Restore felon's rights--should I?


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Monkeyleg
December 24, 2005, 06:36 PM
I have a relative who never drank and drove, except once. And that one time was maybe fifteen years ago, and the accident was very bad. He and the friend who asked him for a ride home were in the hospital for days.

My relative was convicted of felony drunk driving. He got his license back a couple of years ago, but he's still a felon.

He'd like to be able to go hunting with the guys from work, and get a gun of his own.

He's never asked me to help him restore his rights, but I know I can help him do so. There are a few senators and representatives I could ask to speak on his behalf.

The problem is that he still goes out and gets drunk, although he only goes to bars within walking distance. He does not drink and drive (I know this for a fact).

Part of me is nervous about asking a legislator for a favor, and taking a chance that my relative will repeat his past mistake, which would embarrass the legislator. Another part of me would like to bring this relative into the gun community, particularly since he leans Democrat.

Another part of me says, "why bother?"

Your thoughts?

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Firethorn
December 24, 2005, 06:47 PM
Well, the fact that he still drinks heavily is a problem.

What state was the conviction in? There is no federal restoral process for rights, it has to be a state level thing. Some states have it, some don't.

What about bowhunting?

Monkeyleg
December 24, 2005, 07:03 PM
Firethorn, he doesn't go out every night, usually just on Friday or Saturday nights.

The state is Wisconsin, and the process involves having someone of stature--a mayor, a senator, an assemblyman, or some other person at that level--speak in favor of the person before the court.

kel
December 24, 2005, 07:17 PM
I would say no. Drinking and driving shows bad judgement. Continuing to get drunk shows more bad judgement. What if he makes a mistake involving a firearm while drunk? What if he makes another mistake while drunk in some other way? It has impaired his judgement before, not just in the accident, but in driving drunk in the first place. What if he does not exercise good judgment while carrying or operating a firearm?

The problem is that I am somewhat arbitrarily biased against getting drunk on regular basis and it isn't necessarily a bad thing for all people. Do you trust his judgement? Has he changed since the day he chose to drive under the influence? I couldn't really make the call myself without knowing this.

BigRobT
December 24, 2005, 07:20 PM
IMHO, if he is STILL getting drunk, I'd have to think a lot on that. Just because he can walk home instead or drive, it seems as if he might have enabled himself to remain a drunk. Now, imagine him drunk and possibly armed ?? Even though Minnesota allows someone carrying to have a drink or two, alcohol & firearms just ain't a good combination. How would you feel were he to become suicidal during one of his drinking bouts and you were the one to enable him to have a gun??

On the other hand, he COULD get a gun should he want, albeit illegally.

Tough decision.

Crosshair
December 24, 2005, 07:29 PM
I don't know. He is still a drunk, but he is responsible enough to NOT drink and drive. Tough call.

Flyboy
December 24, 2005, 07:32 PM
I can't believe what I'm reading here. Three respected posters here on THR, all debating on whether we should allow somebody to regain his God-given rights. Don't you all think it's kind of arrogant that you're trying to decide the fate of another?

Yes. Yes, you should help your friend--and everybody else--regain his rights. If he does something dumb later, that's his problem; it's not your place to say "well, I don't think you can handle this." That sounds an awful lot like what Ted Kennedy and Dianne Feinstein say.

HighVelocity
December 24, 2005, 07:33 PM
Ask him to stay 100% sober for 1 full year. If he can/will do it then he is in control of his vices. If he cannot or will not do it then I wouldn't help him.

My .02

edited to add: A childhood friend grew up and killed himself and another friend of mine when he got drunk and flipped his car into a river.
He had never been in trouble in his whole life. Drinking and driving is a hot button for me. :mad:

georgeduz
December 24, 2005, 08:08 PM
drunks should own or be around guns,felony or not.

rock jock
December 24, 2005, 08:24 PM
I can't believe what I'm reading here. Three respected posters here on THR, all debating on whether we should allow somebody to regain his God-given rights. Don't you all think it's kind of arrogant that you're trying to decide the fate of another?
No, I don't. He showed a complete lack of judgement, and as a result put society in danger. The fact that he still drinks heavily may not disqualify him now, but it should be taken into account.

taliv
December 24, 2005, 08:39 PM
good advice is to never do something like that.

reality is, that some of us are just nice guys and we stick our necks out for others.

case in point, i just co-signed on a loan for somebody. even though he's still making incredibly foolish financial decisions. (he's getting better though)

the reason i did it, was because i objectively looked at it by assuming he's going to default, rather than treating it as a risk. i.e. asking would i still co-sign knowing he's going to default? the answer was yes, so i did it.

if i were in your shoes, i'd ask myself, "would i still help this guy clear his record if I KNEW he was going to get drunk, pop a few rounds off inside his house, have the police show up and arrest him?"

taliv
December 24, 2005, 08:42 PM
btw, the question at hand isn't whether felons should have their rights back or not, or even whether we drinking and shooting mix...

it's whether or not monkeyleg should put his personal rep and friendships on the line to help somebody out who doesn't appear to want help.

