DHS Denies Massive Ammunition Purchase

By Elizabeth Flock

March 22, 2013 RSS Feed Print

Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., says the Department of Homeland Security was planning to buy 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition over the next five years.

The Department of Homeland Security responded Friday to questions from Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., about why the agency was allegedly planning to buy some 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition over the next five years.

DHS told Whispers it regularly fills all of its goods and services requirements at one time because it’s cheaper for the agency, and that the 1.6 billion number was misleading because the language of DHS’s purchase said it would need “up to” a certain amount.

One solicitation by the agency—for training centers and law enforcement personnel—was for “up to” 750 million rounds of training ammunition over the next five years, DHS spokesman Peter Boogaard told Whispers.

Another five-year contract allows for the purchase of “up to” 450 million rounds of ammunition, he said, and was also for law enforcement. Boogaard noted that the contract would be used by all DHS agencies except the Coast Guard.

“With more than 100,000 armed law enforcement personnel in DHS, significant quantities of ammunition are used to support law enforcement operations, quarterly qualifications, and training, to include advanced firearms training exercises,” Boogaard told Whispers.

According to a letter to one lawmaker detailing DHS ammunition purchases, the department procured 148 million rounds in 2012.

Questions over DHS’s big ammunition purchases have been bouncing around the right-wing blogosphere for months. But the story came to a head Friday after a video was posted to the website Infowars of Rep. Huelskamp saying at CPAC that he had expressed concerns to DHS over the purchase but received no response.

“They have no answer for that question. They refuse to answer to answer that,” Huelskamp said on the video of the purchases. His office told Whispers that he had sent a letter to DHS with his concerns but had not heard back.

In the letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, Huelskamp wrote that it had “become clear” that DHS was “purchasing vast quantities of ammunition” and that “estimates show that this … would be enough for 24 Iraq wars.” The Kansas congressman also said the timing of the purchase was “of great interest” because of gun control legislation currently being pushed by the Obama administration.

“The extraordinary level of ammunition purchases made by Homeland Security seems to have, in states such as my own, created an extreme shortage of ammunition to the point where many gun owners are unable to purchase any,” he wrote.

DHS previously responded to concerns over the purchase voiced by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., noting in a detailed letter sent to the senator’s office in February just how much had been purchased and for what purpose.

“DHS routinely establishes strategic sourcing contracts that combine the requirements of all its components for commonly purchased goods and services such as ammunition,” a DHS legislative affairs person wrote to Coburn. “These strategic sourcing contracts help leverage the purchasing power of DHS to efficiently procure equipment and supplies at significantly lower costs,” the department told Coburn.

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TTTT Takeaway Activism and Notes – March 2013

The Meeting

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Here’s video evidence of the evil right-wing nutjobbery of the Cape County Tea Party’s Monthly Meeting!

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Self-Governance:

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Our Speaker:  John Jordan

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…the battery on the video camera ran out…

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Special Guest:  8th CD Republican Candidate Doug Enyart:

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Takeaway Activism

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At the end of the discussion of self-governance near the beginning of the meeting, we gave out two pieces of Takeaway Activism in which to engage:

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TA1 – Exercise Self-Governance:

There are lobbyists for unions; lobbyists for banks; lobbyists for lawyers; lobbyists for river smelt; lobbyists for death row murderers; lobbyists for sports stadiums.

Who’s lobbying for you and me?

The first step in the process to increase your self-governance is to become active.  To guide our representatives to enact legislation and policy that increases our freedom and our self-governance, we must take part in the process.  And, to take part in the process, we need to be involved at the time and location that the process is taking place.

To that end, we asked each Third Tuesday Tea Time attendee to take part in at least one meeting of a local governing body.  A calendar of the meetings was provided, and as of this writing, I can confirm one of our attendees did join in at the Cape County Commission meeting!  Here is the calendar of meetings through March and until our next TTTT.

