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Thread: Seattle case raises issue about felons and guns

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    Seattle case raises issue about felons and guns

    Seattle case raises issue about felons and guns

    According to the story, Harris had a 9mm Glock that he claimed to have bought from a “crack fiend” for $300, which — you are sitting down, right? — included a $50 debt owed to Harris by the doper for “previous narcotic transactions.” Welcome to “Crime 101.”

    http://www.examiner.com/x-4525-Seatt...elons-and-guns

    Or try this:

    http://tinyurl.com/292ts84

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    Regular Member SpyderTattoo's Avatar
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    Dave, that was a great article. It started me thinking about the idea of giving people who have served their time in prison their right to self protection back. I'm not convinced one way or the other yet.

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    Regular Member skiingislife725's Avatar
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    I think everyone should have a right to protect themselves with whatever means they so choose. If we release someone from prison, it should mean that they've paid their debt to society. Otherwise, why the heck are we letting them out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by skiingislife725 View Post
    I think everyone should have a right to protect themselves with whatever means they so choose. If we release someone from prison, it should mean that they've paid their debt to society. Otherwise, why the heck are we letting them out?
    I have no issue with trying to keep firearms out of violent offenders hands until such a time (after incarceration) they can demonstrate they have returned to a law abiding citizen.

    The issue of they have paid for their crime when they leave prison is just that it does not mean they have changed their ways. We can see by the return rate for committing crimes, commonly same type they were in prison to begin with.

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    Regular Member USMC1911's Avatar
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    The issue of they have paid for their crime when they leave prison is just that it does not mean they have changed their ways. We can see by the return rate for committing crimes, commonly same type they were in prison to begin with.

    +1000000

    I have been a Correctional Officer for the State of Washington for over 21 years, I have seen the same people come into, get out of, and then reoffend and return to prison over and over and over again ! The fact is that the vast majority of these people reoffend each and every time they are released. Look, I'm just a grunt that pounds the bricks, I'm just telling you what I have seen the last 21 years.
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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiingislife725 View Post
    I think everyone should have a right to protect themselves with whatever means they so choose. If we release someone from prison, it should mean that they've paid their debt to society. Otherwise, why the heck are we letting them out?
    I wouldn't argue with this if it weren't for the number of "career" criminals that exist today. People who's only apparent desire in life is to practice their skills in a life of crime. Will they carry this firearm to protect themselves from criminal actions against themselves or to further their criminal actions against the law abiding public (or member thereof)?

    Just exactly how would society determine which "rehabilitated" felons would actually keep away from the activity that caused them to be incarcerated to begin with. How many just return to their old gangs and associates after a couple of years of free lodging, food, medical care, and entertainment?

    As to the statement "no law has kept a firearm from a criminal", it is very true. Then again, any law that does not have any certainty of punishment is bound to be ineffective. If we are going to make it a felony for felons to possess firearms then we need to prosecute ALL of those found with them. Penalties should be severe. How many times is the "firearm enhancement" used as a bartering chip when it comes to plea bargains?

    In Summary, just who would the released felon be protecting himself from? Other criminals or maybe from us?

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    Regular Member Bob Warden's Avatar
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    1 strike and you're out for gun crime?

    I would love to see the legislature amend the criminal code so that anyone who commits a crime with a gun gets life without parole. Not for violations of gun possession laws themselves, but for burglary, robbery, any kind of physical assault, homicide; any crime where there is violence or the threat of violence.

    With freedom comes responsibility. The 2nd Amendment affords us great freedom. Society should have zero tolerance for anyone who abuses that freedom.
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    The burden of proof should be to the state to demonstrate that someone should lose the right to bear arms and should be decided by a jury on a case by case basis not automatic for all felons.

    Generally speaking, once someone is released from prison they should have all rights restored and be presumed innocent until proven guilty again. For those who re offend and use a gun to do so we already have "enhancements" to make their sentence longer. This may result in some folks re offending but as we all know, if they are intent to commit violent crimes again then a law will not stop them. The only ex-cons that a law not allowing them to keep and bear arms really effects are those who intend to turn their lives around.

    In the words of Thomas Jefferson- "I would rather suffer the inconveniences attending to much liberty then those attending to small a degree of it."

