On March 17 NPR reported that the GOP-led House was helping “mentally incapacitated’ veterans get guns via the passage of the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act.
House passage of the Act is the first step in repealing a gun ban that tramples due process rights en route to depriving military veterans of their Second Amendment rights.
The gun ban works like Barack Obama’s Social Security gun ban was designed to work; it targets veterans whose disability benefits are sent to a third party for management. The theory behind the ban is that a veteran under mental duress who cannot handle his or her own finances may not be able to safely handle a firearm. Although there are no obvious ties between balancing a checkbook and using a Glock 19 for self-defense, veterans can be investigated and barred from purchasing a gun if they are labeled with a moniker of “mental incompetence.”
Quil Lawrence said:
About 170,000 disabled veterans are deemed mentally incompetent by the VA. A VA-approved guardian makes some medical and financial decisions for them. Their names go on an FBI list so they can’t purchase guns — House Republicans sponsored the Veterans’ Second Amendment Protection Act to change that.
House Committee on Veteran Affairs chairman Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) sponsored the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act. He said his efforts are about “removing the stigma of mentally ill people — that because someone is mentally ill, they’re a danger to themselves or others.”
We saw this very same thing with the recently repealed Social Security gun ban. It, too, painted with a broad brush by using a mental health label to deny Second Amendment rights to persons who were not a danger to themselves or others. Duke University professor Jeffrey Swanson pointed this out in Washington Post column, writing, “The mental health conditions in question might range from moderate intellectual disabilities to depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia,” and he pointed to academic work showing that “the vast majority of mentally ill individuals” are neither violent or suicidal.
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.