You Would Be Crazy Not To Own a Gun: Senators Propose Law To Guarantee Gun Ownership for Mentally Incapacitated Veterans

200px-Sam160px-Richard_Burr_official_photoWe recently saw a court rule that a quadriplegic has a right to hunt with a special chair where he literally blows away deer by blowing into a tube attached to the trigger. Now, Senators have adopted a provision to guarantee the right of “mentally incapacitated” veterans to buy firearms. After the shooting at Fort Hood, the provision passed with the support of Republican North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr and Democratic Virginia Senator Jim Webb is attracting criticism.

You might not be viewed as fully loaded but you are likely sane enough to own a gun under the new change.

The provision would allow such veterans currently listed as mentally incapacitated to buy weapons.
Burr explained that “[c]urrently, when the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) appoints a fiduciary to assist a veteran with managing their financial affairs, VA also deems the veteran mentally incompetent and reports him or her to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), . . The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act would require a judicial body to deem a veteran, surviving spouse, or child as a danger to himself or others before being listed in NICS, which would prohibit the veteran from being able to purchase certain firearms. The legislation is supported by the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, AMVETS, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart.”

The provision would alter the language of Gun Control Act of 1968 and override VA regulations that bar such purchases.

The legislation is called Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act and can be found here and here. It specifically covers any veteran “who is mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or experiencing an extended loss of consciousness.”

Critics charge that the provision would guarantee gun ownership for people like Major Nidal Hasan, who was considered ” “psychotic.”

76 thoughts on “You Would Be Crazy Not To Own a Gun: Senators Propose Law To Guarantee Gun Ownership for Mentally Incapacitated Veterans

  1. “Take a look at how/how often this “Dimensio” person uses terms like “reason” and passes judgment on what is “not rational.”

    Have you any actual argument to make against my statements?

  2. Byron–

    Playing devil’s advocate–just because someone uses words like “reason” and “rational” in an argument doesn’t necessarily presume that the person’s argument is either or both of those.

    And just because Dimensio claims that I point I made was irrational, doesn’t make it so.

    I guess I’d have to ask: Who determines what is rational and what is reasonable in this debate? And just because someone may quote statistics, that doesn’t necessarily prove anyhting. The statistics maye be correct; they may be incorrect. Statistics can be used–and abused.

  3. Dimensio–

    You said: “If you express objection or “disturbance” regarding lawful and nonviolent individuals possessing firearms in a public location where such possession is not illegal that is of no rational basis, then it is not unreasonable to conclude that your concerns are not rational.”

    The owning of slaves was once legal in this country. I guess if I had lived during those times and expressed feeling disturbed by slavery, you might have considered me irrational.

    As for any further discussion on the topics of guns–I’m done. I’ve got work to do.

  4. “Playing devil’s advocate–just because someone uses words like “reason” and “rational” in an argument doesn’t necessarily presume that the person’s argument is either or both of those.”

    I am willing to consider that my assessment of statements and positions are mistaken, if an explanation of the error in my reasoning — including an explanation detailing the actual rationale of a position that I have stated to be irrational — is provided.

  5. Elaine:

    I was commenting on TomD.Arch diminishment of reason as a means for judging the merits of something. How else but with reason can one get to the truth about a subject?

    I did not read all of his posts nor yours. The ones he wrote seem quite rational for his point of view.

    What I object to is how people with opposing points of view are deemed mentally ill or racist (unless they truly are) if there is disagreement on an issue. I was responding to TomD.Arch’s implication that Dimensio was somehow mentally ill and therefore his argument suspect.

    Since TomD.Arch is all for the abolition of reason, I suppose his point makes perfect sense.

  6. ElaineM:

    owning slaves and gun control are similar issues in that an individuals rights are abused. It would at all times in human history be rational to oppose slavery. I doubt Dimensio would ever call you irrational to oppose such an institution based on his opposition to gun control. Now that would be irrational.

  7. Dimensio,

    I actually agree with you on this issue. It’s like the sex offender list. Broad categories inevitably lead to people having labels that they shouldn’t.

