Veterans Disarmament Act on its way to the President

Discussion in 'Legal and Activism' started by Chuck, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. Chuck

    Chuck New Member

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    "To me, this is the best Christmas present I could ever receive" -- Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), CBS News, December 20, 2007


    Thursday, December 20, 2007

    Gun Owners of America and its supporters took a knife in the back yesterday, as Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) out-smarted his congressional opposition into agreeing on a so-called "compromise" on HR 2640 -- a bill which now goes to the President's desk.

    The bill -- known as the Veterans Disarmament Act to its opponents -- is being praised by the National Rifle Association and the Brady Campaign.

    The Brady Bunch crowed "Victory! U.S. Congress Strengthens Brady Background Check System." The NRA stated that last minute changes to the McCarthy bill made a "good bill even better [and that] the end product is a win for American gun owners."

    But Gun Owners of America has issued public statements decrying this legislation.

    The core of the bill's problems is section 101(c)(1)(C), which makes you a "prohibited person" on the basis of a "medical finding of disability," so long as a veteran had an "opportunity" for some sort of "hearing" before some "lawful authority" (other than a court). Presumably, this "lawful authority" could even be the psychiatrist himself.

    Note that unlike with an accused murderer, the hearing doesn't have to occur. The "lawful authority" doesn't have to be unbiased. The veteran is not necessarily entitled to an attorney -- much less an attorney financed by the government.


    So what do the proponents have to say about this?

    ARGUMENT: The Veterans Disarmament Act creates new avenues for prohibited persons to seek restoration of their gun rights.

    ANSWER: What the bill does is to lock in -- statutorily -- huge numbers of additional law-abiding Americans who will now be denied the right to own a firearm.

    And then it "graciously" allows these newly disarmed Americans to spend tens of thousands of dollars for a long-shot chance to regain the gun rights this very bill takes away from them.

    More to the point, what minimal gains were granted by the "right hand" are taken away by the "left." Section 105 provides a process for some Americans diagnosed with so-called mental disabilities to get their rights restored in the state where they live. But then, in subsection (a)(2), the bill stipulates that such relief may occur only if "the person will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety and that the GRANTING OF THE RELIEF WOULD NOT BE CONTRARY TO THE PUBLIC INTEREST." (Emphasis added.)

    Um, doesn't this language sound similar to those state codes (like California's) that have "may issue" concealed carry laws -- where citizens "technically" have the right to carry, but state law only says that sheriffs MAY ISSUE them a permit to carry? When given such leeway, those sheriffs usually don't grant the permits!

    Prediction: liberal states -- the same states that took these people's rights away -- will treat almost every person who has been illegitimately denied as a danger to society and claim that granting relief would be "contrary to the public interest."

    Let's make one thing clear: the efforts begun during the Clinton Presidency to disarm battle-scarred veterans -- promoted by the Brady Anti-Gun Campaign -- is illegal and morally reprehensible.

    But section 101(c)(1)(C) of HR 2640 would rubber-stamp those illegal actions. Over 140,000 law-abiding veterans would be statutorily barred from possessing firearms.

    True, they can hire a lawyer and beg the agency that took their rights away to voluntarily give them back. But the agency doesn't have to do anything but sit on its hands. And, after 365 days of inaction, guess what happens? The newly disarmed veteran can spend thousands of additional dollars to sue. And, as the plaintiff, the wrongly disarmed veteran has the burden of proof.

    Language proposed by GOA would have automatically restored a veteran's gun rights if the agency sat on its hands for a year. Unfortunately, the GOA amendment was not included.

    The Veterans Disarmament Act passed the Senate and the House yesterday -- both times WITHOUT A RECORDED VOTE. That is, the bill passed by Unanimous Consent, and was then transmitted to the White House.

    Long-time GOA activists will remember that a similar "compromise" deal helped the original Brady Law get passed. In 1993, there were only two or three senators on the floor of that chamber who used a Unanimous Consent agreement (with no recorded vote) to send the Brady bill to President Clinton -- at a time when most legislators had already left town for their Thanksgiving Break.

    Gun owners can go to http://www.gunowners.org/news/nws9402.htm to read about how this betrayal occurred 14 years ago.