Firethorn
December 24, 2005, 09:00 PM
I can't believe what I'm reading here. Three respected posters here on THR, all debating on whether we should allow somebody to regain his God-given rights. Don't you all think it's kind of arrogant that you're trying to decide the fate of another?

Am I considered a "respected poster"? I'm flattered.

My comment about the drinking being a problem was more thinking of a judicial process of restoration where the question might be brought up. I'd have to be honest in that situation. Considering his felony involved alchohol, any judge looking at a restoration will likely bring any continued usage into question.

Monkeyleg, I consider 'drinking heavily' as getting drunk. If you do it regularly, you drink heavily. It's just my definition. I've been drunk once in my life. That was enough. Since then one drink in a day is a special occasion. Getting drunk every weekend can be a sign of problematic behavior.

If all that's required is somebody of 'stature' testifying, then it's relativly easy. Do you qualify, or are you putting your reputation on the line, potentially burning bridges?

People, it looks like the guy wants to go hunting, not CCW. I'd recommend that he cut back on the booze though. Of course, that'd be my recommendation regardless.

In the end, it's your choice. I'd tend to say 'go for it'.

Gunsnrovers
December 24, 2005, 09:02 PM
it's whether or not monkeyleg should put his personal rep and friendships on the line to help somebody out who doesn't appear to want help.


ding ding ding. I think we have a winner.

Standing Wolf
December 24, 2005, 09:09 PM
I doubt I'd do personal favors for someone who gets drunk on a regular and frequent basis: it's an affliction that usually gets worse rather than better.

Flyboy
December 24, 2005, 09:53 PM
Am I considered a "respected poster"? I'm flattered.
I've always respected you and your opinions.

I guess my problem here is in the vast disconnect between the "personal responsibility" and "individual rights" that everybody always talks about, and then I see people saying that they, personally, wouldn't allow the guy to have a gun. It smacks of ivory-tower elitism: "the fact that he still drinks is a problem." Translation: I can be trusted with a gun, but he can't. It's interesting to note that England, at one time, banned gin, but not whisk(e)y. Why? Because it was the lower classes that drank gin; the ruling elite said that "they" couldn't be trusted with liquor, but "we" (the elite) can.

Put this another way: what are we all going to say when certain politicians decide any misdemeanor involving alcohol shows "bad judgement," and is disqualifying for firearms ownership? My dad has a misdemeanor conviction for posession in a dry county (driving through), and he's now an attorney for the Feds. Youthful indiscretion, but an alcohol-related incident. Actually, you could easily argue that any violation of law shows bad judgement.

If he's out of jail, he's a citizen and a free man, and entitled to all the rights and privileges thereof. Would you say his "bad judgement" also extends to voting? In many jurisdictions, felony convictions are also disqualifying for voting. Afraid he'll have an accident in the voting booth and mark the wrong box?

Help the man get his rights back. If he screws up, he's an adult, he can deal with his own mistakes.

jefnvk
December 24, 2005, 09:55 PM
A few of my shooting/hunting/fishign buddies can be guaranteed to be drunk about every friday night. Doesn't mean I don't trust them.

It sounds like he is at least not going to make the drinking and driving mistake again. To me, geting drunk is not enough of a guarantee that someone is going ot go out and shoot up the place, or drive drunk.

The only way I would consider saying no is if he were an alcoholic (I'm assuming he is not), who was displaying destructive behavior.

Another option, do you need the word from one of them to get your rights restored? Maybe if you can just help him do what needs to happen, but not ask them to testify for him?

Firethorn
December 24, 2005, 10:36 PM
I've always respected you and your opinions.

Thanks, I appreciate that.

I guess my problem here is in the vast disconnect between the "personal responsibility" and "individual rights" that everybody always talks about, and then I see people saying that they, personally, wouldn't allow the guy to have a gun. It smacks of ivory-tower elitism: "the fact that he still drinks is a problem." Translation: I can be trusted with a gun, but he can't. It's interesting to note that England, at one time, banned gin, but not whisk(e)y. Why? Because it was the lower classes that drank gin; the ruling elite said that "they" couldn't be trusted with liquor, but "we" (the elite) can.

