In a scene out of Sarah Palin’s 2010 tasteless campaign to target congress people who supported sane gun control measures, just months before Congresswoman Gabby Gifford of Arizona was nearly killed from a gun wielding madman, the NRA is once again promising to make examples of those Senators who recently supported the nomination of Dr. Vivek Murthy for the Surgeon General position.
Wayne Lapierre: Executive Vice President and chief executive officer of the National Rifle Association
In a surprising vote that went against the wishes of the powerful National Rifle Association, the Senate voted, pretty much along Party lines of course, to approve President Obama’s selection for Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy.
But it appears that Dr. Murthy had a single discrepancy in his vast resume that overshadowed everything else that qualified him for the job, at least in the eyes of the Republican Senators who take their marching orders from the likes of powerful lobbies like the NRA. It’s understandable why Murthy would evoke such fear from the NRA. He publicly criticized the NRA – in a Tweet over two years ago.
The NRA? Paying Politics? Pshaw! But apparently the NRA felt Dr. Murthy crossed a sacred line when he suggested the focus of their affections were a probable health care issue.
The notion that someone else within the Obama White House would support sensible gun control measures has raised the specter of a constitutional threat to 2nd amendment zealots like Lapierre. The Surgeon General of course has no authority to implement legislation that would ban the sell of assault style weapons, which was the concern of people like Murthy following the slaughter of 24 children at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Conn. back in December, 2012.
“That’s not the point” said Oscar Peterbreth, who heads a local chapter of the NRA in Macon County, Georgia. “Murthy’s views could affect a person’s right to kill people in the manner of their choice. It appears fewer people are actually arming themselves than in the past and this will impact our ability to deal with the chaos that ensues when Armageddon occurs … or a government overthrow if Jesus fails to show anytime soon.”
Gun enthusiast Robert Fargo seems to buy into this thinking saying, “the more Americans who own guns, the safer all of our gun rights will be.” Mr. Fargo however seems to think that a lower count of handgun ownership in this country is due to an increase in the Hispanic population. Hispanics counted in the survey about gun ownership “are FAR less likely to report a gun in their home than Anglos” suggests Mr Fargo.
Yes, they wouldn’t want to perpetuate the image whites give them that all Hispanics are members of gangs.
Within the Senate, John Brasso (R-Wyo) expressed the sentiment of those who fear the NRA’s reprisals come 2016.
Republican Sen. John Barrasso said most of Murthy’s career has been spent as an activist focused on gun control and other political issues, rather than on treating patients. “Americans don’t want a surgeon general who might use this position of trust to promote his own personal campaign against the Second Amendment of the Constitution,” Barrasso said. SOURCE
What exactly is it though that so unsettles those 2nd amendment proponents who claim it covers their private arsenal weapons ownership? Murthy has advocated for doctors to ask their patients – parents and their children – if there is a gun in their home and if so, be able to warn them about the hazards of guns left unsecured where small children can access them easily. Early detection by physicians of mental health issues could also signal problems in such households where guns exist. And why would Dr Murthy champion such an obvious affront to one’s 2nd amendment rights?
Other than his work in the emergency room that saw too many gun related injuries and deaths, records show that about 60,000 people have died from guns since the Newtown massacre and if the trend continues, gun deaths could surpass traffic deaths next year.
Every year, about 2.5 million Americans die from all causes, and not surprisingly, very few of them—less than 3 percent—are under the age of 25.
But when you consider gun deaths, a different pattern emerges: 21 percent of individuals killed by guns in
2010 were under the age of 25—totaling more than 6,500 deaths.
In 2010, homicide was the 5th leading cause of death for individuals between the ages of 35 and 44; guns accounted for 68 percent of those deaths.
Homicide was not even in the top 10 causes of death for individuals ages 45 to 54. SOURCE (pdf)
“We assume people know how to defend themselves with a gun when they buy one,” Peterbreth told us. “It’s not our fault if someone who lives in a high crime area can’t take the time from their three part-time jobs to take the safety classes we offer once a year. You’d think that they would already have the experience they need if they live in areas where shootings are a constant” he said with a knowing look.”
If the NRA and its devotees had their preference for Surgeon General it would likely be Assistant Surgeon General Ali Khan, who back in 2011 claimed we needed to be prepared for “a zombie apocalypse”. Khan was of course not referring to real zombies but of radiation threats after “someone had asked CDC officials if zombies would be a concern due to radiation fears … following the earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan” in 2011.
I wanted to ask Mr. Peterbreth if he made that call to the CDC, knowing that the fantasy always strikes more fear in people than the reality and it is that fear after all that the NRA thrives off of. Anyone who doubts this likely believes the CIA is an ethical and moral organization.