The world is going to hell in a handbasket, and if a Republican bill making it easier to buy silencers in the wake of America’s deadliest shooting passes, it will just get there faster.
As news is still coming in and the death toll continues to rise after Sunday night’s shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, the Washington Post reports that the backers of a bill known as the Hearing Protection Act propose to make gun silencers legal.
“The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots,” former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted Monday. “Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer.”
That’s right: As if allowing folks access to automatic weapons wasn’t enough—I don’t know anyone who hunts animals with automatic weapons—the proposed bill—which Time magazine notes “is a large package that nominally serves to ‘enhance opportunities’ to hunt and fish on federal land”—would give those people access to silencers and shorten the background check in order to purchase the noise suppressor.
According to Time, Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) has been gunning to get this legislation pushed through. According to Duncan, he’s worried that the loud noises guns make could cause hunters hearing loss.
“This legislation is about safety—plain and simple,” Duncan, a hunter, who says he’s damaged his hearing from gun noise, said in a statement when introducing the silencer bill into the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, Time reports.
Time magazine notes that the measure, which was originally introduced some time ago, was halted in the summer after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was gravely injured in a shooting during a congressional baseball practice in June. Scalise returned to the House floor to rousing applause just last week, still being aided by two walking canes, and now the silencer bill is being reintroduced and could be up for a vote sometime this week.
“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi criticized House Republicans for returning to the silencer debate so shortly after his return,” Time reports.