Democrats may have finally met their match in the battle of America’s right to self-preservation.
Not only did the common sense right gain a victory in the election of Donald Trump, but it also gained a staunch guns rights activist in the form of Donald Trump, Jr., an avid hunter with an eye on expanding the Second Amendment rights of the average American citizen through the Hearing Protection Act, H.R.3799 and S.2236. In a bold political move, the son of the Donald has come out against restrictions on the often maligned silencer, a highly effective and admittedly ultra-cool gun accessory that undoubtedly scares Democrats because it might actually be effective in self-defense.
The self-defense industry is no stranger to introducing rollback legislation to loose some of the bonds around the retail silencer market. Recently stalled legislation stands as a testament to the longevity of the lobby, but the entrance of the Donald and his son into the King’s Square of American politics places new hope behind the effort. The new Hearing Protection Act re-positions silencers as a public health effort – a viable concern considering that 55 million people in the United States own very loud guns.
Donald Trump, Jr. is proving that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as he boldly campaigns for silencers as a public health initiative. He is bringing out all the right statistics and the appropriate stance to give the Republican led Congress every excuse to push the legislation through without incident, much to the chagrin of anti-gun lobby Democrats, who make quite a pretty penny advocating against any self-defense tool that actually has a chance of working.
Opposition masquerading as violence prevention advocates are trying to position the silencer as a super scary, military grade piece of weaponry, saying that the Hearing Protection Act will make it easier for mass shooters to conceal their attacks. This argument might work were it not for one detail: Does any mass shooter ever worry about concealing an attack? Come on, guys. If you’re crazy enough to kill a bunch of innocent people for no reason, then it’s not likely that you are worried about the decibel level of your chosen instrument of carnage.
Former Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) are the stalwart champions who introduced the Hearing Protection Act and a related companion bill in Congress in 2015. Although neither piece of legislation ever made it to hearings, it was the third highest viewed proposal on the Congress website in 2016.
Democrats would have a much easier life simply admitting that they are playing off of the scary reputation of the silencer to fund their pockets rather than actually dealing with the realities of the technology. The second that congressional Democrats move away from ridiculous circular arguments about how scary guns are and into a discussion of how to actually fix America’s problems, the sooner we can all get back to a worry free hunting season and a great America with freedom for all.
The NRA is in support of the Hearing Protection Act because of its potential to update truly antiquated suppressor laws. The silencer, a misnomer in and of itself, is not harmful in any way by itself. Consumers are currently subject to a $200 tax, a lengthy application and waiting period, and an additional sign off from the acting Chief Law Enforcement Officer just to purchase one. The overall result is that many veterans with a need for hearing protection are not able to participate in routine hunting activities.
The NRA viewpoint also addresses many implications concerning the relative freedoms America affords its citizens compared to European nations. Most First World European economies have no restrictions at all on the use of silencers, putting American gun owners at a huge disadvantage. The NRA also addresses the fundamental hypocrisy that mufflers are often required on large machinery, but restricted on guns.
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