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2nd Amendment

Mass Shooters And SSRIs: Does America Have A Gun Problem Or A Mental Health Problem?

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So much of the discourse around rampage shooters focuses its energies on a single weapon: the AR-15. If only we could get these off of our streets, we’d be living in Shagri-La where no kids ever got shot at school and no churchgoers ever got shot while just trying to worship on a Sunday. 

Second Amendment advocates are quick to point out that the more striking common denominator of rampage shooting targets is the so-called “gun free zone.” Places where carrying firearms is nominally illegal (even for those holding the requisite paperwork) are overwhelming the target of unhinged psychopaths looking to get their name in the news or commit “suicide by cop.”

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This is certainly true, but there’s another culprit lurking behind rampage shooters – and it’s a political third rail to discuss. A significant portion of rampage shooters are on a class of psychiatric drugs known as SSRIs. 

What Are SSRIs?

SSRIs are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. You might know them better under their brand names like Prozac, Celexa, Lexapro and Zoloft. The ins and outs of how they work are a little Byzantine, but the short version is that they help to improve mood by managing how the brain uses serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in a general sense of well being. 

SSRIs are prescribed to millions of Americans, possibly tens of millions. So it’s important to point out that we are emphatically not saying that everyone on SSRIs is going to go out and cause a mass shooting. That would be irresponsible and, more to the point, untrue. 

Finally, we’re not saying that people “shouldn’t” use SSRIs. Whether or not to use psychiatric drugs of any kind is not a decision for us to make, but a private and personal decision to be made by individuals in conjunction with a qualified medical professional.

Rampage Shooters and SSRI Use By The Numbers

Again, we don’t want to demonize people experiencing mental health problems in general or SSRIs in particular. However, the connection between SSRIs and violence is so strong that the FDA mandates a black box warning on all SSRIs sold in the United States of America. This is true even of people with no prior history of violent behavior. 

What’s more, SSRIs can increase the chances of suicide in the patients taking them. Over one third of all suicides in the United States are committed by people who had SSRIs in their system at the time. 

As tragic as suicide is, however, it’s worth looking at the data on murder and SSRI use. And while correlation is not causation, the rise of rampage shootings in the United States and SSRIs are tightly linked. Buoying the theory that SSRIs have acted as an engine for the increase in rampage shootings is the small matter of just how many rampage shooters have been on SSRIs at the time that they committed their heinous and atrocious crimes. 

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There’s a small wrinkle to this: The data is unclear on whether or not people committed crimes before or after they went off their meds. So in some cases, there’s SSRIs in the perpetrator’s system, in others they’re merely prescribed. In both cases, the person could have abruptly stopped taking their medication which one is supposed to taper off of.

The data is unclear overall, but it’s difficult to get a definitive answer, because both the government and the media prefer to use anti-Second Amendment narratives or the specter of the “far right” as the go-to bogeyman for all mass shooters. 

Does America Have A Gun Problem Or A Mental Health Problem? 

It’s hard to say if America has a mental health problem, but Second Amendment advocates are emphatic that it does not have a gun problem. While the United States has one of the lowest rates of involuntary psychiatric commitment in the Western world, changing this is fraught with thorny political questions.

Start with this one: Who counts as “crazy” for the purpose of involuntary commitment? The criteria could easily begin used as political football, where one or both political parties keep redefining – or worse, adding to – who can and cannot be put away against their will. It’s not much of a stretch to see a world where opponents of the current government could be locked up for nothing more than their political beliefs, provided that their beliefs are defined as “insane.”

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Indeed, this is how the Soviet Union kept people in prisons and gulags for decades: opposition to the state was seen as ipso facto evidence of serious mental illness and an oppressive, punitive psychiatric regime was erected atop this. 

Every mass shooting is tragic and the role of mental health in these shootings cannot be ignored, even if one chooses to believe that SSRIs are not the culprit. There are no easy answers to the interplay between mental health and rampage shootings… however, a good way to begin protecting Americans of all ages from maniacs hellbent on destruction is to end gun-free zones and allow law-abiding Americans the opportunity to stop these monsters dead in their tracks. 

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2nd Amendment

Forces of Freedom Push Back Against National Red Flag Laws

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The upcoming visit of Vice President Kamala Harris to Florida isn’t just a routine affair; it’s a strategic move to promote yet another assault on our constitutional rights by the Biden administration. The so-called National Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) Resource Center, presented as a tool to prevent violence, is actually a thinly veiled attack on the Second Amendment. Let’s delve into why conservative voices and Republicans are vehemently opposing this Orwellian initiative.

A Closer Look at ERPOs: A Conservative Stand for Freedom

Under the guise of preventing harm, ERPOs grant authorities the power to strip individuals of their firearms based on vague and subjective criteria. Modeled after domestic violence protection orders, these laws trample on the rights of law-abiding citizens, eroding the very foundation of our freedoms.

Erosion of Due Process: A Fundamental Concern for Conservatives

At the heart of conservative values lies a steadfast commitment to due process and the rule of law. ERPOs flagrantly disregard these principles, allowing for the seizure of firearms based on mere allegations, often without the opportunity for the accused to defend themselves in court. This erosion of due process sets a dangerous precedent that conservatives cannot abide by.

Targeting Law-Abiding Citizens: Conservative Opposition

Despite claims of targeting individuals deemed a threat, ERPOs have the potential to be weaponized against law-abiding citizens. By exploiting vague criteria and subjective judgments, authorities can effectively disarm individuals without just cause, infringing upon their constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Conservatives recognize this blatant overreach and refuse to stand idly by as their rights are trampled upon.

