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Thread: Doctors Making Decisions-Should I Have A Firearm?

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    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=56311

    Thursday, June 21, 2007

    Posted: June 21, 2007
    11:04 p.m. Eastern



    By Naomi Laine


    ©2007WorldNetDaily.com







    Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., announcing a provision to allow doctors to ban people from owning guns
    The House of Representatives has fast-tracked new legislation to "improve" the National Instant Criminal Background Check System by allowing doctors to now decide who can own firearms.
    The proposal, H.R. 2640, was sponsored by U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., in the wake of the April tragedy at Virginia Tech, when a gunman shot and killed more than 30 people, then killed himself.
    McCarthy, whose own husband was killed in a random shooting on a commuter train in New York City in 1993, introduced the "NICS Improvement Act," which sailed through the House in three days.
    The plan is the first congressional effort to curtail gun ownership rights in a decade, but by being put on the fast track was exempted from the ordinary committee hearings and public scrutiny most proposals are sent through.
    (Story continues below)
    "Millions of criminal records are not accessible by NICS and millions others are missing critical data," said McCarthy. "Each year, tens of thousands of barred individuals slip through the cracks of the system and gain access to firearms. Simply put, the NICS system must be updated on both the state and federal level."
    If the Act passes in the Senate, it would provide grants so states can add the names of criminals to the NICS system, which would label them as unable to own firearms, but it also flags those with medical or psychological issues as unfit to possess a gun.
    The plan allows names to be entered into the NICS system based solely on a physician's diagnosis or prescription of a medication: adults who have taken Ritalin and soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder would be classified as mentally ill and given the same opportunity to own firearms as convicted felons: None.
    ]http://www.gunowners.org/a061807.htm]Gun Owners of America[/url] is one of only a few organizations alerting consumers to the implications.
    "Under this bill, based solely on a diagnosis of a psychiatrist, an American's name could be dumped into the National Criminal Instant Check (NICS) system," said GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt, who called the plan "conviction by diagnosis."
    The organization, which launched a campaign to lobby the Senate to reject the plan, said the McCarthy plan "dramatically" expands the "dragnet" used to disqualify law-abiding gun buyers.
    "So much so, that hundreds of thousands of honest citizens who want to buy a gun will one day walk into a gun store and be shocked when they're told they're a prohibited purchaser, having been lumped into the same category as murderers and rapists," the organization said in a statement on its website.
    The legislation requires states to better share records that would disqualify individuals deemed unfit for gun ownership by inputting those names into the FBI’s Instant Criminal Background Check System.
    "This underscores the problems that have existed all along with the Brady Law. At the time it was passed, some people foolishly thought, 'No big deal. I'm not a bad guy. This law won't affect me.' But what happens when good guys' names get thrown into the bad guys' list? That is exactly what has happened, and no one should think that the attempts to expand the gun control noose are going to end with the McCarthy bill," the gun owners group continued.
    "Speaking to the CNN audience on June 13, head of the Brady Campaign, Paul Helmke, stated that, 'We're hopeful that now that the NRA has come around to our point of view in terms of strengthening the Brady background checks, that now we can take the next step after this bill passes [to impose additional gun control],'" said the gun owners.
    "Get it? The McCarthy bill is just a first step," the group said.
    The Act is a response to the Virginia Tech tragedy.
    Tech student Seung-Hui Cho was not flagged when he purchased guns, although the state of Virginia knew Cho had been ordered to undergo mental health treatment. No evidence indicates that Cho could have been stopped from opening fire on classmates had the new changes been in place at the time of the shooting.
    The National Rifle Association has endorsed the plan as a way to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally unstable.

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    Ritalin? Are these people crazy themselves? This is one of the most (overly) prescribed drugs for kids and teenagers, and they want to mark all of them mentally defective? Good luck.

    **edit**looking through the actual proposal here:

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill...bill=h110-2640

    i didn't find anything with my search box, but I don't have the time to read it thoroughly right now**edit
    -Unrequited

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    I think politicians should have to pass mental evaluations.


