The NRA scored another victory last week when they torpedoed the nomination of 36-year-old Mr. Vivek Murthy for the post of Surgeon General. And a good thing too. As we reported back in December, the founder of Doctors for Obama is an unrepentant proponent of civilian disarmament. Murthy expressed his desire for doctors to quiz patients about gun ownership and then keep a record of their reply – creating a de facto gun registry. (Amongst other things.) The left-leaning, gun-hating media isn’t happy that their man Murthy must now dine out as a victim of “gun lobby extremism.” Here’s The Atlantic‘s take . . .
“Mr. Murthy’s not just a gun control supporter, he’s a gun control activist,” the [NRA] wrote. “And it’s clear that his agenda is to treat a constitutional freedom like a disease.”
Sorry, that’s not an Atlantic criticism of the NRA’s anti-Murthy campaign per se. But it is brilliant. Where was I? Oh right, suicide . . .
One of the NRA’s sticking points, though, is that Murthy once tweeted, “Guns are a health care issue.” It’s not immediately clear what Murthy means by that.
Sorry. Me again. Just a quick note. Atlantic writer Olga Khazan is being disingenuous. Murthy Tweeted a lot more than that single, supposedly obtuse comment. A quick scan of Murthy’s other firearms-related Tweets makes it entirely clear that the good doctor is solidly pro-gun control. Suicide. Right.
Murthy has already said that he plans to use his office to work on obesity, not guns. But looking at the instances in which firearm use ends in death, it becomes clear that there’s a health case to be made for gun control, too.
Guns are far more likely to be used in suicides than in killing assailants.
I’m confused. If guns were more likely to be used for killing assailants – ignoring the hundreds of thousands of times a law-abiding citizen used a firearm to lawfully to deter an assailant without injury or loss of life – would gun control NOT be a health care issue? What if they were equal?
As hard as this is to understand for Ms. Khazan to understand, guns are vital to the health of American society (hence the Second Amendment). Even if new gun laws could reduce suicide rates – and Japan says they can’t – the restrictions on Americans natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms would (and do) engender violent crime, both by criminal predators and the government. Which would create a net loss in terms of lives saved. Big time.
“Removing all firearms from one’s home is one of the most effective and straightforward steps that household decision-makers can take to reduce the risk of suicide,” Harvard health policy professor Matthew Miller said in 2007. “Removing firearms may be especially effective in reducing the risk of suicide among adolescents and other potentially impulsive members of their home.”
Even if you don’t consider gun control to be a healthcare issue, suicide certainly is, and statistics show that the two are intertwined.
While it’s true that removing firearms from the homes of people suffering from mental illness is an excellent idea, tasking the government with doing so – either by pre-emptive gun control laws or “emergency intervention” (Dr. Murthy’s registry would be helpful there) – is a political issue. In the same sense that recommending that people cut down on sugary drink consumption is a healthcare issue while banning 16-ounce drinks is a political issue. Something to do with freedom.
Dr. Murthy doesn’t understand the difference. Which is why he shouldn’t be Surgeon General. The Atlantic‘s Olga Khazan does know there’s a line between individual freedom and Nanny State intervention. Which she crosses with gay abandon. And then wraps her argument in misleading stats, hiding her real agenda behind her concern for the well-being of others. Thank God for the NRA.