Rep. Jeff Duncan's "Hearing Protection Act" is tone-deaf 

Suppressed Silencer

It should come as no surprise that the gun control debate has kicked up since the Las Vegas terrorist attack. However, conservatives, who were quick to discuss the Muslim problem after the Florida Pulse nightclub shooting are now pleading that we postpone politics in the wake of the tragedy. This is because conservatives are accustomed to suckling at the teat of the National Rifle Association. None more so than South Carolina's own Representative Jeff Duncan (R–Laurens).

Duncan is responsible for HR 367, the "Hearing Protection Act" (HPA). The HPA is a poorly disguised way of introducing legislation that makes it easier for someone to purchase a gun silencer, also known as a suppressor.

Under current regulations, a person must go through an approximate nine-month process to obtain a suppressor, during which time their identity is more thoroughly vetted than a typical background check for a handgun. You must also pay a $200 tax. The HPA eliminates the tax. It also utilizes the same shoddy background check for handguns which means you could get a suppressor in just a few days as opposed to months and the stringent vetting.

HPA advocates claim that there is a plague among gun owners across the country who are losing their hearing as a consequence of willingly exploding gunpowder right next to their faces. The suppressor oppression is eloquently expressed by the American Suppressor Association:

"We look forward to a day when we are no longer taxed to protect our hearing while exercising our second amendment rights at the range and in the field. Together, we can ensure that future generations of sportsmen and women will no longer have to sacrifice their hearing."

Wow. I can't believe this oppression is happening on American soil.

Let's just cut to the logic cake. The American Supressor Association statement is like saying "date rape drugs don't rape people" therefore we should lighten regulations on chemicals like GHB and Chloroform. The only difference is that there isn't a National Chloroform Association lobby working tirelessly to buy Pro-Chloroform legislation.

The debate over the Second Amendment is a classic "spirit versus letter" of the law debate. The Second Amendment is about ensuring that American citizens have the ability to defend themselves from oppressive governments, foreign and domestic. It is about local militias. It is not about allowing individuals to have arsenals. It most certainly is not about purposely ignoring responsible background checks and it is absolutely not about allowing a person with a pending felony charge, like Dylann Roof, to easily buy a gun and a silencer. This is why the NRA goes dark during events such as the Las Vegas terrorist attack and conservatives plea for a break from politics. It's bad for business.

Duncan's "Hearing Protection Act" is a shameless attempt to make gun enthusiasts and lobbyists such as the NRA happy. Any person who can't wait nine months to get a silencer or can't pass a more thorough background check can buy a very cheap, more effective form of ear protection in the form of earplugs or ear cups. If gun owners are truly going deaf despite the ability to prevent it with a short trip to Walmart, I'm more concerned about the mental health of the people wielding the guns. This is actually an argument for stricter gun control laws because it exposes the mental dysfunction of a large portion of American gun owners as well as politicians who would support such a measure.

This isn't about hearing protection, folks. Let's call a spade a spade.

We are enduring a leadership that celebrates xenophobia through illogical Muslim bans despite the fact that we are more likely to be killed by domestic terrorists. Conservative leaders want to make it easier for the Roofs of the world to do more damage when they strike. We're not even saying to tighten gun laws here. Just don't make it easier for terrorists to kill us. What is the logic for quicker access to silencers paired with less thorough background checks from the same people who claim terrorism is a problem? I can't hear you.


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