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Bill would strip Veteran's gun rights
#1
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/...ense-bill/

Quote: Should veterans deemed too mentally incompetent to handle their own financial affairs be prevented from buying a gun?
The issue, for a time last week, threatened to become the biggest sticking point in a $631 billion defense bill for reshaping a military that is disengaging from a decade of warfare.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., sought to amend the bill to stop the Veterans Affairs Department from putting the names of veterans deemed too mentally incompetent to handle their finances into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which prohibits them from buying or owning firearms.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., objected, saying the measure would make it easier for veterans with mental illness to own a gun, endangering themselves and others.
"I love our veterans, I vote for them all the time. They defend us," Schumer said. "If you are a veteran or not and you have been judged to be mentally infirm, you should not have a gun."

.................


So what do you think? If someone is too handicapped mentally to do their own affairs, should they own a gun? Is that even something the government has business deciding? Should it be decided by anyone?

It sounds a bit unfair to me, because "mental illness" can sometimes be a bit too subjective....I liked this quote from later in the article:

Quote:"We consider it an abject tragedy that so many of our veterans return home, after risking life and limb to defend our freedom, only to be stripped of their Second Amendment rights because they need help managing their compensation," Chris Cox, the NRA's chief lobbyist, wrote last year in an editorial.

On one hand, we don't want crazy guys going around waving guns...on the other hand...how many times do mentally ill veterans actually go around shooting people? I haven't heard anything recent....


Actually my first thought is that this sounds like a bit of gun control they are trying to push into other legislation, like always. A petty argument to keep from passing the whole bill to provide funding for our defense. Its saying "Okay we'll give you money but in return, you give us a little more gun control."

I hate all those little clauses and things in an otherwise needed bill. Grr.

And hey...if their name is in a criminal background check....won't that further hamper their efforts to get a civilian job, too? That seems unfair.
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#2
There's a few cases where ex-mil have shot people. Charles Whitman, Lee Harvey Oswald just to name a couple of the more famous.

That said, I don't think that anyone should be denied their rights en masse, nor should they under go extra scrutiny just because they're a veteran.
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#3
So what all does this entail when you are deemed too mentally incompetent to handle your own finances? IMO that is applicable to 99% of Americans as a general description.

Quote:"We're talking about people who have some form of disability to the extent that they're unable to manage their own affairs," Gross said. "If you're deemed unable to handle your own affairs, that's likely to constitute a high percentage of people who are dangerously mentally ill."

Tom Tarantino, chief policy officer for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said veterans with a traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder but who pose no threat to others are possibly being barred from gun ownership. The current restrictions might even be a disincentive for veterans to seek needed treatment, he said.

"We want to remove these stigmas for mental health treatment. It's a combat injury," Tarantino said. "They wouldn't be doing this if you were missing your right hand, so they shouldn't be doing it if you're seeking treatment for post-traumatic-stress-disorder or traumatic brain injury."

I read Outlaw Platoon by Sean Parnell recently. In the book he describes suffering a brain injury in combat, sucking it up and dealing with it for the rest of his tour, and then finally getting treated after coming home. He talks briefly about some of the problems he deals with day to day as a result of the injury, one of which is anger issues. If something like this is what they are talking about as being a prohibiting factor then I am 100% strongly opposed, there is no reason people like that should not be able to own a firearm.

It is my understanding that a good number of people returning home after experiencing heavy combat have a difficult time settling back into normal life and "managing their own affairs."
The law? The law is a human institution...
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#4
Wouldn't being put on the criminal background list also hurt you in other areas of life, not just owning guns?
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#5
streaker69;48636 Wrote:There's a few cases where ex-mil have shot people. Charles Whitman, Lee Harvey Oswald just to name a couple of the more famous.

That said, I don't think that anyone should be denied their rights en masse, nor should they under go extra scrutiny just because they're a veteran.

There are actually a LOT more than a few cases. There are tens of thousands of cases.

IMO: Anyone deemed mentally incompetent should not have a firearm.
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#6
Valorius;48674 Wrote:
streaker69;48636 Wrote:There's a few cases where ex-mil have shot people. Charles Whitman, Lee Harvey Oswald just to name a couple of the more famous.

That said, I don't think that anyone should be denied their rights en masse, nor should they under go extra scrutiny just because they're a veteran.

There are actually a LOT more than a few cases. There are tens of thousands of cases.

IMO: Anyone deemed mentally incompetent should not have a firearm.

So what happens when our rulers get the idea that anyone that wants to buy a gun needs to undergo a mental evaluation first? It's already been shown that some people believe just the idea of gun ownership is akin to mental illness.
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#7
I would oppose any such measure. However, if you are already declared mentally defect, you really don't need to be owning any guns.

And if owning a gun is a mental defect, at least half the cops in America, and half the soldiers, would be fired/discharged in one fell swoop.
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#8
RugerGirl;48632 Wrote:So what do you think? If someone is too handicapped mentally to do their own affairs, should they own a gun? Is that even something the government has business deciding? Should it be decided by anyone?

It depends on what the definition of mental illness is when it comes to the VA. Maybe pick out a list of ICD-10 codes and if VA/CHAMPUS has been paying claims on those diagnosis codes, then you meet the definition of being treated for a defined mental illness that limits or impairs your judgement sufficiently to be purchasing firearms.

I would prefer to draw the line at "further purchases". You keep the guns you already have, but you're disallowed from engaging in any future purchases or transfers (except if you are transferring to sell them). Or you get a "with supervision" waiver, allowing you to continue to go to gun ranges but only under direct supervision.

If you "went loco" and wanted to start up an arsenal because the hamster has run off the exercise wheel up in your head, then blocking someone like this from purchases is a protection that's within the public interest. But if someone's grandpa got dementia and has a bunch of antique pistols around the house--is that supposed to involve a government raid to get them out of the property?


ALSO: Will this also keep a lot of men and women from seeking treatment for their illness? Supposed anyone who claimed Gulf War Syndrome meets this definition. My brother went through Desert Storm and Desert Shield and had a SCUD land 75yrds from where he was standing and he suspects like other men that were in his MEDEVAC unit that he might have been exposed to chemicals. Does that mean my brother's house is gonna get raided?
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#9
Well for all the military peeps, what kinds of things are we talking about for being declared unable to manage your own affairs? Are we talking batshit crazy violent? Are we talking vegetable? Or are we talking about a blanket statement for brain injuries?
The law? The law is a human institution...
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#10
Valorius;48679 Wrote:I would oppose any such measure. However, if you are already declared mentally defect, you really don't need to be owning any guns.

And if owning a gun is a mental defect, at least half the cops in America, and half the soldiers, would be fired/discharged in one fell swoop.


I suppose it really boils down to what they deem to be "mentally incompetent to handle their own financial affairs", because really, THAT is what we're talking about here - they didn't suggest banning "nutcases" from owning firearms, it reads to me that if you can't balance your checkbook, or get your electric bill paid on time, you COULD (again, I don't know the criteria) be saying Buh-bye to your rights.



It's a complicated subject and is hard to discuss properly without knowing the details.
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