Disarming Social Security recipients

Have you noticed those mass murders committed by senior citizens? Or the street gangs with their walkers and wheelchairs? No? Then you will likely be surprised that President Barack Obama wants to use the same strategy that he is using to disarm veterans to disarm Social Security recipients. Seriously – although you don’t have to worry about raids on retirement homes or golf courses quite yet.

The Veterans Administration started adding some veterans to the FBI’s firearms disability list. Which veterans? The ones who do not receive their pension checks directly, but those for whom a “Representative Payee” (RP) has been designated. These are people who receive the check on behalf of a veteran who has difficulty responsibly managing his or her money – usually a relative. Most RP’s are because the veteran is psychologically disabled and needs some help.

Not everyone suffering from PTSD is a danger to others, of course, and here is the problem with this categorical prohibition (which applies not just to purchases but current possession of firearms or ammunition): Not everyone who can’t manage his or her own finances is dangerous.

Obama wants to use the same strategy that he is using to disarm veterans to disarm Social Security recipients.

So, what does the VA have to do with Social Security?

The Obama administration has decided the same approach can be used with recipients of Social Security checks, including disability checks.

Obama is reported to have taught constitutional law before scamming the voters into electing him. When considering whether a law that violates a fundamental right is constitutional, the courts apply a doctrine called “strict scrutiny.”

This requires that the law must have been passed to further a “compelling governmental interest,” and be “narrowly tailored” to that purpose. Protecting public safety is certainly a “compelling governmental interest,” but narrowly tailored means the law must affect only those people who are a problem, and no others.

Because so many people who will be affected are not a hazard, if the courts have any common sense and courage, they will strike this down for not being narrowly tailored.

Let’s hope Congress puts some limits on this. Trusting federal judges to protect our right to keep and bear arms is a mistake.

ALFRED B. PETTIT JR.

Gloversville