Gabby Giffords, A Gun Criminal?

By Jeff Knox

Gabby Giffords
Anyone “who has been adjudicated as a mental defective” is prohibited from possessing guns or ammunition, sorry Gabby but you are breaking the law.
FirearmsCoalition.org
FirearmsCoalition.org

Buckeye, AZ –-(Ammoland.com)- We’ve all laughed at Jeff Foxworthy’s clever “You might be a redneck” jokes, but firearm crime is no joking matter, and there are a lot of people committing “gun crimes” every day without even knowing it.

Whether you know all about guns and gun laws, or you don’t even own a gun, you might be a gun criminal.

American gun laws are so convoluted, and the definitions are so elastic, that even the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ official website omits some prohibitions and fails to clearly explain others.

As I pointed out in a previous column, it is likely that former Representative, now gun control crusader, Gabby Giffords, who, along with her husband makes a show of being a gun owner while calling for more restriction, is probably legally prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition. In other words, they probably are gun criminals.

It can be assumed that during the time after she was horribly shot – by a deranged Democrat – Gabby’s husband Mark was probably assigned a power of attorney to manage her affairs, and that she was, and possibly still is, considered legally incompetent, and therefore unable to sign contracts or enter into legal agreements.

According to the Veterans Administration healthcare system and the FBI, a determination of legal incompetence qualifies a person as “adjudicated mentally defective,” resulting in loss of the right to firearms. The VA so designated some 200,000 veterans, many of whom were not nearly as seriously impaired as Ms. Giffords, and reported their names to the FBI as “prohibited persons.” For them to get their rights back, these veterans would have to renounce their disability benefit and prove to a VA doctor that they are no longer mentally impaired, then they would have to petition for restoration of rights, but their petition could be turned down.

The only difference between these vets and Gabby Giffords’ is that no one reported Gabby to the FBI as a “mental defective.” But it doesn’t matter whether or not someone has been added to the FBI’s database of prohibited persons. It is the condition, not the reporting of it, that matters.

According to the law, anyone “who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution” is prohibited from possessing guns or ammunition, just like anyone under indictment or convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, or anyone who is a user of a controlled substance.

As Gabby and her group pushes for expanded background checks and more comprehensive reporting of mental health records to the FBI’s National Instant Background Check System, or NICS, she should be being held to the same standards as our injured veterans under VA care. With that in mind, veterans have been told that it would be a crime for their spouse to maintain firearms in the household, even if the veteran didn’t have access to them.

Under that standard, Gabby’s husband, Mark Kelley, would not be allowed to have guns either, at least not in the house.

And taking the logic further, if, as the VA says – and has been acting on for about 20 years – a legal finding of incompetence equates to “adjudicated mentally defective” under federal gun laws, then not only are Gabby and Mark breaking the law, but so are the parents of developmentally disabled adults if they have guns in the house or take their kids out to plink with .22s, and so are the guardians of folks with Alzheimer’s if they let them handle firearms.

The current system is all or nothing. There is no scaled or limited application. Either you are prohibited or you are not. If you are prohibited, any contact with, or access to a firearm is a felony, and so is providing or facilitating such contact or access. There is no provision for supervised range visits, or access under controlled circumstances. Someone who kited a check is under the exact same prohibition as someone who committed murder. Someone who eats pot-laced brownies to soothe the nausea of cancer treatments is treated just like a meth dealer.
The only thing that keeps trauma victims like Gabby Giffords and our disabled veterans from being snatched up and sent to prison is the kindness and common sense of police and prosecutors. Selective enforcement is no solution to bad laws. Just because these laws are rarely enforced against nice people, doesn’t mean they never will be. Just look at the way New York City’s ban on “gravity knives” has been enforced and abused. That’s gotten so bad that even the Village Voice is finally complaining about the bad law.

The sad fact is that it’s much easier to catch regular people inadvertently breaking gun laws than it is to catch real criminals. And now the Obama administration is pushing a whole new raft of abusive regulations to circumvent Congress and restrict guns and gun owners even further.

As more “minor adjustments” are made to our nation’s gun laws by Congress, bureaucrats, and judges, it becomes easier and easier to inadvertently break these laws. The cruel joke is rapidly changing from; “If you or someone in your household possess firearms… You might be a gun criminal,” to “If you are ever around guns… You probably are a gun criminal.”

About:
The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition is a project of Neal Knox Associates, Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org

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858x70
858x70
6 years ago

Spelling aside, this is a slippery slope. Those in power will ascribe to themselves “normalcy” and their political enemies will be “mental defectives”.

“Of course he is insane, he worships a middle eastern zombie as the son of God.”
“Of course he is insane, he has a sick fascination with guns. Ugh.”

Blackjack
Blackjack
6 years ago

Gabby would have been committed to a Mental Hospital, but she got the best medical care possible thanks to taxpayer paid for health care and rehab. Her husband supported her in her time of need and now he is using her to further his political adjenda of no guns for every one else except the elite like him and Gabby such a hypacrit.

Raymond Miller
Raymond Miller
6 years ago

To bad her assailant didn’t use hollow points.

oldshooter
oldshooter
6 years ago

As I have pointed out in other forums, the underlying problem with restricting access to guns for mentally ill individuals, is twofold: 1) Making access to guns illegal has never worked effectively with any group for which it has been tried (they just get their guns on the black market, which grows exponentially when new restrictions are imposed), and, 2) The mental health profession currently has no accurate methodology for predicting future violent behavior. The second issue stems from the problem of “false positives,” which in this case, are represented by determinations that a person is dangerous, or potentially violent,… Read more »

Tam
Tam
6 years ago

“But it doesn’t matter whether or not someone has been added to the FBI’s database of prohibited persons. It is the condition, not the reporting of it, that matters.”

Do you not know what “adjudicated” means?

Dr Dave
Dr Dave
6 years ago
Reply to  Tam

By the shear fact that the VA is an Federally accepted agency and has licensed professionals as well as approval boards the adjudication process occurred when the Veteran applied for and was granted his disability benefits for their PTSD or other similar mental defect. Basically the way the law is written you can’t have it both ways. You can’t collect Federal funds for a mental defect AND at the same time deny you have such a mental defect for the purpose of obtaining or possessing a firearm SO basically the process is sound on its face but wrong in its… Read more »

George
George
6 years ago

It is sad about Gifford’s direction. She focuses on gun control while ignoring the real problem, and that problem is that we have some really mentally ill people waking around amongst us. We used to have laws that would institutionalize them, for their safety and ours, but Ronald Reagan relaxed them to save money. People need to recognize that the psychos don’t just use guns, but cars, bats, knives, etc. We can’t control their weapon of choice, but we can them. We need our stricter mental health laws back! Our current system of “take two pills and call me if… Read more »

JeffKnox
JeffKnox
6 years ago
Reply to  George

You’re right that Reagan helped push through the agenda of the “deinstitutionalization” movement, and money savings were a part of that effort, but it’s not that simple. The movement to reform psychiatry and psychiatric institutions had been active and growing for decades, and particularly focused on government-run institutions. As is always the case when the government gets involved in a business, they screw it up. Growing and perpetuating the bureaucracy becomes the driving force, and the original mission of helping people is lost. We’re seeing a similar problem – and backlash against it – with the growing prison industry, which… Read more »