Great Example of the way the opposition thinks. Let’s use something that sounds good. Insane people shouldn’t have guns. It’s hard to argue against the concept. Except, once they have the law in place, they will re-define what constitutes as Insane. Suddenly people are losing their guns rights without a hearing, and without ever being told. The anti-guns will say that anyone with more than 5 guns is obviously insane, or all ex-police and ex-military are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, so they shouldn’t have guns. If you fear the government, then you must be insane. It’s not a slippery slope, it’s a steep cliff. We must not let insane people get guns, and we must not let the insane anti-gun crowd use these laws against us.
In a preternatural example of tone-deafness, an administration under fire for snooping into Americans’ privacy is now proposing to waive federal privacy laws so psychiatrists can report their gun-owning patients to the government.
The Department of Health and Human Service’s “notice of proposed rule-making,” floated by the White House in a Friday media dump, would waive portions of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to allow psychiatrists to report their patients to the FBI’s gun-ban blacklist (the NICS system) on the basis of confidential communications.
The 1968 Gun Control Act bans guns for anyone who is “adjudicated as a mental defective or … committed to a mental institution.” Unfortunately, under 2008 NICS Improvement Act, drafted by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, and its regulations, that “adjudication” can be made by any “other lawful authority.” This means a diagnosis by a single psychiatrist in connection with a government program.
In the case of nearly 175,000 law-abiding veterans, the “lawful authority” has been a Department of Veterans Affairs psychiatrist, who, generally, will take away a veteran’s guns by unilaterally declaring him incompetent and appointing a guardian over his financial affairs. Certainly, the findings can be appealed, but most veterans don’t have the tens of thousands of dollars to hire lawyers and psychiatrists to do so.
Although the problem hasn’t yet been as apparent in other areas, police and firemen on Social Security disability for post-traumatic stress disorder, Medicare seniors with Alzheimer’s, and people who as children were diagnosed under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act program with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder will ultimately face the same fate. Even a subsidized Obamacare policy might now make Americans participants in a federal program.