Surgeon General Declares 'Gun Violence' A Public Health Emergency

AP Photo/John Raoux

So-called gun violence spiked in 2020 and has been slowly returning to 2019 levels. It's not there yet, but like most things, what goes up must come down. Further, even the 2020 spike was a far cry from what we had in the 1980s and '90s.


But over the last handful of years, a number of people have wanted to make the case that this is a public health crisis and that we should do a number of things to address it.

Mostly, they're anti-gun people who are simply trying a new approach.

However, earlier today, the surgeon general decided to do precisely what these people wanted. He declared it a public health emergency.

The U.S. surgeon general on Tuesday declared gun violence a public health crisis, driven by the fast-growing number of injuries and deaths involving firearms in the country.

The advisory issued by Dr. Vivek Murthy, the nation’s top doctor, came as the U.S. grappled with another summer weekend marked by mass shootings that left dozens of people dead or wounded.


To drive down gun deaths, Murthy calls on the U.S. to ban automatic rifles, introduce universal background checks for purchasing guns, regulate the industry, pass laws that would restrict their use in public spaces and penalize people who fail to safely store their weapons.

Funny how these are the primary talking points for literally every gun control group out there. 


First, automatic rifles are effectively banned--you can get them, but they're NFA items and require a bunch of hoops to obtain them, and with the fact they have to be made before 1986, they're expensive--and that hasn't seemed to do anything. Universal background checks won't impact criminals because we know that only a tiny handful ever go to a licensed gun dealer to get a firearm. The firearm industry is already heavily regulated, with only the pharmaceutical industry facing anything close to the same restrictions. 

The call for restricting guns' "use in public spaces" sounds like he's lashing out at the lawful carry of firearms, which we also know has no impact on criminals who carry firearms as they're already breaking the law, so they don't care about breaking others.

And then we have mandatory storage laws, which routinely make it more difficult for people to use a gun for self-defense.

Once upon a time, you expected the surgeon general's office to deal with actual threats to our health. Now, the office is nothing but an anti-gun mouthpiece that completely ignores the self-defense applications of firearms simply because there's a Democrat in the White House.


Frankly, after the way the healthcare establishment handled COVID, there's even less reason to take this call from the surgeon general as anything other than a political hack yelling at clouds.

On the upside, there's literally nothing he can do to make this happen other than what he's just done. Decisions still have to be made by the legislature and the people most likely to defend gun rights--the people who would have to be won over--are also people who are more than a little upset at how the nation's healthcare establishment lied repeatedly about the pandemic.

I just don't see them tripping over themselves to accommodate Murthy.

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