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Over the past several years, four unsuccessful attempts have been made to turn the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act into law. Last week, one of its 21 co-sponsors in the Senate, Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, tried to attach it as amendment to the defense appropriations bill. It momentarily "threatened to become the biggest sticking point" in getting that $631 billion bill passed. It appears Coburn will give up that effort, but seek to add the amendment to some other bill.

At issue is whether a veteran who has been found unable to handle his or her financial affairs should have the right to own a gun. The Department of Veterans Affairs frequently assigns someone else, often a family member, to handle a veteran's finances, including his or her government pension and benefits. This triggers a report to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) that the veteran is "incapacitated." Under the law, any such person, veteran or not, is barred from buying or owning guns. The law also applies to family members living under the same roof.

Coburn, as well as the four Democratic co-sponsors of the amendment—who include Jim Webb of Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana—argue that veterans should not lose their right to own firearms simply because they can't handle their finances. The bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives The House version of the bill, S. 1707, which passed last year, would require that the right to purchase or possess guns could only be taken away if a judicial authority rules a veteran to be dangerous.

That's not how Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York sees things. On the Senate floor last week, he said:

"I love our veterans, I vote for them all the time. They defend us," Schumer said. "If you are a veteran or not and you have been judged to be mentally infirm, you should not have a gun."
The hang-up would seem to be what is meant by "judged." Coburn and his co-sponsors aren't happy with VA bureaucrats making the rulings and want veterans to "at least have their day in court if you are going to take away a fundamental right given under the Constitution."

As would be expected, the National Rifle Association supports anything that means more guns in more hands, so it's behind the amendment. Among the veterans groups that support it is the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. The organization's chief policy officer, Tom Tarantino, told the Associated Press that some veterans afflicted by traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder but who pose no threat to others may be unfairly being kept from possessing guns. He says these are combat injuries, and nobody who lost a hand in combat would be barred from gun ownership.

A lousy comparison, as Tarantino surely knows. To be sure, TBI and PTSD affects each individual uniquely, which the VA obviously recognizes. Of the 127,000 veterans whom the VA has placed in the mentally "incapacitated" category since 1998, only 185 have appealed to get their names taken off the NICS registry. That seems to indicate the current approach works just fine as it is. The vast majority of veterans with TBI and PTSD have not been judged incapacitated and those that have are afforded an avenue by which to prove they were misjudged. Given the high rate of suicide among veterans and the potential for other tragedies when guns are close at hand for people who have been ruled unable to handle their own affairs, the law as it now stands ought to be considered a reasonable dose of preventive medicine.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 10:45 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Do you really care? (10+ / 0-)

    Are you really going to advance the plank that people who this country entrusted for years to handle weapons are a danger to themselves and others simply because they're bad with money?

    •  WTH? He is saying that we are not at the point... (12+ / 0-)

      in PTSD identification and treatment that we can take  it out of the hands of doctors and put it in the hands of senators (with a political adgenda).  

      The more you learn the less you know.

      by quiet in NC on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:00:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  First of all, he's mixing up a few issues. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy, kyril, weck, mbc, PavePusher

        The issue is with appointing fiduciaries due to disability, and presently any such appointment results in an incapacitation record that downchecks on NICS.  

        There's no reason to pull out the psychotic veteran canard in response to a matter that only tangentially deals with mental health.  

        •  I'm not mixing up any issues and I've clearly... (23+ / 0-)

          ...stated the point of view of those Senators who agree with you in this matter. The number of veterans who have sought to be delisted indicates that the VA's approach isn't some gross infringement of veterans' rights. Mistakes are undoubtedly made, but there is a process for dealing with it that already protects veterans from those mistakes.  

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 12:10:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You haven't provided much background on issues (6+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            twigg, spacecadet1, Yoshimi, mbc, nickrud, Susipsych

            I'm very dissatisfied with the positions both sides are taking. The present law inappropriately conflates financial incompetence with dangerous mental incompetence. The Republicans would allow dangerous vets with dementia to endanger those around them. At least, that's how it looks to me based on the inadequate information I've seen so far.

            I know you can do a better job of investigating and explaining this mess.

            It looks to me like both sides need to reassess their positions.

            look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

            by FishOutofWater on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 01:52:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Fair comment (5+ / 0-)

              but insurance companies and employers, etc, do this all the time.

              An individuals performance in one area does not mean that he/she is at greater risk of any particular outcome; but it does put them in a group whose average risk is elevated.

              Do we expect the VA to ignore that elevated risk, because the laws of averages suggest that would be a mistake.

              Especially if there is a reasonable appeals process.

              I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
              but I fear we will remain Democrats.

              by twigg on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 02:01:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Inappropriate in what way? Post links from experts (4+ / 0-)

              in the mental health field if you expect to be taken seriously on this statement.

              The present law inappropriately conflates financial incompetence with dangerous mental incompetence.
              I have enormous respect for your competence in your own fields of expertise, and try not to ever miss one of your diaries in those fields. Moreover, I intend to defend my right to keep and bear arms as long as I'm still black and now 70 years old, unless racism disappears by Midnight tonight. I figure my increased chances of being murdered in my community are more than balanced by my determination not to die as one of the inhabitants of a Rosewood.

              I worked with and for homeless WW II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans in the '70s and '80s as an employee of NYC's Department of Social Services. On this subject, that blockquoted sentence from you shows me you don't have a clue about mental competence issues as they affect veterans.

              Don't bother to reply with anecdotal evidence about friends or relatives; we could all think up any number of personally observed exceptions that seemingly nullify the current regulations. There are damned good reasons for this rule, and there is a mechanism to challenge misapplications and to expertly highlight rare exceptions, in a proper hearing.

              Sorry to be so blunt, but when an enormously respected member of our community gets it so completely wrong on an issue an immediate response is called for. If you respond to this my own reply may be delayed; my family is in the middle of funeral preparations for my final sister. Still, if you do reply I'll find the time to respond, here or by PM.

              Enough fossil fuel remains on Earth to warm it 6 degrees C by 2100 AD if it is all used. A +6 C planet will only sustain half a billion humans. Human population will rise to 9 billion by 2050. Any questions?

              by davidincleveland on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 04:00:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't research my comments (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                davidincleveland, PavePusher

                There's no way I can get it right in all my comments. I am the first to admit I could be wrong.

                My environmental diaries are good because I work hard to get the facts and get them right. Even then, I make some mistakes when I rush or make my own interpretations.

                I would like more background on this law and the Republican's proposed law. I am very aware that I don't know enough here.

                look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

                by FishOutofWater on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 04:18:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Not a scrap of evidence justifying the regs. (0+ / 0-)

                That's the point.  There is zero evidence that granting the VA authority to summarily declare incompetence and govern the appeal process has is necessary.  

                This diary spends no time at all examining the competence issues faced by veterans.  It simply takes for granted that an administrative finding of financial incompetence equates to dangerous mental instability, and the sole justification for the diarist's position is he doesn't think the process is unduly burdensome.  To that he does the same as you, referring to some unverifiable personal experience (in MB's, second or third hand), to justify not going to court to have this guy declared a danger to himself and others.

          •  You are. (0+ / 0-)

            You're mixing up an adjudication of danger to oneself or others with every other disability that can trigger incompetence.  And you're leaving it and the appeals process in administrative hands.

      •  It's already out of the hands of doctors. n/t (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        weck, gerrilea, PavePusher

        It's been a hundred years, isn't it time we stopped blaming Captain Smith for sinking the Titanic?

        by happymisanthropy on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:34:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  How about keeping it in the hands..... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theatre goon

        of the courts, the way it's supposed to be?

        •  If someone is mentally incompetent, courts (0+ / 0-)

          will rely on DOCTORS to make that determination.

          "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

          by glorificus on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 07:37:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, they'll rely on... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            happymisanthropy, theatre goon

            testimony, with evidence, from a variety of sources, including, likely, the person who is the focus of the debate.

            Or did you think doctors infallible, unmotivated by personal bias and whim, the sole arbiters of our fate?

          •  I believe you are correct. When my mom was (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            glorificus

            5150'd (and yes she had a gun which I took to the local police department), that was diagnosed by a M.D. in concert with a psychiatrist.

            Her FATE was entrusted then to me, per her medical wishes and had I failed to do that, the county would have placed her in a care facility.

            So in this case, it most certainly WAS done by doctors and NOT the court.

