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June 25, 2024

Surgeon General’s ‘Public Health Crisis’ is Election Year Prescription

By Joe Bartozzi

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy’s declaration that “gun violence” is a “public health crisis” is nothing short of election-year politicking masquerading in a white lab coat.

This is the very reason that NSSF opposed his nomination and confirmation three years ago. Surgeon General Murthy’s bias toward gun control was evident when he previously served as the U.S. Surgeon General under President Barack Obama. Now it’s conveniently re-emerging just days before the first presidential debate and weeks before early voting opens for the Nov. 5 presidential election.

“Today, for the first time in the history of our office, I am issuing a Surgeon General’s Advisory on firearm violence,” Surgeon General Murthy said in a video announcement. “It outlines the urgent threat firearm violence poses to the health and well-being of our country.”

Broken Promises – Again

Surgeon General Murthy’s announcement included a call for an evidence-based approach to public health change and a ban on Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) and standard-capacity magazines. The Associated Press reported that the surgeon general also wants to ban what they report erroneously as “automatic rifles,” regulate the firearm industry, pass laws that would restrict their use in public spaces and penalize people who fail to safely store their weapons.

That’s a radical change from the surgeon general nominee who promised the U.S. Senate in his 2021 confirmation hearing that he did “not intend to use my office as surgeon general as a bully pulpit on gun control.” Even the Associated Press reported on his backtracking to not allow politics to creep into his health care role. At his second confirmation hearing, he told senators that declaring guns a public health crisis would not be his focus during a new term.

So much for that broken promise. It goes further than that, though. Surgeon General Murthy is using his public health advisory to propel a false-flag argument that’s been debunked by including the Biden administration’s fake talking point that firearms are the leading cause of death among children in his report. That’s been repeatedly proven false – even The Washington Post agreed. The data to arrive at that conclusion was stretched to include 18 and 19-year-olds, who are adults. When the data set is properly adjusted to include just those 17 and under, the leading cause of death is still automotive accidents.

That’s not scientific evidence. That’s propaganda. That doesn’t seem to bother Surgeon General Murthy, however, who repeatedly ignores the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data that shows the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban – which also included a ban on standard-capacity magazines – showed no impact on crime reduction.

Lawful Gun Ownership Not a Disease

This is what NSSF warned about. Surgeon General Murthy has a history of conflating health care with criminal law enforcement. The two roles are different and as much as he’d like to say lawful gun ownership is tantamount to a public health crisis, the truth is – it isn’t. The criminal misuse of firearms is a law enforcement issue.

Surgeon General Murthy is complaining about lawful gun ownership by confusing the American public with data concerning the criminal misuse of firearms and suicides. Those are two entirely different issues. NSSF is actively engaged with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to prevent suicide by firearm. That partnership was extended to include the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Defense Department.

Gun control groups – and those politicians supporting gun control – often say “gun violence” is a public health crisis and call for a public health solution. NSSF has said it before and says it again. The problem is that there is no pathogen vector for crime. Criminal activity is a chosen behavior – not a disease. Even the government’s own resources show that criminals don’t obtain the firearms they misuse legally. They steal them, purchase them through the black market or illegally obtain them in other ways. A Department of Justice (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report showed that “among prisoners who possessed a gun during their offense, 90% did not obtain it from a retail source.”

Bad Medicine & Brainwashing

There is no medical cure to prevent crime. There is no prescription to cure criminal activity. That’s not stopping Surgeon General Murthy from now telling Americans that they must now take the Biden administration’s gun control prescription.

“It is now time for us to take this issue out of the realm of politics and put it in the realm of public health, the way we did with smoking more than a half century ago,” Surgeon General Murthy told the AP.

If that sounds familiar, that’s the same rhetoric that former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder once used. He said in 1995 that America needed to “brainwash people” to give up their Second Amendment rights. He didn’t call for locking up criminals. He said the government should be “brainwashing people to thinking in a vastly different way.”

“What we need to do is change the way in which people think about guns, especially young people, and make it something that’s not cool, that it’s not acceptable, it’s not hip to carry a gun anymore, in the way in which we’ve changed our attitudes about cigarettes,” former AG Holder said in 1995 when he was a U.S. Attorney. “You know, when I was growing up, people smoked all the time. Both my parents did. But over time, we changed the way that people thought about smoking, so now we have people who cower outside of buildings and kind of smoke in private and don’t want to admit it.”

Surgeon General Murthy is seeking to revise and update those past efforts to convince Americans to surrender their Second Amendment rights instead of demanding that the Justice Department get serious about holding criminals accountable for their misdeeds. That’s why NSSF opposed his nomination in 2014 when President Obama nominated him for the office and why NSSF opposed him again in 2021.

Surgeon General Murthy is a gun control advocate wearing a white lab coat. And he’s clearly doing the bidding of his boss in an election year for purely political reasons. Nothing can be more obvious, dishonest and disgraceful.

You may also be interested in:

Even The Washington Post Concedes Biden Admin. Favorite Gun Control Lie is, in Fact, a Lie

Gun Control Senators Ignore Criminals to Treat Guns as a Disease

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