Public Meetings: Attend / Take Notes / Report:

Thu 3/21 9:00am County Commission
Thu 3/21 6:30pm Pachyderm Club / CCTP Steering Committee
Mon 3/25 9:00am County Commission
Wed 3/27 10:00am AFP – MO Day At The Capitol
Thu 3/28 9:00am County Commission
Thu 3/28 7:00pm CCTP Jackson School Board Forum
Mon 4/1 9:00am County Commission
Mon 4/1 5:00pm Cape City Council
Mon 4/1 7:00pm Jackson City Council
Tue 4/2 All Day Municipal Election Day
Thu 4/4 All Day Missourians Against Agenda-21 Rally Day J/C
Thu 4/4 9:00am County Commission
Thu 4/4 6:00pm CCTP Steering Committee
Mon 4/8 9:00am County Commission
Tue 4/9 7:00pm Jackson School Board
Wed 4/10 7:00pm Cape Planning & Zoning
Wed 4/10 7:00pm Jackson Planning & Zoning
Thu 4/11 9:00am County Commission
Thu 4/11 6:00pm CCTP Steering Committee
Mon 4/15 9:00am County Commission
Mon 4/15 5:00pm Cape School Board
Mon 4/15 7:00pm Cape City Council
Mon 4/15 7:00pm Jackson City Council
Tue 4/16 6:30pm Third Tuesday Tea Time

For more details on individual meetings, visit our web site at:  http://www.CapeCountyTeaParty.org/Calendar

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TA2 – Practice:

Next month’s meeting will be another working session.

In January, we held a working session and reviewed the bills sponsored or co-sponsored by our local Missouri State Representatives: Wayne Wallingford, Donna Lichtenegger, Kathy Swan, and Shelley Keeney. We made a quick review of the bill and made a fairly knee-jerk Yea or Nay rating for the bill. Visit or side and look for “TTTT Notes for January 2013” for more details.

For our April 16th Meeting, we ask that you do some prep work for another working session:

  1. Visit the MO House or Senate Web Site list of Pending Bills:
    1. http://www.house.mo.gov/billlist.aspx
    2. http://www.senate.mo.gov/13info/BTS_Web/BillList.aspx?SessionType=R
  2. Locate a Bill that interests you
  3. Read the information on the bill and any other supporting information that you can find.
  4. Prepare a short paragraph to present why support or do not support the bill.
  5. Bring the information with you to the next TTTT, and we’ll talk about what you have found.

 

Planned Parenthood Official Endorses Right to Kill Babies Born Alive

By Leah Barkoukis

3/29/2013

Sadly, you read that headline correctly. From The Weekly Standard:

Florida legislators considering a bill to require abortionists to provide medical care to an infant who survives an abortion were shocked during a committee hearing this week when a Planned Parenthood official endorsed a right to post-birth abortion.

Alisa LaPolt Snow, the lobbyist representing the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, testified that her organization believes the decision to kill an infant who survives a failed abortion should be left up to the woman seeking an abortion and her abortion doctor.

To be clear, sponsor of the bill Republican Rep. Cary Pigman has said his interest in the bill is “solely and strictly to provide care for that infant that is born alive, following any procedure, that it receives full and appropriate resuscitation.”

But Snow thinks politicians shouldn’t be the ones to decide “what constitutes the best medically appropriate treatment in any given situation.” Needless to say, the lawmakers were absolutely stunned:

“So, um, it is just really hard for me to even ask you this question because I’m almost in disbelief,” said Rep. Jim Boyd. “If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?”

“We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician,” said Planned Parenthood lobbyist Snow.

Rep. Daniel Davis then asked Snow, “What happens in a situation where a baby is alive, breathing on a table, moving. What do your physicians do at that point?”

“I do not have that information,” Snow replied. “I am not a physician, I am not an abortion provider. So I do not have that information.”

Rep. Jose Oliva followed up, asking the Planned Parenthood official, “You stated that a baby born alive on a table as a result of a botched abortion that that decision should be left to the doctor and the family. Is that what you’re saying?”

Again, Snow replied, “That decision should be between the patient and the health care provider.”

“I think that at that point the patient would be the child struggling on the table, wouldn’t you agree?” asked Oliva.

“That’s a very good question. I really don’t know how to answer that,” Snow said. “I would be glad to have some more conversations with you about this.”

Of course Snow doesn’t elaborate on what exactly she means by “decision,” or rather how the baby should be killed, but she certainly seems to be taking a page from the Kermit Gosnell playbook—hence the type of questioning she received and look of utter shock on many of the lawmakers’ faces.

If a baby is born alive and thus becomes the patient as Rep. Jose Oliva suggests, the pro-abortion mantra ‘my body, my choice’ completely falls apart—since it’s not her body anymore, it’s no longer only her choice.

But perhaps most disconcerting about this video, and as Carol points out, is the “complete absence of any apparent discomfort at the prospect of post-birth abortion — in other words, infanticide.” Planned Parenthood’s position is not just extremely disturbing, it’s absolutely abhorrent.

Leah Barkoukis

Leah Barkoukis is the Townhall.com web editor.

We Can Do Better Than This

By Christopher Chantrill

The Cypriots, according to news stories, are outraged about the German idea of taking a hit on their banking accounts in order to recapitalize the island’s failing banks. Maybe they don’t know when they are ahead, writes Peter Schiff. “Rank and file depositors” are going to pay for “the bailouts and stimulus” one way or another.

Like many small boys, Cypriots are unwilling to take a haircut if they can put it off. This just in from the Fram oil filter guy: do they want to pay him now, or later?

Here at home we bank depositors are getting our daily haircut from Helicopter Ben’s Zero Interest Rate Policy. But critics say that once he starts raising interest rates then the big banks will be in trouble again. Meanwhile the Obama administration gets to borrow money on the cheap and put off tough decisions on entitlements.

Then there is the chaotic implementation of Obamacare. In the Weekly Standard Jay Cost does a “Madisonian” analysis of the beast. All is not lost, he predicts. Obamacare could suffer a fate similar to the Catastrophic Health Coverage Act (CHCA) of 1988; CHCA got repealed when seniors rebelled.

Now let’s have a conversation about race. No, not about the white guy, Robert Huber, that thought he’d write an article on race in Philadelphia about the race line between liberal white Fairmount and black Brewerytown. Nor about black Mayor Nutter siccing the local Human Rights Commission on Huber: Keep speaking truth to power, bro! Nor even about the white mother that sent her kid to a predominantly black school. Let’s just note the comment from “white kid in black gradeschool.”

As [a] white kid whose well-meaning parents enrolled him in a majority black school for the same noble reasons as “Jen”, I just have to say that that decision is really negligent. I love how she makes it about herself. I love my parents dearly and have never told them about how lonely and terrifying it was to be one of the only white kids in my grade school. I love them too much to put that kind of guilt on them. I was constantly teased, picked on, and bullied by a few kids… and even the nicer kids never seemed to display any sort of empathy.

Gee. I wonder why that comment got promoted to the top of the comments?

Today I want to ask: Can’t we be better than this?

Can’t we develop a politics that is better than the Don’t Expect Me to Pay culture of the modern administrative welfare state?

We could have a rock-solid credit system, without too-big-to-fail banks. But it would need a citizenry that refused to elect politicians hawking stimulus and cheap mortgage loans.

We could have a great health-care system that was both inexpensive and responsive. But it would need senior citizens willing to pay for the luxury of geriatric health care rather than elect politicians to dump it on the kids, and it would need twenty-something Julias willing to pay for their own contraception.

We could have an end to the race war. But it would need a ruling class that was just as hard on black racists in power as it was on the white racists in power half-a-century ago.

How do we get there from here? That’s what I’ve been wondering, as I ponder my two mantras: Government is Force and Politics is Division.

When we say government is force, we mean that government is always waging war on someone. This someone could be a foreign power or local street thugs, or it could be an evil class of exploiters. But without a dangerous enemy there is no warrant for government to do anything.

That is where politics comes in. In politics we divide about whether there is an enemy or not. Conservatives tend to think that the problem is an external enemy: Communism or islamofascism. Liberals tend to think the problem is an internal enemy: employers, price-gougers, greedy bankers, evil racists and sexists, bigoted homophobes. The question at every election is: where does the American people come down on the enemy question?

Americans are fed up with the war on islamofascism, so if conservatives want political power we are going to have to find a new enemy for the American people to fight, for government must have a war to fight.

What kind of war? It’s obvious: a war of rebellion against the liberal ruling class. Because we, the American people, must rise up more in sorrow than in anger and declare war against the corruption, the cruelty, the injustice, the waste, the delusions of the liberal administrative welfare state.

All we need is the political leader who can get the American people all riled up about this. Any ideas?

Christopher Chantrill (mailto:chrischantrill@gmail.com) is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. See his usgovernmentspending.com and also usgovernmentdebt.us. At americanmanifesto.org he is blogging and writing An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism.
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2013/03/we_can_do_better_than_this.html at March 26, 2013 – 11:12:06 AM CDT

Chicago, Los Angeles, New York Prosecuted Fewest Federal Gun Crimes

By Elizabeth Flock

March 28, 2013 RSS Feed Print

A new report finds the nation’s three largest cities are among the worst in the country at prosecuting federal gun crimes.

The districts that contain Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City ranked last in terms of federal gun law enforcement in 2012, according to a new report from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, which tracks federal data.

Federal gun crimes include illegal possession of a firearm in a school zone, illegal sale of a firearm to a juvenile, felon, or drug addict, and illegal transport of a firearm across state lines. In Chicago, the majority of gun charges last year were for firearms violations.

