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My Turn: Should a mentally ill Skeeter have his .22?

Should a mentally ill Skeeter keep his .22?
Should a mentally ill Skeeter keep his .22?
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

In light of the current Congress’ stunning incompetence, President Obama has taken the initiative to help protect the lives of at least some American women, men, and children by proposing a two-step approach to prevent mentally ill people from having guns.
There are two main parts to the president’s proposal: 1. The Justice department would clarify who, under current laws, should be prohibited from accessing a gun because of a history of mental health problems and, 2. The Department of Health and Human Services would make it easier for states to provide background information on mentally ill people to the federal background checking system.
The White House clarified the president’s proposal by saying, “The administration is committed to making sure that anyone who may pose a danger to themselves or others does not have access to a gun. The federal background check system is the most effective way to assure that such individuals are not able to purchase a firearm from a licensed gun dealer.
Well, no . . . not if you’re Jeff Knox, director of the Firearms Coalition, a pro-gun group located in Phoenix, Arizona.
Knox reacted to the president’s proposal by saying, “That’s an overreach on the part of the executive (branch) and if we had a Congress and a system that was functioning properly, they would slap him (President Obama) down for this and they would refuse to allow this to happen.
I don’t think anyone should, under any circumstance, ‘slap’ the president of the United States, but I wonder, why would someone like Jeff Knox be against any proposal to prevent mentally ill people from having guns?
I suspect that it could be only one thing: fear . . . fear as irrational as Knox’s comment.
So, what could the basis of Knox’s irrational fear possibly be?
Permit me, dear reader, to step aside for a moment and allow a better qualified person to answer that question.
Who is that better qualified person?
The one, the only . . . Bill Maher!
Let’s go back in time nearly a year . . . to January 18, 2013 when Bill Maher said the following on his HBO Real Time show: “Both parties compete mightily to appear to be the greater champion of our freedoms, but the only thing that still has bipartisan support in Washington is not giving a #@%$ about privacy. And when you talk to the NRA types; they actually believe that what protects their rights isn't laws, or courts, it's that they have a gun. They think that's what keeps the government from going too far. Without guns, Obama would become emperor and force everyone to gay marry, but he can't because a guy in Kentucky named Skeeter has a .22.”
Okay . . . I’m back (did you miss me?).
Now, we all know that Bill Maher, one of the funniest men in America, was speaking for laughs but as is so often the case with comedians, he was also speaking the truth.
So, what if Skeeter, the gun-totin' protector of our rights as Americans, has a history of mental illness?
Should he still be able to have his .22?
While most thinking people would say no, Jeff Knox would say yes.
If you’d like to ask Mr. Knox to explain his position, you just might want to call him at 602-993-1302.
And then let me know what he says, willya?

Comments? Questions? Contact the author at: or Tweet: @DavyZJones

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