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By Bud Harton

I have previously retired as a police officer and as a solder, but the third time I retired it was from the VA where I was a Veterans Rating Specialist. A rating specialist is the person who actually makes decisions on veterans claims and issues and award or denial decisions. I was an adjudicator, I made these kind of decisions . . .

President Obama had nothing to do with this. I retired from the VA in 2007 and this had been on-going since before 1999 when I hired on there after being medically retired from the Army.

As is often the case, this all comes down to money. The vet was living on a non-serviced connected disability pension. That is, Congress years ago created a veteran’s pension for those veterans of war time service (service on active duty during a war time period and defined by any period when the National Defense service Medal is awarded). This pension is granted by “need,” that is, by a veteran’s low income. It is an income granted based on the family’s low income.

The vet wanted more monthly income every month. He is not receiving service connected disability compensation but instead is receiving non-service connected disability pension.

Non-service connected (NSC) disability pension is granted to war time service (they don’t have to have been in combat, just served during a period when the National Defense Medal was authorized) veterans who have low incomes. This benefit was enacted by Congress because many veterans later in life do not have enough income to live. It is based entirely on honorable service during a war time period, inability to work and low family income.

How to calculate Veterans NSC pension

NSC veterans pension is based on income. That is, whatever income you are receiving (such as Social Security) is deducted from the monthly NSC pension check. With no income coming in, a vet with a spouse would receive about $17,000 per year. If he was receiving income (all family income is included) it would be deducted, for example, if a vet has $12,000 yearly income, the VA NSC pension would be reduced to only $5,000.00 per year.

The only way you can change this is by asking for an increase because the Vet has a need for “aid and attendance”. Aid and Attendance means that because of physical or mental disabilities, the Vet needs the help of another person to handle everyday problems such as getting dressed, feeding him/herself, ambulating and even taking care of financial affairs. Getting a grant of aid and attendance for NSC veterans pension brings up the yearly amount to about $25,000 per year.

That was what the vet wanted, more money and that is what the article glosses over.

Please understand this; the veteran asked the VA to award an increase based on his need for aid and attendance of another person to handle his financial affairs and asked to have his wife appointed as his fiduciary. If he was being advised by one of the service organizations like the American Legion, the DAV, VFW, etc., then they didn’t tell him that as a result of his request, he was going to become a prohibited person according to Federal law.

Once he made his request, the VA had no option but to schedule him for a Compensation and Pension medical examination at a VA medical facility. During that exam, the veteran must have told the VA examiner (a VA med doctor or psychologist) that he no longer wanted to control his finances and wanted his wife to handle his financial affairs. This had to have happened for the VA medical examiner to report to the VA Regional Office (where vet claims are decided) and for a VA rating specialist make the decision to grant the veteran’s request, award him a greater monthly payment and note that the veteran was deemed incompetent based on his own (the veteran’s) statement to competent medical authority.

Once that award was entered into the computer to generate a decision and an increase in payment now being paid to his named fiduciary, the computer program reported those facts to the FBI’s NICS system The VA routinely interfaces for financial information with borth the SSA and the IRS and also, in this case, the NICS.

Veteran NSC pension rates 2014

Aid and Attendance and Housebound

There are only three basic causes that will enable a grant for aid and attendance; Permanent admission to a skilled nursing facility; paralysis, major amputation or being adjudicated as incompetent to handle his/her own affairs.

The only option open for the vet to apply for more money was “aid and attendance” and the only qualification he would have to get aid and attendance was to have himself adjudicated as incompetent to handle his own affairs.

As far as having his wife’s name placed on the check (yes I aware that it will actually be an electronic deposit) stop[and think a moment. For the wife to legally accept and disburse the money that her husband earned, the only way that can legally happen is to have his benefits paid directly to her.

This is another lesson in “follow the money”. It appears that the VA did a nasty, but only because of bad reporting. They conveniently left out the real facts of the case.

Now, as far as the weapons go, that is not on the VA. The Department of Justice decided years ago that anyone adjudicated as incompetent loses their right to own, possess or purchase firearms. They demanded and received access to VA records and anyone having a fiduciary assigned to monitor the veterans finances, has their information turned over to FBI and entered into the National database.

So moving down the road into this specific situation, what was the VA doing?

They were trying, in their bureaucratic way, to protect the vet. That’s because – and I know this will be hard to believe – there are really bad people who will actually steal a vet’s money given the chance. The VA goes to great lengths to prevent this and one of the many methods is to have a Field Examiner assigned to a geographical area who’s sole duty is to visit veterans and their fiduciaries and to ask to verify that the veteran’s pension money is actually being used to support the veteran and only to his/her benefit.

I had huge problems with the VA and after eight years of working for them, I knew push was going to come to shove, and I paid sixteen years of my military time (more than $10,000.00) into the Federal Employees Retirement System so that when push did come to shove I could walk away. That happened in March, 2007.

141 Responses to The VA Was Actually Trying to Help That Idaho Vet

  1. The point is not the bureaucratic details. The point is that not being able to manage your own financial affairs is a sorry excuse for stomping on the natural, unalienable right to self-defense.

      • A LOT of servicemembers have their spouse do the finances. With the way you deploy and/or go TDY/TAD, the spouse becomes the one who can keep an eye on everything. So, after retirement/separation, a lot of veterans just keep it going that way.

        • I think this is a misrepresentation of the situation described. Its not about your wife doing the finances, its about being found, or in this case, volunteering the fact, that you’re unable mentally to manage your own affairs and that because of such a mental disability, the government should give you more money.

      • Yes you are!!!

        How else are you going to slip that new gun into the gun safe if your wife is managing the finances!!!

    • Well said, sir. I’ll only defend bureaucracy when it is worth doing so. This ain’t one of those times.

    • At what point, does one’s mental ability impact one’s ability to, not just properly handle, but comprehend the responsibility that comes with owning and using firearms?

      The proper handling of a firearm, and the responsibility that goes with it, are core tenants that should be ingrained in gun owners at a young age.

      If one of the core tenants of guns is to never point it at anything one is not willing to destroy, but this concept is lost or not understood or ignored, I’d think the phrase often used at TTAG “Irresponsible Gun Owner (of the Day)” applies and society has a responsibility in such cases. This can include a parent not letting their child have a gun until the parent determines they really understand such rules… Or a son removing weapons from the house of a parent because of a mental infirmity.

      At what point should the government be involved is the real question, but its not as easy as just saying “shall not be infringed.” While its often used as justification for an infringement, the phrase “no right is unlimited”, there is some truth to that. The 1st amendment does not allow libel for example.

      If we, as gun owners and 2nd amendment believers, truly believe that gun ownership carries a huge responsibility… Then we should be open to a discussion where the lines should be drawn for citizens that are not responsible.

      That’s not to say that this situation is where the line should be drawn, but at a minimum, a person being mentally unable to manage their own expenses, does not sound out of bounds for someone (family?) to consider whether the individual still have the mental ability to be responsible for their firearms.

