The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been just as notorious for its overreach into Veterans’ lives as they have for completely ignoring them and denying claims. Back when Obama’s time in the White House was winding down (funny how that happens), the Los Angeles Times published a report concerning a new VA overreach. In their ‘wisdom,’ if a Veteran needs help managing their finances and requires a fiduciary, they are mentally incompetent.
Reporting this fiduciary to the National Instant Criminal Background Checks System (NICS), they would be prevented from buying firearms. As Breitbart reported in July 2019, Reps. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Collin Peterson (D-MN) were pushing legislation to keep the VA from stripping their rights. Roe’s statement said it best, too.
“Every day, servicemen and women fight to defend the rights endowed in our constitution. But, as veterans, those same men and women can be deprived of one of those rights by a government bureaucrat without due process…This is a disgrace, and the Veterans’ 2nd Amendment Protection Act would put a stop to it. By prohibiting the VA from sending information to the FBI about veterans or their family members without a judicial ruling stating that they are a danger to themselves or others, this bill would ensure that the veterans who fought for our rights are guaranteed their own.”
According to Fox News, the practice has been going on under Biden as well. Currently, there are laws in place that require the Department of Veterans Affairs to alert the FBI when a Veteran asks for help managing their finances via a conservatorship.
National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Mark Olivia spoke with Breitbart News on the matter. “How’s this? It is unconscionable that the very agency that is charged with caring for the needs of these patriots continues to work against their interests and strip them of their Constitutional rights simply because they need assistance managing their financial affairs. This practice isn’t tolerated for the rest of America, but the Biden administration perpetuates this. It makes veterans distrustful of the organization that is meant to care for their health, including those who need mental health support.”
While Sen. Kennedy’s Amendment passed on the 25th by a vote of 53 to 45, people like Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) argued against it. In his opinion, this will let “mentally incompetent” veterans have access to guns.
Let’s get a few things straight for Murphy here. For many veterans, they came into the military with bad financial habits. Buying a 5-year-old, 125k mile, clapped out Camaro for $30k, and 30% APR is par for the course for a new Private at their first base. Many of them marry the first woman who treats them well (for the moment), only to end up heartbroken and possibly bankrupt after giving her a general power of attorney. It also happens that many of them are also stars in the local cabaret. One that is also just outside the main gate.
Simply put, questionable financial decision-making and serving in the military simply go hand in hand.
This way of life makes military life less predictable. While that also requires having a certain degree of financial flexibility, it also means figuring out ways to make extreme things work on the fly. So, when they get out and are trying to budget, things can get a little difficult. Especially when their housing costs have gone up significantly, but their pension or disability compensation doesn’t go up correspondingly.
Consequently, they can find themselves living in less-than-ideal locations. Exercising their Second Amendment rights to bear arms in order to protect themselves and what is theirs is simply the American way. It doesn’t make them “mentally incompetent,” of advanced risk, or something for the population to worry about. Instead, the risk is usually to themselves and their living situation. They figure out ways to make it work, but when things fail in the long term, they ask for help again- this time in the form of a conservatorship.
If the VA would simply call them “financial planners,” “budget assistants,” or even “advisors,” the problem would be solved. Considering the fact that kids of the rich have these all the time to ensure they make smart financial decisions, this should be no different for veterans.