Monday, August 31, 2015


Op-ed:
Rightfully Zeroing In on the Mentally Ill
By: Diane Sori / The Patriot Factor / Right Side Patriots on http://cprworldwidemedia.net

“In any case arising out of the administration by the Secretary of laws and benefits under this title, a person who is mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or experiencing an extended loss of consciousness shall not be considered adjudicated as a mental defective under subsection (d)(4) or (g)(4) of section 922 of title 18 without the order or finding of a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others.” 
- Chapter 55, Title 38 of the US Code (Section 5503)

It's been almost a week since reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed live on national television by Vester Lee Flanagan II, and now after the shock has worn off a bit a national discourse has again been started by the Democrats about the need for added gun control. Forgetting the fact that guns will always be gotten by those who have NO business having them...as in the criminal element...as in those behaving badly...after this most recent shooting the issue has now zeroed in on the mentally ill.

Now let's be clear here, Flanagan was a loose cannon ready to go off at any moment. Having been fired from job after job all for the same reason...filing false charges of racism against his co-workers simply because he was black and they were white...Flanagan had to be escorted out of more than one of his former places of employment by the police. This alone should have tagged him as being mentally unstable, however, instability in and of itself is NOT grounds for denying someone a firearm if they pass a background check. And to be honest, logic dictates that ONLY law abiding citizens voluntarily submit to background checks as criminals, the mentally ill, and those behaving badly, NEVER do and NEVER will NO matter how many laws the Democrats try to pass to that affect.

Also, remember three key points as to what determines who can get a gun...point one: those who want a gun whether they be mentally ill or of the criminal element will always find a way to get a gun...legalities be damned. Point two: the myth that the more people who possess guns will always equate to more murders happening is simply NOT true. A report by a National Academy of Sciences panel said the evidence "does not credibly demonstrate a causal relationship between the ownership of firearms and the causes or prevention of criminal violence or suicide." And point three: it's on the order of judges and magistrates to decide who is or who is NOT legally mentally ill instead of allowing medical doctors to do so... meaning it's actually the legal system itself who has allowed the mentally ill to legally purchase firearms.

And now with the gun control debate focusing primarily on the mentally ill, above point three becomes all the more critical. Obviously, the actions of some do speak for themselves but unless a medical doctor is able to back up clinical observations in writing and have them placed in the public record those medically documented observations do NOT appear on background searches. And why... because to date laws concerning patient/doctor confidentiality coupled with the fact that those giving out said information face serious legal consequences if they do so trumps the heath, safety, and welfare of the general public...so says our legal system...so says Chapter 55, Title 38 of the US Code (Section 5503).

And without full medical disclosure being allowed, background checks remain nothing but a hill of beans proven by the fact that Flanagan legally purchased two Glock 9mm handguns last month from a federally licensed gun dealer in Virginia... and this purchase included the gun he used to murder Parker and Ward. Easily passing the required background check NO matter his job history, there was NOTHING in a criminal background check to prevent this transaction as NO medical history showed up to prevent the transaction.

And yet there are some serious selective enforcement issues going on as per the medical records aspect of background checks. Case in point: veterans suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) or TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) are being denied their legal right to buy or possess a firearm, because suffering from either deems the veteran legally “infirm,” as per the Brady Bill and per the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Saying those suffering from PTSD or TBI who cannot manage their own affairs...and with both being documented disabilities...are more “likely” to constitute a higher percentage of people who are dangerously mentally ill than those in the general public, therefore, they and they alone should NEVER be allowed to be in possession of a firearm.

And adding insult to injury, remember that in 2012, Obama signed the 2013 Fiscal Year National Defenses Authorization Act (NDAA) as part of the defense cuts, and this act included amendment #3109 which would take away the rights of veterans who were deemed mentally incompetent...meaning those diagnosed with PTSD or TBI...from owning a firearm. In fact, Obama actually has the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) determining if a veteran should have their all-important Second Amendment rights revoked...NOTHING like having the military itself stabbing its own 'Brothers in Arms' in the back...as #3109 states that "in order to protect the Second Amendment rights of veterans” they must be legally deemed mentally competent to “retain” their right to bear arms.

