New Veterans Gun Control Plan

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago


This summer the Trump administration rolled out the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) – a long awaited strategy to bring down the rate of suicide in the military and among civilians. It focuses on enlisting community partners and a public awareness campaign to fight the stigma around seeking help during a mental health crisis.

Critics in congress have said the plan isn’t proactive enough. But it does address one issue that has been seen as politically taboo: access to guns.

Suicide is notoriously difficult to study since it’s a rare event, even as suicide rates for the military and civilians are on the rise. But if there’s one obvious place to fight veterans’ suicide, it’s firearms. Gun owners are four times more likely to die by suicide. Veterans are almost twice as likely to be gun owners, and one study showed that one in three vets store their guns loaded and unlocked. Guns are by far the deadliest method of suicide.

But keeping guns away from veterans has been politically radioactive.

“People really haven’t wanted to touch the issue of firearms safety,” said Terri Tanielian, a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND corporation.

She says the new White House roadmap was a bit disappointing – it took 15 months to endorse a set of recommendations that aren’t very new.

But she is happy that the White House plan mentioned “safe storage” of guns. There had been rumors that the powerful gun-rights lobby would get that section removed from the plan.

“Now that we’re wading into that water, it is good to see that we are willing to talk about it and engage partners and do something meaningfully on this issue,” Tanielian said.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been talking about gun safety since at least 2013, sometimes putting free trigger-locks in big bowls in the waiting rooms, like lollipops at the doctor’s office. Still, Dr. Matt Miller, director of VA suicide prevention, doesn’t say politically loaded words like “gun control.”

“We’re not talking about broad restrictions. We’re talking about lethal-means safety in the context of suicide prevention,” he said.

Miller wants to dispel the stigma about seeking help. He says anyone can be in emotional pain; anyone can have suicidal thoughts. He wants veterans to think about keeping guns safely out of reach when they’re in crisis. Miller said suicide is usually an impulsive act, but guns make it much more likely to be lethal.

“Miller wants to dispel the stigma about seeking help.”  Bull crap.  Here’s a stigma for you.  Any veteran who ever seeks emotional help will never get his rights restored and will always be incapable of filling out Form 4473.


  1. On August 5, 2020 at 4:26 am, Lord T said:

    Veterans in countries that don’t have easy access to guns, like the UK, have high suicide rates as well. So it isn’t just the guns. guns, like any tool, make things easier.

    However we also have counterproductive laws on mental illness. If a licensed gun owner suffers from depression for whatever reason, his guns are removed and he never gets them back. Even if it is temporary and triggered by an event that is recovered from. It encourages depressed firearm holders to not seek help which is counterproductive as left untreated they may actually get worse.

    Do gooders just screw everything up as they always think their solutions are the best and their thirst for power puts them in the position to force their views on others.

  2. On August 5, 2020 at 5:42 am, Duke Norfolk said:

    Yeah, because somehow me putting a trigger lock on my gun, or locking it in a big safe, or whatever, is going to keep me from getting to that gun if I’m so inclined to off myself. This is all B.S., just meant to keep the gun control agenda creeping inexorably down the path. F@#% them.

  3. On August 5, 2020 at 8:05 am, ragman said:

    Sure, get the guns out of the hands of the people that really know how to use ’em. And just might fertilize the tree of liberty with commie blood.

  4. On August 5, 2020 at 9:03 am, Fred said:

    @Lord T, gun ownership does NOT require a license. You are a controller. You and your east coast co-controllers plant this idea in the minds of the ignorant in hopes of one day licensing all gun owners as registration, so that you can take the guns, because unless you know who has them, where, and how many, through licensing, how can you take them? YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. You want my guns, Spanky? Be a man about it and take them all by yourself without the color of law and by training and equipping other men to do it for you.

    Don’t bother replying. I’m a 2A dead ender. You can’t convince me otherwise. I will die with my guns. It’s up to clowns like you and your nanny governments to decide if that’s peacefully at a ripe old age or otherwise, but I will keep my guns until the I die.

  5. On August 5, 2020 at 9:27 am, Fred said:

    Rand Corporation? I know what you are. All of your wars are unjust and every last one you will burn for all of eternity for what you’ve done to the American Soldier and Marine. It’s people like you that need to swing from a tree, hanged from the neck until dead, cursed of Holy God. It’s you, and people like you that are the major driver of suicide among vets. Curse You!

    These random thoughts by need work I admit, but they make the point. TL;DR – read the last 2 paragraphs below.

    Making War:

    “A war of self defense is a moral thing.

