For John, BLUF: Yes, in some States a felony can be grounds for divorce by your spouse. Nothing to see here; just move along.
On City Life this morning Host George Anthes was on the City Council and the General Court over a move to making shooting into a house a felony, arguing that the term felony doesn't mean anything, that it is a distinction without a difference. To a large degree, in Massachusetts, that is true, but it is not entirely true.
I mentioned that someone with a felony couldn't get a commission as an officer in the US Armed Forces. I forgot to mention that it was an impediment to a liquor license here in the Commonwealth.
Here is a list of consequences from Wikipedia.
- Disenfranchisement (expressly permitted by the Fourteenth Amendment, as noted by the Supreme Court)
- Exclusion from obtaining certain licenses, such as a visa, or professional licenses required to legally operate (making some vocations off-limits to felons)
- Exclusion from purchase and possession of firearms, ammunition, and body armor
- Ineligibility to serve on a jury
- Ineligibility for government assistance or welfare, including being barred from federally funded housing
- Deportation (if not a citizen)
Making discharge of a weapon in the City a felony will have consequences for those arrested, tried and convicted, its impact on local shooters is likely to be minimal. I expect most shooters don't care about an exclusion from the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition. They probably obtained both from illegal sources and figure they will be able to in the future. I doubt such people would care about not being able to get a license to run a small business.
For sure, Host George Anthes is correct in saying it is time to stop doing "feel good" legislation and to move on to fixing the chain of actions from investigation of a crime, arrest, interrogation, indictment, prosecution, trial, conviction, sentencing and rehabilitation. And he is correct that Judges are a big part of the problem, but so are the Prosecutors. The Prosecutors are the ones who cut the deals that result in criminals not feeling the full force of the law.
Regards — Cliff