If you live in the real world, you probably missed the contretemps over gun control and Social Security. If, however, you watch Fox News, this story is probably right up there near the top of the list of things you are currently enraged about. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Obama administration was promoting the idea of adding those persons deemed unable to handle their own affairs to the list of people who should not own firearms. If Social Security said you cannot manage your own life due to marked subnormal intelligence or mental illness, you would be added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Apparently, the Veterans Administration has done this for years. Make sense right? Only in the real world. In the paranoid world, this an attempt by Big Brother to take guns away from law abiding citizens. Can't have that. A couple of thoughts occur: the National Rifle Association has made a deliberate effort to say that gun violence is not cause by guns, but by mentally-ill people. Take the guns away from those folks, says that NRA, and all the gun violence will end. So, given the chance to sign onto a plan that achieves this goal, the NRA . . . . wait for it. . . . goes bananas.
The LA Times story includes a quote from a fine fellow who admits to being "irritable and antisocial" but not dangerous. Why would we want to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of people who are antisocial? Also: whatever happened to all the outrage about people getting government benefits and wasting them on frivolous things? (I'm looking a you, Governor Brownback.) Unless I am missing something, an M-16 machine gun should not be high on the list of things people getting government checks should be buying. I have dealt with hundreds of claimants over the years. SSA does not lightly designate someone as unable to manage their own affairs. If we cannot agree that these people should not be buying automatic weapons, is there any way to limit access to guns? Apparently not. Congressman Sam Johnson (guess which party), from Texas--no need to guess on that one--has introduced a bill to keep the NICS from adding those persons that SSA says cannot handle their own affairs. Feel safer now?
LA Times Story
Congressman Johnson to the rescue
M-16 For Sale