Tags: John R. Lott | surgeon general nominee | gun control

John Lott: Surgeon General Nominee has Gun Control 'Obsession'

Friday, 21 Mar 2014 06:17 PM

Dr. Vivek Murthy, President Barack Obama's nominee for surgeon general is not fit for the office because of his "obsession" with gun control, according to John R. Lott, Jr., former chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission.

"He's constantly been advising physicians to go and ask parents whether they have guns in the home, saying that doctors should advise those parents to remove the guns or … lock them up," Lott told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

He thinks it's important to go and exaggerate tremendously the relative risks of guns in the home and he ignores the benefits. He never talks about the ability to go use guns for self-defense.

"He's been president of two groups, Doctors for Obama and they later morphed into Doctors for America."

Lott — author of the book, "Dumbing Down the Courts: How Politics Keeps the Smartest Judges Off the Bench," published by Bascom Hill — adds that Murthy, a physician at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital has not practiced for long.

"He didn't finish his residency until 2006. Right now, he's 36 years old. He'd be by far the youngest Surgeon General in U.S. history," Lott said.

"His main claim to fame isn't his medical expertise or history, it's that he's essentially been president of this group that helped get Obama elected, which I suppose is fine.
"It's no different than a lot of the scandals that have been engaged in with regard to ambassadorial nominations. To me, at least with regard to the gun issue, has been his willingness to play fast a loose with facts and exaggerate the risks of guns in the home."

Lott notes that if doctors begin quizzing their patients about guns in the home, that information could go into electronic medical records and become another way for the government to track weapons.

"Once you have that type of information there, then the federal government could just go and do a search on key terms, such as guns," he said.

My concern is that if you make it so that people don't have guns or that they're not readily accessible, that, to me, is a real safety risk because people aren't going to be able to go and defend themselves.

"When states, for example, have mandated that people have to lock up their guns, you see criminals become emboldened to attack people in their homes … You see a net increase in murders and other types of violent crimes as a result of those types of changes."

Murthy's nomination has been opposed by Republicans, including Sen. Rand Paul, and a majority of the U.S. Senate.

"[The Democrats] know they don't have the votes right now. News reports indicate that maybe 10 Democrats are refusing to go and vote for him … because they're concerned about the political backlash," Lott said.

'[They] are now planning to bring it up again after the November election when they will no longer have to worry about the backlash from the voters. This type of delay until after elections just indicates that they are trying to pull a fast one on the voters."

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