Over 40 million Americans over the age of 18 suffer from anxiety and/or depression. Many of them rely on anti-depressant drugs to get them through the day while others have learned to control their out-of-whack emotions without them. Depression is more common than a pesky cold, it’s treatable, and it does not turn anyone into a stone-cold killer.
The Aloha State has refused to issue a gun permit to a U.S. Naval officer with no history of mental health issues because they took it upon themselves to determine that he was too sad to own one.
Michael Santucci from Fort, Myers, Florida is a cryptologic warfare officer stationed in Hawaii. A few months after arriving at the Naval station, he started getting homesick for his friends and family and became overwhelmed by the sadness. This is not uncommon for military members.
Doing what he felt was right, Santucci visited a doctor on base to see if what he was experiencing was normal or if he might need some help. The officer was not diagnosed as having any mental health issues, and he felt much better after speaking with a therapist. Case closed.
Hawaii has a unique law that allows officials to access the personal medical records of anyone trying to purchase a firearm, and Santucci’s active-duty military status had no bearing when he went to buy one from a local retailer.
When filling out the application for ownership, Santucci was above board about having visited a shrink but he also added a sidenote saying that it was “not serious.”
Imagine the sailor’s surprise when the police sent him a letter to say he needed to submit a written certification from a psychologist confirming that he wasn’t batshit crazy. Because of that one doctor visit, he was told he needed written documentation to confirm that he was no longer suffering from any mental disorders that he’d never been diagnosed with and never had.
Here’s where the rock meets the hard place. Department of Defense personnel, inclusive of physicians, are forbidden by federal law from providing such statements. With no options remaining, Santucci will see the state of Hawaii in court. He’s aimed a lawsuit straight at them.
As a military officer involved in the strategic planning of warfare, the lawsuit notes how the U.S. Navy has zero problems with him owning a legit firearm. Santucci is fully trained and qualified on several types of weapons far more deadly and powerful than the pea-shooter he’s trying to purchase.
Santucci isn’t playing. He’s hired a team of attorneys, one of whom clearly stated how it’s unconstitutional for any state to demand a medical evaluation of anyone attempting to exercise their right to own and bear arms, especially when there is no history of mental illness. “We’re challenging the process,” said Atty. Alan Beck.
In a motion for trial, the attorney team said, “As a practical matter, the City makes the applicant disprove a negative — I am not incompetent — which is expensive and burdensome, especially considering that virtually all Hawaii doctors refuse to write the waivers the City requires as proof of mental competency.”
Hawaii is as liberal as they come. Having only voted Republican twice since its 1959 statehood, its elected officials fart lollipops and rainbows. This will be a challenge for Santucci’s attorneys, but when a U.S. military officer is refused the right to purchase a firearm, they need to go in with their virtual guns blazing.
Even if you don’t live in Hawaii, this should be of major concern. If one state can enact an unconstitutional law such as this, so can the rest of them. Perhaps the best way to approach this atrocity is to make Hawaii’s liberal governor, David Y. Ige, uncomfortable by filling up his email box with suggestions to help this issue gain better national attention.