    The other problem is not all felonies are violent crimes. I have a friend whos father got caught with a small amount of marijuana (like half a joint) in another state (Nevada I think) back in the 70's at the time that was a felony he served almost 5 years in prison before being released on parole. Now its like 40 years later and he still cant own or even handle a firearm in many states. That aint right

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    Regular Member Bob Warden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by END_THE_FED View Post
    For those who re offend and use a gun to do so we already have "enhancements" to make their sentence longer. This may result in some folks re offending but as we all know, if they are intent to commit violent crimes again then a law will not stop them.
    With my proposal, use a gun in a crime and your sentence lasts until you're dead - no re-offending then!
    Meet the new boss; same as the old boss. -The Who

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Warden View Post
    With my proposal, use a gun in a crime and your sentence lasts until you're dead - no re-offending then!
    I would be okay with that for the most part as long as it was for crimes like theft, rape, assault, murder or fraud.

    If someone commits a "victimless crime" and happens to have a gun on them it shouldn't apply.


    EDIT 07/28/2010: I would like to clarify this comment to say that I misunderstood what Bob was saying. I was thinking he meant an ex felon who uses a gun to commit another crime after having rights restored and did not realize he meant a first time offender.
    Last edited by END_THE_FED; 07-28-2010 at 04:11 AM.

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    Regular Member Bob Warden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by END_THE_FED View Post
    I would be okay with that for the most part as long as it was for crimes like theft, rape, assault, murder or fraud.

    If someone commits a "victimless crime" and happens to have a gun on them it shouldn't apply.
    100% agree.
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    Regular Member gsx1138's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Warden View Post
    I would love to see the legislature amend the criminal code so that anyone who commits a crime with a gun gets life without parole. Not for violations of gun possession laws themselves, but for burglary, robbery, any kind of physical assault, homicide; any crime where there is violence or the threat of violence.

    With freedom comes responsibility. The 2nd Amendment affords us great freedom. Society should have zero tolerance for anyone who abuses that freedom.
    I never want the State to have that much power. It sounds good in theory but the ease of abuse is too great. Our freedom is afforded to individuals and we should each be judged as individuals not by a one size fits all zero tolerance policy. I think that's the price of freedom. Sometimes you get crap but most of the time you get beauty.
    Last edited by gsx1138; 07-23-2010 at 01:34 PM.

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    Regular Member Bob Warden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsx1138 View Post
    I never want the State to have that much power. It sounds good in theory but the ease of abuse is too great. Our freedom is afforded to individuals and we should each be judged as individuals not by a one size fits all zero tolerance policy. I think that's the price of freedom. Sometimes you get crap but most of the time you get beauty.
    I have no problem at all with judging each and every individual criminal who ever uses a gun during commission of a violent crime as someone who is unfit to ever get out of prison!
    Meet the new boss; same as the old boss. -The Who

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    Regular Member Batousaii's Avatar
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    My harsh view...

    My personal views are a bit harsh.

    ~ 1st, i think it is WAY to easy these days to become a criminal. Too many laws, too many little catches that can get you locked up or remove your right to arms, liberty and freedom, thus providing the government with easily obtainable methods of control over you. - That needs to be changed. Criminals should be people that do horrible things intentionally, and do things whole heartedly knowing their actions negatively affect society without remorse or consideration. You and me both know it is wrong to steal someone's car or murder, our morals and ethics keep us in line, the law provides a motivating factor to ensure this. There should be a CLEAR and distinction between a rule violation, and a real crime. Speeding tickets or jay walking are rule violations, and should simply be a fine or community service, nothing on your record. Murder, serious theft and the likes, those are crimes of wicked people.

    ~2nd, People who commit crimes (in the context of #1) should do hard time. If the judge says five years, then it is five years. No TV, No Gym, No swimming pool or X-Box ...definitely no gang activity... So, you work, hard, doing your time to repay society for the damage you've done. Education in prison should be for a very limited few that have shown extreme remorse, and indicate a serious potential to use it when they get out, otherwise, it’s a waste of time, money and resources to educate career criminals. There are many things a criminal can do to stay busy and productive without being "cruelly or unusually punished". Build foundations and houses for families of the victims, or laying bricks for the city construction, freeways, road repair etc. Of course the real hard ones can do indoor work at the prison, the ones on good behavior get to go outside to work. This would put our tax money to use and ensure a productive effort to keep them occupied and hopefully a sense of accomplishment for those on limited sentences. Under no circumstances should the criminals be afforded the luxury or energy to procreate gang activity, or conduct criminal enterprises while in jail. If they are doing this, it is because they have way to much freedom, and then what’s the point of having them in jail. Get caught conducting criminal enterprise in jail, get executed – period. Now, for the limited sentences, upon getting out, the should be given a small voucher for food and rent so they can restart their lives without committing crimes to finance themselves. If they were given a limited sentence, and they did their time, then they should have all rights restored, as if a regular citizen. – Simply put, if you’re dangerous or criminal enough to only receive “some” of your rights back, then you should not mingle amongst the innocent sheeple harvesting your wicked desires from them. You should be gone and out of their minds and lives.

