As he threatened, King Obama has acted on gun control by bypassing Congress and issuing his almighty executive fiats from on high.
Given the recent highly politicized mass shootings involving unstable individuals, and terrorist attacks by Islamists, the natural reaction of the left is to blame guns. There is also, however, an ever increasing chorus on the right calling for a conversation on mental health; caution should be taken when advocating for conversation, though, as it could very well lead to legislation beyond the currently unenforceable executive fiats.
And therein lies the problem; who will now decide who may legally own a gun? The very same doctors, who donned their clinical white coats and stood with Obama to vouch for the Affordable Care Act will now decide who is mentally stable enough for gun ownership?
And what of the American Medical Association? Is it not conceivable that cherrypicked doctors could be hired to testify in front of Congress to justify de facto gun control? Also, what constitutes a mental illness? Could guns be taken away from a mother suffering from postpartum depression? What if you were depressed 20 years ago when your spouse died? What about, say, if a boy were 16 and the love of his life broke his heart? Say that same heartbroken and impulsive teen then threatens suicide and out of concern the boy’s parents place him in psychiatric care for observation and counseling. Could that one rash act then be used 20 years later to deny that him the right to purchase a firearm?
Each of these questions may no longer be a doctor’s to answer if mental health gun-control legislation is enacted. If we are to judge by the sales of anti-depressants like Paxil, Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Prozac, and the like, there should be a mass shooting occurring daily in the U.S. That’s simply no the case, though. The reality is, most mentally ill people are not violent. And since according to the DSM-V, over half of the American public could be diagnosed with some form of mental illness over our lifetime, very few among us will not have experienced depression in some form at some time in our lives.
If legislation were passed defining who may or may not exercise their constitutional rights based on the opinion of the bureaucracy and not individual doctors, where does it end? Due to both the misunderstanding and the social stigma of mental illness, it’s a far easier sell to the American people than outright gun-control is. Frankly, it’s surprising it’s taken this long for the left to use mental illness as an excuse for all out gun-control.
Make no mistake, the first victims of this legislation will be the men and women who were entrusted with the security of this nation: our veterans. Our veterans serve by fighting wars as requested by our country, and some are damaged physically and emotionally because of that service. Why then won’t posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) be used as a bludgeon to disarm unfairly many former military members who pose no threat to themselves or others?
To most, mental health, just like physical health is very personal and private. The Affordable Care Act is already dismantling the expectation of privacy people have with their physical health. Any new legislation regarding guns will do the same for mental health. It will further stigmatize and deter those who may need help from actually seeking it for fear they will end up in a government database. It’s also reasonable to note, Obama’s legislation will not do anything to curb so-called “gun violence.”
History is clear. Mental illness in and of itself does not give the government carte blanche to deny us our God-given constitutional rights. Shooters like Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Polytechnic Institute), Jared Loughner (Tucson, Arizona), James Holmes (Aurora, Colorado), Adam Lanza (Newtown, Connecticut), Aaron Alexis (Washington Navy Yard) are all examples of mass murderers with histories of mental illness. The difference between these shooters and others with mental illness is that they had each displayed violent tendencies before carrying out the shootings. Theirs was a failure of those around them and those treating them in recognizing their violent tendencies and having them institutionalized.
They are also a failure of government; federal, state, and local as each shooting occurred in a government-mandated Gun Free Zone. Notice, we have not had mass shootings outside of Gun Free Zones since law-abiding citizens exercising their 2nd amendment rights to be armed have deterred, stopped, and mitigated casualties in other many other cases across the country that we never hear reported on the evening news.
If all this sounds like hyperbole, you’re not paying attention. His Royal Highness, President Obama has taken it upon himself to decide all of this for you regardless of the law, the U.S. Constitution, or your safety.