A Federal Overreach: Conservative Concerns

Conservatives staunchly oppose the creation of the National ERPO Resource Center as a blatant overreach of federal authority. This centralized bureaucracy threatens to undermine the sovereignty of states and the rights of their citizens. Conservatives believe in the principles of limited government and federalism, and they refuse to allow the federal government to dictate firearm policies that should be left to the states and local communities.

Resistance from the Right: Conservative Leaders Speak Out

Republican leaders have been at the forefront of the opposition to this Orwellian initiative. Voices like Reps. Thomas Massie and Marjorie Taylor Greene have sounded the alarm, urging Americans to resist this assault on their freedoms. Conservatives across the country are uniting to defend the Second Amendment and push back against the Biden administration’s agenda.

Conservatives understand that the true path to safety lies not in surrendering our rights but in upholding the principles of liberty and justice for all. The Biden administration’s relentless pursuit of gun control measures is an affront to these principles, and conservatives will continue to stand united against any encroachment on our freedoms. It’s time to reaffirm our commitment to the Constitution and reject any attempts to erode our Second Amendment rights.

What do you think of the push for national red flag laws? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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2nd Amendment

Federal Judge Rules Second Amendment Protects Gun Rights of Illegals

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In a groundbreaking decision, U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman of Illinois has ruled that the Constitution extends Second Amendment protections to illegal aliens who enter the United States illegally. The ruling comes in response to a case involving defendant Heriberto Carbajal-Flores, challenging a federal prohibition on illegal aliens owning firearms.

Constitutional Protection for Second Amendment Rights

Judge Coleman’s ruling, delivered on Friday, asserts that while there exists a federal ban on illegal immigrants possessing firearms, this prohibition is unconstitutional as applied to Carbajal-Flores. Despite the federal law being deemed “facially constitutional,” the court found that there is no historical basis for firearm regulation that justifies denying Second Amendment rights to noncitizens who have not been convicted of violent crimes.

Judge Coleman stated that the statute violates the Second Amendment. Consequently, the court granted Carbajal-Flores’ motion to dismiss the charges against him.

Legal Precedent and Constitutional Interpretation

In reaching her decision, Judge Coleman referenced the landmark Supreme Court ruling on Second Amendment rights, emphasizing the absence of a historical tradition allowing the government to deprive noncitizens of their constitutional right to bear arms. This interpretation underscores the fundamental principle that the Second Amendment applies not only to citizens but also to noncitizens residing within the United States.

Implications and Future Proceedings

The ruling by Judge Coleman carries significant implications for the legal landscape surrounding gun rights and immigration. By affirming that the Second Amendment protects the rights of non-citizens, the decision challenges existing federal laws and sets a precedent for future cases involving similar circumstances.

Moving forward, the decision is likely to spark debates and legal challenges regarding the intersection of immigration status and constitutional rights. As the case progresses, it will be closely monitored by legal experts, advocacy groups, and policymakers alike, shaping the ongoing discourse on gun rights and immigration policies in the United States.

Conclusion

Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman’s ruling represents a significant development in the ongoing debate over Second Amendment rights and immigration laws. By affirming that noncitizens, including those who enter the country illegally, are entitled to constitutional protections, the decision highlights the importance of upholding fundamental rights regardless of citizenship status. As the legal proceedings continue, the implications of this ruling will reverberate throughout the legal and political spheres, shaping future policies and interpretations concerning gun rights and immigration in the United States.

What do you think of the federal court’s ruling? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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2nd Amendment

South Carolina Embraces Permitless Carry: Strengthening Second Amendment Rights

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In a resounding affirmation of Second Amendment principles, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has signed permitless carry into law, making it the second Republican-led state in as many days to adopt constitutional carry gun laws.

Governor McMaster’s Stance on Permitless Carry

Governor McMaster hailed the new legislation as a crucial step towards enhancing public safety and ensuring that law enforcement agencies possess the necessary tools to combat illegal gun use and possession by criminals. Speaking on the significance of the law, Governor McMaster emphasized its role in enabling law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges to keep career violent offenders behind bars, thereby safeguarding innocent South Carolinians from harm.

The NRA-Backed Bill: Key Provisions

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Backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), the permitless carry bill allows eligible citizens aged 18 and older to carry a firearm in public without the need to obtain approval and a permit from the government. This legislation represents a significant departure from the previous regulatory framework, which required individuals to undergo a permitting process before carrying a firearm in public spaces.

Bolstering Public Safety

Proponents of permitless carry argue that it enhances public safety by empowering law-abiding citizens to exercise their inherent right to self-defense without bureaucratic impediments. By removing the requirement for a government-issued permit, permitless carry ensures that individuals can protect themselves and their loved ones promptly in critical situations.

Legislative Approval and Support

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The bill garnered substantial support in both chambers of the South Carolina legislature, with the state Senate passing the legislation in a 28-18 vote and the state House approving it with a vote of 86-33. This bipartisan support underscores the broad consensus among lawmakers regarding the importance of upholding Second Amendment rights and promoting individual freedoms.

Addressing Concerns and Misconceptions

Critics of permitless carry have raised concerns regarding potential risks associated with expanded firearm access. However, proponents assert that responsible firearm ownership, coupled with stringent penalties for criminal misuse, mitigates these concerns and promotes a safer environment for all citizens.

South Carolina’s embrace of permitless carry represents a significant victory for proponents of Second Amendment rights and individual liberties. By enacting legislation that empowers law-abiding citizens to exercise their inherent right to bear arms, South Carolina reinforces its commitment to upholding the principles enshrined in the United States Constitution. As the national discourse on gun laws continues to evolve, the passage of permitless carry in South Carolina serves as a beacon of hope for those who champion individual freedoms and the preservation of constitutional rights.

Leave your thoughts about the victory of the Second Amendment in South Carolina in the comments below. 

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