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Old September 7, 2011, 02:11 AM   #1
T-90
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Did Sen. Shumer ever get it to where MEPS records could be used against someone?

I remember he was trying to push for that, this past year. I was wondering if anything ever came of it?
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Old September 7, 2011, 08:04 AM   #2
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Are you referring to the Military Entrance Exam?
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Old September 7, 2011, 08:53 AM   #3
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MEPS used to mean Medical Evaluation and Processing Station, which was where people first in-processed for active duty to any given military branch. I think that's what he means, but I'd never heard of Schumer trying to use those records for anything.

Edit for spelling.

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Old September 7, 2011, 09:41 AM   #4
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Who is Shumer? Is he like Gozer?

Spelling counts.
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Old September 7, 2011, 10:11 AM   #5
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MEPS records aren't special. AFAIK, they have the same protections as any other medical records. As far as the law is concerned, I would think that privacy law is privacy law, meaning there are a number of legal hoops to jump through before they can be released.
Schumer says a lot of things. Thankfully, most of it is simply greenhouse gas and nothing more.

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Being between Chuck "Photo op" Schumer and a camera crew.
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Old September 7, 2011, 10:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Who is Shumer? Is he like Gozer?
Both live in my refrigerator. It gets pretty rowdy in there.

Loughner tried to enlist, but was rejected based on statements made during the entrance exams. After the Tuscon shooting, Charles Schumer had called for that data to be included in the NICS database.

However, nothing ever came of the proposal.
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Old September 7, 2011, 11:00 AM   #7
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Are dishonerable discharges public record?

I remember the drill seargents ranting and raving about it all the time but I don't really know what the deal is on it.

I remember the drills yelling at us about not doing pushups and telling us that they'd give us a dishonerable dishcharges. Then I had to listen to them give a speach on how we'd never get jobs after being kicked out of the military... yada yada yada.
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Old September 7, 2011, 11:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Are dishonerable discharges public record?
In some states, a DD is like having a felony conviction - you loose certain civil rights.
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Old September 7, 2011, 11:20 AM   #9
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DI's say a lot of things.
To truly earn a DD, you have to be a very bad boy. General discharges and BCD's cover most of the normal shenanigans. DDs will normally result from a serious felony w/ an extended stay at Leavenworth or similar accommodations.
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Old September 7, 2011, 11:23 AM   #10
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I personally have never seen someone get a dishonerable dishcharge who didn't deserve it, and I think it should be public record, and information that is available in the decision making process of whether someone should be allowed to purchase a firearm.

I've seen quite a few potheads that were mercifully granted medical discharges when they should have been given dishonorables.

I also think that MEPS should have a non-private psch eval. Recruits should be told up front that it's not private. I don't remember a psych eval at MEPS - not something to judge mental competency. Do they have one now or something?

If there is one and someone fails it - maybe it isn't a public record that screws them from getting employment but it is part of NICS so people like Luoghner don't get a firearm.
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Old September 7, 2011, 11:29 AM   #11
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great idea count zero! you first!
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Old September 7, 2011, 11:49 AM   #12
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I think the military attracts people who are mentally unstable in a dangerous way.

it seems like a natural point to screen out individuals who are mentally unfit to possess a firearm.
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Old September 7, 2011, 12:07 PM   #13
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The problem with such mental screening is that the "norm" can shift, depending on who administers the test, who creates the test, and what their combined biases may be.

Let's say California were compelled by the courts to go to "Shall Issue." (Not to pick on CA, but that's a current fight.)

Let's say the California legislators, sheriffs, etc that have opposed Shall Issue now decide to use mental problems as one of their lawful ways to avoid issue. (Shall Issue means the state has to prove why the permit should not be issued, but doesn't mean the state can't deny a permit - it just can't do so without valid, articulable cause.) So, you have to take a psych exam to get your permit.

Who writes the exam? Who interprets the results? What answers will get you disqualified?

Aside from the easy possibility of abuse, the other issue that comes up with mental health is that knowing such things might be used against them, people who could benefit from counseling or therapy might choose not to get it. They won't want a paper trail.
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Old September 7, 2011, 12:49 PM   #14
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my son is in the military. i interacted with many of his fellow poolies who later entered the marines or army. ive been to fort benning and fort drum and met and talked to many of his fellow soldiers. i didnt notice any unstable people in these last few years. i did notice fine, quality men and women who had volunteered to serve their country and to better their lives. i have noticed however many more mentally unstable people on gun forums than in the military.
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Old September 7, 2011, 01:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
I think the military attracts people who are mentally unstable in a dangerous way.
Quote:
i have noticed however many more mentally unstable people on gun forums than in the military.
I'm pretty sure that he meant it in the sense that there are unstable people who are attracted to the military, not that the military is full of unstable people. But I'll leave it to C0untZer0 to speak for himself.

As far as the MEPS thing goes, I don't recall a psych eval or anything like that when I went in back in '86. I took a test, they did some kind of cursory background check and I had a physical. Of course, I can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning, so it's entirely possible that I've forgotten some of the "experience".

There is already a mechanism in place to bar people with actual mental disabilities from owning firearms. Because this is a core Constitutional right, the bar is necessarily set somewhat high. The fact that a guy who is unstable can buy a gun and kill people is unfortunate, but the same guy could just as easily buy a knife or, for that matter, just plow folks down in his car. The fact that it happened with a gun make it more sensational from the anti-gun folks' point of view. If there happened to be an anti-car group that was as vocal, I suspect that it'd be a lot harder to buy one of those death machines, too.

For what it's worth, a few years ago when it seemed like farmer's markets were being targeted by old people with cars, we didn't end up with a ban on old people driving. Go figure.
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Old September 7, 2011, 02:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overkill0084
To truly earn a DD, you have to be a very bad boy. General discharges and BCD's cover most of the normal shenanigans. DDs will normally result from a serious felony w/ an extended stay at Leavenworth or similar accommodations.
I think that really depends on the unit you're assigned to, your unit commander, and the base you're stationed at (to include the top Brass there).

Some quick examples I was involved in, or was well informed about, that defy logic:
An Airman over-doses with cocaine, on duty. He is then found to be dealing out of his dorm room. He serves no time, and receives a Medical Discharge (to hide his "sins"). He was not a man of "character". There was no reason to go easy on him.

An Airman steals a spicy chicken sandwich from the chow hall, while drunk, off-duty. He spends 30 days locked up on base, and receives a Dishonorable Discharge, due to the involvement of alcohol. He was an upstanding Airman, until that point, and could have used some leniency.

An all-around dirt bag Airman is convicted of Negligent Manslaughter (plead down from Neg. Homicide), after killing three people in an automobile collision. He was drunk, and smoking marijuana. He serves no time. Before his discharge process can even begin, he stabs a 15 year-old kid in the back, at a local fast food joint. Police find cocaine on his person, and blood tests reveal alcohol. The brass on base go to great efforts, lobbying local law enforcement to allow the issue to be handled by the military courts, and further investigation to be handled by OSI. They win. But, there is no further investigation. Before the end of the week, the Airman received a General Discharge.

The only major differences between those three incidents:
Different Unit commanders.
Different Wing commanders.
Different Base commanders.
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Old September 7, 2011, 05:26 PM   #17
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In my time in the military I served with 2 homocidal maniacs.

The one guy stabbed another soldier with a Rambo knife - that guy probably is out of jail by now since he didn't kill the other soldier.

I'm sure the other guy is still making firebreaks at Leavenworth and will be till he's too old to walk. That guy killed a fellow soldier and it was like Hollywood crazy-bad, like horror movie bad - with a rambo knife also.

What is it with the Rambo knives?

I don't even know where they kept those things - nothing larger than a 3" blade was allowed in the barracks. They must have hid them during inspections.

I met my share of nuts in the Army.
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Old September 8, 2011, 03:39 AM   #18
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Quote:
"I think the military attracts people who are mentally unstable in a dangerous way.

it seems like a natural point to screen out individuals who are mentally unfit to possess a firearm."
Yikes!!!!!!

As a retired USAF member and proud father of a current USAF Security Policeman serving "in the sandbox" I can attest that I very rarely ever met a mentally unstable person in any branch of the service throughout five decades. I am unendingly proud of our servicemen in every branch. Along with Police Officers and Firemen, our service men and women put their lives on the line for all of us. And many of them die for us. U.S. Marines in particular put themselves in harms way every day. And for what? To be called mentally unstable by some guy risking his life at a keyboard?

Here's an example of one of your "mentally unstable" recruits: Staff Sgt. Robert Gutierrez, Pope Air Force Base, N.C. - Gutierrez, a combat controller, was shot in his torso during an intense firefight in Afghanistan in 2008. A medic told Gutierrez that he would die without a medevac. Gutierrez continued to call in A-10 strafing runs and later walked more than a mile to a medevac landing zone.

Stories like this come out of the war zone everyday. I am very proud of such "mentally unstable" recruits.

