1510435037_Reagan_gun_control_xlarge

Ok, I’ll bite, I had dismissed this email/website (very bottom of this post)as soon as I read
it. Then, numerous emails came into my inbox asking me if this was legit. My
findings, no, the VA isn’t hammering vets to take away their guns. No Marines,
sailors I know on the east or left coast or even veterans out of the service
have received these as the email promulgates its mass distribution.

Did this person actually get this letter from the VA?
Perhaps, and perhaps he needs to be restrained from firearms, I don’t know his
situation. What I do know, is this should not prevent any warrior that needs help
from getting it. If your a reader and you know of the "masses" recieving these and could put me in touch with them, then I may change my mind. However, until then, I would say this is a far and few situation.

This post is to give you the reader all of the info to make
an educated decision)  They sky isn’t falling,
not yet at least.

Time for a C-Gar


Don’t beleive the hype on the VA letter summarily denying vets gun rights


Written By: Bob


Feb•
22•13

I read the claim yesterday as it floated around the internet:

How would you feel if you received a letter from
the U.S. Government informing you that because of a physical or mental
condition that the government says you have it is proposing to rule that
you are incompetent to handle your own financial affairs? Suppose that
letter also stated that the government is going to appoint a stranger to
handle your affairs for you at your expense? That would certainly be
scary enough but it gets worse.

What if that letter also stated: “A determination of
incompetency will prohibit you from purchasing, possessing, receiving,
or transporting a firearm or ammunition. If you knowingly violate any of
these prohibitions, you may be fined, imprisoned, or both pursuant to
the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, Pub.L.No. 103-159, as implemented at 18, United States Code 924(a)(2).”?

That makes is sound like something right from a documentary on a
tyrannical dictatorship somewhere in the world. Yet, as I write this I
have a copy of such a letter right in front of me. It is being sent by
the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to hundreds, perhaps thousands,
of America’s heroes. In my capacity as Executive Director of the United States Justice Foundation (USJF) I have been contacted by some of these veterans and the stories I am getting are appalling.

I have no idea who Michael Connelly is, but I can tell you this: his
story is misleading at best, and purposeful fear-mongering at worst.

Connelly lays this out in such a way that the average person reading
this gets the impression that the VA is arbitrarily sending letters to
unsuspecting veterans that they’ve lost their 2nd Amendment
rights because someone in far away Washington summarily checked a box
on a whim. It is portrayed as a bolt from the blue, affecting a large
percentage of veterans.

What is really going on is that if a veteran is having financial problems, someone, usually his immediate family,
can request for his benefits to be placed in guardianship. It allows
the VA to pay the family so that they can handle a disabled vet’s
finances and get his bills paid. When a veteran’s affairs are placed in
guardianship, then this provision kicks in.

This doesn’t happen to someone just because they went into combat, or if they have some level of PTSD, or if they have a head injury. This generally applies to folks that are seriously mentally compromised. It applies to guys who are, as one veteran’s expert informed me this morning:

“…either comatose, make poor life decisions, spend their
VA check on drugs, or (like the guy I once represented) were pissed off
that the T-Rex in the back yard was eating his vegetables.”

Now, what happens if someone is placed on this list who feels he
doesn’t deserve it? They can get a hearing, provide evidence, etc. and
get their day in court to have their Second Amendment rights restored
via due process.

Now, is this an ideal and perfect process? Of course not. It has
humans involved in trying to figured out the messy workings of someone
else’s gray matter, and that is an iffy proposition that MDs and PhDs
that work directly with patients for years still get wrong from time to
time.

But it’s a far cry from what people are choosing to read into this,
which is that the VA is arbitrarily disarming vets on a whim.

http://www.bob-owens.com/2013/02/dont-beleive-the-hype-on-the-va-letter-summarily-denying-vets-gun-rights/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BobOwens+%28Bob+Owens%29

and

http://twitchy.com/2013/02/22/no-the-va-isnt-arbitrarily-disarming-veterans/

 

The original email/website about the Gov taking away Veterans guns:

Written By Constitutional Attorney Michael Connelly, J.D.

