Feb 19, 2016

A Different Route That Doesn't Involve Social Security?

     In early January the President announced that the Social Security Administration would begin a rulemaking process to allow the agency to notify, in some cases, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System about the appointment of a representative payee for a Social Security recipient. The idea is that if a person is mentally incompetent to handle money, he or she is probably not competent to buy a firearm. The first step in the rulemaking process is for an agency to send a draft proposal to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval. It was already almost too late for Social Security to finish action on a rulemaking on this subject when the President made the announcement but Social Security still hasn't sent over a proposal to OMB. If they were going to do this while Obama was still President they should be rushing but they're not. I've been wondering what's going on. Then, I see a link to this article in Modern Healthcare, of all places:
Senators on Wednesday expressed strong bipartisan support for bills that would improve the interactions of the mentally ill and the police, but clashed on how to pay for the reform and how it might affect gun ownership. ... 
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) last summer introduced a bill that encourages states to share more mental health records for use in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.  
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he thinks Cornyn's bill, which is approved by the National Rifle Association, would make it easier, not harder, for people with severe mental illness to acquire firearms.  
“I'd like to make clear while there's broad bipartisan consensus for provisions that include how we treat mental illness, that consensus does not exist for provisions that make it easier for mentally ill individuals to get guns,” Schumer said.
Cornyn vehemently denied that. He has said his bill improves the background check system without expanding it. ... 
The mental health reform bills discussed during Wednesday's hearing aren't the only ones on the table. A bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), which does not include language on guns, is expected to move through the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee soon. ... 
Cornyn has said he has talked with HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) about eventually combining the bills. But Democrats have pushed back on that suggestion, because of the provisions on gun control.
     I'm suspecting that the White House is holding off on a Social Security rulemaking in hopes that there is some legislative action on this issue.
     Honestly, does anyone, including the NRA, want to demand access to firearms for paranoid schizophrenics who have had repeated involuntary commitments because they have become a danger to themselves or others? I hope that even the NRA can't be that crazy. Ted Nugent, yes, but the entire organization?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are payees for the illiterate and the math-specific learning disabled. I'm sure there are people in our military with poor math skills who are right now carrying a gun and handling it competently. Yes, there are schizophrenics that have payees. But you can't have an across the board rule and paint with such broad strokes.