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Mental Illness Gets too Much Room to Grow
StarTribune ^ | January 14 | Rich Stanek

Posted on 01/15/2013 7:01:58 AM PST by Conservaliberty

Gun control alone will not solve the complex problem of guns and extreme violence. We have an access problem. The mentally ill should never have access to guns.

Eight of the nine killers in mass shootings in the United States in 2012 had a history of mental illness or suffered from untreated mental illness. Their families, friends, classmates, teachers or coworkers knew something was wrong.

The mass murders (defined by the FBI as four or more murders during one incident) occurred across the country -- including one right here in Minneapolis -- and targeted schools, movie theaters, stores, religious facilities and businesses, leaving 72 dead and 74 wounded. Two of the killers used assault rifles, but seven used handguns. And seven of the nine had access to legally purchased guns.

Many have called for a ban on military-style weapons, large ammunition magazines and more. The nation should consider a comprehensive federal policy.

But gun control alone will not solve the complex problem of guns and extreme violence. We have an access problem. The mentally ill should never have access to guns.

Federal law already prohibits high-risk individuals from buying guns -- persons determined by a court to be "mentally ill and dangerous," felons, drug addicts, fugitives, illegal aliens, dishonorably discharged soldiers, those who have renounced U.S. citizenship, and domestic abusers all are disqualified from gun ownership. The National Criminal Instant Background Check System (NICS) assists law enforcement in identifying the disqualified.

(Excerpt) Read more at startribune.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: banglist
This is just another piece joining the slew of others regarding mental health issues as it pertains to the shootings. I am absolutely steamed about this. As an American citizen who happens to have bipolar disorder, I refuse to be considered a second-class citizen because of my physiological condition. Yes, physiological as well as psychological, as bipolar is generally thought to be caused by a physiological lack of neurotransmitters. I am well treated and not violent.

Other recent articles posted to FR talk about how this is just a ploy to use mental illness as a ploy to take our guns. Not to mention, what about the families of mentally ill? So many people have harped on the mother of the Newtown shooter because she owned guns when her son had a mental illness.

Anyone remember that one case where they tried to hold the father of a bipolar (adult) son responsible because the son broke into his locked house--but the gun wasn't locked up?

You know, this sounds a lot like the mental hygiene stuff they tried in Germany a few decades ago...

I am NOT a second class citizen. Don't deny me my constitutional rights because I have an illness.

People who think that the democrats stand up for the disabled and whatnot are idiots.

Again, I am NOT a second class citizen. Don't take my rights, legislators. I should be able to defend myself like everyone else.

(at least I don't live in Minnesota)

1 posted on 01/15/2013 7:02:00 AM PST by Conservaliberty
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To: Conservaliberty

Soon enough, wanting a gun will be considered a mental illness. Then, a revolver, or any weapon that uses a magazine will be considered an assault weapon.


2 posted on 01/15/2013 7:07:44 AM PST by rashley (Rashley)
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To: Conservaliberty

The irony is that this can have the negative effect that those with mental illnesses will avoid getting help so they will not lose their ability to buy guns.

Alternatively certain mental illnesses without treatment will create a dangerous individual to others or themselves.


3 posted on 01/15/2013 7:13:26 AM PST by sickoflibs (Losing to O is NO principle!)
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To: Conservaliberty

What happens when someone wants to classify PMS as mental???


4 posted on 01/15/2013 7:15:14 AM PST by Scrambler Bob ( Concerning bo -- that refers to the president. If I capitalize it, I mean the dog.)
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To: Conservaliberty

Well said.


5 posted on 01/15/2013 7:15:14 AM PST by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: Conservaliberty
This is a flanking maneuver.

Do not disarm.

6 posted on 01/15/2013 7:32:30 AM PST by SENTINEL (Kneel down to God. Stand up to tyrants. STICK TO YOUR GUNS !)
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To: Scrambler Bob

Funny how you asked that question. For the first time in almost two decades the nation’s psychiatrists are “updating” their guidebook (Diagnosic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) used to diagnose mental disorders. Among the most controversial proposed changes: Dropping certain familiar terms like Asperger’s disorder and dyslexia and calling frequent, severe temper tantrums a mental illness. If a temper tantrum is a mental disorder...PMS must be certifiable.

