Celebrity doctor and Pennsylvania senatorial candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz is taking fire from gun-rights advocates for articles he published in 2017 and 2019 that advocate for gun control.
The Republican candidate’s byline is on the editorials, but he denies writing them. The “YouDocs” syndicated column was co-written by Oz and his business partner, Dr. Michael Roizen. Oz claims that Roizen was the primary author of the articles, and Roizen confirmed in a letter to Fox News that Oz’s involvement was “minimal.”
The articles in question advocate for an “assault weapon” ban, red flag laws, New Zealand-style gun buyback programs, universal gun purchaser licensing, and mandatory waiting periods.
One article from July 2019, for example, characterizes state restrictions on semi-automatic rifles as “good news” and calls for a reinstitution of the nationwide ban on such firearms.
Another article from 2017 repeats the false claim that “almost every gun owner in the U.S. supports tighter gun laws” and describes those who legally carry a concealed firearm as “scary!”
“Just think how many lives strict background checks and tighter automatic weapon, magazine and ammunition regulations could save without impinging on anyone’s rights,” Oz and Roizen write.
Not everyone is buying Oz’s claim that he didn’t know or support the content of the articles.
“What’s most striking about this is that Oz thinks that Pennsylvania Republicans are dumb enough to buy this nonsense,” said Arthur Schwartz, a Republican operative. “No one actually believes that he was so offended by the content of these columns that he waited until he was running for senate in a Republican primary to disown them.”
The Pennsylvania chapter of Gun Owners of America posted an article on their Facebook page quoting Schwartz’s comment. They also released a statement of their own on the social media platform: “Dr. Oz tries to disavow gun control articles. If his name is on them, they are attributable to him, regardless of who actually penned them. If Oz didn’t support what was written, he should never have co-authored them.”
None of the eight comments underneath the post defend the doctor. “He can deny all he wants. I still don’t trust him. Won’t be voting for him, either. He needs to go back to New Jersey and stay there,” one comment reads.
Oz’s opponents in the GOP primary have jumped on the opportunity to slam the doctor. Dave McCormick, the leading Republican candidate in the race, said in a statement that Oz “has a long public record and history of being enthusiastically anti-Second Amendment.”
“He has supported red flag laws and sided with extreme left gun grabbers to try to take away guns from Americans,” the statement continued. “Now Mehmet is hoping PA voters will forget he is anti-gun and the fact he will not support our constitutional right”
The Pennsylvania primary election will take place on May 17th.