I was hoping that my second post cleared that up. I was looking at it as a contest where you have to convince a judge of unknown properties that the guy isn't a risk anymore. You have to sway his opinion. Being able to say 'He's been dry for X years' is better than 'Well, he get's smashed every weekend, but he walks home'. It might not matter, but, like I said, especially given that his conviction involved alchohol, his continued use is probably going to be a problem.

As for the disconnect, I don't see that great of a one, seeing as how this guy is suffering the consequences of his actions. This isn't something imposed on citizens as a whole, this is a specific consequence to him driving while drunk and getting into a 'serious accident'. Getting out of the hospital after only a few days is actually very lucky for him and the passanger.

And yes, drug wars seem to always trace back to class/race warfare.

Put this another way: what are we all going to say when certain politicians decide any misdemeanor involving alcohol shows "bad judgement," and is disqualifying for firearms ownership? My dad has a misdemeanor conviction for posession in a dry county (driving through), and he's now an attorney for the Feds. Youthful indiscretion, but an alcohol-related incident. Actually, you could easily argue that any violation of law shows bad judgement.

Oh, I agree. But this is a guy who already has one strike against him. I may feel that our DUI standards and penalties are often messed up, but he got into an accient while intoxicated. So he's going to bat with one strike already against him. He now has to prove his case to the court, not have the court prove it against him.

Oh, and if you look at the other thread about the businessman who shot the burglar, you'll find that I feel that mere possession is minor in most cases, though I feel that restrictions and increased monitoring is reasonable after reelase from prison. I just feel that you should be able to escape these restrictions with good behavior.

Help the man get his rights back. If he screws up, he's an adult, he can deal with his own mistakes.

That's ultimately Monkeyleg's decision. He's the one who'll have to wrestle with his consience if his friend messes up. From the stated situation, this seems unlikely, so I say help him as well.

AJ Dual
December 25, 2005, 12:45 AM
I can't give you a straight answer, but If I were in your shoes, I would break the decision making process down into three categories:

1. General RKBA.

As a self-described right-libertarian (little "L"), I normally follow the basic line of reasoning "If he's not allowed a gun, he shouldn't be allowed in public." I don't believe a felon who's "paid his debt" should be sentenced to defenslessness for the rest of his life. I also sincerely doubt your relative got his friend into the car that night under false pretenses of sobriety. They both made an equaly bad judgment, he was just the one behind the wheel.

On basis #1, I'd say yes. Help him get his rights restored.

2. Your own concience.

Essentialy, if you've got doubts, and need to be talked into helping him get his rights restored, that would be a "no" in my book. Go with your gut. OTOH, if your gut says yes, and you want to help him, and you just don't intelectualy trust your instincts. I'd say yes.

I'd also add that there is a "Wisconsin attitude" about drinking that other posters around the country may not understand. I've come to realize that other states and regions have very different attitudes. Of course there's all opinions here, but if you average out the overall attitude in WI, alcohol is considered much more a "food" than it is a "drug", while other states in the east or south treat alcohol like it's the last day before Prohibition went into effect.

The WI attitude probably originates from the predominant Germanic, Polish, and Scandinavian background of the state's European heritage. Namely, that drinking to some level of intoxication is okay if it's social, only occasional on weekends or holidays, and you do nothing else that's otherwise irresponsible, dangerous, or illegal. Someone from WI who drinks to the point of legal intoxication once every weekend with friends, but does not drive, fight, drink the rest of the week, or do anything else unseemly is widely considered as "not having a problem".

You've got to understand, that in WI, in the larger cities, every neighborhood has 3-4 local taverns, and it's not uncommon for small rural towns with populations in the hundredsto have just as many either.

So on the basis of #2, Dick, go with your gut. If you have any real doubts, you probably shouldn't help him. If your gut tells you to help him, and you're just second-guessing yourself, help him.

3. CCW in WI/the WCCA

Look at it from the standpoint of your position of leadership in the Wisconsin pro-carry movment. Whether or not he'll slip and screw up is irrelavant. For the sake of argument, assume that he will. Should you help your relative get his rights restored, and he then do something stupid, what are the odds it could be used by anti-gun forces to discredit you, the WCCA, or the passage of the PPA?

You have your equals, but no one knows better than you what kind of dirty tricks the anti's have and will play against us.

On that basis, use #1 and #2 to decide if you'll help him. Then if you do decide to help him, wait until it's not a sensitive time for the passage of the PPA bill, or something drastic (God forbid,) happens that would deep-six any consideration of the PPA for several years.

