Anymouse Posted March 24, 2008 Share Posted March 24, 2008 Easter Sunday, 2008. Excuse the strange formatting please, I have not gotten the hang of this bizzare message system yet. "A well-ordered militia being necessary to the security of the State, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Amendment the 2nd, US Constitution, 1791. I am not a gun nut. I do not believe everyone who can draw a breath should own a firearm, and I support the first part of the Second Amendment, unlike the National Rifle Association, which only quotes the second half after the word "State." But I am for privacy, and the right to live my life without the Government meddling in it. And now it's done. With only one dissenting vote in the Senate, (Coburn - R - Okla) and none in the House, the Virginia Tech Gun Registry Bill (originally introduced in 1996 by the two Senators from New York after a brutal slaying at a church) was sent to the President, who immediately signed it. The stated purpose of the bill is to create a Federal registry of all persons who have been diagnosed with any "major" mental illness; that is to say, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, paranoia, or major depression; by ordering all states and all medical facilities to submit such data as is in their records to the Federal government to create this registry. $250,000,000 of tax dollars have been initially allocated to the states and hospitals to create this registry. A tribunal system is also to be set up where anyone who feels they were wrongly added to the listing may petition to be removed. The bill exempts persons returning from Iraq or Afghanistan. No one will be notified if they have been added to the list. The bill states the list has been created to screen applicants who purchase firearms, ammunition, or reloading equipment and supplies. In advance of the expected passage of the bill, the Veterans Administration has already submitted its records. Unfortunately, in this week's Navy Times it was reported they mistakenly reported 130,000 people who sought voluntary counselling for financial problems from the VA. The VA is working now to remove those people from the Mental Health Registry. No doubt this will encourage others who need financial, marital, checkbook-balancing, educational, or other kinds of counselling to step up to the plate and get it. Creating a group in society that can be stigmatized and shunned is always one of the first steps of stripping the rights of a democratic society. Democracies can never be conquered by a "palace revolution" - like everything else, the majority has to want it. Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. (Richard Jackson, oft misattributed to Benjamin Franklin). The "Ten Commandments" of the Constitution represent that Essential Liberty. While the massacre at Virginia Tech was tragic, it was preventable. The laws were already on the books to prevent Mr. Cho from purchasing weapons - he had already been adjudged a danger to himself and others in a court. The Commonwealth of Virginia already had that information from his criminal record. Though they claim their privacy laws prevent them from reporting medical information to organizations outside the Commonwealth, the fact often overlooked in the press is he was already declared a danger in a Virginia Court. It was the Commonwealth that dropped the ball, not the gun dealer. And the Von Maur shootout in Omaha? The kid who did the shooting had stolen the weapons from his father. No background check there. Today on the BBC World Service, one is dead and seven others wounded in a mall in Japan after a man went beserk with a French knife. Next we will need background checks on anyone who buys kitchen cutlery. There is a difference between the Japanese response and the response to most of the recent American cases like this: their police -captured- the assailant. Didn't use a SWAT team to gun him down. And what of those professionals, the psychiatrists and psychologists who believe that many disorders are often temporary in nature? That like other illnesses, you get over them and move on? The American Psychiatric Association is opposed to this gun law, because they feel it will stigmatize mental illness worse than it already is, place more fear of the mentally ill in the population than there already is, and cause persons who need there help to think twice about actually seeking it. There's the rub: a Free Society can only remove the Inalienable Rights (those granted by God) of one of its members after careful and grave consideration - to be wrong would be to violate the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, and for those who believe, the Will of God. A criminal who has completed his sentence, or served his time, or made his restitution, has all his civil rights restored. This list takes tens of millions of Americans, virtually none of whom have even committed a parking offense, and strips them of their Second Ammendment right FOREVER. Their rights are taken WITHOUT committing an offence. And once the mechanism is in place to suspend a groups civil liberties forever without an offence, then it is only a small step to suspending ANY groups civil liberties forever - after all there is Precedent - the great equilizer in our laws. And once the mechanism is in place to suspend -any- civil liberty of a group, then the mechanism is in place to suspend ALL the civil liberties of a group. If you think this is not possible, then go back and read the history of the Twentieth Century (or any century for that matter) to see how this is done. Governments never give up power peaceably: once they take a power, or a right, they keep it. They never shrink in size, only grow. There is nothing in the US Constitution that gives the Government the power to compile a list of -any- group for any purpose, whether it was Sen. McCarthy's "anti-communist" campaign, or this law which is not about gun control, but about compiling a list of the mentally ill. Considering the track record of the Government recently with keeping private information private (The revelations of the Chinese Army breaking into the secure E-mail system of the Pentagon, teenagers breaking into the Websites of the CIA and Justice department and changing their logos with a marihuana leaf [it was funny though], the VA scandal over a stolen laptop with the medical records of 80,000 veterans and 7,000 active duty Navy on it, this week's revelation that Sen. John McCain, Sen. Barack Obama, and Senator Hillary Clinton's passport records had been accessed and stolen) I am not sanguine about the Government's ability to keep this private either. Too many people would want a list like that. And finally, this is not about the rights just of those listed as mentally ill, whether they are or not. It is about -everyone's- rights. The Tenth Amendment states that those powers not specifically allocated to the Federal Government, shall be reserved to the States, or to the People. YOU are the People. Did you give the Government permission to compile secret lists of your fellow Americans (or perhaps you too)? Did your State give them that permission? Watch the Federal Register to find out which group will be -next- in the name of Gun Control, or some other "worthy reason" to strip us of our rights one by one, until we look no different than the German Republic after WWI, or the Soviet Union - their constitutions protected the basic rights of all their citizens, too. - Seamus - Anymouse - James. K - All rights reversed. Post freely and as widely as possible. Joyous Ostara, Happy Easter, and Blessed Be. 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