    With your help, Gun Owners of America has done a yeoman's job of fighting gun control over the years, considering the limited resources that we have. Together, we were able to buck the Brady Campaign/NRA coalition in 1999 (after the Columbine massacre) and were able to defeat the gun control that was proposed in the wake of that shooting.

    Yesterday, we were not so lucky. But we are not going to go away. GOA wants to repeal the gun-free zones that disarm law-abiding Americans and repeal the other gun restrictions that are on the books. That is the answer to Virginia Tech. Unfortunately, the House and Senate chose the path of imposing more gun control.

    So our appeal to you is this -- please help us to grow this coming year. Please help us to get more members and activists. If you add $10 to your membership renewal this year, we can reach new gun owners in the mail and tell them about GOA.

    Please urge your friends to join GOA... and, at the very least, make sure they sign up for our free e-mail alerts so that we can mobilize more gun owners than ever before!

    http://www.gunowners.org/a122007.htm
     
  2. notdku

    notdku Administrator Staff Member

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    Why the hell is the NRA supporting this?
     

  3. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    Did you ever hear the story about the boy that cried wolf?

    Some people in this country shouldn't be allowed to own firearms. If you don't have your **** together enough that you can't make it through day to day life without having a mental breakdown, you probably shouldn't be allowed to posess a firearm that is capable of killing.
     
  4. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    Where is a link to the full text of the bill? You/they conveniently left that out of your post/their website.
     
  5. bkt

    bkt New Member

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    That is about the most short-sighted comment I've read in a long time. And on a pro-firearm forum, no less!

    But knives, machetes, axes, clubs, slingshots and other devices capable of killing are OK?

    I agree that screwed up people not in control of their faculties should not be armed, but it is not the role of government to disarm them.
     
  6. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    No they're not.

    So, you and I are supposed to do it?

    Mentally ill people should not posses firearms for the same reason that mentally retarded people aren't able to drive. How is that short sighted?
     
  7. notdku

    notdku Administrator Staff Member

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    What is mentally ill though and who defines it.

    Is having PTSD a mental illness that should forbid you from owning firearms?
     
  8. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    When I was stationed at Ft. Bragg, there were Special Forces guys that would come back from peace time deployments, go nuts and kill their entire family. It happened 5 or 6 times in the 3 years that I was there. There were also operators who could go through bloody fire fights and come home and be cool. It really goes case by case and if you're determined to be mentally disabled then there is something seriously wrong with you. I battled with mental health problems and I should not have had firearms when I was going through those problems.

    There should be a provision to the bill though that allows the mentally ill to be medically cleared and allowed to posses firearms once the problem has cleared.
     
  9. bkt

    bkt New Member

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    Yes, exactly. People -- you, me, friends, family members -- should know who among us really shouldn't have a weapon because they'd be a danger to themselves and others, and help ensure they don't get one.

    Give that job to the government and you ensure it won't get done right, people will be abused in the process, and it will probably cost taxpayers a lot.

    How do you define "mentally ill"? Is a mental illness permanent? Passing? Recurring? Who defines the term?

    It's short-sighted because you're advocating setting a precedent that permits the government to arbitrarily limit our freedom. And in this case, it's a pretty damn important bit of freedom!
     
  10. Chuck

    Chuck New Member

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    HR 2640 was mentioned in the text but I'll do your work for you this time.



    Co-Sponsors by date:

