Monday, June 18, 2007

Perhaps We Should Consider The Words Of President Lyndon B. Johnson

I'm sorry, there was no Question Of The Week posted this past Sunday. I had some family business that needed my attention. Please stop by this Sunday for the Question Of The Week.

I never thought very much of President Lyndon Johnson's policies but we should give him credit. He seemed to know we shouldn't trust politicians, "You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered." I'm afraid we're going to have some problems when (not if)HR 297 is improperly administered. The way this bill was passed should tell us it is going to bite us before it's over. Why don't our elected officials want us to know who voted in favor of this attack on the Second Amendment? Check out what the good folks over at Jews For The Preservation Of Firearms Ownership had to say about it.

April 24, 2007

Exploiting a Tragedy
The gun-prohibitionists are taking full advantage of last weeks' horrific killings at Virginia Tech University to push more "gun-control" legislation in the form of HR 297, The NICS Improvement Act of 2007. Introduced back in January by Representative Carolyn McCarthy (aka the "Queen of Gun Control"), HR 297 is intended among other things to dangerously broaden the definition of "mental illness" for the purpose of denying firearms purchases.

Section (102)(c)(3) states:

"The State shall make available to the Attorney General ... the name and other relevant identifying information of persons adjudicated as mentally defective or those committed to mental institutions to assist the Attorney General in enforcing section 922(g)(4) of title 18, United States Code."

Can you imagine? ANYONE who has been to a mental institution or "adjudicated as mentally defective" would have their name and identifying information sent to the federal government.

It doesn't matter if you needed assistance coping with the devastating loss of a loved one or combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder. It doesn't matter if you only stayed for a night to reassure a worried spouse. Regardless of circumstances, your information would be still be submitted and you would no longer be permitted to purchase a firearm.

The NRA is unabashedly enthusiastic about HR 297. They cheerfully assure us that the bill is designed to "fix problems" with recordkeeping while improving the availability of criminal history and "other" records for conducting background checks.

Perhaps they should consider the words of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who said, "You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered."

As an educational organization, JPFO is not permitted to have a particular stance on this or any other legislation, but we do know flawed logic when we see it. So does Gun Owners of America, who calls HR 297 a "bureaucratic fishing expedition into your private records, including your financial, employment, and hospital records."

In theory, if you were found not to have a mental illness, your name could be removed from the list. But in this day and age of such pyschiatric diagnoses as "Oppositional Defiance Disorder" and "Caffeine Dependence Syndrome", what's the likelihood of escaping without such a label?

The unintended consequences are obvious to any thinking person. As a result of HR 297, more people who do need mental help will avoid getting it. Fearing the consequent loss of their rights, individuals will refuse to visit a therapist or mental facility, and will therefore be MORE likely to "snap" when the pressure becomes too great to bear.

In one fell swoop, HR 297 will totally negate the decades of progress that have been made in de-stigmatizing mental therapy, while increasing the likelihood of repeating last Monday's slaughter.

Naturally, like any other "gun control" legislation, HR 297 would be enforced by the BATFE, giving them even more power to harrass and intimidate gun owners and dealers.

Way to go, Rep. McCarthy.

- The Liberty Crew

If HR 297 is the great fix we've needed for so long now why was it passed in darkness, as a back room deal instead of in the light of day on the House floor where we could all see who supported it? I'm sure you know the answer to that.

Thanks go to:
Jews For The Preservation Of Firearms Ownership.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.


Anonymous Stephanie said...

I've been trying to process this and have come up at a loss for words repeatedly.

David, you know my relation with people with mental illness, you know how I advocate for acceptance, and you probably know that while I have no desire to own a gun I do believe that this is a very important right for our citizenry.

However... When Mark is at his best, he would be responsible with a gun. He would take care that its kept safely, and he would take care to use it only when necessary. When Mark is at his worst, I would not trust him with a gun. Not only would the risk that he'd harm himself be high, but the possibility of him unjustly harming another with it would be high.

I love my husband, I honor and respect him, and I try to help him get better. But... He should not own a gun.

Consider Johnson's quote with this in mind: Do you give a man a gun because when he is well he can handle the responsibility, or do you prevent the man from owning a gun because when he is not well he cannot handle the responsibility.

I'm not saying I agree with this piece of legislation, because I have not read it (nor would I necessarily understand it if I did). However, I do agree with the sentiment that the mentally unstable should not have access to guns for fear of what they might do with it when they are unstable.

On the other hand, if killing is one's intention than killing is fairly easy. You do not need a gun. A gun might make it quicker, and add to the body count, but it is not necessary to have a gun to kill.

It's a complicated situation without easy answers.

9:01 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

The unintended consequences are obvious to any thinking person. As a result of HR 297, more people who do need mental help will avoid getting it. Fearing the consequent loss of their rights, individuals will refuse to visit a therapist or mental facility...


I've dealt with family members who've suffered from clinical depression. Sure, one or two of them shouldn't own a gun. But the rest? Not a problem, because they weren't time bombs waiting to go off. They all got effective treatment, a few with in-house treatment, and most were eventually able to stop taking the meds (In those cases, depression was triggered by a traumatic event or, in the case of my husband, by brain surgery). Certainly in my husband's case, he'd never have gone for treatment had his right to own a firearm been in the balance.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Maybe there should just be a time period, of say two years, to elapse before someone committed to a psych hospital could buy a gun. If two years passes and they haven't killed themselves or someone else, or been re-committed, it should be obvious that they have recovered from their illness enough to have the same rights as anyone else.

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