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09/07 Disarmament Bill Could Come Before Senate At Any Time

Veterans Disarmament Bill Could Come Before The Senate At Any Time
-- GOA provides Senators with several pro-gun amendments

Gun Owners of America
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Springfield, VA 22151
(703)321-8585

"Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston!" -- Patrick Henry, in his "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech of March 23, 1775

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Senate could bring up the Veterans Disarmament Bill at any time, as a result of its passage in the Judiciary Committee a few weeks ago. The bill -- introduced by F-rated Rep. Carolyn McCarthy and Sen. Patrick Leahy -- is ready to come to the floor.

Gun Owners of America delivered draft amendments to every Senate office yesterday, providing important changes that must be made to the bill. Among others, the most important amendment would make it clear that veterans suffering from PTSD are NOT prohibited persons, and thus, are not to be denied the ability to purchase a firearm simply because of emotional problems resulting from their service to this country.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart is opposed to the McCarthy-Leahy bill, having stated on June 18 of this year, that "For the first time the legislation, if enacted, would statutorily impose a lifetime gun ban on battle-scarred veterans."

Military veterans are justifiably concerned that this bill will legitimize the very thing that President Clinton did over seven years ago, when his administration added 83,000 names of veterans -- suffering from maladies such as PTSD -- into the NICS background check system.

Proponents of the bill argue that this bill gives veterans a mechanism for getting their names off of the prohibited person list. That's like giving a mugger access to your home, but then stating you can hire a lawyer and pay THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS of dollars to eventually (maybe) get your stolen items back.

If the proponents are right -- that this bill will actually help gun owners -- then surely they won't object to friendly amendments that are designed to make it unmistakably clear that military veterans or grownups who suffered with ADHD as children will never be denied the ability to purchase a firearm, simply because they once had a "determination" from an anti-gun shrink that said there was the MINISCULE possibility that they could pose a danger to themselves or others.

You can be sure that if the McCarthy-Leahy bill passes, it will just be a first step. Consider some of the bigoted statements made by celebrities and politicians which not only show their contempt for gun owners but their pompous thinking which leads them to believe that we are all crazy for wanting to own a gun:

  • "I don't know that he's mentally qualified to own that gun." -- Democrat Presidential candidate Joe Biden, insulting a YouTube viewer during a debate after the man referred to his semi-auto as his "baby" (July 25, 2007).
  • "Isn't it possible that we all have that bit of insanity in us? That's why I'm for gun control.... I don't really believe that a human being who feels [things] should have the option [that is, access to a gun] at their fingertips." -- Actress Jodie Foster, quoted in a Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence press release (August 20, 2007).

And then there're the studies which will be, no doubt, used by liberal anti-gunners to strip away the gun rights from more and more law-abiding citizens, using the pretext that a shrink's diagnosis proves these people shouldn't own guns:

  • "A quarter of the Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans treated with US government-funded health care have been diagnosed with a mental disorder, according to a study published Monday." -- AFP news (March 12, 2007)
  • "The number of American children and adolescents treated for bipolar disorder increased 40-fold from 1994 to 2003, researchers report today in the most comprehensive study of the controversial diagnosis. Experts say the number has almost certainly risen further since 2003." -- New York Times (September 4, 2007)

Even before the studies started rolling in, gun haters were already working the legal loopholes as best they could. When the Veterans Administration got caught adding veterans' names into the NICS system during the Clinton presidency, they defended their actions by saying it was "required by law" -- a statement which was just flat out false.

But it's notable to hear what a spokesman for the VA said in an interview with WoldNetDaily (June 27, 2000). He said the most common way of finding a veteran "incompetent" is when he or she receives a formal rating of incompetency from a VA panel of medical representatives or from "a duly authorized VA medical center, government agency, or even a PRIVATE PHYSICIAN." (Emphasis added.)

That's what HR 2640 is all about. McCarthy and Leahy (and others like Sen. Chuck Schumer) are forging the legal chains that will be used to keep hundreds of thousands -- if not millions -- of decent, law-abiding Americans from owning guns... not because of what a court rules, but because of what ONE INDIVIDUAL says.

Over two hundred years ago, Patrick Henry warned about the "chains" that were being forged to enslave them. If he were here today, would he not warn us again?

Thankfully, there are many of you who are sounding the alarm. State groups from all over the nation are pumping out alerts to supplement what GOA is doing at the national level. Just yesterday, the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition (NHFC) called its members to action, stating that HR 2640 is a Trojan Horse, which sounds justified on the outside with promises of keeping "mental defectives" from having firearms. But when one takes a closer look at the details of the bill, the group said, it reveals "a huge expansion in those who will become a prohibited person; an expansion that could potentially include most Americans."

In addition to pointing out how many shrinks could prohibit average Americans from owning guns, NHFC points out that many pediatricians could make similar anti-gun "determinations" (using the language of the bill) to disarm their patients -- since after all, these docs believe that "any household with firearms is 'dangerous,' even if they are properly stored."

Good point.

ACTION:

1. Stay informed. GOA has a mammoth section on our website which both gives the specifics of the Veterans Disarmament Act and answers the claims made by supporters of the bill. Please go to http://www.gunowners.org/netb.htm to get more information, including the proposed GOA amendments that were delivered to each Senator on Tuesday.

2. Alert others. Forward this alert to pro-gun friends and family and ask them to take action as well.

3. Take action. Please contact your Senators, even if you have already done so. You can use the pre-written message below and send it as an e-mail by visiting the GOA Legislative Action Center (where phone and fax numbers are also available).

----- Pre-written letter -----

Dear Senator:

I oppose the Veterans Disarmament Act, which is being pushed by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (HR 2640) and Sen. Patrick Leahy. This bill will expand the 1993 Brady Law and disarm hundreds of thousands of combat veterans, among others.

I understand that Gun Owners of America distributed several amendments recently to every senatorial office to address the mistaken arguments that supporters of the bill have. I also understand that proponents of this bill are claiming it will actually help gun owners.

They argue that this bill gives veterans a mechanism for getting their names off of the prohibited person list. That's like giving a mugger access to your home, but then stating you can hire a lawyer and pay thousands upon thousands of dollars to eventually (maybe) get your stolen items back.

Well, if the proponents are right -- that this bill will actually help gun owners -- then surely they won't object to friendly amendments that are designed to make it unmistakably clear that military veterans or grownups who suffered with ADHD as children will never be denied the ability to purchase a firearm, simply because they once had a "determination" from an anti-gun shrink that said there was the MINISCULE possibility that they could pose a danger to themselves or others. That is what the GOA amendments are designed to do.

I still believe that the Brady Law has done more to register gun owners and deny guns from of law-abiding Americans than to keep guns out of criminals' hands. But adopting these amendments will at least prevent an anti-gun administration from doing what the Clintons did in 2000 when the Veterans Administration added the names of some 83,000 veterans into the NICS system.

Sincerely,

****************************

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