With all the talk about Health Care and Russia, I seem to have a bee in my bonnet about silence. The eerie silence of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (which was featured in my last piece, “Secretary of Silence”) is just one way that silence has come to the foreground of political discourse during The Don’s ascendency.
Silence took center stage during the democratic convention when The Don decided to attack Mrs. Kahn, the mother of a slain Islamic American soldier, criticizing her silence, intimating that as a Muslim woman she wasn’t allowed to speak, It turned out Mrs. Kahn’s silence was related to her grief.
Silence was once again featured, this time on the floor of the Senate, when misogynist Mitch McConnell decided he had heard enough of Elizabeth Warren during her reading of Correta Scott King’s letter that questioned Jeff Sessions’ suitability to be attorney general. And let’s not forget Steve Bannon’s little hissy fit when he chided the press and told them to just shut up and listen!
Well, silence seems to be what Donald Jr., nefarious big game hunter and gun advocate, is advocating for by leading the charge to end the ban on silencers for guns. In a video he made for Silencer Co., Eric Jr. had this to say about his support for silencers: “It’s about hearing protection; it’s a health issue.”
On cue, the NRA is putting its weight behind the “Hearing Protection Act” which will roll back an 80 year- old federal law that tightly controls the sale of silencers. Suddenly protecting hearing is a national health crisis! So is being the victim of gun violence; so is healthcare; so is climate change, but those don’t seem to be on the list of health related issues that ole Jr. is concerned about. I don’t know about you, but I would trade a little ringing in my ears for dying from lack of health care, being shot or being sucked in to some giant sink -hole because of an earthquake created by fracking!
The nerve of them all! The idea of being shot in silence is just not fair. If you don’t go out with a bang what’s the point?
With more than 30,000 gun related deaths annually and countless more gun shots injuring others or not hitting their intended targets, the police in major cities have been hailing a new audio detection system called Shotspotter, that allows law enforcement to reach the scene of gun -fire in a more timely manner.
I bet the people who live in communities where death from gun -fire is sadly too frequent would be happy to exchange a little Tinnitus for a more rapid response from police. Perhaps they could be spared some of Mrs. Kahn’s grief.
Wouldn’t it be great for some school shooter with a silencer to just tip toe around, ducking in and out of classrooms, taking out random kids without anybody really knowing it? Suddenly there would just be a bunch of kids with their heads down on their desks with their teachers chiding them about sleep hygiene?
And what about the no fly zone terrorists, who can buy all the guns and silencers they want taking out a whole bunch of people in silence. It just might impact the timeliness of police response, as all those people on the floor could simply be seen as part of a planned rave where everyone pretends to play dead.
And suddenly, the republicans are concerned about the mentally ill. Recently, those bleeding hearts repealed a law forbidding the mentally ill from owning guns. To set the record straight, the mentally ill are much less likely to perpetrate gun violence then men who decide to settle a score with their wives by shooting them.
However, someone who is psychotic, and who has difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality, and who has a gun with a silencer, may think hey this doesn’t make any noise so I can just shoot at someone and nothing will happen. This is all to say that silencers are not golden.