        • I think you kind of missed the point on this one.

          Being judged legally incompetent to manage your own affairs does bring up the question of whether you’re competent to own and manage firearms. Doesn’t mean you actually are incapable, but in the case of declining mental faculties it’s a question that needs to be asked.

          Noobynoobydoo (great handle, btw) was saying that the sticky part is deciding who answers the question and how.

    • Did you not read the article? “There are only three basic causes that will enable a grant for aid and attendance; Permanent admission to a skilled nursing facility; paralysis, major amputation or being adjudicated as incompetent to handle his/her own affairs.”

      The vet was not paralyzed! The vet did NOT have a major amputation! So the only other way the vet could get extra money was to admit he was incompetent to handle his own affairs. The vet had to of tole the doctor that he was crazy to get the money. That info was relayed to the FBI, who determined that if the Vet said he was crazy, and a doctor verified it, then he must be crazy. UnDer law, CRAZY PEOPLE AREN’T ALLOWED TO OWN GUNS!

      • You’re missing one rather critical point: “being adjudicated as incompetent to handle his/her own affairs” is not equal to “being adjudicated as insane”.

        If the inability to balance a checkbook or remember when to send bill payments were cause to deny the right to keep and bear arms, three fourths of the country would be “prohibited persons”.

        • Right. Furthermore, one could argue that anyone who racks up considerable credit card debt paying for anything other than essential life sustaining needs (like medical care for a family member or themselves) is to some extent not competent to manage their own financial affairs responsibly. Honestly, that includes a significant part of the American population. Should most Americans be deprived of their guns on that basis?

          The way I see it, those who recognize their own shortcomings in this area and choose to relinquish critical financial decisions to others with greater financial acumen can be said to be exercising a greater degree of personal responsibility than the population at large who insist on doing it all themselves while continuing to make bad decisions that keep them in perpetual debt.

          The whole thing smacks of elitist hypocrisy also. Do the elite not solicit the advice and decision-making of financial managers and investment advisors when seeking ways to expand their own wealth? Of course they do. They defer to these financial managers on many decisions concerning their own money and most consider themselves savvy and responsible for doing so. But if a veteran or other person chooses to have their everyday financial management done by someone with greater financial acumen than themselves, somehow those people are viewed by the same elite as not savvy or responsible, but rather the inverse. They are viewed as too incompetent to exercise fundamental Constitutional rights and not capable of making decisions about their own personal security with respect to firearms. How do the elite rationalize this double-standard and the hypocrisy it represents?

    • My thoughts exactly. Sure they are trying to protect his funds, but just why the hell do they need to relieve him of his weapons?

        • Actually according to the United States Constitution even crazy people are ‘ people ‘ and should also be able to defend themselves . You Mr. Jones have probably not been around a lot of ‘ crazy people ‘. It will usually not detract from one shooting ability or normally make them any more susceptible to killing shooting another person as you or I . To me personally , I would be more concerned with a non believer than I would a ‘crazy person ‘. You know , a person who does not believe there is a judgments of sins .

        • He didn’t declare his self crazy just not competent to handle money! Need to be able to read before you can comment!

  2. Since when does not wanting to handle your own financial affairs equate to mental incompetence??

    Hell, I hate dealing with banks and filling out tax forms and all that bullshit. If I could pass that responsibility on to someone I trusted, so that all I had to do was get a check into the bank, and then spend it, I’d do that in a heartbeat.

    In what twisted sense does that approach mental incompetence?

    • “There are only three basic causes that will enable a grant for aid and attendance; Permanent admission to a skilled nursing facility; paralysis, major amputation or being adjudicated as incompetent to handle his/her own affairs.” The vet was not paralyzed! He had no major amputation! The only other way to steal more money from the VA was to have himself deemed insane, which he did. Once he was classified as insane the FBI came to take his guns. He tried to steal from the VA and other vets by lying, which then got his guns taken.

      • [Not financially competent] is very different from “insane”. It’s the former he asked to de declared, not the latter.

        • No, that is not at all what he asked to be declared as. He was wanting to be “adjudicated as incompetent to handle his/her own affairs”. Does no one see the missing word? They keep using the word but it does not actually exist here? It’s “financial”. It does not say “incompetent to handle his own FINANCIAL affairs”, it just says “incompetent to handle his own affairs” That word does not appear here but everyone keeps claiming he just wanted his wife to balance the check book. Being incompetent to manage your own affairs (as he claimed) doesn’t mean you can’t balance the checkbook. As wasteful as our Gov’t is they have yet to decree that if you don’t feel like balancing the checkbook then they’ll pay you $8000 a year to not do it! A person declared incompetent to mange his own affairs is “in need of a guardian and lacks sufficient capacity to manage his own affairs or to make or communicate important decisions about his health, property or family”. Quite a bit more encompassing than just writing the checks!
          Do I think this guy is too unstable to own a gun? Not for a second! Clearly stupid, but probably not incapable of responsible gun ownership. No, the much more likely story is that he wanted more money from the Gov’t and choose to lie about his mental health in order to obtain it. I’m no lawyer but I believe the word is defraud?

      • John J. Jones: you are a sad little troll who either doesn’t know how to comprehend words or intentionally ignores everything to push the leftist agenda.
        You are obviously a leftist gun control supporter, so maybe motherjones is where you should run back to…

    • Well, he did say he had enough problems working for them that he quit, so it’s possible he understands it just fine.

      What needs to happen is that the law needs to be changed, so that being declared incompetent to manage financial affairs is no longer in the same category as say, violent paranoid schizophrenia. I doubt even many of the lifetime bureaucrats at the VA think men who can’t balance their checkbooks are likely to go on a mass shooting rampage if left uncontrolled, but whoever wrote the law they have to enforce was either an idiot, a statist, or some combination of the two.

      • Right the only criterion acceptable is being a danger to one’s self or others, and maybe only to others. Secondly, that is not grounds for confiscating firearms, but taking an individual into custody. And if they’re doing to confiscate firearms that were obtained legally there needs to be just compensation for their value, even if it’s a $30,000 drilling.

        A vet who is not competent to manage finances isn’t automatically a danger to others with them, even if he is, they are legally his spouse’s property to.

    • When a person has himself proclaimed insane, he then gives up the right to own firearms. Insane people don’t have the sense to help defend anything, only massacre people in theaters. That’s why the government doesn’t allow them to have guns.

      • Please explain where he had himself declared insane?. So not handling your own check book is grounds for being insane?.
        Dude you are just Nuts.

        • guys…GUYS !

          being declared incompetent is not the same as being declared insane. incompetent is a lower threshold of proof, and easier for the government to prove. you are probably incompetent if you don’t want to be bothered by receiving your bills is the mail, and writing paper checks to pay them by mail. auto deposit and bill pay just might meet the threshold when an agency wants to constrain your actions.

          let’s keep the qualifiers straight in these discussions. an incompetent person might be completely rational and smart, and capable of 99% of daily activities. an insane person might operate from a different database, but is 99% capable of daily activities. i might push a grocery cart and wear an aluminum hat, but i can read my mail and write checks.

