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Betsy Markey targeted by Gun Owners of America -- because of her health-care vote?

In the immediate aftermath of yesterday's health-care vote in the U.S. House, Republican Party types have deemed a number of representatives nationwide as being ultra-vulnerable, with Betsy Markey's name coming up as often as anyone's. One reason: Markey voted against the health-care measure in November -- a decision that a Cory Gardner rep still managed to criticize -- before voting in favor of it yesterday.

Now, of course, even more organizations are standing in line to take a swipe at Markey -- among them, Gun Owners of America, a Virginia-based organization that sees the health-care bill as anti-gun, too. Why? The group's argument involves government-takeover fears, not to mention weapons bans for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder that were enacted during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. Who knows how mad they'll be if Colorado lawmakers refuse to let vets treat PTSD with medical marijuana, too.

Try to figure out the gun owners' concerns below:

Rep. Betsy Markey Headed for Early Retirement? Representative Markey follows Pelosi on ObamaCare

(Springfield, VA) - Gun Owners of America denounced Rep. Betsy Markey's vote for the massive health care overhaul.

Markey, representing Colorado's 4th Congressional District, flipped her "NO" vote of last November and supported the anti-gun bill on final passage.

"Betsy Markey decided to ignore the pleas of her constituents and vote with Nancy Pelosi to pass ObamaCare," said GOA's Vice Chairman Tim Macy. "A Representative cannot vote for this abomination of a bill and expect to remain in office after the next election."

Gun Owners of America adamantly opposed the government's takeover of health care because of the threats posed to millions of law abiding gun owners.

"The Veterans Administration has already taken away the Second Amendment rights of tens of thousands of veterans who suffered from common aliments such as PTSD -- something that affects as many as one-third of returning combat veterans," Mr. Macy said.

"Since 1999, over 150,000 vets have lost their Second Amendment rights for life because, based on the opinion of government psychiatrists, a third party was appointed to oversee their financial affairs.

"These veterans lost the right to own firearms not on the basis of a criminal conviction; they were not afforded meaningful due process of law; they served their country honorably; and yet they are subject to a lifetime gun ban ... thanks to government bureaucrats."

The VA controls a national health record database, so it was simply a matter of a few keystrokes to add the names of these vets to the FBI's gun prohibition list. This travesty of justice began administratively under President Bill Clinton in 1999, and was codified by a law signed by President George Bush in 2008.

Based on the experience of veterans, GOA warns that the prohibited person list will grow dramatically under ObamaCare.

"If the government can take away the gun rights of veterans for health reasons, watch out when socialized medicine comes to the rest of society," Mr. Macy said.

"Any politician who voted for the Obama/Pelosi health care monstrosity voted to potentially take away the gun rights of millions of Americans. A vote for ObamaCare is a vote for gun control."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts