Daniel John Sobieski
There is a delicious sense of irony in gun-control advocate Jimmy Kimmel beefing up his armed security after falsely claiming on his late night talk show after the Las Vegas massacre that President Trump had made it easier for the mentally ill to get guns. Guns are okay to protect the liberal elites but not for the rest of us who can’t be trusted or don’t know any better.
The same double standard exists for Democratic members of Congress who demand their constituents be disarmed even as they welcome back Rep, Steve Scalise, the victim of a shooting where a bad guy with a gun was stopped by a good guy with a gun. Many members of Congress are alive today only because Scalise, being a member of the House leadership, had his armed security detail with him
Dr. Kimmel has no way of knowing even now that the Las Vegas shooter was mentally unstable. Certainly the meticulous planning and preparation by the shooter over a long period of time would seem to indicate that while the shooter was evil, he was perfectly competent and sane. Certainly Kimmel’s charge against Trump is not true:
Noting that President Trump had offered prayers for the victims’ families, and that Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, had said that this wasn’t the time for political debate, he went on: “We have fifty-nine innocent people dead. It wasn’t their time, either. So I think now is the time for political debate.” He reminded his audience that, in February, Trump had signed a bill that made it easier for people with mental illness to buy guns. “The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, a number of other lawmakers who won’t do anything about this because the N.R.A. has their balls in a money clip, also sent their thoughts and their prayers today. Which is good. They should be praying. They should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country.”
Steve Scalise owes his life to the Second Amendment, which was written, not to shoot dear, but to shoot tyrants. The Second Amendment was written to protect the other nine in the Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment which gives Jimmy Kimmel the right to sound like the blooming idiot he is.
What President Trump signed was a bill overturning an executive order that would tar the innocent with the broad brush of mental illness, people which included the elderly and veterans, in order to pursue the Obama administration’s gun control agenda:
Here's what happened earlier this year: Congress voted to overturn a last-minute Obama-era regulation that would give the Social Security Administration the power to revoke a person's Second Amendment rights based on whether he receives disability for a mental impairment that keeps him from working, or if he "[uses] a representative payee to help manage their benefits."
As my Washington Examiner colleague David Freddoso explained at the time, the repeal of the Obama-era regulation, "doesn't allow people to buy guns who have been properly adjudicated by a court of law as mentally ill or unstable."
The Obama-era rule was designed to take away people's rights without due process of law. It would have flagged the names of people who, for example, have an anxiety disorder or depression which keeps them from working, and who, as the SSA puts it, ‘need help in managing [their] personal money affairs,'" he added. "As the many non-political mental health and autism advocacy groups that supported the House action noted, there is no link between these factors and a propensity for violence."
The Obama administration repeatedly tried to use mental health as a means, not to make us safer, but to deny us our gun rights under the Second Amendment. Consider President’s pick of Dr. Vivek Murthy to be our Surgeon General, someone who firmly believes gun control is a health issue, something that can and should be used to gut out Second Amendment Rights. As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized during his confirmation process:
Murthy's approach to attacking the Second Amendment has been to say private ownership of firearms is a public health issue. The 37-year-old Murthy is president and co-founder of the anti-gun group Doctors for America, which advocates ObamaCare and gun control laws. His group, which has been dubbed Docs vs. Glocks, has pushed Congress to ban "assault" weapons and "high capacity" magazines.
Doctors for America has promoted the invasion of privacy by doctors by advocating they ask patients if they have guns at home, including asking children if their parents own guns. He would have doctors counsel their patients against exercising their Second Amendment rights. One wonders how private that information would remain if entered into the medical records the government would be privy to under ObamaCare.
Back in 2013 a piece of legislation called Toomey-Manchin proposed that doctors be allowed to unilaterally place a patient’s name in the background check system in a way that violated patient doctor confidentially under HIPAA as well as our Second Amendment Rights:
The Toomey-Manchin proposal contains a provision that lets a doctor add a patient to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) without ever telling the patient he or she has been added.
This would seem to violate doctor-patient confidentiality, due process and the presumption of innocence in one fell swoop.
As the Heritage Foundation reports, this "gun control legislation eliminates any (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) privacy protection for mental health records in connection with the NICS system, leaving only what privacy protection the attorney general cares to provide."
The Obama administrations idea of keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill is based on a bizarre and discriminatory definition of who might be mentally unstable. Back in 2013 it was reported that the Veterans Administration was sending letters to vets warning them that they might be declared mentally incompetent and have their Second Amendment rights stripped unless they could prove otherwise:
The contempt by the Obama administration for our Constitution and our rights has reached a new low with news the Veterans Administration has begun sending letters to veterans telling them they will be declared mentally incompetent and stripped of the Second Amendment rights unless they can prove to unnamed bureaucrats to the contrary….
"A determination of incompetency will prohibit you from purchasing, possessing, receiving, or transporting a firearm or ammunition. If you knowingly violate any of these prohibitions, you may be fined, imprisoned, or both pursuant to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, Pub.L.No. 103-159, as implemented at 18, United States Code 924(a)(2)," the letter reads….
While mental health is a factor in the current gun control debate and recent mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., and elsewhere have in common the questionable mental state of the shooters, to single out returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan this way is unconscionable and unconstitutional.
As the Los Angeles Times has reported, the Obama administration woulf like to make our Social Security records part of the background check system. The move would strip some four million Americans who receive payments though a “representative payee” of their gun rights. It would be the largest gun grab in U.S. history.
A potentially large group within Social Security are people who, in the language of federal gun laws, are unable to manage their own affairs due to "marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease."
There is no simple way to identify that group, but a strategy used by the Department of Veterans Affairs since the creation of the background check system is reporting anyone who has been declared incompetent to manage pension or disability payments and assigned a fiduciary.
Keeping guns out of the hands of the truly mentally unstable is a worthy goal, but it should not be used as a cause for disarming veterans who carried a weapon in defense of their country or senior systems who might need some assistance in paying their bills.
They deserve the presumption of innocence, and sanity, every bit as much as Vester Flanagan. Stripping away their Second Amendment rights in the name of mental health would be a gross injustice that would not make us safer, butwould merely create millions of unarmed victims for the next shooter with an agenda.
Daniel John Sobieski is a free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.