Does it really require a lobotomy to be involved in government service?
OK, OK, yes… I do know a bunch of fine people who work in government, but stories like this… well… it just makes you wonder…
Then, you look at who the nation elected twice in a row—and who the Republicans put up against him—and you don’t wonder anymore… you simply know that we live amongst some really… “special”… people.
Bob makes a good point, but I think this story has more implications—bad ones.
Pennsylvania State Trooper Michael L. Keyes is in an odd situation.
When on duty, he can carry a gun.
Yet while off duty, he is barred by law from possessing any firearms, because seven years ago he suffered from deep depression, repeatedly tried to kill himself by taking drugs and was involuntarily committed for mental health treatment.
Keyes’ latest attempt to be allowed to have a gun all the time was rejected this week by the state Superior Court.
That court upheld an earlier ruling by Perry County Senior Judge Keith B. Quigley that Keyes’ involuntary mental health commitment constitutes an unsurmountable legal barrier to his ability to possess a gun while off duty.
An attempt to reach Keyes’ attorney, Joshua Prince, for comment on the case wasn’t successful Thursday. Keyes has been involved in legal battles ever since completing his mental health treatment. He also had to fight to be reinstated to the state police.
He was serving as a state trooper in Newport, when he was placed on temporary leave and ordered into mental health treatment in 2006. He finished treatment in less than a year and had to battle to get his job back, even after his doctor cleared him to go back to work.
An arbitrator’s decision ordering his return to limited duty was fought by the state police, but ultimately was upheld by Commonwealth Court. The state Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of that ruling, and he was placed back on duty in 2010. In 2012, Commonwealth Court also ordered that Keyes be awarded nearly $16,000 in back pay.
Keyes began battling for full reinstatement of his ability to carry firearms in 2008. The problem, according to court filings, is that the federal Gun Control Act bars those who have been subject to involuntary mental health commitments from possessing guns.
There are a couple of different things going on here, and in both cases our government is making the most perverse decision possible.
First, why does a person have a right to force an employer to hire or keep him? Any private security firm would consider it reasonable to simply not keep someone who had a breakdown. Would that be an insurmountable barrier? Probably not. But Keyes would have to persuade people he was trustworthy and an asset. He would need to basically win over a friend who was willing to give him a second chance.
But in the world of unionized government workers, none of that is permitted. It is all about court-enforced “rights.”
I have no idea if Keyes is a worthwhile state trooper or not. But I know for a fact that, since he gets to keep his job, someone without his history—someone who might be better—is not permitted to work as a state trooper.
Secondly, however, if a contrived “right” to keep a job is inalienable then how can a real inalienable right—to keep and bear arms—be forever suspended? The Federal Gun Control Act is unconstitutional on its face. There is no reason to claim that someone who has ever been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility is forever after too much a danger to be permitted to own or keep a gun. People are involuntarily committed for unjust reasons all the time. This is a frightening hole that Congress has carved into the Constitution.
And notice where these two opposed rulings lead. As long as you are an enforcer for the state then the rules don’t apply to you. If you’re wielding a gun for “law enforcement” then it is OK to do so even though, as a “civilian” (despicable word for a military occupied country) you are legally disarmed.
This is the double standard of a police state.