GOP Just Made It Easier For More Sandy Hook-Style Shootings to Happen
The GOP controlled Congress passed legislation giving the mentally ill the right to own a gun – opening a loophole that the Obama administration previously closed.
President Obama installed the rule in order to require “the Social Security Administration to submit beneficiaries with mental impairments who have a third party managing their financial affairs — about 75,000 — to the FBI, so they are barred when undergoing standard gun-buyer background checks.”
It was implemented on the heels of the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012 and set to take effect this December.
Republican Senator Chuck Grassley complained the rule was riddled with “vague characteristics that do not fit into the federal mentally defective standard” that now oversees the prohibition of a mentally ill person obtaining a firearm.
Grassley added: “If a specific individual is likely to be violent due to the nature of their mental illness, then the government should have to prove it.”
And so with GOP control in 2 of the 3 branches of our government, they passed a “Resolution of Disapproval” under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), an obscure maneuver that imbues lawmakers with a pathway to overturn presidential federal regulations.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his GOP controlled senate was able to use the CRA to fast-track this objection to the Obama-era rule with a simple majority; thereby blocking the Democrats from filibustering.
The vote was 57-43, with 42 Democrats and 1 Independent voting no, and 52 Republicans, 4 Democrats, and 1 Independent voting yes.
Among the Democrats approving the rolling back of a rule that was created in order to keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill was a staunch supporter of Donald Trump, West Virginia Congressman Joe Manchin.
Manchin once bragged about being considered for Trump’s cabinet, and has since been integral in the passage of several of Trump’s picks.
The passage of this overturn to the Obama rule opens up the door for more gun violence perpetrated by the mentally ill.
In 2015, the University of Washington School of Medicine (WSM) at Harborview Medical Center (HMC) released a study showing that mentally ill teenagers in the US have “easy access to firearms” in the home and this poses a problem with regard to gun safety.
Data from 10,123 teenagers in the US ages 13 to 18 during 2001 to 2004 were analyzed by researchers and surmised that “41% of teens who reported being in a home with a gun had easy access to it, even if the individuals had a history of mental illness or suicidal acts.”
One third of the respondents “reported living in a home with a firearm.”
The research also showed that “older, male and non-Hispanic teens were more likely to report being able to access firearms. Those living in rural or wealthy households were also more likely to report access.”
According to the study, “suicide is the second leading cause of death for American youth and having a gun inside your house increases the risk for suicide” but that “the data included in this study is old” and fire arm storage practices “may have changed” since 2004.
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