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Anti-Gun Obama Nominee--Vivek Murthy--Clears First Hurdle in Confirmation for U.S. Surgeon General

Friday, February 28, 2014

This week, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted 13-9 to confirm President Obama's anti-gun nominee--36-year-old Dr. Vivek Murthy--as United States Surgeon General,  clearing the way for Murthy's consideration by the full Senate.

NRA strongly opposes Murthy's confirmation.  In a letter to Senate leaders, NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox noted that the U.S. Surgeon General is charged with the important tasks of providing the American public with information to better inform decisions related to their health, and with directing much of the federal government's public health efforts.  In order for these roles to be carried out effectively, the public must trust that the Surgeon General's actions and recommendations are based on empirical and scientific evidence, rather than political or ideological motives.  Unfortunately, Murthy's record of political activism in support of radical gun control measures raises significant concerns about the likelihood he would use the office of Surgeon General to further his preexisting campaign against gun ownership.

In 2008, Dr. Murthy co-founded the organization "Doctors for Obama" in order to support the presidential campaign of then-Senator Barack Obama and his plans for health care reform.  A year later, the group changed its name to "Doctors for America."

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. 

A recent letter sent to Congress by "Doctors for America," and signed by Dr. Murthy, urges mandatory licensing "for anyone purchasing guns and ammunition--including mandatory firearm safety training and testing."  Under Dr. Murthy's scheme, further regulations would place "limits on the purchase of ammunition," and establish a "mandatory waiting period of at least 48 hours."

In the letter, Dr. Murthy also advocates for a "federal ban on the sale" of popular semi-automatic firearms and their ammunition, and proposes a "buyback" of these popular types of firearms to "reduce the number… that are currently in circulation." Even some of the most ardent anti-gun researchers, along with the Department of Justice, have admitted the futility of gun "buyback" programs.

Another of Dr. Murthy's proposals would strip vital privacy protections put in place to protect firearm owners and prevent the fracturing of physician-patient relationships.  The letter, for example, calls for removing "the provision in the Affordable Care Act and other federal policies that prohibit physicians from documenting gun ownership."  While some advocates of the ACA had argued the provision prohibiting such documentation was unnecessary, given that the ACA had nothing to do with guns, Dr. Murthy obviously sees the ACA as playing a role in gun control.

And, in late 2012 and early 2013, Dr. Murthy took to his personal Twitter account to promote his gun control beliefs, including a statement on October 16, 2012, that "Guns are a health care issue." 

Under Dr. Murthy's leadership, a 2013 Doctors for America petition urged Congress to "immediately" pass a ban on popular semi-automatic firearms and their magazines.  Doctors for America also signed on in support of Sen. Dianne Feinstein's expansive "Assault Weapons Ban of 2013."

The American people deserve a Surgeon General who will carry out the mission of the office unmotivated by political or ideological goals.  Given Dr. Murthy's lengthy history of hostility towards the right to keep and bear arms, along with his calls for the full weight of the federal government's health apparatus to be used to target lawful gun ownership, there is strong reason to believe that he would use the influence of the Surgeon General's office to promote gun control.  Simply put, confirmation of Dr. Murthy is a prescription for disaster for America's gun owners.

We now await Dr. Murthy's confirmation vote in the full Senate.  It is critically important that you contact your Senators and ask them to OPPOSE confirmation of President Obama's radically anti-gun nominee--Dr. Vivek Murthy--for U.S. Surgeon General.

You can contact your U.S. Senators by using the "Write Your Lawmakers" tool at www.NRAILA.org.  You may also contact your Senators by phone at (202) 224-3121.

Again, please take action and contact your U.S. Senators today.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.