 How
would you feel if you received a letter from the U.S. Government
informing you that because of a physical or mental condition that the
government says you have it is proposing to rule that you are
incompetent to handle your own financial affairs? Suppose that letter
also stated that the government is going to appoint a stranger to handle
your affairs for you at your expense? That would certainly be scary
enough but it gets worse.

What if that letter also stated: “A
determination of incompetency will prohibit you from purchasing,
possessing, receiving, or transporting a firearm or ammunition. If you
knowingly violate any of these prohibitions, you may be fined,
imprisoned, or both pursuant to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention
Act, Pub.L.No. 103-159, as implemented at 18, United States Code
924(a)(2).”?

That makes is sound like something right from a
documentary on a tyrannical dictatorship somewhere in the world. Yet, as
I write this I have a copy of such a letter right in front of me. It is being sent by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of America’s heroes. In my capacity as Executive Director of the United States Justice Foundation (USJF) I have been contacted by some of these veterans and the stories I am getting are appalling.

The
letter provides no specifics on the reasons for the proposed finding of
incompetency; just that is based on a determination by someone in the
VA. In every state in the United States no one can be declared
incompetent to administer their own affairs without due process of law
and that usually requires a judicial hearing with evidence being offered
to prove to a judge that the person is indeed incompetent. This is a
requirement of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that states
that no person shall “… be deprived of life, liberty, or property
without due process of law…”.

Obviously, the Department of
Veterans Affairs can’t be bothered by such impediments as the
Constitution, particularly since they are clearly pushing to fulfill one
of Obama’s main goals, the disarming of the American people. Janet
Napolitano has already warned law enforcement that some of the most
dangerous among us are America’s heroes, our veterans, and now according
to this letter from the VA they can be prohibited from buying or even
possessing a firearm because of a physical or mental disability.

Think
about it, the men and women who have laid their lives on the line to
defend us and our Constitution are now having their own Constitutional
rights denied. There are no clear criteria for the VA to declare a
veteran incompetent. It can be the loss of a limb in combat, a head
injury, a diagnosis of PTSD, or even a soldier just telling someone at
the VA that he or she is depressed over the loss of a buddy in combat.
In none of these situations has the person been found to be a danger to
themselves or others. If that was the case than all of the Americans who
have suffered from PTSD following the loss of a loved one or from being
in a car accident would also have to be disqualified from owning
firearms. It would also mean that everyone who has ever been depressed
for any reason should be disarmed. In fact, many of the veterans being
deprived of their rights have no idea why it is happening.

The
answer seems to be it is simply because they are veterans. At the USJF
we intend to find the truth by filing a Freedom of Information Act
request to the Department of Veterans Affairs to force them to disclose
the criteria they are using to place veterans on the background check
list that keeps them from exercising their Second Amendment rights. Then
we will take whatever legal steps are necessary to protect our American
warriors.

The reality is that Obama will not get all of the gun
control measures he wants through Congress, and they wouldn’t be enough
for him anyway. He wants a totally disarmed America so there will be no
resistance to his plans to rob us of our nation. That means we have to
ask who will be next. If you are receiving a Social Security check will
you get one of these letters? Will the government declare that you are
incompetent because of your age and therefore banned from firearm
ownership. It certainly fits in with the philosophy and plans of the
Obama administration. It is also certain that our military veterans
don’t deserve this and neither do any other Americans.

— Michael Connelly, J.D.

Comments

  1. Dear Blogger,
    I would like to repectfully submit the following questions:
    If the veteran is having financial problems,how can he pay to go to a hearing? If this is so rare, why is there a form letter? Why don’t they state the problme in the letter?
    Make poor life decisions? What does that mean, not voting for a Republican?
    What is the name of your veteran expert? What makes him an expert?
    We’ve all seen the letter… can you give us any facts to back up what you are saying?
    Yours Truly,
    Not Convinced

  2. Major:
    I passed this one by a friend of mine who works in Benefits for the VA here in the DFW area, her comments:
    “I haven’t heard about this one yet. I do have to say that in four and a half years of reviewing Veterans’ files, I have only seen a handful that were declared incompetent, and those were mainly requested by a spouse or adult child to be declared because of memory issues. Sometimes due to Alzheimer’s and sometimes due to drug abuse. I’ve never seen incompetency due to the loss of a limb? Incompetence is declared by VA doctors though, and most of them won’t unless it’s obviously needed. A diagnosis of PTSD doesn’t mean you are incompetent.”.
    ‘Nuff said, this is obviously the loons letting loose….

