Now that the Washington Navy Yard shooter is known, contrary to early, hysterical reports, not to have been armed with an AR-15, or any other so-called "assault weapon," the forcible citizen disarmament jihadists will be forced to find a new way to exploit the atrocity. Even worse for the blood-dancing vultures, the killer bought the gun from a gun shop, after passing the federally mandated background check, rendering this outrage more or less useless as an argument for "universal background checks."
Their next most likely avenue of attack, then, may very well be to seek new ways to block gun purchases by military veterans who have received any kind of mental health treatment. Over a decade of combat has produced hundreds of thousands of veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The killer is said to have been suffering from PTSD, stemming not from his time in the military, but from his experience helping as a responder at the September 11. 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
One should probably not expect those pushing this agenda to pay much attention to the fact that PTSD is unlikely to have played much, if any, role in the shootings. From the PBS Newshour, in an interview with a professor of psychiatry, and an Army psychiatrist with over two decades of experience:
[Former Army psychiatrist] ELSPETH CAMERON RITCHIE: He could have had some symptoms, but I want to make really clear that PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, doesn't cause people to hear voices.
People may have some jumpiness, some hypervigilance, but the kind of paranoid delusions that Dr. Torrey mentioned are not consistent with PTSD.
GWEN IFILL: Dr. Torrey, did you want to...
[Professor of psychiatry] E. FULLER TORREY: No, I strongly agree with that. I think there was any PTSD here, it was a very minor issue on it.
Even so, Dr. Ritchie is evidently intent on erecting new barriers for prospective gun buyers:
ELSPETH CAMERON RITCHIE: I would add we also have to look at our gun laws, the fact that somebody with mental illness could go purchase a gun that day and use it.
And we have had this conversation so many times over these last few years Connecticut, with Aurora, with Fort Hood. We have to stand up and say, we need to have a comprehensive intelligence approach to how people can obtain guns.
Dr. Ritchie is clearly untroubled about the risk of a "'blanket dragnet' for gun rights disabilities."
In 2010, the Violence Policy Center released a disgustingly offensive video charging that supporters of proposed legislation to prohibit a veteran's gun rights being revoked without due process in court "want to increase the chance that veterans will commit suicide."
As this column has pointed out before, those advocating disarmament of veterans who seek mental health treatment seem to be unaware of a probable consequence of such a move:
With the growing efforts to revoke gun rights of people who are suffering from mental health issues, anyone who deeply values the right to an effective means to defend his life, family, and liberty is being given a strong disincentive from seeking the help he needs. This would seem an excellent recipe for causing exactly the kinds of tragedies we seek to avert.
Then again, when one considers the fact that the other side depends on high-profile shootings with high body counts, in order to fuel their agenda, perhaps they are perfectly aware of where this will lead. Perhaps that's not a bug, but a feature.
- Gun Owners of America: Q&A On The Veterans Disarmament Act
- Decorated Marine, disarmed by law
- Due process: it's for veterans, too
- Are veteran gun rights being crushed along with spent brass?
- Gun rights 101: The Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act
- Gun foes exploit Fort Hood tragedy to subvert vets' rights, Sen. Burr responds
- The Brady Campaign against veterans
- Mental health, background checks, and unintended consequences
- It's not right - Wayne Irelan's country dumps on him
- Gun rights, 'public health,' and health care
- 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