It was inevitable. When I posted my concerns about how the government could use claims by veterans of PTSD and other combat-related issues, I have long suspected the Obama administration would act to curtail the Second Amendment rights of veterans on the basis of such claims. A story being reported by Jim Hoft via the Gateway Pundit reveals that the VA is already mailing out letters that are threatening some veterans with precisely that sanction. The story originates with Red Flag, in a post written by constitutional attorney Michael Connelly. At present, this seems to be aimed at people who the VA considers incompetent to handle their own affairs, because they’ve asked for help with their benefits. While I’d like to know more about the specifics of these classifications, and how that determination has been made, let it suffice for the moment to consider that the Veterans Administration’s policy in this matter is an extension of an overall move by the Obama administration to strip veterans of the right to keep and bear arms.
I have warned veterans in previous posts about how they would be targeted, and it has been suspected by wary veterans for some time that the VA first approved claims for PTSD as the future means by which to strip rights from veterans, but few took notice. We already know that the Department of Homeland Security headed by Janet Napolitano considers veterans a threat, and viewed through the lens of leftist revolutionaries, it’s perfectly understandable. Veterans are a generally patriotic group who had sworn an oath to the US Constitution, so that their loyalties ought generally to be in favor of our republican form of government. They will be viewed necessarily as potential counter-revolutionaries if the left succeeds in pushing their “fundamental transformation” to its completion. Skilled in arms, and generally understanding at least rudimentary guerrilla tactics, US Military veterans comprise a significant potential danger to leftist designs.
In 2010, the Veterans Administration began approving claims for PTSD more easily than in previous years. This was not accidental. By making claims of PTSD easier, the VA created a new open door for borderline claims that enable more veterans to find an easier path to compensation. That is the enticement, and it worked because more veterans than ever have used the new rules to file such claims and derive compensation. The problem is that the PTSD classification carries with it the immediate potential of such judgments as are being made about veterans’ basic competence. On that basis, to consider a veteran incompetent to handle his or her own affairs, and thus strip them of the right to keep and bear arms is but a short step. As previously stated on this site, I would never discourage any veteran from seeking help actually needed, but I would caution all those who would consider making a claim for PTSD to think long and hard about what they may be giving up.
Consider the ease with which the VA will make this argument: Persons suffering with PTSD can be volatile and sometimes unstable or violent. Sometimes, they are suicidal. In any of these cases, one would not ordinarily entertain the notion of permitting such persons to own firearms, irrespective of their service records. Making the leap to declaring these persons “incompetent” on the basis of their inability to pursue the VA processes (to the extent they ask for help) is an easy method by which to get veterans classified in this way. A determination of incompetence is the death knell of one’s Second Amendment rights. Veterans pursuing claims of PTSD (or anything else) with the VA should think long and hard about the consequences because while we certainly do not want veterans to go without the assistance they need, it would be awful to awake and find that the VA is painting with an overly broad brush and subjecting most veterans to this kind of classification.
Consider the cases involving veterans with the PTSD classification who have committed acts of violence even after returning to civilian life. How difficult will it be to sell to the public that their veterans are dangerous time-bombs waiting to explode? Nobody in the Obama administration will think even twice about characterizing veterans in this way, which is why Napolitano did not issue an apology for classifying veterans as potential terrorists until after extended heavy criticism. Finding a way to control veterans’ right to keep and bear arms has long been an object of the radical left. As evidenced by the sort of letters now being received by numerous veterans, calling into question their competence to lead their own lives, including their right to possess firearms, it must be understood that the left wants to disarm as many veterans as possible.
More, initially, they will use test cases to see how far they can press the matter, and I expect that the first round of recipients of such letters represent the testing of this procedure. They will begin with veterans who have more obvious cases and who may be incompetent in some respect, with a few more questionable cases thrown in to test the limits. They will make the initial cases based on the public danger aspects, and once they succeed in making the procedure appear perfectly rational and sensible, they will begin processing wider and wider groups of veterans in the same manner. The first run through this procedure will be mostly actual cases of concern, because the early object of this will be to legitimize and normalize the process. Once it has become perfectly normal to strip a handful of veterans with real problems of their rights, the process will be widened to include more and more veterans, until a soldier who once stubbed his toe on a parade field will be subject to this classification.
To my brothers and sisters who have served, I urge caution. To those currently serving, I want you to beware of what seem to be easier paths to compensation. If you need help, get it. If you can live without it, avoid it. Know that contrary to what you have been told, the Veterans Administration is not necessarily your friend. As an arm of government, the administration of which is now dominated by leftists, the VA is an adjunct of their policy preferences, and those preferences include particularly the disarming of America, especially its veterans. There is no organization on Earth better positioned to accomplish that goal with less muss and fuss than the VA, and as is evidenced by the case brought before us by Jim Hoft and Michael Connelly, they intend to use it to maximum effect.