So much for it not being the "right time" to deal with guns. After the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history, Republicans move to loosen regulations even further.
Turns out Republicans in Congress do want to address the issue of guns following the worst mass shooting in modern history. It’s just that Republicans want to quietly pass a truly radical and dangerous NRA-sponsored bill that would make it easier for people to buy silencers for their guns.
People like Stephen Paddock, who purchased 33 guns the 12 months prior to opening fire on the country music crowd in Las Vegas last week.
It was the loud explosion of gunfire coming from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel that first alerted concertgoers that a deadly rampage had begun. And it was that loud gunfire that prompted lots of people to quickly seek safety. In the end, 58 people were killed and more than 500 were injured.
Yet despite the gun wreckage in Las Vegas, the GOP and the NRA have recommitted themselves to pass a law that would help muffle that sound of gunfire.
Following the concert massacre, the GOP rhetorically locked arms with the NRA and insisted, once again, that horrific acts of gun shootings do not represent the “right time” to discus the epidemic of gun violence in America. But apparently it’s the right time to loosen gun restrictions.
Less than two weeks after the carnage and after the funerals, the NRA’s Republican surrogates stress that they’re determined to bring the silencer bill to the House floor for a vote.
“House Republican lawmakers and leadership aides confirmed they were still hopeful they could hold a floor vote” on the silencer bill, McClatchy reported on Thursday. The bill would drastically shorten the months-long waiting period for silencers that’s currently in place.
The bill is being pitched as a safety issue (aka the Hearing Protection Act) with the NRA and GOP stressing that it would protect hunters and sportsmen from hearing loss. Yet for decades in this country, tens of millions of hunters have been able to use guns without silencers. So why the sudden need for change?
One reason is that if the bill passed, sales of silencers would likely explode, creating a new profit center from gun manufacturers. The gun industry profited greatly during eight years under President Obama because the NRA, Republicans, and the right-wing media demonized the Democratic president and convinced gun enthusiasts he was going to snatch away their rights. (Obama never did.)
With Donald Trump in office, gun sales have slumped and the industry needs new sources of revenue.
Incredibly, back in June, Republicans had to postpone a hearing on the silencer bill because that morning a gunman opened fire on a baseball field where Republican members of Congress were practicing.
But that bloodshed did nothing to slow down the GOP’s radical NRA agenda. And neither, it seems, will the Las Vegas massacre.