"December 21, 2012
An open letter to:
Mr. Wayne LaPierre, Exec. V.P.
Mr. Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA Exec. Dir.
American Rifleman Letters Editor
National Rifle Association
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax VA 22030
RE: Your December 21, 2012 Press Statement on recent school shootings
As a Life Member of the NRA since about 1982, I want to express just how much your statement sickens me. Oh, not the part about protecting school children. I agree wholeheartedly with that. No, itís the part where you state:
ďA dozen more killers? A hundred? More? How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation's refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?Ē
Excuse me, but instead of being put into a national list of undesirables, couldnít we just wear those six-pointy yellow stars? Then everyone would know who to spit upon, and round up along with all the usual suspects, when some other person with some superficial resemblance commits some god-awful twisted and terrible act. And then thereís all those innocent people over the years who have a mental health record because psychiatric hospitals had them dragged off to be falsely committed, so their medical insurance could be drained. Not to mention anyone who sought help for nightmares, PTSD or depression, because of abuse, death threats, assaults, maiming injuries by drinking drivers, cancer surgery, natural disasters and other things. Or anyone with a mental illness who was falsely accused of making threats, and then committed by state psychiatrists willing to suppress and fabricate medical information to achieve the commitment and force someone into their care to justify their jobs.
And letís not forget war. Are you aware that many of the psychiatric hospital scams were directed at military families because of their relatively rich medical benefits? Isnít that all just a terribly special way to treat those whom you send off to be damaged in wars, fighting for you.
I note with irony your concern for creating soft targets for evil people to exploit. Iím sure you are aware the BATF has opined that anyone with any record of commitment at any time for any reason, no matter how transitory, is saddled with a permanent disability in the civil right to possess firearms and ammunition. And that Congress has refused funding to process appeals (at least for felons, who get even more legal protections for due process rights than anyone in a civil commitment hearing). Under your recommendation, any criminal can create soft-target prey by simply setting up a trauma or assault so bad that the target has to seek help, thus becoming ineligible to use self-defense in the future.
I can tell you that living with a legacy of repeated violence and trauma is quite difficult, especially when one has to turn any temptation to commit violence inward upon oneís self. But who would ask for help if they know that they will be made permanently into second-class citizens, and subject to suspicion, hatred, contempt and bigotry in their society? Even handcuffed in front of their neighbors and friends and locked up in the local loony bin for saying the same things about self defense that anyone else may say? A place where, if one protests false charges, one will be kept for months longer than those who actually assaulted others, fought with or threatened police, or attempted suicide.
If I had known that this would be the price of asking for help, I would have kept my mouth tightly shut, even if it meant my death. The same way that liberals create a run on gun shops every time they start blaming people and tools that had no direct participation in or intention to perpetrate evil tragedies, you and they create barriers to any kind of help for mental illness when you make a public and permanent loss of civil liberties and social acceptance the price of asking for it. Small wonder so many kill themselves rather than ask for the kind of help you would prescribe.
Iím enclosing a CD with a set of references describing the Supreme Courtís poorly-reasoned decisions on mental illness issues, and how they created the moral hazards that allowed psychiatric hospitals to engage in scams. With reportage of their acts to entice and drag innocent people off the street into false commitments, and the resulting cost to society. Perhaps you should read it before making any further pronouncements in this area of your unexpertise, sacrificing innocent people on the alter of ugly, bigoted and expedient politics. "