  3. Most informative and revealing. From your description, it appears the VA was attempting to give him money he requested, yet headlines seem to claim VA was actually out to take his guns. It’s always about the money I guess, and perhaps this Vet. would have been best served to research/seek advice on ramifications of taking additional govt. $.

    • EXACTLY , This is what I have been trying to warn people about for years . This is a rather old law that has only recently been implemented to it’s fullest under this administration . I believe it’s been on the books since Clinton , but now , with this bunch at the helm , you are seeing it more and more . It is exactly what Barry is proposing to extend into the general citizenry under all entitlement programs and the push is on to have a bill put thru congress soon while they think they can get the votes . It appeals to peoples sentimentalities when you have crazy people killing innocents all over the place . I wish we could get people to get involved with this issue like they have over common core . I have tried to get the Beck people involved but it doesn’t seem to get traction . I really think it is a big back door for the gun grabbers to get in with little attention , until it’s already done , and all they really need is a few more crazies killing more innocents . Watch for the schools because kids create much more backlash . Stay armed and ready to act to stop these nuts from robbing a lot of people from their 2nds . CC into these gun free zones and if a crazy starts shooting , take sure aim and drop their ass where they stand .

    • When designing a totalitarian system, it is highly beneficial to rig it such that in order for a foot soldier to do what he feels is a good deed (disbursing money in this case), it “automatically” triggers effects elsewhere that are not good (take guns). And then covering behind the usual drivel that “It’s The Law.” Which, for some inexplicable reason, even Those Who Ought To Know Better are often sufficiently well indoctrinated to think is a slogan with some sort of meaning and merit.

  4. Sometimes old people do have the now adult kids take care of their finances, but that usually does not mean that they would be dangerous with a gun. Some of the old people are still sharp enough that they could do it, but for some just physically getting around and being able to do tasks is very difficult.

  5. We really should give vets larger pensions. I bet if you defund one three letter acronym bureaucratic agency, we could raise the average vet’s pension.

    • Not to mention if we cut off a few different entitlement programs that are being handed over to illegal immigrants. In califorinan some illegals are given grants into the UC system. Grants large enough to be considered full rides. Not to mention the handful of other programs that they love to leach off of.

      • Ted Cruz President . Repeal Federal programs and roll power back to the states . Cruz would be Reagan and perhaps even have a Conservative Congress to work with . …………………………………. Dreams of MY father .

        • Ted Cruz would be an awful president. He’s in the pocket of Internet companies who want to slow down your internet speeds unless you pay extra money.

    • And the phrase “means tested” should once and for all be abolished from any and all vocabularies. Hiring a bunch of bureaucrats to decide what someone else “needs”, is the exact opposite of freedom.

  6. There are lots of people who can’t handle their financial affairs. Entire industries are built around that, including tax offices. Heck, some people can’t even balance their own checkbooks. That doesn’t mean they are deranged or senile.

    • I keep scratching my head on this justification. Half of America has given someone else the responsibility of managing their long term finances. I certainly don’t have the time to actively manage my investment and retirement portfolio, and it’s financially wise for me to leave that to professionals. After all, given the extreme complexity of tax and finance laws, very few people are “competent” enough to manage those funds wisely.
      Is that a justification for removing my second amendment rights?

      • May I recommend reading a book or two by Bogle?

        If you’re investing in mutual funds, you should know that most of the actively, aka professionally, managed ones don’t do as well as a simple index fund over the long haul.

        So you might want to think about what you’re paying people to do. (And yes I know index funds have some problems, especially if literally everyone bought nothing but them, but that’s not likely to happen any time soon.)

        As far as the tax code is concerned, I’ve long thought if a citizen of average IQ, an average wage and what used to be a good high school education can’t do his or her own taxes, the code’s too complicated.

        I also think that about much of the legal system too. But both are a different discussion.

      • Well said, JWT. Every year my wife and I hire an accountant for tax purposes. She has a side business and I have a rental property. The accountant helps us manage our financial affairs. Anyone who comes to confiscate my guns is welcome to them – I’ll just have to unload them first.

      • No head scratching needed. What we have here is simply another case of the current unfit resident of 1600 Pennsylvania abusing his power to end run around any due process to achieve his political goals.

  7. “…There are only three basic causes that will enable a grant for aid and attendance; …, major amputation ”

    According to you if vet had a major amputation (lets say lost a leg) that is would result in him getting extra money and reported as incompetent to the justice dept? What is wrong with that picture?

    • That is not what i wrote, please note the ‘or”. If a vet can’t ambulate (for whatever reason) and needs the help of another person then he/she is entitled to pension at the aid and attendence rate OR he is deemed incompetent by medical authority to hanfle his own affairs.

      In Mick’s orginal article, a respondent named “Ryan” actual;ly posts a letter he received from the VA concerning this matter.

      And yep, there are a lot of assumptions in my article. Here’s a couple that I would be happy to point out; The Associated Press has a long and storied history of misreporting, misstating and even embellishing the facts of many of the stories that they report. This no less than that.

      I have to tell you that this exact story (minus the friends and neighbors standing up for the vet) is repeated daily all over the country. But the facts remain, a medical practitioner, upon examination, concurred with the vet that he could no longer handle his own financial affairs. That left the VA rating specialist with no option. At some point during the process, the veteran in the article received the exact same letter that Ryan linked to in his response in Nick’s article. The VA does make an attempt to get the vet to back down and withdraw his request.

      Put yourself in the vet’s shoes to understand his motivation. He is trying to live on less than $17,000 per year for him and his wife. He has no other option but to try and generate more money and an $8,000.00 increase in his yearly pay is just shory of 50% more tax exempt money. Who can blame him for trying? But, on the other hand, when the reality strikes, he doesn’t want to give up his guns so he reaches out for help to prevent that from happening.

      The VA wasn’t going to take his guns, but the Department of Justice is the controlling agency here. The DOJ long ago made the determination that being adjudicated as incompetent means you become a prohibited person. That isn’t the VA doing that, they are conforming to a decision made by the DOJ that is binding on all Federal agencies.
      If you missed Ryan’s link to the letter he received from the VA in Nick’s story, here’s a link to it:

      https://plus.google.com/105358234044782953403/posts/biA46Qgf7Tn

      I will guarantee the VA sent the exact letter to this vet. But he either chose to ignore the warning or more likely, he was in desperate need for morte money and this was his only option.

      There are a million reasons why the VA management should be criticized and in many cases, actually jailed. I can tell horror stories of mismanagement that i saw but i could never get anyone interested in pursuing it.
      But this isn’t one of them. Congress writes and passes laws and that’s what was done in this case. the VA is merely administering the law that Congress wrote. The AP did NO background research on this story, they just reported what they saw because they knew it would generate interest and income for the AP from the media that subscribes to their feed.