The districts of Eastern New York, Central California, and Northern Illinois ranked 88th, 89th and 90th, respectively, out of 90 districts, in prosecutions of federal weapons crimes per capita last year, but it wasn’t always this way. All three districts fell lower on the list than they had been in years past. In 2010, for example, Chicago was 78th in federal weapons prosecutions.

These cities also have some of the nation’s most restrictive gun laws, as well as the most active mayors in championing gun control. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are all members of the national Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign.

D.C., which also has tough gun laws, was in the lower half of the list in 2012, coming in at 78th. In 2011, D.C. prosecuted a higher number of gun crimes, coming in at number 49.

National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre first pointed to the report on Meet the Press Sunday, when he demanded to know why the national press corps wasn’t asking the White House or U.S. attorneys general to explain lax federal enforcement of gun laws.

His comment didn’t sit well with gun control activists, including the group Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America. “It’s like, ‘don’t look at us, look at gun enforcement’,” says the group’s founder Shannon Watts. “But the NRA works to block gun prosecutions all the time.”

Requests for comment from the U.S. Attorney’s offices in New York and California were not immediately returned. But the U.S. attorney’s office in the Northern District of Illinois maintains that federal weapons law enforcement is among the top priorities of their office. “We have a number of different methods of attacking gangs, guns, drugs and violent crime,” says spokesman Randall Sanborn, who notes that many gun arrests are reviewed to determine whether the arrest should stay with the county or be brought to the federal level. “We look at which court the defendant is likely to get a substantially greater sentence… More cases that used to be brought federally are now staying in state courts because [they are] now able to get a sentence equally great or greater,” he says.

The TRAC report notes that many more gun arrests happen at the state and local level than happen at the federal level, and that it’s difficult to assess how many prosecutions happen overall.

While the districts that ranked lowest last year for federal gun crime prosecutions all contained major cities, the districts at the top of the list for its enforcement were almost exclusively rural. The districts of Southern Alaska, Kansas and Western Tennessee ranked first, second and third in prosecutions of federal weapons laws per capita last year.

Susan Long, a statistician and co-director of TRAC, said the data revealed a stronger federal enforcement presence in rural areas than urban ones. “If taxpayers of [a certain area] don’t pass strong gun control measures … the feds pick up the ball,” she said. “But now we’ve got sequestration cutting back on all these resources.”

The U.S. court system has said that sequestration will have a major impact on the federal judiciary, including the furlough of some court employees, cuts to the federal defenders’ office and fewer probation officers for criminal offenders.

‘Gay Marriage’ and Religious Freedom Are Not Compatible

By: Erick Erickson (Diary)  |  March 26th, 2013 at 06:30 AM  |  264

The kids these days on the right are full of a great libertarian notion that “hey, let’s just get the government out of marriage.”

“Rock on,” say other libertarians.

They then all smugly self-congratulate themselves, pat themselves on the back, and move on to other issues.

What they ignore is that the left will never take marriage out of the hands of the government. The left cannot. But it goes beyond that. The left cannot take marriage out of government because for so long it has been government through which marriages were legitimized to the public and the left must also use government to silence those, particularly the religious, who refuse to play along.

Let’s ignore, for the sake of this post, that the Democracy of the Dead has settled for us that in society marriage should be between a man and woman as the best way to propagate the species.

The left has done an admirable job in secular society making the case that gay marriage merely allows a class of people to be happy and have what everyone else has.

The front on which the gay rights movement has failed is the religious and, in particular in the United States, the Christian front.

From Matthew 19:4-6:

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

The Christian Left would prefer to view Matthew 19 as a passage on divorce, which is discussed. But they willfully ignore Christ’s definition of what a marriage is — one man and one woman united to become one.

As much as many would ignore, obfuscate, or try to confuse the beginning of Matthew 19, Christ makes it very clear. The Creator made a male and a female and the two become one. That is marriage in Christianity, despite what a bunch of progressive Christians who have no use for the Bible would have the world believe.

Therein lies the problem for the gay rights movement.

As long as there are still Christians who actually follow Christ and uphold his word, a vast amount of people around the world — never mind Islam — will never ever see gay marriage as anything other than a legal encroachment of God’s intent.

So those Christians must be silenced. The left exerted a great deal of energy to convince everyone that the gay lifestyle is an alternative form of normal. It then has exerted a great deal of energy convincing people that because the gay lifestyle is just another variation of normal, gay marriage must be normalized.