    Here’s the thing though: Your other arguments are severely flawed. I’ll just pick the most obvious.

    “Automatic firearms have been used in less than five homicides since 1934.”

    Firstly I have severe doubts as to the accuracy of your number, and claims require proof. For now I’ll just assume you’ve got a credible source for that claim (one which I’d LOVE to see). By considering the question as binary (are automatics dangerous, yes or no) you are falling prey to your bias. Do you think that the lack of homicides (as an aside, are you using the legal term homicide or homicide as generic term for murder, because the two would have different implications in this discussion. Which definition of “automatic weapon” you use is also an important thing to clarify) might have to do with the control placed on automatics by the various governments involved? I bet the number of people killed by moonshine is pretty low too. So perhaps automatic weapons are more dangerous, but thanks to the restricted assess to them, the danger towards the general population is negated (think tigers in zoos).

    Bron,

    I think Thom was offended by the use of reason as a cudgel against all criticism. His reason is just as biased towards his view as those opposing him are biased by theirs. I picked that example, but I could have also pointed out that things can be dangerous without killing, not all deaths are intentional, things can be used legally and still result in death.

    The fact is, you’re both coming at this from the same place, so of course you both view his arguments as rational, that’s the way human minds work. Elaine views her arguments as rational too. There is are plenty of rational conclusions that are wrong because they are based off of faulty premises (just ask me to prove the moon is made of cheese).

  8. Gyges:

    I did not take TomD.Arch’s post as such, he may have meant it that way and I think in your consistently good natured and optimistic way you are seeing the best side. I will follow your lead.

    by the way Bron is fine, it is actually my childhood nickname which I wish I would have kept.

  9. Hey, has anyone thought that we have not seen Bdaman or Billy for a while. They are just as good and insulting as Dimeniso. Just wonder…

  10. “Firstly I have severe doubts as to the accuracy of your number, and claims require proof.”

    I should have been more specific to note that I was making reference to homicides committed with legally owned fully automatic firearms; obviously, suggesting that a prohibition or restriction upon the possession of such firearms would have prevented crimes committed with wholly illegally possessed firearms of that nature are entirely irrational. I have been able to locate two reports of homicides committed with a legally possessed fully automatic firearm since 1934. Roger Waller, a police officer in Dayton Ohio, used a fully automatic Ingram MAC-11 submachine gun to murder a police informant; as a police officer, Mr. Waller was one of the few individuals in the United States permitted to obtain a fully automatic firearm that had been manufactured after 1986. The second homicide was committed in Ohio by a Dr. Shou Chao Ho in the year 1996. I have obtained this data from http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcfullau.html; additional sources are referenced therein.

    “(as an aside, are you using the legal term homicide or homicide as generic term for murder, because the two would have different implications in this discussion.”

    While I should have specified that I was making reference only to criminal homicide acts, such a lack of clarification does not actually alter the accuracy of my statement; I have been able to identify only one occurrence of a justified homicide being committed with a fully automatic firearm, as Harold Fish was acquitted after being prosecuted following his use of deadly force against a violent criminal who threatened him with both a motor vehicle and a firearm.

    ” Which definition of “automatic weapon” you use is also an important thing to clarify)”

    An “automatic weapon” is one that discharges more than one round of ammunition in sequence per trigger pull. Such firearms have been federally restricted since 1934.

    “Do you think that the lack of homicides (as an aside, are you using the legal term homicide or homicide as generic term for murder, because the two would have different implications in this discussion. Which definition of “automatic weapon” you use is also an important thing to clarify) might have to do with the control placed on automatics by the various governments involved?”

    Given the ability for criminal individuals to obtain legally banned products when desired, I suspect that it is the cost of obtaining such firearms — which may itself be influenced by current restrictions of such firearms, but this would be valid only after 1986 while there exists no data that rates of crime committed with such firearms were reduced after that time — as compared to the cost of obtaining other objects of equivalent or greater lethality combined with the relatively cumbersome nature of most fully automatic firearms (as typically such firearms are long guns) that are the main factors in their underrepresentation in violent criminal acts.

