supposedly too dangerous to have them, even though they’re not dangerous in the first place, is insane.
My hope is the Court fixes this particular problem.