I agree with the poster. There is a movement afoot to denigrate a HUGE chunk of the citizenry and EXPAND the definition of mental illness. It is a ploy to remove 2nd amendment rights without changing the constitution. Considering that 1 out of every 5 Americans is prescribed anti-psychosis, anti-depression, or anti-anxiety drugs, 18% of all cops diagnosed with PTSD (and treated with the same meds) and the epidemic of “mental illness” in active duty troops (top reason for military hospitalizations are “mental illness” in nature)...this is a large percentage of folks easily disarmed via mental health screening when applying for purchase permit/Concealed Carry.

Mix all this with ObamaCare, forced online medical records registry, and the “Executive Pen,” it begins to stink worse than Al Roker’s undershorts.


7 posted on 01/15/2013 7:36:52 AM PST by johnsmom (I must be dreaming 'cause this can't be real)
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To: Conservaliberty
I am NOT a second class citizen. Don't deny me my constitutional rights because I have an illness.

You are exactly right. And I am getting very weary of those on the Right, setting up a false dichotomy between the stupidity of the Left's anti-gun position and the idea that increased scrutiny of the mentally "ill" is the best approach to solving the problem.

Wayne LaPierre (head of the NRA) has repeatedly called for "an active national database of the mentally ill." On the face of it, there is something reasonable about that. But the problem starts when you start to draw the line on what constitutes a severe enough psychological disorder to get someone listed in the database. Is it just the paranoid schizophrenic? How about people with other dissociative disorders, or an oppositionally defiant child, or perhaps just ADHD? Depression? Bi-polar? Generalized anxiety disorder? Maybe impulse control issues, say pyromania or intermittent explosive disorder? Perhaps a pathological gambler or an overeater wouldn't make the list, but those are similar kinds of impulse control issues.

The problem is that the government would look to the American Psychiatric Association for guidance. Those are the same folks who (under political pressure) decided to remove homosexual behavior from it's list of disorders, and who consider sexual re-assignment surgery to be a procedure that the state should pay for in the case of prisoners. Sadly the APA has become too politically correct, who is to say what they would recommend as a threshold disorder, sufficient to land someone in the database?

Even worse it the not-so-far-fetched possibility that the government will simply come up with their own list—in consultation with white-coated experts, of course. But when the government does it, real problems ensue. You are right, this does begin to sound like the mental hygiene programs in Germany. And we should never forget the approach that was taken in the old Soviet Union (that may not have been changed today).

A crime is a deviation from generally recognized standards of behavior frequently caused by mental disorder. Can there be diseases, nervous disorders among certain people in a Communist society? Evidently yes. If that is so, then there will also be offences, which are characteristic of people with abnormal minds. Of those who might start calling for opposition to Communism on this basis, we can say that clearly their mental state is not normal.--Nikita Kruschev

The Left is clearly using this so-called crisis as an excuse to go after guns. Don't think for a moment that they will not use is as a way to start down the road of marginalizing whole classes of people until it becomes possible to simply make dissent a mental illness.

8 posted on 01/15/2013 7:39:21 AM PST by newheart (The greatest trick the left ever pulled was convincing the world it was not a religion.)
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To: johnsmom

“Funny how you asked that question. “

Yeah, I was only being a little smart, and living on the edge (PMS and all).

The comment that wanting a gun indicates you are mentally ill is not a joke. It is an extension of the (ill-) logic being used on us (and the uninformed).

Catch 22 (or maybe catch .45, if you prefer)


9 posted on 01/15/2013 7:44:31 AM PST by Scrambler Bob ( Concerning bo -- that refers to the president. If I capitalize it, I mean the dog.)
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To: Conservaliberty
There is entirely too much potential for scope creep if mental illness is used for background checks. 2nd amendment rights do not come from government and should not be controlled by government. Why should someone that is mentally ill lose their rights? What about the thousands of soldiers and marines with PTSD? I will even go as far as if someone has served their time for a crime should not be denied their right to self defense.