      The real villain here is the AP for their sloppy reporting and Congress which continues to make hasty, bad decisions because they think they know best.

      • Why can’t his wife take procession of is guns? It seems the VA has agreed to have his wife manage his affairs. It seems to follow that she would also manage his property (guns)

      • “The VA wasn’t going to take his guns . . ”

        No, they were gonna farm it out to the FBI. That’s a distinction without a difference.

      • I totally agree with your analysis Bud and what a lot of people don’t understand and perhaps you may not either is the hundred fold increase that has occurred in the last few years in the implementation of this practice . There has been a marked change in the actions taken through and by the DOJ that is ringing the alarm bells .
        …………………and don’t you think it’s a bit silly to send a ‘ lawyer speak ‘ letter to a person who is supposed to be or could potentially be mentally incompetent ?
        I know you are not standing up for the right or wrongness of the law itself here but for the fact that the VA was only doing it’s best to follow it .
        Thank you for your service to our country and our veterans .

      • If the law actually says “adjudicated” then normally merely having a “medical practitioner” “agree” that he can’t handle his financial affairs doesn’t count.

        • I would agree that “adjudicated” evokes something involving a judge, not merely a bureaucratic decision.

      • Thanks Mr Harlon for the concise reporting.

        It can be very hard for the lay person first exposed to the disability rules to understand just how complicated they are, from Social Security, to Medicaid, to SSI and SSDI- all have different capitol and income limits, and the VA has its own parallel version of same.

        The VA definition of “incompetent to manage own financial affairs” does NOT take away the vets 2A rights.
        It is the DOJ that interprets the incompetent to write his own checks to be same as incompetent to handle his guns” (ie prohibited person under NICS reporting).

        And it was by Executive Excess that the Obama Administration has done so, to increase the numbers of prohibited persons, first by the VA mandatory reporting to NICS and now the Social Security Administration mandatory reporting to NICS, for anyone who for example has a representative payee, to write their checks for benefits received.

        This bureaucratic one-size-fits all by decree deprives citizens of their 2A rights, and sets up a funding mechanism for DOJ- more illegal seizures of property, and its happening at the local PD level as well, in left-progressive urban enclaves, where the politicans believe they know whats best for the little people, and the cops believe the ends (money from confiscated property to fund their own programs) justify the means.

        http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=1100712

      • “The DOJ long ago made the determination that being adjudicated as incompetent means you become a prohibited person.”

        The DOJ does not have the authority to make that decision (nor does anyone in the Administrative branch, up to and including the POTUS). They have guns, clubs, and people trained to use them effectively. So, in practice they may have the ability to enforce the decision, even if they do not have the right to make it. But in breaking the law, they give up the legitimate authority that the law would otherwise give them.

        • Actually, no they don’t. Any discussion about a theoretical, academic, or otherwise farcical notion that somehow when the government “breaks the law” they lose is nonsense. The DOJ established an internal regulation and imposed it on the entire executive branch. legal or not (based on whose definition?), the regulation is enforceable. The courts will uphold the DOJ authority if someone ever takes that to court. Executive regulations fall into “administrative law” and federal courts have a dismal record of overturning administrative judges.

    • You’re fast with the ellipses.

      Several disabilities could make you eligible.

      Not meeting the other standards, he chose to claim mental incompetence.

      How do you feel about arming mental incompetents? I thought that it’s not guns that cause (name your tragedy) but our not keeping those who are incompetent safely segregated from items that are presumptively dangerous. At least, that’s how I read the NRA line.

    • @Leo: Don’t think that is exactly what he said. It was the combination of a way to qualify for the benefit and the request that the check be handled by someone else. When the Vet declared himself incompetent to allow the check to be sent to his wife seems to be what triggered the infringement of his 2A rights. The amputation was the reason the benefits were allowed. If he had wanted to accept the check himself and handle his own finances then his 2A rights would have remained intact. That is the way I understood what the author said. Not saying that is necessarily right or makes sense. Just saying that the amputation was not the real reason for his 2A rights to be taken away.

  8. “The Department of Justice decided years ago that anyone adjudicated as incompetent loses their right to own, possess or purchase firearms.” Seems what the author of this article is trying to say is that this is not due to Obama but to the Justice Department’s decision years ago. It also seems that the incompetent judgement might need to be loosened up or changed as not wanting to handle your own money does not necessarily mean that you would not be able to make rational defense decisions with a firearm. AND it also appears that this veteran was not informed of the consequences of making the decision that he did in regards to his 2A rights. Last of all, it appears that what we read in the News is not always the whole story. But that is not really news is it ? Thanks to the author for this information. Very informative.

  9. They were not trying to help him. They were doing what they always do, bureaucratically distribute cash and prizes. The VA is being preyed upon by an old man that didn’t plan for the rest of his life which they’re happy to do if he’s willing to declare the right status. Just like every welfare case, as soon as he found out he could get more money he was on it like white on rice. He was competent enough to figure out how to navigate the VA to get another 8 grand and to get the story of his guns being confiscated out to the nutjob brigade of 2nd amendment fundies that can’t bother to fact check or think rationally and who do our cause no small bit of harm. Those don’t seem like the actions of someone incapable of managing their own affairs. The guy is a vet, incompetent by reason of mental deficiency and he’s getting 25 grand a year for that. He got greedy and wanted the extra 8 grand and didn’t read the fine print. The only actual injustice here is that those who go nuts or old have to give up private property to the state without fair compensation. The only thing that needs to change is either the state pay the man a fair price for his guns upon confiscation or require him to transfer the guns to a non-cohabiting friend or relative.

  10. I agree with Dave in VA…the author of this article makes way too many assumptions favoring the VA. He assumes that the vet did, in fact, claim he was not competent to take care of his affairs, and he assumes the VA did, in fact, follow procedures correctly. These are two huge assumptions based on how the VA has performed in the past two decades.

    Also, why does the system seen to work really well when it comes to depriving citizens of rights, but it’s a well oiled machine when it comes to doling out the welfare checks to folks who shouldn’t be getting it? Or why can’t it be a well oiled machine when it comes to verifying someone is not illegally here in the U.S. when it comes to voting, drivers licensing, jobs, receiving welfare, etc.? It seems that big government is VERY selective in what it wants to excel at.