Meanwhile, those Christians are out there saying it is not normal and are refusing to accept it as normal because of silly God dared to say marriage is a union between a man and woman.

Any Christian who refuses to recognize that man wants to upend God’s order will have to be driven from the national conversation. They will be labeled bigots and ultimately criminals.

Already we have seen florists, bakers, and photographers suffer because they have refused to go along with the cultural shift toward gay marriage. There will be more.

Once the world decides that real marriage is something other than natural or Godly, those who would point it out must be silenced and, if not, punished. The state must be used to do this. Consequently, the libertarian pipe dream of getting government out of marriage can never ever be possible.

Within a year or two we will see Christian schools attacked for refusing to admit students whose parents are gay. We will see churches suffer the loss of their tax exempt status for refusing to hold gay weddings. We will see private businesses shut down because they refuse to treat as legitimate that which perverts God’s own established plan. In some places this is already happening.

Christians should, starting yesterday, work on a new front. While we should not stop the fight to preserve marriage, and we may be willing to compromise on civil unions, we must start fighting now for protections for religious objectors to gay marriage.

Churches, businesses, and individuals who refuse to accept gay marriage as a legitimate institution must be protected as best we can. Those protections will eventually crumble as the secular world increasingly fights the world of God, but we should institute those protections now and pray they last as long as possible.

The left cannot allow Christians to continue to preach the full gospel. We already see this in, of all places, Canada. Gay marriage is incompatible with a religion that preaches that the unrepentant are condemned, even of a sin the world has decided is not one. The religious freedom will eventually be ended through the judiciary. We should work to extend that freedom as long as we can.

Now many of you have read through this and you are shaking your head in denial. “No way this is possible,” you say. But then just a decade ago no one seriously considered gay marriage as possible. And we are already seeing signs we’re headed in this direction. It’s coming. Get ready.

Libertarians will have to decide which they value more — the ability of a single digit percentage of Americans to get married or the first amendment. The two are not compatible.

The Question at Court

Carol Platt Liebau
Posted at 10:19 AM ET, 3/26/2013

Obviously, the next two days are going to be important ones in establishing the parameters of gay (and straight) rights in this country (http://www.politico.com/story/2013/03/can-gay-marriage-survive-a-scotus-loss-89304.html?hp=t1).

For conservatives who support gay rights, including the right of gays to marry, there are some tricky questions.  Do societies have the right to legislate about sexual mores? That’s one of the big issues at stake.  If the Court strikes down Prop. 8,  it’s hard to see how anyone can ever argue again that the state (i.e., citizens as a group) has any interest in regulating any kind of sexual behavior between consenting adults, regardless of whether that behavior may have deleterious effects on family stability or the welfare of children.  (That’s not to say that gay marriage will necessarily have these effects; the point is that we don’t know – but striking down the law is an implicit statement that such rationales do not pass constitutional muster).

it’s also hard to see how conservatives can cheer on the prospect of the Supremes finding a right to gay marriage in the Constitution and then consistently argue against the jurisprudence of cases like Roe vs. Wade — or call themselves strict constructionists.

On the other hand, there is some inconsistency on the part of the lefties who favor overturning both Prop. 8 and DOMA.  How does one insist, on the first day of arguments, that the people of California had no right to define marriage as between a man and a woman — and then, on the second day, argue that DOMA should be struck down because it does not respect the right of states that have chosen to recognize gay marriage?  Either states have rights to define marriage for themselves, or they don’t.

To me, it seems that gay marriage is the kind of question best reserved for state legislatures, rather than for the Court to find a wholly new, hitherto undiscovered (and, a decade ago, wholly unimaginable) “right” to gay marriage.  The latter is the course it chose in Roe, thereby spurring decades of bitter politics, rather than allowing the people themselves to make their voices heard and then to decide.  Are there practical difficulties in such a course? Absolutely — but anyone who hates the division and bitterness of America‘s abortion politics can understand why it’s better to let elected state (and federal) legislatures (and/or their citizens), rather than unelected and unaccountable judges, make these kinds of decisions.

Mental Illness and Guns

By Matthew Ernst

Ever since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting there has been much discussion about improving the nation’s mental health care system. But what exactly does that mean? It seems that nearly all of us agree that we should keep firearms away from people who are mentally unstable, but accomplishing that is much more difficult than generally realized.

We must remember that the term “mental illness” is only a general term that refers to more than 300 mental health disorders that are currently recognized. In order to thoroughly analyze this issue, we must differentiate between specific mental disorders, because not all mental illnesses lead to a high likelihood of violence. Thus, there will not be an effective “one size fits all” solution.

