A Geek With Guns

Views from a geek gun nut

The Death of Due Process

Our legal system is one where a person must be found guilty of a crime by a jury before punishment can be exacted. Well that was the idea at least, the reality is a bit different through. For example thanks to various legislation passed shortly after 9/11 you can be arrested and detained indefinably so long as the state labels you a terrorist. Apparently some “representatives” decided this was a good idea and put some provisions in the The Fix Gun Checks Act of 2011 that would strip the second amendment rights of anybody arrest of a drug crime, regardless of whether or not they were actually convicted:

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Sponsored by New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer and introduced earlier this month, the expanded background checks bill includes a “clarification of the definition of drug abusers and drug addicts who are prohibited from possessing firearms.” Under Schumer’s bill, the definition of a “drug abuser” would include anyone with “an arrest for the use or possession of a controlled substance within the past 5 years.”

But the “arrest” language of Schumer’s bill and a clarification from the ATF indicate that a greater number of innocent Americans would be barred from owning a gun if the Senate bill becomes law.

“Under the definition of ‘unlawful user’ … an inference of current use could be drawn if the one arrest resulted in a conviction for use or possession of a controlled substance within the past year,” the ATF told the The Daily Caller.

To clear up any confusion, Schumer’s bill would expand that “inference” to say: if you’ve ever been arrested for any kind of drug use or possession in the past five year, you can be denied the lawful possession of a firearm.

Obviously Schumer is an asshole but I’ve already said that several times on this blog. People who’ve read this blog long enough know I’m against continued punishment after your initial sentence has been carried out. What I mean to say is I’m against the stripping of somebody’s rights after they’ve served their prison sentence. Punishments should fit crimes and being stripped of the best means of self-defense does not fit using marijuana.

Drug use in of itself isn’t violent and permanently taking somebody’s right to keep and bear arms is flimsy even for violent crimes. There is absolutely no justification for taking somebody’s right of self-defense if they’ve committed a non-violent crime. But what lacks any justification whatsoever is taking somebody’s second amendment right because they were arrested for a crime but not convicted. You’re not supposed to be able to punish somebody for a crime they haven’t been proven beyond a reasonable doubt of committing.

This amendment would be completely open for police abuse. What happens if a sheriff in a shall-issue state doesn’t want to issue permits because he doesn’t believe citizens are as good as he is? Well you simply arrest them for a drug charge and release them. There you go that person is now no longer able to get a permit and the sheriff gets to continue his monopoly on the use of violence in all situations.

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Written by Christopher Burg

March 24, 2011 at 10:30 am

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