            I am in CA.

            202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

            by cany on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 09:51:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  It's more than "bad with money" (24+ / 0-)

      You don't get ruled incapacitated because you've made some stupid investments or are a little too free with your money at the bar.

      •  I think that needs to be better (10+ / 0-)

        articulated in the diary.

        "The next time everyone will pay for it equally, and there won't be any more Chosen Nations, or any Others. Poor bastards all." ~The Boomer Bible

        by just another vet on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:02:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I know precisely what a fiduciary appointment is. (7+ / 0-)

        And it's plain nonsense to take away the rights of veterans because they require assistance in their day to day financial planning.  This is an assault on the elderly, plain and simple, and you should find it disgusting.

        •  Oh please (21+ / 0-)

          My father, a WWII First Division Marine veteran, died of Alzheimers.

          When his disease was still in a stage where he lived at home, he thought his neighbor, a 90 year old woman, was all of a sudden trying to kill him.

          First thing he did was get his gun out every morning and sit with it in his lap, just waiting to see the lady next store.

          Yeah, let's make sure these guys can still have their guns.

          The only thing I find disgusting is your comments.

          Your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore. John Prine -8.00,-5.79

          by Miss Blue on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:38:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Did you read the article? (14+ / 0-)
            The House version of the bill, S. 1707, which passed last year, would require that the right to purchase or possess guns could only be taken away if a judicial authority rules a veteran to be dangerous.
            There appears to be nothing in the new law prevents someone who is found to be a danger to self or others from being restricted from possessing or purchasing a firearm.

            So the scenario you paint here would still be covered.

            Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

            by Robobagpiper on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:44:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  My point is... (12+ / 0-)

              I find no issue with restricting guns from people found to be incapacitated.  Fine, have an appeals process for those who feel the restriction has been leveled against them unfairly.

              However, at the point we literally stole the guns from my father, we was in full charge of his personal affairs, still drove a car, and most likely could have gone into any gun store in the country and purchased more weapons.

              What bothers me is that one side of this debate thinks everyone should have a gun.  Any restriction is too much.  And that is just a simple load of crap.  

              While it was painful to bury my father, I was glad we didn't have to live with the memory of him killing my mother, his neighbor, or whomever else he deemed dangerous.  I fully believe that would have been the case if we had not taken the guns out of the house.  

              Your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore. John Prine -8.00,-5.79

              by Miss Blue on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:50:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Which side of the debate? (10+ / 0-)

                Cause it's not most (if not all) of the RKBA group on DK.

                Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

                by KVoimakas on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:54:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  There is more than one way to be incapacitated (14+ / 0-)

                And remember that the prohibition extends to the remainder of the hosuehold as well.

                If there's no reason to think a person is a danger, beyond the rough proxy of needing to have their finances handled by a family member, why should the remainder of the household be similarly sanctioned?

                Contrary to your false claim that "one side of this debate thinks everyone should have a gun", no one on either side is arguing that people determined to present a danger - your father's example included - should not have this right restricted.

                The argument is what indirect proxy determination can be allowed to substitute for "danger to self or others". If being unable to handle financial affairs, without further clarification, is an appropriate proxy, would you demand that people who file bankruptcy be placed on this NICS list?

                Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

                by Robobagpiper on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:56:43 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't see why not. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Miss Blue, klompendanser, Mathazar

                  Guns + depression often = suicide.

                  "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

                  by glorificus on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 02:42:07 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Of course you don't. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    theatre goon, happymisanthropy

                    You don't think citizens should be allowed to make their own decisions, because they're infants driven by impulses of the moment.

                    That way leads authoritarianism. The political right is already there, you're welcome to join them.

                    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

                    by Robobagpiper on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 02:58:07 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  blah, blah, blah (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Miss Blue

                      Your first full sentence must be pure projection, it doesn't describe me.

                      "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

                      by glorificus on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 03:35:54 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  If I'd been in Phil Ochs' garage the day he hanged (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      glorificus

                      himself there, I would have prevented it. It wouldn't have been the first time I intervened that way with him, either. I have also prevented several suicides (and more than one homicide) among friends and strangers. In addition, professionally, the year I worked as a crisis counselor at KCH in NYC (1981-1982) I successfully intervened five times to prevent a suicide.

                      Of course you don't. You don't think citizens should be allowed to make their own decisions, because they're infants driven by impulses of the moment. That way leads authoritarianism. The political right is already there, you're welcome to join them.
                      Perhaps you think your comment applies to people like me, a lifelong supporter of an adult and rational human's right to die, as well as to glorificus. Rest assured. In my case, even though I like you a lot here on DK, and would genuinely miss you, if you told me you were going to suicide and I determined you were in a stable frame of mind, I wouldn't rat you out or prevent it.

                      Enough fossil fuel remains on Earth to warm it 6 degrees C by 2100 AD if it is all used. A +6 C planet will only sustain half a billion humans. Human population will rise to 9 billion by 2050. Any questions?

                      by davidincleveland on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 04:22:49 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  There's a world of difference between someone (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        theatre goon

                        intervening in an actual attempted suicide, and glorificus' authoritarian misanthropy, which presumes that all people - regardless of circumstances, must have dangerous tools removed from them because all are liable, in a moment's funk, to try to kill themselves or others with it.

                        It's a view completely inconsistent with everything we know about human nature - but completely consistent with the values of statist social conservatism.

                        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

                        by Robobagpiper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 04:18:57 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  After all, no one on the RKBA side says someone (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          theatre goon

                          shouldn't lose the right to own a weapon, if adjudicated in a due process hearing to be a danger to self or others.

                          In glorificus' authoritarian world, there is no due process. The state decrees, you obey.

                          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

                          by Robobagpiper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 04:36:09 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

              •  The restriction needs to be required..... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                happymisanthropy, theatre goon

                to be imposed by a court, just as with any Constitutional Right.

                Not at the whim of an administrator.

            •  perhaps the NRA will provide lawyers to (0+ / 0-)

              stand with these fellows at their hearings..... so the Vets will have someone to commiserate with in the event that their case turns out badly?    Volunteers?  

        •  I don't think that's who it's aimed at (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Miss Blue, glorificus, Vetwife

          Younger vets with TBI and PTSD may be totally incapable of even caring for themselves, and may suffer horrible flashbacks. They may be taking drugs and/or drinking heavily.

          If they're not capable of dealing with their finances, it's quite possible they're not capable of dealing with much of ANYTHING at this point in their lives, and may be very unstable mentally.

          They don't need guns. They need HELP.  

          •  "possible" does not equal "adjudicated". eom. (5+ / 0-)
          •  I simply cannot agree on this point you make (5+ / 0-)
            If they're not capable of dealing with their finances, it's quite possible they're not capable of dealing with much of ANYTHING at this point in their lives,
            Do you know how many homeless Vets there are?

            http://thinkprogress.org/...

               50 percent: Rate at which veterans are more likely than other Americans to become homeless. The Obama administration has set a goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015.

                About 75,000: Number of veterans who are homeless on any given night, according to estimates from the Veterans Administration.

                About 20,000: Number of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who were homeless in the past five years according to the Veterans Administration.

                5.5 percent: Percentage of homeless vets who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan in the overall homeless population, according to the Veterans Administration.

            Can/will your position be extrapolated to the general population too?

            I was unemployed for over 2 yrs, very close to being homeless myself but through the gracious efforts of my fellow Kossacks, I was saved from that fate.

            Being financially insolvent IS not a crime, especially in this "great recession", unless of course, you're a banker!

            Being unemployed is not a crime. Not being able to pay your bills because you can't get a job isn't either.

            Hell, I've been lucky, I got a job paying me $9 an hour and have had it for the past 2 yrs.  I make just enough to pay my living expenses, nothing extra for those bills I created when I had a real job 4 yrs ago.  My credit is a disaster and it ain't getting any better.

            Does this mean I'm irresponsible?
            Does this mean I'm mentally unstable?
            Does this mean I'm a threat to myself or others?

            NO.

            So, when you say they aren't capable of dealing with much else, you're full of it.

            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

            by gerrilea on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 02:37:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not HAVING finances and not being able to deal (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              glorificus

              with the finances you've got are two entirely different things. I feel sure you know this. Don't know if you served, or whether you've actually checked out the VA's rule and how it is applied, but I can assure you it is never used to take guns away from a veteran merely (!) because he or she cannot find employment. I spent years working with and for homeless vets in the '70s and '80s. Competency wasn't an issue defined by homelessness, then or now.

