Obama’s announcement yesterday about his unilateral action on gun control was filled with even more lies than tears…but in all fairness, like most of his pronouncements it wasn’t designed to be factual.
It was an example of progressive “signalling” – an announcement by a progressive authority about what was proper to believe and license to attack those who don’t share that same “proper” frame of mind. Given the vitriol and blind attacks I have read coming from the usual leftist suspects over the past 24 hours, it appears that the message was received. Chuckie “Where’s the Camera?” Schumer’s pet progressive rag – the New York Daily News – sure got it, coming out this morning with pictures of Fiorina, Cruz, Paul Ryan and Rubio on the front page under the heading “The Party of Pro-Death.”
In truth, when viewed in the context of the problem he professes to want to solve, most of what Obama proselytized about was nothingness – meaningless symbolism. Related to “mass shootings” and the supposed epidemic of “gun violence”, it was all non sequitur because his moves only increase restrictions on legal gun purchases when statistics show that only 0.7% of criminals got weapons at a gun show (Emily Miller has done some very good reporting on this).
What disturbs me most about Obama’s move is the aspect that allows just about anyone to be accused of being mentally ill in order to take away a firearm or to prohibit the purchase of one. Progressives have a penchant for calling anyone who disagrees with their pathological need for totalitarianism “crazy”. The People’s Republic of California just enacted a statute that allows the confiscation of firearms without probable cause based on nothing but an accusation. A favorite tactic of the proglodytes in open carry states is to call 911 because they see a gun and feel afraid (the idiocy of this is that gun that can be seen on a law-abiding owner’s hip is far less likely to cause harm than the weapon hidden in some thug’s waistband).
This trend to compromise rights and freedoms based on arbitrary standards of “mental illness” is not new. It all seems so…well, all too Soviet:
“Over the course of its 69-year history, the Soviet Union was notorious for its heavy-handed suppression of political dissent — most infamously through its use of the Siberian GULAGs. But it was during the 1960s and 1970s that the Communist Party took their intolerance for ideological deviance to extremes by diagnosing and institutionalizing so-called counterrevolutionaries with mental illness. It was a frightening episode in Soviet history in which perfectly healthy citizens could be deemed psychotic simply on account of their political views.
And indeed, what better way to deal with activists and naysayers than to diagnose them as being mentally unstable. Dissenters, who were often seen as both a burden and a threat to the system, could be easily discredited and detained.”
True enough. There can be no doubt that there are those who truly suffer mental conditions that should preclude them from possessing a firearm but the progressive left has never really considered mental illness as a “get out of jail free card” for pretty much anything – they are the first to use mental illness as and escape hatch for pretty much any sort of punishment or discrimination. They are focused on “mainstreaming” mentally ill to prevent the stigma of their conditions, to the point that HIPAA regulations prevent the disclosure of conditions but gun owners will not have those sort of protections.