Molon Labe
December 25, 2005, 12:52 AM
Listen to you'all.

I don't care if he drinks. He has the right to keep and bear arms.

You should all be ashamed of yourselves. The elitism in this message boar is making me sick. :scrutiny: :banghead:

Waitone
December 25, 2005, 01:12 AM
No. Nothing in it but risk for you.
Gun movement gains (maybe) someone who binge drinks on the weekend.
Hauls in an ostensibly friendly bigwig using your reputation as a go-by to vouche for someone who has not forsaken the same social behavior that got him into dutch in the first place.

All risk, no return. Bad investment.

The_Antibubba
December 25, 2005, 01:58 AM
Monkeyleg, my vote is to help him.

He wants to be able to go hunting again. Maybe if he had more weekends to go hunting, he'd drink less? I'd imagine leaving the house at 4 am to get to the blind would be impossible if he stumbled home at 2 am. Not being able to hunt must leave a pretty big void in his life.

(For the record, I'm not a hunter, and I never will be, but I've wistfully read about some of the spiritual experiences that hunters can have stalking and luring that buck of a lifetime.)

As for CCW or such, he's not even talking about that. A deer rifle, maybe a shotgun. I'd feel hesitant to recommend him for CCW, but if aside from walking home drunk he's an upstanding fellow, then I wouldn't hesitate to help him regain full citizenship.

gremlin_bros
December 25, 2005, 03:28 AM
from what i am seeing its not about whether or not he has the right or even should he be allowed to get a fire arm. what i am seeing is how far are you willing to stick you neck out for a friend. and hey man its your call there i am sure somebody would be willing to vouch for him so that he may regain the right to purchase a firearm legally but is that somebody you?

am i right or just reading this wrong?

Monkeyleg
December 25, 2005, 06:50 PM
Thanks for all the replies.

If my relative had given up drinking, or just drank responsibly (instead of getting blasted), this would be a no-brainer.

Every legislator I know I could ask is already being pilloried by the press. If one were to vouch for him, and then my relative did something really stupid, it would just be more ammo for the media.

I think I need to sit down with my relative, ask him how serious he is about wanting his rights restored, and what sort of guarantee he will give me that he won't embarrass a stranger who's willing to go out on a limb for him.

ka50
December 25, 2005, 07:25 PM
drunks should own or be around guns,felony or not.

lol...

like you never drink and have a gun at arm's reach

another prohibitionalist :rolleyes:

and about that guy: he should've never lost his rights in the first place. He didn't comit a violent felony.

doublebarrel
December 25, 2005, 07:37 PM
I can't believe what I'm reading here. Three respected posters here on THR, all debating on whether we should allow somebody to regain his God-given rights. Don't you all think it's kind of arrogant that you're trying to decide the fate of another?

Yes. Yes, you should help your friend--and everybody else--regain his rights. If he does something dumb later, that's his problem; it's not your place to say "well, I don't think you can handle this." That sounds an awful lot like what Ted Kennedy and Dianne Feinstein say.

Listen to you'all.

I don't care if he drinks. He has the right to keep and bear arms.

You should all be ashamed of yourselves. The elitism in this message boar is making me sick. :scrutiny: :banghead:

Two thumbs up, one to Flyboy, and one to Molon Labe... http://www.thehighroad.org/images/icons/icon14.gif

confed sailor
December 25, 2005, 11:50 PM
right or not, monkeyleg was asking your personal opinions, and the self-righteousness yall have displayed is rather arrogant and eliteist on its own. monkeyleg doesnt hold the man's rights in his hands, he can be a help to the fellow or not. thats all.

when a fellow asks you a hard question, do you call him a jerk for asking it?

LAK
December 26, 2005, 04:31 AM
So are people like Poindexter, "Sandy" Berger and many others in public office - elected or appointed.

And so what? This "convicted felon" nonsense is both an injustice and a destructive factor overall.

If a judge says "20 years"; give them 20 years, and let them walk out as free men and women. Otherwise the entire country is simply an extention of the prison yard and the psychiatric wards - which becomes a tool of political power. A sub-class of people is created who in turn are used as excuse to violate the rights of everyone else. One incremental step at a time.

People who are "too dangerous" to walk as free men and women need to be under 24 hour supervision, incarcerated or six feet under. It is that simple.
----------------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

Berek
December 26, 2005, 04:42 AM
I can't believe what I'm reading here. Three respected posters here on THR, all debating on whether we should allow somebody to regain his God-given rights. Don't you all think it's kind of arrogant that you're trying to decide the fate of another?

