Congress Acts on Bad Social Security Measure

By Jim Shepherd

After the Senate voted 57-43 yesterday to strike down a Social Security regulation that would have required the Social Security Administration to report anyone who received disability benefits and had a wide range of medical conditions – from serious mental issues to sleeping and eating disorders- mainstream headlines quickly read “Senate Restores Right of Mentally Ill to Purchase Guns”.

It’s a certain sign of just how far the chasm is between fact and objectivity when it comes to supposedly “unbiased” news reports. The measure wasn’t a great piece of legislation artfully crafted to address a glaring need in the existing system. It was a slap-dash piece of legislation. In fact, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, said it was filled with “vague characteristics that do not fit into the federal mentally defective standard” . Those same “vague characteristics” would have lumped people with sleeping disorders into a group of considerably more serious mental issues that would have required the Social Security Administration to notify the FBI of those conditions- so they could be entered into the FBI’s NICS background check system.

In short, it would have guaranteed those people would be denied if they tried to purchase a gun if their conditions led them to have third-party involvement in the management of their affairs.

As Grassley said “If a specific individual is likely to be violent due to the nature of their mental illness, then the government should have to prove it.”
I know it’s not popular with anti-gun folks, but the idea of “innocent until proven guilty” is woven pretty tightly into our national fabric.

Sen. Chis Murphy, who represents Newtown, Connecticut, disagreed, saying it would make it harder to “put dangerous people and people who are seriously mentally ill on the list of people who are prevented from buying a gun.”

Surprisingly, the American Civil Liberties Union sided with the Senators voting to strike the regulation which was another of the late-term Obama acts. The ACLU said the rule supported a “harmful and false stereotype that a vast and diverse group of citizens, are violent.”

Seems discrimination is OK with many in the mainstream media- especially if the discriminating fits their idea of how things should be.

The resolution struck down another overreach of authority – not a bad thing. And it helps protect the right of some of America’s least-able to defend themselves -legally.