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September 3, 2014

Boehner Confuses Mental Health Measure for Gun Control, GOP Author Says (Updated)

boehner 197 022714 445x296 Boehner Confuses Mental Health Measure for Gun Control, GOP Author Says (Updated)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:50 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner Thursday morning said that Congress had recently passed a provision to address whether people with mental health issues have access to weapons, but the measure’s Republican author said his bill actually does nothing of the sort.

Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., told CQ-Roll Call that despite Boehner’s assertion, his measure to incentivize outpatient treatment for mental health issues has nothing to do with keeping guns out of the hands of the severely mentally ill.

“Not our bill, no. It’s a whole different issue,” Murphy said. “I think he confused that. When he said that it dealt with it, I think he confused that.”

At his regular weekly press conference, Boehner was asked whether Congress should act to address Wednesday’s mass shooting at Fort Hood. He responded by telling reporters that Congress approved “funding for a pilot project dealing with mental health issues and weapons” as part of the “doc fix” deal to keep doctor pay from being cut.

“There’s no question that those with mental health issues should be prevented from owning weapons or being able to purchase weapons,” Boehner said. “This issue we need to continue to look at to find ways to keep weapons out of the hands of people who should not have them.”

When asked to what Boehner was referring, his staff pointed to language in the “doc fix” that established a pilot program to provide grants for assisted outpatient treatment programs under which certain people with serious mental illness receive court-ordered treatment while still living in a community. The bill passed the House under a cloud of controversy last week and has been signed by President Barack Obama.

“There is a clear nexus between improving mental health and preventing this kind of crime,” Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel said. “As the Speaker has noted in previous on-camera press conferences, if you look at each of these tragic incidents over the last several years, the mental health of the perpetrator was clearly an issue.”

The language is part of a larger rewrite of the mental health system Murphy introduced days before the one-year anniversary of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. But Murphy, a clinical psychologist, said the pilot program would do nothing to keep weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill.

“A person who is adjudicated or found mentally incompetent … that is grounds for you not to be able to purchase a weapon. If you voluntarily sign yourself in you can still purchase one,” Murphy explained. “What this provision that I had in there allows in states is an outpatient treatment for patients who have a risk of past incarceration or past multiple hospitalizations where they were a safety risk, to work to say, ‘We need to get you back in treatment, get your life back together.’ That does not necessarily preclude or affect anything about a person’s ability to own a gun, unless they also have a history of being put in against their will.”

The Fort Hood shooter, identified late Wednesday as Spc. Ivan Lopez, had mental health issues and was being treated for anxiety and depression. He was under evaluation for post-traumatic stress disorder, but had not yet been diagnosed, according to media reports. He served four months in Iraq, but saw no combat.

Murphy said that from what he has read about Lopez, state law in Texas would have done nothing to preclude him from owning a gun and that his own bill would also not have addressed the issue.

Murphy has in the past has linked his proposals to gun violence. Just before announcing his legislation, he said the deadly Navy Yard shootings “raised the issues of how we are handling mental health to stop this terrible violence.”

After the Sandy Hook shooting, Congress faced intense pressure to act on gun control. Top House Republicans, however, declined to move gun control measures, while Senate Democrats tried and failed. Boehner said at the time that the House should focus on mental health issues rather than gun control. Soon after, Murphy began crafting his legislation, which has stalled in the months since.

The “doc fix” bill also included a demonstration project designed to expand access to community mental health services, a plan based on Senate legislation introduced by Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow and Missouri Republican Roy Blunt. The bill was expected to be considered as part of the Senate gun measure before it was blocked.

Melissa Attias contributed to this report.

  • scallywag

    Yet perhaps what makes the impending violence that Ivan Lopez would eventually unleash was his final facebook post which included an image which stated: ‘Keep calm and no jodas,‘ translated as‘Keep calm and carry on.’

    What remains to be understood is when did Ivan Lopez buy his gun and had he bought it on the express purpose of retribution of perceived slights and was he by then in the final weeks barely hanging on to his sanity….?

    http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2014/04/ivan-lopez-facebook-just-lost-inner-peace-full-hatred/

  • Still too much government

    None of this nonsense should be done at the federal level. We simply have too much government.

    • alfie0077

      The Vatican will settle for none less than to control the USA. After all they have destroyed every nation south of the USA>

      The Vatican cannot allow the Constitution to be the supreme document. They cannot destroy a nation if it has an educated populace.

      Pilosi is Catholic, Boehner is Catholic, Kerry is Catholic, Biden is Catholic. Paul Ryan is Catholic. Half R, and Half D.

      Hey, this is the entire top echelon of the USA.

