First, although this is about a veteran being denied, for psychological reasons, his Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms, it is not about H.R. 2640. I am passionately, vehemently opposed to the so-called NICS "Improvement" Act, but this brave man faces the same egregious treatment whether H.R. 2640 passes, or not.
You see, this man, who fought for our nation, who watched innumerable friends die for it, who suffered for it in ways that lesser men (myself, for example) will never comprehend, shares the disability from which I suffer. No–he's not paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair (as far as I know), but he is an Illinois resident. As anyone familiar with Illinois gun laws should know, this is a horrid affliction.
One of the symptoms of this condition is the state mandated requirement for a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card to purchase or possess firearms and/or ammunition. The application for the FOID contains the following question:
In the past 5 years, have you been a patient in any medical facility or part of any medical facility used primarily for the care or treatment of persons for mental illness?
When his FOID next comes up for renewal, he will have to answer "Yes" to that question (on pain of prison time). This is because he has sought treatment at a Veteran's Administration hospital for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He has no record of violence (or even threatening violence), and has not shown indications of suicidal tendencies. He sought medical help from the VA because he does suffer from nightmares, insomnia, and some depression.
That is enough to deny him a FOID. Because the horrors he witnessed still trouble him, he will be denied the means to defend his life. Because he sought treatment for suffering he endured (and still endures) on behalf of this country, Illinois law mandates that he be thrown upon the tender mercies of any thug who means him harm.
What message does this send to war veterans in Illinois whose souls are scarred by the horrors they have witnessed? Deal with it yourself, or be disarmed. It says that the Veteran's Administration is in league with the Illinois State Police to either deny you the care you are owed, or to rob you of your Constitutional rights.
This is an outrage. This is disgusting. This is evil.