    • With all do respect , I believe the author of the article was basing his comments on years of experience working in the very system he was speaking in reference to and in my understanding that makes him an expert and his opinion more than an assumption . We need to revisit the law and clarify apparently the real meaning of incompetency .
      If I were to go to a practitioner of mental hygiene and tell them I was wanting to kill innocent people randomly and in perhaps a movie theater , that would obviously red flag me as a person who should probably have the tools required to accomplish such an act removed from my possession , but my constitutional right to say what I want would then be infringed along with my right to protect myself and if you were to take away all my guns and my swords , knives , garden implements , and even my gasoline cans I could still find a way to my goals .
      The simple fact of the matter is this . There is a cost to being a free people , and it is this , you are required to be involved . Involved in all aspects of your existence . There will not be a protector of you and any of your God given rights standing between you and the bad guy when it’s required , this happens to be a fact the minute you let go of mommy and daddy’s hand . Government , the police and mom and dad were not there in that school , theater or church , If there had been anyone armed and trained in any of those places , the outcomes would most assuredly been different .
      The only people who should be disarmed , in my opinion , are the people who have already shown themselves to be irresponsible in the management of a gun ,

    • The government has no choice but to be efficient with the welfare checks now. If they’re two days late, the inner cities of America will be burnt to the ground…

      • I hate welfare, it is abused, but I have to ask. If someone who lived completely off of welfare, 8 kids no job, no education, Obamacare doc feeding pain pills for bad back and anti depressants, your tax dollars sucked dry. That persons house gets robbed and they want to buy a gun for protection; and the welfare office reports to the DOJ that they are unfit without due proccess; How would you feel?

  11. All the author was stating that the VA was following the letter of the law. Whether that is right or wrong is up for debate. (I would prefer his guns stay in his possession and NFA be repealed) but, the VA is actually doing its job for once. Which, unsurprisingly, happens to be something terrible. This is why we should be involving ourselves in the political process.

  12. Replace “gun” with “car” and I think it’s easier to understand how people like me would feel about this.
    Your mental status shouldn’t be relevant to owning property unless you’ve proven yourself to be a danger to others. Them coming to get the keys the moment you ask for help, because they don’t feel you can be a competent driver (tho you’ve made no attempt to drive or to become a risk) is a slight against this person that will just make others avoid asking.

    Which means fewer people get help and the one who needed it gets screwed over.

    • It’s designed to discourage people from asking. In theory that means that only those truly needing the benefit will ask for it because the consequences for receiving that aid are such BS.

  13. The most evil effect of socialism is not that it takes money from people who earn it and give it to people who don’t, though that is bad enough by itself. The most evil part is that it causes people to think that because they are giving certain people money that they then can control these people’s lives.

    I’m sure the man who wrote this article loves his wife and children and is kind to his dog. However, he is part of a machine of depravity. I hope he doesn’t sleep well.

    • @Skylar: He said he quit if you read the whole article. Also said he could not stand it there any longer. My guess is he sleeps well now. What he might consider, if he still wants to work, is to set up a business or charity to advocate for the veterans who may be getting the short end of the stick from the VA and others.

      • That’s an Awsome idea. These guys with the inside experience who’ve left because they’re fed up would be great at that. I’m not sure how they could fund their activities … maybe from philanthropists?

  14. So it seems that the mistake is that the VA requires somebody to be declared incompetent to be able to give them more money. This seems like a completely simple thing to fix in the VA rules and totally within the control of the VA. Yet, they are happy not to fix this. Pure evil in my opinion. I guess we’ll have to write and phone our congress people and have them fix this for the incompetent VA.

  15. I read the original story and was left with the impression “that the wrong box was checked” by a VA drone as opposed to the man making a money grab. In either case, the real question is how can a bureaucracy that is literally killing Veterans due to malfeasance in the form of incompetence, ambivalence, or greed is vigorously on top of making Veterans surrender their firearms? Worse, the system connectivity of the VA/SSA/FBI/IRS is supremely efficient to aid in the rounding up Vet firearms but can’t track a known terrorist entering and conducting operations on our soil or stop welfare payments to ineligible (imaginary or dead) people. Unbelievable.

  16. I would expect nothing less than this pathetic attempt at defending the government and the VA from someone collecting 3 tax payer funded pensions.

    • Mack Bolen
      where do I mention that i am receiving three taxpayer pensions?

      My military pension was taken from me when i agree to accept VA compensation for my service connected disabilities. Current Federal law says you can’t receive both and the VA money was more. I was rated at 100% service connected disabled before I started working for the VA. Of that ,90% of medical problems are combat related.

      I spent my entire life working to serve others and yet you criticize me.

      Care to share what you do for a living? Notice how I use my real name and a real current photo and yet, you hide behind the name of a fictional action hero.

        • I wasn’t defending the VA, i was trying, apparently unsuccessfully in your case, to explain what was actually happening. Here it is in short form:
          1. The vet couldn’t live on the money he was being paid. This is money that Congress provides, not the VA
          2. The only option open to him was to get a higher level of payment due to the need for aid and attendance rate
          3. To get the a & a rate, you must prove that you need the assistance of another person to accomplish every day things like eating, bathing, ambulating or conducting your affairs include financial affairs
          4. Because he wasn’t parilyzed, was not in a wheelchair or confined to a nursing home, the only option open to him was to declare himself incompetent. That’s what he did and that’s what started this whole thing.

          The VA doesn’t take the guns away, they merely warn the vet when he applies that the DOJ has the power to do that.

          A lot of you do not understand, that Federal agencies, like the VA, do not make the laws, Congress does. The VA sucks and is an abject failure in their basic mission, caring for vets, and I hate VA management more than most of you because i know how bad it really is from the inside.

          But, what is reported in the AP story is not what was actually happening. The vet asked for more money in the one way open to him and he was warned of what would happen if he did.

          I can’t blame the vet, no one cam live on $17,000 per year. I blame Congress because they are the ones who wrote the law in the manner in which the VA adminsiters it.

        • did i not read in your posting, “The DOJ long ago made the determination that being adjudicated as incompetent means you become a prohibited person”. sounds to me like the DOJ made the law, and requires other agencies to comply.

        • Maybe I’m missing something, but what in that law states he should have his guns confiscated? Even if he does need help with certain things, if he never was adjudicated in court as being mentally incompetent, he is not a “prohibited person” according to the BATFE.

        • hi,
          re-read the original posting again, very carefully. the vet was adjudicated originally by the VA. VA then sent his name over to DOJ. DOJ noted the vet had been adjudicated by the VA, so the vet’s name went on the prohibited person list IAW DOJ CHECKLIST !! a courtroom process is not required.

        • a courtroom process is not required.

          There’s actual US code that states that? Cite?

        • to begin, the US code and the justice department are merely distant cousins.

          the original poster noted the VA “adjudication” and the inter-agency memo that required VA to report to DOJ anyone whom the VA “adjudicated” incapable of handling their own affairs. the poster noted the DOJ ruloes (internal rules) required anyone “adjudicated” would be placed on the “no buy” list. DOJ is not interested in how the “adjudication” takes place.

          btw, “administrative law” does not necessarily operate IAW criminal law or constitutional law. indeed, administrative judges may conduct hearings (trials) from the standpoint that the named citizen is guilty until proven innocent. in fact, virtually all administrative law starts with that premise. the “burden of proof” shifts to the citizen or company being charged by an executive agency. this is how government seizures of money from citizens is allowed under “asset forfeiture”. the government may take, without warrant property or money based on the mere suspicion the money or property is used in, or is profit from criminal activity.

