Good job, police and US Attorney's office in Alaska. Indictments have just been handed down against Daniel Cox and Simon McCamy for possessing firearms.
Now as I'm a serious pro-gun guy, the thought of my fellow pro-gun Americans facing jail for such a thing would normally have me very upset. However in this case, since both Cox and McCamy are convicted felons, I very much approve.
The U.S. Attorney's office says Cox was found in possession of a firearm while in Anchorage last November, but has three felony convictions for drug misconduct, robbery and theft. McCamy was found with a firearm on three different occasions during a two-month period between last August and October, and each time is a violation after his previous felony conviction for driving under the influence. So now Cox is looking at ten years, and McCamy is looking at ten years times three--one hit for each occurrence. And I know that some of the whackos that infest the gun forums out there will not agree, but I hope they both get some time out of this.
You see, I'm one of those Americans who obeys the laws. I respect my fellow citizens and do not victimize or endanger them. I don't murder, rape, steal, rob people at gunpoint, deal or even use drugs, or habitually drive drunk. More to the point, I don't consider the small minority of people who do these things to be my peers or people that I want to see going around armed. Frankly, it's specifically because of people like this that I and other law-abiding Americans own guns. So for me to support the idea that these fools have some sort of undeniable right to own guns is ludicrous.
I have such a right. My friends and most people that I know have that right, too. It's the right guaranteed to us by the Second Amendment. But that right, like all of the others, is not absolute. It was written to ensure the right of the individual citizen to stand up with other members of his community against any threat to himself or that community, and it's generally accepted that it was meant as a defense against the tyranny of either a foreign government or our own if if becomes abusive, but I don't think that anyone would disagree that it was also meant to protect the right of the citizen to protect himself and his property from the garden-variety violent criminals that were as much a problem in the 1700's as they are today. I cannot imagine our Founding Fathers all agreeing that King George's troops should have an equal right to use firearms to oppress the citizens of the newly-created "America", and neither can I imagine them saying that the highwaymen and other career criminals who preyed on the traveler, the homeowner, or the shopkeeper in that day were entitled to that consideration.
To they contrary, I personally hold that such criminals, by their own actions, set themselves apart from the citizenry at large and become a separate and distinct class. They are not us any more. They are the enemy of every law-abiding American, just as King George's troops once were. As such, certain rights and privileges that belong to the law-abiding American citizen no longer apply to them. We as a nation decided long ago that it wasn't in this nation's interest to let felons vote or own dangerous weapons, as these people have proven that they cannot be trusted and they lack the honor, integrity and/or judgment to do the right thing. Now in recent years, the Democrats have chosen to return to many felons the right to vote, since that sort of person overwhelmingly votes Democrat, but there aren't many of us who want to give felons the right to own firearms, particularly felons who are felons because they've misused firearms in the past. As far as I know, practically the only people who argue for the right of the convicted felon to be able to own firearms are convicted felons themselves, and the odd-ball Libertarian fringe nutters, most of whom also think that Ron Paul is Presidential material.
But I don't support convicted felons owning guns. I don't see them as my comrades-in-arms, standing ready to oppose any threat from invasion or civil unrest when Obama's policies crash our economy and curtail our liberties, nor do I see them as members of my local Neighborhood Watch. (Yeah, I really want to ask the local career burglar to watch my house when I go on vacation...) I actually feel better knowing that said burglar and the local drug dealer can be tossed right back into prison just for being caught with a gun in their possession. To me, it's another tool for getting unrepentant scumbags off of our streets, and as I'm 100% anti-scumbag, I'm good with that.
So I support keeping criminals disarmed by law, and jailing those who decide to arm themselves in defiance of the law. To that end, I'm glad to see Cox and McCamy off our streets, and hope to someday see every other Cox or McCamy clone out there scooped up and jailed as well. Criminals who are in prison for ten years following a "felon in possession" hit can't murder my friends, rob my favorite stores, carjack my mother, sell drugs to my neighbor's kids, or break into my house. And criminals who go around unarmed because they fear going to prison for one of those ten-year hits are much less of a threat to the community and much less likely to injure or kill someone that I care about.
So let's keep those prosecutions rolling, in Alaska and in the rest of the country as well. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms belongs to every law-abiding American, and I will aggressively defend the right of every law-abiding American to do just that, but those who use guns to prey on law-abiding Americans got nothing coming as far as I'm concerned. They chose to forfeit that right and they have no one to blame but themselves.