  3. Not Convinced – was this letter to you? Are you the guy mentioned? If not, have you recieved one of these? Do you know anyone who has? Have you actually seen it? Like the Maj posted, this is one blog that posted the letter and many other blogs that refer back to that blog. If it were numerous blogs posting about it with different names on the letters equating to “numerous” letters being sent, that would support your thoughts. However, again like the Maj said, until someone can come forward and tell us that “here are a bunch of examples” we have to keep this one in perspective. I think the Maj is a big gun proponent, the last thing he wants is for someone to give up their weapon unwarrented. Just saying.

  4. Not convinced where do you get that the veteran is in financial problems and where dod you get he has to go for a hearing ?
    You are talkingtwo different issues and trying to mix them together
    One is if he is not paying his bills,spending his money wrecklessly orshowing any other signs of a problem of handling his money ,then a parent ,a wife,a sister or even a friend can submit to the Va to appoint someone in charge of his affairs.
    He can submit a request for a hearing .That can be done by phone or in person or maybe in some casses by mail. If there should be a hearing it would be held somewhere with in reason of where he lives.
    In most casses he would be either given the funds to make the trip or will be paid when he gets there with his receipts for the trip
    Th eother part is the firearms part. This is not anything new as the Michael Connelys of the world would lead you to believe. These letters havebeen around for pprobably 15 yeras or more.
    Again the VA does not just say you can’t have a firearm. It is usually after a loved one has requested that you are no longer competent to have one and the VA after an investigation agrees ,then the letter is sent .You have the right to appeal that as well as a decision is not made that is why it says “if found” not “you have been found” incompetent. They have to wait on your appeal and a hearing with you and then and only then is a decision made. The other way you get the letter is if you answered questions when trying to get VA health care and these questions were such as I have memories of wantingto kill,I get so mad I do not remember anything and I get violent ,I get mad and threaten people. Then there is a investigation to see if you are mentally incompetent if so again the letter is sent and it still says “if ” not “were” after an appeal and hearing
    There has been nothing aboutthis on any of the mainstream news media that is because one there is nothing to it and second the letter has been around for years
    Just like others have said as well,it may even be fake ones floating around hoping someone will answer with a lot of personal info.
    Look how many people just return replies of email form their bank only to find out it is a scam
    Hope this clears it up some for you

  5. Connelly’s letter is more true than you think. I know because I have received the letter from the V A proposing I am incompetent. They stated as the reason is that I have seizures they call epilepsy. I have never been diagnosed with having epilepsy so I consider their reasoning as pure bunk! I had a stroke in 2002 resulting absence seizures. The neurologist put me on medication that completely controlled them to the point I haven’t had one in years.
    As soon as I got the V A letter I took it to my VFW Veteran Service Officer. She immediately fired off a letter saying I was not incompetent. To further prove my point, she also sent letters of support from the Commander of my VFW Post and my District VFW Commander. I have held many offices in my VFW Post including Post Commander and eleven years as Post Adjutant. Currently I am a Trustee with the responsibility of insuring the post financial records are in order. I am also an officer on VFW District Level, and am responsible for twenty three VFW Posts. I have been informed I am receiving an award for VFW Outstanding District Officer in my state. I say this not to brag, but to prove my point that I am not incompetent.
    If other veterans are experiencing the same ordeal as me . I truely pray for them.

  6. This is put out by the Tea Party and the NRA to get people riled up, mainly veterans. It’s BS. The VA has enough on it’s hands without getting millions of vets riled up. It’s a part of their plan to fight gun control no matter what side you are on.