              Enough fossil fuel remains on Earth to warm it 6 degrees C by 2100 AD if it is all used. A +6 C planet will only sustain half a billion humans. Human population will rise to 9 billion by 2050. Any questions?

              by davidincleveland on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 04:40:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  First off, thank you for all your efforts. (4+ / 0-)

                I have the utmost respect for said.

                Secondly, I never said it was based on competency, per say.

                How is competency defined?

                competency
                c.1600, "sufficiency to satisfy the wants of life," from L. competentia "meeting together, agreement, symmetry," from competens, prp. of competere (see compete). Meaning "sufficiency of qualification" is recorded from 1797.
                Being competent to do a job is one aspect.
                Being competent to stand trial is another.
                Being competent "in life" is yet another.

                I can barely satisfy the wants of life because I have no money and job prospects are getting dimmer & dimmer as a middle-aged transgendered woman.  I am not a vet but if I were, what would your opinion be of me?

                I was completely irresponsible this past month and spent almost an entire paycheck on presents for my family & a cable modem to deny TimeWarner their fraudulent scheme to "rent" something they gave me 3 yrs ago!  I didn't pay my electric & gas bills as a result.  I have faith that I will be able to make it up, if I get just a few days of overtime in. Here's to hoping one of my co-workers calls in sick!

                Would I be branded as the poster above stated I should be?  "not capable of dealing with their finances" and "may be very unstable mentally."???

                At what point do my finances become a tool used to deny me any unalienable right?

                A couple yrs ago M&T Bank's "deposit" rules screwed me out of $179 in "bounced check fees".  Was I incapable of understanding their "rules"? No, I wasn't aware of their fraudulent "policy", letters to Senator Gillibrand & the Chairman of the Banking Committee & NYS, they paid me back...BUT on the surface, I was "at fault".

                I must grant that if someone is shown to be incompetent before a court of law, I would agree.  But not an administrative body with self-appointed zealots that can weld authority to deny said rights & benefits.

                Read some of my own diaries on how corruptible our Public Welfare system can become under said zealots that inject their own personal beliefs, opinions and "morality" into the equation.

                When will the line be crossed? When will someone in your former position whom believes if you wish to own a gun, you must be crazy, fit in here?

                Many anti-rights posters here have made that point many times against those of us that believe the most progressive document ever written was our constitution, as long as it is adhered to.

                Can persons in your position not weld power over someone's unalienable rights? Can they not utilize the system against anyone they personally dislike? Or use it against someone whom needs the help but is unwilling to do as they are told without question or protest? Are they branded then by your arbitrary metrics?

                Authoritarianism has been conditioned into many Americans, I call it the "superiority complex on steroids".  

                What stops these "administrators" of the VA's policy from being so aptly described by Barbra Streisand in the movie "Nuts":

                Claudia Draper: No, I'm sure he believes what he believes. He thinks whores are girls who hang out on 8th Avenue and stick needles in their arms. He knows whores aren't nice white girls from nice white families. He knows that just as sure as he knows his wife is at home cleaning the oven. Isn't that right Herbie? But what if he's wrong? What if his wife is out balling the insurance salesman? What if he doesn't know is ass from his elbow? What if he's just an asshole with power to lock me up? What if that's all he is? An asshole with power.
                What safeguards are in place to keep this from happening?

                -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                by gerrilea on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:03:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks for your reply. Since writing that comment (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  gerrilea

                  I came across Solarian's comment, which pretty well clarifies how a veteran receiving benefits can arrive on the 'no guns' list. Coburn's vicious attempt to overturn those regs and how they are applied, merely in order to appeal to low information voters with guns, is a tragic statement about our democracy's current competency.

                  Because of our overall national incompetence and corruption I can't reassure you over the larger questions you raised in your comment. I can state, however, that on this single issue the VA regs have it exactly correct, with right of appeal. I'll add that Tom Coburn is a lying, grandstanding excuse for a doctor who should have his medical license permanently suspended, along with Bill Frist and both of the Pauls.

                  Enough fossil fuel remains on Earth to warm it 6 degrees C by 2100 AD if it is all used. A +6 C planet will only sustain half a billion humans. Human population will rise to 9 billion by 2050. Any questions?

                  by davidincleveland on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:45:45 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Well, as a disabled vet, (6+ / 0-)

        let me chime in here. I have a few friends in the VA system who have a payee because they gambled, and/or drank and pissed away their money irresponsibly. I don't know that I'd trust them with a weapon under the wrong circumstances. But I trust them when they're sober and not pissed at the world.

        I know a few IAVA vets as well, most are severely handicapped by their repeated rotations into combat zones. They own weapons and I know of a few who live away from their families because they don't trust themselves or are having issues regarding combat related deaths of children.

        To categorically lump all vets who can't handle their money in one pot is almost as insane as repeated combat tours for active duty personnel with no down time to decompress.

        "He that will not reason is a bigot; he that cannot reason is a fool; he that dares not reason is a slave." — William Drummond of Hawthornedenne (13 December 1585 – 4 December 1649), Scottish poet.

        by zamrzla on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 02:45:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Veterans' Administration does neither of those (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          glorificus, Vetwife
          To categorically lump all vets who can't handle their money in one pot is almost as insane as repeated combat tours for active duty personnel with no down time to decompress.
          [bolding added by me]
          The VA has never done the bolded part of the blockquote. The crime described in the second part of that quote was committed by the Pentagon, not the Veterans Administration.

          Enough fossil fuel remains on Earth to warm it 6 degrees C by 2100 AD if it is all used. A +6 C planet will only sustain half a billion humans. Human population will rise to 9 billion by 2050. Any questions?

          by davidincleveland on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 04:48:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  You do understand that's not what he's saying. (12+ / 0-)

      I will never, ever understand 'firearms fundamentalism'; the notion that possessing lethal weapons is so absolutely non-negotiable and critical to ones manhood that ongoing carnage and a horrific suicide toll every year must be ignored as irrelevant and unworthy of debate.

    •  I am saying that as long as there is an appeals... (28+ / 0-)

      ...process that is not too onerous, I don't see a problem with the existing law. If there was a problem, you can be sure a lot more than a dozen veterans a year would be contesting the decision that got them on the NICS list.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:38:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did you just ask Meteor Blades (18+ / 0-)

      if he cares????

      Really? How long have you been here?

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 01:49:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely not (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miss Blue, davidincleveland

      There is no way should allow these incompetent VA bureaucrats make any decision that might infringe on the rights of these hard working veterans.  I mean when  the family of a veteran comes in and says the veteran in on the street, needs help and health care, we should not allow the family to come and the bureaucrat simply fill out the paperwork that converts that veteran from an independent individual to a dependent government welfare recipient.  Now, the family should have to go to court, and prove that the veteran needs help.

      To be serious, assuming that every person who leaves the military has been well trained in weapons is like assuming that everyone employed in a school district can be placed in the classroom alone with kids. To be more serious, money management is a pretty basic proxy for mental ability.  If we assume that mental stability should be a requirement for owning a gun, then I don't see a problem with the current situation.

  •  REally confusing headline (4+ / 0-)

    FYI.

    Streichholzschächtelchen

    by otto on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:09:30 AM PST

  •  I'm a gun-owning veteran. (35+ / 0-)

    If/when I reach the point when I am incompetent enough to be so ruled by a court, I really do hope that they will take away my weapons.
    Most responsible families I know get the #$%^ guns out of the house when grandpa gets demented and depressed (as happened to my father, and my grandfather) . But those without responsible families need protection, too.
    Joe

    "There is just one way to save yourself, and that's to get together and work and fight for everybody." ---Woody Guthrie (quoted by Jim Hightower in The Progressive Populist April 1, 2012, p3)

    by CitizenJoe on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:09:48 AM PST

    •  This isn't what's being debated (9+ / 0-)
      If/when I reach the point when I am incompetent enough to be so ruled by a court,
      Nobody's contesting the idea that people (including veterans) who have been ruled mentally incompetent by a court shouldn't have access to firearms.

      The issue is that veterans, specifically, can lose our firearms access without a court order.

      "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

      by kyril on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 01:42:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But I think a court order is too high - it (0+ / 0-)

        should be reported on a medical reporting standard.  

