Dear Doctor: The NRA Has A Gun To Your Head

Dr. Vivek Murthy, Photo courtesy of Reuters/Boston Globe

Dr. Vivek Murthy, Photo courtesy of Reuters/Boston Globe

Vivek Murthy has an MD and an MBA under his belt. He is on staff at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he practices medicine and teaches medical science. He has a Harvard Medical School teaching appointment.  He cofounded a clinical trials company, an HIV Education program, and Doctors for America, formerly Doctors for Obama. The guy is bright, to say the least.

Why is he the target of such a galvanized smear campaign by the NRA?  It’s because of his stand on gun control. He has been heard to say that guns are a  serious health issue.  He’s right. He’s probably been on the receiving end of patients with gunshot wounds and he’s seen all the stats to show it.  Why would he ignore the numbers?

The NRA has wielded their powerful weapon: Instilling fear!  Their chief executive’s mantra goes something like this:

We know, in the world that surrounds us, there are terrorists and home invaders and drug cartels and car-jackers and knock-out gamers and rapers, haters, campus killers, airport killers, shopping mall killers, road-rage killers, and killers who scheme to destroy our country with massive storms of violence against our power grids, or vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse the society that sustains us all…”

And if you’re a politician who’s in their pocket, you have probably been told that a vote for Murthy means no financial juice on your reelection bid this Fall. Nevermind that the stats are showing that crime has been declining steadily in the last 20 years.

I wish we could evaluate a candidate based on their capabilities to do the job they are being nominated for.  As Surgeon General, Murthy said his focus and priority would be on obesity. He openly admitted to Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) he would not be using “the Surgeon General’s office as a bully pulpit for gun control.”

It would be important to assess Murthy’s training and experience against the expectations of such an appointment.  He should be grilled more on how he would approach pressing health issues such as obesity, which he named as his primary focus, addressing the country’s aging population, drug addiction and all its trappings, and the maladies that plague developed countries such as coronary artery disease and diabetes. But that would be asking for too much from all these politicians.

The Republicans will vote against it no matter what. Their mandate is to oppose anything the incumbent president puts out to them, regardless of credentials.  With the NRA breathing down their necks, all the more Dr. Murthy does not stand a chance. Even the Democrats are cowering.  This is an election year.  What a shame!

I believe in Universal Health Care.  I have lived in a country that offers it to all its citizens and I have lived here in the United States long enough to see why it’s high time we had one.

I believe that if we are to call ourselves a civilized society living in a first world country, there are certain services necessary and expected in order to establish it.  A few of these are: Water and energy delivery to our homes, law and order, a justice system, a public school system, a means for communication such as telephone and mail, proper and regular disposal of garbage and sewage, access to means of procuring or producing food for our nourishment, a means to travel whether by public transport (road, rail, air, sea) or private vehicle, a system of barter of goods and services through an agreed upon currency, opportunities for earning a living. Included in this is access to medical care for prevention and treatment.  I don’t agree that people should practically bankrupt themselves just to get their ailments treated or that health care delivery is only for those who can afford it.  If this doctor is indeed a  Public Health visionary, it would be our loss!

For all this I’m sure I’m considered a liberal. I may have some liberal ideas/beliefs. But in this regard, I’m just being human.


This entry was posted in Affordable Care Act, Gun Control, Health Care, NRA, Obesity, Surgeon General and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Dear Doctor: The NRA Has A Gun To Your Head

  1. Marie says:

    Mary-Ann. I too believe that universal health care is needed in this country. Thought provoking post.


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