  7. Sorry William, but everything I posted is happening to me and to other vets. It is BS, but it is BS against veterans by the V A and the government.

  8. After a Combat Veterans International meeting yesterday, we heard that form letter was mailed to many in the group and my husband received one. After reading about it here & elsewhere, I came to the conclusion that it is a precurser to further gun control legislation. A veiled threat with no teeth in it, yet. . .

  9. Lorraine, did your husband receive a phone call from the V A advising him of being proposed as incompetent, followed with a letter? In my case it is no veiled threat. The V A has sent me a letter saying they propose to rate me incompetent as a result of a C&P examination. The examiner notified the V A that I have siezures (epilepsy), and has given me 60 days to respond or be tagged as incompetent, I haven’t had a siezure in years, and I am certainly not an epileptic. My Service Officer is taking my situation very seriously, and is fighting hard to prove I’m competent.
    I surely hope in your husband’s case everything is o.k.

  10. I am 100 percent for ptsd p/t and just got granted aid and attendance got unofficial letter saying a finding of incompetency is proposed whats up with that

  11. After reading the letter that someone kindly linked to, I have some ideas. First, sure it is a form letter to ensure it says exactly what the VA wants it to say as clearly as possible. But as the letter shows, it does give the specifics for the person. Second, the primary purpose of the letter is for the VA to declare the person incapable of handling the money the VA is giving. I am not so sure that is a bad idea but would want to know if it is legal for the VA to be concerned once they give the money. As for the reference to the Brady Act and gun ownership prohibition, consider this – maybe this VA warning is intended to ensure the person is aware of an issue that the VA does not even support. Maybe the VA doesn’t even think this particular aspect of the Brady Act is right and the real action to take is amend the Brady Act.

  12. Things maybe looking up for me concerning the V A’s proposal to rate me as incompetent. This week I had a V A mental health appointment and the doctor who did the examination told me there is no basis for ruling me as incompetent. He told me to have my Veteran Service Officer call him, and he would write a letter of support for me explaining his findings. I beleive there is a light at the end of the tunnel now, however, the government works in strange ways so I guess I’ll just have to wait to see what happens.

  13. What you all seem to be missing is this…under the 5th Amendment…only a COURT OF LAW can find you incompetent. You cannot be deprived of life, liberty of pursuit of happiness without due process of law. It is also in your individual state constitutions. The VA cannot unilaterally declare you incompetent as even though you ust the VA for medical reasons, and have a compensation/pension from them, you are no longer in the service and are a civilian and to take away your 5th Amendment right is beyond the scope of the VA’s abilities! And what does a physical disability have to do with incompetence? The letter states: This evidence indicates that you are not able to handle your VA benefit payments because of a physical or mental condition. Our veterans have paid a high enough price for their service, let’s not make them pay more. It has NOTHING to do with liberals wanting to take away our guns, nor conservatives trying to make the 2nd Amendment an issue….and everything to do with our brave servicemen and women having their constitutional rights violated. I respect you, my brother…but even if just a handful of us are receiving this, it isn’t right and we need to leave no soldier behind on this battlefield!
    A Sister Marine

  14. The VA cannot unilaterally declare you incompetent as, even though you use the VA for medical reasons, and have a compensation/pension from them,you are no longer in the service and are a civilian and to take away your 5th Amendment right is beyond the scope of the VA’s abilities! (Sorry, somehow this sentence got messed up in my first post).

  15. 6I have read many articles about this topic this past weekend and it seems that people either believe it or they don’t. So I researched the current legislation and I found that a Texas Republican (Steve Stockman) is pushing Bill H.R. 577 Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, and a Florida Republican (Jeff Miller) is pushing Bill H.R. 602 which is an identical bill. Currently they are the only two listed on the bills as supporters but to me that only means someone hasn’t updated the webpage The bills do not mention anything about notifying veterans, but I doubt a bill would be that detailed anyway. These are the only bills that I found that refer to the VA and weapons.
    Here is a copy and paste of the the actual bill H.R. 577; “2/6/2013–Introduced. Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act – Prohibits, in any case arising out of the administration of laws and benefits by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA), considering any person who is mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or experiencing an extended loss of consciousness from being considered adjudicated as a mental defective for purposes of the right to receive or transport firearms without the order or finding of a judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others.”