  17. My wife just retired after over 30 years of making just the same decisions for the Social Security Administration.

    In their case it is called being assigned a “Representative Payee.” Like in the VA it is a process that can, and is, abused, so they have rules and more rules. The result is that the payees are carefully vetted and the process not undertaken lightly.

    What does “Incompetent to manage financial affairs mean?” Almost exclusively it means MENTALLY incompetent. Not that they can’t physically write a check. Not even that they never learned simple arithmetic. They are not mentally responsible for the most basic self-responsibility.

    Should someone that MENTALLY DISABLED have guns? We’re not talking otherwise handicapped, or simply poor. (And in this case we’re very definitely NOT talking about other mental conditions, such as where someone who is still personally responsible may be prescribed psychoactive drugs for past injury or stress.)

    Even the NRA seems willing to draw a line at about this point.

    I asked my wife to channel her inner Wayne LaPierre, and then tell me if she could think of a hypothetical instance where someone who met the requirements to need a representative payee should have a gun and she couldn’t.

    Now there’s a vet in Idaho who may be perfectly competent to posses firearms, and that’s what his sheriff and neighbors might see. In which case he was trying to game the system. And lost. And may have been less than scrupulously honest in the process.

    Be careful what you wish for.

      • And by that I mean was their a process specific to determine whether he should be disarmed, in court? Not balancing his finances is not the same as being unable to defend himself.

      • And by “court” I mean a court convened by an article III appointment or by a state appointed or elected probate or district court.

        Administrative law judges might be appropriate for some things but not when it comes to alienating rights or property, especially when it comes to fundamental Bill of Rights protected right to keep and bear arms.

        • These are all valid points Skyler and the answer to all is no .
          Due process comes after the guns have been removed and catalogued and recorded and bumped and dinged and lost and on and on and then what’s left will be returned to the owner which may end up being the state . This is the due process and it definitely needs addressed and changed .
          The greatest challenge at this time is addressing the PTSD incompetency ratings .
          Please get involved in this fight . The numbers of these cases are exploding beyond the ability of private donations and the law offices that fight these cases to challenge .

      • absolutely. It can’t be accomplished without following a set standard of rules and procedures.

        The problem is, the rules and procedures are wrong but the VA doesn’t make those rules and procedures. Congress writes and passes the laws and government agencies, like the VA, then administer those laws.In the case of the DOJ, they are empowered to not only administer laws but also to enforce them.

        The AP should be blamed for poor reporting but Congress, in this case, is the real problem.

    • +1. Good point. SSA Rep Payee is for the person who cant write their own checks- mentally challenged in some way is what seems most obvious, so thank you for the inside view.

      And if we are going to point out that the Fed.Gov and Gun Grabbers are deliberately missing the point about mass-shooters being mentally ill, like the theater shootings, Isla Harbor, Gabby Giffords incident, Columbine- then we have to be intellectually honest here, and admit that if a person is filing for a claim based on mental incapacity for managing own finances, then its only fair to consider their incapacity for managing firearms.

      I dont have an exact answer, other than its an area that needs more thoughtful conversation and pressure on your congressional reps, for that is how bureaucracies like the VA and SSA are impacted, when real-world outcomes dont make sense, and rules need to be revised.

      Making wild accusations and over generalizations doesnt move that conversation, nor does shooting the messenger, on the real facts, in this case, the author of the post who has given insight and deserves our appreciation and respect for HIS service, as well.

      Thanks again, Mr Hanlon, I honor you for same.

  18. Here’s a link to another TTAG story that validates about how long this has been going on:

    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/04/robert-farago/senator-grassley-letter-to-eric-holder-why-are-veterans-on-the-nics-gun-ban-list/

    This happens every single day. it’s happening right now somewhere else in the country and it is all because of poorly written laws (Congress writes the laws) and out of control bureaucrats like the anti-American managers at the Department of Justice.

    The law, poorly written by Congress, needs to be re-written as do thousands of other laws written by the idiots that we send to Washington to represent us

  19. I had my mom sign a Durable Financial Power of Attorney while she still had all her wits about her. When the time came just added my name on a signature card we both signed/dated and when she was slipping mentally took over paying her bills. She grew up on a ranch but had no interest in guns, so never an issue. Had she had a gun, would have taken it away from her long before dementia set in. Had major anger issues with my dad after he divorced her. May they both rest in peace, in separate areas of the hereafter.

  20. Sooooo. Why is the author being attacked. He isn’t defending the VA. He is explaining procedure. I don’t work at the VA, I don’t know much about the procedures. I can identify with him. I am a veteran, and some of the comments on here sound like the stupid questions that civilians ask combat vets. See the correlation, the media portrays war one way, but can not replace the actual experience. The media is attacking the VA, when he is explaining that the DOJ created this policy. He is establishing facts left out by 24th AP(common practice) and eliminating assumptions that if you are in the VA system, you are a victim. Imo, some people may have skimmed this.

  21. “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’ “

  22. Don’t let “Stupid-Crazy” define you as “stupid-crazy” but still demand that their stupid-crazy trumps yours.

    F-EM

  23. Soon the federal government will crosscheck the records from TurboTax with the records from your local FLL and attempt to confiscate your guns because you want to make it too easy to do your yearly taxes. I love TurboTax…pardon me…someone is knocking at my door.

  24. I left the VA in disgust in 2008/ I was hired by them a couple of months after leaving active duty as a GS 7. While I was there, i was very sucessful and rose to a GS12 slot despite being in constant conflict withj management at both the Regional level where I worked and at the national level because m,any of the things that i was accomplshing were in direct contravention to where VAmanagement wanted to go. My specific expertise was in verifyiung veterans participation in combat or there exposure to chemicals (like Agent Orange) ionizing radiation (Hiroshima or Nagasaki or any of the tests) or cold weather injuries. The VA is made up primarily of non-veterans and they have no conception of whay service in the military or naval forces involved other than what they saw in movies or TV. In other words, none at all.

    I made formal administrative decisions that awarded benefits to hundreds of veterans who had been denied by the VA because the decsion maker didn’t know of anyway to confirm what the veteran was claiming. In doing so, I attracted national attention both inside and outside the VA and I have even by described in the Congressional Record. While doing this, I also trained dozens of other employees nation wide in how to accomplish what i was doing and they in turn, were abl;e to retroactive;y award benefits to hundreds of other vets and that is on-going to day.
    To attempt to make me ashamed of my service is not goping to happen.

    Still and all, the VA is a corrupt and bankrupt organization and I will hold VA management inxomplete and utter contempt.

    But they just adminisister laws that Congress passes. hey don’t make the rules, Congress does.

    • Thanks, Bud- can you expand on the corruption and incompetence angle, perhaps by reference to another forum or bbs someplace.

      The recent scandal about VA slow appointments and covering those up doesnt seem to be resulting in firings of the management who should be responsible, with the exception of one-or-two.

