Krysta Sutterfield, 45, is like a growing number of Americans who take seriously their Second Amendment-guaranteed rights to bear arms.
She’s got a concealed-carry permit and carries a handgun frequently – to church, to the coffee shop, even to the doctor’s office.
But the decision to wear her firearm on that last stop resulted in an unpleasant experience for the Milwaukee resident and a federal appeals court ruling that police can enter the home of a gun owner without a warrant, seize weapons and cart off the citizen for an emergency mental health evaluation if a doctor suspects the person is a danger to herself or others.
The incident occurred in 2011 when Sutterfield’s psychiatrist reported his client uttered a suicidal remark during a difficult appointment. Sutterfield denies saying she might as well go home and “blow my brains out.”
Nine hours after the tip from the doctor, police forced their way into her home where she denied she needed help and asked the police to leave. Sutterfield filed a lawsuit following the incident.
But in a 75-page ruling, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found police were protected from her civil rights claims despite the fact that Judge Ilana Royner’s brief found, “The intrusions upon Sutterfield’s privacy were profound. At the core of the privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment is the right to be let alone in one’s home.”
Nevertheless, the three-judge panel ruled police were not culpable because, “There is no suggestion that they acted for any reason other than to protect Sutterfield from harm.”
Judge Daniel Manion suggested state legislatures should “provide for a judicially issued civil warrant process that would authorize law enforcement to enter someone’s home when there is probable cause to believe that she poses a risk to herself or others because of mental illness.”
This case should be a warning to every American about what happens when government becomes your doctor, as it has with Obamacare.
For years, doctors have been conditioned by government and their own medical associations to believe private firearm ownership is one of the gravest dangers to the public’s health. Governments have begun demanding doctors survey their patients about gun ownership. With the government takeover of the health-care system, it is a short inevitable step to warrantless searches and seizures and “emergency” medical and psychological evaluations, as Sutterfield experienced.
It’s not hyperbole to say, “And so it begins …”
This is, indeed, how it has begun over and over, time and time again, when free states become tyrannies.
When tyrannies disarm their populace, the next phase is often genocide.
Doctors may be well-intentioned when they call in police to check up on patients they believe to be depressed and a threat to themselves and others. But when the medical establishment and the government become one, the danger to civil liberties becomes grave.
The U.S. is entering this phase now – just one more reason to demand the total repeal of Obamacare. It not only poses a prima facie threat to liberty, its consequences reverberate beyond those we normally associate with health care.
What doctors and all Americans need to understand is that guns do, indeed, save lives.
It’s not just empty rhetoric. The statistics tell the story. Every day innocent, law-abiding citizens victimized by criminals save their own lives and the lives of others often simply by brandishing a firearm. One of the safest and freest states in the world – Switzerland – requires citizens to own firearms, for their own protection and the defense of the nation’s freedom and independence.
We cannot allow American to slide down the slippery slope of disarmament, as so many other societies have – much to their regret and torment. Neither must we ever give up our right to be safe and secure in our homes and our property – even in the name of safety and security.
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