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Not Everyone’s Buying The Surgeon General’s Public Health Edict

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We recently told you how U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory declaring “gun violence” to be a “public health crisis” and recommending it be treated as such. Since then, many people, politicians and organizations have pushed back against the illogical idea.

As some background, on June 25 Murthy announced the declaration in the form of a 40-page publication outlining the scope of what he called “firearms violence,” but is actually violent crimes committed by violent criminals illegally using lawfully made and legally sold guns. At the time, he stated: “Gun violence is a public health crisis in our country and requires a public health solution. We read and hear about episodes of gun violence in our communities, but I believe that we may not appreciate the full of its ripple effects across our country.”

At the time, Murthy based the need for the advisory on the oft-repeated lie that the publication put front and center on page 4: “Firearms are the leading cause of death for children and adolescents”—a variation on, “More kids die from guns than any other reason.” In fact, during the CBS interview, Murthy said, “Gun violence has now become the leading cause of death among kids and teens.”

However, since the advisory specifies that the statistic includes children from 1 to 19 years old, it reveals the “more kids killed by guns” statistic to be the lie it really is. Those 18- and 19-year-olds are considered “adults” in the United States and greatly skew the numbers.

Pro-freedom organizations like the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Gun Owners of America (GOA) quickly pounced on the pronouncements. NRA-ILA Director Randy Kozuch tweeted: “This is an extension of the Biden Administration’s war on law-abiding gun owners.”

Additionally, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed the ridiculous notion in a tweet on X, formerly Twitter, comparing it to the government overreach during the COVID pandemic.

“During COVID, unelected bureaucrats used ‘public health’ as a pretext to deprive citizens of their rights—and I signed legislation to protect Floridians from government overreach,” DeSantis tweeted. “Now, Biden’s Surgeon General is attempting to violate the Second Amendment through the ‘public health’ bureaucracy. We will not comply. Florida will always reject the Biden Administration’s unconstitutional power-grabs.”

It’s likely only a matter of time before other governors jump onboard with criticism of the plan. After all, the myriad gun-control schemes listed in Murthy’s booklet—ranging from banning “assault weapons,” to implementing “safe storage” laws and instituting “universal” background checks—have all been defeated in Congress and many state houses, and the Biden Administration trying to get them through backdoor means is sure to be unpopular in most red states.

This ploy by Murthy, of course, is nothing new, as gun-ban advocates have been pushing for such a declaration by the federal government for decades. In the end, it’s likely the scheme—announced just months before the presidential election—is simply meant to draw heftier donations to the Biden campaign from anti-gun groups who love the idea but are having a hard time fully supporting Biden because of his current diminished mental state.

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