Focal Point

AGAIN IN DEFENSE OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT: I am posting much later than usual because I badly wrenched my shoulder clearing brush with a tractor yesterday evening -- a tree-branch caught my canvas coat and nearly yanked me out of the saddle -- and I am still a bit muzzy from painkillers. But I want to share the following link because of its ruinous Second Amendment implications.

Remember the "Our Lady of Peace Act"? It has been renamed the "NICS Improvement Act" and remains alive in both houses of Congress. Just like its predecessor, this measure to "improve" the National Instant Check System would criminalize mental illness. Lawyers familiar with mental health law and advocates for the mentally ill all agree its enactment would condemn any and all mentally ill individuals as "mental defectives" no matter how minor or temporary their affliction. The proposal would also add the names of anyone so condemned to a national computer-maintained roster of officially declared untermenschen, and on that basis would permanently deny the right of firearms ownership and thus also the corollary right of self-defense.

These facts become profoundly significant in light of the claim that as many as half the people of the United States will at sometime in their lives suffer from diagnosable mental illness. While the 50 percent estimate is sometimes disputed, the following figures are not in dispute at all: a just-completed American Medical Association study that at least one in four U.S. residents currently admit suffering from some form of defined mental illness.

Every one of these folks would become permanently prohibited persons no exceptions, no appeals under the NICS Improvement Act. They would be forever denied their right to own guns and thus forever denied their right to defend themselves if attacked or victimized.

Bear in mind too the NICS Improvement Act is supported by a broad coalition in both houses of Congress: Democrats and Republicans, anti-gunners and the National Rifle Association with the NRA once again showing the infinite hypocrisy of its Nazi-like hostility to anyone who is mentally ill never mind the brevity or mildness of the condition, and never mind the fact that the mentally ill are statistically no more violent than any other subgroup in America (and considerably less violent than some).

The link to the AMA survey vital information in this ongoing debate is here.

posted by on June 3, 2004 09:03 PM

Given the statistics of mental illness in the US we might conclude that certain members of Congress could also be ill. Given that, might we also assume that it might be possible for a Presidential candadate to fall under this act? If so how could he or she exercise their duty in a crisis as Commander by issuing orders to use, say, a few atomic weapons? Oh well given the usual way Congress has their way we'll probably see a lot of loop holes for the blessed, to get out from under the act.

Posted by: Brian Weaver at June 3, 2004 09:23 PM

Given the statistics of mental illness in the US we might conclude that certain members of Congress could also be ill.

Schumer, McCarthy, Feinstein, etc...

(...half joking. If you read some of their speeches on firearms they come off as very unhinged.)

Posted by: Patrick Chester at June 4, 2004 12:58 AM

On behalf of the state of NY, excluding NYC... I apologize for our horrible choice in senators. (I didn't vote for either Schumer or Clinton...) I never take responsibility for NYC, because it is what it is...

Posted by: Ethne at June 4, 2004 07:46 PM

Oh Ethne, honey, that's why you need to relocate to Colorado! Out here, we have Ben Nighthorse Campbell and Wayne Allard, both notable conservatives, even if we have to count that dreadful Marilyn Musgrave among them. (Real hyper-authoritarian, that one!)

I guess there are bad apples in every bunch.

So...whadaya say? Colorado? Eh? Eh?

Posted by: Linda at June 4, 2004 08:55 PM

I am unusually late responding to these comments because my Internet connection was cancelled yesterday by my local server -- apparently due to a misunderstanding over revised terms of service -- and it was not restored until today, Sunday June 6.

Taking your comments in order:

I have no doubt, Brian, that Congress will drill its own Mental Health Loophoole. Since the beginning of the Republic, Congress has been exempt from arrest and prosecution ("except treason, felony and breach of the peace"), for which see Article I, Section 6 of the U.S. Constitution. Congress also routinely exempts itself from many of its own laws. Google: "Congressional Exemptions."

And yes, Patrick, certain members of Congress are almost certainly certifiable. In my region, the name that immediately comes to mind is Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), who clings to the clinically suggestive delusion that Osama bin Laden built "day care centers" for the children of (viciously oppressed) Islamic women.

The problem, Ethne, is that the people in the urban Northeast are collectively such cowards, they are now outlawing all individual expressions of bravery -- lest it cause the craven masses unnecessary embarrassment. That is the psychological foundation of the assault on the Second Amendment and indeed the attack on the individual right to self defense. And Linda is absolutely correct: come west -- or better yet go to Alaska. Or go south...

Posted by: loren at June 6, 2004 11:32 AM