Mental illness is much more prevalent than we might realize. In any given year, a full 25% of U.S. adults are diagnosable for at least one mental health disorder, with approximately 6% of the population suffering from a “seriously debilitating mental illness” (SMI). SMI’s, which are commonly present in people who commit violent acts, include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism.

Our current mental healthcare system was primarily established by the U.S. Supreme Court case Lessard v. Schmidt. The Lessard decision stated that people who suffer from mental illness are entitled to the same Constitutional rights as everyone else — they cannot be illegally detained, are entitled to legal due process, have the right to own firearms, etc. In addition, a law enforcement officer can only take a person into custody, if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person presents an immediate danger to him/herself or others.

However, if the person doesn’t present any immediate danger, and has not committed a crime, a law enforcement officer cannot legally take that person into custody. This oftentimes leads to the person remaining in the same environment which may have helped contribute to the problem in the first place.

This is the critical issue regarding our current mental health policy. Law enforcement officers encounter people every day who suffer from mental illness and have not committed a crime. But just because a person suffers from mental illness doesn’t mean the officer can take them into custody. If the officer doesn’t have any evidence that the person poses an imminent danger then sometimes there is little the officer can do. This means the officer may walk away having done nothing to reduce the possibility of a violent act being committed.

A person who suffers from developmental disabilities and mental illness is 7 times more likely to come into contact with law enforcement. Consequently, officers have a major opportunity to intervene in ways that others will not. If an officer cannot take a person into custody, the officer still should highly consider other actions such as notifying the person’s family members, their treatment provider, talking the person into voluntarily seeking treatment, transporting the person to a homeless shelter, etc.

While all states adopted the Lessard standards, mental health laws still vary from state to state. Each state defines “dangerous” and “mental illness” differently. Both federal law and most states’ laws are designed to prevent people with mental illness from owning firearms. In addition, people prohibited from owning a firearm by one of these laws can be entered into a national database (NICS) of people who are not allowed to purchase or possess firearms.

However, many states only make it voluntary to report people with mental illness to NICS, and many states choose not to report. Both Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) have indicated that their states have not entered tens of thousands of mental health records to NICS. A current bill under debate in the Senate encourages states to submit mental health records to NICS, but it doesn’t make reporting mandatory. Reporting to NICS should be mandatory, not encouraged. We don’t encourage convicted felons to get entered into NICS; indeed it is mandatory. Why would we not do the same with those who are assessed to be at a high risk of committing violence?

Regardless of the state, however, many people with SMI do not receive adequate treatment. A 2008 survey showed that only 58.7% of those suffering from SMI, received treatment. That means 42.3% are not receiving any treatment. In the last 50 years the number of beds in psychiatric hospitals has decreased from 559,000 to 43,000.

Bottom line: there have simply been too many mass shootings in the U.S. for us to think that we don’t need to change the way we do some things. One recent study showed that there have been 62 mass shootings in the last 30 years, with 61% of the shooters having shown signs of mental illness prior to the shooting. Three separate studies all showed that mass killings are increasing.

While the majority of people who suffer from mental illness might not be dangerous, a small percentage are incredibly dangerous. Approximately 10% of all homicides are committed by someone with untreated, severe mental illness. Of greatest concern are those who are not receiving any treatment. Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, a research psychiatrist involved with SMI’s, recently wrote:

Would we have fewer mass killings in the U.S. if we made sure that individuals with severe mental illnesses were receiving treatment? Examining the other 10 largest mass killings suggests that the answer is yes.

While law enforcement remains on the front lines of dealing with mental illness, another emerging trend is Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT). AOT is court-ordered outpatient treatment for people with mental illness who meet certain criteria. AOT is now permitted in 44 states. Several studies have shown that AOT reduces hospitalization, violence, homelessness, and reduced stress for caregivers. Legislators must be passing legislation which allows for the continued expansion of AOT.

We are then left with these questions: Can we predict violent behavior in someone with SMI? Multiple studies have shown that the people who are most likely to become violent have a SMI, along with substance abuse. The most common SMI’s present in people who commit violent acts are schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. Other common factors that increase the risk of violent behavior include: having a past history of violence, paranoia, neurological impairment, antisocial personality disorder, being male, and refusal to take medication.

It should be obvious by now that our mental healthcare system has definite room for improvement. The overall capacity of the mental healthcare system is not currently accommodating the mental healthcare needs of our society. We may never be able to prevent every single mass killing committed by a person with a mental illness. But research points us in the right direction for identifying people at risk of committing violence.

Without a doubt, some of us have a much higher level of interaction with this issue just based simply on our occupation. However, all of us will encounter people with mental illness. Whether we work to combat this issue as part of our occupation, or we simply take steps to ensure our neighbor with SMI gets treatment, we can all do something — indeed responsible citizenship requires it.

 
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2013/03/mental_illness_and_guns.html at March 26, 2013 – 11:01:02 AM CDT

Universal Background Checks: the Liberal Holy Grail

March 22, 2013

By Rick Averill

Feinstein’s assault rifle ban has been removed from the Senate gun-control bill. While that is good news, it was recognized from the beginning as a bridge too far. What has survived, and may well become law, all in the spirit of bipartisan compromise, will actually be far worse.

The goals of the left have always been shrouded in deception and misrepresentation. Hide your true agenda behind a deceitful argument and then, after grabbing power, do what you really meant to do all along. That is what Hitler, Lenin, Mao, Castro and Obama have all done. By controlling the terms of the discussion, the left controls the argument. Actual Assault Rifles are not sold to the general public. The left invented the term “assault-style rifles” and the next thing you know assault-style rifles become assault rifles.

Fully automatic firearms have been restricted since the 1930s but recently the left has started combining “automatic and semi-automatic” weapons as one type of weapon. Another one of the left’s favorite misnomers is the term “gun-show loophole.” Loopholes, of course, are a way of skirting the law. They must be bad. Any chance to demonize firearms, like connecting the term “gun shows” with questionably legal practices like loopholes, is a win/win for the liberal media. The real goal behind closing the gun show loophole is actually to confiscate your personal property.

First of all, there is no gun show loophole. People who sell firearms at gun shows are licensed Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealers to begin with. Other people can set up a table at a gun show to sell tee shirts, laser sights, hand grips and other shooting accessories. Unless they are FFL dealers, they cannot sell guns. If you read articles by journalists who visited gun shows, read carefully what they write because you will discover they will mix buying a tee shirt with buying an AR-15 and state that is some cases, they didn’t even need a background check. The LIV reads the article and goes away thinking, “Wow, he bought an assault rifle at a gun show without any background check.” Actually he bought the tee shirt without the background check but combined multiple purchases to mislead the reader. People do sell guns at gun shows without a background check, but those people are you and me. I went to a gun show last summer and brought my Walther PPK with me. I brought it because I wanted to make a side-by-side comparison with a new gun that I thought I might find at the show. (And yes, I actually did find the gun and held it side by side with my Walther) When I checked in my firearm at the gate, there was a man stationed right next to the check-in table. He took one look at my PPK and asked, “Do you want to sell it?” No, I had no intention of selling my pistol, but he worked for one of the vendors and his job was to identify attendees who owned a firearm that they might be interested in selling. Like anybody else there, I could have sold my PPK to any of the FFL vendors (already cleared front, back, and sideways by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives [BATFE]) and I would not have phoned in a background check on the gun dealer. THAT is the actual “gun-show loophole”.

The left is seeking to fix the “gun-show loophole” problem with what they call a universal background check. It is all part of what Obama collectively terms a “common sense” approach to reasonable and responsible gun laws. First of all, the law would restrict law abiding citizens and have NO EFFECT on criminals obtaining guns. Watch the TV show “Sons of Anarchy” to get clued in to what a big business selling guns illegally really is. The left knows this, but they have no interest in actually cutting back on crime. What they really want is to disarm all of us who obey the law. Passing a universal background check law is how they will make firearm ownership illegal, and thereby confiscate our guns.

The UBC will require any citizen selling their gun to go through their local FFL dealer. That means: you find someone who wants to purchase your firearm. Both of you go to a gun store and pay the gun store a processing fee to do the paperwork on the sale. You leave the firearm at the gun store and if everything turns out okay, the purchaser comes back 30 days later and picks up his gun. If everything does not turn out okay (e.g. if the purchaser has an unpaid parking ticket from 5 years ago) then the sale does NOT go through. You get your gun back. (Or does it get held by BATFE for “processing?”) But that is only the tip of the iceberg.

