House Dems Sieze on Surgeon General's Advisory, Introduce Gun Control

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

In theory, the surgeon general's office is supposed to be apolitical. The person filling that role should be focused on health and medicine, not on enabling his or her political overlords.


And yet, here we are.

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory about "gun violence" recently that included a lot of policy "suggestions" that go well beyond his role as the nation's top doctor.

In a move surprising literally no one, though, House Democrats latched onto that advisory and are planning on introducing legislation.

Rep. Maxwell Frost, a Democrat from Florida, hosted a press conference to applaud the surgeon general and urged his House colleagues to pursue more gun reforms.

“This declaration is a significant step forward in the fight to protect our communities and our children because it’s a holistic thing,” he said. “It looks at ending gun violence in many different ways.”

Frost, the youngest member of Congress and former March for Our Lives national organizing director, listed ideas to address gun violence in the advisory.

That list included regulations to keep guns out of “the wrong hands” through measures such as universal background checks.

The government could also support community violence intervention, such as programs in high-risk communities designed to deter gun violence and help those affected.

Finally, and “one of the most important,” said Frost, is “creating a society where people don’t feel the need to use guns to solve their problems in the first place.”

Rep. Barbara Lee, a Democrat from California, urged her congressional colleagues to use the “renewed sense of urgency” created by the report to require universal background checks and safe storage of firearms.

“Just basics,” she said.


In a separate press conference Wednesday, Democratic Reps. Mike Thompson and Salud Carbajal of California, Lucy McBath of Georgia, Joe Neguse of Colorado and Robin Kelly of Illinois announced they would file a measure to force a floor vote on a bill McBath introduced.

The bill would allow federal courts to issue risk protection orders. It would allow police or family members to ask a court for a temporary order, preventing people at risk of harming themselves or others from possessing or purchasing firearms.


Now, a community-based approach to sort of short-circuit the cycle of violence is one thing. I think we can get a lot of people on board with such a program, especially if it can be shown to have worked well in places where something of the kind is already in place.

It's just everything else that's a complete and total non-starter for millions of Americans.

First, no one expects a good, well-thought-out proposal from our good friend Rep. Maxwell Frost. The dude is voraciously anti-gun and clearly wants to impact our ability to keep and bear arms completely. This isn't nearly that far, but we know where he wants to go. He also hasn't really looked at where the violence comes from in our communities. Or, if he did, he's completely ignored it just to score political points.

Universal background checks are routinely touted as essential for reducing violent crime, but we also know that violent criminals aren't buying them lawfully in the first place. They're not getting guns from ordinary people just trying to sell a pistol they no longer have a need for. They're getting them from black market dealers who are selling largely stolen guns. Those that aren't stolen were the result of a straw purchase, where someone undergoes a background check but lies about the gun being for them.

It doesn't really do anything to reduce crime because it has no impact on how criminals get guns.


Mandatory storage laws are similar in many ways. The idea that they keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them is fine and good, but any gun storage device can be defeated by any criminal given enough time and resources. The only one that causes a real problem is a large, heavy gun safe that's too heavy to easily transport out of the home. Those are also expensive and difficult to keep in many homes, with many never making it out of the garage.

Additionally, mandatory storage laws make it so many people are unable to defend themselves. I get keeping guns out of kids' hands, but doesn't that really depend on the kid? We've seen numerous instances where a responsible teen accessed a gun and defended their own life with it. Mandatory storage laws would have resulted in these kids being dead, to say nothing of the adults who might well be killed because they couldn't access their guns.

Red flag laws, which came about in a second proposal, really just take guns away from people without any due process while leaving the supposedly dangerous people just walking around like nothing ever happened.

And we've seen how well they work in red-flag states that still have mass murders involving firearms.

What we need to remember here is that literally none of this is new. This is all stuff that these folks wanted all along. They're just using Murthy's advisory to justify it this time around because they figure it's a better line of attack. They figure they can hide behind Murthy's advisory, saying they're just following the guidance of a so-called expert.


No, this is stuff they wanted to do all along.

Luckily, they're facing opposition in the House and there's still a filibuster to face in the Senate.

All of them can go pound sand.

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