Yes. Yes, you should help your friend--and everybody else--regain his rights. If he does something dumb later, that's his problem; it's not your place to say "well, I don't think you can handle this." That sounds an awful lot like what Ted Kennedy and Dianne Feinstein say.

Actually, I would have to disagree with you for one major reason. Monkeyleg would be the one calling in the favor, not the relative. Should the relative do something stupid later, not only is the relative legally responsible, but Monkeyleg would lose MAJOR (can't stress enough) respect from the ppl he asked the favors of. Kinda the trickle down effect.

Relative does something stupid. Monkey leg loses the respect of the person(s) he asked the favor of and maybe public dignity. The person that Monkeyleg asked the favor of, being in a higher political position, loses the respect of the community and, if he had to ask another, the respect of the person he asked for the favor. This goes on up the line...

I am not, let me say that again, I AM NOT arguing against restoring the right to bear arms to the relative, my concern is for Monkeyleg as his rep is on the line to and, as he would be asking higher ups for favors, so would the rep of others.

Monkeyleg, I don't know what to tell you. If it were me, I would have to seriously examine the person and my view of them and what they do. In the end, it's up to you. I don't think that anyone can give an end-all, be-all answer as we don't know them and we aren't the ones in that situation.

Good luck with your decision.

publius
December 26, 2005, 08:26 AM
Write a check for some amount that would really hurt, and make it out to the Brady Bunch. Show it to your relative, and tell him you'll do this for him, but if he screws up, you're going to have to send in that check, and you'll be appropriately pissed at him for making you do that.:neener:

Hawkmoon
December 26, 2005, 09:48 AM
He still has a booze problem, and he has NOT asked you for help.

Why ask for trouble? Save your calls to legislators for more important issues.

TechBrute
December 26, 2005, 09:58 AM
I have a relative who never drank and drove, except once.:scrutiny:

I'll have to admit that after reading that I rolled my eyes and moved to subsequent posts. After reading a few more, I went back.

He'd like to be able to go hunting with the guys from work, and get a gun of his own.

He's never asked me to help him restore his rights, but I know I can help him do so.
Let me get this straight. The guy wants to have a gun for social reasons, and doesn't even want one bad enough to ask for help.

Why are we having this discussing, again? It sounds like this guy needs to get a hold on his life before you even give a hoot about his rights.

Sergeant Bob
December 26, 2005, 10:33 AM
Just pay attention to what that little voice in the back of your head tells you.

It's usually right.

Meta
December 26, 2005, 10:52 AM
So are people like Poindexter, "Sandy" Berger and many others in public office - elected or appointed.

And so what? This "convicted felon" nonsense is both an injustice and a destructive factor overall.

If a judge says "20 years"; give them 20 years, and let them walk out as free men and women. Otherwise the entire country is simply an extention of the prison yard and the psychiatric wards - which becomes a tool of political power. A sub-class of people is created who in turn are used as excuse to violate the rights of everyone else. One incremental step at a time.

People who are "too dangerous" to walk as free men and women need to be under 24 hour supervision, incarcerated or six feet under. It is that simple.
----------------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

The vast majority of people who are convicted felons will rarely be capable of making good, sound moral choices. They will almost invariably vote for democrats who promise them more entitlements in exchange for their votes. Being released from prison is not the end of punishment by any means. The stigma of being a felon, an ex-con is carried for life in many cases. Why is this? Its the way people want it and the way society has evolved. IS there good reason for this? Sure. The chances are much higher that a convicted felon will make another bad choice and effect you in some negative way....stealing, etc. So I think its best that we know who they are.
From another angle: You kill someone in cold blood. You spend 25 years in prison. You are released. Are you the same as any other citizen? Are you still the same guy who killed in cold blood? The fact is that society, and a family whose loved one you killed, was irreparabely harmed when you did what you did. Serving 25 years in prison is just one phase of the punishment. Hopefully by that time you are no longer a physical danger to society and that you have been reformed in that sense. You don't get your vote back and you don't get your guns back because that is the way we do things here. Besides, like others have said, do you really wan't to hand that kind of PR victory to the anti-types like the Brady Group? How would it sound if `we' were trying to give convicted felons back their guns?

TheEgg
December 26, 2005, 11:04 AM
Not sure about my information, but I thought that the Federal government was not processing ANY request for the restoration of gun rights for felons. My understanding was that the congress had de-funded the office in Treasury that does that, meaning no money, no action.

I think it has been this way for several years -- if the funding was restored recently, I missed it.

