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Conservatives Will Not Tolerate Free Speech Of Doctors

By The Reverend Published: March 21, 2014

In general the political right in the U.S. favors the Citizens United ruling which most progressives believe gave our nation's wealthiest free rein to dominate our election campaigning system. The political right's argument, if that's what it is, is that money equals free speech and Big Gub'mint has no right to prohibit the exercise of speech.

Money does not equal speech. That's just crazy talk. Money PURCHASES speech and should not be confused with free speech, itself. But the point here is that the political right celebrated Citizens United as a victory for free speech rights.

What the political right doesn't celebrate, or defend, however, is the free speech rights of physicians......

Republican lawmakers are furious with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for backing questions about gun ownership during kids' check-ups.

The practice is common among doctors, who argue it is vital to ensuring children's safety at home. President Obama has vowed to protect doctors' right to ask.

Billionaires getting a green light from the conservative Supremes to spend an unlimited amount of money to dominate national political campaign ads? A cause for celebration on the political right. Doctors speaking freely with their patients about the health dangers of guns? An unAmerican tragedy which must be stopped by the political right.

American Academy of Pediatrics President Thomas McInerny explains.....

"If there's a gun in the house, a family member is three times more likely to die from a gunshot wound [than] an intruder," he added. "We advise parents about car safety seats, about bicycle helmets, and about guns. It's just part of our prevention frame of mind."

Seems reasonable. But not to elected members of the political right...

"Are they going to start asking if [patients] are Republicans or Democrats?" said Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), another member of the Judiciary Committee. "Asking questions that are none of the pediatricians' business is out of bounds."

Here we have a conservative twofer. Not only does Franks argue that a physician's free speech must be tightly limited to exclude the subject of the health dangers of guns, entirely. But Franks is also arguing that conservative politicians should come between patients and their doctors.....something that the right accuses President Obama of doing with the ACA.

Currently, NRA-controlled Senators are blocking the Obama nomination of Dr. Vivek Murthy for the Surgeon General job. The reason?

....because he has dared to call gun violence a public health issue — and been outspoken in his support of sensible, mainstream ideas for tighter regulation of firearms....

But is Murthy qualified to be surgeon general?

Among the many groups endorsing Murthy for the post are the American Cancer Society, the American Hospital Association and the American Public Health Association.

Here's Eric Boehlert from a recommended post on this issue.....

Teaming up with the National Rifle Association, the far-right press has rushed to paint Murthy as an "anti-gun" radical who's outside the mainstream of U.S. medicine.

Perhaps Murthy is like all those climate scientists who have been accused by the political right of conspiring together to conduct a "hoax" over humankinds contribution to global warming. You know, just in it for the grant money...or something....when his "real" purpose, along with all his co-conspirator doctor buddies, is to destroy America by working to take away all guns from citizens.

Whatever the conservative conspiracy case may be, I think this much is clear.

Physicians who dare to speak openly about the facts of gun violence and the health dangers associated with guns, whether with their patients or as Surgeon General, must be kept away from positions where they might exercise well as their right to speak freely.

Conservatives, the same conservatives who popped champagne corks when billionaires were set free to buy as much "free speech" as their personal bank accounts would allow, will not stand idly by while doctors still insist on talking to patients about the health dangers inherent in guns. THAT kind of "freedom" simply can't be tolerated.



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