    ~ 3rd, There should almost never be a life sentence. why? Because, I don’t want my tax money paying for dead weight. And yes, i mean exactly that. Life career criminals, repeat offenders of real crimes, criminals who would otherwise receive life sentences should be executed. If they are never going to get out of jail, then why are we keeping them around. The only way I could see validating the existence of a life sentence, is through their hard manual labor that gives substance to my tax dollars. Should we allow a criminal with a life sentence to remain alive more than a couple years is if there is some doubt as to his innocence? And if there is a doubt, then why is he in jail in the first place? Innocent until proven guilty ~ yes?

    So, many do not really agree with my unusually harsh viewpoints, but it is something I strongly believe in. Make is harder to become a criminal, and be harder on real criminals, and eliminate the hardcore ones. This would save us lots of state funds, and making them work (instead of entertaining them) gives substance and validity to our tax dollars. If your good enough to be released into the trusting lives of regular citizens, then your good enough to have your god given liberty and freedom. The wicked should hang, and the free should prosper and be strong.

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    My thoughts, if a person is still a danger to society, they should still be in prison. I have come to see laws & checks that are supposed to keep guns from felons as failures. If the guy really has turned his life around and never wants to ever end up back in prison, then we have no need to fear him having a gun. If he wishes to continue his destructive ways, he's going to get a gun whether we "let" him or not. Or a knife, or a club, or a car, or a bomb...
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    Regular Member skiingislife725's Avatar
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    Has anybody looked into how Japan deals with criminals?

    I completely agree that the way we have our system set up right now (that is...a five year sentence is a two year sentence, etc, etc) doesn't work. And from what I've read, stiffer penalties only marginally lower crime rates, if at all. I remember reading somewhere about how in England, when people were getting hung out in public for theft, there'd be pickpocketers in the crowd! Crime seems to be a very spur-of-the-moment thing...not very well-thought out...so it makes sense that threats of stiff punishments aren't very effective. After all, what criminal actually thinks they'd get caught and actually face the punishment?

    Anyhow, from what I've heard, Japan is the only industrialized nation to have a falling crime rate since World War II. Instead of pure prison time, the criminal has to set up reparations to the victim or their family. Might work better if the criminal has to pay his victim back instead of just getting an extended "time-out".

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    Regular Member Tomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Warden View Post
    I would love to see the legislature amend the criminal code so that anyone who commits a crime with a gun gets life without parole. Not for violations of gun possession laws themselves, but for burglary, robbery, any kind of physical assault, homicide; any crime where there is violence or the threat of violence.

    With freedom comes responsibility. The 2nd Amendment affords us great freedom. Society should have zero tolerance for anyone who abuses that freedom.
    Quote Originally Posted by END_THE_FED View Post
    I would be okay with that for the most part as long as it was for crimes like theft, rape, assault, murder or fraud.

    If someone commits a "victimless crime" and happens to have a gun on them it shouldn't apply.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Warden View Post
    I have no problem at all with judging each and every individual criminal who ever uses a gun during commission of a violent crime as someone who is unfit to ever get out of prison!
    Bear with me for a little bit here...
    ____________

    <devil's_advocate_mode>

    We all know that occasionally someone goofs up and is accused and convicted for something they may not have intended to do, but did.

    It can be as simple as forgetting to pay for the industrial pack of toilet paper on the bottom of the cart, or negligently damaging someone's property and getting nailed for it, or having the kid drop something in your purse / pack / bag that you may not have even seen and having the receipt checker or loss prevention ruin your day as you walk out of the store.

    Yes, you know that people get jammed up in this sort of minor crap every day, and too many (1 is too many sometimes) get convicted of the crime.
    ____________

    Now that I have set the stage, imaging all the other sorts of things where circumstance can get a person in trouble, even though they are not really a "criminal" in the classic sense of the word.
    ____________

    OK, now that you've added to the scenery, imagine that out of the 300,000,000 people in this country, at least one a day is possibly convicted of some minor offense they did not intend to commit. It's probably higher than that, but let's stick to one a day across the US.

    Personally I haven't had any of those happen to me, but the day isn't over yet...

