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Surgeon General nominee's vow to refrain from anti-gun agenda likely big fat lie

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As the hard-charging, no compromise gun rights advocacy group Gun Owners of America warned members Tuesday, the Senate is considering President Obama's nomination of the rabidly anti-gun Dr. Vivek Murthy as the next Surgeon General of the United States:

Make no mistake about it: Murthy is an anti-gun fanatic. Not only that, as Surgeon General, Murthy could channel huge amounts of taxpayer dollars to "junk science studies" intended to prove that guns should be banned.

The anti-gun "junk science" has been repeatedly discussed here and elsewhere in the past, and as Surgeon General, Murthy would be in a very strong position to order such "studies," thus helping the more credulous among the public perceive some justification for oppressive new gun regulation, all backed up by the authority of both academia and the federal government.

GOA also notes that Murthy is co-founder and president of "Doctors for America." Let's see what they want:

As the nation mourns the fallen children and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary School, we must take a stand against gun violence as a public health crisis that claims far too many lives. It's time for common sense gun rules like background checks and banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, as well as a comprehensive plan to address gun violence including ensuring funding for research and data-collection on gun violence and ensuring that health care providers can ask patients about gun ownership in order to counsel them appropriately about safety measures.

In other words, this group actively lobbies for the banning of so-called "assault weapons" and "high capacity" magazines, mandating "universal background checks," precisely the kind of "junk science" mentioned above, and doctors' intrusion into patients' gun ownership.

They also claim to debunk "myths" propagated by gun rights advocates--evidently by using . . . myths. They even give themselves "credit" for having "helped move President Obama to issue key executive orders: 1) allowing the CDC to conduct research on gun violence . . . "

Gun rights advocates are also rightly casting a gimlet eye on Murthy's Twitter feed:

Tired of politicians playing politics w/ guns, putting lives at risk b/c they're scared of NRA. Guns are a health care issue. #debatehealth

@Drsforamerica launched doctor-nurse campaign demanding gun safety legislation from Congress. Please sign and share!

NRA press conference disappointing but predictable - blame everything in the world except guns for the Newtown tragedy. #wakeup

Doctors, med students crafting strategies for getting to yes on gun violence laws. Grassroots in action.

Signs of progress-we got 20 votes in the senate in favor of gun violence legislation that we wouldn't have had 1 year ago. Have faith

18,000 annual gun suicides. 80% suicide success with guns, 2% without. Most survivors never reattempt - Eric Fleegler #dr4a conference

Docs fired up to keep fighting for gun safety laws @Drsforamerica natl conference with @haroldpollack Brina Milikowsky, Eric Fleegler #dr4a

And here he "retweeted" some anti-gun noise pollution from the above-mentioned Doctors for America:

Please ReTweet: Doctors, Nurses, & #HC students to Lawmakers: Stop Gun Violence. Sign our petition here: http://bit.ly/V0iKt4 @drsanjaygupta

Given his obvious passion (fanaticism?) for "gun control," one is tempted to reach for a very large grain of salt upon learning that during Tuesday's Senate panel confirmation hearing, when Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) asked Murthy if he would use the Surgeon General's "bully pulpit" to stump for "gun control," Murthy claimed that he would not. From Medscape:

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) forced Dr. Murthy's statement on gun control when he referred to the physician's gun-control tweets, including one that said, "Tired of politicians playing politics w/guns b/c they're scared of NRA. Guns are a healthcare issue."

Alexander said he would be reluctant to confirm a Surgeon General nominee with a gun-control agenda.

. . .

"I do not intend to use the Surgeon General's office as a bully pulpit for gun control," replied Dr. Murthy. "That is not going to be my priority. My priority and focus is going to be on obesity prevention."

Obesity is indeed a big (no pun intended) health problem, killing far more Americans every year than the number who die from "gun violence," and for that problem to be the Surgeon General's top priority makes sense (although one cannot help but wonder if he has some kind of Mike Bloombergesque "Big Gulp ban" nanny-statism in mind). Still, for Murthy's hostility to private gun ownership to be a serious problem, the gun ban agenda does not need to be anything like the Surgeon General's top priority. He could do real damage in his spare time.

Besides, he has already stated (well, tweeted, anyway) that, "Guns are a healthcare issue." If he believes that, can he not believe that the Surgeon General's responsibilities would include advancing the anti-gun agenda?

With Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) having invoked the "nuclear option" for Senate approval of most presidential appointees, meaning that a simple majority will be enough to confirm Obama's choice for Surgeon General, blocking Murthy will be difficult to do. Indeed, several news sources have reported that Murthy "breezed through" the confirmation hearing Tuesday, despite some doubts by Republicans regarding his stance on oppressive "gun control," as mentioned above, and for his enthusiastic support for Obamacare (itself another matter of concern for gun owners).

Still, there's no sense in letting the confirmation go through uncontested, and Gun Owners of America has composed a form by which one can urge one's United States Senators to oppose Murthy's appointment.

Murthy may well be telling the truth in his claim that his biggest priority if confirmed will be tackling the obesity problem, but there should be no doubt that he would also dearly love to put Americans' gun safes on a crash diet.

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