The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > Law and Civil Rights

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 3, 2012, 03:25 PM   #1
BarryLee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 29, 2010
Location: The ATL (OTP)
Posts: 2,491
Veterans’ Gun Rights

Currently if a disabled Veteran is deemed incompetent to the point that someone else must manage their affairs the VA enters their name into the criminal background database and the person is prohibited from buying a firearm. Some Senators lead by Tom Coburn want to end this automatic process while others like Charles Schumer want it to continue.

I have attached a link to the article and I realize many of you may know much more about this subject than I do or than is included in the article.

While there may be other points I noted two main issues:

1) Should a person who cannot handle their own affairs automatically be barred from buying a firearm? There has been a lot of discussion about keeping firearms away from those who have legitimate mental or emotional issues, but is this the right way to do it?

2) If the VA suspects the person should not own a firearm should the person in question be granted some type of hearing before they lose a Constitutional right?

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012...-defense-bill/
__________________
A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it ... gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
- Milton Friedman
BarryLee is offline  
Old December 3, 2012, 03:52 PM   #2
Xfire68
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 31, 2010
Location: Communist State of IL.
Posts: 1,358
Should be on a case by case basis.

Determining if a person is a danger to themselves or others is not a simple process and as we have seen in recent events even some that are reaching out in some way or another are overlooked.
__________________
NRA Life Member, SAF Member
Xfire68 is offline  
Old December 3, 2012, 03:57 PM   #3
MLeake
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Outside KC, MO
Posts: 10,128
My question is, does the same thing happen to non-veterans who are assigned guardians by the court?

If not, sounds like grounds for a class action civil rights suit.
MLeake is offline  
Old December 3, 2012, 04:10 PM   #4
Xfire68
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 31, 2010
Location: Communist State of IL.
Posts: 1,358
Well, yes if you have been treated by a doctor and found to have mental issues you may loose your right to own a firearm.

I don't know the law word for word so I will let those that know it better chime in.
__________________
NRA Life Member, SAF Member
Xfire68 is offline  
Old December 3, 2012, 04:24 PM   #5
orangello
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 25, 2009
Posts: 564
With something so serious as losing a BOR right, i would hope that decisions would be made on a case-by-case basis and not by some rubber-stamping beurocratic panel.

Who would be competent to judge veterans' competence to own a firearm, their old Drill Instructor? a group of doctors/psychiatrists? family members of the "accused"?

Who do YOU trust to make that decision for those who have fought to defend our freedoms (including the 2nd ammendment)?

I must say that i cannot think of anyone or any group i would trust to make that decision for our veterans.


(please just delete this post if it endangers the thread's existance)
orangello is offline  
Old December 3, 2012, 05:37 PM   #6
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 5,937
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangello
I must say that i cannot think of anyone or any group i would trust to make that decision for our veterans.
As a Vietnam veteran who uses the VA "health care" system, I can attest first-hand that the LAST people who should be trusted to make any such determinations are the staff in the VA "health care" system. It is strictly a by-the-numbers system, and my perception is that their entire system is founded on the assumption that ALL their clients are senile and/or functionally illiterate. They have no conception of informed consent when it comes to something as simple as prescribing a medication and asking if you have any allergies or other contraindications that might affect the prescription. I had one VA doc prescribe a topical medication to which I had shown a severe allergic reaction a year before, and the doctor's supervisor had told him the first time that I shouldn't be using it. He didn't like being chastised in front of a patient (he was Korean), so he "forgot" to enter the allergy notation in my records.

I also almost lost a foot because a VA ER doc refused to acknowledge that there was an infection. The drill was to look, prescribe, discharge -- to be accomplished as quickly as possible.

The VA system is not really set up to deal with patients as individuals. And when you're talking about something as significant as terminating someone's Constitutional right to self-defense, each person damned well SHOULD be dealt with as an individual.
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old December 3, 2012, 06:06 PM   #7
SPEMack618
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2010
Location: Central Georgia
Posts: 1,374
It scares me that the VA would be charged with this responsibility, since, in my albeit, limited exprience with them, theyar quick to latch to anything and everything as a sympton of PTSD.
__________________
NRA Life Member
"Had King Kong showed up in Texas, Frank Hamer would have taken him down with his Model 8 in .35 Remington...well, he was kind of big, so maybe his BAR"
SPEMack618 is offline  
Old December 3, 2012, 08:42 PM   #8
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 5,937
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPEMack618
It scares me that the VA would be charged with this responsibility, since, in my albeit, limited exprience with them, theyar quick to latch to anything and everything as a sympton of PTSD.
Oh, yes. This ... in spades. PTSD is the "hot" topic these days, as a sadly predictable result of sending too few troops on too many long deployments in places where you can't even trust the people inside the wire. The VA gets extra credit for "helping" veterans deal with PTSD, so they are only to happy to diagnose a hangnail as PTSD if ya let 'em. It makes their numbers look more like they're doing something ...
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old December 3, 2012, 09:01 PM   #9
egor20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 14, 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 1,762
Quote:
Aguila Blanca

Oh, yes. This ... in spades. PTSD is the "hot" topic these days, as a sadly predictable result of sending too few troops on too many long deployments in places where you can't even trust the people inside the wire. The VA gets extra credit for "helping" veterans deal with PTSD, so they are only to happy to diagnose a hangnail as PTSD if ya let 'em. It makes their numbers look more like they're doing something ...
Aguila Blanca is right,

I do some work with "Wounded Warriors", I let a few of the guys ride some of my horses for relaxation therapy. I've had the VA come to the farm and ask me questions about some of them, if I thought they had PTSD.

#1 I'm not a shrink
#2 none of there business

They were kindly asked to leave my farm.

EDIT: The VA was asked to leave, not the WW guys.
__________________
Chief stall mucker and grain chef

Country don't mean dumb.
Steven King. The Stand
egor20 is offline  
Old December 4, 2012, 12:24 AM   #10
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 10,564
Not a new thing...

About a dozen years back I bought a Mauser (actually a Czech VZ24) from a vet who was having medical problems. As far as I know, it was not a mental health thing, BUT, the VA basically made him get rid of his guns.

The way they did it was sneaky and underhanded, IMO, as the convinced him his treatment would not be coverred (or they would refuse to treat him) if he had any guns in the house.

For those out there who honestly think government run health care is the way to go, talk to some vets, and look at the fine job the VA does.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old December 4, 2012, 06:20 AM   #11
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 5,937
The VA has been subject to a huge amount of criticism in recent years over numerous systemic failures in their care of the troops being released from active duty after being in the sandbox of Afghanistan. They have a double-barreled reason to exaggerate diagnoses of PTSD. First, as I posted, that's the buzzword, so if they can diagnose more cases of it, they have "proof" to the Congress that they need more money to hire more people to handle this "epidemic."

Secondly, because PTSD is such a buzzword, that last thing the VA wants is for any veteran under their care to do something that might be attributable to PTSD without their having diagnosed it, and made every effort to keep him (or her) away from guns. IMHO the VA would be overwhelmingly supportive of any initiative to ban people diagnosed with PTSD from firearms ownership or use for life. They are paranoid about guns.
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old December 4, 2012, 08:38 AM   #12
SPEMack618
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2010
Location: Central Georgia
Posts: 1,374
The fact that when I went to the VA to see about my knee(which I later found out still had a chunk of Humvee in it) and they spent more time asking how I was sleeping and how much I was drinking and my relationship status than, you know, poking around my knee is enough to mak me ddistruct them on just about all matter of things.

