The Obama Administration Goes Mental

The Department of Health and Human Services is proposing a regulation aimed at making it easier for states to submit information about the mentally ill to the federal system, without blocking all people who seek mental health treatment from owning guns.

“The administration is committed to making sure that anyone who may pose a danger to themselves or others does not have access to a gun,” according to the White House statement. “The federal background check system is the most effective way to assure that such individuals are not able to purchase a firearm from a licensed gun dealer.”
[Source: Bloomberg News, 1/3/14]

This should be interesting.

As it stands, patient confidentiality for mental health and psychiatric records is protected – unless the patient poses an imminent physical threat to self or another, in which case mental health professionals  have a duty to warn the relevant parties.

This reasonable standard is consistent with both state and federal laws, as well as the long-standing tradition of the psychiatric and psychotherapeutic professions.

Exactly how does the Obama Administration plan to get around this? If you’ve been diagnosed anxious or depressed (as millions have), will Obama not permit you to buy a gun for self-protection?

We already know, from our experiences with Obamacare and other matters, that the President may get around it simply by issuing decrees and commands. For example, when it became clear that the Obamacare law was causing millions of people to lose their health insurance, Obama went around Congress and issued an executive order that this portion of the law did not apply – until after next November’s midterm Congressional elections.

This little criticized action of the President created a new precedent in what has mostly been a republican democracy for the last 225-plus years. For the first time in history, a President—without action by Congress—declared a portion of a law he supported as null and void, until such a time as it’s politically convenient to reinstate it.

Given the travesty over the “Affordable Care Act,” it doesn’t take much imagination to consider what the Obama Administration has in mind for anyone with a mental health record.

Keep in mind that mental health records are not primarily or exclusively kept on those the layperson considers “crazy.” People with outright delusions or hallucinations (typically known as schizophrenics or perhaps Bipolar patients) are small in number compared to the millions whose records include indications of anxiety, depression, family or situational stress, as well as the widely diagnosed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

All of these less severe mental health problems are officially classified by the psychiatric and medical professions, as well as private and government insurance programs, as mental disorders or mental illness.

Exactly how does the constitutionally unscrupulous Obama Administration intend to go about distinguishing among those who suffer from mental disorders? Who, among those with mental disorder diagnoses, will make the final cut and be allowed to own guns? And who will not?

Will mental health professionals be obligated to release records on patients when the Secretary of Health and Human Services demands it? What about confidentiality, provided no physical threat to self or others exists?

Most Americans give Obama and his cohorts a free pass on this policy, without even thinking about what they’re doing.

“Should crazy and violent people be allowed to own guns? Of course not.” End of discussion, while the Secretary of Health and Human Services is given an awesome degree of power.

The problem is that the mental profession defines as “crazy”(if by that you mean mental illness) a lot more things than the psychoses of people who shoot up schools and movie theaters in violent rampages.

It’s a well-established fact that these shooters almost never sought out, and never would have complied with (and therefore benefitted from) mental health treatment in the first place.

This means that the Obama Administration will be going after the least mentally troubled so they can congratulate themselves and say, “Look at us. We’ve done something about crime.”

And the band on the Potomac plays on …

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