First, let me address the common myth of the “law abiding citizen.” People throw that term around in such a sanctimonious and condescending way that is devoid of any actual meaning. It is a “holier than thou” attitude that is so caustic that it irritates me to my very core. So, you have never been caught or charged with a crime and think you are a law abiding citizen, well whoopty-freaking-do. If you want to know the truth, odds are that you have committed as many as three FELONIES just today alone. Let’s not even get into the odds that you exceeded the speed limit on your way to work today or rolled through that stop sign without coming to a complete stop Mr. & Mrs. Law-Abiding Citizen. In a documentary done by John Stossel back in 2013, he lays out what the Founders warned us about. “It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?” – James Madison
Well, here we are – Illegal Everything and people still have the illusion that they are “law abiding.” In Harvey Silverglate’s book, Three Felonies A Day, he lays out example after example of obscure laws that people violate on a daily basis that could easily make YOU a convicted felon and strip YOU of your rights under current law. Being a law abiding citizen means knowing the law, which is currently impossible, and consciously abiding by it. Those who claim the exalted status of the law abiding citizen today are merely those who haven’t been caught or targeted for malicious prosecution, YET. You may not be a convicted felon, but odds are that you may well be an un-convicted felon by today’s legal standards. So, unless you routinely walk on water, heal the sick or raise the dead then I doubt very sriously that you as “law abiding” as you think you are.
As for these “reasonable gun restrictions” that so many people claim to support, well that’s just pure, unadulterated, lazy, “feel good” politics. People who say they support restricting ex-felons, the mentally ill and young children from acquiring firearms are simply too lazy to address the real issues at hand. As I just pointed out, we are all most likely felons in the eyes of the government whether we are convicted or just not caught yet. People like to throw the word “violent” in there to justify their position, but that is NOT how the law reads. So, let me educate you Mr. & Mrs. Unconvicted Felon.
Federal law establishes the baseline regarding the types of persons who are ineligible to purchase firearms. The federal Gun Control Act of 1968, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 922, prohibits the sale of firearms to any person who:
•Has been convicted of, or is under indictment for, a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year;
•Has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense of domestic violence.
You’ll notice the first one makes no mention of violence at all, just a few non-violent felonies that can deprive a person of their right to bear arms are fraud, forgery, prostitution, bigamy, drug possession and my personal favorite “corrupting the government.” Granted, to varying degrees most people would find all of these things to be reprehensible, but are they worthy of denying someone their right of effective self-defense? In the case of domestic violence, even a misdemeanor offense prohibits gun ownership.
A Domestic Violence Misdemeanor occurs when one family member commits OR THREATENS violence against another family member or household member. The crime of domestic violence usually involves the crimes of assault and battery, though it may involve other charges as well. However, the definition of misdemeanor domestic violence has expanded over the years. For example, domestic violence does not just mean physical violence, but also includes threats of violence and verbal/emotional abuse. It also includes domestic partners, roommates and pretty much anyone that you may cohabitate with. At least that is the legal definition, in reality what constitutes a misdemeanor domestic violence charge in many cases is much less menacing. A heated argument and a vindictive spouse, family member or significant other coupled with a legal system geared to err on the side of caution in such cases can result in a domestic violence charge and loss of rights where no real threat existed. An untimely emotional outburst can have significant repercussions. Let me stop here and make it clear that I in no way condone any level of domestic violence, but while you holier than thou “law abiding citizens” sit there on your pedestals, I want to make it perfectly clear just how precariously positioned you are up there. The statistics says that 1 in 4 women have been victims of domestic violence and an estimated 3 million men are victims of domestic assaults. That’s a lot of both male and female abusers out there potentially denied their rights and MOST domestic violence incidents are never reported, so just that domestic violence restriction alone has the potential to effectively disarm a large percentage of the American population. Once again, I do not condone domestic violence, but I view it as a personal responsibility and societal issue that needs to be addressed rather than an excuse to deprive people of basic human rights. Victims of domestic violence are typically physically unable to defend themselves. Being armed and trained in the use of arms can overcome those physical limitations.
In closing, let me attempt to sums this all up for you. We have serious crime and violence issues in America that cannot be solved with feel good legislation or societal divisions. “Reasonable” and “law abiding” are subjective terms that make people either feel better about themselves or feel as though they are addressing these serious issues, but have no objective substance to them whatsoever. I think we can all agree that violent criminals are a menace to society, with or without a gun, and need to be dealt with in such a way that protects society. Releasing violent criminals back into society based on arbitrary sentencing guidelines with no rehabilitation is irresponsible. Expecting those criminals to follow your “reasonable regulations” is even more irresponsible. The same can be said for the mentally ill, both diagnosed and undiagnosed. Reasonable restrictions only restrict reasonable people. Criminals and Crazies are the very definition of UNreasonable. Thinking that you are a “law abiding citizen” because you have never been caught or charged with any number of violation that you are not even aware of is simply naïve. With so many laws already in place and somewhere in the neighborhood of 80,000 new laws being written every year, it is just a matter of time before every American is legally prohibited from owning a gun. So, how about we set aside all this petty bickering and actually start working on the real issues this nation faces? *heavy sigh and stepping down from the soap box*
Jon Britton aka DoubleTap is Chief Operating Officer of CDH, Inc., a regular contributing author and regularly involved in most aspects of their social media. “Writing was never a goal or even vaguely contemplated as a career choice, it just happened, an accidental discovery of a talent and a passion.” A passion that has taken him in many directions from explorations of the zombie subculture and zombie stories to political advocacy. Joining the U.S. Air Force right out of high school, Jon had the opportunity to experience many different parts of the world and different cultures. His post military career path, both white collar and blue collar, allowed him to work alongside both CEOs and average Joes. As a founding member Cold Dead Hands his study of human nature and writing ability found a purpose. His zombie roots provided a variety of issues from prepping to human behavior under crisis to firearms that he applies to his advocacy for gun rights. A ravenous appetite for the study of history combined with his current events political junkie addiction led to him writing an e-book Gun Sense: Past, Present and Future.