Sunday, December 22, 2013

It's On The Internet So It Must Be True

This morning I stumbled across a quote attributed to Senator Dianne Feinstein of California.

All vets are mentally ill in some way and government should prevent them from owning firearms.

Depending on which site you find this references, the senator said these words at during Senate Judiciary Committee meeting in April, July, August or September.

So I did a little searching and found a site that actually addresses what was said, whereas most sites just blindly repeat the statement as if it's true, probably because it fits their confirmation bias. This is what she had to say when Senator John Cornyn of Texas offered an amendment that would have exempted military veterans from the assault weapons ban.

If I understand this, this adds an exemption of retired military. As I understand our bill, no issue has arose in this regard during the 10 years the expired ban was in effect and what we did in the other bill was exempt possession by the United States or a department or agency of the United States. So that included active military. 

The problem with expanding this is that, you know, with the advent of PTSD, which I think is a new phenomenon as a product of the Iraq War, it’s not clear how the seller or transferrer of a firearm covered by this bill would verify that an individual was a member, or a veteran, and that there was no impairment of that individual with respect to having a weapon like this. 

So, you know, I would be happy to sit down with you again and see if we could work something out but I think we have to– if you’re going to do this — find a way that veterans who are incapacitated for one reason or another mentally don’t have access to this kind of weapon.

While she was incorrect that PTSD is a new phenomenon, she did not say that all vets are mentally ill and that the government should prevent them from owning firearms. But that did not stop Senator Cornyn from misrepresenting what she said:

I think it’s a mistake to paint so broadly as to say that any active duty military or veterans can’t use these kinds of weapons or any other lawful weapons for self-defense, and certainly I wouldn’t want to suggest that we think people who served in the military all suffer from some debilitating illness that would prohibit them from being able to defend themselves.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your clarification