Saturday, May 16, 2015
I may not always be the brightest candle on the cake, but it doesn’t take a wall to fall on me for certain things to come clearly into focus. That is what has happened in the last few weeks as we at the United States Justice Foundation (USJF) have continued to move forward with our investigation into the expanding assault of the Federal and some state governments on the Second Amendment rights of our veterans.
What we have uncovered is a coordinated effort by multiple federal agencies to disarm the American people. The tactics being used are not just violating the Constitutional rights of Americans, but include outright criminal acts such as extortion and blackmail. Veterans continue to be the primary target, but the groundwork has been laid to expand the disarmament efforts to the rest of the population.
The veterans are clearly considered the most dangerous of the gun owners in the country because there are 23 million of us and we all took an oath of office to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” We are trained to do just that so we pose a threat to those who want to take away our Constitutional republic.
The government is also using the veterans as guinea pigs to develop methods that can be used to steal their Constitutional rights. Some veterans get the letter from the VA telling them that because of physical or mental disabilities they are going to be declared incompetent to handle their own financial affairs, and the VA will appoint a fiduciary for them. The veterans are given 60 days to prove they are competent, which is a direct violation of the due process clause of the Constitution that requires the burden of proof be on the government.
The letter also tells the veteran that once they are declared incompetent they can no longer own, possess, purchase, or transport firearms or ammunition. If they do they will be prosecuted. The names of veterans who have been declared incompetent are sent by the VA to the FBI where they are automatically declared to have been adjudicated to be mentally defective to the point of being a danger to themselves or others. They are put on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and can no longer legally purchase firearms.
However, in none of the cases that we know of has there been an adjudication process with a hearing before a judge or an administrative judge. Nor have the veterans in most cases been examined by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or even an MD. Eric Holder decided that anyone who works for the VA can declare veterans incompetent for any reason including having their bills paid automatically out of their bank accounts.
I have reported on all of this is the past, but as we have gotten more aggressive in representing individual veterans to defend their Constitutional rights the VA has adopted additional tactics against our American heroes. Some veterans have never gotten any letter or official notification from the VA. They find out they are on the NICS list when they try to purchase a firearm. Often they can’t even find out why they are on the list.
Other veterans who fight the incompetency declaration and lose can appeal, but are being told that if they do defy the government and appeal, their benefit payments can be suspended for the duration of the appeal, which can drag on for years. The families of veterans are also been told that since they live with a veteran who has been declared incompetent they can’t own or purchase firearms. They are also being put on the NICS list. So first it was the veterans, and now the government is expanding the prohibition to the families.
Now we have uncovered another new wrinkle to this assault by the government. Veterans who are declared incompetent are being told that if they want to have their Second Amendment rights restored they can simply sign a form from the VA giving up their VA benefits. This is simply unbelievable. On the one hand the VA and the FBI have found veterans to be mentally ill and too dangerous to be allowed to own firearms, while on the other hand allowing these allegedly dangerous people to buy their firearm rights back. This is illegal and is called extortion. One thing we are looking into is what happens to the money that veterans give up. We suspect it does not all go back in the treasury.
These are the veteran stories yet we believe we have just scratched the surface. I mentioned that there are multiple agencies involved and they are expanding the gun grabbing programs into other segments of the populations. All veterans that go to the VA are questioned about their firearms ownership and now we are finding that some seniors on Medicare are being asked the same questions. So are some dental patients and even children who are seeing pediatricians are being questioned about their parents’ gun ownership.
Other agencies involved in this massive assault are the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that continues to list veterans and other supporters of the Second Amendment as the top potential domestic terrorists. The purpose is to demonize these two groups and make the public more agreeable to having them disarmed.
Following the lead of an Executive Oder issued by Obama, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is directly violating the federal HIPAA law that was passed by Congress to protect the privacy of medical records. It is releasing the records to the FBI of anyone who has ever told their physician they were feeling depressed, even if never treated, and anyone who has taken certain drugs for things like PTSD, ADD, or ADHD, among others. All of these people will eventually be added to the NICS list.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) is issuing new regulations broadening the definition of people who are mentally ill and dangerous to include anyone, including children from ever legally owning or purchasing firearms because they were ever sent by a judge to be examined by a psychiatrist or psychologist. Unfortunately, such actions are often taken by family court judges when there are divorce and custody battles going on. In the vast majority of cases, there is no finding of mental illness, but under the new BATF regulations that won’t matter. The people will be banned for life from owning a firearm.
Then there are the actions of the Department of Justice (DOJ) threatening banks and credit card companies with investigations and sanctions if they continue to do business with any entity selling firearms or ammunition such as gun stores or pawn shops. This is another case of criminal extortion by the Federal government.
What is next? Will you have to surrender your firearms to keep your social security, or to stay on Medicare? Will you have to certify that neither you nor any of you employees own firearms in order to get a contract with the Federal government? The groundwork is clearly being laid for all of this to happen. After all, we are living in Obamaland.
Michael ConnellyConstitutional Law Alliance