Feds Tell Veteran He Will Lose 2nd Amendment Rights Because of PTSD

Pat Kirby during the Vietnam War, and today.Salem-News – by Tim King and Jerry Freeman

(MYRTLE CREEK, OR) – If Pat Kirby has his guns taken away by the federal government, then everyone else is probably going to eventually face the same thing. The clock is ticking. Pat Kirby is a decorated Oregon Vietnam Veteran with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). He never imagined he would receive a letter telling him he will have to turn over his guns, or face imprisonment.  

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

    – Martin Niemöller

Sue Kirby takes care
the family finances.

Pat Kirby is the ultimate expression of a law abiding American citizen. He served his country, worked hard to raise a family, and created a nice life in spite of his PTSD. But his comfort zone was jerked away when he was told he had to give up one of his most basic rights for the most unbelievable reasons.

His crime?

There was no no crime. The Veterans Administration has deemed Mr. Kirby “incompetent” because his wife takes care of their finances. He has a good credit rating, he pays his taxes, he has never been arrested in his life, yet the federal government says will have to surrender his firearms and give up his Second Amendment right due to the VA’s designation of “incompetent”. His alleged incompetence is based on his own admission that he does not take care of his own finances.

He and Sue live in a wooded, rural area near Myrtle Creek, Oregon, where wild animals often threaten their property, but now this honorable Vet may be left defenseless.

The word “frustrating” may not be sufficient to describe this family’s feelings about the letter they recently received from the Portland, Oregon VA.

Pat Kirby served multiple tours in Vietnam in the U.S. Army, earning numerous decorations and medals for his service. Among these are severalPurple Hearts. He was a sergeant in the Vietnam War who put all of his effort into saving the lives of his fellow soldiers, and on many occasions that is exactly what he did.

Meeting Pat, you get the sense you are meeting a hero; a man whose personal history is central to the very meaning of this country. Another Veteran who was heavily decorated from his service in the Vietnam War is Stuart Steinberg, a Bend, Oregon lawyer who was one of the first members of Vietnam Veterans of America He served with various explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams during his two tours in Vietnam.

There is no question that Pat’s life has been heavily affected by his military service. He has medical issues like so many other Vietnam Veterans, but nothing has had the measurable impact that this ruling does. According to the documents, the demand that Veterans in Pat Kirby’s shoes give up their firearms is based on the Brady Bill. I spoke to Mr. Steinberg about Pat Kirby’s case, which he has been familiar with for several years.

Stuart Steinberg

“The Brady Act does not, in fact, allow a person like Pat to be denied gun ownership rights. The VA, and, apparently, the Federal government, are using the section about being ‘adjudicated a mental defective’ to illegally deny men like Pat Kirby the rights he fought for during his 37 months in Vietnam. The key word, there, is ‘adjudicated.’ A finding by the VA that someone is incompetent to handle his money is not an adjudication. To adjudicate something is to hear and settle a case by judicial procedure. This is not a judicial procedure–it is a finding by bureaucrat who is not a mental health professional. This is something that needs to be resolved by litigation because what the VA is doing is illegal and unconstitutional.”

A personal friend of men like Sec. of Defense John Kerry, and U.S. Congressman Ron Wyden, Stuart Steinberg is a former Georgetown University Law Professor. From 1982 to 2003, he worked as a public defender and as a criminal defense investigator, specializing in capital murder cases. Suffice to say, Mr. Steinberg’s opinion regarding this bizarre and unprecedented action of the VA to seize the guns of decorated Combat Veterans who have never so much as been arrested, has measurable significance.

PTSD is a killer, but experts like Dr. Phil Leveque in Oregon, who has battled PTSD personally since fighting in the Second World War, then went on to treat thousands of PTSD Vets as a physician, says that when managed, PTSD Veterans tend to live extremely successful lives. That is Pat Kirby’s story.

Dr. Phil Leveque on right, after interview
with PBS Producer Ken Burns

Stuart Steinberg said, “The VA contends that because someone might have problems handling their money, somehow, this makes them unable to own guns. What’s next? Are they going to take guns from combat veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or a Traumatic Brain Injury, even if they have never committed a crime, never committed a violent act?”

It seems fair to assume that if the federal government takes Pat Kirby’s guns away, they are sending a message to all Veterans – if they admit they have PTSD from wartime service, they can’t talk about it or reveal it at all. They can’t seek treatment, they can’t tell their VA doctor, because if they do, they will likely receive the same letter Mr. Kirby received. In in this scenario, their wounds will fester and terrible things will happen as a result. That is not alarmist, it is a simple fact based on the history of many cases.