    Rep Bishop, Timothy H. [NY-1] - 6/11/2007

    Rep Boucher, Rick [VA-9] - 6/11/2007

    Rep Capps, Lois [CA-23] - 6/11/2007

    Rep Castle, Michael N. [DE] - 6/11/2007

    Rep Dingell, John D. [MI-15] - 6/11/2007

    Rep Emanuel, Rahm [IL-5] - 6/11/2007

    Rep Lowey, Nita M. [NY-18] - 6/11/2007

    Rep Moore, Dennis [KS-3] - 6/11/2007

    Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8] - 6/11/2007

    Rep Pascrell, Bill, Jr. [NJ-8] - 6/11/2007

    Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9] - 6/11/2007

    Rep Shays, Christopher [CT-4] - 6/11/2007

    Rep Smith, Lamar [TX-21] - 6/11/2007

    Rep Sherman, Brad [CA-27] - 6/12/2007

    Rep Christensen, Donna M. [VI] - 6/13/2007

    Rep Ross, Mike [AR-4] - 6/13/2007
     
  11. hillbilly68

    hillbilly68 New Member

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    But Matt, that is the issue. Once the right is gone, it is beyond the means of most to try and get it back. I agree with you, some should not have access due to mental illness. However, PTSD is covered under this new round of bullsh**. Guys that seek help for nightmares, flashbacks etc. Pretty common in todays fight. A guy goes in for help, gets diagnosed with PTSD and poof, no more skeet shooting for him. This is a step backwards, I can't believe that the NRA would support this KRAP.
    Just hide and watch gents, everything that happens with regard to soci****** happens first in the military; has always been the proving ground before spreading to greater society. Scary stuff.

    God Bless and Merry Christmas.
     
  12. logistics

    logistics New Member

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    This might be a little late, but please add a D or R with a member of congress name when posting. I may have contributed funds to that particular character and therefore, he or she will have to give an ear or the cash flow diverts from them. thanks, I am familiar with my three HONORABLES :p :p
    in congress but not every one else. Of, course we all recognize Senator Joseph Stalin Schumer. Will the new york people please explain to me how they have kept these two. Hillary and Charles, in congress so long.



    FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS!!!
     
  13. OIFIIVeteran1ID

    OIFIIVeteran1ID New Member

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    As a veteran of OIFII I suffer from nightmares that disrupt my sleep on a nightly basis. I also get uncomfortable when in large crowds. I recieve disability for this because it is something that disrupts my life due to combat. I don't feel that this makes me a danger to others with or without a firearm. I think there are others who suffer other symptoms of ptsd who could be dangerous. So this should be decided on a case by case basis. By who? I don't know but definitely not the government.
     
  14. Chuck

    Chuck New Member

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    Government has already made its decision. My advice is "Don't sell your guns".
     
  15. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    I had similar problems, only I would have psychotic episodes when those things would happen. There were a few times that I woke up from nightmares and I grabbed a light, locked and loaded and cleared the house, as well as swept the parking lot. I have extensive training in handling firearms and have the muscle memory to identify a target before engaging. Many people don't have this training. I would also experience episodes, when awake, where I could hear people in close proximity to me. I could feel them closing down on me and the panic and emotions associated with being "compromised" would set in. This would lead me to arm myself and seek a defensible position.

    I see nothing wrong with taking weapons out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves or others, but only until they can prove themselves trustworthy again. I base this opinion on my own personal experience and not what someone else tells me to think or feel. It isn't a "liberal opinion" or an "anti-gun opinion". It is a opinion that has been formed out of my own personal experience and observation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2007
  16. anon

    anon New Member

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    A possible back-lash of this is that people who might need help will be even more hesitant to get it.

    You'll want to avoid any reference on your record that might hurt you.
     
  17. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    Doesn't the system already work that way though? I'm not sure about the rest of the country, but in Cali, we have what is know as Form 5150. Once you have been declared a public danger by some doctor, regardless of area of specialization, and Form 5150 has been filed on you, you no longer have any rights. The only thing required is a doctor to declare that "you could be a danger as a result of a mental disorder," not that you display behaviors linked to a mental disorder.

    So, if I was to seek treatment for my PTSD and resulting psychosis, I could be forced into hospitalization if I were to explain my actions during these episodes. I knew this to be true when I sought treatment and, in the interest of my own freedom, neglected to inform my psychiatrist of my actions during the episodes. I only told them of what I experienced.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2007
  18. Chuck

    Chuck New Member

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    You Veterans with PTSD are the victims. They got you coming and going. It is not your fault you have to live with this illness. It is the fault of those in political office who gave you this illness and, in turn, punish you for it. They have to be held accountable.
     
  19. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    I'm not a victim of anything Chuck. My problems are a direct result of my actions. No one held a gun to my head when I signed up to go into the army, it was done of my own accord. I knew good and well what the army was there for when I chose to become part of it.
     
  20. jvanwink

    jvanwink New Member

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    What is more dangerous a Veteran that is under treatment or a Veteran that has problems but won't seek treatment because of Loosing his rights?