Military veterans are already under attack by federal government regarding their 2nd Amendment rights. If Veterans Affairs decides that a particular veteran is incompetent to handle his own financial affairs, they give that information over to the FBI who adds that person’s name to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). As long as your name stays on that list, you won’t be able to own a firearm. And if a military veteran is found in possession of firearms in spite of being labeled “incompetent” by the VA, he can be fined and/or jailed.
Now, this particular case doesn’t necessarily have to do with the VA labeling a military vet as incompetent. He’s merely the victim of a really stupid bureaucratic federal system that’s aimed at trying to prevent guns from ending up in the hands of bad people. As a fellow blogger pointed out, a federal government concerned more with prevention rather than punishment of crime results in a society where crime is neither prevented nor punished justly. And the law-abiding are treated as criminals.
Ron Kelly retired from the Army in 1993 after 20 years of service. As an infantryman who fired tanks and machine guns, he likely expelled over 100,000 rounds. So, I think he knows his way around a gun. But when he tried to buy a .22 caliber rifle at a local Wal-Mart recently, he was turned down because of an old conviction.
Forty-two years before, when he was in high school, he got arrested for having a baggie of marijuana. He wasn’t even sentenced to a night in jail, but he did get one year of probation. This was back in 1971, and two years later, he joined the army.
He said that he had forgotten about his high school misdemeanor. He even contacted his home state of North Carolina to find out if they had record of his two-score-and-two-year-old arrest, and they didn’t, because it was so old. But the FBI obviously remembered. And they’ll never forget, because they want to make sure that no gun ends up in the “wrong hands.”
According to the FBI, a person can be barred from owning a firearm if he was convicted of a misdemeanor “in which [he] could spend more than two years behind bars.” Kelly didn’t spend a day in jail, but such a charge could have resulted in two years jail time in those days, depending on how the judge ruled.
So, he was barred from purchasing a .22 rifle. I mean, you can never take chances with people like Ron Kelly. He may be 59 years old now and a seasoned Army vet, but as a 17 or 18-year-old, he made a mistake, and therefore should never be allowed to defend himself with a gun for the rest of his life. If he ends up being the victim of an armed robbery or murder, it will be the federal government’s fault for denying him a most basic right.