Thursday, February 11, 2016

"Gun Rights People" and Mental Health

By Douglas V. Gibbs

I was speaking with a health professional today, and after our "official" discussion, he said to me, "You are politically involved, so let me ask you a question.  You may not be able to answer it, but I hope you can.  I am very curious regarding what I am going to ask you.  It's a Second Amendment question."

"Yeah, sure," I replied.

"Why is it," he asked, "that gun rights people are not willing to budge when it comes to mental health issues?  It's like they want people with mental illness to be able to walk around with guns.  They're not even willing to compromise.  Why is that?"

After decades of debating with folks that may not agree with me regarding my stance regarding the United States Constitution, I have learned that in any conversation, the first thing to do is disassemble the erroneous premise being presented.  The questions asked by those who either oppose the Constitution, or do not understand it and believe the propaganda put forth by liberal leftism, are designed to stump the recipient, and do so by presenting a premise that is either unheard of by the one being asked, or they ask the question in such a way that to answer in any way becomes a "gotcha" moment.  It's like when I was on Al Jazeera America, and they asked me, "Are you anti-Hispanic, or anti-immigration?"

Their premise was that I must be a right-wing racist who hates Hispanics, and that must be why I believe in the manner I do regarding illegal immigration.  I realized that was their angle, so that was the first thing I needed to neutralize in that interview.  I immediately told them about my wife.  "She was born in Mexico, immigrated here legally, naturalized in 2007, and she is angrier than me."

The premise being offered by my questioner in the "gun rights people" conversation was trying to establish the premise that pro-gun folks are only interested in making sure everyone is armed, even if it means arming dangerous people who will likely go shoot up a theater, a school, or some other valued gun-free zone.

"The issue," I replied, "is not about mental health as much as it is about the role of the federal government.  The final words of the 2nd Amendment are 'shall not be infringed.'  That's a pretty definitive term.  That means that there can be no obstacles, whatsoever, regarding gun possession.  And, since the 2nd Amendment applies to the federal government, that means that all federal gun laws are unconstitutional."

"Sounds like you want anyone to have a gun, just like the NRA does."

"Not at all," I said.  "The States are allowed to have gun laws.  It's just none of the federal government's business.  Do we really want a distant government that does not understand our culture telling us what we can do regarding firearms?  Tyranny always rises from distant, central governments, and when tyranny rises, they don't want you to be able to fight back.  That's why Stalin and Hitler, and every other dictator in history, moved quickly to ban arms.  It's a way to keep their opposition from being able to fight back."

He said, "Interesting."

I continued.  "The federal government wasn't created to interfere with internal issues.  Guns are none of their business.  The federal government was formed to handle external issues.  Trade.  Common defense.  Protect the States from invasion by securing the border.  Use the Navy to protect our trade routes.  Make treaties with other nations.  That kind of thing.  And every once in a while, when there is a dispute between the States, to act as mediator in order to promote domestic tranquility.  Generally, what goes on inside the States is none of their business.  The problem is, after the Southern States supposedly misbehaved, and it took a civil war according to some scholars to get it all straightened out, those who oppose the U.S. Constitution began to use the 14th Amendment to force the States into compliance, to expand the reach of the federal government into the States, and the latest federal push regarding gun laws is just another one of those tyrannical moves.

"Think about it.  If the federal government is able to restrict people from owning guns, and they are the ones forming the definitions regarding mental health illnesses, how long before they begin defining their political enemies as being mentally unhealthy?  To be honest, from a constitutional point of view, background checks, and questions about mental health, are up to the States.  Each State has its own culture.  They are different from each other, and the last thing that should be done is to force them into a one-size-fits-all set of gun laws designed, defined, and carried out by the federal government.  In short, gun ownership must be determined locally, be it regarding mental illness, or any other reason.  It's not within the authorities granted to the federal government by the United States Constitution for the federal government to be involved in gun ownership whatsoever."

He said, again, "Interesting."

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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