        •  Take away one of the amendments without a court (5+ / 0-)

          and why not take away some of the other amendments from you, without a court order.

          Say, Bush thought a court order was too high of a hurdle to surmount in order to wiretap the phones of americans straight from the phone company hubs. Warrantless wiretapping, but hey it's just one of those amendment thingies, who needs them anyway?

          ...

          I hope you reconsider your opinion. The medical expert being vested with the authority to take away your rights without oversight by a judge is the same mechanism as a 'security' expert being vested with the authority to take away your right to assemble without oversight by a judge.

          Be careful how you weaken the rule of law, it often has negative unforeseen consequences.

          •  As I keep saying (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sue B

            The VA process already takes "away some of the other amendments from you, without a court order."

            Namely,

            The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated
            Why don't the sponsor's of the bill care about that?  Why is the 2nd amendment more important than the 5th?

            "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

            by Empty Vessel on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 02:37:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I am reconsidering - and might (0+ / 0-)

            change my mind, but for a different reason than the slipperly slope argument you present.

            This is not a purely constitutional rights issue.  It's a mix of public health policy and constitutional rights.  The challenge is how to weight them.

            Just as the freedom to practice a religion can be abridged by regulations that prohibit discrimination in business, it's a matter of weighing the risk of harm.

            The problem with requiring a court order is that loved ones in the same household are sometimes in a position to notice that their veteran loved one is deteriorating before the vet themselves notice.  The loved one may be more inclined to get the vet to see a doctor if it makes the whole household safer.  For that reason, I think a court order is a very high barrier and the vet and family are at higher risk of harm, if that is the only way to get guns out of the house.

            You are focused on involuntary forfeiture, I guess a court order might be the better standard if it means the VET has a higher chance of getting medical care.

            If a visit to a doctor will put a Vet's name on a list permanently, that would discourage getting medical care that may be urgently needed. Then the VET and others around them may be at higher risk of harm.  It's not so simple to just say, the other members of the household can just leave.

            In either case, the RKBA of other family members should not be affected.

            •  "This is not a purely constitutional rights issue. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              theatre goon

              The heck it isn't.

              Figure out a way to do this Constitutionally and you'll have everyone's full support.  The Constitution is not a "balancing act".

                It is an absolute, though it may be changed.  There's a process for that.....

        •  People already feel they have to lie to their... (6+ / 0-)

          ...doctors.  The laws of involuntary hospitalization in most states were written to benefit lawyers and psychiatrists, not patients.  If a person is now made to worry they can lose constitutional rights without due process when they go to the doctor, people who need to go to the doctor won't go.  Or they'll lie and not get the help they need.  

          I know very intelligent, high-functioning people who have to tiptoe around how depressed they sometimes feel when talking to their doctor or therapist because they're afraid of losing their jobs or having reputations suffer if they are involuntarily hospitalized (Which can be done for up to 72 hours without a court order in most states).  Considering that involuntary hospitalization rarely solves the problem and sometimes causes  more problems than it solves, that's a steep price to pay.    

          A good friend of the family is a p-doc.  She absolutely despises the system of mental health laws in this country (To say nothing of the insurance situation).  Not only does she feel they are not conducive to meaningful treatment, they're actually detrimental to it.  They serve to perpetuate the stigma associated with mental illness, hamper efficacious treatment, and give real incentive for patients to lie and obfuscate the facts when speaking with their doctor.  The last thing we need to do is make these laws worse by ratcheting up fear that a person can be deprived of constitutional rights without due process.   These people already get enough of a raw deal from the law and their insurance companies as it is.  

          •  You might be right (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Vetwife
            If a person is now made to worry they can lose constitutional rights without due process when they go to the doctor, people who need to go to the doctor won't go.  Or they'll lie and not get the help they need.  
            It is sad that some patients don't trust their doctors.  And also true that doctors generally know this and expect patients to withhold information. It's sad that your friends have a perception that they have to choose between the risk of being hospitalized and harming themselves (and it may be true in their situation).

            I know it's not simple as find a better doctor, but there are some very good doctors out there, and I hope they do find a way to get the help they need.

        •  Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and Tenth Amendments. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          theatre goon

          Article 5 awaits you, go hog wild.

      •  Let me ask this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sue B, kyril

        So you would also argue that a person should not lose their property rights without a court order as well, since the bill of rights is clear on that too...

        The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated
        Why would it be OK for the VA to take control over property and finances and not take the right to bear arms?  They're both in the Bill of Rights.  Why is the 2nd amendment more important than the 5th?

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 02:27:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And that's what courts are for. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theatre goon

      Not unaccountable administrations.

  •  Not allowing family members under the same roof (21+ / 0-)

    to own legal weapons seems to go too far, in my opinion.   Individuals who are incapacitated do need a path by which they can affirm their right to own weapons and have them kept in their homes.  As long as the appeals process is available and not expensive or drawn out, this seems to be reasonable as a way to prevent unnecessary gun violence.

    I would wonder if this same automatic referral to NICS happens when someone is admitted to hospital for "incapacitation"  or arrested for threatening the life of another person.

    I once surrendered my own weapon for years to the local authorities because someone in the household had threatened suicide, but that is not the same as being forbidden to own the weapon.

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. & http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Okiciyap

    by weck on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:09:59 AM PST

  •  What do they mean by VA bureaucrats? (10+ / 0-)

    I'm a big fan of due process. If they're talking about actually going through and following the whole adjudication process, I have no issue with that.

    Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

    by KVoimakas on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:10:39 AM PST

  •  How extensive is the issue here? (9+ / 0-)

    Also,  how burdensome is the process of appeal?  If the appeal process does not place a substantial burden on the appellant, by making it onerous to make a successful appeal, then this is probably a solution in search of a problem, particularly if we are talking about as small a number of people seeking redress as your diary indicates (0nly 185 in the past 14 years, or an average of 13 per year).

    Ultimately, the only thing that matters with respect to preserving choice is who will be nominating the next Supreme Court Justices.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:13:33 AM PST

  •  A blanket prohibition is a bad idea (13+ / 0-)

    Every case is different.  To treat all cases as if they are identical is a major mistake. One size does NOT fit all.

    Let me give an example from the real world.  Person has a learning disability called dyscalculia.  That person needs help managing money because of the math processing problem. Said person has a college degree and no sign of dyslexia.  

    On top of all that, is a law enforcement officer who has demonstrated exemplary judgement and responsible behavior in he line of duty.

    What about that scenario?

    The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

    by Otteray Scribe on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:21:44 AM PST

    •  Is the said person (3+ / 0-)

      ...also a Veteran receiving veteran benefits or a pension that has been assigned to a family member or guardian to manage?

      If not -- that would not apply to your scenario, since this provision only applies to veterans.

      If so -- would that person not have applied for and received a waiver, as other veterans in that position already have?


      A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

      by Pluto on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:49:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Simply being unable to handle one's finances (14+ / 0-)

    seems hardly to be sufficient cause to justify infringement of a right.

    Shouldn't the standard for adjudication be something closer to "danger to self or others"?

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:31:12 AM PST

    •  But this isn't just not handling money well (3+ / 0-)

      this is further than that.

      This isn't just buying unnecessary stuff, or not paying bills. This would likely need to be kicked off by someone else who realizes this vet has no utilities, because they didn't pay the bills for a year. They might be homeless. They might be crashing with somebody else. They might not realize they have a bank account, or know how to write a check anymore, or even know what day it is.

      But it does bring up a lot of questions, and maybe there should be more of a risk of becoming a danger to themselves or others.

      The bigger question becomes - how do you know that?

  •  Seems the argument hasn't changed in years (7+ / 0-)

    They're still using this argument about financial affairs that we can see in use back in 2009. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) for example.

    Burr contends that, “under current law, veterans who have come to VA for help but who are determined to be unable to manage their own financial affairs are labeled as mentally defective and, on that basis alone, are denied their 2nd amendment rights." Yet even the National Rifle Association disputes Burr's description of the process by which veterans are ruled ineligible to own firearms. As the NRA notes in the current issue of its magazine First Freedom [PDF], "VA records are only reported to NICS [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] if a patient has been 'adjudicated as a mental defective,' a lengthy process that includes opportunities for hearings, appeals, etc." (The NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, which has not issued an official position on the measure, did not respond to Mother Jones' requests for comment.)
    Meanwhile, the wording of the law seems a bit more severe than someone just having some trouble balancing their checkbook.
    How are the terms "adjudicated as a mental defective" and "committed to a mental institution" defined?

