WaPo Opinion: Vote to Repeal Social Security Gun Ban Equals GOP Arming Mentally Ill

In this April 30, 2016 photograph, Jake Driskell, a Laurel police officer and owner of Gun Guy Tactical, helps Crestview Baptist Church member and first time shooter Katherine Huffman, line up her sights with her husband's revolver during the live fire portion of a enhanced concealed carry class sponsored by …
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

A Washington Post opinion piece written by Paul Waldman claims the Senate vote to repeal the Social Security gun ban equals Republicans arming the mentally ill.

The Republican-controlled House voted to repeal the Obama-era ban on February 2 and the Senate followed suit on February 15.

The WaPo opinion column suggests the repeal is about “making sure that people suffering from mental illnesses can still have access to firearms.” In no unclear terms the column claims that providing such access is “what Republicans did Wednesday.”

The column describes the Social Security gun ban as one that targets some “mentally ill” Social Security beneficiaries who need help with their finances. WaPo stresses that this ban would effect about 75,000 people, while the Los Angeles Times suggests it could be as many as “4.2 million,” depending on criteria.

WaPo points out that the ban works by singling out those whose “condition makes them incapable of managing their own finances…[and referring them] to the FBI background check system” to have them barred from buying guns. And after all the emphasis on mental illness, the WaPo column says, “It should be said that the real gun problem today isn’t those with mental illnesses, it’s the estimated 300 million guns in circulation. As much attention as mass shootings get, most of the 10,000 or so gun homicides we have every year in America are committed by people who appear perfectly sane.”

Without realizing it, the WaPo has given a brilliant defense of the Senate’s vote to repeal the Social Security gun ban. After all, the entire problem is that the Social Security Administration is treating mental illnesses of varying degrees as equal and then using a mental illness prognosis in a way that violates the Due Process rights of beneficiaries. Duke University psychiatry professor Jeffery Swanson made this clear when he explained that “the mental health conditions in question might range from moderate intellectual disabilities to depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia,” and then pointed to academic work showing that “the vast majority of mentally ill individuals” are not violent or suicidal.

In light of these things, Swanson showed that Obama’s Social Security gun ban targets the “vulnerable” instead of the dangerous.

The Senate’s vote to repeal the gun ban was a vote to protect the Second Amendment rights of the vulnerable. It was also a vote to protect their rights to due process.

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 awrhawkins@breitbart.com.


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