Monday, April 14, 2014

Murthy for Surgeon General | New Jersey Law Journal Editorial Board

Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination is stalled.  Besides the solid Republican south Democrats in thinly populated and rural states like West Virginia and Montana are intimidated by the NRA. Even Maine's moderate Republican Susan Collins is non-committal, saying "some have questioned his experience compared to other Surgeons General".  It is appalling to me that while the slaughter continues candid discussion of the problem remains off the table due to the influence of Second Amendmentism - whether in its right wing version (we must arm ourselves everywhere a la Wayne La Pierre), or left versions like Nicholas Johnson, my Fordham colleague, who invokes the tradition of black self defense in his Negroes and the Gun. - gwc
Murthy for Surgeon General | New Jersey Law Journal:
by the Editorial Board    (c) ALM Media 2014
The massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School stunned the nation. We seemed ready to address seriously both the causes of gun violence and measures to regulate and reduce the ready accessibility of weapons. We are now mourning another mass shooting, this one at Fort Hood by an Iraq vet who was able to buy a gun even though he was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder. Of course the larger problem is everyday gun violence, but it gets little attention.
Unfortunately, the reform momentum has waned and the National Rifle Association is determined to draw a line in the sand. Despite the support of President Obama, 10 Democratic senators from rural and southern states have joined in a bipartisan obstruction of the nomination of Dr. Vivek Murthy, a physician with the expected stellar credentials, for surgeon general.
The attackers latched onto a tweet that Murthy wrote after Sandy Hook. "Tired of politicians playing politics w/ guns, putting lives at risk b/c they're scared of NRA. Guns are a health care issue. #debatehealth." He also signed a letter urging Congress to support an assault rifle ban and require mandatory firearm safety training and waiting periods. The NRA says Murthy is unfit for the position because he supports "radical gun control measures." Their campaign appears to have had such an impact that Murthy's confirmation seems unlikely.
Public health physicians have played an important role in reducing the epidemics of automobile injury and death and asbestos-related illness. The surgeon general has led effective campaigns against smoking and to allay early hysteria about AIDS. Murthy says his focus will be obesity and diabetes.
Politics is the art of compromise, but the Murthy nomination is a line that Obama must hold and on which the Republican leaders must yield. The level of gun violence in our country demands recognition as a public health problem of major proportions. Support of moderate gun control measures cannot be a disqualifier to be surgeon general.

Read more:

'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment