BELLEVUE, WA â€“ Reports that state lawmakers are considering the release of thousands of prison inmates across the country to save money amount to a public outrage, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.
The Associated Press reported Friday morning that legislators in several states are considering the move to prop up state budgets. One report said those released might include â€œdrug addicts, thieves and even violent criminals.â€
â€œBefore we waste time wondering what raving lunatics are behind this idea,â€ said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, so-author of America Fights Back: Armed Self-Defense in a Violent Age, published by Merril Press, â€œit seems more prudent to advise the citizens who are faced with this ominous proposal that now would be a good time to start exercising their constitutional right to keep and bear arms. After all, the message that this sends to the public seems pretty simple: If you donâ€™t own a gun, get one. If youâ€™re not licensed to carry, you better apply now because cash-strapped state lawmakers obviously donâ€™t care about the crime wave theyâ€™re about to unleash.â€
At least eight states, according to the report, are considering early inmate releases to save money. The list includes Kentucky, California, Mississippi and Rhode Island; all states with serious budget crises on their hands.
â€œThis idea is beyond crazy,â€ Gottlieb observed. â€œIt borders on criminal malfeasance. With all the billions of dollars that Americans pay in taxes, it is both alarming and pathetic that legislatures find themselves without the funds to provide basic public safety, and that includes funding prisons to keep criminals where they belong, instead of turning them loose to prey on the public. Maybe instead of releasing hardened criminals, state governments should release a lot of bureaucrats to the unemployment lines. Lawmakers whose wasteful spending practices put their budgets in this mess ought to be held accountable in November.
â€œThis is a wake-up call for all taxpayers â€“ gun owners and non-gun owners alike â€“ to start asking some very tough questions about how lawmakers are spending their money,â€ he concluded. â€œIn the meantime, realizing that local police are already outmanned and stretched to the limit, citizens will have to take a greater responsibility for their own safety, and that includes being armed. The same lawmakers who typically support laws to take our guns are now leaving the public with no alternative but to arm themselves.â€