On April 10 Politico Magazine’s Michael Grunwald suggested President Trump signed repeal of the Social Security gun ban behind closed doors to keep people from noticing the repeal would allow “severely mentally ill” individuals to buy guns.
This is Fake News 101 and it epitomizes the fake news reporting that immediately followed the repeal of the gun ban.
The House voted to repeal the gun ban on February 2 and the Senate followed suit on February 15. Immediately thereafter the New York Times (NYT), New York Daily News (NYDN), and The Huffington Post (HuffPo) all reported the vote to repeal as a GOP effort to help the mentally ill get guns.
On February 28 President Trump signed the repeal of the Social Security gun ban and just over a week later–on March 8–MSBNC’s Greta Van Susteren claimed the repeal would make it easier for the mentally ill to buy guns. She offered a quick overview of the Social Security gun ban then said, “People with mental health issues, identified by Social Security disability benefits, need to undergo stricter scrutiny before they can buy guns.”
Now, approximately six weeks after the fact, Politico Magazine is suggesting Trump signed repeal behind closed doors to keep people from noticing it helps the “severely mentally ill” acquire guns.
The third bill that Trump signed [on February 28], H.J.Res. 40, had more policy significance; it struck down one of President Barack Obama’s regulations and kept one of Trump’s campaign promises. But Trump did not let the media film him signing that one. That’s because the substantive impact of that bill was to make it much easier for severely mentally ill Americans to buy guns, a priority for the National Rifle Association but not for the public. Trump and his fellow Republicans were happy to use an obscure rule-killing mechanism called the Congressional Review Act to undo a popular gun safety regulation that Obama had first proposed after the Sandy Hook massacre, but they didn’t want to call attention to it.
In reality, the repeal of the Social Security gun ban was about repealing an Obama administration gun control that could strip Social Security recipients of their Second Amendment rights without due process. The gun ban worked by singling out beneficiaries who needed help managing their finances and who were also listed under a mental health moniker, whether their mental health problem was something easily treatable and controllable like depression or anxiety or something far more severe like bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia. All were lumped together and any of them–together with a need for help managing finances–could result a loss of Second Amendment rights.
GOP lawmakers and President Trump acted to save the Second Amendment rights of beneficiaries.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.