Reformed Felons Deserve Their Second Amendment Rights

If you describe/assert yourself as a constitutionalist when it comes to the Second Amendment, while also approving the practice of reformed felons not being able to own or possess a firearm, then you are being a hypocrite.

That may come as a shock, but the points that I will raise in this article is really going to test your gall when it pertains to the notion of “shall not be infringed.”

I will outright say that I wholeheartedly believe that once an individual pays their debt to society and is released from prison and is no longer on probation or parole then they, just like any other red-blooded American, should be able to go and legally purchase a firearm for their own personal protection and lawful recreation.

And if you are among the crowd that vehemently professes the merits, inspiration and (frankly) plain language of the Second Amendment, then you too should support this notion; lest you be of the ilk akin to the Democratic Party that has a strong tendency to be hypocritical.

Shall Not Be Infringed

Let’s examine the first talking point that the pro-2A crowd typically clamors whenever they feel that there is legislation looming that may encroach upon their rights: Shall not be infringed

You typically see this talking point brought up whenever there are discussions in the legislative world that examine whether or not things like suppressors should be restricted or banned, or certain models of firearms that are run-of-the-mill semiautomatics that get publicized in the media as “assault rifles.”

Typically, whenever a politician rhetorically asks the public “why would you need a firearm that looks a certain way,” or can hold “X” amount of ammunition, the typical response from the very pro-Second Amendment crowd is pointing out the phraseology of “shall not be infringed.”

So, if you are among the crowd that 100% subscribes to the plain language of the Second Amendment and act as though the framers of the Constitution never intended for there to be an asterisk, then you (by default) have to support reformed felons being able to obtain firearms once they are released back into society.

Do You Support Red Flag Laws?

In the pro-2A world, you have folks that are genuinely against any iteration of gun control; which a hefty point of contention is associated with red flag laws.

Many people have a general understanding of what a red flag law is, or aims to accomplish, if they’re among the pro-2A world.

However, in case you don’t, the most simplistic explanation of them is that they are emblematic of robbing an individual of due process via depriving them of the right based solely on there being suspicion that they might do something afoul.

In all my time defending the integrity of the Second Amendment, this has been the largest complaint associated with the concept or even implementation of red flag laws.

Essentially, a red flag law can operate under a threshold that lives well below “probable cause” or “reasonable suspicion” and deprive an American of not only their personal property, but a Constitutional right.

It is the practice of taking something away from somebody, specifically a Constitutional right, because someone, some entity or some agency has alleged that a person might do something illegal.

Like something out of the movie “Minority Report”.

Tom Cruise in “Minority Report” movie

So, if you are against red flag laws then you have no reason to be against felons that have been released from prison and are no longer on “paper” having access to legally purchased firearms.

Because the rationale for championing a red flag law is the same rationale for barring felons’ access to firearms: because there is concern that felons might do something afoul.

But a Felon Has Demonstrated They’re Not Responsible

This has to be one of my favorite points to contend against those amid the pro-Second Amendment crowd that will justify the notion of barring felons’ access to firearms: felons made a mistake and deserve a right to be revoked forever.

There is no other right, in terms of the Constitution, that is revoked indefinitely after a debt to society has been fully paid.

Now sure, someone could point out that people are sent to prison for life or are administered a death sentence: but a life sentence and a death sentence for a capital crime is literally the toll to be paid to cross the proverbial road.

Obviously, individuals that have committed offenses that live in the realm of the aforementioned that either keep them indefinitely confined or see their state-sanctioned execution will never be able to re-enter society.

But once you move beyond those that have committed offences that result in prematurely ending their life or confines them indefinitely until they pass away, you are left with the sect of the population that have committed infractions, defined legislatively, that were never intended to be a permanent punishment.

Furthermore, a firearm is just an “object” as those among the pro-Second Amendment crowd proclaim.

Common talking points allege that firearms are no different than hammers, knives, Tasers, pepper spray: they are merely just an object one wields — which then brings us to another point that may have you confront your rationale regarding your stance on the Second Amendment.

Right to Self-Defense

This one is dedicated to the “All Lives Matter” crowd within the pro-2A movement.

When all else fails regarding a debate pertaining to the Second Amendment, those that are proponents of not infringing upon the constitutional framing around the right to own and possess a firearm will point out that an individual has the right to obtain a proverbial equalizer so as to maintain the ability to protect themselves and their family.

Yet, if one genuinely subscribes to the notion that the ability to obtain and own a firearm legally is a means to reaffirm their right to protect themselves, then why would those same individuals feel as though other Americans shouldn’t be allowed to protect themselves?

I’m sure that this point will bring out the bigots of society that genuinely condone the idea that once somebody commits any felony that, for the rest of their lives, they do not have a right to protect their life and livelihood as much as those of their non-felonious American counterparts.

And I will say that if you are among this crowd that is so hypocritical that you carry this sentiment ongoing, you might as well be among the far-left: because you are of the ilk that lives in the realm of “good for me but not for thee.”

You are a blight on society that does not genuinely believe that someone has a right to protect their life.

But if you bear any semblance of common sense, then you should be able to contemplate that once somebody is released from prison and they reintegrate into society, then there is no reason why they should not have access to a means to protect their life, home, and family.

But Guns Are Different…

Even those within the pro-Second Amendment crowd might proclaim when it comes to reformed felons that firearms are something unique and outside of the realm of other means of self-defense.

To that, I would inquire whether or not those people would like to be referred to as “Joe Biden,” “Nancy Pelosi,” or “Alexandria Ocasio Cortez,” from here on out moving forward — because that is a talking-point they use regarding gun control efforts.

You cannot be among the sect of the population that throws a fit saying “the Democrats are trying to take my guns,” and then utilize the same logic that they actively weaponize to try and take your guns.

The entire schtick of the Democratic Party’s push for gun restrictions and bans relies on the notion that firearms, in any iteration, are something unique that must be heavily regulated to the point of banning ownership as they can be used to enable criminal activity.

As one among the pro-2A realm would say when contesting barring ownership of firearms in any form, is that if someone were genuinely determined to commit a criminal act of violence: then they could accomplish said act with or without a firearm legally obtained.

Give Them an Inch, They Take a Mile

When it comes to gun rights, they are rights and not privileges.

But for far too long many in the realm of the pro-Second Amendment movement have been complicit, be it intentionally or tacitly, in agreeing that the Second Amendment is a privilege as it can be revoked.

When someone tells me that they are all for the Second Amendment, but then tell me that they do not believe that reformed felons should be able to access firearms, then those people are not for the Second Amendment.

Food for thought.

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Greg Hoyt

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