A Veteran’s Tale: Sliding Down the Slippery Slope of Mental Health Checks for Gun Owners

(courtesy antipsychiatry.org)

Robert,

There have been some recent posts on your site about mental health, including yesterday’s Quote of the Day (Certain Kinds of People Edition) that finally inspired me to write to you and tell you my story. There has to be some attention brought to this subject. It seems that many “pro gunners” are willing to compromise our 2nd amendment rights away in regard to mental health laws. Its an attitude of we’ll let you do this if only you don’t pass more gun laws. I’m extremely disappointed that even the NRA are among those pursuing this . . .

I live in Pennsylvania and 12 years ago my 2nd amendment rights were stripped from me. I was going through a break up with a woman I’d been seeing for about 2 years. To get the last shot on her way out, my ex called the cops and falsely claimed that I threatened to kill her and myself. I was taken to the hospital and did a 72 hour observation and was released without incident.

But under PA’s section 302 I was stripped of my 2nd amendment rights without due process and all it took was a doctor’s signature. I was afforded no recourse. My civil rights were just gone. I was given no access to an attorney and I was never brought before a judge.

Now I have this stigma attached to me that I’m some dangerous mentally ill person who can’t be trusted with a gun. I have never been in a physical altercation in my entire life. I’ve never laid my hands on anyone in anger nor threatened anyone. I have no history of mental issues and no criminal record. The state in all its mercy provides a vehicle to get my rights back. You have to petition the court.

I have a petition before the court now and my hearing is in early December. Even though there is no evidence to deny me my rights, I’m scared shitless of losing. You know that once the gov’t takes something from you, it is very hard to get it back. I really can’t afford a lawyer, but I knew I had to try it now before some new law was passed that would make it impossible to ever get my rights restored.

I’m a disabled veteran and have a severe physical handicap. There are so many random acts of violence today and they can happen anywhere not just big cities. If I were to be attacked, I stand a very good chance of being completely crippled or even paralyzed and I am being denied the right to protect myself.

I recently read that close to 500,000 people in this state have had their 2nd amendment rights taken away in this manner. Then to make matters even worse, the state police sent my private medical records to the FBI. Attention must be brought to these unconstitutional laws like PA’s section 302 that are being massively abused by doctors and stripping decent, otherwise law abiding people of their 2nd amendment rights.

All these people pushing for more mental health laws better be careful what they wish for. It could end up being them losing their 2nd amendment rights next. It can happen to anyone. It doesn’t take any evidence, only the accusation. If you would like to use my story, you can but please just keep my name private.