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The process is a punishment

I was recently having a discussion about voting against Rick Scott in the Republican primary in the contest to replace Bill Nelson. When I stated that I will never support that gun grabbing RINO, one of the commenters in the discussion remarked that I must support crazy people and 18 year olds having weapons.
First off, 18 year olds have rights as American citizens, just like the rest of us.

Second, I will tell you why I am against GVROs.
In 2014, a woman that I had dated filed for a Domestic Violence restraining order, claiming that I was stalking her. There was a hearing that was held without my knowledge or presence. I had not spoken with, nor had any contact with this woman for four months, yet she went to the courthouse and filed for an injunction. The first I knew of it was when a Deputy arrived at my house and served me with the order.

In it, she alleged that we lived together (we did not), and that I was stalking her (I was not), and that I showed up at her workplace and got her fired. There were no allegations that I committed any violent act, nor any claims that I threatened any violent acts. The basis of her claim was that I owned a lot of guns, and she was afraid that I might “snap” one day.

 I was a prohibited person. I was not allowed to possess firearms or ammunition. My concealed weapons permit was revoked. It took three weeks, two hearings, half a dozen witnesses, an attorney, as well as dash cam footage and toll receipts, and over $2,000 in legal fees to show that I was nowhere near her on the days she claimed I was stalking her and clear my name.

To protect myself from any allegations of violating the restraining order, I left the country/state for two weeks. I went into exile. I traveled to Atlanta, then I went to St Martin, St Thomas, and to the Bahamas. I can prove that I was nowhere near her for those three weeks, because I had receipts from ICE showing I was not in the country.

I finally cleared my name, but it was an important lesson in the US court system.

All it takes is one pissed off ex-girlfriend making an allegation, and you are screwed. Is there any reason to believe that GVROs will be different?

One reply on “The process is a punishment”

FWIW, I think this is one of the most worrisome trends of our times. It's criminalization of everyone with no notice and no due process. If everyone can be made a felon, everyone becomes a prohibited person.

A few years ago, massive numbers of divorces suddenly became characterized by some allegation of sex offenses; again, one person's word, no process, no chance to defend oneself.

I assume you're familiar with the "Three Felonies a Day" concept (and book) by Harvey Silvergate; it's making that even worse.

It seems the default nowadays is to have multiple felonies that can be thrown at anyone, at prosecutor's discretion. Then they can plea bargain, get the person to give up to save their family, and the prosecutor claims the victory.

The process often is the punishment.

Compared to an individual, the prosecutor has almost infinite advantage. First, they have a practically unlimited checkbook and can outspend any normal person into oblivion. Second, for normal people, being thrown into the legal system is a horrific thing in itself – not to mention being thrown into jail. The prosecutors live in the system. It's home field. They're in the system and in the courts every day.

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