Before the bodies were even cooling, the gun control echo chamber on the left kicked into high gear to blame everything and everyone but the shooter himself. The constant and repetitive drum beat of Democrats using a tragedy to push their agenda of completely disarming the American public is difficult to ignore. They are grasping at anything they can to undermine any efforts at increasing government control of fundamental liberties by assuming that every American is as prone to mass murder as the Vegas murderer. Now we have late night talking head Jimmy Kimmel using his stage to spread even more ignorance and scare the American public into a mob frenzy for gun control.
I’d like to break down and refute what he said and also provide some context that he conveniently left out. Specifically, I want to talk about the issue he brought up where Congress and President Trump repealed a Social Security regulation that would have disarmed people with “mental health” issues. Obviously, no one wants individuals who are unhinged, violent, or incapable of safely handling guns to have them – not even the most extreme gun rights proponent like me. However, the SSA regulation – like many gun control regulations – was nonsense and accomplished nothing other than providing Democrats with an arrow in their quiver of methodically disarming the American public in favor of an ever expanding police state.
Kimmel claimed that the shooter, Stephen Paddock, heard voices inside his head. This is impossible to know since the shooter is dead and so far no information has been released that he left a note saying otherwise. Ascribing these voices to why a person would commit such an act of evil is simply a way to further demonize “mental health” and push an agenda. The goal of the left is to chip away at liberty anywhere possible. It started with the push to bar “felons” from possessing firearms. Naturally, the intent of that act was to ensure that violent people weren’t able to, presumably, hurt other people. Ignoring the fact that felons don’t care about the law, Democrats and Republicans have used this springboard to simply make more and more things felonies. For example, Martha Stewart is a “felon” but she has never been a threat to anyone. Writing a hot check is a felony in many places. There are thousands of “felonies” on the books that have nothing to do with guns or violence (I wrote about my thoughts on disarming felons here). In fact, one study suggests that Americans probably commit three felonies per day and don’t even know it. Paddock had no criminal record and no one has said they know of any indicators that would lead someone to believe that a law related to mental health would have stopped him.
During his opening monologue, Kimmel said, “in February [Trump] signed a bill that made it easier for people with severe mental illness to buy guns legally” and then proceeded to allude to that action somehow being responsible for the heinous shooting. This is patently false. The bill he is referring to is actually a resolution passed by congress to overturn an SSA regulation that would have potentially disarmed millions of law abiding and non-threatening Americans. The resolution was signed into law by President Trump. This is nothing more than a springboard to establish a baseline from which to add more criteria to a growing list of excuses to restrict individual liberty and grow a police state. Let’s delve into exactly what Kimmel and progressives are advocating for.
The regulation in question was added to the federal register in December 2016, just before Trump took office. It was a part of Obama’s executive order forcing departments to seek ways to abolish the 2nd amendment as much as they can. The SSA responded to this mandate by creating rules to “identify, on a prospective basis, individuals who receive Disability Insurance benefits…and who also meet certain other criteria, including an award of benefits based on a finding that the individual’s mental impairment” meets established definitions of what qualifies as mental impairment. This sounds good, right? The regulation required the SSA to report these individuals to the National Instant Background Check System (also known as NICS). Individuals trying to purchase guns from an FFL would be flagged and potentially denied the purchase of a firearm. The reporting would also potentially trigger efforts to actually seize firearms from those that pop up in the system, like the Vietnam Veteran who had sheriff’s deputies enter his home and relieve him of his lawfully possessed firearms because he was deemed “mentally defective.” The SSA is simply trying to make sure that mentally unstable people can’t have guns, right? Well, let’s a take a look at what the federal government considers “mental impairment.”
Here is a partial list of just some of the diagnoses that the SSA regulation would have used to disarm Americans that Kimmel is up in arms over the Congress repealing (you can read the full list here) and what symptoms the government considers in its diagnosis. I’m intentionally omitting the disorders that I truly understand would made someone a danger to themselves or others if permitted to “lawfully” carry a firearm – not that a this would stop them:
Neurocognitive disorders (12.02) – These include, but aren’t limited to disturbances in memory, language and speech, perception, insight, judgment, and “insensitivity to social standards.” What is “insensitivity to social standards” you may ask. Well, it means that you don’t conform to standards of modesty, in dress, or of political, religious, or sexual topics. In other words, if you don’t support gay marriage, you could be deemed “insensitive to social standards.” And heaven forbid you have a bad memory. Other examples in this category include, human immunodeficiency virus infection (ie: AIDS), traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and vascular malformation.
