Arnold acused of lying about veteran’s suicide to further gun control agenda

Tom and Spencer Arnold

Actor Tom Arnold was confronted by the parents of his deceased veteran nephew, who claim that the young man’s suicide is being used by Arnold to rally for more gun control.

According to the Des Moines Register, Arnold penned a pro-gun control column to The Hollywood Reporter, claiming that his deceased nephew Spencer was “kicked out” of the Army National Guard after attempting suicide.

However, parents Wendy Burkle and Mark Arnold -who are Tom Arnold’s brother and former sister in law- fired back, saying that the piece was full of falsehoods, including the part about Spencer being “kicked out” for a suicide attempt.

“His dad and I would like to let everyone know that we believe that (Arnold) has embellished the story to make it Hollywood worthy,” Burkle said.

Since then, the family has requested that Arnold stop using Spencer’s name in writing.

Arnold claims that Spencer was in a poor mental state of depression and should never have been around weapons, though the state of Iowa issued the young National Guardsman a concealed carry permit and allowed him to buy five firearms.

According to his obituary, Spencer Arnold joined the Iowa National Guard in 2009 and honorably served for six years. He took his own life on May 2nd, 2016.

According to a #Enough post by Arnold, “I was on my way to the airport to fly in and take away all of his guns until he got it together. Unfortunately other members of my own family disagreed and helped hide him and his guns from his ‘crazy uncle Tom.”

An Iowa law enacted in 2011 requires courts to forward records to a national database whenever a person has been “adjudicated as a mental defective” or involuntarily “committed to any mental institution.” These documents are taken into account when an FBI background check is submitted for firearms purchases to prevent the sale of firearms to people who are considered mentally incompetent. Iowa is among 42 states that forward the information to federal levels, while five additional states file the records in an in-state database.

Arnold claims that while he is a supporter of gun ownership, he is working with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which has been rallying for stricter gun control for decades.

“I wanted to honor my nephew and the other vets and people with mental illness who can legally purchase guns,” he said. “I want to protect them and my 3-year-old boy and 7-month-old girl when they grow up and I’m not here.”

Arnold currently supports legislation that would give veterans annual physical and mental exams, as well as arbitrary firearms restrictions on “domestic abusers, violent felons or people on the terrorist watch list.” Under the current system, Felons and other related criminal entities are prohibited from owning firearms unless they can get their rights restored in court.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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