The National Rifle Association published a statement Thursday announcing a letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in which the powerful gun rights group declared it “strongly opposes the confirmation of Vivek Hallegere Murthy, M.D., M.B.A., as United States Surgeon General.”
“Dr. Murthy’s record of political activism in support of radical gun control measures raises significant concerns about his ability to objectively examine issues pertinent to America’s 100 million firearm owners and the likelihood he would use the office of Surgeon General to further his preexisting campaign against gun ownership,” NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action Executive Director Chris W. Cox explained.
The letter went on to detail some of Murthy’s anti-gun activism via “gun control” policies he has supported as president of Doctors for America (formerly Doctors for Obama), including mandatory licensing to purchase guns and ammunition, mandatory training and waiting periods. Additional policies supported by Murthy include bans on semi-automatic firearms and their ammunition, removing policies from the Affordable Care Act preventing physicians from documenting gun ownership, and removing restrictions on federal funding for anti-gun advocacy “research.”
In addition to his professional support for citizen disarmament edicts, Murthy also promotes it personally, as evidenced by Twitter messages advocating his belief that “Guns are a health care issue,” Cox pointed out.
“Simply put, confirmation of Dr. Murthy is a prescription for disaster for America’s gun owners, Cox concluded.
He’s absolutely right, and that’s hardly hyperbole. That’s why it’s unfathomable why NRA did not indicate it would score a vote for Murthy against the NRA grade for any Senator helping to confirm him, just as it did against during the nominations of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
In order to determine why there was no “or else” included in the letter, Gun Rights Examiner placed a call to NRA-ILA’s media office this morning and asked. The staffer who took the message advised the person who could answer was traveling, but she would pass along this correspondent’s telephone number and email addresses and that it was for an article with a deadline of this afternoon. As no reply has been received at this evening’s posting, this column will be published without NRA comment, which will be added in an update if one is received.
The fact remains, without the assurance of a consequence, senators will be free to confirm someone Mr. Cox accurately describes as disastrous, with absolutely no repercussions to their NRA grades or to their eligibility for endorsements and financial support. NRA members and gun owners who pay for all that and find it troubling should contact ILA and ask what such halfway measures without any teeth are supposed to accomplish.
UPDATE — per Emily Miller at The Washington Times:
A spokesman for the NRA told me that the five-million member organization will score the Senate vote, meaning that it counts toward a member’s rating in campaigns.
Why the letter and announcement did not say so, and why NRA’s media office did not answer that question when asked and did not call back with an answer is unknown. When and if a reply is received or a clarifying statement is issued, it will be noted here.
UPDATE: NRA sent out a “Grassroots Alert” email this morning about their Murthy opposition, and again say nothing about scoring the vote, including in the complete alert posted on the ILA website.
UPDATE: NRA-ILA’s Chris Cox finally made a public statement to confirm the vote would be scored March 12 in an interview with Megyn Kelly on Fox News.
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