All this time we were under the delusion that individual rights were Naturally occurring or gifts from God; but apparently rights come from the Veterans Administration, at least the right to own and bear arms. During a heated discussion over the defense budget bill some folks stated they believe veterans are not protected by the Constitution; why else would these individuals be held to a different standard than the rest of the citizenry? The question recorded in an AP article:
“Should veterans deemed too mentally incompetent to handle their own financial affairs be prevented from buying a gun?”
I’m not sure that’s a good question to ask; after all, if we’re to use mental incompetence in handling financial affairs as our litmus test, wouldn’t that exempt Congress and the Executive Branch as well?
In my best Arlo Guthrie tone of voice, “I mean…I meeeeaaaannnnn…”, as we’re headed for a financial cliff, running full steam ahead toward national bankruptcy, these folks have the audacity to use financial incompetence as a measuring stick for mental stability?
“Currently, the VA appoints fiduciaries, often family members, to manage the pensions and disability benefits of veterans who are declared incompetent. When that happens, the department automatically enters the veteran’s name in the Criminal Background Check System.”
I should point out that it is a VA doctor or management team who declares these veterans incompetent rather than a judge in a court of law to determine mental competency. This is all done to protect the individual and society from dangers associated with firearms; so they are automatically denied the right to purchase any firearms since their name would appear on a background check even though these folks are not criminals. Doesn’t that strike anyone else as warped?
Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. has been trying to protect veteran’s gun ownership rights through an amendment to the defense budget bill; however, VA administrators see it differently.
“VA officials have told lawmakers they believe veterans deemed incompetent already have adequate protections.
For example, they said, veterans can appeal the finding of incompetency based on new evidence. And even if the VA maintains a veteran is incompetent, he can petition the agency to have his firearm rights restored on the basis of not posing a threat to public safety.”
Don’t blink or you’ll miss it, that part where a veteran who has lost his right to own and bear arms, having lost that right because a doctor or management team at the VA deemed him/her mentally incompetent to manage his/her financial affairs, not a judge in a court of law; that individual can petition the VA, an agency of government, to restore that right.
Rights don’t come from government; they existed prior to the formation of government, entitlements come from government. If you don’t understand this then you don’t deserve to call yourself an American.
“Rights are not gifts from one man to another, nor from one class of men to another… It is impossible to discover any origin of rights otherwise than in the origin of man; it consequently follows that rights appertain to man in right of his existence, and must therefore be equal to every man.” Thomas Paine
“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath?” Thomas Jefferson
The foundation of America is set in our Republican Constitutional form of government which at its base uses reasoning acquired over the history of mankind; but summed up by John Locke,
“For nobody can transfer to another more power than he has in himself, and nobody has an absolute arbitrary power over himself, or over any other, to destroy his own life, or take away the life or property of another.”
Individual rights cannot be arbitrarily removed from any individual; by executive fiat, by legislation intended to make society a safer place, by a doctor treating a patient or management team intent on providing a safer environment for family members.
Only a judge sitting in a proper court of law can limit an individual’s use of rights.
In August a former Marine was arrested, “after authorities deemed his Facebook posts threatening”. According to the original article printed in the Washington Times”
“Without a warrant or recitation of his Miranda rights, (Brandon) Raub was handcuffed and taken into custody. After a quick hearing, government officials confirmed that Raub’s Facebook posts necessitated his detention, refusing to acknowledge legal objections that the words were wrongly interpreted. The former Marine will undergo 30 days of evaluation at Salem VA Medical Center.”
Raub was held against his will; but considerable attention and pressure was brought to bear after news of this incident got around the internet.
“After a special hearing today (August 23, 2012), Circuit Judge W. Allan Sharret declared the commitment order granted to federal authorities for Brandon Raub’s arrest and detainment was invalid.”
It wouldn’t be so bad if this were an isolated incident; but I’m hearing from many who are currently serving in the military that upon leaving the service they are being advised to be very careful in answering questions which relate to firearms ownership because the VA medical personnel are flagging folks who “raise any red flags or concerns” and that these individuals names are automatically added to the Criminal Background Check System effectively preventing them from gun ownership.
If all of Congress decided to limit the rights of individuals to own and bear arms through legislation, to include the UN Treaty currently being considered, that legislation would not meet the requirements of our Constitution under our form of government because rights of individuals existed and continue to exist with or without government’s approval, with or without your neighbor’s approval or even your own family’s approval.
That’s the beauty of Constitutional protections; they don’t limit individuals, they limit government. No, veterans don’t have to ask the VA for the right to own and bear arms, not now, not ever; it’s a Right, not an entitlement.
The Moral Liberal’s Senior Editor, T.F. Stern, is a retired City of Houston police officer, self-employed locksmith, and gifted political and social commentator. His popular and insightful blog, T.F. Sterns Rantings, has been up and at it since January of 2005.