Have you heard the news? Veterans may be targeted by new administrative gun control measure. I saw it first on The Daley Gator, but just read a piece by Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom who elaborated quite a bit on where this is all headed.
Before I excerpt Jeff’s great article, I must say as a Veteran, I’m deeply offended that our government would cast aspersions at our Veterans by suggesting that they might have issues that would preclude them from exercising their Second Amendment rights.
How would you feel if you received a letter from the U.S. Government informing you that because of a physical or mental condition that the government says you have it is proposing to rule that you are incompetent to handle your own financial affairs? Suppose that letter also stated that the government is going to appoint a stranger to handle your affairs for you at your expense? That would certainly be scary enough but it gets worse.
What if that letter also stated: “A determination of incompetency will prohibit you from purchasing, possessing, receiving, or transporting a firearm or ammunition. If you knowingly violate any of these prohibitions, you may be fined, imprisoned, or both pursuant to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, Pub.L.No. 103-159, as implemented at 18, United States Code 924(a)(2).”?
That makes is sound like something right from a documentary on a tyrannical dictatorship somewhere in the world. Yet, as I write this I have a copy of such a letter right in front of me.
First, let me say this: I don’t find this shocking in the least. In fact, what this is is a kind of trial balloon / test run for what we can expect once “common sense” “universal background checks” tied to government-mandated databases from both the mental health professionals and, thanks to ObamaCare, the rest of your doctors, who will report your prescription drug use, are collated in order to find the “defectives”.
Having said that, there is little doubt that some vets will be mentally shattered and should probably be under psychiatric care until such time that they are ready to re-enter society safely. Even still, there will be workarounds.
The problem here, though, is one of conflation: any doubt that some bureaucratically-contrived matrix will be used to suggest that those private citizens on, say, anti-depressants, or anti-convulsives — because of the potential side-effects (like suicidal tendencies in some, mostly teens) — are to be prohibited from gun ownership as well? Or that those who’ve experienced bouts of anxiety be ruled dangers? Or that, per the NIH and DHS, those who have adopted such crazy, extremist ideas as a desire for limited government and individual autonomy aren’t deemed dangerous, fringe, and — as potential domestic terrorists — relieved of their natural rights? For the greater good?
Make no mistake: this is what unprincipled Republicans like McCain, Coburn, Cantor, and Kirk are agreeing to — regardless of what “safeguards” they pretend they’ll add to their push to give the New Left bi-partisan cover for a universal background check or magazine bans that serve to empower the police over law-abiding citizens who are, constitutionally-speaking, their equal in terms of the right to keep and bear arms — and the end game will be a winnowing down of those “permitted” by the government to exercise their natural rights.
Meaning “shall not be infringed” will have become, through legislative slight of hand and the slow erosion of the Second Amendment in the Courts, “shall not be infringed unless the government says it can and must be. For the children.”
This has nothing to do with the children. This all about control.
Update: In the interests of objective journalism, I must post a link and partial excerpt from This Aint Hell, thanks to poster John at PW;
Yesterday, someone sent us a link to a post at Red Flag News about a letter that’s going out to some veterans in regards to the finding that they are not considered competent enough to handle their own financial affairs and that the VA reporting their names to the NICS system for background checks. I made a snap judgement yesterday by reading the overblown description of the letter by the blogger, who claims to be a lawyer, and guessed that the post was bullshit. Today he has posted the actual letter and here’s the relevant paragraph;
If a guy is to the point where he’s having problems with his finances, the VA (usually under a request from the family) will put a vet in for Guardianship. Again, this is *usually* but not always a request from the family. It wouldn’t be everyone with PTSD, not everyone even at 100%. But what it does is allows VA to pay the family, who in turn has to pay the guys/gals bills. Different things kick in then to ensure the money is appropriately spent. That also is fraught with trouble.
Now, at that time the vet can ask for a hearing, provide evidence, and do all the other happy Due Process stuff.
The change here is that this didn’t automatically send the names to NICS. And in my opinion is probably unconstitutional. The NICS statutes say that the person has to be a threat to himself or others. But the Guardianship thing in VA regs doesn’t say that, only that they are incompetent with regards to handling their money. For years we’ve kept the VA from reporting those names because of the differences. Seemingly they have changed that now. There is a bill to correct that.
For what it’s worth, Shinseki has said that the VA is not reporting those veterans to the NICS system, this seems to be a change in procedure. But the letter, despite the breathless reporting by this lawyer dude at the blog, explains to the veteran to whom the letter is addressed how to avoid being ruled incompetent.
By the way, I looked up the cite from 18 USC 942(a)(2) which merely refers to 18 USC 922(a)(6) which, in turn says you can’t lie when you buy a gun – so all of that legal crap doesn’t say anything we don’t know and it has nothing to do with being a mentally incapacitated veteran.
But, basically, what the letter doesn’t say is that the VA is disarming veterans arbitrarily. Don’t let this letter be the reason you don’t go to the VA to get the treatment you need and earned. I doubt very much that any of you are being supervised by a fiduciary, anyway. And I’m sure if one of you had got this letter, I would have had a copy by now.
By the way Tom Coburn and The American Legion is working to get the law changed. The article from 2007 shows that this issue is with the VA not with Obama since TAL has been fighting the law since pre-Obama days.
Like Jonn said, I’ve been involved in this issue for 10 years, so it’s not an “Obama thing.” This predates him even being elected to the Senate.
I don’t think I have ever done this, but I wanted to include a comment from Twitchy from “Gothguy.” I hope he doesn’t mind, but he said EVERYTHING that I would have said, and about 30 times more eloquently. PLEASE READ IT BEFORE HYPERVENTILATING.
There’s more here.