    Section 922(g)(4), Title 18, United States Code, prohibits the receipt or possession of firearms by an individual who has been "adjudicated as a mental defective" or "committed to a mental institution."  Regulations issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), 27 C.F.R. § 478.11, define these terms as follows:
    Adjudicated as a mental defective.

    (1)  A determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease:

        Is a danger to himself or to others; or
        Lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs.

    (2)  The term shall include —

        A finding of insanity by a court in a criminal case; and
        Those persons found incompetent to stand trial or found not guilty by reason of lack of mental responsibility pursuant to articles 50a and 72b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. 850a, 876b.

    Committed to a mental institution.  A formal commitment of a person to a mental institution by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority.  The term includes a commitment to a mental institution involuntarily.  The term includes commitment for mental defectiveness or mental illness.  It also includes commitments for other reasons, such as for drug use.  The term does not include a person in a mental institution for observation or a voluntary admission to a mental institution.

    There is nothing so ridiculous that some philosopher has not said it. -- Cicero

    by tytalus on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 12:07:59 PM PST

  •  It's a Constitutional right. It should not be (5+ / 0-)

    easily or lightly taken away from veterans and anyone they live with.

    Brand new favorite RSS feed of Daily Kos Radio Podcasts http://kagrox.libsyn.com/rss
    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

    by We Won on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 12:43:07 PM PST

  •  It Isn't Really About Handling Finances Though (7+ / 0-)

    A super-majority of Americans "Can't handle their finances."  This is more like a legal determination that you lack decision-making capacity, right?  They wouldn't just rule someone "unfit to manage their own finances" because they bounced a check or something, would they?

    Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

    by TooFolkGR on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 12:45:36 PM PST

  •  There is not a good justification to use (7+ / 0-)

    financial guardianship (or whatever the appropriate term may be) as a proxy for mental/emotional/behavioral  incapacitation.  

    It could be one factor, but should be taken into consideration by the veteran's medical doctor.  The decision to report to NCIS should not be delegated to some VA office that processes a veterans medical claims or other benefits.

    What disturbs me the most is the gap that this kind of policy does nothing to address.  

    The assumption that veteran's who are at risk are receiving medical advice or treatment leaves veterans who are most at risk outside of the reporting requirement.

    The VA back log for initial claims is very long, in some cases years.  With the problem compounded by so many lost records, for someone who IS IN FACT mentally or emotionally or behaviorally impaired there is quite a barrier to even get access to VA medical care to begin with.

    Veterans suffering from undiagnosed TBI or PTSD are more at risk, and may not have access to any medical care, if they can't get a job, or keep a job, or if they are going through a divorce...  

    Veterans should get full medical benefits for a period after separation of service, regardless of a VA disability claim, until they are re-integrated into civilian life.

  •  What a bullshit law.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieGuy, theatre goon, KenBee

    Probably served up by someone who has never served this country....people need to stop with all these mindless gun control laws....

    •  The law involved is the Brady Act of 1993... (4+ / 0-)

      ...although NICS was not introduced until 1998, something that the NRA successfully got included in the act (which the NRA vociferously opposed). The idea behind NICS is that the check be "instant," so that a dealer would not have to wait before selling a gun. (Most NICS work is concluded while gun dealer is still on the phone.)

      The specifics on the mental health aspect are a combination of how the ATF interprets the rules (which includes putting onto the NICS list anyone who has had responsibility for his or her affairs legally transferred to another person) and the VA's process for establishing that someone is not competent to manage his or her own affairs.

      As to those who introduced and voted in favor of Brady, here is the Senate vote. If you want to know how these folks might vote on the particular change being sought by Coburn, Webb, et al., I have no idea. (The House vote was 238-189)

      YEAs ---63

      Akaka (D-HI)
      Baucus (D-MT)
      Biden (D-DE)
      Bingaman (D-NM)
      Bond (R-MO)
      Boren (D-OK)
      Boxer (D-CA)
      Bradley (D-NJ)
      Bumpers (D-AR)
      Byrd (D-WV)
      Chafee (R-RI)
      Coats (R-IN)
      Cohen (R-ME)
      Conrad (D-ND)
      Danforth (R-MO)
      Daschle (D-SD)
      DeConcini (D-AZ)
      Dodd (D-CT)
      Durenberger (R-MN)
      Exon (D-NE)
      Feingold (D-WI)
      Feinstein (D-CA)
      Ford (D-KY)
      Glenn (D-OH)
      Gorton (R-WA)
      Graham (D-FL)
      Harkin (D-IA)
      Hatfield (R-OR)
      Hutchison (R-TX)
      Inouye (D-HI)
      Jeffords (R-VT)
      Kassebaum (R-KS)
      Kennedy (D-MA)
      Kerrey (D-NE)
      Kerry (D-MA)
      Kohl (D-WI)
      Lautenberg (D-NJ)
      Levin (D-MI)
      Lieberman (D-CT)
      Lugar (R-IN)
      Mathews (D-TN)
      Metzenbaum (D-OH)
      Mikulski (D-MD)
      Mitchell (D-ME)
      Moseley-Braun (D-IL)
      Moynihan (D-NY)
      Murray (D-WA)
      Nunn (D-GA)
      Packwood (R-OR)
      Pell (D-RI)
      Pryor (D-AR)
      Reid (D-NV)
      Riegle (D-MI)
      Robb (D-VA)
      Rockefeller (D-WV)
      Roth (R-DE)
      Sarbanes (D-MD)
      Sasser (D-TN)
      Simon (D-IL)
      Thurmond (R-SC)
      Warner (R-VA)
      Wellstone (D-MN)
      Wofford (D-PA)

      NAYs ---36
      Bennett (R-UT)
      Breaux (D-LA)
      Brown (R-CO)
      Bryan (D-NV)
      Burns (R-MT)
      Campbell (D-CO)
      Cochran (R-MS)
      Coverdell (R-GA)
      Craig (R-ID)
      D'Amato (R-NY)
      Dole (R-KS)
      Domenici (R-NM)
      Faircloth (R-NC)
      Gramm (R-TX)
      Grassley (R-IA)
      Gregg (R-NH)
      Hatch (R-UT)
      Heflin (D-AL)
      Helms (R-NC)
      Hollings (D-SC)
      Johnston (D-LA)
      Kempthorne (R-ID)
      Leahy (D-VT)
      Lott (R-MS)
      Mack (R-FL)
      McCain (R-AZ)
      McConnell (R-KY)
      Murkowski (R-AK)
      Nickles (R-OK)
      Pressler (R-SD)
      Shelby (D-AL)
      Simpson (R-WY)
      Smith (R-NH)
      Specter (R-PA)
      Stevens (R-AK)
      Wallop (R-WY)
      Not Voting - 1
      Dorgan (D-ND)

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 02:35:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I happen to be of the opinion that the Brady Act (0+ / 0-)

        is a bullshit law....that needs to be re-worked...

        •  Specifics? n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happymisanthropy

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 07:00:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  in short... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PavePusher

            If you haven't been convicted of felony murder, or a felony crime that required imprisonment where you used a gun or proven to be clinically mad...your right shouldn't be infringed...

            If you went to prison for marijuana possesion or bank fraud and used no gun in your crime and no gun was found on you during your arrest... why is your right to own a gun being restricted...

            If you got into a bar-fight or something 20 yrs ago, why would you not be able to buy your grandkid a .22 for his birthday....

            It's a stupid and over-reaching law....

            No one should have the right to determine how one choses to protect themselves....I find this constant call for gun control crazy...it has a long track history of fail...from the jim crow era when the Klan tried to use it against African Americans until now where people because of budget cuts are having violent felons released into their neighborhoods, their police services cut back and a District Attorney advising them to load their guns and cower in the corner of their homes at night, because the police can't protect them...

            It's ridiculous....

    •  yabut they're seniors mostly and aren't going to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bruddaone, PavePusher, theatre goon

      fight back, especially at that age and /or disability, and against a giant bureaucracy they are dependent on....it's a totally specious claim that since' there are so few who go thru all that and fight it, that it's ok then'
        Besides the value they are confiscating as well..they would have grabbed my FIL's $15000 lifelong collection of Parker shotguns.....and wonder if his VA benefits would disappear ..