      The DOJ abuse of VA records is not the VAs fault, but your explanation of process, and your other experience does show how a complete house-cleaning is long overdue. And perhaps by connecting citizen outrage over civil rights abuses, ie unconstitutional denial of 2A rights, to other malfeasance and corruption by the Left, maybe we can help the VA do a better job for the vets.

      What is the problem- is it crony insider hiring of family or promotion of favorites by politics? is it the effect of years of discriminative hiring to accomplish race-based goals? Is it the bad effects of years of unionism in the civil service, that resulted in the abuse at the IRS, where 90% of employees contributed to Democrats, and people like Lois Lerner think they are above the law?

      • +1. And thanks Mr. Harton for your service on multiple levels. Specifics help. Please provide some that I can urge my congress critters to act upon.

  25. good morning,

    what the poster is saying is two agencies combined to deny a person their second amendment rights. the first agency, the VA, was following their procedures to ensure no fraud was occurring. all well and good. also, they were following their procedures that were essentially dictated by DOJ….putting a person adjudicated as being incompetent on the no-buy list. did you note that the way the VA makes the adjudication is via computer? you would be surprised (or maybe not) at how many such decisions of the government are made by checklist. so in these cases, a questionnaire is submitted to the computer and a calculated answer pops-out. no hearing needed, it is all automated….and for the benefit of whomever is being adjudicated. no messy human evaluation is on record. no person risking adverse action for arbitrary or capricious decisions. in the government, it is always about avoiding responsibility (yet they are terrified they will lose their jobs if they make a mistake…which the civil service rules prohibit).

    now we come to the meat of it. the DOJ made-up its own rules about what constitutes mental incompetence. they were not interested in actually evaluating a person to see if they were mentally deficient, they were interested in casting as wide a net as possible to make as many people as possible unable to keep or purchase firearms. and this is where the whole mental illness kaboble comes off the rails. one government agency can simply make a list of actions that constitute mental illness (no objectivity required) and impose it on the entire government, and subsequently, the entire nation. btw, mentally ill is how the old communist empire classified people attempting to defect. mental illness resulted in life sentences in the gulag because the mentally ill would contaminate the rest of the population.

    I agree that the largest problem with containing mass shooters is that mental health is the leading cause. however, once you try to slice that particular egg, you end up where the DOJ, VA and social security administration are today.

    attack the violators at the root (peacefully, mean). demand your representatives (i know, it is a joke) end the ability of DOJ to make these arbitrary rulings about mental illness is evaluated. the anger should be pointed there first. then pressure the other agencies to refuse to abet a criminal enterprise…DOJ.

  26. So let me get this straight — if a veteran says that he can’t handle his own finances and wants his check assigned to his wife, he’s judged to be mentally incompetent. That’s ridiculous on its face, because it would take a competent person to know that he needs help.

    Moreover, if the veteran is truly mentally incompetent, he shouldn’t be allowed to make ANY kind of declaration on his own.

    I understand that the VA didn’t try to disenfranchise the veteran in this case. No, not at all. The VA is merely a cog in the crushing machine known as the Federal government. The VA was just trying to help. Yeah, sure.

    • Ralph I take Bud at his word, reading between the lines of the procedure- if the vets only option for needed extra income was “incompetent to handle financial affairs” ie, he wasnt an amputee, etc, then the VA guy would have taken the vets instructions on the form, to get him the money.

      We cant know for sure if the VA guy fully explained the DOJ interpretation of mentally incompetent, or if the Vet chose to remember or not, after the fact.

      The point is the DOJ has recently decided to act on this information, as part of his 23 Executive Actions announced back in 2013. It should be no mystery how this is shaking out- look at item number one.
      http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/01/16/list-obamas-23-executive-actions-on-gun-violence/

      The real question is what are we POTG going to do about it, other than whinging on in blog forums…

      Here is a hint- November 2016. Get involved now at your grassroots level, and contribute to the entity that can make a difference, by holding already elected politicians responsible, or replace them with your vote.

      Easy way is $ to NRA which has the national lobbying and financial clout.

  27. Now that they have established that our rights are up for sale, they are gonna haggle over the price and payment terms. Next, it will be Social Security since old folks are easy to prey on by both actual thugs and government employed thugs. I can see it now: Oh, so you want the extra 200 a month so you don’t have to eat cat food at the end of the month, well I can help you out. Just sign here and here and here, and by the way I will have agent Smith drop by on Tuesday to pick up the guns you registered when you signed up for Medicare two years ago.

  28. Thanks for the explanation of what’s happening to this vet. It makes it clear that the government lures veterans into surrendering their weapons by dangling a carrot in front of them in the form of a marginal increase in pay. Entrapment!

  29. There are people in Congress and many of us on the outside that believe these rules were written into the law for a gun grab and the plan has been simmering for years waiting on the perfect ingredients to be added to the pot before the burner was set to high .
    You needed ;
    A friendly executive branch .
    A busy Congress
    A criminal DOJ
    A defensive VA
    A public sympathetic to disarming ( crazies )
    A massive increase in the number of candidates added to the incompetent list . ( PTSD ) ( amputees )
    ……………. and voila …………… soups done .
    It is my theory that if they can disarm enough Americans through back and front door means then the acceptance level increases to disarm all . I think what we have witnessed with cigarette smoking can be our example . Once you drove out smoking from all public buildings and smokers to the back alleys and decks and garages of their own homes you saw the trend shift . The one time smoker is perhaps the greatest adversary of the smoker now .

    • The smoking analogy is a bit weak since people who are not smokers are stuck with stinking clothes not to mention the possible health effects when they are forced to be in the same area as smokers. I have yet to hear that offal from California say she would take away all tobacco products if she could. There is no right to keep and bear tobacco, though banning it makes no more sense than did Prohibition or quite a large number of things our government should butt out of (sorry for the pun).

      • Agree Rusty , I am a x smoker and I can now smell the stench myself , I’m not real agreeable on the secondhand smoke health effects argument but I’ll give you that one too , just for time sake .
        I was trying to invoke a picture of how social attitudes can change and or be manipulated by public acceptance of certain rules applied for the general good .
        Example : John Doe owns five firearms and even though he doesn’t hunt or shoot any longer he still keeps them for personal protection or sentimental reasons . John Doe’s wife has had some issues with depression and is under the care of a therapist and is on a regiment of prescription antidepressants and MS Doe is also a recipient of Medicare / Social Security and considered incompetent to be in possession of firearms and now
        because of rule changes the DOJ comes and removes the firearms belonging to John Doe because MS Doe could potentially have access to them via John . John protest but realizing that the law is impleading his protest he relinquishes his fight and sells or turns his guns over for a tax credit . John really didn’t use them any longer and is only slightly put out and actually is content with the sizable savings in taxes or dividend applied to his government check , Now John is a non smoker ( does not own guns any longer ) and suddenly , the next time you talk to John , he is suggesting you give up your gun ( stop smoking ) too .
        Can you now see my analogy ?

