Guns

Here’s a Terrible Idea

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

House Republicans are considering a bill this week that will roll back half a dozen restrictions on the sale of gun-silencers.

The absurdly-named "Hearing Protection Act"...

...was sponsored by Representative Jeff Duncan (R-SC).

Under the 1934 National Firearms Act, silencers are treated similarly to machine guns and explosives. The waiting time to purchase one is far longer than for handguns or other weapons, as much as nine months or more, and buyers have to submit fingerprints and a photograph. Federal law enforcement agencies keep a record of silencer purchases. There is also a $200 transfer tax on silencers.

Duncan’s proposal would eliminate those requirements, as well as refunding the $200 transfer tax to anyone who has purchased a silencer since October 2015.

The House was actually scheduled to hold a hearing on this insane bill today, but then something happened.

A gunman opened fire at congressional baseball practice.

A gunman opened fire on Wednesday on Republican U.S. lawmakers who were practicing near Washington for a charity baseball game, wounding senior Republican leader Steve Scalise and several others before being taken into custody, police and witnesses said.

The gunman died later of his injuries, President Donald Trump announced at the White House.

Lawmakers said the shooter, who was armed with a rifle, had exchanged fire with Capitol Hill police who were at the scene and was shot before being taken into custody.

I overslept this morning and, by the time I woke up, the shooter had already been named and some Republicans were already pointing fingers at liberal rhetoric about healthcare. It was as if everyone had already followed a script and the case was closed before I even saw it. And if I hadn't glanced at Twitter when I woke up, I wouldn't know about it. A mass shooting, even one involving members of Congress, is barely news in America. It will probably be forgotten by tomorrow if not tonight.

When I thought about it that way, I started laughing.

It would be nice if Republicans reconsidered their Second Amendment absolutism after today, but I wouldn't count on it.

  • Victor the Crab

    Nothing positive was done in the wake of 20 first graders getting gunned down in cold blood. And nothing positive will come of this. Count on it!

    • Scopedog

      Sadly Victor, you’re right.

      Hell, did they do anything when Gabby Giffords was shot? Short answer–no.

  • Aynwrong

    This is also infuriating given the GOP’s typical behavior:
    https://twitter.com/chucktodd/status/875017745351487491

    • muselet

      Both Sides! Both Sides!

      –alopecia

    • Victor the Crab

      That hairy faced pig fucker is in need of a savage curb stomping!

      • Aynwrong

        I’d settle for him being canned.

    • Scopedog

      Jesus, Chuck….take that “both sides” argument and shove it up your nether regions, m’kay?

  • Aynwrong

    Calling this the Hearing Protection Act is the definition of Orwellian. And it perfectly demonstrates the problem with the Republican party. THEY. NEVER. STOP. LYING. The idea that this is designed to protect the hearing of the poor little kiddy poos is beyond insulting, but any rational no matter how ridiculous or patently false is good enough if it allows them to hang an argument on.

    Of course the GOP and their media whores enablers will never stop blaming Democrats or liberals or the “fake news” for this. While the So Called Liberal Media™ refuses to remind them of:

    • The nine people murdered in a church because they were African American.

    • Or three people murdered in a Planned Parenthood because “baby body parts”

    • Or two people murdered because they stood between a raging Islamophobe and the women he was violently harassing

    • Or a man shooting two immigrants in a bar in Kansas (killing one of them) and the man who pursued him.

    Or, or, or…

    Or how much Republicans have gone out of their way to enable this.
    https://twitter.com/SteveScalise/status/575397211871264768

    • Scopedog

      …Or how Gabby Giffords was shot back in 2011. Did it cause them to reflect and go for smart gun laws? Nah.

  • Badgerite
  • muselet

    The Right already has its talking point warmed up and ready:

    • Chris Collins says Ds are to blame because of their “outrageous” rhetoric against Donald Trump.

    • Newt Gingrich says “an increasing intensity of hostility on the Left” is to blame.

    • Harlan Hill—apparently a Righty pundit—tried to tie the shooting to the Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar. (Donald Trump Jr approvingly retweeted Hill’s gibberish.)

    • Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham made much of the shooter’s support for Bernie Sanders.

    (All of which is interesting, because I thought we on the Left were unmanly, gun-banning cowards who run away from physical conflict. When did we become bloodthirsty savages? Did I miss a memo?)

    No word yet as to whether Alex Jones has declared this a false flag.

    From the BBC News live feed:

    Congressman Mo Brooks, who reportedly used his belt as a tourniquet to aid wounded teammates, says that his view on gun control has not changed.

    “These rights are here to protect Americans, they are fundamental to our being the greatest nation in world history,” he tells US media.

