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PTSD and Gun Control

Gun Rights  January 15 2013
 — By CJ Grisham
PTSD and Gun Control

The Obama administration is set to release details of Vice President Biden’s “working group” on gun control tomorrow. He will lay out exactly what he plans to seek in terms of more regulations that he wants Congress to act on as well as up to 19 executive orders on gun control.

First of all, I need to make something very clear. Executive Orders mean absolutely nothing to you, the American citizens. The only power that an executive order possesses is directed at the federal government. If you don’t work for the federal government, they are meaningless and without authority. Even if you work for the federal government, they only apply to you in the context of your official status as an employee. That authority ends when you leave federal land and after duty hours.

Obviously, one of the well-known aspects to the president’s plan is to have stronger regulations as they relate to mental health and buying guns. New York just passed the worst gun control law in the entire country and had the gall to say that it still respects the Constitution.

New York’s law bans all future “assault weapons” purchases and magazines that can hold more than seven rounds. New Yorkers that already have “high capacity” magazines have one year from today to get those magazines out of the state. It requires owners of stolen guns to report those guns as stolen within 24 hours, apparently even if they aren’t aware within that time the gun was even stolen. Those that were lucky enough to purchase a weapon as defined in the law are required to register themselves and the weapon by serial number and model. Sound familiar? Hitler anyone?

And, it requires a therapist who believes a mental health patient made a credible threat to use a gun illegally to report the threat to a mental health director who would then have to report serious threats to the state Department of Criminal Justice Services. A patient’s gun could be taken from him or her. This includes a patient who expresses a desire to kill him or herself. It also limits access to guns by the “mentally ill.”

President Obama and his fellow anti-gun politicians are hell-bent on “strengthening” mental health checks. Heck, in New Jersey, one of 18 new gun bills submitted to the legislature would require gun buyers to submit to a psychological evaluation!

I’ve already been a victim of what happens when you pass broad and vague laws that affect those with “mental illnesses.” I’m absolutely opposed to legislation that targets mental health as it relates to guns without specifying exactly which “mental illnesses” are covered.

It is estimated that 10-30% of combat troops will be diagnosed with PTSD, an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which there was the potential for or actual occurrence of grave physical harm or even death. This adds up to hundreds of thousands of veterans.

The problem I have is that, while PTSD is classified as a mental health disorder, the media and Hollywood elite have successfully painted veterans with PTSD as violent criminals or ticking time bombs. There is a belief out there that troops with PTSD can’t be trusted with their own lives, much less weapons that can take others.

I’ve owned weapons for years. I grew up around weapons on the farm. My father taught me from a young age about guns during my summer visits. We went shooting often and I looked forward to trying out a new gun he got. In 2009, I was officially diagnosed with PTSD though I was showing signs as early as 2006. I’ve had my share of angry outbursts while I was armed and never once reached for it. It’s never crossed my mind to hold up a bank, rob my neighbor, beat up a school teacher, choke out my wife, throw my kids in front of a train nor commit any other crime.

PTSD doesn’t cause crime. Bad people cause crime. Obviously, if a person pre-disposed to commit a crime ends up with PTSD it’s the PTSD that’s going to be blamed, not all the previous infractions and bad behavior he exhibited. Personally, I have never met a troop with PTSD that has been a threat to anyone.

If we’re going to address mental health in this country, I think we need to start by first decriminalizing suicidal tendencies and attempts. This creates a stigma and only empowers those that want to do it to make sure they do it right the first time for fear of going to jail. Instead of treating suicide as a crime, let’s treat it as an illness. Because that’s what it is. I bet you that from now on people in New York will be less likely to seek help for their depression because they will be labeled basically mentally incompetent. If they admit they want to kill themselves, they will have their homes raided and their constitutionally protects personal property removed without due process, another violation of the Constitution.

This administration has proven to be hostile to the military time and time again. It began mere weeks after taking the oath of office in 2009 when his administration began seeking increases in co-pays for health care of veterans and labeling of returning combat veterans as potential rightwing terrorists. I can’t help but be a little suspicious about their intent and scope of any additional laws restricting access of law-abiding Americans to any self defense measures.

These are just my personal feelings on the matter based on what I’ve seen over the past four years. I warned people about this the day he was elected and I was called a conspiracy nut. Over and over again, liberals told me that Obama isn’t going to do anything to our right to keep and bear arms. But, I was unfazed by their attempts to get me to let down my guard. I prepared for this day. I got what I could when I could. And, I got it a half what people are paying today.

(6) Readers Comments

  1. The politicians have ruined our country. We can’t vote ourselves out of this mess. There are other options that will remain to be seen.

    • “There are other options that will remain to be seen.” That doesn’t make you sound like a potential rightwing terrorist at all…

      • Why would that make me sound like a rightwing terrorist? I don’t even hint at what those options are since even I don’t know. There’s nullification by the states, a SCOTUS challenge, and many others.

    • I had a similar conversation with my brothers after we redeployed in 2010. There was a serious push for any active duty member having readjustment issues to see the head doc’s. I’d say after 2011 over 30 of my battles have left the corps. I know quite a few we’re medically compensated and now are in the same situation. Either relocate to a pro gun state or adhere to a law that seemingly violates the constitution. I was tagged for an MEB last year due to a combat injury from a previous deployment. I fought with the behavior health department and won. I absolutely refused to let them tag me with this seemingly misunderstood stamp of PTSD. I’m sure this law will not last forever in NYS. On the flipside I’m sure certain interests will drag it out. You know that feeling in your gut. Your gut feeling never lied to you before. Stay sane Patriot and thanks for your service.

  2. Im in the same boat. I have been dealing with PTSD since 2006. I have just recently made steps to get help with it, now I have to worry about someone trying to take my rights away. Combat is hard. Nobody comes away from it clean. But that doesnt mean were liabilities. This just makes me sick. Has PTSD changed me? sure it has. I always have my head on a swivel, Im always alert, I dont like being in crowds, or driving on the highway, I find myself looking for a bunker when there is a load noise, I got some anger issues. But none of these things make me a threat to society. If anything my neighbor hood gets a free security guard. Were all just products of our environment. Maybe Obama should spend a few years in a combat environment and then tell us if his views on gun control remain the same.

  3. The second amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees every American the right to bear arms. Has any law ever been so ambiguous? What are arms? What does it mean to bear them? At least with the first amendment we know exactly where we stand: Freedom of speech. It couldn’t be any clearer. But, the right to bear arms leaves the second amendment open to different interpretations. We need gun permits to carry a concealed weapon. Do we need knife permits? No. Yet both can, and often do, cause death. We can own a gun, or a rifle, or a sub-machine gun, or a machete, and dozens of other tools to kill, even our own bare hands. So, gun control is a debate in our country that makes no sense unless you broaden the ban or acceptance to include all instruments of death.“

    Over and out

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