It is important that Pat Kirby says he could take care of his family’s finances. He leaves that up to his wife, Sue, and has legal documents with a game plan for Pat’s finances in case something happened to his wife. In that event his daughter would take care of his financial matters, and his son-in-law would be next in line. It seems more than adequate and risk free. Sue Kirby stresses that her husband has a very good credit rating, all of this from the VA really took the family by surprise.

The Veterans Administration and U.S. Congressman Ron Wyden are holding a meeting in Roseburg, Oregon at the time of this writing. Sue Kirby read a letter to the assembly of Veterans advocates telling Pat’s story, and asking for intervention.

I have a copy of a letter that threatens to take away my husband’s gun rights because he has PTSD.

My name is Sue Kirby and I have lived in the Roseburg area for 11 years. My husband is a patient of the Roseburg VAMC.

He is 100% service connected total and permanently disabled. He earned 3 Purple Hearts in his 37 months of service in Vietnam. He has a distinctive service record. He suffers many of the same illness’s as other Vietnam Veterans. He has Avascular Necrosis of one hip. He has degeneration disc disease, two knees that will eventually need to be replaced along with his other hip. He has had a benign tumor removed from his mouth, Ulnar, Radial and Carpal Tunnel nerve surgeries, two knee surgeries, 2 back surgeries,hernia repair and a right hip replacement since leaving the Army in 1974. He also suffers from COPD,Sleep Apnea, PTSD and a TBI.

In 2012, his hip was replaced in March after being fee based out to a local surgeon. He waited a year and a half for it. He recuperated from his hip surgery and had about four good months before he woke up on September 15, 2012 with excruciating pain in his neck. Within a week the pain had traveled down both shoulders to his arms and hands, down his back and the back of his legs.

He is a rural veteran in the care of the Roseburg VA. His medical team at the VAMC are kind,caring and compassionate people. They have done everything in their power to try to help him. In a November 2012 MRI he was diagnosed with Cervical Spondylitis. He has bone spurs growing on the vertebrae in his neck causing impingement to his nerves. He has received two Cortisone shots that gave him little relief. He didn’t like how the stronger pain pills made him feel. He had adverse reactions to several other pills by breaking out in hives. He was sent to physical therapy which failed.

He was then sent to the N.W. Pain Clinic at the Portland VA last June. They said he was a good candidate for surgery to remove the bone spurs, they also talked of another surgery to kill the nerves. They sent their findings to his primary care physician at the Roseburg VA. She requested a visit to the Neurology Spine Clinic at the Portland VA. She got him an appointment for Nov. 29th. 2012, 13 months after the initial pain set in.

Two weeks before his much anticipated visit to the Portland VA, they cancelled his appointment and set it forward to May 2014. When asked why they had cancelled, I was told they had shortage of Orthopedists and Neurologists. When his primary care physician found out his appointment had been cancelled she quickly applied for Fee basing out his surgery to a local surgeon. Her request was turned down twice so she sent her third request to the Chief of Staff at the Roseburg VA.

When asked why he was turned down, we were told it was a lack of funds. After the third request was turned down we resorted to plan B. My husband switched his Medicare to an Advantage Plan during open the enrollment in October, we plan to pay for it with our own money. These are the words of a trusted friend and service officer from Vietnam Veterans of America. I quote ” Because of lack of funding for diagnostics and treatment,veterans are dying because they are not diagnosed in time or treated in time, when suffering from potentially fatal conditions. One of the biggest problems is the lack of funding for the Fee Base program.”

He filed an application in Feb. 2013 for Aid and Attendance special monthly compensation. We went to two Comp. and Pen. exams in Oct. at the Roseburg VA. In the exam done by a psychologist my husband told the examiner that due to his constant pain combined with his PTSD that I take care of paying the bills, setting the budget and taking care of any disputes that sometimes arise with billing problems. I have been doing this since we 1972 when we first married. I now do online banking which he couldn’t do because he knows nothing of computers. We received a determination which I want to read a few parts from. “The VA examiner found you are not capable of administering your funds. We propose to rate you incompetent for VA purposes. If the VA decides that you are incompetent to handle your benefit payments, VA may appoint a fiduciary to manage your payments. 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”.

My husband is not the only veteran who has received this letter. I know a lady who has been doing their finances for 49 years who’s husband got the same letter after he had a massive stroke.

We owe our veterans the best possible care we can give them, no matter what the cost is. They have already paid for it with the sacrifices they have made for our country. We owe them the respect and dignity they deserve. We don’t need to threaten their 2nd,5th and 14th amendment right that they themselves fought to preserve. My husband is not the only veteran with PTSD, should they all lose their rights? Should they be afraid to ask for help because of fear of something like this happening? Should they have to wait years for ratings, diagnostics and treatment while in both physical and mental pain?

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With almost 25 years of experience on the west coast and worldwide as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor, Tim King is Salem-News.com’sExecutive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine who follows stories of Marines and Marine Veterans; he’s covered British Royal Marines and in Iraq, Tim embedded with the same unit he served with in the 1980’s.

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11 thoughts on “Feds Tell Veteran He Will Lose 2nd Amendment Rights Because of PTSD

  1. Short term sell em to the wife as this fiasco is fought and ended.That not good enuff for law enforcement,sell to a good friend,the fight is on.I keep reading the 2nd and see no part about licenses/permits/past records ect.,if someone is a criminal then they are in jail,if not,they have the same rights as everyone else,hell,the founding fathers would be in gitmo!I really must be reading the bill of rights incorrectly,will read it yet again,sigh…..On a side note, many of folks weapons may have been sold long ago in face to face sales.

  2. When is enough going to be enough?
    The rest of the sheeple are saying, “well, they aren’t taking mine yet so I wont do anything”. It is only a matter of time before we all get the letter in the mail. I will not comply. End of story.
    I will never give you my guns!
    I wont buy your Obama care!
    I will not allow you to search my car, home or person without a legitimate warrant!

  3. Even if this guy would have been a felon he should have his rights restored when he is off paper/out of prison. When they take away “any” of our rights then that tells me that they should not be getting any of that persons tax dollars and should be tax exept, just like those foreign speakin` wetbacks – they do not pay taxes and yet they can get foodstamps, energy assistance, yea even health care last I heard, and all of the other govt. hand outs, and yea, most of them do not even speak any G D english even. WTF.

  4. .” A determination of incompetency will prohibit you from purchasing, possessing, receiving,or transporting a firearm or ammunition” I would say “Incompetency” applies to most of the D.C. clowns coming up with this shit, but their rules are for us not them!


    The Senate Judiciary Committee will be introducing its first gun control bill on January 17, at 3:30 PM in Hearing Room F at the Salem Oregon Capitol. This is the bill we told you was coming banning private transfers and starting the registration process. The draft of the bill is number LC 154 and is not yet available for the public to see. The legislature is not scheduled to start proceedings until February so they are getting out in front in their efforts to attack your rights.

    As you know, all gun registration starts with “background checks” and no doubt this bill will extend the failed background checks to virtually all transfers. So if you want to give a gun to your oldest friend or your nephew, you will now need to ask the State Police for “permission.”

    If the system is down you are out of luck.

    These background checks are how the state builds a list of gun owners. These lists have been used over and over to begin the confiscation process. Not only in Nazi Germany but in New York and now in California.

    It’s imperative that you contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and tell them in no uncertain terms that you oppose extending the failed background check system to a private transfer and you oppose any new gun registrations.

    As a member of Oregon Firearms Federation I plan to attend and bring my friends Mr. Smith & Mr. Wesson

    Oregon’s Only No Compromise Gun Rights Organization

  6. Do not go to ANY Psyco-bable operation at all. The entire scam system is packed with america hating, queer as a three dollar bill, perverts who hate vets. Do what we did at the end of Viet Nam. Get together PRIVATELY with other vets ASAP and talk amongst yourselves. The VA was just as treacherous in the 70’s and 80’s as it is today. Same fagots doing to you today that we saw pushing the “screw the vet” back then. War is coming. Prepare. Vote with your wallet and buy more ammo. Liberty 1775

    1. Never will. They tried all that BS on me. Never signed on to it. I have friends who took the bait and they will be getting their letters soon.

  7. My mom was a doc at VA for most of her career(coming from a military family not surprising).As a psychiatrist she was very concerned about patients but did the best to help them,would say from what I learned with great results.That said,from recent news seems all in govt. feel vets have too many issues and thus should be denied rights,folks,time to keep up the fight for vets and for all of us regarding our rights,hang tough!

  8. “The Veterans Administration has deemed Mr. Kirby “incompetent” because his wife takes care of their finances.”

    That has GOT to be about the flimsiest excuse I’ve ever heard for anything.

    Freakin’ pitiful, it is.

  9. Here’s what.War is stupid and it always has been and it always will be.It is fought for the state by the slave.In history I can cite the battle of thermopalye when the Spartans told the Persians come on and take it.So could anyone else.Ain’t no Spartan or Persian thing.It’s a war thing and a waste of resources.Food was misallocated,women were raped and children were murdered in the name of freedom.When has a war not be fought in the name of freedom or democracy?why not have peace in the name of a strong republic who detests war?

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