U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN on Thursday he met earlier in the day with Texas Sen. John Cornyn and encouraged the senior Republican senator to begin discussions with Democrats, including Sens. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, to see if they can find a middle ground on legislation to respond to the tragic Texas elementary school shooting,” CNN reports. “McConnell would not say specifically what the contours of that legislation should be, instead signaling he wants Cornyn to be the one to negotiate.”
Passing the ball to Cornyn may BE the signal, as this column speculated, noting his past support for “mental health” prior restraints—for which he obtained cover from the National Rifle Association in 2015.
Backers of the bill claimed “due process” protections will be increased for veterans and others under Cornyn’s bill. Per his spokesman, “This bill codifies into law that individuals must get their day in court they’re entitled to, and no agency or state can make their own determination without that.”
The devil being in the details, “due process” can mean different things, with not all “hearings” providing the same legal safeguards as a jury trial. And that raises questions of concern that haven’t been spelled out.
Specifically, will decisions be influenced by those who may have biases of their own, as can currently be the case, with ATF’s “clarifying the term ‘adjudicated as a mental defective’ to mean a determination by a court, board, commission or other lawful authority,” and with some states applying even broader “standards”?
If this is the direction Cornyn will be looking, what protections will exist to offset politically connected anti-gun judges, politically-appointed boards, and “expert” adherents of the American Psychiatric Association’s “Position Statement on Firearm Access, Acts of Violence and the Relationship to Mental Illness and Mental Health Services”? It’s fair to ask because APA includes in its advocacy platform registration-enabling, background checks, “smart” guns, storage requirements, “gun-free” zones, doctor-patient boundary violations, and tax-funded anti-gun “studies,” all outside the scope of the training and credentialing of those making these proposals.
Also of interest – how will rights be restored when there is no longer a compelling mental health prescription to deny them? What universal appeal mechanism – affordable to all, not just to elites for whom money is no object – will exist to declare a person is once more “eligible” to keep and bear arms? What guarantees are there that the same biases that colored the disability ruling in the first place won’t reassert themselves in the “parole” process? And have we identified psychiatric evaluators, risk management administrators, and insurers who will be willing to subject themselves to malpractice liabilities should a person deemed “fit” be misdiagnosed? Or will the pressure be to “err on the side of caution”?
And not to put too fine a point on things, but does anyone think for one second this will really keep those who are inclined toward evil away from firearms?
In the rush to “do something” and avert political fallout, Republicans need to be reminded that betraying their base to make concessions to those who demand it all is no way to build a “red wave.” Throw a scrap of flesh to a pack of circling jackals and nature teaches us they will not then go away and leave you alone. You’d think even the Republican leadership would understand that.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.