A long time ago, AWA and I were talking about gun rights. Keeping in mind that I am originally from Canada, and therefore have some canalized thinking about firearms that harken back to those days, I was shocked to hear that he was okay with people getting back their guns coming out of jail.
I want to unpack this, because being a convert to 2A stuff, I think I have an interesting view on it. Perhaps my process will help you understand the Left a little more.
I grew up in a place where guns were considered terrifying. Only the police had guns, and guns were considered something only criminals would have. While there were hunters up north, where I lived in the suburban areas it was considered “odd” to own a gun, even if you had some need for one. This was pushed onto us, brainwashed into us from an early age.
To give you an idea of how much it messes with you, I’ll share a story. When I was a young adult, I went to live with my Hungarian grandparents to help take care of them. I had a kid at the time, and a boyfriend. I took care of them until they became unable to function at all, and were a danger to themselves and others, at which point I found a wonderful home for them where many of their friends were, and the kitchen staff allowed my grandmother to continue cooking. As I was cleaning the house up and out after they left, I ran across my grandfather’s gun. My boyfriend (who was from Michigan originally) told me it was a 22, but I honestly have no idea. It was packed in this dense, icky stuff which I now am pretty sure was cosmoline or something similar. It was behind the washer and dryer, in a spot where no one would have ever found it had I not been moving furniture around.
Nagyapa grew up in Hungary, and was conscripted into the Communist army during WWII. At gunpoint. He probably knew what it was like to be a disarmed populace. When he moved to Canada, he carefully put that weapon away. I’m sure it was probably worth a lot. Perhaps he thought it would be there for me or mine, should anyone ever try to disarm me. Regardless, when I found it, I FREAKED OUT. Holy hell, here was a GUN in my HOUSE with my KID! My kid could have been killed! I’m pretty sure I believed that the gun could have gotten up and shot my kid all by itself.
I was in such a dire panic that I called the police and had them come and get it. They removed it, and that was that.
Today, I smack myself in the head for giving up a perfectly good firearm. But that was the level of emotional/mental brainwashing they put you through.
Fast forward to the conversation with AWA.
We were discussing the idea of people convicted of violent crimes, and whether they ought to get their gun rights back after being released from their sentence. I thought that they should not get their gun rights back. I mean, they’d violated our laws, so why should they? They broke covenant, and they did it violently, so why should the covenant accept them back in so readily?
Today, I look at that same scenario differently. The problem is not the gun rights. The Constitution and its Amendments apply to all citizens of the United States equally. While certain parts are paused while someone is incarcerated (especially at the Federal level), such as owning weapons, the right to privacy, or freedom from warrantless searches, that do not apply once they are out of jail. Heck, if you’re incarcerated for a misdemeanor, you can still vote. It’s not easy, but you can do it (in most places).
The problem is that we’re letting violent people onto the streets.
Let that sink in. If we are legitimately afraid that someone will re-offend, that they will immediately take up arms of some sort and go kill someone else, then why the heck are we letting them out of jail in the first place?
What I would love to see is that people who have served their sentence (note, NOT their jail time, but their actual sentence, all of it) should have their Rights restored. Of course. This means if they get out on parole, behave themselves adequately, then when their time is over and they’re no longer on parole, they can own guns again. What I would also love to see is a “special case” court (Supreme Court? I don’t really know) where violent offenders have to go through due process again, just before they’re released from incarceration. This special court would include a jury of their peers, in order to see that due process is in place. It would look at the likelihood of reoffending, the type of violence in the original case, and any mitigating circumstances. If a judge and jury still feel that this person would cause harm to others if they were released, then DON’T RELEASE THEM.
Of course, all of that would only work if we had a good judiciary system. We do not, at the moment.
Right now, we have innocent people in jail. We have guilty people running around outside of jail, fucking things up. We have people who could be helped, saved from that life, slowly descending into the horrors of gang life and such. It’s all just a damn mess.