Harve Curry
December 26, 2005, 11:04 AM
Monkeyleg,
Tough positoin to be in. Think how many of the Founding Fathers, officers, and soldiers from the American Revolution up to today, drank to much and never lost their rights.
Today's laws would have more then a few in prison and some of those made made President. I know a marine who's favorite joke to say is "beer's a group tightner":D , but I know he's kidding.
It's hard to make a judgement call from your first post. The man probably never should have lost his rights. Our current culture teaches us, bombards us with "take away his/her rights."
Some laws as we know are not just, unconstitutional, or misapplied.

(PS; Maybe your friend could use a muzzleloader.)

jefnvk
December 26, 2005, 01:39 PM
Yes. Yes, you should help your friend--and everybody else--regain his rights. If he does something dumb later, that's his problem; it's not your place to say "well, I don't think you can handle this." That sounds an awful lot like what Ted Kennedy and Dianne Feinstein say.

The thing is, MonkeyLeg is putting his reputation on the line here. I don't think anyone is arguing that he shouldn't be able to get his rights back, just that MonkeyLeg shouldn't stick his neck out.

I guess my determining factor would be, does his drinking show that he has an alcohol problem? To me, going out and getting drunk on weekends does not constitute a drinking problem.

PCGS65
December 26, 2005, 03:38 PM
by Monkeyleg, I think I need to sit down with my relative, ask him how serious he is about wanting his rights restored, and what sort of guarantee he will give me that he won't embarrass a stranger who's willing to go out on a limb for him.
Monkeyleg, now that sounds like a winner.
A few things you probably already thought of or you wouldn't be thinking about helping him, Is he violent? Break things ect.? Does he get into fights even minor ones? Does he threaten people even in minor ways? Hot headed? If yes to any, my advice NO.
In Illinois felons can get FOID cards IF the felony is not violent. Even misdemeanor domestic battery ect. There are other requirements also.
by Harve curry, Tough positoin to be in. Think how many of the Founding Fathers, officers, and soldiers from the American Revolution up to today, drank to much and never lost their rights.
Almost all of our founding fathers drank excessively. Due to the simple fact that there wasn't enough clean water. People bathed and washed their clothes in the water all the time. Alcohol was a way to make sure one was drinking bacteria free liquid. It's true!!
We are all one mistake away from being a felon!! Go for it if he's non violent.

afasano
December 26, 2005, 08:41 PM
I have a relative who never drank and drove, except once. And that one time was maybe fifteen years ago, and the accident was very bad. He and the friend who asked him for a ride home were in the hospital for days.

My relative was convicted of felony drunk driving. He got his license back a couple of years ago, but he's still a felon.

He'd like to be able to go hunting with the guys from work, and get a gun of his own.

He's never asked me to help him restore his rights, but I know I can help him do so. There are a few senators and representatives I could ask to speak on his behalf.

The problem is that he still goes out and gets drunk, although he only goes to bars within walking distance. He does not drink and drive (I know this for a fact).

Part of me is nervous about asking a legislator for a favor, and taking a chance that my relative will repeat his past mistake, which would embarrass the legislator. Another part of me would like to bring this relative into the gun community, particularly since he leans Democrat.

Another part of me says, "why bother?"

Your thoughts?

He must stop drinking first, that will be better for his health in the long run.

yonderway
December 26, 2005, 08:55 PM
Another part of me would like to bring this relative into the gun community, particularly since he leans Democrat.

He might not have the right to vote, either. Is he on parole?

joab
December 26, 2005, 09:07 PM
He served his time, he should be allowed to live a normal life.
If he is such a danger to the community he should be committed to an alcohol sanitarium or something

As far as embarrassing the legislator, he should be embarrassed if he has not already introduced or fought for a bill recognizing the rights of all free citizens.

spacemanspiff
December 26, 2005, 09:32 PM
hmmmm, i wonder where the line is drawn, between 'good judgment calls' and 'bad judgment calls'.


i got a DWI, the misdemeanor kind, not the felony.
i still drink from time to time, enough that i take a cab home and have buddys take me to pick up my car the next day.
am i any different than the thread authors relative?

what makes my judgment calls involving firearms when i am sober any different than the other guy?

Monkeyleg
December 26, 2005, 11:14 PM
Some of the previous posts have nailed my conundrum dead-on.

My relative is not able to be part of the gun community because he caused serious injury to himself and his friend. This wasn't a case of just crossing the double-yellow: he hit an oncoming vehicle hard enough to cause severe and lifetime injury to all parties.

That's the history.

I've spent the last 11 or more years cultivating friendships and relationships with legislators in order to advance gun rights in my state.

