Lobbying groups the cause of armed felons
Published: Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 19:11
Like John Mellencamp, I was born in a small town without fears and in a town where everyone knew your name--as well as if you were hiding something. Everyone was family.
The little town of Endicott, Washington was that friendly small town you'd like to live in until one night in Feb. of 2005 when a convicted felon named Erik Zettergren, under the influence of alcohol, shot and killed a man with a Glock-17 semiautomatic handgun.
This was the first homicide in Endicott in 30 years; however, if not for a judge's ruling two months earlier, this incident would likely have never happened.
Although Zettergren had two felony convictions and a history of mental health problems, he was still given his right to bear arms, which he happily accepted by claiming back several guns his friend held for him.
While federal law strictly forbids felons from bearing arms, at least 11 states have allowed felons from across the country to almost automatically regain their gun rights once released or after a certain amount of time, thanks in large part to the National Riffle Association and other local gun-worshipping groups.
Of course Fox News and conservative talk radio are hiding stories like this one I found in the New York Times because, number one, they hate actual reporters and columnists who are smarter than them and who can read, but more importantly, if conservative media actually told their gun paranoid audience that the NRA doesn't care about them (like most lobbying groups) and are responsible for the death of more than one innocent human being, you have to wonder what the outcome would be.
According to the data provided by the state police and court system, since 1995 more than 3,300 felons and people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors have regained their gun rights in that the state of Washington, and 13 percent of them have since committed felonies that range from assault, child rape, drive-by shootings to even murder.
Even felons who have regained their firearm rights have pled to our politicians, local and federal, to be more aggressive in their approach on gun rights. One of them regained his gun rights after only a brief hearing without the participation of local politicians.
Given this awful truth, and seeing that Republicans are too afraid of losing a base they shouldn't waste their time trying to please, I have proposed a federal law that will enhance reasonable gun control in America.
In this new law, convicted felons are strictly forbidden from bearing arms and no state will be allowed to trump that law with one of their own.
Mentally ill people will also be banned from carrying firearms and all Americans who turn 18 will be forced to undergo evaluations to see if they are mentally capable of taking on the responsibility of bearing arms that in the wrong hands could kill someone.
No gun rights will be granted to people who refuse the evaluation.
The NRA is as much responsible here as Erik Zettergren was because their aggressive agenda gave this convicted felon too much freedom that he didn't deserve.
The same fate happened last year to William James Holisky II of Minnesota, a stalker who terrorized women, who regained his gun rights six months after completing a three year sentence for firing a shotgun in the home of a woman who broke up with him who was with her son at the time of the shooting.
Or Charles C. Hairston of Cleveland, Ohio who was convicted of first degree murder in North Carolina in 1971 for shooting a grocery store owner in the head with a shotgun, and who corrupted a minor in 1995. He also regained his gun rights.
The NRA is an evil and criminal organization that I refuse to support because the lives of innocent human beings matter more to me than if some violent sociopath gets their gun rights back because the Constitution said he could.
I'll also propose this excellent proposal: If the Republicans want to repeal any portion (or all) of the 14th Amendment then they have to let the Democrats repeal the 2nd Amendment so we can implement my federal law, which will no doubt work, but also put me on the short list for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Alex is a junior majoring in communication. He enjoys going to concerts, going to Starbucks, listening to his Sirius Satellite Radio, going to the movies, swimming and playing games like UNO and Monopoly. His favorite musicians are R.E.M., Bon Jovi, Elton John and Kenny G. His favorite magazines are Mother Jones, Newsweek and Rolling Stone, which he loves to pick up at the campus bookstore.