Wednesday, May 16, 2012

VA Tells the Truth About Guns - NRA attacks them {UpDated}

Just as I was posting this, and after uploading the pamphlet from the VA to an online doc reader to post within, CBS Newss had a report come on about Soldiers/Veterans with brain injuries, TBI's, in these two wars an a study related to athlete's and the head trauma's they suffer playing their sports with some developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE and leading to dementia.

I'm placing that report below this one.

The NRA Can't Handle It
05/16/2012 - Who can forget the climactic courtroom scene in a A Few Good Men, where Jack Nicholson's character, Col. Nathan Jessup, responds to a demand for the truth from a cross-examining Tom Cruise with the classic line, "You can't handle the truth"? It came immediately to mind when I read about the NRA's new crusade against the Department of Veterans Affairs for trying to protect the well-being of veterans suffering from dementia.

The Veterans Health Administration launched a public awareness campaign about gun access by dementia patients after an 83-year-old veteran pulled a pistol from his pocket in August 2000 and shot a doctor in a V.A. hospital emergency room in Salisbury, N.C. The agency later found that 40 percent of veterans with mild to moderate dementia had a gun in their homes.

In response, the VA's Office of the Medical Inspector issued an invaluable publication, "Firearms and Dementia," explaining the risks of firearms in the home. Although the focus is on the lethal mix of guns and persons suffering from dementia, the VA underscores the risk to others as well. According to the VA, "[t]he presence of firearms in households has been linked to increased risk of injury or death for everyone in or around the home, usually as an impulsive act during some disagreement," noting that "[t]his danger is increased when one of the persons in the household has dementia."

The pamphlet takes special note of the often-ignored problem of firearm suicide:


Of course, this is enough to drive the NRA around the bend. In a statement entitled "Veterans Administration Overdoses on Anti-Gun Prescription," the gun lobby decries the VA pamphlet as "what the taxpayers get when people who know nothing about firearms issues take their cues from people who lie about firearms issues..."

This is not the first time the NRA has sought to prevent military families from knowing the truth about guns. Our armed forces face an epidemic of suicide, with a service member committing suicide every 36 hours and a veteran committing suicide every 80 minutes. Although almost 50% of military suicides are committed with privately owned guns, the gun lobby's Congressional allies have succeeded in amending the National Defense Authorization Act to restrict the freedom of base commanders to talk to service members about guns in the home. read more>>>

Veterans Health Administration: "Firearms and Dementia"

If the NRA were a responsible organization, it likes to tout itself as but most know it for exactly what it is, then it certainly wouldn't be attacking issues like, nor those that lead to inform, this but sending, for free and not as a contribution seeking funding, to all it's members as well as seriously sitting down with others and actually discussing the dangers of weapons!

Study: War vets', athletes' brain injuries similar
May 16, 2012 - In recent years, more than 200,000 troops have tested positive for traumatic brain injuries, including concussions.

Now, CBS News correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook reports a new study finds they may be at risk for the same kind of long-term brain damage that is turning up in football players.

Nick Colgin came back from Afghanistan in 2008 with a Bronze Star for heroism and a problem that's destroying his life.

"A rocket-propelled grenade hit off the right side of my Humvee. I didn't realize it at the time but I suffered a traumatic brain injury," Colgin said. "I got home and I couldn't spell my own name and I couldn't read my own handwriting."

Four years after the explosion, his traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is all-consuming.


Right now, CTE can only be diagnosed after death, leaving Nick Colgin to wonder if he has it or not.

"The only thing that scares me most is that I have this and nobody will ever be able to tell me I have it until I pass away," Colgin said.

CTE increases the risk of a person slowly progressing to dementia over several decades. read more>>>

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