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    'Nuff said.
    The National Rifle Association has endorsed the plan as a way to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally unstable.

    Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will, with wits and guns and the truth. NRA ******* (For NRA apologists, we are not equal,y'all and I.)

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    I wrote the NRA telling them that as a member I felt they had sold out and all I got was an propaganda email back.

    Funny how they can't communicate with the membership before jumping in bed with McCarthy to get their view on things but they can send out 3 letters a week asking for money.

    I still think the cause is better with the NRA I am beginning to question how much better.




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    I'm still not convinced that there is any real change in the law in this. It only changes the reporting of persons ruled incompetent and/or committed, but does not create any disability by fiat on the part of shrinks. Likewise, there is no automatic "Ritalin" rule or any prohibition of servicemen who may have PTSD (this is absolute ********), unless they've been committed or represent a danger to themselves or others, as established by judicial process. The law already provides for this due process requirement. Why is this only now outrageous since it's been the law for over a decade? Does Larry Pratt (GOA) know how to read? I really have to wonder. The NRA is supporting this, and I, for one, don't consider them to be liberal "anti" stooges (I am not a member, so this is not a partisan NRA/GOA fight).

    Suggestion: let's all read the actual text of the bill and judge based on that. Simple enough? If I'm wrong, I'll admit it, but I do not concede at this point.

    -ljp

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    It is bad law no matter how you slice it.

    If people are criminals and a threat to society to a point they should not have a gun then they should still be in prison.

    If they are a threat to themselves or others to a point they should not have a gun they should be in treatment and not on the street.

    Once they are "back on the street" they should be able to carry a gun to protect themselves just like anyone else.

    The only thing the NRA offers in any gun fight is numbers. But when they don't even solicit the input of their membership there is something seriously wrong in my view.



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    unrequited wrote:
    Ritalin? Are these people crazy themselves? This is one of the most (overly) prescribed drugs for kids and teenagers, and they want to mark all of them mentally defective? Good luck.

    **edit**looking through the actual proposal here:

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill...bill=h110-2640

    i didn't find anything with my search box, but I don't have the time to read it thoroughly right now**edit
    Strange about the Ritalin. There were so many kids at the NRA/4-H Shooting Sports Camp at Holiday Lake in 1997 who were on Ritalin. I know, because I was Camp Nurse, and managed their care. Does any body realize, that any drug, especially one for depression, and maybe even chronic pain could disqualify a person under this idiot proposed law? But the high and mighty politicos who want their own firearms will find a way to own them. The serfs, will be left with pitchforks, slings, and arrows.

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    The National Rifle Association has endorsed the plan in 'The conspiracy of ignorance masquerading as common sense." Jus' good ol' boyz and their politics. Unless you're a life member (a thirty-second degree gallus-snapper) you couldn't understand such esoterica.

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    Legba, you are guilty of rational thought and being out of step with the party line. Expect to be attacked and derided as a troll or anti or both. You are quite correct in your analysis but you see this does not matter to the full mooners on this board. Most who post have not read or do not understand the bill. They only know the talking points they have read on a blog. Others think that because the other side exaggerates and lies, they have to do the same to "even it out." This is a losing proposition but some people just don't want to know. I think the bill is a bad idea but I don't need to mischaracterize it to come to that conclusion.

    Legba wrote:
    I'm still not convinced that there is any real change in the law in this. It only changes the reporting of persons ruled incompetent and/or committed, but does not create any disability by fiat on the part of shrinks. Likewise, there is no automatic "Ritalin" rule or any prohibition of servicemen who may have PTSD (this is absolute ********), unless they've been committed or represent a danger to themselves or others, as established by judicial process. The law already provides for this due process requirement. Why is this only now outrageous since it's been the law for over a decade? Does Larry Pratt (GOA) know how to read? I really have to wonder. The NRA is supporting this, and I, for one, I don't consider them to be liberal "anti" stooges (I am not a member, so this is not a partisan NRA/GOA fight).

