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Rand Paul Will Make Sure Obama's Surgeon General Can't Grab Your Guns, Give You Healthcare

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Has it been more than ten minutes since Rand Paul reared his ugly reactionary head to yammer about if only you could keep a nuclear silo made of guns in the bedroom, you could defend your home against all enemies? It has? Then it must be time for another installment of How Criminally Awful Is Rand Paul? Today's episode teaches us that he is really really awful!


The youngest cruelest Paul is trying to block Obama's nomination for Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy. Generally, the surgeon general post is not a particularly controversial thing, because most people dig on promoting public health, unless they are idiots named Rand Paul. (A notable exception, of course, is Joycelyn Elders, Clinton's surgeon general that got herself tossed because she didn't hate the idea of children masturbating enough for Republicans.) Does Dr. Vivek Murthy want children to touch themselves? Not to the best of our knowledge, but he does unforgivably believe in regulating guns so people don't just get themselves killed all over the place, and this sentiment is completely unacceptable to Rand Paul because guns guns gunsgunsgunsGUNSGUNS.

“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. “As a physician, I am deeply concerned that he has advocated that doctors use their position of trust to ask patients, including minors, details about gun ownership in the home...Dr. Murthy has disqualified himself from being Surgeon General because of his intent to use that position to launch an attack on Americans’ right to own a firearm under the guise of a public health and safety campaign.”

Ohemgee! Can you imagine a world where doctors are allowed to ask if you have guns and if that makes you feel a little bit not safe? Those doctors might as well drive to your house and steal the guns right out of your kids' hands. Funny you should mention the whole part about how you're a physician, Rand Paul, since pretty much every other physician believes that having shooty things in the house exacerbates public health issues because of how people get deaded from gunshots. What say you, American Public Health Association?

The American Public Health Association, Recognizing that handgun deaths and injuries‐including suicides, suicide attempts, homicides, assaults, and unintentional shootings constitute a major public health problem in the United States, Understanding that the United States lacks a comprehensive licensing and registration system which would help to curtail the movement of handguns into the illegal market; Recognizing that the collection and analysis of detailed information about handgun injuries and the movement of handguns in the population is essential to the design and evaluation of injury prevention interventions. Supports the enactment of federal, state, and local laws designed to limit access to handguns, to limit handgun purchases, including those at gun shows, to limit access to high-powered assault pistols with no legitimate sporting or hunting purpose, and to reduce access to permits‐to‐carry a concealed handgun.

Pshaw, says Rand Paul, physician. Surely the APHA is some sort of nonsense outlier group, right? Wrong.

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.

How dare those doctors try to block the freedom of a depressed 12-year-old to find daddy's gun and shoot himself in the head? That way lies tyranny! Seriously, Rand Paul, you have gone so far afield from rational thinking that you now find yourself at odds with David Satcher, the surgeon general who served under beloved gun-lover and brush-trimmer George Dubya.

[S]uicide is also a gun violence issue. As Surgeon General I released the first report from that office on a call to action on suicide. What we find is that people who are suicidal are not often homicidal. But if somebody is depressed and they have easy access to a gun, they’re more likely going to be successful in a suicidal attempt, whereas if they don’t, they’re more likely to attempt suicide and then we see them in the emergency room can hopefully diagnose their mental health problem and often can treat them. [...] I don’t think we’ve had enough research on gun violence. CDC published some early studies by Art Kellerman and others showing that people who own guns, and had them in their homes, were actually less safe than people who didn’t own guns because they were more likely to use the guns against themselves or their family members in a rage of anger or depression.

Generally, having depressed or mentally ill or just plain angry folks that might shoot themselves or you is not something that makes most people feel safe at home, but to Rand Paul, that sounds positively cuddly. Thank god Rand Paul's physician-ness is limited to ophthalmology, because he is just not the guy you'd want to bring the family to see. Also, if you went in with a eye infection, he'd probably just prescribe a gun instead of a good antibiotic, so stay away.

Oh, and before we forget: Dr. Vivek Murthy is also a political war criminal because he likes Obamacare which everyone knows is Rand Paul's favorite bugbear, so even if Murthy strapped guns to every inch of his person, it probably wouldn't be enough to get him past good old Dr. Paul.

[Think Progress/APHA/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Fox News]

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