The surge in anti-gun hysteria has already begun, and, as is the case following any other tragedy the left is looking to exploit, they care more about driving the narrative than getting their facts straight.
Just as they did back in February when the U.S. House of Representatives voted 235-180 to repeal an Obama-era rule that required the Social Security Administration to report those who are on disability insurance and have a mental illness to the FBI’s background check system, the talking point that “Republicans voted to give the mentally ill guns” has resurfaced.
A sampling of the hyperbole:
Jimmy Kimmel made me cry again. 56 Republicans voted to give mentally ill ppl access to buy guns.
— marcus_maxximista (@ido4me_period) October 3, 2017
Seriously, didn't the republicans just pull back a law that prevented mentally ill from buying guns? Correct me if I am wrong please
— J.G.I (@kaleijah) October 3, 2017
The fact that republicans are mad about dems wanting to refuse guns to mentally ill people makes me thing the GOP knows they’re mentally ill
— Lee Presgraves (@l_presgraves) October 3, 2017
Remember when Republicans rolled back Obama's rule to stop the mentally ill from buying guns? https://t.co/PO2GfCB4ay
— Daily Kos (@dailykos) October 2, 2017
As The Donald would say: you are fake news.
“Fake” may even be too kind a term to use. “Deliberately misleading” is more accurate, as even left-leaning groups like the ACLU supported the repeal (of course, mentioning that would upend the narrative). Let’s recap what Congressional Republicans actually did, and why the ACLU would join them in supporting a repeal that supposedly put guns in the hands of the mentally ill.
The Washington Examiner has a good takedown of the lie, which they’ve now done twice this year. To quote:
Here’s what happened in February: Congress voted to overturn a last-minute Obama-era regulation that would give the Social Security Administration the power to revoke a person’s Second Amendment rights based on whether that person receives disability for a mental impairment that keeps him from working, or if he “[uses] a representative payee to help manage their benefits.”
As my Washington Examiner colleague David Freddoso explained at the time, the repeal of the Obama-era regulation, “doesn’t allow people to buy guns who have been properly adjudicated by a court of law as mentally ill or unstable.”
“The Obama-era rule was designed to take away people’s rights without due process of law. It would have flagged the names of people who, for example, have an anxiety disorder or depression which keeps them from working, and who, as the SSA puts it, ‘need help in managing [their] personal money affairs,'” he added. “As the many non-political mental health and autism advocacy groups that supported the House action noted, there is no link between these factors and a propensity for violence.”
Also, it’s worth noting that there are already regulations on firearm purchases by persons who have a documented history of mental illness, or who have shown themselves to be a danger.
Indeed — those evil Republicans…allowing old people who are bad with money to own guns?
That narrative doesn’t sound quite as powerful now, does it?