|Photo Courtesy of US House of Representatives, Public Domain|
Several citizens of Arizona's Second Congressional District (AZ-CD-2) wrote letters of petition and concern to Rep. Ron Barber. The letters centered on concern over bills introduced into the US House and Senate that would greatly infringe upon the Second Amendment.
The letters addressed the natural right of self-defense against violent crime and tyranny that the Second Amendment was ratified to protect from governmental infringement. The letter writers included facts about lower crime rates in places that have looser restrictions on concealed carry and weapons ownership. They addressed the fact that even the US Supreme Court has ruled that it is an individual responsibility to protect one's life, family, and property from violent crime and not the job of police.
One letter writer documented police response times in regards to 911 calls over home invasions, attempted murders, and rapes. The information provided was to highlight the need for individual citizens to enjoy the freedom protected by (not granted by) the Second Amendment in order to fend off violent criminals.
In addition, some of the letters addressed concerns over proposals to place authority to suspend those rights being given to health care professionals and government bureaucrats. The authority to suspend those rights should not be taken lightly and should remain within the judicial branch instead of being migrated into executive branch powers. Furthermore, these concerns address rights to privacy, violations of HIPPA laws, and violations of the Fourth Amendment which protects citizens against search and seizure without a justified warrant issued by a judge.
The writers were voicing their concerns in hopes that Ron Barber would listen and vote against any bills designed to limit, further restrict, or otherwise infringe upon those rights.
Ron Barber is the Vice-Chair of the House Task Force To Prevent Gun Violence, a cabal of socialist oligarchs with designs on devaluing the Second Amendment to the point of making it ineffective to protect our natural right to protect our lives, liberties, and property.
As part of his efforts, Barber and seven co-sponsors introduced what appears to be an innocuous bill to fund and expand mental health training. The bill, HR 274, proposes increased federal fund allocations to enhance and reward that expanded training. The training is meant to increase personnel certified to identify individuals with mental health conditions so that they can be placed into databases which will deny them their Second Amendment protections without a court order or conviction. The bill itself doesn't address this database. That proposal is in another piece of legislation in an effort to pass these efforts under the radar.
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Mental Health First Act of 2013'.
SEC. 2. MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID TRAINING GRANTS.
Section 520J of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 290bb-41) is amended to read as follows:
`SEC. 520J. MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID TRAINING GRANTS.
`(a) Grants- The Secretary, acting through the Administrator, shall award grants to States, political subdivisions of States, Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and nonprofit private entities to initiate and sustain mental health first aid training programs.
`(b) Program Requirements-
`(1) IN GENERAL- To be eligible for funding under subsection (a), a mental health first aid training program shall--
`(A) be designed to train individuals in the categories listed in paragraph (2) to accomplish the objectives described in paragraph (3);
`(B) ensure that training is conducted by trainers that are properly licensed and credentialed by nonprofit entities as designated by the Secretary; and
`(i) at a minimum--
`(I) a core live training course for individuals in the categories listed in paragraph (2) on the skills, resources, and knowledge to assist individuals in crisis to connect with appropriate local mental health care services;
`(II) training on mental health resources, including the location of community mental health centers described in section 1913(c), in the State and local community; and
`(III) training on action plans and protocols for referral to such resources; and
`(ii) where feasible, continuing education and updated training for individuals in the categories listed in paragraph (2).
`(2) CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS TO BE TRAINED- The categories of individuals listed in this paragraph are the following:
`(A) Emergency services personnel and other first responders.
`(B) Police officers and other law enforcement personnel.
`(C) Teachers and school administrators.
`(D) Human resources professionals.
`(E) Faith community leaders.
`(F) Nurses and other primary care personnel.
`(G) Students enrolled in an elementary school, a secondary school, or an institution of higher education.
`(H) The parents of students described in subparagraph (G).
`(J) Other individuals, audiences or training populations as determined appropriate by the Secretary.
`(3) OBJECTIVES OF TRAINING- To be eligible for funding under subsection (a), a mental health first aid training program shall be designed to train individuals in the categories listed in paragraph (2) to accomplish each of the following objectives (as appropriate for the individuals to be trained, taking into consideration their age):
`(A) Safe de-escalation of crisis situations.
`(B) Recognition of the signs and symptoms of mental illness, including such common psychiatric conditions as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major clinical depression, and anxiety disorders.
`(C) Timely referral to mental health services in the early stages of developing mental disorders in order to--
`(i) avoid more costly subsequent behavioral health care; and
`(ii) enhance the effectiveness of mental health services.
Increasing identification, familiarization, and immediate response training for citizens is, in itself, a great idea. However, this proposal could lead to citizens treating mental illness in a manner similar to the Salem Witch Trials where opinion and hysteria weigh stronger than facts and empirical evidence in decisions to infringe upon Second Amendment protections.
Barber's office sent out automated form-letter responses. Each of the letter writers received the same canned response:
Barber completely ignored the concerns and specific issues addressed in these letters from his constituents. One of the letter writers stated "[H]e totally missed the point of my letter to him. Residents, PLEASE contact Rep Barber and tell him magazine bans will not help the problem. Criminals don't care about gun laws! He is proposing legislation that affects law-abiding citizens!".
Attempting to engage Rep. Barber in a dialogue on the issues, he responded to the form letter:
Rep Barber,As of this posting, the citizen has yet to receive a response.
Thank you for your reply. I can appreciate how you feel about your responsibilities to your constituents and your progeny. I feel the same way about my neighbors and my children, and recently born, first grandson.
I think you may have missed my point in my previous letter though.
I absolutely do not support magazine capacity regulations. That legislation will only impact law-abiding American citizens who also wish to protect their neighbors and families. A criminal who intends to commit a violent felony is not concerned about the lesser charge of a magazine violation. In fact, he/she may not even be concerned with his/her own life. There is no deterrence, except to the citizen who wishes to protect their family from the lawless thugs who will disregard these laws.
I believe you are a good man with good intentions, but I do not support you if you support this chipping away of the second amendment. Our Constitution should be sovereign and nonnegotiable.
[signature and phone number REDACTED]
Ron Barber succeeded his mentor, Gabby Giffords, after she resigned from her seat due to recovery from a failed assassination attempt. The left-wing extremist who shot Rep. Giffords did so because he felt her actions were not as progressive as they should have been. Mrs. Giffords, despite being a rather socialist-minded politician, was well known to listen to her constituents. She was known to vote against her personal ideology and in favor of her constituents' desires, to include endorsing several Arizona state-level laws and policies, to include "Constitutional Carry" laws that made it no longer necessary to acquire a permit to carry a concealed firearm in Arizona.
Barber is not doing very well in attempting to appear to follow in her footsteps.
Based upon his cold, form-letter response on this issue, it's obvious that Rep. Ron Barber does not understand that he is employed by his constituents. Instead, he displays that he believes he is part of an oligarchy that "owns the plantation" and his constituents are there to bend to his will.