Some of those relationships are purely political, and could disappear like ghosts come the fall elections.

Others are much more solid, based upon core philosophies and a willingness to go against the establishment, Republican or Democrat.

A favor begets a favor, and I'm not willing to let a political friend get hung out to dry because I asked him to vouch for someone he doesn't even know, if that someone embarasses him in the media.

After listening to all the replies, I've come to this conclusion: my relative can try on his own to get his rights restored. Or, if he wants my help, he can agree to help those legislators who helped him, and agree to advance 2A rights. And to keep his nose clean.

If not, then no deal.

LAK
December 27, 2005, 05:49 AM
The vast majority of people who are convicted felons will rarely be capable of making good, sound moral choices. They will almost invariably vote for democrats who promise them more entitlements in exchange for their votes. Being released from prison is not the end of punishment by any means. The stigma of being a felon, an ex-con is carried for life in many cases. Why is this? Its the way people want it and the way society has evolved. IS there good reason for this? Sure. The chances are much higher that a convicted felon will make another bad choice and effect you in some negative way....stealing, etc. So I think its best that we know who they are.
From another angle: You kill someone in cold blood. You spend 25 years in prison. You are released. Are you the same as any other citizen? Are you still the same guy who killed in cold blood? The fact is that society, and a family whose loved one you killed, was irreparabely harmed when you did what you did. Serving 25 years in prison is just one phase of the punishment. Hopefully by that time you are no longer a physical danger to society and that you have been reformed in that sense. You don't get your vote back and you don't get your guns back because that is the way we do things here. Besides, like others have said, do you really wan't to hand that kind of PR victory to the anti-types like the Brady Group? How would it sound if `we' were trying to give convicted felons back their guns?
Nonsense. And without dissecting all this, I'll suffice to point out that convicted felon John Poindexter was the one who came out with the "Total Information Awareness" project under so-called "republican" George Bush.

Actually, I find that the more conservative people are, the less they support this growing oppressive behemoth which purports to number, catalogue and control everyone to save us all from pain and destruction. And the more socialist they are, the more they support and defend it.
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http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

BigFatKen
December 27, 2005, 06:02 AM
Remember, he wants to hunt.

That said, if his felony is lifted, he will have the right to carry and, if drunk, he may forget and take his carry weapon into another bar. This assumes Wis. passes CCW, not a given.

I'm with the line of thought to have him get sober for one year first. For now, get him a bow and find hunters who enjoy archery hunting or gun hunters who can use an archer. Similliar experience and friends. Non-gun bearers can have fun too.

I have a distant in-law who is quite sinile. He is given a rifle in an odd caliber with no bullets. He enjoys himself. I'm not sure that is wise, but thats what his sons do.

outofbattery
December 27, 2005, 09:47 AM
He had the right to own firearms and chose to abdicate it.For him,drinking and driving was more important than owning firearms and he's damn lucky he didn't manage to take away somebody else's life,liberty and the pursuit of happiness while he was at it.If he genuinely wants to hunt and vote for Democrats again then it should be entirely his decision and responsibility to straighten himself out and go through the process of having his rights restored.

My opinion is that a felony DUI charge should be a loss of driving privileges for life and a car is far more dangerous than a firearm.

Ron_Miami
December 27, 2005, 04:36 PM
Winston Churchill, Earnest Hemingway, U.S. Grant, and innumerable others drank and owned guns.

GEM
December 27, 2005, 04:45 PM
1. He is still drinking after a serious lesson.

2. Drunks don't get better spontaneously, they get worse.

3. Yeah, right that you can be sure he doesn't drive now.

4. Despite all the Molon Labe - if he goes wild on the Molson Label, and hurts himself or others - do you want to be responsible? Do you want a death causally linked to you?

5. If he can regain rights by going through some legal process AND not based on favors, tell him to do so.

What if he tried to kill himself. Swears he is not depressed now but still has moods. He lost his gun rights because of a mental status adjudication. He wants you to use a favor to get his gun back. Would you do that? Or would you want clear evidence from a mental health professional?

Let this guy prove he is responsible and have it documented. Then he can Molon Labe all he wants. Molon Labe means out of your hands as you resist tyranny, it doesn't mean out of the hands of some drunk who went awry with a gun you helped him get. :fire:

bruss01
December 27, 2005, 05:15 PM
First of all, let me agree with the sentiment that any drunk driver who causes harm is guilty of a grievous and careless offense. There should be civil, and if serious enough, even criminal penalties for causing harm due to driving impaired.

