A Modest Proposal for Felons’ Rights

Socialist savant Bernie Sanders has propounded, and Senator cum footwear model Kamala Harris has endorsed, the notion that felons ought to be able to vote.  

After all, to deny the vote to anyone at all is, in Sanders’ memorable phrase, “running down a slippery slope.”

Perhaps this is so.

If it is indeed true, however, the same standard needs to apply to all civil rights, not merely to the right to help direct the world’s most powerful government in its decision-making.  Prisoners ought to be secure in their persons – protected from search and seizure, for instance. They also ought to be able freely to assemble, and not restricted from one another’s company.  Prisons are full of walls which keep people apart. And we know what the Left thinks of walls.

Most importantly, if prisoners have the right to vote, surely they have the right to keep and bear arms.  

Statistically, prisons (like Democrat-run cities) are among of the most dangerous places in the United States. Denying the right to keep and bear arms to our most vulnerable citizens, merely because they are convicted felons in our penitentiaries, clearly is a travesty of justice. They ought to be allowed the arms they need to protect themselves in a dangerous environment.  Consider that an ordinary, law-abiding American in a peaceful and prosperous Midwestern town, may purchase a high-powered rifle he’ll never need—while a felon in constant fear for his life, must rely on an improvised shiv. Privilege, much?!

A few keen observers might note that a dangerous inequality might exist if only those prisoners who already had firearms, were able to keep them.  That’s true. So jJust as we must make sure that all prisoners, from marijuana possession offenders to serial murderers, should be able to vote, we must arm them all equally. A government-provided handgun with adequate ammunition should be issued each newly-admitted prisoner along with his voter registration.

This concrete affirmation of the prisoner’s rights ought, of course, to remain with him upon release.
Many ex-prisoners fall victim to violence after their period of incarceration. Don’t we owe them a head start in the struggle for survival, especially in “Trump’s America”?  Let each released felon keep his government-issued pistol.

Some old-fashioned opponents of civil rights for all, are sure to point out that a few of these firearms might be misused. After all, with a pistol, you can rob or harm someone.

Ah, but with the vote, you can rob and harm EVERYONE.  So anyone who can be trusted with either, might as well be entrusted with both.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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