Friday, February 22, 2013

Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others

Combat Vets with PTSD Losing Gun Rights

This is disgusting and discriminatory. Not every person with PTSD, TBI, or any other condition should be presumed dangerous or incompetent on the basis of a diagnosis alone. This is an utter failure of due process, and I can't believe they are proposing stripping our vets of their rights without any judicial finding that particular individuals are in fact dangerous or too compromised to conduct their own affairs. They have also turned the presumption of innocence (or, in this case, competence) on its head, placing the burden on veterans to prove that they are not incompetent and dangerous, rather than on the government to prove that they are. Failure to vigorously contest the VA letter notification will lead to a finding, without a hearing. Have a look here and here, at the letter vets are getting.

It amazes me that people who style themselves as progressive and liberal can support such tactics. If someone introduced legislation penalizing an entire marginalized group on the basis of the actions of one deranged member of the group, or even a handful of members, we would see these very people marching in protest and crying discrimination. So long as the group was one they like and approve of. Racial, religious, gender and orientation based discrimination remain taboo and reprehensible, but penalizing people who have fought and bled for their country and abusing an entire category of law abiding citizens for exercising their fundamental and constitutional rights is A-OK in today's America. I guess we are at the point where veterans, legal gun owners generally, and people with mental health diagnoses have joined fat people in the category of those that it is OK to mock, hate, abuse and discriminate against with impunity.

They say they want to prevent violence by looking at mass shootings from every angle, including mental health care, but they just threw a major monkey wrench into having people seek treatment. How utterly sad and counterproductive. I don't see any effort being made at improving mental health services for vets and/or civilians who need them, just a lot of the usual hot air about mental health parity that neither the VA nor Medicare actually practice (nor private insurance companies), which seems like nothing but a distraction while the people with an agenda carry out their gun grab. What a sad state of affairs our country has fallen into.

Equally reprehensible is the proposal before the New York Legislature to require a million dollars in liability insurance for a person to exercise his or her Second Amendment rights or else have his/her guns confiscated. If poll taxes are unconstitutional, how can this not be? It is clearly the erection of a financial barrier to the exercise of a constitutional right. Why do people who claim to be progressive support the right of only the richest among us to protect themselves, whether by armed guards or infringing on gun rights to the point that only the wealthy can afford to defend themselves? Why am I constantly reminded of George Orwell's prescient book, Animal Farm, in which some animals are more equal than others? But if artificial barriers to the exercise of rights are going to become the order of the day in the New America, may I suggest that we impose intelligence tests for voters and political candidates, which would include demonstrating a working knowledge of our Constitution. I think that's far fairer than a class-based distinction. Perhaps we would not be where we are today if people had to actually have a clue in order to vote, rather than just ticking off the boxes on the party line or voting for the people the media favor.

There is another pro-Second Amendment Rally at the New York State Capitol on February 28th. If you support the Constitution, please attend.

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