While the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony Wednesday about Senator Dianne Feinstein's (D-CA) bill to ban so-called "assault weapons," Vice President "Double Barrel Joe" Biden was across town pushing the administration's forcible citizen disarmament agenda to the National Association of Attorneys General. As tends to be the case when Biden opens his mouth (a mouth that seems to spend little time closed), something he said yesterday should perhaps get a closer look. From ABC News:
“With the press not here, I can tell you what is not public yet about how gruesome it was,” Biden said of the December mass-shooting in Newtown, Conn., at a Washington luncheon attended by the attorneys general for all 50 states. ”I met with the state troopers who were on the scene this last week. And the impact on them has been profound. Some of them, understandably, needing some help.”
That some of the troopers who witnessed the horror of Sandy Hook's slaughtered victims are "needing some help" is indeed understandable, as Biden says. One would almost have to be less than human to endure the sight of 26 mangled bodies, most of them very young children, without being profoundly shaken to one's very soul.
This mention of the officers' need for professional psychological counseling (presumably Biden's meaning), though, comes at a time when one currently popular proposed solution to "gun violence" is a dramatic expansion of the list of those prohibited of the exercise of the right to keep and bear arms, on the basis of their mental health.
National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea aptly describes the danger of such proposed "reforms" as a "'blanket dragnet' for gun rights disabilities." In fact, even the NRA and many of gun owners' ostensible "allies" (from both parties) in Congress have been so eager to shift attention away from hardware-based legislation (banning so-called "assault weapons" and "high capacity" magazines) that throwing those who need treatment for mental health issues under the forcible citizen disarmament bus is increasingly being presented as a "pro-gun" position.
Even before the post-Sandy Hook "feeding frenzy" on gun rights, the (NRA-supported) NICS "Improvement" Act of 2007 has disarmed scores of thousands of America's brave combat veterans, by virtue of them being so "mentally ill" as to need help managing their finances.
Now, Senator Chuck Schumer's (D-NY) S. 374 threatens not only to ban all private sales of firearms. but to dramatically expand the list of those prohibited from exercising the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms. Although the text is not yet available (a little detail apparently not expected to stop the Senate Judiciary Committee from voting on the bill today), Schumer's previous efforts along those lines suggest little reason for confidence that only those who have shown compelling reason for fear that they pose a threat to themselves or others will be disarmed.
Should these Connecticut state troopers who have sought psychological counseling not be concerned about their own continued right to keep and bear arms, particularly in light of statistics showing law enforcement officers as being doubly at risk of suicide, compared to the general population? Or that the rate of substance abuse among law enforcement officers is similarly double that of the general population?
If seeking mental health care comes to be seen as grounds for disarmament, more and more cops and military personnel--you know, the "Only Ones" we should trust with guns--will be reluctant to seek help for their Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This, at a time when over a decade of harrowing combat in Afghanistan and Iraq is affecting hundreds of thousands of veterans. Is that what we want?
The objective here is not to imply that those Connecticut state troopers who have sought and received help after witnessing the horrifying aftermath of Sandy Hook should be disarmed for "mental illness," but to illustrate the dangers of failing to tread extremely lightly with any plan to suppress gun rights for reasons of mental health.
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- Can the 'Fix Gun Checks Act' prevent violence? Can it respect liberty?
- Mental health ‘reforms’ could cast ‘blanket dragnet’ for gun rights disabilities
- American hero becomes 'gun control's' latest exploitee
- Mental health angle in gun control leads to slippery slope