      Attacks on seniors, great...for all the best nannie stae reasons.

      And fuck this fucking diary making me agree with an assface like Coburn..fuck!

      This machine kills Fascists.

      by KenBee on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 05:02:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem isn't veterans (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miss Blue, glorificus, LilithGardener

    The problem is guns - way too many guns in way too many places.  The nutters keep finding more places to insist they be allowed (churches, national parks, BARS!)  And the serious nutters keep going out and shooting people.

    If Coburn slips this thru, I guarantee that within a couple years someone who was allowed to have a gun under this law will use it on another human being.

  •  Just tossing this out there as speculation: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Seaview, gerrilea, KenBee, PavePusher

    By extension, would this sort of law end up mandating that the only way to exercise a Constitutional right is to pass a credit check?  "Sorry, pal, your credit score is only 630.  You don't have any rights."

    •  you got a no-doc loan and foreclosured (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PavePusher

      so get the fuck out...if you don't like it file a claim.
      And why not go all the way and just for drill keep any tax refunds as well until your claim is heard in..three years....

      A ridiculous overeach demands ridiculous counterexamples.

      This machine kills Fascists.

      by KenBee on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 05:07:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well ya, what could possibly happen... (4+ / 0-)

    Maybe they are mentally fucked up, but they're still veterans and as such, should be able to carry any kind of gun they want. What could possibly go wrong???

  •  Thank you MB, T&R, the constant deployments today (5+ / 0-)

    contribute to the gun enabled suicides in military families.  It is not limited to those who have served.

    PS:  In addition to a few greenbacks, my father, knowing my aversion to weapons, left me a sweet piece for protection. He tested my skills, and inability to harm myself or others.

  •  I think the key question here (5+ / 0-)

    comes down to just how mentally incapacitated the VA law requires before taking away the right to control ones finances.  If it is a high bar, which judging from the description below it is, then it is convenient to take away the gun rights at the same time.

    I have another thought here.  I find it astounding that so many people think the right to control one's own finances, property and affairs is less important (read should be more easily taken away) then the right to bear arms.  And to be clear, the bill of rights hits on this all over the place (3rd, 4th and 5th)  Specifically...

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated
    Seizure of a person's property, papers and effects would be equally problematic as taking someone's weapons.

    It says something of the gun lobby that they instinctively want to have a higher standard for taking guns than for taking property.  Consitutionally, they would have equal weight...and in terms of importance, I think I would much rather keep my house and finances than my gun.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 01:50:44 PM PST

    •  It's one thing for a VA determination to (8+ / 0-)

      control one's pension and benefits, another for all one's own finances. The article is unclear as to whether the VA has the authority to determine, administratively, the latter.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 01:57:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Uh (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IndieGuy, Miss Blue, cany, annieli, PavePusher

        if the VA benefits are the property of the person getting them, and they are legally speaking, then seizing them is a BFD, equally a BFD as taking away someone's guns.  It an involuntary seizure of a person's property, income and control over their own health care...how is that less important than their guns?

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 02:02:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Depends on how the statute determining those (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          theatre goon, PavePusher, Pete Cortez

          benefits is written, actually.

          Thing about money - it's not yours until it's in your hands (which is why most income taxes are indirect/transfer taxes).

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 02:55:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Indeed, the notion that money is "yours", even (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pete Cortez

            before the check has been cut, is a standard anti-tax right-wing trope.

            If the law establishing the pension and benefits has provisions for a third party taking over receipt of pension and benefits in the event of incapacitation, there's no "right" involved, since the payment is a conditional statutory obligation.

            It would be a different matter entirely if, upon determination of incapacitation, the VA sent in repo-men to your house to take and auction your stuff, and put liens on your bank accounts. But that isn't what appears to be happening here.

            Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

            by Robobagpiper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 04:55:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Y'know, I think I am beginning to understand (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miss Blue

      the viewpoint of many (but not all) of the 2nd amendment folks.  This story finally made it clear.  Its not just that they feel the 2nd amendment is a right that must be treated equally to other rights, but rather its...

      One Right to rule them all,
      One Right to find them,
      One Right to bring them all
      and in the darkness bind them.
      Guns are more important than personal property...that's really shocking when you think about it.

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 02:07:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Solarian's comment answers your question. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener

      Enough fossil fuel remains on Earth to warm it 6 degrees C by 2100 AD if it is all used. A +6 C planet will only sustain half a billion humans. Human population will rise to 9 billion by 2050. Any questions?

      by davidincleveland on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 05:16:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  For the record, I'm also against violation.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy, theatre goon

      of any other Constitutional Rights by whim of an administration instead of a court.

      •  Glad you are (0+ / 0-)

        My point is that the bill sponsors aren't.   And I wonder why it never crossed their minds?  Hmmm?

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 08:27:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sometimes, the obvious.... isn't. (0+ / 0-)

          I made about 4 mistakes today, when the clues to the answers were literally under my hands.

          Granted, I just got back from vacation and am still playing catch-up.

          Perhaps the good legislators simply have a lot on their plates right now, and are missing the forest for the trees.

          I intend to write them a letter to point out the error of their ways.  That's what we do, right?

          •  Pave pusher (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PavePusher

            To be clear, the following statement is not directed at you.

            But, there are many, many second amendment supporters that seem to have forgotten about all the other amendments, or at least seem to put number two Bove all others. That's what I meant by my "one right to rule them all" comment.

            They didn't forget...they didn't care.  And more intersting still, judging from the comments of those who know, the VA system is pretty solid and fair on removing people's financial control...and yet, many here instinctively jumped to get rid of that system just to keep the gun rights int he courts.

            I'm just saying'...it really does seem that for many, the second amendment is the beginning and end of the bill of rights.  It ain't, it's not even close to the most important...freedom of speech is...no question...always...and forever.  Cause the pen is mightier than the sword.

            "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

            by Empty Vessel on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 09:15:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The problem, I think, is one of perception-bias. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              theatre goon

              Just because they aren't doing it in front of you, in a way you approve of, doesn't mean nothing is being done.

              It could be the same problem on my part too.  I seem to only hang out with people who think the entire Constitution is worth protecting.  

              YMMV.

            •  P.S. I'm against ANY Constitutional and Civil.... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              theatre goon

              rights being removed outside of the Fifth Amendment process.

            •  What Pave said. (0+ / 0-)

              A lot of us focus more on the 2nd Amendment when we're here -- there are many people willing to speak up about the rest of the Bill of Rights, fewer who fully support this one as well.

              As I have limited time to spend on DKos all 'round, I have to choose which issues I focus on.

              Other places...?  I'm more vocal about other issues.  It's all about the venue...

              Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

              by theatre goon on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 04:26:38 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Fyi, the very first sign in a dementing illness (8+ / 0-)

    (from any cause) is difficulty in executive functioning. Handling finances, balancing checkbooks, paying bills etc. is one of the 'executive' functions.

    So, if someone cannot handle their finances and it's b/c of cognitive or psychological issues (they aren't the same), then by all means take away their guns.

    "Say little, do much" (Pirkei Avot 1:15)

    by hester on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 01:54:10 PM PST

    •  My mom is a perfect example of this. The first (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hester

      ability she lost was addition and subtraction.. She couldn't balance her checkbook, but that quickly turned to not being able to read a bank statement or a bill. Yes, she had dementia and first stages of psychosis.  

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 09:55:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Then make that case before a judge. (0+ / 0-)

      And if you can't, that's your fault.

  •  Thanks for posting this. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieGuy, gerrilea, KenBee, PavePusher

    I have guns, some modern, some antique and I didn't know anything about this. Pretty typical of the law though. One size fits all, seldom fits anyone just right.

    Hopefully, I have another few years before it becomes an actual concern but it is creeping up on me...faster than I'd like. Knowing me, I'll probably forget where I put them.

     

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 01:59:51 PM PST

    •  there are many here who would have you not have (4+ / 0-)

      them at all, ever.

      Given almost any reason they would support confiscation.

      Don't report being victim of a crime or a scammer...on account of it's evidence of, what was it,  'loss of executive function'...

      Missed a red light..well, shoulda known better, and fork it over. You would have the same supporters of this supporting that as well in high %

      It's Chinatown.