We each owe every service member a debt of gratitude and kindness for their sacrifice. The idea of painting so many honorable military recruits with such a broad brush is disgusting to me.

And don't even bother to reply. I won't get into it with you. I've had my say.
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Old September 8, 2011, 07:31 AM   #19
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To all the military guys who are taking offense, from a 21 year active and reserve naval aviator (not exactly anti-military) - his point was NOT that serving military personnel are usually nuts.

His point was that the military rejects a high number of wannabes for psych reasons. He didn't mention that LE agencies do the same, as the MEPS issue does not bear on LE, but LE does reject a lot of the same wannabes.

You know, the Mall Cop and Rambo types with the beer guts and BTDT attitudes based on their XBOX experience.

In the case of the oddballs rejected by the military at MEPS, such as Loughner was, for psych reasons, apparently some would like to add them to a database to preclude gun purchases by those people.

This is not an insult to the military.

It still may not be a good idea, though, due to the potential for abuse.
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Old September 12, 2011, 06:48 PM   #20
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MEPS medical records are still covered by HIPPA Laws. Any Military medical record is covered by HIPPA Laws.

I have to take yearly training and get my certificate every year. You can get hit with some pretty stiff penalties for giving out information illegally.

If any Law enforcement officer came and asked for military medical records I will take his card and my call will be to the command JAG Officer.

I have had the DA's office call me for a members records. I called the JAG and he said not without a subpoena. I told the DA it was a subpoena or no records.
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Old September 12, 2011, 07:16 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLeake
Aside from the easy possibility of abuse, the other issue that comes up with mental health is that knowing such things might be used against them, people who could benefit from counseling or therapy might choose not to get it. They won't want a paper trail.
The fear stated here is real. There are several people I know personally who have dealt with issues of on-duty trauma, loss of family members, divorce, depression, etc. that have not sought counseling because of the possible implications upon not only military careers, but upon the ability to freely exercise 2ndA rights.

Let's face it, despite HIPPA, military members' medical records are not kept strictly between corpsman/Dr./PA/etc... There are too many people working in military clinics. They have and will discuss members' medical issues, most likely with no malicious intention. But then one person slips up and says the wrong thing while the wrong person may overhear, then your medical problems are all over the spouses network which exists at every installation.

The possibilities for information about military members' health records to be innocently or maliciously "leaked" are endless. I have experienced it and witnessed it more times than I care to count. I understand the reluctance to seek medical counseling for just that reason.
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Old September 12, 2011, 10:02 PM   #22
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If you privacy is violated under HIPPA report it. I can guarantee you that if the party is not located it will put some heat in the right place so people will not gossip about medical records. MTF Commanders are not fond of catching one of those complaints.
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Old September 13, 2011, 07:45 AM   #23
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Just a question here, after reading all the intense debate you guys have just had.

Wouldn't it be easier to make every firearm license applicant to undergo a psych examination prior to obtaining his license?. This, of course, at least in those States that require a permit to carry a firearm. I don't wanna make it sound as if I'm setting an example, but it's the way it's done here. You need to provide a clean criminal record and undergo a medical test.

My thought is that -almost- everyone deserves a second chance in life. What I mean by this is that people who has had a disorderly behaviour during some period of their life may, sometimes, and a lot of times do, correct themselves and follow a straighter path in their lives afterwards. The one that was a pothead teenager may become a graduate in Mech. Engineering and end up working for a multinational. And this is just a case I witnessed personally. With this in mind, what matters IMO is the actual and current state of mind of the person who applies for a permit, and unless there are criminal records involved, I don't think someone's old medical records and/or minor misbehaviours should preclude him or her to obtain a firearm permit, provided that the applicant can prove he/she is an honourable citizen in his sound mind in the present day.
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Old September 13, 2011, 07:58 AM   #24
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Nordeste, we have a Constitution that says the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

I don't think you'll find too many of us who want to give the government any leeway to impose more restrictions on firearm ownership.

We generally favor the philosophy of holding people accountable for what they actually do, as opposed to what we fear they might do.

The standard for denying somebody a right has to be set extremely high; the burden is on the government to prove why they need to impose any restriction. There are many things that citizens of EU nations might find normal, that Americans would never accept from our government. Although a lot of Americans have been trending toward dependency on the state, in the last many years...

You've seen how well dependence on the state has worked in Greece. I fear their problems are going to spread through a large portion of the EU in the near future. I hope we can reverse our own trend before it really bites us.
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Old September 13, 2011, 09:21 AM   #25
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The standard is that adjudication/due process shall take place before you are deprived of your 2nd Amendment rights. An examination does not meet that standard.
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