We don't have a gun problem. We have problems with some that are not treated for mental illness. We have a problem with repeat offenders ... lifelong criminals on the street. We have a problem with government being all things to all people while failing to deliver on its most basic missions.

10 posted on 01/15/2013 7:48:59 AM PST by ConservativeInPA
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To: sickoflibs

Our small city lost a young woman last weekend to an ex-boyfried. He stalked her for over a year and she asked the police for protection. She was afraid for her life. He shot her and dumped her body along the highway. He needed mental health attention and she needed a gun of her own. So sad.


11 posted on 01/15/2013 8:20:33 AM PST by raisincane (November 6, 2012 - I'm announcing my retirement at work; becoming a taker.)
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To: Conservaliberty
Do we use their own system against them, an American with Disabilities Act Attorney might want to take this all the way to the Supreme Court, even though we have Roberts...

I worked around former Soviet Jewish Refugees years ago. I learned then the Soviets used to use Mental Illness as a political tool, do I dare say we history repeats itself ???

12 posted on 01/15/2013 8:26:54 AM PST by taildragger (( Tighten the 5 point harness and brace for Impact Freepers, ya know it's coming..... ))
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To: Conservaliberty

Is this a joke? Of course a bi-polar person shouldn’t own guns, just like a blind person shouldn’t be a bus driver.


13 posted on 01/15/2013 8:43:49 AM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: raisincane; Conservaliberty
RE :”Our small city lost a young woman last weekend to an ex-boyfried. He stalked her for over a year and she asked the police for protection. She was afraid for her life. He shot her and dumped her body along the highway. He needed mental health attention and she needed a gun of her own. So sad.”

Its pretty easy for wimmin to get restraining orders against Men now-a-days, and if he violates it he goes to jail.

That sort of behavior is not necessarily a mental illness even though he needs some sort of therapy.

Those with untreated schizophrenia for example hear voices, see things, believe the end of the world is near, believe that they are Satan and or God, think that others especially doctors want to kill them or remove their brains, that others are possessed by Satan,..... I have known more than one in my life and its not pretty.

14 posted on 01/15/2013 8:46:38 AM PST by sickoflibs (Losing to O is NO principle!)
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To: sickoflibs

The irony is that this can have the negative effect that those with mental illnesses will avoid getting help so they will not lose their ability to buy guns.

Absolutely—I just thought about that too.


15 posted on 01/15/2013 9:02:47 AM PST by Conservaliberty (I've written over 200 pages for a novel. But I didn't do that. Somebody else made that happen.)
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To: Conservaliberty

I appreciate your concerns. The problem is, many folks who are dangerously ill are not treated or reported. I don’t have an answer, but it is a serious issue. Take a look at many of the social media pages of these killers—they are not just mentally ill, they are criminally insane.

Unfortunately, the gatekeepers are not only part of the problem, they are the problem. They are so far from moral balance that they can no longer discriminate between illness and outright evil.


16 posted on 01/15/2013 9:22:11 AM PST by antidisestablishment (Our people perish through lack of wisdom, but they are content in their ignorance.)
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To: Conservaliberty

“Eight of the nine killers in mass shootings in the United States in 2012 had a history of mental illness or suffered from untreated mental illness.”

And the ninth was perfectly sane?!?


17 posted on 01/15/2013 9:44:12 AM PST by Boogieman
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To: kabumpo

Perhaps they shouldn’t, but they have an inherent, God-given right to do so, if they so choose.


18 posted on 01/15/2013 10:19:59 AM PST by Boogieman
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To: rashley
Soon enough, wanting a gun will be considered a mental illness. Then, a revolver, or any weapon that uses a magazine will be considered an assault weapon.

