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Burr: Ease gun limits for vets (barf alert!)
The News & Observer ^ | Jul 25, 2008 | Barbara Barrett

Posted on 07/26/2008 7:25:44 PM PDT by neverdem

The senator's bill says a 'mentally defective' vet can buy a gun unless a judge finds him dangerous.

WASHINGTON - Since a severely mentally ill student went on a shooting spree at Virginia Tech last year, killing 32 people before turning a gun on himself, Congress and several states have worked to tighten rules on who can legally purchase a firearm.

But a push by U.S. Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina would prevent the federal veterans agency from adding the names of veterans declared "mentally defective" to a background check database unless the agency goes through the judicial system.

His bill would allow the agency to submit only the names of those declared dangerous by a judge, magistrate or other judicial authority.

The problem, Burr says, is that some veterans were added to the list not because they were a danger to themselves or others but because the Department of Veterans Affairs assigned them guardians to oversee their finances.

"This is a constitutional issue," said Burr, the top Republican on the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.

The national database is for criminals, Burr said, "not for folks who have trouble handling their own financial affairs."

The National Rifle Association and several veterans groups support Burr, but others fear the move could lead to an increase in gun deaths. Gun-control organizations argue that veterans have higher rates of suicide than non-veterans and might be more at risk.

"To take this group out of the system and give them ready access to guns, that's just not a good idea," said Kristen Rand, legislative director of the Violence Policy Center in Washington. "It's a sad fact that veterans have increased risk of suicide and increased risk of mass shootings, but that's reality."

With the highly publicized suicides of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, along with rising reports of warriors who suffer from mental trauma, the issue of taking away gun rights is sensitive.

Burr said he wants to protect Second Amendment rights, not give guns to the dangerously ill.

This summer he succeeded in getting his measure tacked on to a popular veterans health bill now headed to the Senate floor.

115,000 vets listed

In the past decade, the Department of Veterans Affairs has sent the names of about 115,000 veterans and their dependents to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, known as NICS, under an agreement with the FBI.

The names include those veterans found mentally incompetent or committed to a mental institution, but not others who are mentally ill, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The national log is the database that gun shops use to check the names of customers trying to purchase firearms. It was set up as part of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act in 1993.

Mark C. Seavey, a lobbyist for the American Legion, supports Burr's proposal and said it isn't right to lump veterans who can't manage their financial affairs into the group of people on the no-buy list.

He also worries about broadly stereotyping veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder but still have control of their affairs.

"We didn't want to stigmatize people," Seavey said. "It should be anybody who actually is a threat to themselves or others. I think veterans as individuals ought to be given the constitutional rights they fought for."

In debating Burr's measure recently, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, said he wants to fully respect veterans and their service. "I feel an obligation to veterans to respect what they've done and what they've given and how they've suffered," Rockefeller said in a meeting of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. "And it just causes me not to want to oppose the ... amendment. In fact I very strongly don't want to oppose it."


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: 110th; banglist; congress; mentalhealth; ptsd; richardburr; secondamendment; ussenate; virginiatech
I can't think of a more twisted headline.
1 posted on 07/26/2008 7:25:44 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem
"And it just causes me (Jay Rockefeller) not to want to oppose the ... amendment. In fact I very strongly don't want to oppose it."

But he will.

2 posted on 07/26/2008 7:40:00 PM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: Jarhead2844; USMCWriter; 1stbn27; 2111USMC; 2nd Bn, 11th Mar; 68 grunt; A.A. Cunningham; ASOC; ...

Ping


3 posted on 07/26/2008 8:17:53 PM PDT by freema (MarineNiece,Daughter,Wife,Friend,Sister,Friend,Aunt,Friend,Mother,Friend,Cousin, FRiend)
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To: neverdem

Since this was a push to have veterans with PTSD declared incompetent to possess a firearm, nobody has asked the big question: what are the behaviors associated with PTSD? That is, mental illness is not equal.

The diagnostic criteria for PTSD, per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (Text Revision) (DSM-IV-TR), may be summarized as:

A. Exposure to a traumatic event
B. Persistent reexperience (e.g. flashbacks, nightmares)
C. Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma (e.g. inability to talk about things even related to the experience. Avoidance of things and discussions that trigger flashbacks and reexperiencing symptoms. Fear of losing control.)
D. Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (e.g. difficulty falling or staying asleep, anger and hypervigilance )
E. Duration of symptoms more than 1 month
F. Significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning (e.g. problems with work and relationships.)

Of these, it seems that only “D. Anger”, might in any way present a problem with gun ownership. But this diagnosis would be fairly easy.

