You’re a lame Duck president whose legacy-making efforts at gun control failed in epic fashion. You’re determined to push gun control somehow, but know you have no chance to get anything–at all–through the Congress. In fact, you’ve become the greatest gun, firearm accessory and ammunition salesman in American history. Then you remember: you have a pen and a phone! Fox News reports:
The Obama administration wants to keep people collecting Social Security benefits from owning guns if it is determined they are unable to manage their own affairs, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The push, which could potentially affect millions whose monthly disability payments are handled by others, is intended to bring the Social Security Administration in line with laws that prevent gun sales to felons, drug addicts, immigrants in the United States illegally, and others, according to the paper.
Of course, a significant problem with this desire is that the “laws” of which the article speaks, are actual laws written and voted on by Congress. Mr. Obama has less than no chance of getting any antigun law through Congress.
The language of federal gun laws restricts ownership to people who are unable to manage their own affairs due to ‘marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease’ – which could potentially affect a large group within Social Security, the LA Times reported.
If Social Security, which has never taken part in the background check system, uses the same standard as the Department of Veterans Affairs – which is the idea floated – then millions of beneficiaries could be affected, with about 4.2 million adults receiving monthly benefits that are managed by ‘representative payees.
The Washington Post reports on Mr. Obama’s determination to get gun control by any means necessary in his remaining time in office:
If you ask me where has been the one area where I feel that I’ve been most frustrated and most stymied, it is the fact that the United States of America is the one advanced nation on Earth in which we do not have sufficient commonsense gun safety laws even in the face of repeated mass killings,’ Obama said.
‘If you look at the number of Americans killed since 9/11 by terrorism it’s less than 100,’ the president added. ‘If you look at the number killed by gun violence, it’s in the tens of thousands. And for us not to be able to resolve that issue has been something that’s distressing but it’s not something I intend to stop working on in the remaining 18 months.
This would have to be another of Mr. Obama’s royal edicts, and would certainly amount to egregious violation of the Second Amendment and surely a taking of property without due process or just compensation. No matter how it is implemented, it would also require a massive increase of government employees and perhaps the creation of an entirely new anti-gun bureaucracy.
The VA situation is instructive. The Daily Caller reports:
The Daily Caller obtained a ‘MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS AND THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION REGARDING THE NATIONAL INSTANT CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM.’
The document, dated Feb. 27, 2012, makes clear the VA must send health information to the FBI for its gun background-check database.
‘VA will provide an encrypted compact disc exchanged via mail to the FBI no less than quarterly for, inter alia, inclusion in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS),’ the memo reads.
The FBI runs the national database that authorizes all gun purchases through a FFL holder in the US. When a citizen buys a gun at a local gun shop, this is the agency that runs their name, DOB, SSN, etc. to determine if they are eligible to purchase that gun. If the VA handles the information and determination of ineligible persons properly, this is not necessarily a serious issue, however, there is no reason to believe the VA is handling such things properly, or that its primary intentions involve the welfare of veterans. There is nothing stopping VA officials from simply telling the FBI that any veteran reporting depression, PTSD or merely occasional feelings of anxiety should not be allowed to purchase guns. There is also evidence that the VA has done just this. Katie Pavlich at Townhall.com reports:
Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder expressing deep concerns over Veterans Affairs evaluations classifying veterans as ‘mentally defective’ and banning them in the federal background check system from purchasing or owning a firearm.
According to Grassley’s office, the VA ‘reports individuals to the gun ban list if an individual merely needs financial assistance managing VA benefits,’ keeping them from exercising their Second Amendment rights. (Bolding is mine)
‘The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is effectively a national gun ban list and placement on the list precludes the ownership and possession of firearms. According to the Congressional Research Service, as of June 1, 2012, 99.3% of all names reported to the NICS list’s ‘mental defective’ category were provided by the Veterans Administration (VA) even though reporting requirements apply to all federal agencies. And that percentage remained virtually unchanged as of April 2013. Given the numbers, it is essential to ensure that the process by which the VA reports names to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for placement on the NICS list recognizes and protects the fundamental nature of veterans’ rights under the Second Amendment,’ Grassley wrote in the letter. ‘Specifically, once the VA determines that a veteran requires a fiduciary to administer benefit payments, the VA reports that veteran to the gun ban list, consequently denying his or her right to possess and own firearms. In the past, the VA has attempted to justify its actions by relying on a single federal regulation, 38 C.F.R. § 3.353, which by its plain language grants limited authority to determine incompetence, but only in the context of financial matters: ‘Ratings agencies have sole authority to make official determinations of competency and incompetency for purposes of: insurance and…disbursement of benefits.
This is obviously the hook upon which Mr. Obama wants to hang his unconstitutional and illegal confiscation of the firearms of social security recipients. Merely declare them financially incompetent, whether they are or not, and seize their guns. The VA is lighting the way.
Keep in mind, gentle readers, that Americans may begin receiving social security benefits at age 62, and that the current age for full receipt of benefits is 66. Thankfully, few Americans at those ages are actually mentally deficient. Merely having a child, spouse or other relative engaged in some way to help manage one’s finances is hardly a reliable indication of incapacity.
The point for the Obamites is to establish a presumptive rule requiring the denial of ownership, and certainly the seizure of the firearms of anyone who appears, in any way, to be receiving assistance with their finances, such as a relative receiving a Social Security payment. No hearing would be required, no testimony taken, no certification by a mental health professional; that would require work, a demonstrated, legitimate power to violate the constitutional rights of the elderly on an individual basis, and would likely prevent the government from taking weapons from most people. To do otherwise would be the status quo, which is obviously not acceptable to Mr. Obama.
Barack Obama does not care about the welfare of individual Americans, and particularly not those that own firearms. Who among Americans needs the protection of firearms more than those who are no longer as physically capable as they once were? If Mr. Obama were truly concerned about public safety, he would be working on ways to ensure every elderly American who was not genuinely mentally incapacitated and potentially dangerous to themselves and others retained their right to keep and bear arms. He took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. But that’s not what he’s proposing, is it?
This is nothing less than crude, ugly extortion. “You want the check, old woman, give me your guns.” Barack Obama would force the elderly to surrender their means to protect their very lives for a government subsidy actually earned for a change.
Such a policy is also entirely unnecessary. There are more than sufficient local means to deal with those elderly who truly should not be keeping or bearing arms, including their relatives, friends, neighbors, clergy, other caregivers, local police, etc. All of these people would be far better informed, and actually concerned for the welfare of individuals.
Government has no conscience, no caring, no interest in the hopes, desires, and souls of individuals. It cares only for obtaining, increasing and maintaining its own power, and Barack Obama more than virtually any in history.
But of course, Barack Obama doesn’t care about publicly beating up on elderly nuns. Depriving other elderly of their fundamental, unalienable rights is child’s play for him.