- The Washington Times - Monday, February 10, 2014

President Obama is using every executive power in his arsenal to infringe on Second Amendment rights.

His latest maneuver is to nominate a rabidly anti-gun doctor to be the next U.S. surgeon general. Dr. Vivek Murthy is facing Senate approval in upcoming weeks.

Dr. Murthy is the 36-year-old president and co-founder of Doctors for America, a group that advocates for Obamacare and gun control laws.

The group calls gun violence “a public health crisis.” It pushes for Congress to ban “assault weapons” and “high-capacity” magazines and calls for spending tax dollars for more gun-control research.

The organization also lobbies for doctors to be allowed to ask patients, including minors, whether they have legal guns in the home. If the patient admits to having guns, Dr. Murthy wants doctors to “counsel them appropriately about safety measures.”

Gun rights advocates and many families view this policy as a violation of privacy.

SEE ALSO: MILLER: NRA’s ‘American Rifleman’ surges to top 25 magazines in America

At a hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee last week, Sen. Lamar Alexander asked Dr. Murthy about public comments on firearms, such as a tweet from before the 2012 president election that said, “Tired of politicians playing politics w/ guns, putting lives at risk b/c they’re scared of NRA. Guns are a health care issue.”

Mr. Alexander, the ranking Republican on the committee, told Dr. Murthy that “Americans have a First Amendment right to advocate the Second Amendment — or any other amendment. And the Second Amendment is not a special interest group, it’s part of our Constitution.”  

The Tennessee senator added that, “If your goal is to make guns the bully pulpit of your advocacy in the surgeon general’s office, that would concern me.”

Dr. Murthy sidestepped the questions about his gun-control agenda from committee members throughout the hearing.

However, Mr. Murthy’s Twitter timeline is chock full of his anti-firearm screed.

“NRA press conference disappointing but predictable - blame everything in the world except guns for the Newtown tragedy. #wakeup,” he wrote in Dec. 2012.

That same month, he tweeted that, his group had “launched doctor-nurse campaign demanding gun safety legislation from Congress.”

His spin on Mr. Obama’s failed effort to pass gun control in the Senate last April was to say: “Signs of progress-we got 20 votes in the senate in favor of gun violence legislation that we wouldn’t have had 1 year ago. Have faith.”

Mr. Obama’s pick for the next “nation’s doctor” is purely political.

Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona wrote a letter to the president in December to protest nominating Dr. Murthy because he is not qualified. Dr. Carmona said that Dr. Murthy appeared to have “no significant related leadership experience and no formal public health training or experience.”

Unfortunately, Dr. Murthy is almost assuredly going to be confirmed — especially since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid changed the rules so only 51 votes are required for nominees.

The surgeon general oversees the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and three national health councils. It is a role for the most seasoned and knowledgeable doctor available for the position, not a political lackey who will use the public profile to push a leftist political agenda.

Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times and author of “Emily Gets Her Gun” (Regnery, 2013).


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