Skip to comments.As Senate Reconvenes... Veterans Disarmament Bill Offers False Hopes Of Relief For Gun
Posted on 09/05/2007 3:59:47 PM PDT by processing please hold
Patrick Henry had it right. Forget the past, and you're destined to make the same mistakes in the future.
Gun control has been an absolute failure. Whether it's a total gun ban or mere background checks, gun control has FAILED to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
But gun control fanatics still want to redouble their efforts, even when their endeavors have not worked. Congress is full of fanatics who want to expand the failed Brady Law to such an extent that millions of law-abiding citizens will no longer be able to own or buy guns.
For months, GOA has been warning gun owners about the McCarthy-Leahy bill -- named after Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). These anti-gun legislators have teamed up to introduce a bill that will expand the 1993 Brady Law and disarm hundreds of thousands of combat veterans -- and other Americans. (While McCarthy and Leahy are this year's primary sponsors, the notorious Senator Chuck Schumer of New York was a sponsor of this legislation in years past.)
Proponents of the bill tell us that it will bring relief for many gun owners. But to swallow this, one must first ignore the fact that gun owners would NOT NEED RELIEF in the first place if some gun owners (and gun groups) had not thrown their support behind the Brady bill that passed in 1993 and were not pushing the Veterans Disarmament Bill now.
Law-abiding Americans need relief because we were sold a bill of goods in 1993. The Brady Law has allowed government bureaucrats to screen law-abiding citizens before they exercise their constitutionally protected rights -- and that has opened the door to all kinds of abuses.
The McCarthy-Leahy bill will open the door to many more abuses. After all, do we really think that notorious anti-gunners like McCarthy and Leahy had the best interests of gun owners in mind when they introduced this Veterans Disarmament Bill? The question answers itself.
TRADE-OFF TO HURT GUN OWNERS
Proponents want us to think this measure will benefit many gun owners. But what sort of trade off is it to create potentially millions of new prohibited persons -- under this legislation -- and then tell them that they need to spend thousands of dollars to regain the rights THAT WERE NOT THREATENED before this bill was passed?
Do you see the irony? Gun control gets passed. The laws don't stop criminals from getting guns, but they invariably affect law-abiding folks. So instead of repealing the dumb laws, the fanatics argue that we need even more gun control (like the Veterans Disarmament Bill) to fix the problem!!!
So more people lose their rights, even while they're promised a very limited recourse for restoring those rights -- rights which they never would lose, save for the McCarthy-Leahy bill.
The legislation threatens to disqualify millions of new gun owners who are not a threat to society. If this bill is signed into law:
* As many as a quarter to a third of returning Iraq veterans could be prohibited from owning firearms -- based solely on a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder;
* Your ailing grandfather could have his entire gun collection seized, based only on a diagnosis of Alzheimer's (and there goes the family inheritance);
* Your kid could be permanently banned from owning a gun, based on a diagnosis under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Patrick Henry said he knew of "no way of judging of the future but by the past." The past has taught us that gun control fanatics and bureaucrats are continually looking for loopholes in the law to deny guns to as many people as possible.
GUN CONTROL'S ABOMINABLE RECORD
A government report in 1996 found that the Brady Law had prevented a significant number of Americans from buying guns because of outstanding traffic tickets and errors. The General Accounting Office said that more than 50% of denials under the Brady Law were for administrative snafus, traffic violations, or reasons other than felony convictions.
Press reports over the years have also shown gun owners inconvenienced by NICS computer system crashes -- especially when those crashes happen on the weekends (affecting gun shows).
Right now, gun owners in Pennsylvania are justifiably up in arms because the police scheduled a routine maintenance (and shut-down) of their state computer system on the opening days of hunting season this year. The shut-down, by the way, has taken three days -- which is illegal.
And then there's the BATFEs dastardly conduct in the state of Wyoming. The anti-gun agency took the state to court after legislators figured out a way to restore people's ability to buy firearms -- people who had been disarmed by the Lautenberg gun ban of 1996.
Gun Owners Foundation has been involved in this Wyoming case, and has seen up close how the BATFE has TOTALLY DISREGARDED a Supreme Court opinion which allows this state to do what they did. In Caron v. United States (1998), the U.S. Supreme Court said that any conviction which has been set aside or expunged at the state level "shall not be considered a conviction," under federal law, for the purposes of owning or buying guns. But the BATFE has ignored this Court ruling, and is bent on preventing states like Wyoming from restoring people's gun rights.
Not surprisingly, the BATFE has issued new 4473s which ASSUME the McCarthy-Leahy bill has already passed. The bill has not even been enacted into law yet, and the BATFE is already using the provisions of that bill to keep more people from buying guns.
The new language on the 4473 form asks:
Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective (which includes a determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that you are a danger to yourself or to others or are incompetent to manage your own affairs)....
Notice the words "determination" and "other lawful authority." Relying on a DETERMINATION is broader than just relying on a court "ruling," and the words OTHER LAWFUL AUTHORITY are not limited to judges. In other words, the definition above would allow a VA psychologist or a school shrink to take away your gun rights.
