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Veterans Administration Overdoses on Anti-Gun Prescription

Friday, March 9, 2012


"The presence of firearms in households has been linked to increased risk of injury or death for everyone in or around the home" and "Firearms in the home can increase the possibility of completing suicide." Not only that, while locking up guns is a good idea, "The best way to reduce gun risks is to remove the gun from your home. . . . The safest action is to get rid of the guns."

Sounds familiar, of course. But this time, the anti-gun propaganda isn't from one of the handful of people in the medical field that the Joyce Foundation pays hundreds of thousands of dollars to write up "studies" characterizing guns as too dangerous for private individuals to possess. Instead, it's from a federal government entity whose employees apparently read such stuff and, through some combination of naïveté, ignorance and bias, fall for it.

In this instance, the anti-gun message comes from the Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of the Medical Inspector and Geriatrics and Extended Care Strategic Healthcare Group. The VA's statements appear in a pamphlet called "Firearms and Dementia," which, the name of the pamphlet notwithstanding, is directed at anyone who has a child, in addition to people who are responsible for individuals suffering from decreased mental acuity.

The VA's statements are derived from "studies" that have been discounted or discredited by so many researchers, for so many years, that it hardly bears repeating. Gary Kleck, for example, summed up serious researchers' opinions of the "studies," referring to them as "nonsense" and saying "there is virtually no credible research supporting the skeptical view" that keeping guns at home generally increases Americans' safety risks.

Further examination of the VA's pamphlet even suggests that if one of its pamphleteers isn't related to the Brady Campaign's Dennis Henigan, he or she ought to be. Henigan deserves to be in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most vociferous advocate of the greatest number of Second Amendment theories that have been rejected by the Supreme Court. In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the court ignored Henigan's theory that the amendment protects a "right" of a state to have a militia, and rejected outright his alternate and contradictory theory, that the amendment protects a "right" to possess a gun while serving in a militia.

With greater subtlety than Henigan, but possibly with similar intent, the VA's pamphlet characterizes a gun (like a car) as nothing more than a "symbol" of independence. It continues by saying "it is not uncommon for family members to be reluctant to take away this symbol of independence from people they love."

All told, the VA's statements are what the taxpayers get when people who know nothing about firearms issues take their cues from people who lie about firearms issues, and then spend tax dollars to offer it up to people as gospel truth. Congress has already prohibited the CDC and NIH from spending your money to promote gun control. If it now turns its attention to the VA, perhaps America will edge a little closer to settling the national debt.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.