      This machine kills Fascists.

      by KenBee on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 05:14:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Apparently, you too need to read Solarian's (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener, glorificus

      comment, which explains current law for veterans. If you aren't both a veteran and one who qualifies under those rules, the proposed Senate bill won't affect you. Still, even as a non-veteran or one with no current mental issues, if forgetting where they are is a possibility one should pre-plan, or pre-alert one's friends or relatives to keep an eye on you.

      Hopefully, I have another few years before it becomes an actual concern but it is creeping up on me...faster than I'd like. Knowing me, I'll probably forget where I put them.
      Forgetting where you've left them could be fatal. About your observation concerning laws; the only laws that suit anyone "just right" are those bad laws pushed forward and passed by special interests. Good laws aren't designed for individual comfort. If we would all be comfortable with them we wouldn't need them as laws designed to constrain individual behavior in favor of public interest.

      Enough fossil fuel remains on Earth to warm it 6 degrees C by 2100 AD if it is all used. A +6 C planet will only sustain half a billion humans. Human population will rise to 9 billion by 2050. Any questions?

      by davidincleveland on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 05:35:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I walked into the VA hospital in L.A. (0+ / 0-)

        around 1970, took one look, walked out and have never been back. I doubt they're ever going to do anything that affects me, one way or the other.

        "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

        by sceptical observer on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:02:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  fools (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans and right wing Democrats only understand compassion when they have been injured.  The their eyes open and they realize what dicks they have been.  The Brady bill is the perfect example.  I hate to wish harm on these people, but it makes it hard when they legislate gun rights and put machine guns and military weapons in the hands of unstable people.

  •  Methinks probably wouldn't get through a (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theatre goon, IndieGuy, KenBee, PavePusher

    court challenge as proposed. There may be something there but the implications that financial planning dependence in and of itself is enough of a mental disorder to take away 2nd Amendment rights is a bridge too far.

  •  My father was diagnosed with PTSD and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieGuy, gerrilea, davidincleveland

    he is an avid hunter.  I don't believe he is on any list nor has he ever had to appeal.

    For the record, my mother also handles all the finances only because she is better at it and my dad just isn't educated in finance.

    I'm actually surprised that this is a policy and I'm surprised the republicans are trying to overturn it.

    Is there anyone else out there as surprised as me?

  •  Oh no.. a political debate more complex than (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea

    predictable partisan lines.  What is our country coming to?

    Incidently, I think they should be able to have hunting rifles but not hand guns, because I think handguns kill people.  I think that should apply regardless of veteran status or economical status, but that doing so only based on economic status assumes too much to be legally justifiable under the second amendment.

    Howard Dean will always be my president.

    by 4democracy on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 02:06:59 PM PST

  •  An Inability To Handle finances May Be Part of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidincleveland

    an at risk mental state, but not always.  If there is an appeal process than I say we must trust this process until we knw it is faulty and needs change.

  •  this characterization that they are bad (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ltsply2, tytalus, davidincleveland

    about handling money is a little less than the whole picture.

    These are people for whom an administrative showing is made that they can't handle money because of mental incapacity, generally with a doctor's opinion.  It may not have the rigor of a state probate court hearing, but it is not wholly different.

    Such rulings are aimed at allowing a responsible adult, usually family member, receive their benefit checks, and arrange treatment etc.  As with any competancy decision, a person may have lucid periods and relapses, so it is a significant infringement on civil rights.  To characterize it as just not handling money minimizes the types of mental issues some of these patients have.

    An incompetancy finding offers legal protections if the veteran makes unwise financial decisions,  it may protect their money from collection, etc.   This is not like an old time spendthrift finding,  it can happen because of service related injuries, substance abuse, dementia from advanced age, etc.

    While it is not truly a full finding of incompetency under state law.  there would be reason to believe than many vets simply are incompetent for all legal purposes.   It is one thing to say that a state court finding for the state of residency is necessary to trigger the restrictions on gun ownership, lines have to be drawn,  but I have on occasion run into vets who truly didn't have the capacity to handle any of their affairs.  Generally the families didn't have the money or desire for a state court hearing (and the attendant burdens of accounting to the court for the rest of someone's life which are not that small)  if the benefits were paid out.

    •  There are so many veterans out there I'm sure (0+ / 0-)

      there are some without family.

      Or, any family left cannot help (for example, 87 y o uncle Orville in the nursing home).

      Who can those vets rely on?

      "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

      by glorificus on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 03:10:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't have a solution (0+ / 0-)

        to the mental health care problems of the country, or even why the Vet still hasn't done as much as they could over the years, though it is slightly better now.

        Millions do without proper care, long term treatment and acceptable living options whether they are veterans or not.  As they talk about cutting medicaid, more elderly will be forced on charity of strangers.  The whole thing is a mess and I still haven't touched on all of it.

        I was just trying to say that the incompentency finding/relatives to help is so much bigger than owning a gun, and that these families need this kind of option to a state law guardianship.

      •  Attorneys...I have had to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        glorificus

        call the Bar Association on a one or two for not properly
        attending to the financial needs of the vet.  Court or family appointed guardians.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 02:59:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  the only part of the government (8+ / 0-)

    That should ever have the power to take away a citizen's rights is a court.

    No lower standard is acceptable.

    --Shannon

    "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
    "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

    by Leftie Gunner on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 02:16:23 PM PST

    •  very true, and that is also a very stressful (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PavePusher

      high bullshit level environment...unfortunately with people (snark™)...so until the space people come and save us we're screwed...or not.

      still the only acceptable way imo and way better than some lesser bureaucrat, and why they made judges responsible to the people by elections...sometimes.

      This machine kills Fascists.

      by KenBee on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 05:20:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Many people avoid that by putting into their (0+ / 0-)

      care directives the handing over of executive rights based on a doctor's diagnosis of incapability (i.e. a 5150). That's what my mom did. And yes, when I found her gun, I took it away. I don't know where she got it or if she had bullets. But I DO know she no longer had a gun.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 10:00:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think DaNang clarified the issue and there (6+ / 0-)

    is something called "Have you ever been adjudicated by a court to be mentally incompentent " regarding drivers license and has been in effect for years in most states.

    I think the concern is the suicide rate of veterans which is higher among combat vets than the general population as a whole but not all suicides are related to guns. Not all weapons are guns but I still have issue with chronic PTSD and guns.   That is just me.   Veterans suffering from ptsd can be fine one minute and not the next.   Taking the guns is not going to solve the problem.
    A knife can kill you just as dead.  Most vets are proficient in both weapons.   The problem with guns from what I have seen is the first cut doesn't necessarily kill, the first shot usually does.  

    If a veteran has a history of ptsd mixed with gun violence or violence period..then I believe the law of non gun ownership might apply but as I said it won't stop someone from hurting themselves or others.  Many veterans have a problem with finances because of guilt and they try very hard to buy their feelings away.  

    I don't think legislating ban on guns is the answer.  I think better treatment programs is the answer.  The vet learned in the military that the weapon is a security of sorts.   We don't need to go there.  People have had Shell shock, Battle Fatigue and   ptsd since war began and will continue to.  An ink pen can be a weapon in the hands of a trained military person.  

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 02:25:31 PM PST

  •  You know... there are a lot of homeless vets (5+ / 0-)

    jobless vets, addicted vets, vets living with severe, untreated mental conditions (and some active duty, too, but that's another topic)... Lots of them. In the tens of thousands at the least.

    This is an ideal, cost free issue for grandstanding assholes like Coburn, who don't really care about vets and would just as soon abolish the VA. How about we deal with the real crises afflicting many thousands of veterans and come back to this afterward. That's what would happen if we had a functioning government.

    I'm gun-owning veteran. Should the day come when I am too high, too depressed, too confused to manage my affairs, take my guns... please.



    Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. Rosa Luxemburg

    by chuckvw on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 02:30:13 PM PST

  •  I hadn't considered the gun issue before, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, glorificus, davidincleveland

    but I had considered the potential legal implications of being at fault in an injury related vehicle accident, after being deemed mentally infirm by the VA.  

  •  This is confusing to me. (6+ / 0-)

    I don't work for the VA but I do work where we make judgements about payees.

    Generally a person is ruled in need of a payee by us due to substance abuse, severe mental retardation, something like bipolar disorder where a person can be prone to impulsive spending.

    I'm not sure I'd want any of the people I've judged in need of a payee in control of a gun and am a gun owner.

    As long as a person can petition to be able to have a gun I think it's OK as is.

