As Joe Biden puts together his picks for his cabinet, the Democrat is allegedly considering two people for the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services, and both have a long history of gun control activism.
According to Politico, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy are the top contenders for the job, and Biden could make his pick public as early as Monday of next week.
Of the two, Grisham has a longer anti-gun record, but that’s because she’s actually been in office. Murthy, you might remember, caused a stir during his confirmation hearings in the Obama administration by declaring that gun control was a issue of public health. Once he was confirmed, Murthy tried to downplay his comments, as evidenced by this NPR interview from 2017 when he was specifically asked if he was calling for more gun control laws.
Here’s what I would say – and here’s what I meant when I wrote that tweet – violence of all kinds is a public health issue. When you have large numbers of people dying from preventable causes, that’s a health care issue. That’s a public health issue. That’s what I said. That’s, in fact, what C. Everett Koop said when he was Surgeon General, and that’s what the leading medical and nursing organizations have said for many years. I want to find a way that we can reduce violence in America. And I think you wouldn’t be hard-pressed to find parents or families of victims or health care practitioners who would disagree.
Politico quotes unnamed sources close to Biden who swear that Murthy has changed his views on guns as a public health issue, but I highly doubt that’s the case. Gun control organizations and groups like the American Medical Association still embrace the idea of using public health as a way to push for more gun control laws, and Murthy hasn’t said anything publicly over the past few years to indicate he’s now opposed to the idea.
While Murthy’s pro-gun control comments caused him trouble with his confirmation a few years ago, it’s the actions taken by Gov. Grisham that have generated controversy in New Mexico. Back in 2019, Grisham and Democrats in control of the state legislature rammed through a universal background check law over the objections of most sheriffs in the state, which prompted 25 of the 33 counties in the state to declare themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries.
Earlier this year Grisham and her anti-gun cohorts followed up by passing a red flag gun seizure law, again over the protests by many sheriffs and citizens.
So far neither law appears to be used with any frequency. There’ve been no reported arrests for violations of the universal background check law, and I’ve been unable to find a single news story from New Mexico reporting on a red flag case. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t been used at all, but there’s clearly continued resistance to the gun control measures in most counties across the state.
Grisham also used the COVID-19 pandemic to shut down gun stores by declaring them non-essential businesses, which led to a lawsuit brought by the NRA, SAF, and Firearms Police Coalition. Grisham ended up reversing her decision and allowed some gun stores to re-open, but gun stores in the northwestern part of the state were ordered to remain closed for several more weeks.
If Grisham does get the nod to join Biden’s cabinet and steps down as governor, Lt. Gov. Howie Morales would fill the remainder of her term, which expires in 2022. Morales has been a staunch defender of Grisham’s gun control proposals, and helped shepherd the red flag bill through a divided state Senate, where it was approved on a narrow 22-20 vote. In other words, gun owners in the Land of Enchantment aren’t going to get a reprieve from the Democrats’ anti-gun agenda if Grisham moves on to Washington.
Biden’s been yammering on about trying to unify the country, but his rumored shortlist for Health & Human Services is just another bit of evidence that he has no plans or desire to reach out to gun owners, unless it’s to grab their guns. Both Grisham and Murthy have displayed a hostility towards our right to keep and bear arms, and something tells me they won’t be the last potential cabinet picks with a history of supporting an anti-gun agenda.