RADICAL RIGHT -- GUN LOBBY MOBILIZES AGAINST HEALTH REFORM BY CLAIMING OBAMA WILL ISSUE A 'NO GUNS' DECREE:
On Friday, Gun Owners of America sent out an action alert to its 300,000 members warning that the Senate health care bill "would mandate that doctors provide 'gun-related health data' to 'a government database,' including information on mental-health issues detected in patients, which could jeopardize their ability to obtain a firearms license." The alert also claimed that the "wellness and prevention" provisions in the health care bill would allow the Obama administration to issue a "no guns" decree.
The so-called "gun-related health data" is actually anonymous statistical information to help researchers develop health programs and initiatives that serve specific population groups or further the study of various conditions and medical needs. Section 2705 of the Senate health bill permits employers to vary insurance premiums by as much as 30 percent for employee participation in certain health promotion and disease prevention programs, but stipulates that the employer wellness program must be "based on an individual satisfying a standard that is related to a health status factor." Gun ownership does not fall into this category.
This fear-mongering should be seen not only as a threat to health insurance reform, but as the continuation of a multimillion dollar effort launched by the gun lobby to portray Obama as "a threat to the Second Amendment rights." Prior to the election, the National Rifle Association (NRA) claimed of Obama, "[N]ever in NRA's history have we faced a presidential candidate...with such a deep-rooted hatred of firearm freedoms." Since the election, the NRA and other gun groups have continued to misinform voters about Obama's gun policy proposals, claiming that unrelated policies -- like the economic stimulus -- are part of a broader campaign to strip gun rights.
"I'm not going to take away your guns," Obama has repeatedly said. Nevertheless, sensing an opportunity to gain more members and fuel gun sales, the gun lobby insists on preying on people's fears by making up false claims.