By the pen and the phone.
The President is not going quietly into that good night and lame duck isn’t on the menu as far as he’s concerned. Barack Obama’s next fourth quarter play seems to be an attempt to go around congress and restrict the Second Amendment rights of millions of Americans based on data in the Social Security system. Specifically, if you are someone collecting benefits who has their payments handled by another family member or third party, you could find your information being turned over to the feds and your gun rights suspended. (From Fox News)
The Obama administration wants to keep people collecting Social Security benefits from owning guns if it is determined they are unable to manage their own affairs, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The push, which could potentially affect millions whose monthly disability payments are handled by others, is intended to bring the Social Security Administration in line with laws that prevent gun sales to felons, drug addicts, immigrants in the United States illegally, and others, according to the paper.
The language of federal gun laws restricts ownership to people who are unable to manage their own affairs due to “marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease” – which could potentially affect a large group within Social Security, the LA Times reported.
So the basic assumption here is that if you are a Social Security recipient (read: an old person) and someone else handles the receipt and disbursement of your benefits then you must be … what? Incompetent? On the list of disqualifiers being cited here that seems to be the only one which would come close to applying. And based on that – even if there’s never been any question raised about you and you’ve never been so much as accused of a crime – your constitutional rights would be suspended. Well, that certainly sounds fair, doesn’t it?
This sounds eerily similar to certain provisions of New York’s detestable SAFE Act, where large swaths of people are lumped together in a generalized category and then disarmed. In New York, anyone who has ever sought therapy or been issued a prescription drug for “depression” can find themselves on a similar list and are then faced with the daunting and expensive prospect of going to court to prove they are not crazy. In this case, one assumes that a senior citizen might be able to go to court and attempt to prove that they’re not incompetent, but how many Social Security recipients can afford that?
We’re not talking about a small number of people here, either. There are currently more than 4 million people in the United States who fall into that category. I’m sure it’s possible that some of these people are truly mentally impaired, but wouldn’t their family, guardians or medical professionals be in the best position to make such a judgement? Or shouldn’t someone at least have to file some sort of complaint along those lines to have the situation investigated before sending in the troopers to collect their weapons?
These sorts of sweeping, blanket classifications serve only one purpose… to provide another back door method to confiscate guns. And the assumption they make about senior citizens is as insulting as it is outrageously contrary to the Constitution. But once again our hands may wind up being tied because the President is using a new interpretation of existing law and mining into a database completely unrelated to law enforcement to find a way to eliminate gun rights. Sounds to me like it would take a veto-proof act of Congress to modify the laws to prevent this and that’s unlikely to happen.
Clearly Obama is not going to go down without a fight. Let’s hope he gets one on this move.