February 22, 2013
Michael Connelly, executive director of the United States Foundation, says that US veterans are now receiving letters from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regarding the disarmament of those former service men and women under the guise that they are in a questionable physical or mental condition because of their exposure to combat situations.
The letter goes on to say: “A determination of incompetency will prohibit you from purchasing, possessing, receiving, or transporting a firearm or ammunition. If you knowingly violate any of these prohibitions, you may be fined, imprisoned, or both pursuant to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, Pub.L.No. 103-159, as implemented at 18, United States Code 924(a)(2).”
Without “specifics on the reasons for the proposed finding of incompetency” the VA is determining that veterans are incompetent. Disregarding due process and the US Constitution, the VA has begun to disarm American citizens under their control.
In December of 2012, before President Obama signed the 2013 fiscal Year National Defenses Authorization Act (NDAA), the Senate, as part of a defense cuts proposal is an amendment to curb the rights of US veterans to access guns. Senator Tom Coburn would like for the veterans deemed “mentally incompetent” to have the Department of Veterans Affairs decide that they would have their 2nd Amendment rights revoked and not be able to purchase or possess firearms.
Coburn said to the Senate: “We’re not asking for anything big. We’re just saying that if you’re going to take away the Second Amendment rights … they ought to have it adjudicated, rather than mandated by someone who’s unqualified to state that they should lose their rights.”
The Coburn amendment #3109 states that in order “to protect the Second Amendment rights of veterans” they must be deemed mentally competent so they may retain their right to bear arms. According to Chapter 55, Title 38 of the US Code (Section 5503): “In any case arising out of the administration by the Secretary of laws and benefits under this title, a person who is mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or experiencing an extended loss of consciousness shall not be considered adjudicated as a mental defective under subsection (d)(4) or (g)(4) of section 922 of title 18 without the order or finding of a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others.”
This amendment is part of a package of additions to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Coburn said to the Senate: “We’re not asking for anything big. We’re just saying that if you’re going to take away the Second Amendment rights — they ought to have it adjudicated, rather than mandated by someone who’s unqualified to state that they should lose their rights.”
Senator Charles Schumer retorted: “I love our veterans; I vote for them all the time, they defend us. But if you are mentally ill, whether you’re a veteran or not, just like if you’re a felon, if you’re a veteran or not, and you have been judged to be mentally infirm, you should not have a gun.”
In 2011, Senator Richard Burr introduced The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act that mirrors the assertions of Coburn with respect to restricting the rights of veterans to their 2nd Amendment based on mental health.
Coburn explained that veterans returning to society may “have their day in court if you are going to take away a fundamental right given under the Constitution” yet downplayed the 2nd Amendment as not inherent.
Dan Gross, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence pointed out that veterans that could not “manage their own affairs” due to a “disability” and are “deemed unable to handle [their] own affairs . . . likely constitute[ed] a high percentage of people who are dangerously mentally ill.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs released a study that found nearly 250,000 returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and could become violent and a danger to society.
Last year, Obama signed an executive order (EO) entitled, “Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families” with the supposed focus on strengthening “support for the emotional and mental health needs of our service members and their families.”
In this EO, Obama takes control over the evaluation of the mental health of our returning service men and women by providing US government controlled “effective mental health services for veterans, service members, and their families.” Obama is authorizing the coordination of the Departments of Veterans and the Department of Defense (DoD), as well as the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Defense to “transition” veterans back into “civilian life”.
Keeping in line with touting all veterans as mentally defective, substance abusers and suicidal, Obama demands that the VA and the DoD collaborate to provide proactive measures and a psychiatric pre-screen of returning service men and women to prevent erratic behavior. The DoD will “review all existing mental health and substance abuse prevention, education and outreach programs” within the military services and access their effectiveness.
During a private “roundtable” discussion at Fort Bliss in Texas, Obama met with members of the military and addressed active duty troops. The Obama administration’s focus is on identifying and “providing additional support” to soldiers who have been diagnosed with “post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)”.
Previously, the DoD have come out publicly to state that US veterans suffering from TBI and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) are considered potentially violent and dangerous.
Doctors for the DoD claim CTE is an incurable disease soldiers may develop after having injured their brain in battle. CTE is explained as causing large bursts of anger and depression while having their vital motor skills and memory impacted; as well as being degenerative of whose effects can manifest themselves days, months or years after the initial trauma.
The DoD is tracking soldiers diagnosed with TBI/CTE because, according to the US government agency, they may display personality changes that could come on without warning and effect their ability to acclimate back into American society.
At Fort Detrick and Fort Bragg, in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the US military is conducting clinical trials on 2,000 solders to create a medical screen to detect a person’s propensity toward TBI/CTE by measuring biomarkers.
The Obama administration devised a report in 2011 entitled “Strengthening Our Military Families” that focuses on the mental stability of our US service men and women. It questions whether or not their exposure to battlefield conditions, TBI/CTE, and diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) is causing them to be a potential danger to society. Hidden under bureaucracy of promising to develop governmental systems to aid veterans, the document is directed at identifying all veteran’s potential to become mentally incapacitated due to some psychiatric disorder which would cause them to become violent, depressed, aggressive and inevitably dangerous to society.
The EO also allocates the US government-sponsored use of local community mental health clinics, community health centers, substance abuse treatment facilities, and rural health clinics to assist the DoD in identifying veterans who may be suffering from mental illness and would therefore have federal agencies working with private sector health providers to ensure veterans get the psychiatric help they need in “a timely way”. Obama has ordered 15 “pilot projects” to be established to create an integrated mental health system wherein the DoD would have complete oversight. The DoD would also be at the liberty of defining the parameters of the objective need of mental healthcare of veterans.
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs (SVA) will employ 800 peer counselors by 2013 that will be controlled and disseminated by the DoD under directives of the SVA. Collaborative tools and monetary oversight will remain with the SVA as an estimate 1,600 mental healthcare workers is expected to be needed to deal with the issue of mentally ill veterans nationally.
A National Research Action Plan will be established by May of 2013 that will be sponsored by the US government to use biomarkers for “early diagnosis and treatment” of veterans who tested positive for a propensity toward TBI/CTE. Obama wants to integrate electronic data sharing of information about veterans and their predetermined mental status between federal agencies, academia and state-sponsored research facilities to create pharmaceutical and psychiatric answers to this supposed burgeoning problem.
The goal of the Obama administration is to devise a “comprehensive longitudinal mental health study with an emphasis on PTSD, TBI, and related injuries” to identify mental health issues in veterans and enroll veterans in a long-term plan coordinated with the Department of Veteran Affairs which will be directed by the DoD.
The creation of a Task Force to advise Obama on how to deal with mental illness and veterans will be established within 180 days of the EO. This Task Force will alone define specific goals on how to best combat veterans alleged fall into mental illness with specific regard to TBI/CTE and post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD).
The US government’s goal is to identify these veterans and label them with a progressive, unstable and degenerative disease so that they can refer them to mental hospitals for further evaluation and/or admittance.