I’ve had this link sent to me about twenty times this morning. Most of the emails had “WTF?” in the subject line. It seems that Congress is trying to stick a line in the defense budget which would allow bureaucrats at the Department of Veterans Affairs to name veterans they deem as incompetent to manage their financial affairs, needing a fiduciary to manage their money for them, and enter those names into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Apparently, the usual suspects are willing to take these folks’ rights from them in Congress;
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.”
Yeah, that makes me feel better. I’ll be able to sleep tonight because Chuckie Schumer loves me. But, we’ve all witnessed the incompetence of the Veterans’ Affairs Department. We know that they’ll be more than happy to put as many veterans in NICs system as they can cram in to the data base, because they’re always eager to do anything that doesn’t have to do with helping veterans.
A core group of lawmakers led by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., has for several years wanted to prohibit the VA from submitting those names to the gun-check registry unless a judge or magistrate deems the veteran to be a danger. This year’s version of the bill has 21 co-sponsors. It passed the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee by voice vote, a tactic generally reserved for noncontroversial legislation.
What Schumer objects to is the amendment by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. who wants a judge to make the decision as to which veterans get put on the list, which makes sense, since the last I heard, the Fifth Amendment says “No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…”, and since owning a gun is a right, a liberty, veterans should be granted due process, not subject to the arbitrary decision of a faceless, nameless bureaucrat.
The Associated Press article claims that only 185 veterans have been put on the list against their wishes since 1998, but one is too many. When one person loses their rights, we all lose.
Someone you may have heard of spoke to this issue four years ago;
Mark Seavey, a lobbyist for the American Legion, supports Burr’s proposal and said it isn’t right to lump veterans with financial troubles into the group of people on the no-buy list.
He also worries about broadly stereotyping veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder but still have control of their affairs.
“We didn’t want to stigmatize people,” Seavey said. “It should be anybody who actually is a threat to themselves or others. I think veterans as individuals ought to be given the constitutional rights they fought for.”
But, rest assured that Chuckie Schumer loves you. He’d love you more if you didn’t own a gun.