BTW the Times' own head for it is "editorial", not "article".
I have my own knee-jerk objection, of course.
"that other constitutional right ? to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"
None of those availble to a soldier in wartime, so why discuss them?
And suicide is certainly sad; no doubt you have that in mind, but the Times agrees with us on that.
Locked, Loaded and Looney
Published: August 30, 2007
As the Army?s suicide rate hits record levels in the Iraq war, there?s small wonder practically everyone in Congress wants to deal with the parallel emerging crisis of depressed veterans tempted to take their own lives. Everyone, that is, except Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma. He stands alone in blocking final passage of a suicide prevention bill in fear that the government?s record-keeping on troubled vets might somehow crimp their ability to purchase handguns.
Even the craven gun lobby should manage some shame over this absurd example of Second Amendment idolatry.
The House has unanimously approved a measure mandating the screening of all veterans for suicide risk, but Senator Coburn worries that veterans? medical data might be appropriated by other agencies to deny that all-encompassing right to wield arms on the domestic front.
The senator?s office points to another bill near passage ? prompted by the Virginia Tech gun massacre ? that would encourage states to do a better job of listing mentally troubled individuals on the federal roll of risky gun purchasers. But tying these two measures together is itself evidence of defective reasoning, or at least scurrilous politicking. The Virginia Tech measure has nothing to do with veterans and affects only those Americans formally judged by a court to be mentally disturbed.
It is an eminently good thing that the anti-suicide measure would require medical specialists to keep track of veterans found to be high risks for suicide. But that?s to care for them as human beings, under that other constitutional right ? to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Respect for the grave sacrifices by veterans requires the Senate to strike down the Coburn ploy and hurry this vital measure to President Bush.