It further angers me when you consider that a guy from my platoon decided to end his life and had been to the VA to specifically seek counseling only to get the government run around.
__________________
NRA Life Member
"Had King Kong showed up in Texas, Frank Hamer would have taken him down with his Model 8 in .35 Remington...well, he was kind of big, so maybe his BAR"
SPEMack618 is offline  
Old December 4, 2012, 10:23 AM   #13
zukiphile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 1,564
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPEMack618
It scares me that the VA would be charged with this responsibility,...
The text of this story is ambiguous.

If the VA is merely reporting a state court adjudication that an individual is incompetent, then that isn't a problem. These adjucations are made on a case by case basis.

If the VA has an administrative hearing procedure before it diverts one's benefits to a fiduciary, then the quality of the hearing, including the right to counsel, is at issue. This administrative finding would limit transfers from a (FFL) licensee even if it weren't reported by the VA, but I don't see a federal administrative hearing as the equivalent of a legal disability like a state court finding of incompetence. One could still legally purchase from a non-licensee.

If you aren't responsible for your own actions, and have been probated and your driver's license revoked, then the argument for having you retain a weapon seems weak.

If a VA social worker thinks you look a little sad and wants to meddle in your life, that's a different matter, but not what the link describes.

Last edited by zukiphile; December 4, 2012 at 10:42 AM.
zukiphile is offline  
Old December 4, 2012, 01:37 PM   #14
cannonfire
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2010
Location: Georgia
Posts: 492
Quote:
It further angers me when you consider that a guy from my platoon decided to end his life and had been to the VA to specifically seek counseling only to get the government run around.
Bingo! My best friend was in the same situation and ended with the same result.

I must have been extremely lucky. When I went to the VA for PTSD, my initial interview with the nurse to get my information, I needed my roommate to sit in with me and tell the nurse just how bad I was with drinking, lack of sleep, anger, etc (I had no idea it was that bad). When I sat down with my therapist for the first time, she asked me if I owned any guns. I said yes (I didn't think much of it at the time). She asked if it would be ok if a family member holds onto them while I go through therapy. That was that. I gave my guns to my mom to hold and about half way through my therapy, she told me to retrieve my guns if I felt comfortable enough (I was comfortable enough from the beginning). I don't know why she was so calm about it (maybe she thought I was cute ) but if I were to ever go back I would not tell them anything about my guns.

Let me say this about PTSD. EVERY member of the Armed Forces who has been on patrols or seen a little bit of action, has PTSD on some level. If you can honestly say that you can go from living in America, go to a hostel zone, conduct patrols, get in firefights, or even searching for IEDs and snipers, and come back to America and not change even a little bit, something else is wrong. No sane person can be exposed to hostilities like that and not be changed. Now there are different levels and some people can control that change better than others, but if the VA really wanted to, they could find a way to say every Service Member coming back from deployment has PTSD. IMO anyway.

Quote:
For those out there who honestly think government run health care is the way to go, talk to some vets, and look at the fine job the VA does.
Now for my bad experience with the VA. I had to get my wisdom teeth taken out and I didn't go through dental after my deployment, so the VA paid for it. They wanted me to wait 5 months for an appointment to have my teeth pulled while going under because apparently they were that booked with appointments. Ummm hello, I'm here because I'm in pain now and need them pulled now, what makes you think I could wait 5 months without damage to my other teeth? Instead I chose to have them pulled while I was awake a week later (I was in that much pain). After the surgery, I waited for 4 hours for my painkillers to be prescribed. The novacane (?) wore off before I got my pills. So yes Government Healthcare sucks.
__________________
Segui il tuo corso e lascia dir le genti - Dante

Blaming guns for crime is like blaming the planes for 9/11
cannonfire is offline  
Old December 4, 2012, 01:43 PM   #15
wizrd
Member
 
Join Date: February 26, 2012
Posts: 89
Anyone been to a Doctor or Dentist lately, for examination or procedures, and have them ask you the question, " How do you deal with STRESS? " -- it seems to be a common occurence of late. Don't even think about telling them, - 'I take my pistol to the range and shoot a couple hundred rounds.' -- Even though I do find this quite relaxing. -- Better to mention thinking of some blue skies & butterflies, or maybe dolphins swimming & jumping in a lovely blue lagoon. -- We are all under suspicion of PTSD. -- Welcome to the big brother's new watch list!
wizrd is offline  
Old December 4, 2012, 01:44 PM   #16
Tom Servo
Staff
 