    I think the biggest threat to us gun owners is not taking guns away from people who are ruled incompetant, but rather guns getting into more of those peoples hands, bad things happening and then public sentiment for gun laws that go overboard.

  •  so, does that mean that everyone with bad credit (0+ / 0-)

    gets his guns taken away, or only those veterans who've risked their lives defending the nation?
    guess that means a lot of people in congress have nothing to worry about.
    like five-deferment phil "I have as many guns as I need, but I don't have as many guns as I want" gramm.
    he'd get to keep his, because he's not a veteran.

  •  Coburn started it so they could blame Obama for it (4+ / 0-)

    How hard was that ???

    The biggest COD from guns is suicide. This measure might reduce suicides by older vets.

    But otherwise, you know dxmn well that the GOPers don't give a shxt about old vets.

  •  Republicans can't handle finance, and they (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife

    all own guns.    

    If money is speech, then speech must be money.

    by dkmich on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 03:21:41 PM PST

  •  If Jared Lougner were a vet (3+ / 0-)

    under this proposal, the likely outcome would be he would have a payee appointed but he would have been able to keep his guns.  All reports were that he was noticeably "off" before the shootings.   Remember he got kicked out of college because they felt he could be potentially dangerous.  A lot of people criticized the school for not formally reporting him to somebody.

    So if Loughner would have shown up for an examination as part of a VA benefits claim, it is likely the physician would have found he was not capable of managing his own affairs.  He was reportly delusional and not oriented x3.  

    These statements of competency don't exist solely to determine if someone can manage their funds.  It is important for determining the safety of the patient or if the patient is a parent, the safety of their children.  It is makes a difference for treatment.  If the patient isn't competent, someone else can be appointed to make medical determinations.  

    But that isn't the end of the line for Loughner or other vets.  Under the 5th amendment to the constitution, they are entitled to due process under the law before they lose there right to firearms.  If they really feel they are competent they can present evidence showing they are competent.  This is as easy as having your personal physician provide a statement indicating your competency.  If the VA still finds a person incompetent, they still have options to try to keep their guns.  One, the due process provisions mean the decision can be appealed.  The process will allow these decisions to he eventually. heard outside the administrative level in the Federal Courts.  Second,   even if you agree with the incompetency as far as managing your funds you can ask to be excluded from the gun restrictions.  This process also guarantees the provisions to be heard in front of a Federal Court.  

  •  exactly, anything else is fascism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Solarian
    Of the 127,000 veterans whom the VA has placed in the mentally "incapacitated" category since 1998, only 185 have appealed to get their names taken off the NICS registry. That seems to indicate the current approach works just fine as it is. The vast majority of veterans with TBI and PTSD have not been judged incapacitated and those that have are afforded an avenue by which to prove they were misjudged. Given the high rate of suicide among veterans and the potential for other tragedies when guns are close at hand for people who have been ruled unable to handle their own affairs, the law as it now stands ought to be considered a reasonable dose of preventive medicine.

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 04:37:59 PM PST

  •  Protect guns but not right to vote? (0+ / 0-)

    It's silly that if this were to pass, federal law would protect an "incapacitated" veteran's right to own a gun, but not protect an incapacitated veteran's right to vote (the NVRA allows states to disenfranchise the mentally incapacitated).  

  •  not a "frequent" occurrence (0+ / 0-)

    From the post:

    The Department of Veterans Affairs frequently assigns someone else, often a family member, to handle a veteran's finances, including his or her government pension and benefits.
    While I do not have access to the actual VBA data regarding how often this occurs, I have a reasonable sample from my own VA that suggests fiduciaries are INfrequently assigned. Of the several hundred service-connected Veterans I know of, there have been approx. 2-3% with fiduciaries. This requires a separate mental health competency evaluation beyond the standard comp & pen evaluations and is specific to the ability to manage finances. It is not also a forensic evaluation of dangerousness.
  •  If you really want this... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, theatre goon

    there has to be a court involved.

    No taking of Constitutional Rights by administrative whim.

    Don't like that option?  Article 5 awaits you, go hog wild.

  •  Shaking my head ... (0+ / 0-)

    First I don't understand why someone, who can't handle his financial affairs, is considered inflicted with a mental disability and or PTSD. (I just wonder if then if the whole US hasn't such an infliction and shouldn't be allowed to have "weapons" /end of snark).

    Second I can't understand, if a veteran shows clearly signs of being a danger to himself or others, why that person should need his rights to have a weapon to be protected.

    The only right he need protection of, imo, is the right to psychiatric care at any therapist or psychotherpeut of his choice (meaning being able to choose his therapist and get treatment at no cost, so that the veteran can be independent from the VA health benefit system).

    I wouldn't allow any weapon near a Veteran, who is in pain and suffers from his experiences in war and in his private life. We have enough suicides and homocides already due to severe mental health burdens and pains. No need to enable them by providing fake "caring" gun protection rights. It's a darn fake argument to pretend a Veteran's right is endangered.

  •  ...besides, what's the meaning of (0+ / 0-)

    a veteran not being able to handle his finances, if most are unemployed and have nothing much in "finances" to "manage". How do you manage "no income" ?

  •  I have read all the comments and find (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Solarian

    many are confusing.   The bottom line is this IMO.  A veteran or any person for that matter who wants a gun will find one.  They don't have to own it.   They will take it, borrow one, or just find a backdoor to obtain and the ptsd or finances is just an excuse to cause vets not to obtain mental health care.   The veteran has to find within themselves. a reason not to own a firearm.   The family or some other interested party other than the government.   I know this issue very well.  I know why it took years to remove firearms from this household and the veteran himself or herself has to be able to finally find peace in not having an aresenal around.

    The veteran still can obtain a weapon if felt threatned and it does not take more than 5 minutes to get one.
    Vets are  friends and members of organizations who do know many that have firearms they will loan the person.
    I know this.   This bill is ludicrious because it solves no problems.   Veterans can make weapon out of almost nothing and do someone in with that weapon.   Their entire being is a weapon if so desired or raged.  The senate needs to just drop the whole thing and move on.
    The veteran has to reach for help and the family has to make sure they are safe from raging ptsd episodes.  Life is not easy for the person who was entrusted to preserve their lives and engage in warfare.   The answer is better treatment and protecting the vet and his or her family from a threat at any given point.  How do you do that ?   Not by merely taking a gun.   They at some point under the right surroundings KNOW they need to surrender that lethal weapon.  It won't stop anything.
    Better mental health and support will.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 03:17:24 AM PST

  •  There has to be a better way (0+ / 0-)

    Is someone that is mentally incapacitated to the point that their finances need to be turned over to someone else a good risk to own a firearm? probably not.

    Is the ability to govern your own finances, and own a firearm responsibly inexorably linked? nope

    We try to hard to create these all encompassing rules that will work for everyone every time, and life just doesn't work that way.

    So, how about we continue to do it the way we are doing it, and just set up a special fire arm license issued at the federal level where people who otherwise are disqualified can petition for an exception license.

    This way if someone is deemed at a large scale level to not be fit to own a gun they can have it reviewed at a personal level.

  •  I am a VA fiduciary and legal custodian (0+ / 0-)

    for my disabled-vet brother. He is disabled from a massive stroke which has left him paralyzed on the right side of his body and compromised in his thinking, speaking, and emotional processes.

    He is also on a variety of (helpful) psychotropic drugs. He is emotionally labile (as many stroke sufferers are). However, he is ambulatory and loves to go out and wander the streets.  

    He also has a drinking problem which results in his becoming drunk and disorderly and very, very aggressive and combative with those who come to his assistance after he inevitably falls down and injures himself while drunk. This happens on a regular basis. The EMTs come and scrape him up off of whatever pavement he has hit this time, haul him to the hospital, where they sew him up and call me to come get him.

    He breaks bones. His head, front and back, is a road map of scars where they have stitched him up from the injuries he suffers when he falls. He is lucky he is not in jail. Or dead.

    My worst nightmare would be him having a gun during all this.  He would be a danger to himself, to us, and to his community, even more so than he is now. Because, see, he's "not right" in the head. That's why he has a fiduciary and a custodian.

    This is not about his ability to handle his finances. This is about his ability to handle his life. The VA does not require a fiduciary for trivial reasons, and the restriction on gun ownership for those who require a fiduciary seems like fundamental common sense to me.

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