The NRA shoots down a qualified Obama nominee

Dr. Vivek Murthy, President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the next U.S. Surgeon General, prepares to testify on Capitol Hill, Feb. 4, 2014, in Washington, DC.
Charles Dharapak/AP

By Krystal Ball

We reported last week that the confirmation of Dr. Vivek Murthy, President Obama’s surgeon general nominee, was in danger because Murthy has advocated gun safety and linked public health to gun violence. Our reporting now appears to be coming true: According to the New York Times, Dr. Murthy’s nomination is unlikely to come up before November if it goes forward at all.

That the National Rifle Association is poised to scuttle the president’s choice for surgeon general is both depressing and absurd.

Murthy’s nomination passed out of the Senate Health Committee with the unanimous support of the committee’s Democrats and even one Republican – Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk. Since then, Murthy has faced increasing opposition from pro-gun senators, right wing media outlets and the NRA. Their stated opposition stems from a letter Murthy signed as a founder of Doctors for America where he advocated gun safety measures including an assault weapons ban, limits on ammunition sales, and mandatory gun safety training. Dr. Murthy has also opposed bans on doctors discussing gun safety in the home with patients.

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, a likely 2016 presidential contender, has been particularly forceful in his opposition. Paul penned a letter to Majority leader Harry Reid stating that Murthy “has disqualified himself from being surgeon general because of his intent to use that position to launch an attack on Americans’ right to own a firearm under the guise of a public health and safety campaign.”

The NRA has also written a letter strongly opposing the Murthy nomination and announced it would score the confirmation vote. This means a vote for Murthy would count against lawmakers’ pro-gun ratings, placing maximum pressure on vulnerable red state Democrats.


Author: konigludwig

progressive social democrat, internationalist, conservationist

3 thoughts on “The NRA shoots down a qualified Obama nominee”

  1. That a minority of citizens can determine the fundamental nature of our political relations and prevent the execution of even the most fair, widely approved and appropriate laws and governmental actions is the very definition of a tyranny.


      1. I don’t understand how you came to that conclusion based on my comment. Allow me to clarify. The radical pro-gun rights lobby is always talking about unrestricted personal access to weapons as if it were a constitutionally guaranteed right. It isn’t. They also are very fond of characterizing any attempt at sane and rational gun laws as some form of “tyranny.”

        My point is that when 90% of the American public supports a ban on high capacity magazines, but our will is crushed by the political might of a powerful special interest lobbyist like the NRA, then it is the NRA that is the tyrant oppressing the people. 2+2 = 4. If you oppose a 90% majority of the people in a democracy, then you are the tyrant.


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