Chris's Rants

Friday, September 21, 2007

Supporting our troops?

This certainly doesn't seem to me to be very supportive (emphasis mine):
Despite overwhelming bipartisan Congressional support, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., stood his ground Wednesday, vowing to continue his hold on the Joshua Omvig Suicide Prevention bill introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, before the August recess. Coburn called the bill insulting to veterans and warned that its mandatory mental health screening could harm their future job options. "I'm going to continue to hold this bill until we work on the issues to guarantee freedoms of the veterans in terms of the tracking," Coburn said on the Senate floor.
The aim of the bill is to reduce the shocking rate of suicide among our men and women retuning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The VA estimates that more than 5,000 veterans take their lives each year. Suicide rates are 35 percent higher for Iraq veterans than for the general population. And the Department of Defense recently reported that the Army is now seeing the highest rate of suicide since the Vietnam War.
Sen. Coburn's reasoning? You'll love this one... :
"Out of the blue, Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma objected to the unanimous consent request," Harkin said. "And his principal reason for doing so is completely baseless. He speculates that if we have mandatory screening of all veterans for suicide risk, the resulting medical data might be used to deny a veteran the right to purchase handguns."
So, basically, Sen. Coburn wants to make sure that these deeply troubled heroes, returning from the clusterfuck that is the Iraqi civil war can purchase a handgun, despite the fact that they might well use it to take their own lives. How sick is that?!


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