This is the next tactic to disarm us

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    Authoritarianism, or criminal government, can never feel free from fear as long as millions of people own guns, hence the long-term effort to disarm us.

    Almost all national politicians want Americans completely disarmed, even if few admit it, though they have done all possible to impress upon the public mind that private arms possession for any reason is un-American and not in the "public interest" because guns are "dangerous." Their debate is twisted nonsense, but people believe it.

    The politicians realize that mass forced confiscation will not work. It would result in the deaths of thousands of federal agents, if they could find enough of them to attempt such a thing. Nor have efforts at soft confiscation — requiring self-reporting and voluntary surrender of arms and accessories suddenly deemed illegal — been anything more than marginally successful in recent years.

    The truth is, the local sheriffs, rank-and-file police and military members are by-and-large pro-gun, and their families and friends are as well. For the most part, they would be loath to join federal agents in a forced confiscation program, though as we saw in the Katrina aftermath there are mindless drones who will follow confiscation orders without question. But most would likely join citizens in resisting such efforts. The result would be a bloody mess.

    So the elites have employed their propaganda machine, to great effect. Vast swaths of ignorant people have swallowed the notion that certain weapons — based only on appearance, form and function — are inherently more dangerous than others. Other anti-gun propaganda is used in pushing for the fix-NCIS bill (which is a bill ostensibly designed to make it a law that government agencies must abide by the law, but which will encourage governments to place people into the system over silly things like unpaid traffic tickets) and for banning people on the "terror watch list" from possessing guns. Both of these laws abuse the notion of due process and would work to unlawfully disarm people based on government error, innuendo and false charges.

    The topic of mental illness has jumped front and center in the gun debate in recent days in wake of the Valentine's Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas school in Parkland, Florida. Even many well-meaning conservatives have fallen prey to this trap and are advocating for laws to remove guns from people without due process under so-called "red flag" laws. A bill has been introduced to provide federal incentives — i.e., federal dollars — to encourage states to confiscate guns for the most sophistic of reasons. So-called "conservative" lawmakers have signed on.

    The NRA — which has fooled millions of people into believing it looks out for their 2nd Amendment rights — has signaled a willingness to support them.

    Mental illness is as nebulous and malleable a term as "assault weapon." Even psychiatrists admit that the classification of mental illness often relies on subjective criteria and that diagnoses for mental health conditions never rely on brain scans and blood tests. Conclusions of mental illness stem from observed behaviors and any behavior that seems outside what is accepted as normal at the moment can later be labeled abnormal — and therefore a mental illness — on a whim.

    For several years a push has been underway to label religious adherents as mentally ill. In 2006, biologist Richard Dawkins published his book The God Delusion, in which he characterizes belief in God as delusional. Dawkins cites the definition of a delusion as "a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence, especially as a symptom of a psychiatric disorder."

    In 2013, Kathleen Taylor, a neurologist at Oxford University, said in interviews that recent developments suggest that we will soon be able to treat religious fundamentalism and other forms of ideological beliefs potentially harmful to society as a form of mental illness. She maintains that religious fundamentalism may one day be treatable and that religious people will one day be able to be "cured."

    Taylor admits that the scope of what could end up being labelled "fundamentalist" is expansive. She continued: "I am not just talking about the obvious candidates like radical Islam or some of the more extreme cults. I am talking about things like the belief that it is OK to beat your children. These beliefs are very harmful but are not normally categorized as mental illness. In many ways that could be a very positive thing because there are no doubt beliefs in our society that do a heck of a lot of damage, that really do a lot of harm."

    Last year, the journal Neuropsychologia released a study that purported to show that religious fundamentalists are brain damaged. It claimed its research determined that religious fundamentalism is, in part, the result of a functional impairment in a brain region known as the prefrontal cortex.

    There are millions of gun owners in America who consider themselves Christian. Now we have atheists in places of influence and power declaring ad hoc that Christianity is a mental disorder that can and should be cured. The day is soon coming where a person's Christianity will get him labeled as mentally defective and therefore ineligible to possess weapons.

    The gun control problem is a mind control problem. The authorities know full well that they, with all their high-tech weapons, cannot subdue a determined people with private arms. Therefore, they use all manner of spurious persuasion to get you to give up your arms and to exert hostility toward others who won't. Same old divide and conquer.

    Be careful what you wish for.

    Yours for the truth,
    Bob Livingston
    Bob Livingston
    Editor, The Bob Livingston Letter™

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