On Tuesday, President Trump signed the repeal of Barack Obama’s gun ban for Social Security recipients. On Thursday, NBC News reported that Trump had signed a repeal of “gun checks for people with mental illness.”
This is Fake News 101, inasmuch as it takes Trump’s commitment to defend the Second Amendment and reports it as something that endangers the American people by allowing mentally ill persons to acquire guns.
Obama’s Social Security gun ban opened the door for beneficiaries to be investigated if they were under mental duress and needed help with their finances. A beneficiary who had his check sent to a third party could catch the Social Security Administration’s attention, be investigated, and turned over to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to be barred from gun purchases. This not only violated the beneciaries’ Second Amendment rights but their Due Process rights as well. It meant that a recently-widowed 85-year-old grandmother could be denied the right to buy a .38 Special revolver for self-defense because her temporary mental anguish required her to get help with finances.
Duke psychiatry professor Jeffery Swanson criticized the ban, saying it targeted “the vulnerable” rather than the dangerous. The U.S. House voted to repeal the ban on February 2, the Senate on February 15, and President Trump signed the repeal on February 28.
NBC News reported, “Trump signs bill revoking Obama-era gun checks for people with mental illnesses.” And they described the ban as a response to Sandy Hook, saying, “President Barack Obama recommended the now-nullified regulation in a 2013 memo following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 20 first graders and six others dead.” Bloomberg News similarly reported that the ban “was a reaction to school shootings like the 2012 Sandy Hook attack.”
Neither NBC News nor Bloomberg asked how an elementary school attack carried out by a 20-year-old with stolen firearms could be justification for denying elderly Social Security beneficiaries their Second Amendment rights at retail gun stores.
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.