Join Date: September 27, 2008
Location: Foothills of the Appalachians
Posts: 9,454
The quality of care the VA provides is not the topic at hand. The issue under discussion is how its actions (and the legislation dictating them) may affect veterans' gun rights.
__________________
In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.
--Albert Camus
Tom Servo is offline  
Old December 4, 2012, 02:01 PM   #17
BarryLee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 29, 2010
Location: The ATL (OTP)
Posts: 2,491
Quote:
If you aren't responsible for your own actions, and have been probated and your driver's license revoked, then the argument for having you retain a weapon seems weak.
While I do not necessarily disagree if I understood the original article and the VA process there is no hearing involved. From what I understand if a person has a fiduciary set up to assist with their finances they automatically are denied the right to buy a firearm. If they don’t like the decision they then have to appeal to have their rights restored.

So, if I read this correctly a Veteran who has trouble focusing on detail and asks that their parents be allowed to handle their affairs automatically loses their right to buy a firearm.
__________________
A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it ... gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
- Milton Friedman
BarryLee is offline  
Old December 4, 2012, 02:06 PM   #18
SPEMack618
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2010
Location: Central Georgia
Posts: 1,374
What I don't understand is that I have been told constantly, nearly since the day I graduated AIT, that if you have a problem, seek counseling and everything will be okay.

In doing some more reading only, it seems that once you are declared unfit, your gun rights are gone permeantly.

To flip the coin, is that really going to encourage the guys that need help to actively seek it?
__________________
NRA Life Member
"Had King Kong showed up in Texas, Frank Hamer would have taken him down with his Model 8 in .35 Remington...well, he was kind of big, so maybe his BAR"
SPEMack618 is offline  
Old December 4, 2012, 02:12 PM   #19
zukiphile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 1,564
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryLee
While I do not necessarily disagree if I understood the original article and the VA process there is no hearing involved. From what I understand if a person has a fiduciary set up to assist with their finances they automatically are denied the right to buy a firearm. If they don’t like the decision they then have to appeal to have their rights restored.

So, if I read this correctly a Veteran who has trouble focusing on detail and asks that their parents be allowed to handle their affairs automatically loses their right to buy a firearm.
What you describe is more like a SSDI designated payee or a limited power of attorney than a finding of incompetence. I agree that a voluntary delegation (which itself would not be possible for an incompetent individual) like a POA isn't even remotely like a finding of incompetence at hearing. It isn't even an admission that someone else must handle that individual's affairs.

Last edited by zukiphile; December 4, 2012 at 02:20 PM.
zukiphile is offline  
Old December 4, 2012, 03:37 PM   #20
pnac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 7, 2008
Posts: 328
Change on veterans’ gun rights lights fire
Coburn wants decisions by judge rather than VA for impaired troops


Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...#ixzz2E7JXNNC7
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

Quote:
The Department of Veterans Affairs forwards the names of those labeled mentally incompetent to the FBI for inclusion in a national federal database, barring them from purchasing or carrying firearms.
Above is last line of article, I quoted it because that is exactly what has been stated by others on this forum (and GOA) and been poo-pooed by the so called "experts" here. Who's correct?
__________________
In my hour of darkness
In my time of need
Oh Lord grant me vision
Oh Lord grant me speed - Gram Parsons
pnac is offline  
Old December 4, 2012, 04:37 PM   #21
MLeake
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Outside KC, MO
Posts: 10,128
TomServo, the quality of VA care may not be on topic, but the integrity of the VA system should have some direct bearing.

