It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Felons should be allowed to vote and buy firearms.

page: 1
<<   2 >>

log in


posted on Dec, 21 2012 @ 01:09 PM
While I understand im in a vast minority on this subject, it has bothered me for years and although theres sure to be resentment at my thoughts, I feel if viewed objectively, I may change a mind or two.

So what constitutes a felony? Obviously that varies from state to state, but here in NY...almost anything can be a felony due to the obtuse leeway given to "aggravating circumstances" which LEO's obsessively persue in minor arrests to achieve felony they can make detective or beyond.

Caught texting while driving in NY...misdemeanor. Do it in a "construction zone"...Felony.
Caught with a gram of weed...midemeanor. Get caught with 2 grams in seperate bags...Felony.
Girl got a restraining order? She just has to call a LEO and say you pulled into her driveway, true or not. Felony
Caught having sex with a cow, midemeanor. A dog...Felony.

Now, while I agree some of those are a bit out of left field, but there are literally tons of innocuous things here in Ny that will result in a felony charge. And since grand juries would indict a ham sandwich on the word of a DA, this is evolving into a crisis that noone pays attention to really.

How long will it be before we are ALL ex cons? But I digress...

I do not believe the above crimes, and many more on the books, warrants getting rights taken away forever.

To me, if a jury tells a drunk driver that his debt to society is 3 years in prison and a huge fine, that should be the end of it. Instead, someone who uses bad judgement gets a life sentence. He can never legally hunt. He can never vote. He then has most doors in life closed as far as career choices and hireability.

A sentence should be just that...a definitive period of time where you lose certain rights. However, upon completing this sentence I feel all rights should be returned forthwith.

Many crimes just do not justify a life sentence in my opinion.

I bring this to light only because its been ten years since my brother recieved probation for peeing on a LEO accidentally. He was drunk and peeing on a tree in a park at like 2am when a LEO came up behind him and screamed for him to turn around. He did, but guess forgot to shake cuz some got on the LEO's shoe or some nonsense.
They actually charged him with assault on an officer for this. Had the shoe sent away for testing and everything for crisake.
All that time and money and they give him a year probation,BUT....this kid will never be allowed to vote or own a firearm...ever. This happened when he was 19 years old...a kid. Now he is 30 and stuck in a job that pays twelve bucks an hour because hes a bad bad felon.

I do not advocate that any ex con with a violent charge should ever be allowed a legal weapon, but their right to vote should not be stripped for life. Just because someone is a felon, does not mean they are inherently stupid. Im willing to bet we are ALL felons....some of us have just been caught.

Thanks for letting me word-vomit this out ATS.
edit on 21-12-2012 by MisterMaster because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 21 2012 @ 01:14 PM
I do think that felons should not have their right to vote taken away. However as far as owning a firearm, my perspective on this is if you have committed a violent crime or a drug crime you should not be allowed to have a firearm.

posted on Dec, 21 2012 @ 01:15 PM
reply to post by SpaDe_

This society thinks that you can't learn a lesson or make mistakes. They think that after your life is destroyed for 7 years that thats not enough of a lesson for you.

posted on Dec, 21 2012 @ 01:16 PM
Why not? The dead vote and can purchase in the US...
I agree to a point. What constitutes as a felony is sometimes absurd. Hell, Ive worked with the prosecuting attys office for a while now ( and am now "retiring") and there are simply too many cages for a "free" citizenry. IMO, violent felons dont need a more efficient way to be violent. Peeing on a cop or getting caught with a stem doesnt mean "potentially violent" citizen.. nor is is a violent crime that deserves that punishment. Id think that the system would see the distinct difference, but first hand Ive seen.. nope. We have folks here with ( I SWEAR to you and can provide links.. didnt cause its not the focus of the thread) 20+ felonies ( many violent.. armed robberies, agg assaults, etc) on their sheet and still walking around happy and free.

Tell your fam member there ( in some cases) IS recourse when you are a felon and wanting to expunge and be a legal firearm owner. It varies from place to place, so look it up. Get a atty. Get back the rights that shouldnt have been taken from you in the first place.

posted on Dec, 21 2012 @ 01:17 PM
Once you've done your time that's it. Clean slate.
Criminal records should be sealed for only the courts eyes to see if you ever re-offend.

Scarlet letters are barbaric and do nothing to help rehabilitate.

You're supposed to rejoin society and be productive. How can you if society wont let you?

posted on Dec, 21 2012 @ 01:19 PM

Originally posted by SpaDe_
I do think that felons should not have their right to vote taken away. However as far as owning a firearm, my perspective on this is if you have committed a violent crime or a drug crime you should not be allowed to have a firearm.

I can agree with this, provided you remove the drug crime part. While I do nor believe in using drugs, stating my opinion on the matter would violate the TOS for ATS.

posted on Dec, 21 2012 @ 01:19 PM
reply to post by thisguyrighthere

That sir is 100% the truth.

