Physicians back pro-gun candidates

Groups dominated by physicians favor pro-gun candidates.
Groups dominated by physicians favor pro-gun candidates.
Even as various professional doctors' associations made stands favoring gun control, influential political action committees representing those physicians continued to support pro-gun politicians.

   Indeed, political action committees affiliated with physician organizations contributed more money to political candidates who oppose policies to reduce firearm-related injuries than to candidates who support those proposals, according to Brown University research. This finding is in stark contrast to physicians' calls for policies such as universal criminal background checks.
    The study, led Jeremiah Schuur, chair of emergency medicine at Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School, focused on campaign contributions from 25 physician organization-affiliated PACs in the U.S. The authors examined candidates' voting records on two legislative efforts to expand background checks for firearm purchases.
    The authors found that 20 of 25 physician-affiliated PACs, including such high profile organizations as the American Medical Association, American College of Emergency Physicians and American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, contributed more money to U.S. Senate incumbents who voted against the background check proposal than to those who voted for it.
    The study also found that 24 PACs contributed more to incumbents who did not co-sponsor efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives to expand background checks. The bottom line: 25 PACs contributed an additional $500,000 to Senate candidates who voted against the background check proposal and an additional $2.8 million to House candidates who did not co-sponsor the proposal, according to Brown.
     Researchers also evaluated candidates' National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund letter-grade ratings, which rank political candidates based on their support for the gun association's priorities. The majority of physician association-affiliated PACs contributed more to candidates with high NRA ratings.
    The study, "Association of Physician Organization–Affiliated Political Action Committee Contributions With US House of Representatives and Senate Candidates’ Stances on Firearm Regulation," is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


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