I Went to Prison for Vehicular Homicide. Why Can't I Own a Gun?
THE LOST GENERATION
Dear Willie D:
Not long ago I was at a department store trying on clothes and overheard two girls in the dressing room next to me using the most foul language imaginable. When I walked out I was shocked to see they couldn't have been more than 13 years old. The fact that they were in the presence of an adult had no effect on their choice of words as they looked at me and continued to spew out expletives.
The way young people talk, dress and decorate their bodies with piercings and tattoos is baffling. They can't even attend school without fear of being shot by their classmates. I follow your Facebook postings religiously and you seem to be a staunch supporter of young people and their purpose in society. Unfortunately, I don't share your viewpoint. The youth of today is lost and I don't know what can be done to help them find their way.
I agree with you that great amounts of young people are lost, but I'm optimistic because many young people are respectful, have clear goals and know exactly where they're going in life. While it's important to support the ones who have found their way, we also have to help those who may be lost because they are also the future. The youth didn't just wake up one day and find themselves lost. The generation before them blindly led them and ran off without leaving a life compass.
Not saying it's applicable to you, but I find it odd that people who complain most about the condition of our youth are the ones who are least involved in mentoring, coaching, teaching and supporting them. When someone is lost and you're in the car you don't roll down the window, stick your head out and start screaming to people on the street that the person is lost. You do what you can to help them get on the right path to where they're going.
The youth are drivers of the future; everybody else is riding shotgun. If you're not going to help drive or provide navigation assistance, the least you can do is shut up and not be a distraction.
STILL PAYING DEBT TO SOCIETY
Dear Willie D:
I was charged, convicted and sent to prison in Texas for vehicular homicide. After serving five years in prison I was released and started the process of rebuilding my life. My sentence included three years' probation, which I completed in two years because I paid off my restitution and adhered to the imposed guidelines of the court. Because of my criminal record, I cannot possess a gun or vote even though I've paid my debt to society.
It's hard enough for a person with a felony to get a job and rent a nice apartment. I understand that I made a mistake, but at what point do I stop being penalized? This seems unconstitutional.
Unfortunately, in America if you are convicted of a felony you will be penalized for the rest of your life. In my opinion, whether you're allowed to reside at a rental property should have no bearing on your criminal record unless you are a killer or sexual predator. Likewise, it shouldn't matter if you have a fraud charge when filling out a job application unless you're applying for a financial position. And yes, when you do the crime and subsequently the time, your full rights and privileges as a citizen should be restored, including the right to bear arms.
People who have never been in the system are quick to say, "You shouldn't have done it" and they're right. But the reality is besides more jail time, what is the incentive for an ex-con to aspire to be a productive citizen if he's never going to have complete citizenship again? If states are going to indefinitely deny certain rights to a convicted felon who has righted his or her wrongs then they need to stop asking them to pay taxes and follow laws.
Taxation without representation is tyranny and not being allowed to own a gun to protect yourself and your family in the most dangerous industrialized country on the planet after you've paid your debt is just wrong. And political.
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