    I don’t expect much from Mo Brooks, but that may well mark a new low.

    And yes, making silencers easier to acquire is one of the stupidest things I’ve heard in the past … *checks clock* … few hours.

    –alopecia

    • Nefercat

      “I thought we on the Left were unmanly, gun-banning cowards who run away from physical conflict. When did we become bloodthirsty savages?”
      ——————————–
      It is easy to be both of these things in the eyes of a right wing moron. President Obama was a cunning and Machiavellian tyrant with an agenda to destroy the US mwahahaha, and at the same time he was an inexperienced man-child who had never held a job and was in way over his head.

      • muselet

        However could I have forgotten?

        –alopecia

    • Badgerite
  • Draxiar

    It’s infuriating that all the right-wing shit-spewers have completely dismissed all of the right-wing violent attacks and have decided to label liberals as violent because allegedly this guy was a Bernie supporter. Funny, I don’t ever recall Bernie calling for a violent solution to anything. I don’t know what this man was trying to achieve but it didn’t help.

  • Scopedog

    It would be nice if Republicans reconsidered their Second Amendment absolutism after today, but I wouldn’t count on it.

    Exactly. They never reconsidered it even after the many mass shootings we’ve had over the past….oh, I don’t know, twenty fucking years?

    They didn’t do it after Gabby Giffords was shot. Nor after Newtown, after Charlotte, after Orlando, and they sure as hell won’t do it after this.

    ….But if they do, I will stand corrected.

  • No-o, this one won’t be forgotten. The right will pin it on us forever.

  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    Why is this guy a “gunman” instead of a “terrorist”?

    Could it be that he was a middle aged white male?

    • I believe that is correct

    • JMAshby

      Because he opened fired with a gun. That makes him a “gunman.”

      How can I call him a “terrorist” when I know nothing about his motivations? Some details about his political views are coming to light now, and it appears that he was a hardcore supporter of Bernie Sanders who hated Trump and Clinton, but that information was not available when I wrote this post just before noon.

      If he did in fact attack the baseball game for political reasons, yes, that would make him a terrorist. Terrorists are also “gunman” in many cases.

      • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

        How can I call him a “terrorist” when I know nothing about his motivations?

        You can safely assume that an effort to shoot a bunch of congressmen is politically motivated.

        What? Do you think he just had a lot of money riding on the outcome of the game and wanted to ensure the GOP team would lose? Did he think his gun shot out candy instead of bullets? Of course this was political. He even checked to verify which team they were before opening fire. What, exactly, the political goal was may have been unknown, but you can’t reasonably doubt that it was politically motivated.

        If he did in fact attack the baseball game for political reasons, yes, that would make him a terrorist. Terrorists are also “gunman” in many cases.

        That question is aimed more broadly at “the media” and conservative talking heads than it was at you.

        And, yes, a terrorist who uses a gun is a gunman. Completely accurate. But the media and Fox and talk radio and the right-wing blog-o-sphere don’t talk about Muslims who use guns as gunmen. They call them terrorists. “Gunman” is reserved for white people who they don’t want to call terrorists since “terrorist” is for “those people.”

        My point is that if he had brown skin, every conservative in the country would be screeching at the top of their lungs about a terroristic assault on our democracy.

        But he was white. So he’s just a one-off. A nut. A gunman. Nothing to see here, move along.

        ————–

        It is going to be interesting to see the contortions the right wing has to go through to
        (A) play up their victimization
        (B) play down the role of guns
        (C) play up the extremism of the far left
        (D) play down comparisons to extremism on the right
        (E) avoid any talk about gun control
        (F) parlay this into increased security for themselves
        (G) deny any comparisons to Gabby Gifford
        (H) pin this on liberals in general and liberal media especially
        (I) and use this as a fundraising tool

        And, behold, while the whole left simply rolls over and plays dead.

        • JMAshby

          What? Do you think he just had a lot of money riding on the outcome of the game and wanted to ensure the GOP team would lose? Did he think his gun shot out candy instead of bullets? Of course this was political. He even checked to verify which team they were before opening fire. What, exactly, the political goal was may have been unknown, but you can’t reasonably doubt that it was politically motivated.

          No, I didn’t assume or doubt anything. I waited for the full story to emerge. Virtually anyone can obtain and use guns for virtually any reason in America. Just a few months ago, Trump signed a GOP bill allowing the mentally committed to buy guns.

          In Virginia, you can openly carry handguns and long rifles without a permit.

          Believe it or not, I take this very seriously and I don’t necessarily write everything I am personally thinking. Actually, I keep many thoughts to myself. Sometimes I only write what I know for sure or can verify. I’m more careful than a concerned commenter.