THE BACK DOOR TO GUN CONTROL
Bush disappoints gun owners by signing bad firearms bill restricting ownership rights
SHORTLY BEFORE LEAVING OFFICE, President Bush managed to stick it to Americans one more time by signing into law a dangerous measure that makes it tougher for people to exercise their Second Amendment rights without fear of being tracked and monitored.
On Jan. 8, Bush signed the “NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007” (H.R. 2640), which streamlines the process by which information on individuals prohibited from possessing firearms is transmitted by state and local government and federal agencies to the Justice Department-administered National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
Advocates of the bill argued that it would protect Americans by keeping firearms out of the hands of violent lunatics, like the mentally disturbed young man who shot up the university in Blacksburg, Va., in 2007.
But supporters of the Second Amendment counter that the bill creates an atmosphere where Americans are considered guilty and must prove themselves innocent before they can own a firearm. Worse still, according to the bill, a “thought crime” conviction could even threaten your right to purchase or own a firearm. This would all happen administratively without you ever going before a jury of your peers.
At the core of the bill’s problem is section 101(c)(1)(C), which makes you a “prohibited person” on the basis of a “medical finding of disability” as a result of some sort of “hearing” before a “lawful authority.”
The language is frighteningly vague for a law, which leaves bureaucrats and law enforcement officials with the unchecked power to define a “lawful authority” as anyone from a psychiatrist to a bureaucrat at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Those barred from owning firearms could include children with a past diagnosis for ADHD, people with Alzheimer’s, veterans with post traumatic stress disorder, protesters, church members—anyone who is deemed “dangerous” or “mentally disabled” for any reason. Following a judgment, there is no defined process for fighting the ruling. It is clearly intended to be what it is: a backdoor to gun control.
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(Issue # 5, February 2, 2009)