Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Shocking! Surgeon General Nominee Opposed Due to His Polarizing Stances

By all accounts, Dr Murthy is a fine physician and if that were the only qualification needed to be "America's doctor"  he would be a shoe-in for the post.  He has been busy with arguably non-doctor type activities though:  He co-founded and was president of Doctors For America which advocated for the ACA (Obamacare) and for gun control.

People of good faith can argue about the merits of each of these, but what is not debatable is that both are hot issues that divide the country pretty evenly--I would say that the doctor is on the somewhat less popular side of both issues.

Is it right to oppose Dr Murthy for the post of America's doctor for his political views?  Well, yes.  And it would hardly be unprecedented:  Feminists and other liberals opposed C. Everett Koop because of his views on abortion.  They failed, obviously, but one cannot deny they had a right to try.

As an aside, the NRA is often derided as having out sized influence given its meager numbers, but compared to say NOW, it is rather more representative:  
NOW has some 500,000 members and there are about 150 Million women in the USA, so the ratio is 1:300 
NRA has 5,000,000 members and there are about 75 Million gun owners in the USA, this gives a ratio of 1:15, which is 20 times more representative of the group they supposedly speak for.
Not to fight the gun control fight here but let's have a look as some of the proposals the good doctor put his name to:

Specific approaches should include:
A federal ban on the sale of assault weapons and ammunition – to stop weapons
from being added to the existing stock.
It is well known that only a vanishing small fraction of murders are committed by long guns of any type (mostly shotguns). By far, most crimes (that involve guns) are committed with pistols.  Also, well known among people who know anything about firearms, is that the ammunition used in so-called assault weapons is also very commonly used in regular rifles.  It is also well known that the differences between normal rifles and assault weapons are almost all cosmetic rather than functional.  Some anti-assault weapons proposals and laws go after certain pistols and shotguns too, but the assault versions use exactly the same ammunition as the regular ones.  The upshot of all this is that the guy makes proposals which would curtail the rights of millions of law-abiding Americans and yet can't be arsed to know the first thing about fire arms or bother to look at easily obtainable data such as FBI crime statistics.  These stats would show him that the lion's share of murder is committed with one type of gun, pistols.  And it would show him that "gun deaths"* have been on the decline for decades.

*In my view, the murder numbers have gotten so low that advocates like to use the term "gun deaths" instead.  The bulk of this number comes from murder and suicide, with suicide being about twice as common as murder.

Hey, I thought all good progressives were in favor of suicide--maybe only if it is assisted.