This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, June 13, 2016:
The Founders, the beneficiaries of a classical education that far exceeds that present in the United States, knew the enemy of freedom intimately. George Washington said that “Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. It is force. Like fire, it is both a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” Thomas Jefferson expressed it differently:
When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Tyrants like Mao Tse Tung and Adolph Hitler also knew the essence of tyranny and its enemy. Said Mao: “All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns. That way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.” And Hitler: “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.”
What has that got to do with Social Security? After all, isn’t it on its last legs, the vestiges of a welfare state going broke? When Obama asked his staff for ideas and suggestions about how he could use his powers to remove guns from the American people (he, naturally, expressed it differently, in terms of public safety, reducing gun violence, etc., etc.), his staff met the challenge: take the Veterans Administration model for eliminating gun ownership from veterans allegedly suffering from mental illness, and double down on it.
The VA uses a simple formula: if a vet has named a fiduciary, a “representative payee,” to receive his or her benefits, that’s sufficient. That indicates sufficient mental instability or incapacity to own a firearm. At the moment more than 177,000 vets have their names listed on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NCIS), which means that the VA has neatly and irreversibly negated not only their Second Amendment rights but those guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment (due process) as well.
In January Obama announced from on high that Social Security was going to be implementing the same model, using the same criteria:
The Social Security Administration has indicated that it will begin the rule-making process to ensure that appropriate information in its records is reported to NICS [which] will cover appropriate records of the approximately 75,000 people each year who have a documented mental health issue, receive disability benefits and are unable to manage those benefits because of their mental impairment, or who have been found by a state or federal court to be legally incompetent.
In early May the SSA published those long-awaited rules in a dense, 41-page long proposal that is open for public comment until July 5th. This is how they hid the process:
Under the proposed rule, we [bureaucrats working for the SSA] would identify, on a prospective basis, individuals who received Disability Insurance Benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act … or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments under Title XVI of the Act.
And just how would identification take place, exactly? On Page 19 the question is answered in part:
If we have information that the beneficiary has a mental or physical impairment that prevents him or her from managing or directing the management of benefits, we will develop the issue of capability.
And just what is this “issue of capability,” exactly? That is found in a footnote at the bottom of Page 19, referring one to the rules by which said SSA bureaucrat determines whether said beneficiary is capable of handling his own affairs, or not:
Does the individual have difficulty answering questions, getting the evidence or information necessary to pursue the claim, or understanding explanations and reporting instructions?
If so, do you think this difficulty indicates the beneficiary cannot manage or direct the management of [his] funds?
This is the very essence of tyranny: the combining in one agency the three functions of government that the Founders worked so hard to separate: legislative, executive, and judicial. They make the laws, they interpret the laws and they enforce the laws. With the press of a computer key a single SSA bureaucrat, on his own, can put the name of a beneficiary receiving benefits onto the NICS watch list, thus effectively removing his freedom to keep and bear arms, all without due process. The proposed rules give lip service to a beneficiary’s right to challenge that bureaucrat’s decision, but only if he has a spare $10,000 to $100,000 lying around to pay for the legal fees.
If one is a tyrant, or wants to be one, guns have to go. What better way than to put the names of people receiving benefits through a “rep payee” onto the NICS list? And what’s to keep that bureaucrat from expanding the definition? Or the people receiving benefits? At the moment it sounds like only those receiving disability benefits would be subject to the threat. But any Title II beneficiary, as revealed by a close look at the new rules, is also included. That 75,000 number posted as those who are likely to be directly affected is a distraction. There are 65 million people receiving checks from Social Security. And millions more contributing to the system. What’s to keep the SSA, over time, from putting every beneficiary into NICS? Or every “participant?” All it takes, after all, is a bureaucrat following orders from on high.
There are two pieces to the implementation of tyranny, and the Founders knew them well: the separation of powers, and an informed watchful electoral jealous of their freedoms. As the country descends into tyranny it’s clear now as to why. It’s also clear, by watching the Social Security Administration’s new proposed rules, how it will happen.
Thomas Jefferson: When government fears the people, there is liberty…(Quotation)
Ammoland.com: Obama to Ban Thousands of Senior Citizens from Owning Firearms
WhiteHouse.gov: FACT SHEET: New Executive Actions to Reduce Gun Violence and Make Our Communities Safer
SocSecNews: Social Security To Be Involved In Gun Control
Guns.com: Social Security releases proposed rule to strip gun rights from some beneficiaries
Guns.com: White House moves to ban some on Social Security from owning guns
Los Angeles Times: Obama pushes to extend gun background checks to Social Security
Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 The “new” rules under Social Security
Gun Owners of America: Obama Taking Grandpa’s Guns