  30. Will appreciate an informed response to Icabod’s question: why can’t his wife take possession of the firearms?

    A similar case might have some bearing. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/supreme-court-rules-felons-may-sell-or-transfer-possession-of-guns/

    The Supremes unanimously ruled in May that convicted felons may sell or transfer firearms rather than submit to government firearms seizure so long as the felon lacks access.

    On the surface, it would appear that a felon has more rights than a vet pensioner.

    • More than on the surface, this is the direct intent. The point is to have fewer gun owners and if they thought they could get away with it the Obama administration would take away the vote from these same folks as they are too likely to vote against Democrats.

  31. So, the old veteran can’t make ends meet on his current income. He goes to the VA and asks for some more help, since he’s past working age and has problems from when he served. They flip through the regulations and tell him to fill out Form 12345/B, in triplicate, check mark box 6(b) and don’t forget to sign here, here, and here. They say that will get him another $8000 a month. He thinks that’s just wonderful, and does what they say. A few weeks/months later, those agents show up at his house with a copy of that form, stamped by the “adjudicator” and tell him to hand over the guns. Uproar ensues. Anyone who cannot see this scenario playing out this way has never been to a TAP (transition assistance program) briefing upon separating/retiring from military service. They do three things in those briefings: tell you how to do resumes, how to get a government job, and how to get money from the government for things like disabilities.

    • And the same is true for all the well-meaning and generally left-leaning nice people that go into social work, because they generally care about helping people. They know how to advise the low-income, elderly, disadvantaged, disabled and that percentage of “others” who criminally abuse the welfare system set up to help the poor and weak to survive.

      What those same nice people usually don’t understand is the impact on guns, and 2A rights, and if they do, then my guess is in their world-view, its probably just as well that the poor weak person should not have guns, because after all, guns are evil, and they the social worker is a good person. So they are feeding their ego, as another of the Elite Who Knows Whats Best For The Little People.

      Interesting psychological take on the Left vs Right, here: h/t Instapundit.
      http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/212107/

  32. “Once that award was entered into the computer to generate a decision and an increase in payment now being paid to his named fiduciary, the computer program reported those facts to the FBI’s NICS system The VA routinely interfaces for financial information with borth the SSA and the IRS and also, in this case, the NICS.”

    “Now, as far as the weapons go, that is not on the VA. The Department of Justice decided years ago that anyone adjudicated as incompetent loses their right to own, possess or purchase firearms. They demanded and received access to VA records and anyone having a fiduciary assigned to monitor the veterans finances, has their information turned over to FBI and entered into the National database.”

    And therein lies the problem.

    THERE WAS NO “ADJUDICATION”.

    It was done entirely as a routine clerical procedure.

    That is utterly unacceptable.

  33. Non participation folks, stops asking for government monies, even if you feel owed because of taxes or service. Quit voting(because it obviously didn’t prevent us coming to this) and stop propping up the ATF with your sbr, suppressor, full auto, AOW fees. Maybe, just maybe looking at all of the woeful excuses for deployment since WWII, the promises broken to those deployed and their treatment thereafter you might stop signing up, and deter others from doing so. We do have the bomb you know, several thousand of them I think, and if it comes to that y’all can sign up in an emergency, draft or otherwise. You keep on complaining about the music, but you won’t stop playing that broken record.

  34. Funny, my copy of the Constitution doesn’t contain the words “prohibited person” anywhere in it. It does say “shall not be infringed”.

  35. Some here have mentioned action by congress. The only stroke survivor in the Senate is Mark Kirk from Illinois. Kirk is also a veteran. He was one of just four Republicans to support the Manchin-Toomey legislation in the Senate along with John McCain and Susan Collins. This would have eliminated private gun sales. It would have forced everyone to go to an FFL, even if it were many miles away and virtually impossible to reach. Even though he is a veteran with a stroke, I doubt Kirk will take up the cause of gun rights for veterans who are stroke survivors like John Arnold. When someone like Mark Kirk says they are a moderate Republican, does it mean that they value government over individual liberty?

  36. I appreciate the article. It did offered the one and key piece that was missing from most of what I have read on the subject. It is indeed an eye opener. Most people don’t understand that the Federal government doesn’t have much power over anything. It does have the ability to dole out dollars in large amounts and to place strings upon those dollars. It doesn’t matter whether you are an individual, a state or a school district, they will get you to agree to do things they couldn’t have otherwise forced you to do when you agree to take those dollars.

    I worked for another agency, but I also became fed up and left @ 50 with 20, actually 231/2. That cost me, but I still have my sanity….

  37. A gun confiscation by any other name is still a violation of the man’s rights. Poor math skills is not a felony.

  38. This a nothing but a sorry a**sed excuse to violate his constitutional rights. You damned bureaucrats need to be FIRED.

  39. “They were trying, in their bureaucratic way, to protect the vet.”

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  40. The lesson: if you don’t rely on a govt check you won’t have to worry about them jerking your chain. Once you take the money they own you.

  41. Ok tired of all this if you want this changed everyone should write an email to your US Senators and your US representative to change the law the justice department uses re mental incompetent vs financial incompetent! Then hit the phone lines to all your US Senators and all the US representatives, also write senator Grassley to support a bill to correct this. Look at committee of jurisdiction for justice dept in house and senate and hammer Them Emails and calls the US reps and senators on those committees as members of said committees. Also email and call the NRA to take this up as a priority in their lobbying. If you want it changed quit belly aching and take the action I just described!

    • +1 Denise. Just wish more would, to paraphrase Ross Perot, Do something instead of just talking about it.

  42. Then get a bill introduced in senate and house and work your tails off to get reps and senators to cosponsor in large numbers….two thirds in house and majority in senate! Get a bill done and passed and quit all the belly aching and complaining and BSing.

  43. If the wife can now manage his money, Why can the wife not use his fire arms to continue to defend the home? Why did they need to be taken away. Why can he not just give them to her? Why is the government coming to take something of value from his ownership, Why cant he give them to his kids and or wife, While I agree with if you are not mentally healthy enough to handle your life then maybe this raises a some questions, But to have the ATF come to your house to take them away, Why ? if the wife thinks there is a dangers why cant she just ask the local sheriff for help with the matter. You got to remember this was not about him buying a gun, this was about guns he already own, So there for it is property, this should be a matter for a local judge and sheriff. Not the federal government.

  44. So basically what you are saying is if a vet who served his country during a war time and is unable to work, if he doesn’t want to live at or just above the federal poverty line, which I believe is 15, or 16k as stated by the IRS, then he must give up one if his Constitutional rights? I’m pretty sure I read that correctly. So if he wants to be able to live in a house, lay his bills and eat, he loses rights given to every American. I and I’m sure a while lot of other people would love to know who was responsible for that one. We have congressman who retire, never put a dime into a fund and get their salaries for life plus increases that are well above what a vet or a disabled person would get who paid into the system their entire life. That’s some nice system we got there. Pay a guy who rarely showed up for work a ton and leave the vet and disabled in the poor house trying to figure out if food or heat is more important that month

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