Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Should Mentally Incompetent Veterans Retain Gun Rights?

The Washington Post reports
Should veterans deemed too mentally incompetent to handle their own financial affairs be prevented from buying a gun?

The issue, for a time last week, threatened to become the biggest sticking point in a $631 billion defense bill for reshaping a military that is disengaging from a decade of warfare.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., sought to amend the bill to stop the Veterans Affairs Department from putting the names of veterans deemed too mentally incompetent to handle their finances into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which prohibits them from buying or owning firearms.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., objected, saying the measure would make it easier for veterans with mental illness to own a gun, endangering themselves and others.

“I love our veterans, I vote for them all the time. They defend us,” Schumer said. “If you are a veteran or not and you have been judged to be mentally infirm, you should not have a gun.”

Currently, the VA appoints fiduciaries, often family members, to manage the pensions and disability benefits of veterans who are declared incompetent. When that happens, the department automatically enters the veteran’s name in the Criminal Background Check System.

Dan Gross, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said gun control advocates consider the VA’s current policy reasonable.

“We’re talking about people who have some form of disability to the extent that they’re unable to manage their own affairs,” Gross said. “If you’re deemed unable to handle your own affairs, that’s likely to constitute a high percentage of people who are dangerously mentally ill.”
Coburn, and his NRA overlords, are really showing their true colors on this one. They have no concern for anything other than pushing gun rights, even if it means returning those rights to the worst of the worst.
The number of veterans directly affected by the VA’s policy doesn’t appear to very large. Only 185 out of some 127,000 veterans added to the gun-check registry since 1998 have sought to have their names taken off, according to data that the VA shared with lawmakers during a hearing last June.
Can you imagine how incompetent those 185 are?  We're not talking about people with mild mental problems who need a little help with their affairs.  These are the worst, most damaged 185 veterans out of 127,000. 

I find the extremism of the NRA and its minions truly shocking.  Don't you?

Please leave a comment.

6 comments:

  1. Is this shocking? Not at all. The NRA stands up for the rights of all gun owners. It's also not a surprise that Chuckie Schumer is trying to take guns away from someone. The only people he wants armed are his security detail.

    I do think you've misread the numbers. Isn't the article saying that 127,000 veterans have been reported, and of those, only 185 have challenged that reporting? That would imply that those 185 are marginal cases, not the worst.

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    1. I think you're misreading, Professor.

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    2. The original sentence is unclear.

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  2. i'm just glad greg is not in control of any of our affairs and that "doctor" coburn cannot dictate..........yet!
    tom webber
    miami

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    1. Any more than "Doctor" Schumer, but perhaps you'd prefer him. What you should realize is that freedom of choice is a valuable thing.

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  3. Society can only refuse to recognize someone's rights when that someone has a legal custodian -- assuming the custodian is capable and obligated to protect the individual under their care. If our court system has legally and legitimately declared anyone (veteran or otherwise) unfit to care for themselves and requiring a custodian, they probably should not have firearms.

    This means the courts -- NOT the Veterans Affairs Administration -- should be submitting names to the National Instant Criminal Background Check system.

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