As Joe Biden continues to work out who to include in his cabinet, we’re starting to get a glimpse into exactly what kind of government we’ll be getting with him. Of course, with almost half a century in public office, Biden is hardly a political mystery, but this is his first time as part of any executive branch of government.
Cam previously looked at two of Biden’s potential pics for the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
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.
Neither of those two is great for gun owners, to be sure. However, there’s a third name that’s popped up, and if you’re hoping this time around would be slightly better for the Second Amendment, you’re wrong.
Democratic Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, who introduced an “assault weapons” ban and magazine capacity limits in her state, is also a prominent possible pick for Biden’s HHS, according to Bloomberg. The governor called firearms in America a “disturbing and preventable public health crises,” Fox News reported.
“It is unacceptable that our children are growing up in a country where they have to worry about gun violence,” Raimondo said, according to Fox. “This is one of the most disturbing and preventable public health crises of this generation, and we owe it to our children to take action.”
Raimondo was a name being bandied about as a potential vice-presidential candidate. By now, we all know how that went, but that doesn’t mean Biden isn’t willing to find a place for the Rhode Island governor.
She definitely has the anti-gun credentials, to be sure. While we know what she tried to pass, we also have to look at the existing gun laws in her state and can see that when we talk about anti-gun states, Rhode Island needs to be in the mix with larger states like California and Massachusetts.
It seems as though Biden wants to really try and push the angle that guns are a health concern. Otherwise, why look at staunch anti-gunners for such a post? Granted, Murthy at least has relevant qualifications. A former surgeon general in such a role makes sense, even if he is an anti-gunner deep in his core. Of course, his appointment coming from the Trump administration may also taint him.
Frankly, I don’t care either way. None of these three are good for us as gun owners.
If support for gun control is a key criterion for HHS secretary in the Biden era, then we know at least part of how they intend to cram gun control down our throats. After all, anti-gunners love preening about it’s for our own good, so we know what’s coming.