Dr. Vivek Murthy was nominated by President Obama to be the next surgeon general of the United States. The nomination is stalled, because of Murthy’s long record of activism against the Second Amendment. Evidently, Dr. Murthy believes that the Bill of Rights is a heath problem.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has changed the rules of the Senate to remove the 60 votes necessary to cut off a filibuster of President Obama’s nominees. The goal was to make it easier to force through nominations that have no bipartisan support and to knee cap Republicans in the Senate who have used the filibuster to slow and stop Obama’s out of the mainstream nominees. Reid thought the elimination of the filibuster would make it easy to confirm even the most extreme nominations, but he was wrong.
The Murthy nomination has become a referendum on gun control. The left believes that they have made progress in pushing legislation to curtail Second Amendment rights, yet they can’t get the Murthy nomination passed. Too many Senate Democrats value winning re-election to the Senate more than confirming a controversial nominee to surgeon general.
The National Rifle Association wrote a letter to the Senate on February 26, 2014 where they explained the reasons for strongly opposing the nomination.
In his capacity as president of Doctors for America, Dr. Murthy has offered his support for a wide array of gun control policies that have been repeatedly rejected by the American people and their elected representatives.
One of the pieces of evidence cited by the NRA was a letter to Congress dated January 14, 2013. Murthy wrote an open letter to Congress advocating five specific changes to law, including strengthening regulations limiting individual’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms. One recommendation advocated for more research and data-tracking of guns.
In caring for our patients, we rely on unbiased data and research in public health to guide our counseling, recommendations, or treatment. Just as we monitor vaccinations and different approaches to tobacco cessation and fund approaches to preventing cancer, os should we ensure that we have the data-tracking and research capabilities to fully address gun violence.
This is exactly what opponents of the nominee fear; installing a new surgeon general who will use his position to fight gun control, much like the federal government is using resources to fight obesity and tobacco use. Opponents argue that an anti-gun activist in that position will allow Murthy to use the surgeon general office to propagandize the American people that gun ownership is a national health crisis. Murthy believes this to be true, so why would senators vote to install an anti-Second Amendment activist into the position of the highest ranking public relations health care official?