This article is making the rounds:
Conservatives Would Let Felons Vote and Pack Heat
Conservatives say they’ll support a liberal plan to enfranchise felons only if ex-cons can have their guns back, too.
It’s an idea so incredibly crazy it just might work: Restoring voting rights to non-violent felons—if they get back their right to own guns, too.
For some tough-on-crime conservatives, the right to bear firearms is a right that is as fundamental as the right to vote. Capitalizing on this sentiment, the strategy goes, could lead to a larger compromise on felons’ rights.
“If someone asked me if I would rather vote for mayor or have a gun, I’d rather have a gun,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and asignatory to the conservative Right on Crime criminal justice reform coalition.
I’m of a split opinion on this subject: Quite frankly, if someone has paid their debt to society, there’s no reason they shouldn’t have all of their civil rights restored. If someone is so dangerous that they cannot be allowed to possess a deadly weapon, why are the on the streets at all?
At the same time though, there’s quite a difference between someone going to jail for tax evasion, and someone who served 30 years for knocking over a bank. Non-violent gaining restoration of their civil rights is such a no brainer that we shouldn’t even have a discussion on the topic – there’s far too many crimes classified as felonies to begin with, and if someone isn’t a danger to the public, there’s no reason to prevent them from being able to legally defend themselves.
This is a topic that requires quite a bit of nuance and doesn’t allow for a “one size fits all” approach. The Gun Control Act of 1968 codified the prohibitions against felons being allowed to purchase or possess arms. This chips away at one of the central provisions of the act.