The worst part of UBC will be the check on the seller (that’s you and me). In the interest of getting illegal guns off the street, the left will want to throw in this little addition to the universal background check scheme: the seller must prove that they legally own the gun they are seeking to sell. I have a very modest gun collection (the number of guns just barely breaks into double digits). Half of the guns I have bought in the last several years, the other half go back to the 1970s and 80s. For example, I have a .22 my parents gave me for Christmas in 1980. My folks are long gone and I certainly don’t have a bill of sale for the rifle. Half of my guns fit this mold. I have no proof that I own them. All the government needs to do is write the law so the seller must provide proof of ownership (original bill of sale, in your name) and we are all in trouble. By this UBC law, the .22 my parents gave me 32 years ago is now an ILLEGAL GUN. What about the Mauser your grandfather brought back from Germany after WWII? Without a bill of sale, in YOUR name, that is an illegal gun. Under this law, every firearm that goes through probate could be considered illegal. When you die, you cannot leave your firearms to your family — they would be considered illegal and be confiscated. Not only that, if some widow unwittingly went to a gun store to sell her late husbands’ shotgun because she doesn’t need it, a background check on the seller will show that she does not own the gun in her name (legally) and she is now in possession of a stolen gun. The shotgun is confiscated and the woman may face criminal charges. The same thing goes for you. If you attempt to sell an old shotgun your father left you years ago, to your neighbor you have known for 10 years, both of you must go to the FFL dealer and fill out the paperwork. When it turns out you don’t have a bill of sale for the shotgun IN YOUR NAME, you are now in possession of an illegal gun. The shotgun will be confiscated and the police will now have a reason to search your house for any other illegal weapons you might have in your possession. That means they will legally take every gun you have and you will have to go to court to try and get any of them back. Good luck with that now that you are already on record attempting to traffic an illegal shotgun.

The universal background check to close the “gun show loophole” is the Holy Grail to the left and is their “common sense” approach to gun confiscation without firing a shot. Of course, there is an alternative where we can keep our guns. We simple bring all our guns to the government and officially register our weapons to show that we own them. Universal gun registration would give us official title to our guns and the left would accept that choice just as eagerly.

We must defeat the universal background check.
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2013/03/universal_background_checks_the_liberal_holy_grail.html at March 22, 2013 – 06:47:59 AM CDT

Colorado Governor Plans to Sign Gun Control Bills, Magpul Packs its Bags

By Leah Barkoukis

3/19/2013

After the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, the state’s Governor John Hickenlooper questioned whether more gun laws would really have stopped the shooter, James Holmes.

“This person, if there were no assault weapons available, if there were no this or no that, this guy’s going to find something, right?” he asked. “If it was not one weapon, it would have been another.”

But in an interview with the Associated Press in December, his tone changed. He said he needed a few months after the shooting to “let people process and grieve and get a little space” but that the “time is right” to discuss gun control.

“When you look at what happened in Aurora, a great deal of that damage was from the large magazine on the AR-15,” he said in the interview, questioning where this is appropriate.

Now, after months of heated debate, the governor plans to sign new gun legislation on Wednesday that bans ammunition magazines with more than 15 rounds, requires that background checks be expanded to include sales and transfers between private parties and online purchases, and forces gun purchasers to pay for their own background checks, according to Fox News.

“I think it will make it more difficult for people to get guns who shouldn’t have them, and that’s really the goal,” said Democratic Rep. Beth McCann on the expanded background checks.

Magazine limits would reduce gun violence and have an impact during mass shootings, because they would force gunmen to reload more times, she said. “It’s an interruption in the spraying of bullets.”

As a result, Colorado-based Magpul Industries is moving its operations elsewhere, taking hundreds of jobs from the state. Magpul released the following statement:

Apparently Gov Hickenlooper has announced that he will sign HB 1224 on Wednesday. We were asked for our reaction, and here is what we said:

We have said all along that based on the legal problems and uncertainties in the bill, as well as general principle, we will have no choice but to leave if the Governor signs this into law. We will start our transition out of the state almost immediately, and we will prioritize moving magazine manufacturing operations first. We expect the first PMAGs to be made outside CO within 30 days of the signing, with the rest to follow in phases. We will likely become a multi-state operation as a result of this move, and not all locations have been selected. We have made some initial contacts and evaluated a list of new potential locations for additional manufacturing and the new company headquarters, and we will begin talks with various state representatives in earnest if the Governor indeed signs this legislation. Although we are agile for a company of our size, it is still a significant footprint, and we will perform this move in a manner that is best for the company and our employees.

It is disappointing to us that money and a social agenda from outside the state have apparently penetrated the American West to control our legislature and Governor, but we feel confident that Colorado residents can still take the state back through recalls, ballot initiatives, and the 2014 election to undo these wrongs against responsible Citizens.

Leah Barkoukis

Leah Barkoukis is the Townhall.com web editor.