‘IF MARYLAND FELONS CAN VOTE, CAN THEY ALSO OWN GUNS,’ CCRKBA ASKS MARRIOTT

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

BELLEVUE, WA – Maryland Delegate Salima Siler Marriott wants to restore voting rights to convicted murderers, rapists and armed robbers, so would she support legislation that restores gun rights to people convicted of assorted crimes as well?

That’s the question posed by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) after Marriott, a black Baltimore Democrat, launched her latest campaign to allow felons to vote in Maryland. According to a story in the Washington Times, an estimated 150,000 convicted felons would be able to cast ballots if Marriott’s plan becomes law. By no small coincidence, the newspaper noted, an estimated 85,000 of these felons are likely to vote for Democrats, according to the penal reform organization Justice Maryland.

“Each year, thousands of Americans discover that, because of some conviction years ago, perhaps when they were juveniles, they can no longer legally own a firearm,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “Others find themselves stripped of their gun rights by some misdemeanors, without ever having been convicted of a felony. We’re talking about people victimized by insidious gun laws, people who have frequently become model citizens in their communities.

“Yet, here comes Delegate Marriott with a scheme to re-enfranchise tens of thousands of violent, hardened criminals simply because she thinks most of them will vote for her party,” Gottlieb observed. “Evidently, some politicians can’t help but strive for a new low when it comes to scraping up votes. However, nobody ever accused liberal Democrats of being consistent on matters of public policy.

“Owning a firearm is as much a civil right as casting a vote,” Gottlieb said. “If a person has paid his or her debt to society and Marriott believes they should once again assume the responsibilities of citizenship by voting, then shouldn’t people also be allowed to exercise their Second Amendment rights as well?

“The Bill of Rights is an all-or-nothing proposition,” he said. “If Marriott can trust a rapist or murderer with a vote, then shouldn’t we trust someone who may have been living an exemplary life after being convicted of some juvenile offense that may have been a victimless crime thirty years ago by allowing that person to own a gun?”