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Why is the Federal Government Disarming Veterans?

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Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
New American
Feb 27, 2013

Veterans around the country are receiving letters from the federal government informing them that because of alleged physical or mental disability their financial decisions will be made by a government-appointed “fiduciary” and they will be forbidden from “purchasing, possessing, receiving or transporting a firearm or ammunition.”

This is not a warning of something that might happen; these letters are being sent out everyday by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as part of its Fiduciary Program.

Citing the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, VA is warning veterans labeled as incompetent that they will be “fined and/or imprisoned” if they are found in possession of a gun or ammunition.

The final decision on whether the veteran should be disarmed and prevented from ever owning a gun or ammunition will include an assessment of the following:

• The willingness to serve and abide by all agreements

• An interview with a VA representative

• Credit report review

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
• An inquiry into the criminal background, and

• Interviews with character witnesses

For years now, the Obama administration has followed a policy of targeting vets, taking away their guns, imprisoning them, and labeling them as “right wing extremists” and potential threats to national security.

Consider this quote from a Department of Homeland Security report entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment”:

The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.

Veterans are being asked to serve tour after tour in unconstitutional foreign conflicts with no identified enemy, then returning home and having their most basic right denied by the very government that asked them to sacrifice their lives.

There was a story last year about a police raid on the house of an Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient in Ohio. The county sheriff executed a search warrant and seized the man’s guns for the “safety of the defendant and the general public.”

Although unnamed, the government ruled the man was mentally incompetent to handle his own affairs or to own a weapon.

Readers also may remember the recent shocking case of Brandon Raub. The New American’s Jack Kenny reported on the story last August. Kenny wrote that Raub was:

held involuntarily as a psychiatric patient at the Salem Veterans Affairs hospital in Virginia over anti-government postings on his Facebook page. Raub, a Marine combat veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, was visited by FBI and Secret Service agents at his North Chesterfield home on August 16, then taken by police under an emergency custody order to John Randolph Medical Center in Hopewell. He was transferred to the veterans hospital on August 20. A medical assessment of his condition at John Randolph described him as paranoid and delusional, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. But after an hour-long hearing in Hopewell Circuit Court August 23, Judge W. Allan Sharrett dismissed an involuntary commitment petition as invalid.

“The petition is so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy,” said the release order signed by Sharrett, vacating the order of Special Justice Walter Douglas Stokes to detain Raub for 30 days. Stokes, who presides over commitment hearings, also ordered Raub’s transfer to the VA hospital in Salem, about 180 miles from his home. Judge Sharrett said he was shocked to find the commitment order contained no grounds for holding Raub.

The irrefutable fact is had the Rutherford Institute not stepped in and defended Raub, the young man would likely still be unconscionably held in a government mental hospital at the mercy of Obama administration bureaucrats.

Apart from the government’s reprehensible quest to disarm veterans, brand them as mentally ill, and treat them as terrorists, there is the fact that all this is being done in violation of the veterans’ right to due process protected by the Fifth Amendment.

The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution provides that no person shall be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due processof law.”

As in the case of so many other constitutional impediments to its statist goals, the president and his subordinates are ignoring the Fifth Amendment and arresting, disarming, and imprisoning veterans without due process.

Of course, the VA assures veterans subject to disarmament that if they file a timely objection to the decision, a VA board will consider their appeal. This is hardly the rigorous legal process required before the government can constitutionally deprive citizens — or any person — of their most basic constitutional rights.

Why is the president targeting veterans? Michael Connelly proposes the following possible explanation:

The reality is that Obama will not get all of the gun control measures he wants through Congress, and they wouldn’t be enough for him anyway. He wants a totally disarmed America so there will be no resistance to his plans to rob us of our nation. That means we have to ask who will be next. If you are receiving a Social Security check will you get one of these letters? Will the government declare that you are incompetent because of your age and therefore banned from firearm ownership. It certainly fits in with the philosophy and plans of the Obama administration. It is also certain that our military veterans don’t deserve this and neither do any other Americans.

Or, as Michael Snyder wrote at the American Dream, “The federal government wants lots of warm bodies to throw into battle, but when those bodies get broken the government is not there to pick up the pieces.”

This article was posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:18 am





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