The tragedy in Las Vegas last night has evoked a burst of conversation about gun control. Here is a useful article to prepare you to have conversations with those who say “guns don’t kill, people do.” The bottom line on all the statistics presented in that article: The states that have tighter gun restrictions have fewer gun deaths. Action Alert #1: Please share this article.
Action Alert #2: Two bills are moving through the House of Representatives that would remove restrictions on the purchase of gun silencers. Imagine the mass shooting in Las Vegas without the sound of gunfire: The crowd would not have known to run or take shelter — at least not as quickly — and the police would have had a more difficult time locating the shooter.
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. Politico
This week, the House is poised to repeal these 80-year old protections because the arms industry wants more sales. Their pitch is protecting the hearing of hunters. However, “law enforcement and military experts have told the American people and Congress they oppose this bill, and that there are very effective hearing protection devices already available on the open market,” Kris Brown, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said in a statement after the bill passed out of committee. “Keeping guns out of dangerous hands and stopping school shootings, ambushes of police and other mass shootings before they can start is the priority for the American people – not making it harder to detect a shooting once it starts.”