Exactly. That is the only reason that Leftists will even entertain the idea - they consider real mental illness to be a career enhancer, but would love to use "medicine" to compromise our Freedom.

19 posted on 01/15/2013 10:39:51 AM PST by trebb (Allies no longer trust us. Enemies no longer fear us.)
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To: raisincane
We must be very careful using a mental health disorder to prohibit 2nd amendment rights. Have you ever looked at a DSM? This is the book that classifies mental health disorders. Pretty much anyone can fit into some syndrome or disorder. Call yourself anal? Well then you could be classified as Obsessive/ Compulsive. Now you have a mental health disorder. No guns for you. Ever received medication for a short time for depression? You now have a mental health disorder. No guns for you. With electronic medical records, where your entire health history can be searched, if you ever talked to MD about anxiety, depression, anger, and such, you could be diagnosed with a mental illness. No guns for you. New questions being asked patients upon d/c from a hospital or health care provider, as part of the Medicare survey (HCAHPS program - part of Obamacare) has the question “In general, How do you rate your mental or emotional health?” Answer that wrong and it is recorded forever. No guns ever for you.

Not all mental health diagnoses are raving lunatics. Some people have every day issues and function just fine.

20 posted on 01/15/2013 10:47:44 AM PST by lynn4303
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To: Conservaliberty
I recall an article several years ago when the last gun control threat was in full bloom, that when the 1963 Disabilities Act was signed into law, the mentally ill were mainstreamed into society - work places, schools, etc. Thereafter all control of some very sick mentally ill people was lost.

Any validity to the article??

If true then we need to get after Congress to revisit that disability law and tighten it up, IMO.

21 posted on 01/15/2013 10:47:58 AM PST by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-hereQaeda" and its allies.)
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To: kabumpo

Nope, not a joke, though I assume you forgot your /s tag. :) I am bipolar and I have a right to own a firearm. I am not a threat to myself or others.


22 posted on 01/15/2013 12:05:41 PM PST by Conservaliberty (I've written over 200 pages for a novel. But I didn't do that. Somebody else made that happen.)
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To: Boogieman

No, they don’t, any more than the blind have a right to be bus drivers.


23 posted on 01/15/2013 12:07:22 PM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: elpadre

I am mentally ill. I have a diagnosis of bipolar. I work in a public place, own a car, and interact with people on a daily basis with no problems whatever. People with mental illnesses should not be segregated unless they are a threat to themselves or others, in which case they need to be hospitalized or locked up (such as for violent criminals).

I am sure I will be called over-sensitive, but of course I am sensitive to something that threatens my constitutional rights.

There is nothing valid in denying constitional rights under a blanket “you’re mentally ill” statement.

As I said in my comment, I am not a second class citizen. I am intelligent, hardworking, have a college degree which I earned all by myself, am poor enough to accept welfare but don’t because I want to stand on my own two feet.

I should not be denied the right to own a gun because I have a few neurotransmitters missing.


24 posted on 01/15/2013 12:14:25 PM PST by Conservaliberty (I've written over 200 pages for a novel. But I didn't do that. Somebody else made that happen.)
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To: Conservaliberty

Sorry, I disagree.


25 posted on 01/15/2013 12:16:04 PM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: newheart

Thank you, newheart. I appreciate your comments. Bipolar is largely considered to be one of the more dangerous and unpredictable disorders—but I have known enough of them to know that it doesn’t automatically mean you are a killer. And I am managing my illness very well.

Also, there are plenty of non-violent schizophrenics. Non-violent paranoid schizophrenics. Mainstream media paints mentally ill people as these horrible criminals, but that’s not the case for all of them. Just like a lot of ‘normal’ people commit crimes, so do a lot of mentally ill.

Thanks again for your thoughts, I appreciate them. Because that is exactly the slippery slope such a registry would create.


26 posted on 01/15/2013 12:20:27 PM PST by Conservaliberty (I've written over 200 pages for a novel. But I didn't do that. Somebody else made that happen.)
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To: kabumpo

No, they don’t, any more than the blind have a right to be bus drivers.