    Suggestion: let's all read the actual text of the bill and judge based on that. Simple enough? If I'm wrong, I'll admit it, but I do not concede at this point.

    -ljp

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    Sorry - won't happen again. I think I'll buy a Fabrique Nationale P9 (for $300) as an act of contrition. ;-/

    -ljp

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    Legba wrote:
    I'm still not convinced that there is any real change in the law in this. It only changes the reporting of persons ruled incompetent and/or committed, but does not create any disability by fiat on the part of shrinks.

    -ljp
    This legislation does not increase the numbers of prohibited persons; it just makes the data on who’s prohibited centrally accessible. The problem I have with this reporting requirement is there is no automatic removal from the “list” when your status as a prohibited person changes. In some states having someone involuntarily committed for observation is relatively easy.

    If certain criteria automatically put you on the list, the reversal of those criteria should also automatically remove you from the list. My “beef” is our current prohibited person system makes it very onerous if not impossible to get off the list. Look at felons; how many felons have gotten off the list using the legally prescribed procedures for restoration?

    We report the arrests, convictions and commitments, but when there is a reversal we leave the subject (often the victim) to clean up the records. This often requires petitions and multiple court appearances and follow-up.

    If this bill passes one fact will remain; it will not stop a mad gunman, but it will make a lot of people feel good until the next rampage.

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    Quite so. I am not entirely unconcerned about this. I do know that it usually takes several months for, say, a felon to obtain an expunction after he/she qualifies (many jurisdicions don't allow this at all, and there are a lot of agencies and databases that have to be dereferenced where it is possible). I am less familiar with civil commitment proceedings. I expect they are an even bigger hassle to get past, because there are doctors involved, in addition to the usual legal wrangling. The proposed law does, at least theoretically, provide such relief though, so we'll see how it works in practice.

    I did notice one curious provision concerning drug addicts/alcoholics. If you read the fine print, you'll see that someone who voluntarily submits to treatment, including methadone maintenance, will not be subject to the mandatory reporting, unless it is court-ordered (hence involuntary, which is absurd because no court requires any addict to go on methadone),so even though drug addicts are supposed to be prohibited persons, this looks to be a rather glaring loophole already. No law is perfect, to be sure, any more than any person is. Also, you are quite correct to state the obvious that mad-dog criminals will not be affected, as they are already outside the "legitimate" demand for guns anyway.

    So, I concede that there are problems, both theoretical and practical with this, but I still submit that it doesn't change things greatly. I'm not worried, for my part, and I make my living from the gun trade.

    -ljp

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    If it doesn't change anything and doesn't prevent crime(what law does) then why put it in place? It is a stepping stone for more of the same. Keep puting little changes in place until it is impossible for citizens not to be breaking the law.



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    Meathook wrote:
    If it doesn't change anything and doesn't prevent crime(what law does) then why put it in place?* It is a stepping stone for more of the same.* Keep puting little changes in place until it is impossible for citizens not to be breaking the law.

    You weren't suposed to notice.
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    I guess you'd have to ask Frau McCarthy what she hopes to accomplish. A few nutcases might be discouraged from getting guns at a retail shop, which is OK with me (saves me some paperwork, maybe), but it's no panacea, to be sure.

    -ljp

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    We do not want psychiatrists making these decisions with their pseudo-science.

    Check out this little expose I found:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b30iwhEw9ho.

    Also, the NICS enhancement may not change much; but in Virginia we're in for some changes. An article ran in today's Washington Times saying in short that everybody connected with the mental health commitment process was dissatisfied with it, as determined bya study started in 2006 before the VT shootings.

