This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, July 20, 2015:
With five million members and annual revenues of a quarter of a billion dollars, one would think that someone at the National Rifle Association was watching the store. But it took theLos Angeles Times to break the story and expose the latest end run the Obama Administration is taking to attack the Second Amendment.
In its efforts to ban guns from American citizens, the administration ispushing the Social Security Administration to apply the same restrictions on gun ownership as those applied by the Veterans Administration: one is incompetent if he or she is unable to manage their own affairs due to “marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease.” At present, some 2.7 million people receive disability payments from Social Security for mental health problems, while another 1.5 million have their finances handled by others, for any number of reasons.
For Steve Overman, a 30-year-old former Marine, his PTSD and brain injuries sustained when his Humvee was blown up by an IED in Iraq qualified him for 100 percent disability. His wife handles their finances now, and, under VA rules, his disability makes him ineligible to own firearms. Said Steve: “I didn’t know the VA could take away your guns.”
After 18 months of appeals, Overman got the VA to lift their incompetence ruling and his removal from the NCIS background check system.
The VA has records of 177,000 veterans and survivors in its database. Social Security has millions. Initial estimates are that, if the SSA adopts the same rules as the VA, some 4.2 million people will be at risk of have their Second Amendment rights rescinded. But the potential numbers are far larger. At present, 8.8 million Americans receive disability checks every month, along with 50 million other retirees, dependents, and survivors. And the SSA claims that more than 165 million workers are covered under its system.
In this, the Obama Administration might just have hit a gold mine: using a broad definition of mental illness to abrogate the Second Amendment rights of potentially millions of Americans. As one critic noted, once the new rules are adopted, everyone who can’t balance a checkbook is in danger of losing those rights.
President Obama has made no secret of his intention to abrogate and override Americans’ Second Amendment rights. In this he is consistent, having first expressed his antipathy while a Senator from Illinois. But his frontal attack on it happened within a month of the Newtown, Connecticut attack by Adam Lanza. He issued a broadside of legislation demands along with an executive order containing 23 “action steps” designed to infringe further those rights. His legislative recommendations included requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales, a reinstating of the “assault” weapons ban that expired in 2004, limiting magazine capacities to 10 rounds, elimination of “armor-piercing” bullets, providing federal funds to pay for mental health services in public schools, spending government funds to hire more police officers, and instituting a federal gun trafficking statute.
His executive “actions” included requiring all federal agencies to hand over to the NCIS all “relevant” data for its database, provide more training to federal officers for “active shooter” situations, and directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes of gun violence like that unleashed by Lanza in Connecticut.
At the time he made clear his intentions:
I intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them a reality.
I will put everything I’ve got into this and so will Joe [Biden].
But he also knew that the chances for enactment were slim because of an informed citizenry:
But I tell you, the only way we can change is if the American people demand it…. This will not happen unless the American people demand it.
A month later, in February 2013, he enlisted the assistance of his Vice-president to assemble a task force to dream up and send to Congress any possible conceivable measure that might restrict the Second Amendment rights of the people, all in the name of “curbing violence.” Biden included top brass from the Departments of Justice, Education, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, along with anti-gun groups and lawmakers.
But even with all of this, including a sympathetic media, those American citizens, through their elected representatives, told Obama, Biden, et al, to take a hike. Obama vented his frustration a few months ago:
What we’ve done is try to do as much administratively to tighten up how background checks are run, to go after illegal drug runners. But I tell you that trying to get something through Congress has proven to be very difficult.
And it’s heart-breaking.
But that didn’t mean he was giving up. Instead he obviously ordered his staff to find ways to work around the Congress and the NRA and install restrictions that might impact millions of Americans’ right to keep and bear arms.
Even the Huffington Post lamented that Obama suffered a “complete failure to pass even a single piece of [anti-gun] legislation,” with the exception of Congress’ renewal of a ban on the sale or possession of firearms that aren’t detectable by X-ray machines or metal detectors, such as 3-D printed firearms. This puts off for ten years any serious discussion of further restrictions on that ban, during which time technology will continue to bring the cost and availability of making 3-D firearms down to the point where nearly everyone who cares can make his own at home.
Obama had some modest success, including requiring trusts owning firearms to go through a criminal background check, and eliminating the reimportation of firearms initially shipped abroad.
But it took the LA Times to blow the whistle on Obama’s end run, instead of the usually diligent NRA, thus proving once again that the enemy of freedom never rests nor sleeps and that eternal vigilance is the price required to keep it.
Chicago Tribune: Obama pushes to extend gun background checks to Social Security
Huffington Post: Congress Renews Plastic Gun Ban For Decade