Comparing a bipolar person with a gun to a blind bus driver is a ridiculous thing to say. First of all, being a bus driver requires being able to see. Being a gun owner requires the ability to shoot straight and make good moral judgements. Are you saying that bipolar people cannot make good moral judgements?

I go to church. I am a faithful Christian. I work hard and I would NEVER shoot a person unless they were breaking into my house or trying to kill me. I am an American citizen.

The constitution does not say I have a right to drive a bus. It says I have a right to bear arms.

Do I not have a right to own a firearm because I am bipolar? Answer me.


27 posted on 01/15/2013 12:25:11 PM PST by Conservaliberty (I've written over 200 pages for a novel. But I didn't do that. Somebody else made that happen.)
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To: kabumpo

So...you disaggree that that I am not a threat to myself or others? LOL. You don’t even know me. You know nothing about my life, what I’ve been through.

I have a right to own a gun, just like you. This is America. I am not a second class citizen.


28 posted on 01/15/2013 12:27:52 PM PST by Conservaliberty (I've written over 200 pages for a novel. But I didn't do that. Somebody else made that happen.)
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To: sickoflibs
believe the end of the world is near

Well, I certainly qualify on that count as do many other conservative Christians.

29 posted on 01/15/2013 12:33:40 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not NurtureĀ™)
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To: kabumpo

By the way, I do own a gun. Don’t worry, I won’t be committing any mass murders. You are perfectly safe. :)


30 posted on 01/15/2013 12:36:31 PM PST by Conservaliberty (I've written over 200 pages for a novel. But I didn't do that. Somebody else made that happen.)
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To: Conservaliberty

Already the adamant tone of your posting is telling.


31 posted on 01/15/2013 12:39:16 PM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: Conservaliberty
Do I not have a right to own a firearm because I am bipolar? Answer me.

In my state, at this time, the answer to that would largely depend upon whether you or I were involuntarily committed for inpatient mental health treatment for a certain period of time, or came under an order for involuntary outpatient treatment (and either of these is not signed casually and is not based on a diagnosis -- only the threat to harm oneself or others or based on gross disability). Even if the above has transpired, on release or after completion of the treatment program the individual can petition the court for restoration of possession rights.

A diagnosis -- any diagnosis -- in itself is not grounds for termination of possession rights in this state.

32 posted on 01/15/2013 1:02:49 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not NurtureĀ™)
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To: steve86
RE :”believe the end of the world is near”
,.....
Well, I certainly qualify on that count as do many other conservative Christians. “

What do you mean ‘near’ ?? 100 years?
When I mean near I mean they think today or tomorrow. They give up their property if they have any. Like their photo albums. .

Most people seem to spend and save like that is true.

33 posted on 01/15/2013 1:27:57 PM PST by sickoflibs (Losing to O is NO principle!)
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To: kabumpo

I’m sorry, but you are wrong. Nobody, blind or sighted, has an inherent right to be a bus driver, but everyone has an inherent right to keep and bear arms. Comparing apples to oranges will only confuse the matter.

How about comparing two similarly inherent, personal rights? The mental ill have as much right to bear arms as stupid people have a right to free speech. That’s a much better comparison.


34 posted on 01/15/2013 1:30:53 PM PST by Boogieman
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To: kabumpo

Already the adamant tone of your posting is telling.

Oh, puh-lease.

In our society, through due process of law, a person can lose their rights only through punishment administered for the commission of a crime, or if they have already demonstrated that they are a danger to themselves or others.

There are people like the original poster who believe that people should be judged by what they do.

And then there are people like you who believe people should have their rights removed because of what they COULD do rather than what they have DONE. We call this second class of people "tyrants." I have no mental health issues, but I still want to slap you around a little. How's that for adamant tone? Her response was not due to her condition, but due to the fact that tyrants provoke ire in all freedom-loving people.