    Want to bet theGovernor's Panel starts making recommendations to stream-line getting committed? And with the new scrutiny on the system, want tobet that moreadministrative types and doctors take the safe, CYA route and commit anybody for the least thing. "Feels depressed for the last two weeks, since his fiancee broke off the engagement. Commit to community psychiatric ward forfurther evaluation and treatment." Signed:Dr. ScmuckSpecial Note: Subject/patient owns multiple firearms.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    I wonder what's going to happen to the people that are prescribed seroquil as a sleeping aid. It also doubles as a mild anti-psychotic. This bill is the biggest piece of crap I have seen in a while.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    joeroket wrote:
    This bill is the biggest piece of crap I have seen in a while.
    Then you haven't seen S. 1237: Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2007, introduced on 04-26-2007 by Lautenberg but written by Gonzales! (But it ain't going nowhere. It was referred to the Judicial committee and isn't on it's calander to be heard.)

    But that topic, would be for another thread.

    Too many (including the GOA) are referrencing McCathy's original bill, S. 297. This was a truly draconian bill, similar to the one above (in its actions).

    After the VT massecre, McCarthys bill looked as if it might gain momentum (and it was), so... The NRA stepped in and helped to write a new version. The new version completely rewrites the what, who and how of McCarthys older bill.

    Politically, the gun grabbers can go home saying they passed legislation to deal with the mentally unstable, like Cho, while we get to see a NICS that will be better managed and won't simply include everyone who's ever been given a drug for depression or who has ever been to any kind of treatment for any psychiatric disorder.

    1) S. 2640 specifies that you have to be committed, involuntarily, by a court. Not for observation, mind you.

    2) It removes the names of some 87,000 veterans from the list, simply because they sought treatment (from the VA) for PTSD.

    3) It prohibits (federal) governmental agencies from submitting names to the NICS list who have not been adjudicated as mentally defective.

    4) It defines (by narrowing) what it means to be mentally defective insofar as who is to be included in the NICS.

    5) It reserves to the States (by whatever vehicle the States choose) the power to remove the disability (and thus can't be defunded).

    6) It specifies an appeal process for those that get denied by their State.

    7) It allows the Congress to fund the States in complying with the mandates of the NICS laws.

    8) It prevents the FBI from charging the States or the individual for using the database (currently, this is a rider to funding bills and must be passed every year).

    None of the above is in the original S. 297, written by McCarthy.

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    You're speaking for, or accusing, the GOA with your "(including the GOA)"?

    Perhaps a URL for the NRA-ILA rationale would be appropriate, rather than redigesting the bullet points for us?

    http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Fe...d.aspx?id=3128

    I would post it in its entirety but for the exceptional coding and the time it seems to take me to remove the coding.

    Which part of 'shall not be infringed' don't they understand, the cozening petty-tyrants?

    Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will, with wits and guns and the truth. NRA *******

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    You're speaking for, or accusing, the GOA with your "(including the GOA)"?

    Perhaps a URL for the NRA-ILA rationale would be appropriate, rather than redigesting the bullet points for us?

    http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Fe...d.aspx?id=3128

    I would post it in its entirety but for the exceptional coding and the time it seems to take me to remove the coding.

    Which part of 'shall not be infringed' don't they understand, the cozening petty-tyrants?
    Doug, I'm accusing the GOA. Should I have made that Clearer?

    I don't post words from the NRA, as they can be as wrong, in their assesments, as the GOA. What I posted is my own research. No one elses.

    I read the bill. I understand what the older S.297 was meant to do. Just as I understood what McCarthy's S.1022 would have done. What Lautenberg's S.1637 would do (assuming it gets any traction).

    I've been reading and commenting upon legislation and SCOTUS decisions since about 2000. Perhaps it doesn't take a law degree to do this, ya think?

    Now you can have as low an opinion of the NRA as you want. By the same token, others (myself included) can think the same low thoughts of the GOA. Gotta a problem with that? Take it up with the 1st amendment.

    You can hold to your absolutist views of the 2A, but I live in the real world. There is simply no Right, Freedom or Liberty that is inviolable or absolute.