    Fighting a war is an immoral act. The only moral way to fight a war is to win. Losing a war because you won’t fight to win is immoral; it’s war for the sake of warfare, or even worse if it’s capitulation even in the form of allowing swarms of heathen barbarians to take your land and rape your women, and kill your sons, and own your daughters, instead of defending your nation. All moral decisions must be made at the outset which I’ve endeavored to make plain here but each man must pray and seek his own path. The decision must be made that the only solution before a holy and just God is to win. The Law of Nations and of Self Defense applies. He who draws first blood is in the wrong. Having settled that, then, there are no more morality questions, its kill or be killed. This question of “how do we fight them?” is now settled. You now go about to kill them, there are no more rules. Nobody wants to kill somebody but self defense is an imperative.

    You turn the entirety of all the forces that you can muster and all of its resources to the rightly natural task of survival and you kill the enemy. Then you kill them some more. You destroy their property and drive them out before you and then you kill them some more and then kill them some more again until the ones left alive submit completely. And, if you have to go Old Testament (forgive me LORD) to ensure the perpetuation of your people, then you do it, all moral decisions having been settled prior to the start. You do this because it is the right thing to do for your people and for your nation, for your posterity.

    Losing is the single most immoral thing a people could do. The Geneva conventions, the UN rules of Engagement, the Oslo accords and, Nuremberg are designed to prevent a winner. They were created to ensure the perpetuation of the post WWII power structure. This is why America loses, it’s by design. And it’s unnatural and immoral, it is sin.

    Giving a man what amounts to an eighth grade education, a rifle, and an inch thick rule book of field morality riddles and then expecting him to win is WRONG, it’s unjust. It’s harmful to the man and to our nation. The blood of every soldier’s suicide is on the creators of this heinous crime. May the creators and perpetrators of this injustice burn in hell forever. Amen.”

    Read the rest here:

    Curse You, Rand Corp.

  6. On August 5, 2020 at 10:32 am, John Barleycorn said:

    To argue that a vet needs a gun to kill is to disparage the very nature of military training and service.

  7. On August 5, 2020 at 10:39 am, John said:

    It will at the least put them under the onus of being unstable and the
    distinct possibilty of being arbitrarily “Red Flagged” until they die.

  8. On August 5, 2020 at 11:43 am, s said:

    @ Duke Norfolk,
    Absolutely! This isn’t about helping anyone. It’s about advancing the gun control agenda, no matter how they dress it up. We’re not buying it.
    @ Fred,
    Amen! I will keep my guns until I die as well (whenever that might be). People that don’t understand that mindset think we have some some kind of perverted fetish or fascination with guns themselves, or we’re compensating for some lack of confidence or manhood. I like guns and am intrigued by their history, design, and function, but I’m not hung up on the gun itself. I’d feel the same way over whatever personal defensive arms were at the apex of technology at any point in history – from swords and bows/arrows of the past, to anything that may come along in the future. Guns just currently happen to be at the intersection of several important factors that put them at the top of the heap for self defense purposes: affordability, availability, lethality, ease of “mastery”/training, etc. If something came along that met these criteria better than a gun, I’d jump on that.

    People ask with incredulity, “You’re willing to die to keep your guns?” My answer is yes. I’d feel the same about a wooden club, a sword, a futuristic “death ray gun” or whatever the arm du jour is. It’s not the machine or tool I’m willing to die for: it’s the fact that I will not be rendered toothless and be at the mercy of a tyrant once I’m stripped of my means of saying “No!” It’s a short trip from rendering a man defenseless to putting him in a cattle car. Don’t think it can’t happen here. Man is no different today than at any other time in the past, and our piece of dirt doesn’t have magical powers to prevent it from happening here.

  9. On August 5, 2020 at 12:45 pm, Ned2 said:

    Because taking away an upset veteran’s firearms will suddenly make him happy again!!!
    Don’t you see? Icky guns just depress people!

  10. On August 5, 2020 at 3:53 pm, Bad_Brad said:

    What’s worse than guns in the hands of private citizens? Guns in the hands of private citizens that know how to use them. They don’t give a shit about vets killing themselves.

  11. On August 6, 2020 at 2:29 am, Old Bill said:

    This is not new:
    When I returned from my first tour (Iraq), the out-processing folks were eager to give PTSD diagnoses. Leading questions were asked, intrusively, insulting questions were asked at the end of a long out-processing marathon, and any slight display of irritation was take for a symptom requiring greater scrutiny. I was already cognizant of the label involved in any such diagnosis, and so determinedly avoided any admission of the least chance of personal turmoil. They were visibly disappointed.
    That all occurred a very few months before returning vets were singled out as a danger for possible domestic terrorism.
    The main lesson is If you take the King’s gold, he owns you. In other words, that “benefit” so easy to get plants a hook in you that you’ll not get out again. Don’t be a sucker.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Second Amendment and was published August 4th, 2020 by Herschel Smith.

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