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Sometimes, I just don’t know what to say:

The House voted 235-180 largely along party lines Thursday to repeal an Obama-era rule requiring the Social Security Administration to send records of some beneficiaries to the federal firearms background check system after they’ve been deemed mentally incapable of managing their financial affairs.

The rule, when implemented, would affect about 75,000 recipients of disability insurance and supplemental insurance income who require a representative to manage their benefits because of a disabling mental disorder, ranging from anxiety to schizophrenia. It applies to those between age 18 and full retirement age.

Republicans argued the rule, which was vigorously opposed by gun-rights and disability groups, would unfairly stigmatize people with disabilities and strip them of their Second Amendment rights without due process.

“This is a slap in the face for those in the disabled community because it paints all those who suffer from mental disorders with the same broad brush,” said House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. “It assumes that simply because an individual suffers from a mental condition, that individual is unfit to exercise his or her Second Amendment rights.”

If you need a representative to handle your SSI or disability check because you’re not mentally competent to do it yourself, then you probably shouldn’t be in the market for a gun.

I could craft an argument for why people with severe mental disorders who cannot work or handle money shouldn’t be handling firearms, but if you don’t agree instinctually then I doubt I could convince you.

People have different opinions and values about guns. Personally, I’m willing to make allowances and concessions to people with whom I disagree on these issues because I recognize that I how I feel shouldn’t be controlling for everyone. But, on this particular issue, I don’t see honest differences of opinion. I see Republican congresspeople who have no interest in keeping us safe.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at