This is what McCarthy and Leahy are trying to accomplish, but the BATFE has now been emboldened to go ahead and do it anyway. This means that military vets could potentially commit a felony by buying a gun WITHOUT disclosing that they have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome because a "lawful authority" has decreed that they are a potential danger to themselves or others.
No wonder the Military Order of the Purple Heart is opposed to the McCarthy-Leahy bill. On June 18 of this year, the group stated, "For the first time the legislation, if enacted, would statutorily impose a lifetime gun ban on battle-scarred veterans."
MORE RESTRICTIONS, NOT RELIEF
Supporters, like the NRA, say that they were able to win compromises from the Dark Side -- compromises that will benefit gun owners. Does the bill really make it easier to get your gun rights restored -- even after spending lots of time and money in court? Well, that's VERY debatable, and GOA has grappled this question in a very lengthy piece entitled, Point-by-Point Response to Proponents of HR 2640.
In brief, the McClure-Volkmer of 1986 created a path for restoring the Second Amendment rights of prohibited persons. But given that Chuck Schumer has successfully pushed appropriations language which has defunded this procedure since the 1990s (without significant opposition), it is certainly not too difficult for some anti-gun congressman like Schumer to bar the funding of any new procedure for relief that follows from the McCarthy-Leahy bill.
Incidentally, even before Schumer blocked the procedure, the ability to get "relief from disabilities" under section 925(c) was always an expensive long shot. Presumably, the new procedures in the Veterans Disarmament Act will be the same.
Isn't that always the record from Washington? You compromise with the devil and then get lots of bad, but very little good. Look at the immigration debate. Compromises over the last two decades have provided amnesty for illegal aliens, while promising border security. The country got lots of the former, but very little of the latter.
If the Veterans Disarmament Bill passes, don't hold your breath waiting for the promised relief.
ACTION: Please use the letter below to contact your Senator. You can use the pre-written message below and send it as an e-mail by visiting the GOA Legislative Action Center (where phone and fax numbers are also available).
Is This True??
All this GOA hyperbole is going to end up hurting our gun rights more than it helps.
Listening to the radio, Jerry Doyle, on the drive home from work today.
A great audio clip, from the man himself....spoken with such passion...
....From my cold, dead hands....
Made my day.
From all I read-yes. That’s what makes it such an abomination.
I’m so surprised these strident pro military members would do such a thing.
This is a slap in the face of every veteran. Veterans should rise up and yell loud enough for our Congress in DC to hear, “HELL NO YOU DON’T!”
I’ll join them.
Which group was more accurately descriptive of the 1996 Lautenberg Abomination before or after its passage? GOA or NRA?
FReepmail to be added to the Congress Watch Ping List.
"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?"-Patrick Henry
We're on the same side here, but I honestly don't think they are helping.
Section 2 findings-(B).
If a soldiers has stress disorder, I believe he's out of luck. Maybe I interpreted it wrong.
Push, meet Shove.
No ... it doesn’t. It specifically doesn’t.
(C) the adjudication, determination, or commitment, respectively, is based solely on a medical finding of disability, without a finding that the person is a danger to himself or to others or that the person lacks the mental capacity to manage his own affairs.
It’s a bad deal all around.
Absolutely not. H.R. 2640 doesnt ban anyone from owning gunsit only makes records available on those who are already prohibited persons."
"Some critics of H.R. 2640 claim that BATFEs regulation would impose a gun ban based on any psychiatrists diagnosis that a person [i]s a danger to himself or to others or [l]acks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs. But thats not true, because basic legal definitions mean that an adjudication can only come from a court or similar body. As cosponsor Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) said in the Congressional Record, adjudication is a formal process, not just a doctors notes on a patients charts."
Some have asked if H.R. 2640 would prohibit gun ownership by veteransfor instance, those who return from war with conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder. The answer, fortunately, is No. For all the same reasons a psychiatrists diagnosis cant ban gun ownership, an evaluation by Veterans Administration (VA) or other doctors isnt an adjudication or commitment under federal law. In fact, H.R. 2640 aims to fix problems for veterans and their families. During the Clinton administration, the VA started sending information to NICS on veterans (and veterans family members) who had representatives appointed to handle their benefit checks. The VA treated these records as adjudications, but supporters of H.R. 2640 disagree. Rep. Daniel Lungren (R-Calif.) denounced the VAs overreach and pointed out that H.R. 2640 would allow wrongly listed veterans to seek restoration of their rights.
[Note: If you are a veteran and have been denied a gun purchase due to the VAs actions, please call NRA-ILAs Legislative Counsel at (703) 267-1160.]
The NRA has done more to hurt gun rights than to uphold them. Heck, Mayor Fenty has done more in the last year for gun owners than the NRA has done in the last thirty years!
I’ve had more than enough of seeing the NRA in action in places like Richmond, Virginia where they singlehandedly got good pro-gun legislation shot down because they hadn’t been the ones to get it introduced.
After their multiple attempts at derailing the Parker/Heller case, I finally got fed up with it. I won’t give the NRA the time of day ever again.
now add to all those alleged cases of “PTSD” the MASSIVE number of kids who have been “diagnosed” by the NEA branch of the Brady Bunch with ADHD over the last 20 years or so......oh yeh....then there’s all those “bipolars”, too.....it’s neverending, the deviousness and planning these people put into their schemes
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.