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Obama Still Hasn't Lost Hope for Anti-gun Surgeon General Nominee

Friday, March 21, 2014

Despite a "delay" in the Senate confirmation vote on President Obama's nominee for U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, Fox News is reporting that the White House "is not giving up on getting Murthy confirmed."  Instead, Obama is "recalibrating the strategy around Dr. Murthy's floor vote," and he expects that Murthy will ultimately gain Senate approval.

The delay in Murthy's vote in the Senate is reportedly due to the fact that a number of Democrat U.S. senators who are up for election in November would prefer not to be forced to vote on the question until after the elections have been held. As Fox News elsewhere notes, "Whether the White House will postpone the vote until after the November elections remains unclear." Meanwhile, White House press secretary Jay Carney has said, "We will make assessments about how and when to move forward accordingly."

While the Obama team prepares its next move, some of its anti-gun media allies are doing their part to help by exaggerating Murthy's qualifications, minimizing his history of anti-gun activism, and attributing the delay on his Senate confirmation vote to unreasonableness on the part of the NRA.

"Gun absolutists hijack debate on firearms," USA Today said on Thursday, thereafter calling the NRA "extreme" while characterizing Murthy as a "well-qualified nominee." NRA's opposition to Murthy is "ludicrous" and Murthy has "ample professional credentials," said Bloomberg Businessweek's Paul M. Barrett on Monday. It's "The Gun Lobby's Latest Bizarre Crusade," said the New York Times on Tuesday, adding that the NRA has "mounted an outrageous campaign" against "an outstanding young doctor" who has "impeccable credentials."

Murthy should be confirmed because his views dovetail with those of the American Medical Association (AMA), said the Baltimore Sun on Thursday. Another article in USA Today on Thursday noted that the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) "lashed out against the powerful National Rifle Association for its push to derail President Obama's pick to become the next surgeon general."

The Baltimore Sun's editorial went so far as to say that no one can claim that Murthy isn't qualified for the Surgeon General's job. However, in the view of Dr. Manny Alvarez, Fox News' Senior Managing Editor for Health News, Murthy "would not even qualify to run a department at an academic medical center at this point in his career." At 36 years of age, and with a recent history centered on political activism on behalf of President Obama, "he has not contributed enough, published enough or healed enough to qualify him to be a medical leader."  Similar sentiments were expressed by former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, a Democrat.

Furthermore, the fact that Murthy is endorsed by the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine, if anything, underscores the basis of NRA's position on the anti-gun doctor's nomination. Both have supported just about every radical gun control scheme that has come down the pike.

More to the point, so has Murthy, and skeptics don't have to take only our word for it. The anti-gun New York Times editorial and a comparable Sacramento Bee editorial acknowledged that Murthy has actively encouraged Congress to ban "assault weapons," to limit the amount of ammunition individuals can purchase, to institute a buyback program to reduce the number of privately owned firearms, to impose so-called "universal" background checks on gun buyers, to impose a firearms safety training requirement and mandatory 48-hour waiting periods for firearm purchases, and to allow the government to use taxpayer dollars to fund research by gun control supporters in the public health field.

NRA has detailed its reasons for opposing Murthy's nomination here, and in this Special Alert encourages all gun owners to continue contacting their U.S. senators in opposition to Murthy's nomination.

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.

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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.