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April 24, 2007

Exploiting a Tragedy

The gun-prohibitionists are taking full advantage of last weeks' horrific killings at Virginia Tech University to push more "gun-control" legislation in the form of HR 297, The NICS Improvement Act of 2007. Introduced back in January by Representative Carolyn McCarthy (aka the "Queen of Gun Control"), HR 297 is intended among other things to dangerously broaden the definition of "mental illness" for the purpose of denying firearms purchases.

Section (102)(c)(3) states:

"The State shall make available to the Attorney General ... the name and other relevant identifying information of persons adjudicated as mentally defective or those committed to mental institutions to assist the Attorney General in enforcing section 922(g)(4) of title 18, United States Code."

Can you imagine? ANYONE who has been to a mental institution or "adjudicated as mentally defective" would have their name and identifying information sent to the federal government.

It doesn't matter if you needed assistance coping with the devastating loss of a loved one or combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder. It doesn't matter if you only stayed for a night to reassure a worried spouse. Regardless of circumstances, your information would be still be submitted and you would no longer be permitted to purchase a firearm.

The NRA is unabashedly enthusiastic about HR 297. They cheerfully assure us that the bill is designed to "fix problems" with recordkeeping while improving the availability of criminal history and "other" records for conducting background checks. ( )

Perhaps they should consider the words of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who said, "You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered."

As an educational organization, JPFO is not permitted to have a particular stance on this or any other legislation, but we do know flawed logic when we see it. So does Gun Owners of America, who calls HR 297 a "bureaucratic fishing expedition into your private records, including your financial, employment, and hospital records." ( )

In theory, if you were found not to have a mental illness, your name could be removed from the list. But in this day and age of such pyschiatric diagnoses as "Oppositional Defiance Disorder" and "Caffeine Dependence Syndrome", what's the likelihood of escaping without such a label?

The unintended consequences are obvious to any thinking person. As a result of HR 297, more people who do need mental help will avoid getting it. Fearing the consequent loss of their rights, individuals will refuse to visit a therapist or mental facility, and will therefore be MORE likely to "snap" when the pressure becomes too great to bear.

In one fell swoop, HR 297 will totally negate the decades of progress that have been made in de-stigmatizing mental therapy, while increasing the likelihood of repeating last Monday's slaughter.

Naturally, like any other "gun control" legislation, HR 297 would be enforced by the BATFE, giving them even more power to harrass and intimidate gun owners and dealers.

Way to go, Rep. McCarthy.

- The Liberty Crew

PS: Please note that this is your LAST CHANCE to become a member of the Producer's Circle for our new documentary _The Gang_. You must submit your donation no later than noon Wednesday April 25. Go to for details.

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