Blame the ACLU

President Trump has argued, correctly, that Nikolas Cruz should have been reported and that this information should have prevented him from buying a gun as expressed in this tweet.

“So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again.

Trump’s critics rightfully point out that he signed a law that repealed an Obama regulation that would have added an additional 75,000 people who suffer from mental illness to the national background data check.  No doubt Trump would like to take that back.

The rule that was repealed specifically required that the Social Security Administration add people who have been deemed incapable of managing their financial affairs to that list.  That would include many who receive disability payments due to mental illness.   This would not have prevented Nikolas Cruz from obtaining all his guns, but it would have been a small step in the right direction.

The measure was part of a larger group of Obama rules that were reasonably repealed by Congress shortly after Trump took office.  Yes, the repeal of the gun measure was supported by the NRA but another organization that has been largely left out of this discussion, the ACLU, was also to blame.

In a letter to Congress, the ACLU wrote:  “We oppose this rule because it advances and reinforces the harmful stereotype that people with mental disabilities, a vast and diverse group of citizens, are violent,” the letter says. “There is no data to support a connection between the need for a representative payee to manage one’s Social Security disability benefits and a propensity toward gun violence.”

Obviously, if you can’t manage your money you shouldn’t be expected to manage a gun.  Please!  More obvious is the fact that someone who is getting SSI disability payments due to a mental illness should not have access to guns.

Let us not forget that in the 70s and 80s the ACLU was at the forefront of patient’s rights legislation and court cases that emptied our mental institutions.  These cases raised the bar significantly for anyone to be committed.   The courts ultimately ruled that a finding of mental illness alone was not enough to justify a state’s locking a person up against his will and keeping him indefinitely in simple custodial confinement if such persons are dangerous to no one and can live safely in freedom.

What does living safely in freedom mean?  Today, for the most part, that means living on the streets.  Why?  Because most of the mentally ill don’t think they are mentally ill.   Once out they refuse their meds and don’t go for treatment.  When that happens many do become dangerous and their heartbroken families are simply afraid to keep them or take them in.  Research suggests that individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are responsible for approximately 10 percent of all homicides in the United States.  For mass killings, the percentage is approximately 33 percent. http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/evidence-and-research/learn-more-about/3627

Too often families are counseled to avoid having a child classified as mentally ill and schools try to keep these children in their system.  Then, once that child becomes an adult, the school and the family lose control unless the now mentally ill adult voluntarily gives a parent or another adult the responsibility for his or her custody.  We now know that Nikolas Cruz refused to let the school district continue providing him with the mental health services he had been receiving after he turned 18.  These cases go unreported.

It’s an urban legend that we have insane people living on the streets because Ronald Reagan closed the mental hospitals.  Most mental hospitals were closed simply because they no longer had any patients.  Sadly, liberal organizations like the ACLU that worked to get all these mental patients released, largely abandoned society’s most vulnerable.

Many of the mental health workers who worked toward this end have admitted their mistake.  Many also have admitted their over reliance on drugs.  Now these drugs are part of the larger problem of those who shoot up schools or a workplace.

If you are on psychotropic drugs you cannot join the military, pilot a plane and — in some cases — even drive a car.  It makes sense that people on these drugs should be ineligible to buy guns unless re-evaluated.

Politicians, the NRA and the ACLU need to accept this.   My guess is the first two will come around.  The ACLU is perhaps the bigger culprit and, so far, has escaped the consternation of the general public.

Right March: Wrong Reasons

On March 24,  students accross the country will take to the streets in the nation’s capital and elsewhere in an effort to combat violence in schools, like the kind that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, that left 17 dead and 14 wounded.

The students behind the The March for Our Lives are to be commended for their earnest desire to do something positive to protect schools, but unfortunately it appears their effort is misdirected.  With anti-gun organizations like Michael Bloomberg’s Every Town for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action and providing much of the muscle to organize the event and actor George Clooney providing much of the cash, many of these students will be used as pawns by progressive groups and the usual cadre of celebrities hoping to cash in on this event.