And with a 2013 VA study stating that 250,000 returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan were diagnosed with PTSD or TBI and “could become” violent and a danger to society...notice the words “could become” NOT 'will become'...and with there now (as of this year) being 127,000 veterans placed on the Federal gun registry criminal check system because of their having either PTSD or TBI...this translates into the fact that a veteran with PTSD or TBI is now deemed legally mentally incompetent NO matter their degree or control of PTSD or TBI and must prove that they are NOT mentally incompetent, thus throwing out the basic premise upon which our judicial system is based, that being that one is innocent until proven guilty. And this is especially grievous as even a person committing a felony...even a person caught in the act of murder...is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but sadly it's the other way around for our veterans whose name goes on a list that prevents them from ever legally possessing or purchasing a firearm.

A double-standard and selective enforcement to the nth degree regarding the very people who are highly trained to possess a firearm...highly trained compared to those who take a course or two either before or after purchasing a firearm...and who in most cases of PTSD do recover with proper treatment and who should be excluded from any such list.

Proper treatment...two words that are intimately tied into the gun discourse for while someone might have a treatable mental illness...a mental illness that can be controlled with prescribed medications...there is NO guarantee said person will take their medications as prescribed or even that they will take them at all. And because there is NO way to track these people due to doctor/patient confidentiality laws and with judges who have NO medical background making the decision as to someone's mental health status, you can see why we face the problems we currently do.

Selective enforcement against our veterans yet several recent studies show that more than 13% of all homicides committed are done by people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other psychotic mental illnesses...NOT by veterans with PTSD...people who are either going untreated or who stop treatment or taking their meds of their own accord. And proof of this lies with the case of Seung-Hui Cho, who committed the Virginia Tech Massacre in 2007, and who after being diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder as a child was placed under treatment. Unfortunately, Virginia Tech was NOT informed about Cho's mental health issues because of federal privacy laws. Another example is Jared Loughner, the Tucson, Arizona shopping mall shooter, who was so disturbed that one of his college professors filed numerous complaints against him, in the hope of having Loughner removed from his class. "When I turned my back to write on the board I would always turn back quickly...to see if he had a gun," said professor Ben McGahee.

Also, James Holmes, the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooter, was under psychiatric care at the University of Colorado and told his psychiatrist that he fantasized about killing "a lot of people," and doing it soon. But it was only after making threats against a professor that he was asked to leave campus yet he like Cho was NOT committed because of privacy laws. And Adam Lanza, the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school shooter, had recognized mental health issues but his parents did NOT seek help for him until mere months before the killings when his mother...his first victim...tried to have him involuntarily committed to a mental institution because of serious rage issues.

When privacy laws protect the mentally ill but do NOTHING to protect the innocent coupled with misplaced doctor/patient confidentiality laws... when numerous studies find a correlation between mental illness and violent behavior....when past violence remains the biggest predictor of future violence...and when judges instead of medical doctors make decisions on whether someone is mentally ill or NOT...these are the reasons why killings like the most recent in Virginia occur. Rather than including in background checks an individual's past violent behavior that called for police involvement (like in Flanagan's case), rather than including an individuals past mental health record like that of Lanza, Loughtner, and Cho...the liberal left proves time and again that they do care more about the guilty than the innocent.

And when misinformed and misguided but mostly well-meaning folks scream for even more laws that try to take guns away from law-abiding citizens whenever a mentally ill person with a million warning signs commits a murder, the already most heavily regulated product in America becomes the perpetrator instead of the one pulling the trigger. YES...it makes sense to stop people with criminal records or mental illness from buying firearms legally, but like I said at the beginning of this article, the mentally ill and criminals will always find a way to get a gun and it's those people we need to protect ourselves from...and the Second Amendment gives us the right to do so whether the liberal left likes it or NOT...period.  

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