Folks have been flooding my inbox with links to this post from Red Flag News about how Obama’s VA is disarming veterans. I was highly skeptical, and reached out to Jonn at This Ain’t Hell to see if he’d heard anything.
As I suspected, it’s a small, self promoting site trying to gin up traffic (and presumably, donations).
Sometimes, Veterans are declared incompetent, and receive such a letter. But that’s usually a very extreme case. Examples might be a veteran in a persistent vegetative state, or similar levels of Traumatic Brain Injury, or one who has a long history of homelessness. Your average veteran, even with severe PTSD, won’t be susceptible to being declared incompetent.
If a guy is to the point where he’s having problems with his finances, the VA (usually under a request from the family) will put a vet in for Guardianship. Again, this is *usually* but not always a request from the family. It wouldn’t be everyone with PTSD, not everyone even at 100%. But what it does is allows VA to pay the family, who in turn has to pay the guys/gals bills. Different things kick in then to ensure the money is appropriately spent. That also is fraught with trouble.
Now, at that time the vet can ask for a hearing, provide evidence, and do all the other happy Due Process stuff.
The change here is that this didn’t automatically send the names to NICS. And in my opinion is probably unconstitutional. The NICS statutes say that the person has to be a threat to himself or others. But the Guardianship thing in VA regs doesn’t say that, only that they are incompetent with regards to handling their money. For years we’ve kept the VA from reporting those names because of the differences. Seemingly they have changed that now. There is a bill to correct that.
The government can declare you incompetent. But they can’t do it without due process. That’s not to say we shouldn’t keep an eye on the VA or other attempts by the administration to curtail our constitutional rights.
But if you are a veteran, do NOT let this scaremongering keep you from applying for and using the services via the Veterans Administration that you’ve earned. If you need help with PTSD, or any other assistance the VA provides, by all means, go get it.