35 posted on 01/15/2013 1:57:19 PM PST by RepRivFarm ("During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell)
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To: Boogieman

A very flawed comparison. Speech is not lethal. A stupid person’s verbal outbursts can’t maim, cripple or kill anyone. A mentally unstable person with a weapon is a tragedy waiting to happen.


36 posted on 01/15/2013 2:14:59 PM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: johnsmom

On the other hand, schizophrenia, paranoia and dementia do exist. People who have aural hallucinations and push strangers into the path of oncoming subways do exist. Do you want someone guided by “voices” to be armed?


37 posted on 01/15/2013 2:19:57 PM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: Conservaliberty

Truly sorry, but I don’t agree with your basic premise. I am sure you are a terrific person, but I don’t buy the “it’s all physical” line about what is now called bi-polar disorder.


38 posted on 01/15/2013 2:26:39 PM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: kabumpo

“A very flawed comparison. Speech is not lethal.”

The comparison has nothing to do with lethality, you are confusing the issue. Speech and bearing arms are both inherent rights, meaning they are inalienable.

“A stupid person’s verbal outbursts can’t maim, cripple or kill anyone.”

Actually, they can. Yelling “fire” in a crowded theater is a classic example. However, that’s beside the point and quite irrelevant to the question of whether they have the right to begin with, and if/how it can be limited.

“A mentally unstable person with a weapon is a tragedy waiting to happen.”

That’s nonsense. First of all, who defines “mentally unstable”? Under some definitions, everyone on the planet is mentally unstable. Secondly, you are not a fortune teller, and therefore, you don’t have any authority to make pronouncements about what tragedies will unfold in the future.

Anyway, none of your points even attempt to address the real issue, which is that the right to bear arms is an inherent personal right, and not one which you, or anyone else, is in any position to remove from others. In fact, even if you managed to get a law passed, or the Constitution amended, it would have no affect on whether mentally ill people have the right to bear arms, because that right is inalienable, and preexists the Constitution.


39 posted on 01/15/2013 2:55:52 PM PST by Boogieman
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To: kabumpo

Kadumbo...I get your drift...and I understand your confusion. I mean there are sooooo many voi...errrrr...choices to consider. On the one hand, it is going to “difficult” to effectively neuter 2nd amendment rights through arbitrary mental health screenings, regulations, unlawful executive orders, forced registration, etc., yet continue to fill buses at every special needs facility with the mentally challenged and demented to benefit the demonrats in upcoming elections. Its like...a double edged sword. Let’s call it a bi-polar sword. Say that you are gun grabbing, Obot worshiping slave to Messiah who must have the votes of idiots, illegals, and the cognitively challenged. To be sure, liberal thinking is such that, if you have the capacity (memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behavior skills ) to climb aboard the First United Mt. Zion Holiness Church of the Jump and Run (after, of course, someone kindly secures your name and address to your shirt pocket with a safety pin and hands you a free biscuit), it is perfectly prudent, acceptable, and politically correct that you exercise your RIGHT to vote!!!! And NO I.D required! Perfectly FIT to vote, not on a list ANYWHERE as a real person, yet perfectly FIT to VOTE. On the other hand, the veteran whose honorable service to freedom brings night screams or the police officer who experienced 30 years of automobile death investigations develops PTSD and both seek psychiatric care…both trained…both honorable…both smart enough to get help...now somehow not entitled to 2nd amendment rights due to a particular medication or diagnosis because a government bureaucrat says so?????? So many questions arise. Can you be fit to vote and unfit to own a gun? What takes more thinking, judgment, discernment, and control…owning a gun or voting? If I call him UNFIT and take away his right to own a gun, can I still call FIT the disabled, and mentally challenged so I can USE them to stack the big government vote? What is the “definition” of “FIT?” (deja vue Slick Willy) Ahhh, the political conundrum created by the less than transparent march towards the Communistic Nirvana of Dear Leader. Yes Kadumbo, so many questions...happy trolling....


40 posted on 01/15/2013 6:48:07 PM PST by johnsmom (I must be dreaming 'cause this can't be real)
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