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    !


    Last week, when the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 2640, "The NICS Improvement Amendments Act," by a voice vote, some gun owners were confused as to the exact scope and effect of this proactive reform bill. Let's look at the facts.



    H.R. 2640 provides federal funds to states to update their mental health records, to ensure that those currently prohibited under federal law from owning a gun because of mental health adjudications are included in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). For many years, NRA has supported ensuring that those who have been adjudicated mentally incompetent are screened by the NICS.



    In several ways this bill is better for gun owners than current law. Under H.R. 2640, certain types of mental health orders will no longer prohibit a person from possessing or receiving a firearm. Examples are adjudications that have expired or been removed, or commitments from which a person has been completely released with no further supervision required. Also excluded are federal decisions about a person's mental health that consist only of a medical diagnosis, without a specific finding that the person is dangerous or mentally incompetent. The latter provision addresses very real concerns about disability decisions by the Veterans Administration concerning our brave men and women in uniform. Remember that one of the Clinton Administration's last acts was to force the names of almost 90,000 veterans and veterans' family members to be added to a "prohibited" list. H.R. 2640 would help many of these people get their rights restored. H.R. 2640 will also require all participating federal or state agencies to establish "relief from disability" programs that would allow a person to get the mental health prohibition removed, either administratively or in court. This type of relief has not been available at the federal level for the past 15 years.



    This legislation will also ensure -- as a permanent part of federal law -- that no fee or tax is associated with a NICS check -- a NRA priority for nearly a decade! While NRA has supported annual appropriations amendments with the same effect, those amendments must be renewed every year. This provision would not expire. H.R. 2640 will also mandate an audit of past spending on NICS projects to determine if funds were misusedin any way.



    It is also important to note what H.R. 2640 will not do. This bill will not add any new classes of prohibited persons to NICS, and it will not prohibit gun possession by people who have voluntarily sought psychological counseling or checked themselves into a hospital for treatment.



    So why the confusion?



    First and foremost, the national media elite is irate that NRA has been able to roll back significant portions of the Clinton Administration's anti-gun agenda and pass pro-active legislation in Congress and in many states. They are desperate to put a "gun control" spin on anything they can. The only real question here is -- given the media's long-standing and flagrant bias on the gun issue -- why are some gun owners suddenly swallowing the bait?



    Second, some people simply do not like the NICS. In 1993, Congress passed the Brady Act, including a mandatory five-day waiting period, over strong NRA opposition. Due to NRA's insistence, that waiting period was allowed to sunset in 1998, once the NICS was up and running nationwide. Now that the NICS is in place, it makes sense to ensure that this system works as instantly, fairly, and accurately as possible.



    Also troubling to many is the fact that Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) is a cosponsor of the bill. Carolyn McCarthy is among the most anti-gun Members of Congress. She has introduced another bill, H.R. 1022, which represents the most sweeping gun ban in history. But Rep. McCarthy is not the only co-sponsor of H.R. 2640. She was joined by some of the most pro-gun members of the House of Representatives in crafting this bill, including John Dingell (D-Mich.), Rick Boucher (D-Va.), and Lamar Smith (R-Tex.). A few years ago, when Congress passed a bill allowing airline pilots to be armed, one of the lead sponsors was anti-gun Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.). Sen. Boxer's support of that legislation did not cause gun owners to oppose it.

    Finally, some people have asked why the bill passed on a voice vote. The reality is that there's nothing unusual about passing a widely supported bill by voice vote. Even so, the House rules allow any House member to request a recorded vote on any issue, and in practice, those requests are universally granted. Despite having that option on the floor, no representative asked for a roll call on this bill.



    H.R. 2640 is now pending in the Senate. Rest assured that if the anti-gunners use this legislation as a vehicle to advance gun control restrictions, NRA will pull our support for the bill and vigorously oppose its passage!



    (For additional information, please click here: http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactShe...&issue=018.)

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