Their enemy is not the targeted NRA, the nation’s oldest and largest gun rights organization nor is the AR15 semi-automatic rifle that these groups want to ban.   Continue reading “Right March: Wrong Reasons”

Trump and the Fire Swamp

Donald Trump went to Washington promising to drain the swamp.  The swamp is winning.  That’s because it is a lot more complicated than simply pulling the plug and watching the whole mess go down the drain.

No, the swamp in Washington is more like the fictional fire swamp in the movie “The Princess Bride.”   Washington, like the swamp in this movie classic, has three elements:  the fire (obvious), lighting sand (dryer and quicker than quicksand) and the dreaded R.O.U.S. (rodents of unusual size).  Continue reading “Trump and the Fire Swamp”

Before You Cast Your First Stone (At Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis)

The PC police, who seem hellbent on forcing all people to accept gay marriage after the  controversial Supreme Court Obergefell decision, suffered a setback when activist federal judge David Bunning released Kim Davis from a Kentucky jail.  Davis, a county clerk, spent five days behind bars after refusing to have marriage licenses to same-sex couples go out under her name, which would, in effect,  be condoning a practice that violates her religious beliefs.

Judge Bunning simply could have slapped Kim Davis with a fine but, no, this activist liberal judge chose to throw her in jail until she complied with his wishes.  Tuesday, Bunning backed down, bowing to pressure after denying Davis her due process and her rights under the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.   Continue reading “Before You Cast Your First Stone (At Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis)”

Why I left the Democratic Party

Recently, I received an email from a former television colleague.  I’ll call him Jack (not his real name).  Jack lamented the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, and invited me to read and post on his blog.  It had been years since we’ve had any direct contact, but I have great respect for this man.  Therefore, I went to Jack’s blog and began reading.  It sickened me, so much so that I was, for one of the few times in my life, speechless.

It was one of the worst biased political rants I have ever seen.

It began with a personal story.  As a young photographer, Jack covered a race riot in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where he discovered that the local police chief had sent officers in blackface to stir up the rioters so he could crack down on them.  After that, the “chief” ran for Congress as a Republican and won.

I don’t doubt Jack’s veracity.  However, it was as if time has stood still for him.  Therefore, he believes all Republicans (and tea party members and other conservative-leaning organizations like the Heritage Foundation) to be racist. Continue reading “Why I left the Democratic Party”

Suddenly It’s 1964 Again

Suddenly, it’s 1964 again.  Racial tension is in the air.  Cries of “injustice” and “police brutality” occupy the headlines.  However, the epicenter has moved from Mississippi and Harlem to Ferguson, Missouri, a small municipality which occupies a slice of northeastern St. Louis County.

Unfortunately for the peace-loving citizens in that community, those fanning the flames which have led to the violence are stuck in 1964.  Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and members of the New Black Panther Party have never moved on.  They are  in a time warp.   In fact, their relevance depends on being able to make disadvantaged blacks believe that the system is rigged against them.  That’s how they get their power and earn the money to buy their expensive suits and chauffeur-driven limousines.    Continue reading “Suddenly It’s 1964 Again”

MLK’s Dream now a Nightmare

I grew up in a small town outside of Atlanta.  I remember finding bullets from the Civil War in the yard of my  great-grandparents home where I played as a young child.  They were so common in that area I never thought about saving one.

I also remember hearing the term “separate but equal” throughout my youth.  The full impact of those racially-charged words did not hit home until the early 1960’s.  I was rehearsing a play at the Fox theater on famed Peachtree Street.  When the crew broke for lunch, I went across the street with a black cast member to grab a bite at one of my favorite restaurants.  The maitre d’ refused to seat us.

I was shocked and dismayed!  Separate but equal was not equal, just separate.  Often it meant one had to do with nothing at all.  Where were we supposed to go to eat in order to get back to the theater for the afternoon rehearsal? Frankly, I don’t remember where we ate or if we ate.  I do remember the impact those words had on me.  My friend didn’t get upset like I did.  She was accustomed to being treated as a second-class citizen.

So much has changed in the 50 years since that March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King delivered what has become known as his “I had a Dream” speech. The rhetoric from Saturday’s gathering sickened me.  It was supposed to be a celebration of that important event.  However, these organizers turned Dr. King’s dream into his worst nightmare. Continue reading “MLK’s Dream now a Nightmare”