Speaking from experience it truly follows and inhibits your ability to reacclimate. Even the smallest offenses these days.
edit on 21-12-2012 by onequestion because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 21 2012 @ 01:22 PM
As a recovering alcholic, I've been in an out of many jails and rehabs. My criminal record is limited to DUI misdemeanors but I know plenty of good friends who are "felons." In fact, some of the kindest and most compassionate people I have ever met fall into this category. We get caught up in our addictions and make stupid mistakes. I don't think that is any cause to take away some of our most basic rights.

The voting thing I never understood. Maybe we should prevent people with low IQs from voting too? Seriously...most law abiding citizens are just as misinformed and misguided as any "criminal." Just turn on your TV and you'll see what I mean.

Firearms, I don't know...I don't own a gun and I'm damn glad I don't because I've been to some dark places in my mind and bad things may have ensued. In a perfect world, we wouldn't need government at all.

posted on Dec, 21 2012 @ 01:22 PM
Someone convicted of a felony can't vote??? That's just retarded.

Girl got a restraining order? She just has to call a LEO and say you pulled into her driveway, true or not. Felony

This happens almost daily in the Massachusetts town where I grew up.
It's like a revenge game/tactic women play on men who piss them off, they fill out the affidavit at the station, then call the police that coming Friday, and guilty or not, the guy gets arrested and held till Monday morning. More than 90% of the time, the temporary restraining order become extended for 1 year. That will definitely leave a scar.

Let the punishment fit the crime. A victimless "felony" vs felonies with victims who've suffered, big difference IMHO. LEO's have too much leeway, like you said.

posted on Dec, 21 2012 @ 01:39 PM
reply to post by thisguyrighthere

Wish I had put that thought in the OP. Nice point

posted on Dec, 21 2012 @ 01:40 PM
reply to post by MisterMaster

It comes back to the argument of rights vs. privileges.

A right is something that YOU and you alone hold the authority to exercise. You do not need permission from someone with the "authority" to authorize you to exercise it. That is a privilege.

Our gun rights are treated like privileges, but for good reason (in the eyes of the powers that be, at least).

It all comes back to the matter of independence. This is the single most important concept of any free people. You cannot have true freedom without independence; but what does that mean?

Take for instance the United States military. We live in a world where there is now a distinction between "civilian" and "veteran." More often than not, the soldier is glorified and worshiped for "protecting us/defending our freedom." That hero worship promotes ideas that soldiers have "earned their rights," that the civilian has done nothing to pay the cost for the rights that they practice.

Such was not supposed to be the case in the United States. If you were born in the Union, you were supposed to be a member of one of the several militias of the state you were a member of. Why? Independence.

A free man is solely responsible for defending his freedom. With independence comes responsibility. If a conflict broke out between the Union and another country, it was the responsibility of Congress to pull from the various militias of the Union, the fighting men they would need to create a temporary, unified fighting force. After the conflict, those men were supposed to be disbanded back into the various militias they were members of.

In such a way there could be no distinction between "civilian" and "veteran." They were supposed to be one and the same, but now we are "dependent" which is the problem.

You cannot be free if you are not independent. Like a child that cannot make decisions for themselves because they are dependent on their parents. When you give up your responsibility to another, they hold power over you:

"He who receives the benefit, should also bear the disadvantage."

The protection that is afforded us by a standing military is only one benefit that we receive that puts us at a disadvantage. Do you want your freedom back? Then you also have to take back your responsibility. The defense of your freedom, of your nation, your family and friends is your responsibility. Likewise mine, and anyone else who wishes to be free and independent.

We are not an independent people any longer. Dependence on government has been bred into us, and people will blindly defend the child-like status they hold. It is easier for someone else to be responsible.

Because of this, the government can easily blur the line between the distinction of a right and privilege. They can make petty distinctions between open and concealed carry, forcing us to get a license for a privilege. They can revoke the right to bear arms as they see fit for a person committing a felony, because of our status as dependent on them. Until we remember what it means to be dependent it will continue on this way.
edit on 21-12-2012 by LewsTherinThelamon because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 21 2012 @ 02:03 PM
reply to post by MisterMaster
I agree that once you've served your time you should be free to own firearms and exercise your right to vote. However I would make one exception- that the freedom to own a firearm be restricted from those who were guilty of committing a violent crime while using a firearm to commit the crime. I don't feel that the restriction should be permanent however. Maybe after a certain period of time without getting into any trouble freedom to own firearms could then be restored to those convicted felons as well.

posted on Dec, 21 2012 @ 03:01 PM
I would like to add, to the argument of rights vs. privileges, an example from the institution of marriage.

A right that we hold, that often goes unnoticed, is the right to form contracts.

Marriage, regardless of what philosophical notions people ascribe to it, at a legal level is merely a contract between two people. Within the marriage contract two people become as one legal entity, as such their assets are shared.

Making a contract is a right, meaning, we do not need a "license" to exercise a valid marriage. All we have to do is set up a legal contract, the marriage contract, and the state can make a record of the event for the census.