Depressive, bipolar and related disorders (12.04) – These are characterized by an irritable, depressed, elevated, or expansive mood, or by a loss of interest or pleasure in all or almost all activities, causing a clinically significant decline in functioning. Symptoms and signs may include, but are not limited to, feelings of hopelessness or guilt, suicidal ideation, a clinically significant change in body weight or appetite, sleep disturbances, an increase or decrease in energy, psychomotor abnormalities, disturbed concentration, pressured speech, grandiosity, reduced impulse control, sadness, euphoria, and social withdrawal. Heaven forbid you have a decrease in energy. After all, how are you going to carry all those bags full of automatic rifles and ammunition to the 32nd floor without energy? Interestingly, under this criteria, I would be screwed. After all, I’m frequently irritable and have lost interest in many activities I used to really enjoy. I also deal with survivor’s guilt related to my combat time and need medications to sleep and suppress nightmares. My energy levels, fluctuate between lethargy to hyper-vigilance (which will show up later in this list). I think every politician and most cops suffer from “grandiosity” so this regulation could easily disarm every one of them.
Anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders (12.06) – These disorders are characterized by excessive anxiety, worry, apprehension, and fear, or by avoidance of feelings, thoughts, activities, objects, places, or people. Symptoms and signs may include, but are not limited to, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, hyper-vigilance, muscle tension, sleep disturbance, fatigue, panic attacks, obsessions and compulsions, constant thoughts and fears about safety, and frequent physical complaints. Examples of disorders that we evaluate in this category include social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia (fear of large crowds), and obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is one of the sections that perfectly describe PTSD. PTSD is not limited to the effects of combat. Victims of major accidents, rape, assault, and other traumatic events exhibit these symptoms (more on these later as well). In essence, had this regulation not been repealed, anyone with PTSD that suffers from anxiety, depression, fear, or had difficulty concentrating, copes with trouble sleeping or restlessness and fatigue, or doesn’t like to be in crowded places could be placed in the NICS and be prevented from losing their right to keep and bear arms. Armed goons in riot gear could smash down your door and seize your private, lawfully owned property by force. If this were to remain in place, is it any wonder why 22 veterans per day are committing suicide when they’re afraid to seek help for fear of being singled out? That number doesn’t even include non-veterans with PTSD – diagnosed or not – who kill themselves daily at similar rates.
Personality and impulse-control disorders (12.08) – Symptoms and signs may include, but are not limited to, patterns of distrust, suspiciousness, and odd beliefs; social detachment, discomfort, or avoidance; hypersensitivity to negative evaluation; an excessive need to be taken care of; difficulty making independent decisions; a preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and control; and inappropriate, intense, impulsive anger and behavioral expression grossly out of proportion to any external provocation or psychosocial stressors. The regulation does not define what an “odd belief” is. Who gets to determine that? I think it’s an odd belief if someone who was born a man think he’s a woman. I think it’s an odd belief that people think government is responsible for your personal protection. I think it’s an odd belief to support government unconditionally and without question. I don’t even want to go into how someone with a “preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism and control” is unfit to have a firearm. My wife loves orderliness, but I think she’s amazingly well-adjusted and sane. I think every liberal snowflake that whines about “triggers” and “micro-aggressions” are hypersensitive to negative evaluations (crap, did I just trigger them?). Perhaps the government wants to disarm those who “distrust” or are “suspicious” of them because they are concerned that their social engineering and brainwashing is unacceptable.
Autism spectrum disorder (12.10) – Autism is a very complex issue. Those who have it have such a wide range of experiences, attitudes, personalities, and life realities that it’s nearly impossible to pin down exactly who should truly be disarmed. Yes, there are some with autism that aren’t capable of responsibly handling a firearm, but most are easily treatable. Symptoms and signs may include, but are not limited to, abnormalities and unevenness in the development of cognitive skills; unusual responses to sensory stimuli; and behavioral difficulties, including hyperactivity, short attention span, impulsivity, aggressiveness, or self-injurious actions. At a time when we’re trying to destigmatize autism, do we really want to tell them they are not worthy of their natural born rights?
Neurodevelopmental disorders (12.11) – Symptoms and signs may include, but are not limited to, underlying abnormalities in cognitive processing (for example, deficits in learning and applying verbal or nonverbal information, visual perception, memory, or a combination of these); deficits in attention or impulse control; low frustration tolerance; difficulty with organizing (time, space, materials, or tasks); and deficits in social skills. I mean, seriously? What does one’s difficulty to organize have to do with an ability to own a firearm? It’s not there are multiple ways to load a magazine. They are specifically made in a manner that bullets can only be loaded one way. Is the fear here that people will not be able to organize their gun safe and that may cause a catastrophic meltdown in society leading to anarchy? Perhaps if the Las Vegas shooter were less organized, he wouldn’t have been as efficient.
Eating disorders (12.13) – Okay. I really need some help here. What is the government afraid of? Are people with eating disorders going to shoot their food? What does being anorexic or bulimic have to do with being trusted with a firearm? These disorders are characterized by disturbances in eating behavior and preoccupation with, and excessive self-evaluation of, body weight and shape. I think that pretty much covers every woman in America, except the progressive feminists who think its actually attractive to be morbidly obese. Symptoms and signs may include, but are not limited to, restriction of energy consumption when compared with individual requirements; recurrent episodes of binge eating or behavior intended to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise, or misuse of laxatives; mood disturbances, social withdrawal, or irritability; amenorrhea; dental problems; abnormal laboratory findings; and cardiac abnormalities. I can understand why we should worry about someone misusing laxatives. After all, who wants to have someone projectile shoot diarrhea out their arse and contaminate your Taco Bell Big Box meal? My wife is constantly exercising. She power walks usually twice a day and hits the gym at least once a day. To many people who prefer to eat potato chips…never mind, that’s covered too. But, what is “excessive” and why is that bad? And mood disturbances? Can we disarm Nancy Pelosi now?
Trauma- and stressor-related disorders (12.15) – This is perhaps the one that concerns me the most. Essentially, what Kimmel wants to do in whining about Trump signing a law to remove this unconstitutional regulation is disarm victims of sexual abuse, rape, domestic assault, major vehicular accidents, and other traumatic events. In fact, I’m willing to bet that many of the people who were either injured or witnessed someone being injured or killed in Vegas will suffer from one of these disorders. These disorders are characterized by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic or stressful event, or learning of a traumatic event occurring to a close family member or close friend, and the psychological aftermath of clinically significant effects on functioning. Symptoms and signs may include, but are not limited to, distressing memories, dreams, and flashbacks related to the trauma or stressor; avoidant behavior; diminished interest or participation in significant activities; persistent negative emotional states (for example, fear, anger) or persistent inability to experience positive emotions (for example, satisfaction, affection); anxiety; irritability; aggression; exaggerated startle response; difficulty concentrating; and sleep disturbance.
As we can clearly see, this regulation was overly broad and could literally be interpreted to disarm just about anyone. Anyone with contrary political motivations or ideas could be disarmed by political opponents. Anyone who challenged abusive police actions could fall under this regulation. It doesn’t take into account individuals, but disorders. Millions of Americans fall under at least one of the criteria above and function perfectly well in society. They are contributing members of society who don’t have a violent bone in their body.
I hate making comparisons to Nazi Germany, but this regulation is reminiscent of how the Weimer Regime laid the groundwork through laws and regulations that Hitler would later use to, ironically, disarm those loyal to the Weimer regime, political foes, and “undesirables.” These regulations seemed innocuous at the time, but were then broadly interpreted to disarm and isolate millions of people. Now before I am diagnosed with being “insensitive to socio-political standards, I don’t believe our government is anywhere near the potential for an American Hitler to come to power, these regulations would definitely be a stepping stone. In order for tyranny to reign, one must first disarm the people. In repealing this regulation, Congress and President Trump rolled back just one tool that a statist tyrant could use to push his agenda. Others include passing laws to ban modern sporting rifles, body armor, adding people to a “no-fly list” without a warrant or hearing and then making them a prohibited person, and other measures being pushed by Democrats and anti-gun Republicans. We must be ever-vigilant against these encroachments. Thankfully, we no longer have to worry that doing so will put us on a list!
Finally, those on the left that want the Obama-era regulation put back into effect would likely be disarmed under its provisions. Most on the left are mentally unhinged anyway as evidence by the BLM, antifa, and Red Guards movement. They are sealing their own fate by pushing such a reckless and dangerous regulation, but the left never was smart enough to recognize that their own policies rarely have anything but the opposite effect they desire.