  16. And there wouldn’t be any need for these bills to be introduced if this wasn’t happening! TY Ryan for your research. Now maybe people will believe our veterans instead of putting their belief in a government that is failing its citizens as well as its heroes!

  17. I received a call from the Philadelphia VA on 20 April 2013 informing me that I am being processed as incompetent, will receive an 80% rating, and will have my right to gbear arms taken from me. I informed her very nicely that I would like to receive this in writing, and she stated it would be forthcoming. I then called the number back, and it was from the Phil VA Regional office.

  18. It would be kindly appreciated if everyone would start using proper “title case” for the words “Sailor”, “Sailors” and “Navy”. The Marines had a hissy fit a number of years back that “Marine” must always be in capital letters and to appease them the Department of the Navy went ahead and simply “agreed” to their whimpers. In as much as that has been argued, resolved, etc., the fact remains that the Marines are still, and always will be a detachment of the Navy and as such, they as well have to adhere to the directive that “Sailor” and “Navy” will also be in “title case” as well in any correspondence.

  19. Purple Heart magazine has an article about this in their july/august issue in the opinion section. They neither verify nor deny the article but do say that the opinion expressed are the authors. Michael Connelly is a Consitution Lawyer, and executive director of the United States Justice Foundation. I heard about this going on about a year ago. Do i Believe it, i don’t know, but what i do know after being in treatment for 10 years for ptsd is that Pres. Obama has done more for the V.A. than anyone else before him and i find it hard to believe he would allow this. If it were true i think at least one of the news channels would be on it.

  20. I am a veteran (US Army, June ’01 – ’06) pursuing a VA benefits claim. Recently, after having my C&P mental health evaluation (a 20 minute interview) I received this same letter. It is because the form that is submitted by the doctor to the VA has a checkbox for “Is this veteran capable of handling their finances” – mine was marked ‘no’. I’m a professional software engineer and have been working in this industry for nearly 6 years now, anyone who knows me knows that I am more than competent with handling my money. After a small freakout, I did some leg work:
    1. Internet searches about the issue (leading to this website and others)
    2. Contacted the DAV (my veteran’s service organization) who told me I should gather some documents and submit a dispute. The service officer also fired off a letter saying that I would like a hearing and that I intend to submit evidence to the contrary.
    3. Retrieve print-outs of financial statements from my bank, as well as a letter indicating my good standing
    4. Retrieve letters from my last two landlords indicating that I have never been behind on rent
    5. (This is the big one) Contacted the doctor that interviewed me. He returned my call and indicated that it was a mistake and he would be sending me a letter indicating that I am fully competent to handle my finances
    The items from #3 – #5 will be put together in a packet that the DAV will submit on my behalf to dispute the incompetence motion. The most important piece is to get a letter from a psych doctor (preferably a PhD in Psychology as Psychiatrists cost a lot of money for their time). Combine this with some other ancillary evidence about your finances and submit it.
    I won’t delve into the political or alarmist implications above, but this is not a hoax and it is happening to normal vets. I just want to provide some information so other vets in this situation can have a plan and not feel so lost and helpless.
    Stay safe

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  27. I got my yearly benefits summary letter this year on January and it erroneously states I have an OTH Other Than Honorable Discharge…I have an honorable discharge. So they’re now fixing the clerical error here at the St Petersburg Florida regional office.
    I mailed them several years worth of “benefit summaries” they’re sent me in the past where it correctly states my discharge status and of course, most importantly, I mailed them official copies of my DD214. I have to call and talk to someone tomorrow.
    The VA is a big bureaucracy, it makes mistakes. “Clerical Error”..That’s what they called it. I served in the US Army in the early 90s, discharged honorably.

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