TIME Magazine grossly mischaracterized factual information Monday in an attempt to propagate the Left’s gun control narrative that inevitably follows a mass shooting in the United States. The headline says it all: “President Trump Blamed The Texas Shooting On 'Mental Health' But He Made It Easier For Mentally Ill People To Buy Guns”.
And just like that, the Left reads the headline and goes berserk without ever digging deeper into the bill that supposedly “made it easier” for insane people to acquire deadly weapons. Before you fall for the misleading headline, let’s talk facts.
The actual purpose of the bill referred to by TIME was to undo a last-minute Obama regulation approved by the Social Security Administration after Trump was elected. In 2013, following the Sandy Hook school shooting, then-President Obama first suggested the original regulation, which required the automatic reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) of Social Security recipients whose benefit payments are sent to a designated “representative payee” because the recipients are considered incapable of maintaining their own financial affairs. Inclusion in the NICS effectively prohibits a person from purchasing a firearm. This is an obvious restriction of Second Amendment rights, as well as Social Security recipients’ rights to due process, and was a bill reversing the regulation supported by the ACLU.
In its statement supporting repeal of the regulation, the ACLU said it supports lawful firearm regulations, but “[at] the same time, regulation of firearms and individual gun ownership or use must be consistent with civil liberties principles, such as due process, equal protection, freedom from unlawful searches, and privacy. All individuals have the right to be judged on the basis of their individual capabilities, not the characteristics and capabilities that are sometimes attributed (often mistakenly) to any group or class to which they belong. A disability should not constitute grounds for the automatic per se denial of any right or privilege, including gun ownership.”
This is yet another gun-control measure that addresses a problem that’s never existed. There has never been a mass shooting by a Social Security recipient whose checks were sent to a representative payee. The legislation passed in February, 2017, that repealed Obama’s unconstitutional regulation, would not have stopped Devin Kelley, Stephen Paddock, Dylann Roof, Omar Saddiqui Mateen, or Adam Lanza. Congress and the President merely stopped an unconstitutional last-minute Obama rule that violated the rights of vulnerable American citizens.
It’s worth noting that the legislation signed by Trump was not passed exclusively along party lines, either. In the House, six Democrats voted for the repeal. In the Senate, the bill passed 57 to 43, and while all 52 Republican Senators voted in favor of the repeal bill, so did four Democrats and one independent. And of course, it was Congress which passed the measure with solid majorities in both houses in the first place; all Trump did to enact the bill was to sign it.
So no, TIME, you’ve got it wrong. Trump didn’t “make it easier” for the mentally ill to buy guns. He merely did his part protecting our nation’s constitutional right to due process. Trump signed a bill that prevented the Obama administration from passing a last-minute regulation specifically designed to advance a gun-control agenda by unfairly stripping rights away from American citizens. That’s how the headline should read, but I suppose framing legislation honestly wouldn’t further the Democrats' narrative and agenda.