The problem, and the reason that marriage is treated as a privilege (hence needing a license...permission), is the fact that a married couple receives a benefit in the form of tax breaks as a result of their union. So, once again, something that should be a right is transformed into a privilege because of a benefit being received.

If people stopped receiving the benefit of a tax break when they get married, permission from the state for their union would be unnecessary.

There is also the absurd notion that we are a democracy to take into account.

In our republic, if two people wanted to get married (enter into a contract) they have every right to do so. But our republic has been bastardized into a democracy (mob rule) and now people must suffer the whims of the majority to exercise what is inherently a right.

Hence, the gay community patiently waits for "permission" to marry. The whole concept is laughable. Our republic has been so perverted, it can rightly be said that we do not live in the same Union our forefathers founded.

posted on Dec, 21 2012 @ 03:26 PM
I would say a felony conviction where a firearm was used. I am not sure on the right to vote tho unless it is "3 strikes and you're out!"

posted on Dec, 21 2012 @ 04:53 PM
reply to post by CosmicCitizen

By restricting a right to vote you are not letting the people participate in a political spectrum that affects them directly. So basically i don't have a voice against what the government does to me.

Does that sound American?

posted on Dec, 22 2012 @ 04:21 AM
reply to post by MisterMaster

If you are in a minority, then so am I. If someone serves a sentence, that should be it. After probation or whatever, they should not have certain rights taken away for life. Unless someone used a gun in a violent crime, they should not be prohibited from ever owning or carrying one. Even if they did, that should depend on the circumstances, and how likely it would be that they would do so again, given legal access. Voting, well, I can't think of many reasons someone should be prohibited from voting, if they are legal citizens. Plus, as you stated, a lot of things are felony crimes that should not be.

posted on Dec, 22 2012 @ 04:53 AM
Pretty funny considering that many felons own firearms anyway. It's like with the gun laws... how will it prevent criminals from owning guns?

posted on Dec, 22 2012 @ 06:14 AM
So they can strip your rights to protect your family, take away your voice to vote, and still demand tax participation. Logic not found

In my town, just peeing on a tree, is enough to loose your rights for life, and since it would be a sex offence, you get to wear the badge for life. Sad

The judges have an agenda, as well as the police. Meanwhile our children are becoming criminals for smoking pot, or mooning someone. We should be so proud of our keepers.

Makes me sad to see how we treat our fellow man. Almost seems like a plan to make people snap.

posted on Dec, 22 2012 @ 11:33 AM
I was born a thrill seeker, unfortunately, and it got me into trouble when I was younger. A few idiots that I was hanging around with at the time, got me into some trouble. A few felonies worth. I couldn't rat them out, so I became the fall guy. I wasn't innocent though. I paid for all of theirs, and my crime. I narrowly escaped time in prison. I paid back all restitution, and did 780 hours worth of community service. I learned my lesson right then and there.

I couldn't own a gun anymore, so when I went hunting, I was always nervous because if some punk cop caught me, I was going to prison for a long time---a convicted felon with a firearm, it's a felony! It's also B.S.. Finally, I talked to a scumbag lawyer and explained to him that I wanted my gun rights back. It was two seperate cases because not only did I want my hunting rights reestablished, I wanted to be able to get a permit & carry concealed.

The lawyer said it just depended on what mood the judge was in that day. He must've been in a good mood because I won my gun rights back. It costed money, I mean, afterall, that's all these parasites want! Money money money! I think if you've been arrested, depending on what the charge was, there should be a program to help you get your rights back. As far as voting, I don't vote for parasite crooks, so they can keep that 'til the system is reformed by the people. I'm not sure what the laws in your state say about exemplifying your record but you'll have to speak with an attorney. Good luck. Everybody deserves a second chance.

posted on Dec, 22 2012 @ 03:25 PM
I absolutely do not believe felons who are in prison, or who have not completed their parole should not be allowed to vote or have firearms. I want to see they have turned away from the criminal lifestyle before these rights are restored. Note: I am not saying to take away these rights for life. I want to see some evidence they will remain crime free and become productive citizens.
Here are my opinons:
1. After completing the sentaince/parole the following time restriction would be appropriate. Not allowed to vote for 5 years and own a firearm up to 10 years. This means no felonies, misdermenors, and no parole violations during that time. This would demonstrate that the individual was in no danger to return to prison or engage in criminal activity. (This would be the best option.)


2. Seek a full pardon from the governor of the state in which the crime was committed. This could be done immediately after the sentaince is served and parole is granted. This option would be extreamly difficult to do; however, if those rights are that important, it would be worth it.

So, I hope I made my point clear...5 years for voting and 10 years for firearms. I believe people can turn their lives around, but I want to see action...proof. If a person can do that, then that's enough for me. I don't think those rights should be taken away for life.

BTW, many states do allow felons to vote. Heck Maine and Vermont allow prisoners to do absentee ballots.

new topics

top topics

<<   2 >>

log in