      DO NOT VOTE FOR CATHOLICS

      There are supposedly “two” parties, R and D. There is a third party, and it is of equal numbers to the Rs and Ds, and it is the C party. (actually, the C party is winning because the Rs and Ds are fighting each other instead of supporting the Constitution). The Catholics are a third of congress and senate. They also have “god before nation” which is “Vatican before the USA.” They are joined across both parties At this moment, they have installed 5/9 in the SCOTUS. They are in lockstep and are keeping the borders open, and free debit cards to every illegal alien Catholic invading terrorist that comes to the USA. It is time the USA citizens recognize that the Vatican has destroyed every nation it kisses. The Cs in the elected offices of the USA are intent in making the USA just as failed as every nation south of the US border. The SCOTUS recently stated in a decision that Corporations are “people” and can put unlimited funds into politics. This opens the gates for more Catholics to be put into office. Vote the Cs out of office and save the nation. Is this profiling, NO, it is just the evidence “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

      The Vatican is the largest “corporation” on earth. The amount “contributed” to candidates that are “good Catholics” is out of sight.

      Reposted and hope you do the same

      Caution: Catholics live in a haystack of failure and will seek the needle of success which they think refutes all the above. Failure is failure, and they will unsuccessfully deny it.

  • timmaguire

    Ahh…now I see the purpose behind the ever-expanding list of mental illnesses in the DSM series, to the point that most of us have some diagnosable issue.

    It’s back-door gun control.

    • Joe Snuffy

      why do you think the left always calls gun owners “gun NUTS”?

      • alfie0077

        It is not the “left” it is the Catholics. And they have invaded the “right” and now control the USA.

        The Vatican cannot allow the Constitution to be the supreme document. They cannot destroy a nation if it has an educated populace.

        Pilosi is Catholic, Boehner is Catholic, Kerry is Catholic, Biden is Catholic. Paul Ryan is Catholic. Half R, and Half D.

        Hey, this is the entire top echelon of the USA.

        DO NOT VOTE FOR CATHOLICS

        There are supposedly “two” parties, R and D. There is a third party, and it is of equal numbers to the Rs and Ds, and it is the C party. (actually, the C party is winning because the Rs and Ds are fighting each other instead of supporting the Constitution). The Catholics are a third of congress and senate. They also have “god before nation” which is “Vatican before the USA.” They are joined across both parties At this moment, they have installed 5/9 in the SCOTUS. They are in lockstep and are keeping the borders open, and free debit cards to every illegal alien Catholic invading terrorist that comes to the USA. It is time the USA citizens recognize that the Vatican has destroyed every nation it kisses. The Cs in the elected offices of the USA are intent in making the USA just as failed as every nation south of the US border. The SCOTUS recently stated in a decision that Corporations are “people” and can put unlimited funds into politics. This opens the gates for more Catholics to be put into office. Vote the Cs out of office and save the nation. Is this profiling, NO, it is just the evidence “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

        The Vatican is the largest “corporation” on earth. The amount “contributed” to candidates that are “good Catholics” is out of sight.

        Reposted and hope you do the same

        Caution: Catholics live in a haystack of failure and will seek the needle of success which they think refutes all the above. Failure is failure, and they will unsuccessfully deny it.

    • keyesforpres

      Precisely.
      Obama is trying to take over the mental health industry…just like the Soviets…and the gov’t decides if you have mental issues…

      • txlakedude

        And you keep throwing Obama this, soviets that, and people keep dying, yes. Dead people are cool to you??
        Your afraid that if you take a mental ill test, you will fail. Probably, yes?………lol
        Boehner, I’m pretty sure, is an NRAMember, and a conservative gun toter, isn’t he?…….lol
        You people are funnier, than a fart joke…..lol

        • keyesforpres

          F*** off.

  • http://politech.wordpress.com/ PoliTech

    Somehow the fact that almost all of these shooters are on drugs for so called “mental illness” is never mentioned. Psychiatric “doctors” pump basically normal people full of drugs that are known to cause violent behavior and then Neo-Marxist politicians like John Boehner, Babs Boxer, Chuckie Schumer, Leland Yee, etc. seek to apply Soviet Union methods of “mental illness” diagnosis for further political repression where taking guns away is just the first step.

    The American Psychiatric Association recently stated that there is a new mental illnesses … people with above-average creativity and cynicism have a mental illness called “oppositional defiant disorder” or ODD. Symptoms include questioning authority, negativity, defiance, argumentativeness, and being easily annoyed.

    But that’s just paranoid, right? Oops! If you agree, then we all must need some “treatment”.

  • Reginald Pettifogger

    Just why was Lopez still an E-4 with 9-years service?
    What happened to “up or out”?

  • alfie0077

    Look south and see that there is not one Catholic nation that allows guns. Boehner is Catholic. He does not need to read the stinking Constitution, He can get all he needs from the pervert in the black sack that talks to clouds in the sky and the cloud then talks to the pope.

    Wow, he wants to ban guns because a few hundred Americans get killed each year by Americans. He ignores the thousands of Americans that get killed each year by the illegal alien Catholic invaders. There is something wrong with the folks the listen to the Vatican dogma. Look at all the lack of success in any nation south of the US, then think several times before electing the Vatican folks into a public office.

  • Al Bumen

    For whatever reason, we tend to forget that Obama also lied about televising the Obamacare debates: http://youtu.be/Api4fUziAnI?t=5s

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