That is, “Are you angry?”, and if they say “Yes!”, they the health care worker would ask “Who are you angry at?”

If they replied “The Democrats!”, or “The Mainstream Media!”, then the treatment is conservatism, and there should be no problem with gun ownership.

However, if they said “That #^%*)$^#! I’m going to blow his @$##@ head off!”, then they should be examined further to determine if they are a threat to themselves or others.

This being a tiny, tiny minority of military personnel, gun ownership isn’t much of an issue, other than veterans should be encouraged to own a gun, as they are even more equipped than civilians in its proper safe use.


4 posted on 07/26/2008 8:22:50 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: neverdem

The failure was on the shrink for not putting him in the database.

Problem solved

Next


5 posted on 07/26/2008 9:18:16 PM PDT by wastedyears (Show me your precious darlings, and I will crush them all)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Under those guidelines — neither I, nor most of my closest friends would be permitted to own firearms...

Rest of post CENSORED.


6 posted on 07/27/2008 12:27:58 AM PDT by river rat (Semper Fi - You may turn the other cheek, but I prefer to look into my enemy's vacant dead eyes.)
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To: neverdem
The senator's bill says a 'mentally defective' vet can buy a gun unless a judge finds him dangerous.

I don't see why animal doctors should be treated differently from anyone else.

7 posted on 07/27/2008 6:45:37 AM PDT by Ron Jeremy (sonic)
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To: river rat

Well, according to what I wrote, if you or your friends go around telling other people you want to kill a particular individual, under a lot of circumstances that in itself could be considered a criminal act, whether you have a gun or not.

Add to that you’re speaking at the time to a psychiatrist evaluating you to see whether you are sane enough to be walking the street, and there is indeed a good chance you are either amazingly, dangerously honest, or it might not be a good idea for you to have a gun because you would be a danger to yourself or others.

Now granted, I knew a Marine who was so opposed to lying that he told me that if his wife asked him, he would tell her that yes, she does look fat. But he is far more likely to be a homicide victim than an aggressor. There are times when honesty is not the best policy.

However, the bottom line is that it can be diagnostic of serious mental illness if someone goes around telling others they want to kill a particular individual. It is a red flag, much as if they tell others that they want to kill themselves. It is not proof positive, but a very good reason to keep a watch on somebody.


8 posted on 07/27/2008 11:57:34 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Where in hell did you get the idea that I or my friends walk around announcing I or they wanted to kill someone in particular???

My comment was made on the CRITERIA used to determine PTSd:

A. Exposure to a traumatic event
B. Persistent reexperience (e.g. flashbacks, nightmares)
C. Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma (e.g. inability to talk about things even related to the experience. Avoidance of things and discussions that trigger flashbacks and reexperiencing symptoms. Fear of losing control.)
D. Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (e.g. difficulty falling or staying asleep, anger and hypervigilance )
E. Duration of symptoms more than 1 month
F. Significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning (e.g. problems with work and relationships.)

There are probably very few Grunts who have experienced combat - that didn’t suffer from at least several of those “symptom”.......for YEARS not the stated months.

I can name a few who STILL have nightmares, after 43 years!

If fact — If they didn’t - I would be far more suspicious of their sanity....

That criteria was obviously written by some jerk knee shrink with the objective of declaring almost ALL combat vets as being ineligible to own firearms...


9 posted on 07/27/2008 1:34:30 PM PDT by river rat (Semper Fi - You may turn the other cheek, but I prefer to look into my enemy's vacant dead eyes.)
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To: river rat

Apparently, you didn’t read the *rest* of what I wrote:

“Of these, it seems that only “D. Anger”, might in any way present a problem with gun ownership. But this diagnosis would be fairly easy.

That is, “Are you angry?”, and if they say “Yes!”, they the health care worker would ask “Who are you angry at?”

If they replied “The Democrats!”, or “The Mainstream Media!”, then the treatment is conservatism, and there should be no problem with gun ownership.

However, if they said “That #^%*)$^#! I’m going to blow his @$##@ head off!”, then they should be examined further to determine if they are a threat to themselves or others.

This being a tiny, tiny minority of military personnel, gun ownership isn’t much of an issue, other than veterans should be encouraged to own a gun, as they are even more equipped than civilians in its proper safe use.”

**********
Now, *that* is what I was talking about. Basically that NO, NONE, NADA veterans, most likely including YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS, should be prevented in ANY way from having guns.

The ONE exception being if they were going around threatening to KILL a person, and said so to a psychiatrist.

Make sense now?


10 posted on 07/27/2008 2:39:12 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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