Thursday, December 18, 2014

I'll See Your Murthy And Raise You A McSally

The various gun prohibitionist groups were quick to claim victory over the confirmation of Dr. Vivek Murthy as the Surgeon General of the United States.

Mark Kelly (aka Mr. Gabby Giffords) said of the confirmation of Murthy that:
Tonight, the United States Senate did the responsible thing: It stood up to the gun lobby, stood up for common sense, and voted to ensure that the United States has a qualified medical professional as its top doctor.
Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign, was even more bombastic in his proclamations about Murthy's confirmation:
"This is a huge victory for Brady and for the public health and safety of our nation. Now we have a Surgeon General who recognizes that gun violence is a serious public health issue that America urgently needs to address,” said Dan Gross, President, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “This victory represents a major triumph over the corporate gun lobby ‘lap dogs’ in the Senate who fought to defeat Dr. Murthy’s confirmation on behalf of their billion-dollar benefactors...

Gross adds, “Dr. Murthy’s confirmation is part of an exciting, growing trend of victories for the American public over the interests and influence of the corporate gun lobby. In the recent elections, the voters of Washington state demonstrated where the American public stands on this issue by overwhelmingly passing expanded background checks. The American people know that gun violence is a public health issue and they support sensible measures to reduce gun deaths and injuries.”
PR professional mom Shannon Watts was not to be denied either. While Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors had nothing on their official web page, they did say this on their Facebook page:
Yesterday the Senate stood up to the gun lobby and confirmed Dr. Vivek Murthy for Surgeon General.

The NRA strongly opposed Dr. Murthy because he dared to acknowledged that gun violence is a public health threat.Yesterday the Senate stood up to the gun lobby and confirmed Dr. Vivek Murthy for Surgeon General.

The gun lobby has spent decades trying to quash research into the causes and cures for gun violence--because the less we know about gun violence, the more the gun lobby can dictate public health policy
Even the lesser lights of the gun prohibitionist groups had to put in their two cents. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) called it a "historic rebuke to the NRA". Meanwhile, the Violence Policy Center's Kristen Rand said "we applaud every senator who stood up to the gun lobby."

Murthy was going to be Surgeon General even if the lame ducks hadn't turned their back on their constituents and voted to confirm him. I have no doubt that Murthy would have been an another of President Obama's recess appointments.

While the gun prohibitionists have been exceedingly vocal over Murthy's confirmation, they have been equally as quiet over an event that happened yesterday. With the recount having been concluded in Arizona's Second Congressional District, Col. Martha McSally (USAF-Ret) was declared the winner by 167 votes over Democrat incumbent Ron Barber. She actually picked up six votes in the recount.

Lest anyone forget, McSally now represents Gabby Giffords' former congressional district. She ran on a pro-gun, balance the budget, and secure the borders platform. She was rated AQ and endorsed by the NRA-PVF.

Americans for Responsible Solutions waged a vicious campaign against McSally and still lost. They spent $2,007,611.68 in ads and mailings opposing McSally. This amount is just a little less than what the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent attacking McSally. ARS spent an additional $238,584 in support of Barber. This was a personal battle for Giffords and Kelly and they lost.

By contrast, "the corporate gun lobby" in the form of the NRA-Political Victory Fund spent the magnificent sum of $14,068.79 in support of McSally.

According to the Arizona Republic, Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly did respond to McSally's electoral victory.
Giffords' group was criticized for running an ad that implied McSally didn't support gun background checks that might have prevented a woman from being murdered by a stalker. The group pulled the ad off the air after McSally said she had been a victim of stalking and supported banning stalkers from buying guns.

Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, said after McSally's victory was announced that they were glad the campaign included a debate over guns.

"We commend her for defying the corporate gun lobby on this important public-safety issue, and look forward to working with her to craft and help pass this badly needed legislation," Giffords and Kelly said in a written statement.

The National Rifle Association cast McSally's win as a rebuke to gun-control groups like Giffords'.

"Martha stood on principle and supported our constitutional freedoms, despite being relentlessly attacked by the gun-control movement," NRA Political Victory Fund Chairman Chris W. Cox said in a statement.
The response of Giffords and Kelly is not on the Americans for Responsible Solutions website and was probably the bare minimum they could do without looking like sore losers. As to the rest of the gun prohibitionists, no comment. I have checked all the usual suspects - their own websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter - and can't find a thing.

Rep.-elect McSally, a former A-10 Warthog pilot with combat hours, has been appointed to serve on the House Armed Services and House Homeland Security committees.

Comparing the appointment of Murthy with the election of McSally, I submit that McSally can make more of a difference. Murthy's position is primarily symbolic. The office of the Surgeon General no longer holds the power that it once had. To expect Murthy to make any pronouncement on any subject including guns without first checking with the White House is unrealistic. Moreover, his actual experience as a practicing physician is virtually nil. He is more of a politician and manager.

By contrast, McSally, while one of 435, does have a vote, can craft and submit legislation, and is under no obligation to coordinate with Speaker John Boehner on anything. Moreover, by virtue of her 26 years as a serving officer in the Air Force and her committee memberships, she should have an impact on both defense issues and border security.

While I could be wrong about the relative impacts of Murthy and McSally, I don't think so. If you think I'm wrong in my assessment, let me know in the comments.


  1. Murthy is going to be a PITA until he is fired... Just sayin...

    1. I don't disagree with you. However, a Republican Congress can cut his budget for pseudo-scientific studies on gun violence (sic).

    2. gotta cut somewhere and with the GOP in charge, it won't be the military suffering from Barry's desire to turn the country into a dependent state

      -Dirk Diggler