    Now notice that I have legally carried for over 40 years, and if something like that DOES happen to me, I will have committed the crime while in possession of a firearm.

    If accidentally committing some minor crime (note that two of the ones I set the stage with were theft), and being in the possession of a firearm while doing it were to automatically guarantee a lifetime in orange jumpsuits, you have just created possibly the Mother of untended consequences in your desire to punish career criminals who commit a crime while armed.

    Even if you only limit it to "violent" criminals, you are leaving it open to put a real crimp in the lives of all those folks who defend themselves by poking an assailant in the nose, and by the vagaries of witness error, friends of the assailant, false statements, lack of witnesses, or whatever the person defending themselves gets convicted of a violent crime (assault) - especially if they were armed while doing it.

    I suspect that the overall effect of such a draconian law would be the opposite of your desires - even fewer people might end up carrying legally for the defense of themselves, friends, and family because of the tremendous personal risk of lifetime incarceration with no parole.
    ____________

    OK, back to the theoretical discussion of locking up all those baddies who accidentally knocked granny to the ground while clowning around with friends.

    </devil's_advocate_mode>
    No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: The officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets. -- Edward Abbey

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  18. #18
    Regular Member tombrewster421's Avatar
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    I don't think that's too harsh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Batousaii View Post
    My personal views are a bit harsh.

    ~ 1st, i think it is WAY to easy these days to become a criminal. Too many laws, too many little catches that can get you locked up or remove your right to arms, liberty and freedom, thus providing the government with easily obtainable methods of control over you. - That needs to be changed. Criminals should be people that do horrible things intentionally, and do things whole heartedly knowing their actions negatively affect society without remorse or consideration. You and me both know it is wrong to steal someone's car or murder, our morals and ethics keep us in line, the law provides a motivating factor to ensure this. There should be a CLEAR and distinction between a rule violation, and a real crime. Speeding tickets or jay walking are rule violations, and should simply be a fine or community service, nothing on your record. Murder, serious theft and the likes, those are crimes of wicked people.
    ~2nd, People who commit crimes (in the context of #1) should do hard time. If the judge says five years, then it is five years. No TV, No Gym, No swimming pool or X-Box ...definitely no gang activity... So, you work, hard, doing your time to repay society for the damage you've done. Education in prison should be for a very limited few that have shown extreme remorse, and indicate a serious potential to use it when they get out, otherwise, it’s a waste of time, money and resources to educate career criminals. There are many things a criminal can do to stay busy and productive without being "cruelly or unusually punished". Build foundations and houses for families of the victims, or laying bricks for the city construction, freeways, road repair etc. Of course the real hard ones can do indoor work at the prison, the ones on good behavior get to go outside to work. This would put our tax money to use and ensure a productive effort to keep them occupied and hopefully a sense of accomplishment for those on limited sentences. Under no circumstances should the criminals be afforded the luxury or energy to procreate gang activity, or conduct criminal enterprises while in jail. If they are doing this, it is because they have way to much freedom, and then what’s the point of having them in jail. Get caught conducting criminal enterprise in jail, get executed – period. Now, for the limited sentences, upon getting out, the should be given a small voucher for food and rent so they can restart their lives without committing crimes to finance themselves. If they were given a limited sentence, and they did their time, then they should have all rights restored, as if a regular citizen. – Simply put, if you’re dangerous or criminal enough to only receive “some” of your rights back, then you should not mingle amongst the innocent sheeple harvesting your wicked desires from them. You should be gone and out of their minds and lives.

    ~ 3rd, There should almost never be a life sentence. why? Because, I don’t want my tax money paying for dead weight. And yes, i mean exactly that. Life career criminals, repeat offenders of real crimes, criminals who would otherwise receive life sentences should be executed. If they are never going to get out of jail, then why are we keeping them around. The only way I could see validating the existence of a life sentence, is through their hard manual labor that gives substance to my tax dollars. Should we allow a criminal with a life sentence to remain alive more than a couple years is if there is some doubt as to his innocence? And if there is a doubt, then why is he in jail in the first place? Innocent until proven guilty ~ yes?

    So, many do not really agree with my unusually harsh viewpoints, but it is something I strongly believe in. Make is harder to become a criminal, and be harder on real criminals, and eliminate the hardcore ones. This would save us lots of state funds, and making them work (instead of entertaining them) gives substance and validity to our tax dollars. If your good enough to be released into the trusting lives of regular citizens, then your good enough to have your god given liberty and freedom. The wicked should hang, and the free should prosper and be strong.

    Bat
    I don't think that's too harsh at all.

  19. #19
    Regular Member Bob Warden's Avatar
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    Tomas:

    I think if the hypothetical 1-strike law was clear as to what crimes it applied, your admittedly valid concern would be addressed. If I were drafting the law, I would specifically list the crimes it applied to, and they would only be violent felonies involving intent. Off the top of my head: all degrees of murder, felony assault, rape, kidnapping, robbery, burglary.
    Last edited by Bob Warden; 07-23-2010 at 05:30 PM.
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  20. #20
    Regular Member Tomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Warden View Post
    Tomas:

    I think if the hypothetical 1-strike law was clear as to what crimes it applied, your admittedly valid concern would be addressed. If I were drafting the law, I would specifically list the crimes it applied to, and they would only be violent felonies involving intent. Off the top of my head: all degrees of murder, felony assault, rape, kidnapping, robbery, burglary.
    I hear what you are saying, Bob, but in my more than 60 years I don't recall ANY law that was as pure and exacting as you envision, and I certainly do not recall any that remained so in their actual enforcement...

    As much as we would both prefer that violent criminals, once detected and "handled" by the "system" should never again be a threat to our society and its people, I can honestly imagine no human written law that would or could guarantee that without damaging those who somehow "fall through the cracks" for whatever reason.

    As Oliver Wendell Holmes, a United States Supreme Court justice, once phrased the relationship between the probability of errors: "Better to acquit 100 guilty men than convict one innocent one."

    Our entire jurisprudence system, since nearly the inception of of our country, has been based on this.

    Then again, IANAL...
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  21. #21
    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiingislife725 View Post
    I think everyone should have a right to protect themselves with whatever means they so choose. If we release someone from prison, it should mean that they've paid their debt to society. Otherwise, why the heck are we letting them out?
    I have always wondered about that. Unless a their crime was against society their debt should not be paid to society. I have always felt that if they commit a crime against someone then that debt should be paid to that someone. I am a firm believer in an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and a life for a life.
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  22. #22
    Regular Member DCKilla's Avatar
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    One of my best friends is a convicted felon. He was 19 or 20 when he was arrested for stealing from a lawyer that hired him to set up a modern computer network. During that time he went ahead and ordered some stuff for himself to sell. He was convicted and spent about a year in a "bootcamp" style prison.

    I can honestly say my friend is no longer the "boy" he once was. In fact, I would have never known until he told me that he was a convicted felon. My friend and I went to a gun show with my inventation. At the show I was rustling through all the cool guns looking for the best feel and best price. My friend on the other hand just stood back watched. He never once touched a single firearm. He felt that he couldn't even handle a gun. The reason being is that he had a moral convition that he might be breaking the law. He has also turned down many inventations to go shooting with me and another friend. Nobody would have known except for us. He still insisted that that would be breaking the law as well. My friend, to me, is no longer a convicted felon. In my mind, he is an averaged citizen. He is grown now with a wife and kid. How does he defend from a intruder with the intent of doing harm to his family? If he has a right to life, then he must also have the right to defend with any means.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by END_THE_FED View Post
    I would be okay with that for the most part as long as it was for crimes like theft, rape, assault, murder or fraud.

    If someone commits a "victimless crime" and happens to have a gun on them it shouldn't apply.
    Good idea in theory, however what about people like Mr Kirby in Vancouver for example?

    His crime (apparently) had "victims" who were "alarmed and feared for their safety" because of his "actions while carrying a gun" (read as they didn't like the gun but said he was "visually threatening them with his gun and rapid movements")

  24. #24
    Regular Member Tomas's Avatar
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    Yeah, I have two friends who are "felons" in that they were each convicted more than twenty years ago for possession of marijuana. I trust them both implicitly - if TSHTF, they are some of the ones I'd want backing me - or whom I would be backing. IMNSHO they should have every right to have arms for self defense. Sadly the two different states they are from do not appear to feel the same way.
    No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: The officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets. -- Edward Abbey

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  25. #25
    Regular Member Bob Warden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by devildoc5 View Post
    Good idea in theory, however what about people like Mr Kirby in Vancouver for example?

    His crime (apparently) had "victims" who were "alarmed and feared for their safety" because of his "actions while carrying a gun" (read as they didn't like the gun but said he was "visually threatening them with his gun and rapid movements")
    The crime that Kirby is charged with is not a violent felony that I talked about below.
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