From personal experience:

I am still a 0% disability veteran, despite back injuries requiring surgery, hearing loss, a torn achilles, and various other injuries incurred during active duty. The 0% is good, in a way - it means I am in the system, and can get my status changed later - and I have not missed the deadline (5 years) for getting into the system.

The reason I am still only a 0%, though (and this cost me $8000 in closing costs on a VA home mortgage that I should not have had to pay, were my disability rating reflective of my actual injuries) is that the VA hospital that was supposed to conduct my interview and review kept scheduling me for appointments during periods when I had told them I would be overseas. This happened three times. They also notified me by snail mail, though I told them I would be overseas and that email would be far more efficient.

Worse case than that, though - my dad's cousin was exposed to Agent Orange, because as it turns out the Army stowed it in barrels outside her barracks in the 60's when she was training as an Army medic. She has had Agent Orange related ailments for decades, now, but the VA only finally started treating her a couple years ago, and they still drag their heels.

On a similar note, the US government just recently admitted that Agent Orange was used in KOREA, and are only now starting to authorize medical procedures related to Agent Orange treatment for Korean War vets...

Last, look at the VA's record the past few years with regard to denying PTSD claims - to save money - which has earned the ire of Senator Patty Murray and the attention of the Senate, the House, and the media.

These are not people I'd want making determinations about me, for forwarding to the FBI.
MLeake is offline  
Old December 4, 2012, 04:39 PM   #22
egor20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 14, 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 1,762
Quote:
Tom Servo

The quality of care the VA provides is not the topic at hand. The issue under discussion is how its actions (and the legislation dictating them) may affect veterans' gun rights.
OK Tom, some of the guys bring there own weapons, 9mm mostly, some borrow mine, long guns.

What Irks me, is the VA people asking about them



Damn near sent the barn cats on them
__________________
Chief stall mucker and grain chef

Country don't mean dumb.
Steven King. The Stand
egor20 is offline  
Old December 4, 2012, 06:56 PM   #23
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 5,937
Quote:
Originally Posted by pnac
Above is last line of article, I quoted it because that is exactly what has been stated by others on this forum (and GOA) and been poo-pooed by the so called "experts" here. Who's correct?
Keep in mind that the latter part of the article is quoting the mouthpiece for the Brady Bunch. The whole point of Sen. Coburn's bill was that nobody should be labelled mentally incompetent and deprived of a fundamental constitutional right without a hearing before a competent judicial authority.

Think about it: What does the question on the Form 4473 ask? "Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective or have you been committed to a mental institution?" The VA submits names to the FBI, to be placed on the list of prohibited persons, without either an adjudication or a commitment. That's beyond what the law calls for ... and that's the problem.
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old December 5, 2012, 09:37 AM   #24
Rifleman1776
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 25, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,309
Quote:
The VA submits names to the FBI, to be placed on the list of prohibited persons, without either an adjudication or a commitment. That's beyond what the law calls for ... and that's the problem.
Do we know that is true? Personally, I doubt it.
As for VA care, I receive my health care from the VA and could not hope to find more personalized care anywhere. The caregivers up and down the line are focused on doing the best possible for the veteran/patient. I have private insurance but choose the VA care because it is far superior to anything I could find privately. The only downside is listening to other veterans complaining about everything under the sun.
Rifleman1776 is offline  
Old December 5, 2012, 09:47 AM   #25
thesecond
Member
 
Join Date: January 4, 2008
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 64
'Adjudicated' .... versus 'declared' or 'labeled' is an important distinction, and one among many issues that had been developing long before Heller, in the relationship between patients (whether veteran or civilian) and healthcare professionals, and the firearms rights of the former.

Vets are the canaries .... or, perhaps, guinea pigs.

(Btw .... The 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 9th and 10th Amendments are implicated. I didn't include the 8th because it's a stretch and a last resort, as far as possibilities, imo. I'll also add that a number of State legislatures already are hip to what's going on, here.)
thesecond is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2013 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14695 seconds with 9 queries