At first glance, most of those who are in favor of gun ownership and gun rights(myself included) are raising their eyebrows and saying "not a good idea". We have a Constitutional right to bear arms and DWI or any other similar infraction shouldn't have an impact on that right. Is speeding next? What about texting and driving? Those too are acts of irresponsibility and the same argument could be made. If we're irresponsible to break those laws, should gun ownership be questioned? Where would it stop?
But let's return to the DWI scenario. I think it's different. And here's why.
While there are numerous incidents of a one-time DWI chalked up by the person who got behind the wheel for the first time in their life under the influence, the statistics tell a different story. Most who are stopped for DWI and ultimately convicted, have done the deed before. Numerous times. They just weren't caught. That's certainly not responsible behavior, but furthermore, do we want guns in the hands of a portion of the population that has a high likelihood of having a problem with alcohol? Unlike speeding or texting, alcohol impacts judgment. Having good and rational judgment has a great deal to do with responsible use of a firearm.
Before you start to cry "liberal" on me, Because that's far from the case, just think about this a bit further. I'm not ready to take away the right to own a gun for a DWI. But would suspending that right to bear arms for a period of time upon a DWI conviction(and certainly repeat convictions) be such a crazy thing?
I clearly support the right to bear arms and have demonstrated a willingness to stand behind that with actions. But I also am surrounded by gun owners who preach responsible ownership and I'm willing to discuss and leave the door open to suspending the right to gun possession from individuals who demonstrate problem drinking.
The knee-jerk response seems to be a loud scream that it's infringing on my rights. But I question the judgment of anyone who at least won't think this through and see a connection between the dangers of holding a gun and abusing alcohol. It's just a different weapon from the one they drove under the influence.
Let's have a discussion and see where this goes. It certainly could have an impact on the outcome of the race for Erie County Sheriff.