Mandatory Mental Illness Screening and the Drive to Confiscate Firearms
Government study says half of all Americans suffer from mental illness
On Sunday in his weekly column Ron Paul discussed a recommendation by the United States Preventive Services Task Force.
The recommendation calls mental health screening of all Americans. “The task force wants to force health insurance companies to pay for the screening. Basic economics, as well as the Obamacare disaster, should have shown this task force that government health insurance mandates harm Americans,” writes Paul.
In addition to the economic aspects of the recommendation, Dr. Paul mentions the draconian effect it will have on the Second Amendment and the constitutionally guaranteed right to own firearms.
“Mandatory depression screening will not just raise insurance costs. In order to ensure that the screening mandate is being properly implemented, the government will need to create a database containing the results of the screenings. Those anti-gun politicians who want to forbid anyone labeled ‘mentally ill’ from owning a firearm will no doubt want to use this database as a tool to deprive individuals of their Second Amendment rights,” he writes.
In January the US Department of Health and Human Services modified the government’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule “to expressly permit certain HIPAA covered entities to disclose to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) the identities of individuals who are subject to a Federal ‘mental health prohibitor’ that disqualifies them from shipping, transporting, possessing, or receiving a firearm.”
Obama announced the new rule as he prepared to implement an executive order to “address surging gun violence,” a euphemism used to mask the real purpose of the government’s anti-gun agenda.
“If the preventive task force has its way, Americans could lose their Second Amendment, and possibly other, rights simply because they happened to undergo their mandatory depression screening when they were coping with a loved one’s passing or a divorce, or simply having a bad day,” Paul continues. “As anyone who has been mistakenly placed on the terrorist watch list can attest, it is very difficult to get off a government database even when the government clearly is in error. Thus, anyone mistakenly labeled as depressed will have to spend a great deal of time and money in what may be a futile attempt to get his rights back.”
For the government mandatory mental health screening is an ideal mechanism for stripping Americans of their right to own firearms. As Ron Paul notes, even “mental health professionals acknowledge that there is a great deal of subjectivity in mental health diagnosis.”
According to statistics compiled by the Kim Foundation 57.7 million Americans (26.2 percent) ages 18 and older or about one in four adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg according to the government. A National Institute of Mental Health survey conducted between 2001 and 2003, found that 46 percent of Americans met criteria established by the American Psychiatric Association for having had mental illness. The categories included: anxiety disorders, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), “mood disorders,” “impulse-control disorders,” and a wide range of behavioral problems.
If the government and activists opposed to the Second Amendment have their way nearly half of all Americans will be denied their constitutional right to own a firearm.
As usual California leads the way. On New Year’s Day AB 1014 went into effect. The law allows police to confiscate firearms from an individual if a family member believes “gun safety” is an issue. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the law after the 2014 shooting by Elliot Rodger near the University of California.