However, I believe that we as a society are making a mistake by making any class of offense short of premeditated murder grounds for lifetime punishments. People do repent, people do reform, people do improve their judgement if they choose to and continue to so choose over the course of their lives.

I agree with having serious crimes warrant serious punishments, although in keeping with the crimes and not inhumanely excessive.

Having said that, I do think it's wrong that this gentleman has lost his firearms rights for life. While it's true that some or most states have a process for restoring voting and firearms rights, I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the fact that, although a process exists for restoring one's federal firearms rights, no money has been budgeted for processing applications for restoration of rights. Ergo - it is impossible to have your firearm rights restored federally.

This means that if the gentleman goes thru the process, has his state firearms rights restored, and is subsequently approached by a federal enforcement officer, the gent in question will be going to jail for being a felon in posession of a firearm. Period.

So as unfortunate as these circumstances are, I hate to tell you that the end result would not be worth the time and effort expended. He will never safely "keep and bear arms" again.

Berek
December 27, 2005, 05:49 PM
It's amazing how many of you skipped the main issue.

Monkeyleg was not talking about his relative's right to own a firearm, he was talking about his reputation. I KNOW that none of you would put YOUR work reputation on the line for someone that you know will do nothing but screw off. None of you would put YOUR reputation on the line to get someone a bank job if you know they steal. None of you would put YOUR reputation on the line to help someone get a job as a schoolbus driver if you know they are alcoholics or drug-users/abusers.

Yet, wouldn't it be their "God-given" right to work?

Let's focus, people. It's Monkeyleg's reputation we should be talking about, not whether his relative still has the "God-given" right to own a firearm.

BTW, the right was not given by "God", it was our founding fathers so let's drop that one...

pete f
December 27, 2005, 06:29 PM
Monkeyleg

As one who spent a lot of time in wisconsin and understand some of the mentality of the general population, A man who gets drunk on friday and sat night is doing what half the state does. UW madison was removed from Playboys list of top party schools because of it's Professional status. Insisting that he be dry for a year or give up his social life for this is not fair.

Point one, he has not asked you. Do not offer but let it be known to someone close to him that you do have that power to help him.

Point two, tell him in no uncertain terms what you are risking by going to bat for him. IF he approaches you then he is offering himself to you, you have the opportunity to set some guidelines.

Point three, FIFTEEN YEARS of good behavior should count for something. IF he fails you now, you can rest on the belief that if my kid behaved for fifteen months, I would trust they had learned a lesson, fifteen years is ironclad.

When you go to the person you choose to stand up for him, Let them know the exact circumstances you are aware of, sugar coat nothing. Let them make the decision to stand up or not.
I was a board member of an organisation and I was asked to stand up and vouch for someone I did not know, I did a little digging and found that he was completely clean except for a pot bust when he was 17. I called the young man in my office and talked to him about it. He claimed and I believed him that it was not his, it was the guy he was with, a football player and that he took the bust because, one, at the time, he thought you did not squeal, and two, he thought as a misdemeanor, it would not be a big deal because he had no record before it. I asked,it was the other guys stuff but were you going to share it too? and he said yeah, there was a girl who had said she would go out with him if he got some. I felt he was being honest with me and I vouched for him, So far 6 years later, he has done nothing but make me happy i took that step. sometimes you do stuff when you are young and you should be given a second chance.

bruss01
December 27, 2005, 06:36 PM
BTW, the original poster said something to the effect "he still gets drunk".

"Drunk" is a term that has a million shades of meaning. To someone who is a teetotaler (avoids all alcohol) they might consider someone having one beer while watching the game "getting drunk". My wife often claims to be drunk after less than one beer, and if you can do math, you would know it's physically impossible for her to have a blood-alcohol of over .08 - she just means she can "feel it". I personally don't consider "drunk" to be the operative word if someone is walking steadily, not slurring their words, and behaving well, whether they've had one drink or twenty. Nothing wrong with someone tossing back a cold frosty mug of something relaxing at the end of the day. heck, have two, why don't you. If you enjoy it, why not? Paying your bills? Holding a job? Good relationships with friends & family? Not impacting your health? Exercising good judgement regarding driving and all? I say go ahead.

Just be careful not to be on the road, in the sights of a JBT with a loaded breathylizer pointed at you. I think those are the most ridiculous things ever, as if everyone had the same tolerance for alcohol. Some people are dangerous at .05 whereas some are fine at .13 or even more. If you're driving erratically and can't pass a "field sobriety" check, well, you pushed your limits and you lost. Call a cab next time.

Keep it safe and sane out there, all.

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