President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe “The Gaffer” Biden continued to pound the pavement this week to push for more gun control legislation. On Monday, BHO spoke in Connecticut where some family members of the children slain in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre were in attendance. Never above using children, even deceased ones, to score political points, he bullied Congress to see things his way: “What’s more important — our children or an ‘A’ grade from the gun lobby?”
Not to be outdone, VP Joe spoke on Tuesday. This time he blamed the National Rifle Association for scaring people into thinking that our Second Amendment rights will be infringed upon if lawmakers approve universal background checks for every gun purchase. Among thinking people who know history, this isn’t as ridiculous an idea that Joe seems to think it is, but nevertheless, he mocked leery gun-owners who believe that a national gun registry could be in the future by referring to them as “the black helicopter crowd”. Biden said, “There’s no way that Uncle Sam can go find out whether you own a gun because we’re about to really take away all your rights and you’re not going to be able to defend yourself and we’re going to swoop down with Special Forces folks and gather up every gun in America.” As he often does, he also channeled his inner hippie when he said, “It’s kinda scary, man…” Yeah man, the government would never use all that information they collect to take away your rights at some point, would they?
Hold the phone, Joe. On Wednesday came this news out of the least free state in the union, my home state of New York: a 35-year-old college librarian had his guns taken away this week when it was found that he was taking a medication for anxiety. According to the SAFE Act, which was quickly passed and signed by their governor without any input from the public, anyone taking a medication for any mental illness must turn in their guns to their local police. The SAFE Act’s broad definition of who is mentally ill became a problem for David Lewis, a man with no criminal record, when he received a letter from the Erie County Clerk’s office letting him know they were suspending his pistol license immediately. The county clerk says it was the state police who gave them and the judge assigned to the case Lewis’ medical information. However, the state police department isn’t accepting any of the blame, issuing a statement on Wednesday saying, “No guns are being taken because an individual is on anti-anxiety medication”. When asked by WGRZ-TV for more information, they refused to comment.
The SAFE Act, passed in the wave of emotion following Sandy Hook, permits guns to be seized from any individual taking such commonly-used drugs as Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil and Wellbutrin. Millions of law-abiding Americans who are not mentally ill take these medications for a variety of reasons. Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs attributed the whole incident to a bad law. He told WGRZ: “I think that first and foremost, it stems from a flawed law that was passed so quickly without forethought on how something would be implemented. Certainly, I am disappointed on the fact that we were given information from State Police that this was an individual that we needed to act immediately on.”
Not only were Lewis’ Second Amendment rights violated, but his rights as a patient under the HIPPA (health care confidentiality) laws were also violated. If that’s not enough, he still has to appear in court in order to get his guns back.
It can’t be said enough that the Second Amendment is the one that guarantees all the others. This is the only nation on earth where we’ve had a Constitutional right to defend ourselves since before we were even established as a nation. Most of the people who have ever lived on earth have only known oppression, so this one right makes us unique. Manuel Martinez, an immigrant from Cuba who lived under Communism, testified this week in Portland, Oregon against gun control, “You people don’t know what freedom is because you never lost it.”
I took the title of this post from a book written by Milton Mayer in the 1950’s in which he interviewed German citizens who had lived through the years before and during World War II. Nearly seven decades later, it’s easy for us to judge them and ask how they could fall for the leaders that they did, or how could they not see what was happening right under their noses. This quote from one interviewee gives some insight into how it was [emphasis is mine]: “Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about—we were decent people—and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ …that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?”