Thanks to Donald Trump, thousands of mentally ill Americans will now be able to purchase guns after the president signed a measure on Tuesday to reverse a gun rule enacted under former President Barack Obama.
Obama took the steps shortly after the mass shooting in San Bernardino, which left 14 dead and 22 injured, and following years of inaction by Republicans in Congress – even after 20 schoolchildren were slaughtered by a deranged gunman in 2013.
As USA TODAY notes, the move by Trump undid a regulation that would have strengthened the background check system by requiring the Social Security Administration “to submit records of mentally disabled people to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.”
According to CNN:
While the list of eligible mental disorders is long — ranging from anxiety to eating disorders to schizophrenia –those who would have been reported by the agency had to meet two main criteria: a) They were receiving full disability benefits because of a mental illness and couldn’t work and b) they were unable to manage their own benefits, thus needing the help of a third party to do so.
The rule would have applied to 75,000 people who were deemed mentally unfit to purchase a firearm – that’s quite a few guns.
Now, this isn’t to say that all mentally ill people are dangerous and violent – that’s hardly the case. But there are some folks who shouldn’t have access to firearms, and this Obama-era measure was an effort to crack down on those individuals.
Thanks to Trump and NRA-controlled Republicans in Congress, this safeguard is no more and guns are more likely to fall into the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.
Do you feel safer yet?