America’s Top Doctor is Playing Politics With This Diagnosis

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posted on July 1, 2024
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AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory declaring “gun violence” to be a “public-health crisis” and recommending it be treated as such.

The advisory, which many in the mainstream media breathlessly touted as the “first of its kind,” came in the form of a 40-page publication outlining the scope of what Murthy calls “firearms violence,” but is, rather, violent crime committed by violent criminals; in fact, the idea that violent crime constitutes a public-health problem is an old ploy from gun-control pushers; indeed, Murthy has long held this belief.

“Gun violence is a public-health crisis in our country and requires a public-health solution,” said Murthy in an interview on CBS Mornings. “We read and hear about episodes of gun violence in our communities, but I believe that we may not appreciate the full of its ripple effects across our country.”

Murthy bases the need for his gun-control-policy prescription on the oft-repeated lie that his paper put on page 4: “Firearms are the leading cause of death for children and adolescents.” During the CBS interview, Murthy put it this way: “Gun violence has now become the leading cause of death among kids and teens.”

Murthy even admitted that publicizing that false claim was a way to gain attention and garner support for his proposals. He said, “My belief is that should help us increase the urgency with which we are approaching this issue.”

Gun-ban advocates quickly jumped on board and repeated the “more-kids-die” fallacy.

“Gun violence is the #1 cause of death for American kids,” the group Giffords tweeted after Murthy’s announcement. “Our leaders must follow the Surgeon General’s lead—and approach it like the public health problem that it is.”

Since the advisory specifies that its category of “children” includes individuals aged from 1 to 19 years old, it actually admits that the “more kids killed by guns” claim is misleading--at best--as 18- and 19-year-olds are legally “adults” in the United States.

Even The Washington Post’s “fact checkers” debunked Biden and Murthy’s lie earlier this year. “When you focus only on children—17 years and younger—motor vehicle deaths (broadly defined) still rank No. 1,” the Post concluded in a February 2024 story.

The Post article also noted that researchers use different definitions of “motor vehicle death” to examine the issue of child mortality. Some count only crashes involving moving vehicles, while others count all vehicle-involved deaths, including those involving stationary vehicles and vehicles colliding with pedestrians.

As the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) said, “Only by using a narrow definition of ‘motor vehicle death,’ a definition of ‘child’ that includes young adults, and a broad definition of ‘gun violence’ does the number of ‘children’s’ firearm-related deaths exceed those of vehicle-related deaths.”

In the case of “gun deaths” involving “children,” people naturally think of accidents involving readily accessible guns stored in homes or vehicles, or even kids killed in school shootings. That’s what anti-gun advocates want people to believe.

If you look at the Centers for Disease Control’s 2020 accidental death statistics for Americans under the age of 15—the traditional actuarial cutoff point for discussing “children”—you’ll see firearms weren’t the number-one cause of accidental death; in fact, guns weren’t even among the top-five causes.

Moreover, fatal gun accidents didn’t even come close to fatal car crashes. If you average the CDC’s figures for 2018, 2019, and 2020—the most-recent year for which a full report is available—you’ll see that for children under age 15, accidental firearm fatalities are outnumbered by motor vehicle fatalities 19-to-1.

A deeper dive into the statistics would also show that many of the tragedies they are referring to are related to inner-city gang violence.

However you look at it, Murthy’s recent advisory is clearly another piece of the Biden administration’s multi-dimensional attack on guns, gun makers, and sellers—and the Second Amendment. And its timing, just months before the critical presidential election, is, no doubt, meant to draw heftier donations to the Biden campaign from anti-gun groups funded by Michael Bloomberg and other ultra-wealthy anti-Second Amendment activists.

“The good news is that there are solutions here,” said Murthy during the CBS interview. “We don’t have to live like this, and I lay out a series of strategies in this advisory that can help us reduce the profound toll of gun violence … .”

Anyone who has closely observed the Biden administration’s war on guns and gun owners over the past three years likely already knows what those “strategies” entail. Along with using tax dollars to pay anti-gun researchers, Murthy’s plan also calls for implementing “safe-storage” laws, instituting “universal” background checks and “red-flag” laws, banning “assault weapons” and “large-capacity” magazines, and creating more gun-free zones in public places.

Murthy’s plan is yet another poor repackaging of the ongoing Biden war on the Second Amendment.

In the end, there’s nothing new to see here. Indeed, way back in 2014, the NRA opposed Murthy’s initial appointment to the post of surgeon general because he had a history of exploiting his status as a medical practitioner to advance a purely political agenda of extreme and unproven gun-control measures. 

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