A lawyer pursuing a lawsuit on behalf of U.S. military veterans deprived of their Second Amendment rights without due process charges the Obama administration is using mental health to accomplish a goal of disarming all Americans.
Michael Connelly of the United States Justice Foundation has filed suit on behalf of military veterans who were told they were incompetent and stripped of their right to bear arms.
The federal government already had cast aspersions on military vets in 2009 when it warned that “returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to rightwing extremists.”
The report, by the Department of Homeland Security, was called “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.” It said Obama’s bureaucrats were “concerned that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities.”
So when hundreds, perhaps thousands, of veterans began receiving letters like one dispatched from the Portland, Ore., office of the Department of Veterans Affairs, alarm bells went off.
WND reported that a veteran in Oregon received a letter warning him that “evidence indicates that you are not able to handle your VA benefit payments because of a physical or mental condition.”
“We propose to rate you incompetent for VA purposes. This means we must decide if you are able to handle your VA benefit payments. We will base our decision on all the evidence we already have including any other evidence you sent to us.”
Completion of the incompetency determination would mean a “fiduciary” would be appointed to manage the veteran’s payments.
The VA also warned: “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.”
Connelly said it’s part of an overall strategy Obama is advancing. Just last week, he issued two executive orders that make it easier for a wide range of officials to call a person unstable and report their name to the FBI’s NICS so they would be banned from having guns.
“If you have ever told your doctor you have been depressed, ever suffered from PTSD after being in an accident or losing a family member, or even in the past taken certain types of medications for things such as ADD you may be denied your Second Amendment rights,” Connelly said
He said the disarming process for members of the military is being accomplished through the VA, where there no longer is due process.
“While military veterans are still the primary target, the ultimate goal is the disarming of all Americans,” Connelly said. “This mirrors the actions of the Nazi party in Germany and other dictatorships that have used alleged mental illness to disarm, imprison, and control their populations.”
He said it appears the groundwork is being laid to have gun possession be declared a mental illness.
That’s why cases such as the one he’s pursuing with his work at the foundation, are so important, he said.
“If the efforts of the Obama administration are successful at disarming veterans the rest of the population will also be vulnerable,” said Connelly.
He called Obama’s new executive orders “illegal and unconstitutional” because they “exempt the states from complying with federal privacy laws and encourage states to disclose confidential medical information to the FBI, so more people could be banned from gun ownership.
“This is despite the fact that in order to legally be placed on the NICS list an individual must be a convicted felon or legally adjudicated to be mentally ill to the point of being a danger to themselves or others. Obama and the Veterans Administration are already bypassing the legal adjudication process when it comes to veterans and now with the new EOs will do the same thing to many other Americans.”
That puts Obama in violation of the Constitution, Connelly charged.
“Since Congress has repeatedly refused to pass gun control legislation Obama is invoking the mental illness card to accomplish the mission,” he said.
WND reported that members of Congress are more than a little upset at the procedures.
Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., is being joined by nearly a dozen senators in a measure to end the “arbitrary process that strips veterans of rights.”
“Depriving someone of a constitutional right is a serious action, and veterans should be afforded the same treatment under the law as all other American citizens,” said Burr recently about a bill he is proposing. “This legislation would protect the rights of veterans and their families by ensuring that only a proper judicial authority is able to determine who is referred to [the National Criminal Background Check System.]”
He said, “Our veterans took an oath to uphold the Constitution and they deserve to enjoy the rights they fought so hard to protect.”
Joining Burr as cosponsors are Sens. John Boozman, R-Ark.; Roger Wicker, R-Miss.; James Risch, R-Idaho; Jerry Moran, R-Kan.; Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.; Pat Roberts, R-Kan.; John Thune, R-S.D.; Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.; David Vitter, R-La.; Mike Crapo, R-Idaho and James Inhofe, R-Okla.
The legislation is designed to address the problem that has arisen when the VA appoints a fiduciary to help veterans with their benefits and they are “deemed mentally defective.”
They then are reported to the FBI’s NICS, a system “which prevents them from being able to purchase firearms in the United States.”
The proposed Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act would require that a judicial authority determine that VA beneficiaries pose a danger to themselves or others before they can be added to the FBI’s list.
It is the Gun Control Act that prohibits some individuals from having guns. But as of July 12, 2012, there were more than 129,000 VA beneficiaries who had been reported to NICS, “stripping them of their constitutional rights simply because VA appointed a fiduciary to act on their behalf.”
A fiduciary can help veterans who for any reason can use assistance in managing their disability compensation, pension benefits, survivors’ compensation and other VA payments on behalf of a veteran, surviving spouse, dependent child or dependent parent.
WND confirmed when the Obama administration insisted it’s routine for officials to send out letters informing veterans that an unidentified “report” indicates they may be declared incompetent and consequently stripped of their Second Amendment rights.
The Department of Veterans Affairs declined to respond to WND questions about why veterans are being rated incompetent, what evidence is used in that determination and who is making the decisions.
Read the letter to veterans: