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.