Diary

The left, the HITECH Act, and gun control

I have previously noted the requirement for searchability in computerized medical records, something mandated by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, abbreviated HITECH Act, which was enacted under Title XIII of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Pub.L. 111–5), the official name of the porkulus stimulus bill. We’ve noted before the urge to control in our friends on the left. It seems that everywhere you look, the left want to add another little bit of government control, for our own good, of course, because we really can’t be trusted to run our lives ourselves.

And so we come to the latest mass killing, the shootings on the campus of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. CNN reported that there were 13 firearms connected to the murderer,1 five pistols and one long gun in his possession during the killings, and two pistols, four rifles and a shotgun in the apartment he shared with his mother, all of which had been purchased legally from a federally licensed firearms dealer.

The murderer, who had washed out of Army Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina after only a month,2 apparently had no criminal record, or he would not have been able to purchase the weapons he had.3 While the killer has been, as always seems to be the case, described as a loner and a misfit, I have not yet seen any reports that he had been treated for any mental illnesses.

Which brings me back to the HITECH Act. We’ve mentioned, in the articles linked in the first paragraph, that the HITECH Act mandates that all medical records must be converted into electronic form, ostensibly to allow different health care providers to get a patient’s complete medical records, but that regulations require that some items be kept in a simplified format — specifically the Body Mass Index calculation, or BMI — which could only be necessary if someone wanted those records to be searchable. And now, President Obama is once again on his gun control kick, even though no existing gun control laws could have prevented the murderer and his family from purchasing firearms. Since we do not live in a Minority Report world,4 we cannot prevent people who have not yet committed a crime from buying firearms. But it won’t be long before President Obama or one of his fellow travelers decides that we should use the electronic medical records mandated by the HITECH Act to search to see if anyone attempting to purchase a firearm has even been treated for a mental illness or treated by a mental health care professional.5 Psychiatrists and psychologists are not (yet) required to report every instance of treating patients to the authorities, something which would be covered by doctor-patient privilege, but, with HITECH, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms or the FBI or whatever other police agency the federal government decided needed to see such records could go ahead and look.

Count on it: the left will want to use the HITECH Act mandated records to prohibit law-abiding Americans from exercising their rights to keep and bear arms. Why, that’s just “common sense” gun control, we will be told, and no one could reasonably object to that, right?

Well, I object! Our Constitution guarantees that our right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and the Fourteenth Amendment states that “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Without due process of law, which would mean that the state must actually convict someone of a crime, our rights under the Second Amendment cannot be abridged or infringed. Looking into whether someone has seen a psychiatrist before being legally allowed to purchase or own a firearm would be a direct violation of our rights.

Further, the use of the HITECH Act mandated medical records by law enforcement would be a violation of our Fourth Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable searches, and the unwritten right to privacy recognized by the Supreme Court in Griswold v Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965). President Obama has not (yet) advocated this, nor has anyone on the left (of whom I am aware) made such a proposal, but it’s coming, it’s coming.

And this is the entire problem for the left when it comes to gun control. We have already passed every law we need — arguably more than we need — to ban convicted felons from owning or possessing firearms. Those laws apply to those who are already convicted criminals, to those who have already proved themselves to be untrustworthy, and the Constitution specifically allows that.6 What President Obama and the left want to do is to prohibit those Americans who haven not been convicted of any crime, those people who ave been obeying the law, from owning firearms; to them, the Second Amendment and our rights to keep and bear arms are just so much 18th century garbage. Those people cannot be trusted!

When it comes to your freedom, when it comes to our liberties as Americans, we must always fight the left, we must do everything we can to keep them out of power, because, once in power, they will do all that they can to restrict our liberties, to take away our freedom, and to subjugate our rights to the “good” of the State.
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1 I have chosen not to use the murderer’s name, something which is known. It seems to me that many of these mass murderers are essentially committing suicide-by-cop, looking for some last 15 minutes of fame as they go to Hell, and I shall not participate in giving it to them.
2 Both of my daughters have passed that course.
3 CNN reported that Celinez Nunez of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said that all of the weapons had been legally obtained by the shooter or family members over the last three years through a federally licensed firearms dealer. Unless the CNN report used terrible grammar, this sentence must mean that both the killer and some of his family members bought weapons, meaning that none of the people who purchased the weapons had any felony convictions or faced pending criminal charges at the times of the purchases.
4 Minority Report is a film set in 2054, where a specialized police unit arrests people based on psychic foreknowledge that someone who has not yet committed a crime will do so in the future.
5 This could even include being seen by a marriage counselor.
6 Many on the left have argued that we should end the policy of felony disenfranchisement, under which convicted felons lose the right to vote, something allowed under the Fourteenth Amendment, once they have served their sentences. How odd it is, then, that we never see anyone on the left arguing that convicted criminals should have their Second Amendment rights restored after they have served their sentences.