  11. Byron, you said something in response to Tom:

    “By the way he [Dimensio] seemed pretty rational to me with the arguments he presented and all were clearly understood. You may not agree with them but I don’t think that gives you the right to imply that he is off his rocker as a means of rejecting his argument(s). Most totalitarian states use the same system to prevent dissent.”

    And your response to me:

    “What I object to is how people with opposing points of view are deemed mentally ill or racist (unless they truly are) if there is disagreement on an issue. I was responding to TomD.Arch’s implication that Dimensio was somehow mentally ill and therefore his argument suspect.”

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

    Wasn’t Dimensio dismissing me in the same way by using the words “not rational” in his argument against opinions/concerns that I have expressed. I fully understand the meaning of “not rational” and what he/she is trying to imply about my ability to reason…my being of sound mind. Isn’t that what you allude to when you say that totalitarian states used that type of system to prevent dissent?

    Another thing: There is a difference between stating something as a fact–and expressing an opinion, a thought, or feeling. In a number of my comments above, I used words like “think”–“wonder”–“seems.” I wasn’t claiming I was right–just expressing my personal opinions and feelings.

    No one commenting here knows the reasons why I feel the way I do about guns. Some may think I reached my opinions using faulty logic or premises. Dimensio can claim my thinking/opinions/feelings/concens are irrational–as others are free to do. I would beg to disagree with them.

  12. Elaine:

    I went back and read all of Dimensio’s posts and your posts.

    He never called you irrational, he specifically stated that a particular view was irrational based on the facts of the matter. I believe that one can certainly be rational and have irrational views.

    I consider myself to be a rational person, but I have an intense fear of spiders. I would rather be castrated than have a Tarantula crawl on my arm. Even knowing a Tarantula’s venom is no worse than a bee sting. I consider that to be irrational, I hazard a guess that you think it is irrational as well.

    And that is exactly what Dimensio is saying, on a particular issue someones assessment does not add up to the facts of reality and is therefore irrational. He made no claim that you were irrational, i.e. mentally incompetent.

    Another example is Pit Bulls, people think they are crazed baby killers and so are deathly afraid of them. I have a friend who owns a Pit Bull and that dog is one of the sweetest most gentle dogs I know. Do I give Pit Bulls a wide berth if I don’t know them, yes. Do I give Gaia (her name) a wide berth, no. It would be irrational to give the particular a wide berth but not the general.

    In the case of packing heat, the majority of law abiding citizens who carry guns legally are not crazed killers, so there is nothing to fear from them. Should you see a gun owner using unsafe firearm handling then it is rational to avoid them like the plague.

    In my opinion Dimensio answered every one’s queries in a polite and thoughtful manner, he was not afforded the same courtesy.

  13. Byron–

    I said: “I must admit that it disturbs me to see people bringing guns to protests–like the fellow who had one strapped to his thigh when President Obama spoke in New Hampshire a few months ago.”

    Dimensio responded: “Given that no individuals were harmed by the armed protester, it would seem as though your concern is not rational.”

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

    I fail to see how my being concerned about people bringing firearms to protests such as the one I noted is irrational–just because no one was harmed. There are lots of unstable people around. Some may be carrying guns–or other weapons–for which they have permits. What if such an individual gets in an altercation/heated discussion at such an event and loses his/her temper/self-control?

    Some of the folks I’ve seen at teabagger protests and at townhall meetings held by politicians give me pause for thought. Some are birthers. Some scream about death panels. Some appear to be really agitated.

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

    You said: “In the case of packing heat, the majority of law abiding citizens who carry guns legally are not crazed killers, so there is nothing to fear from them.”

    How am I supposed to determine if a person carrying a weapon at a protest is harmless or not? You know Gaia. I didn’t know the fellow with the gun strapped to his thigh.

    There are violent crimes committed by people who–before they committed their crimes–were law abiding citizens.

  14. Elaine:

    I see your point. I guess it comes down to someones comfort level. I used to go to the shooting range quite a bit as well as hang out with people that shoot. We used to destroy beer cans and old computers and refrigiraors among other items.

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