Thursday, February 27, 2014

Second Amendment wacko Rand Paul says guns don't pose a public health threat when, of course, they do

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Think Progress:

On Wednesday -- two years to the day after George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin -- Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) placed a hold on President Barack Obama's nominee for Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, over Murthy's view that gun violence represents a significant public health threat.

"In his efforts to curtail Second Amendment rights, Dr. Murthy has continually referred to guns as a public health issue on par with heart disease and has diminished the role of mental health in gun violence," wrote Paul in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. 

Oh, really?

Paul is actually out of step with most physicians. The idea that gun violence is a danger to public health is utterly uncontroversial among doctors' groups, academic institutions that focus on public health, and children's safety advocates. Although Paul criticizes Murthy's position that physicians and pediatricians should ask patients about the presence of guns in their households, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a resolution in 2011 officially opposing any law that bars doctors from having open conversations about gun safety and the risks of having firearms in a household with their patients.

In fact, just yesterday, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued new guidelines recommending that households with children who are diagnosed with depression should remove guns and ammunition from their homes entirely.

And it may even be worse that we know:

[G]un violence may actually be an even bigger public health problem than current studies indicate. That's because the gun lobby, led by the National Rifle Association (NRA), pushed through a package of legislation in 1996 imposing a virtual freeze on federal funding for gun violence-related research. President Obama ended that ban in the wake of Sandy Hook -- but experts say there's still far too little funding appropriated by Congress to entice more detailed research in the area.

Paul likes to stress his "physician" bona fides when discussing such matters, but of course he's a right-wing ideologue first and foremost. Saying that guns don't post a public health threat and shouldn't be treated as such, and therefore that a highly qualified nominee for Surgeon General deserves his "hold" (and how stupid is it that a single senator with a radical agenda can do that?), simply disqualifies him from, and proves he isn't capable of given his ideological and partisan blinders, intelligent rational discussion.

Just ask the relatives of the victims of Columbine, Tucson, Aurora, Sandy Hook... and just pay some fucking attention to what's going on day after bloody day all across a violent and deadly America.

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  • You'd think that opposing research, opposing the gathering of data would be such an indicator of dishonesty that it would discredit those doing it, but that's only if you view the American public as rational and capable of acting in their own best interests.

    The NRA would be what it is if they weren't so good at playing the irrational, paranoid public for the fools they are.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 8:54 AM  

  • I love it when those who want to be slaves refer to those who want to be free as "wacko."

    By Blogger David P. Smith, at 9:42 AM  

  • I love it when those who want to be slaves refer to those who want to be free as "wacko."

    By Blogger David P. Smith, at 9:43 AM  

  • So Rand Paul doesn't believe guns pose a public health threat?
    So I guess he'll be happy to give up all the armed guards, metal detectors and other costly security measures at his workplace at the Capitol (as well as the security guards that accompany him everywhere he goes).
    Wow, that's a relief. All that security is paid for with my tax dollars. I will expect an tax refund check in the mail soon.

    By Blogger Marc McDonald, at 7:22 PM  

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