Sounds of Silence

Hallelujah, the Republicans are going to take action on gun control. Well, not so fast. They are thinking of banning boosters, or aka, bump stock, which transform semi-automatic weapons into automatic weapons. This was the weapon of choice of the maniac who slaughtered and injured hundreds in Las Vegas, during a country music festival. Even the Second Amendment Republican fundamentalists winced over the latest carnage and they may even have the church’s, oops I mean the N.R.A’s, blessing on this one.

But not so fast, as The N.R.A. is not necessarily busting boosters, but is agreeing to have a quiet chat about it over coffee and a high cholesterol breakfast.

Not so fast, as it turns out Paul Ryan is not interested in creating legislation to ban the booster, but wants to turn over its fate to a regulatory agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives. Me thinks this is his sneaky way of taking legislators off the hook for voting on a bill and protecting them from the ire of the N.R.A. One word for that: coward! Another  word: sycophant! Another word: silence!

It took all of two weeks for the NFL owners symbolic holding of hands with players in support of their right to protest by kneeling during the National Anthem for it to be exposed for the theater and bullshit it was.

It is all so disgusting. Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys owner, has now threatened to bench players who take a knee during the National Anthem. Other owners are jumping on the band -wagon. Mike Ditka, a former Hall of Fame player and coach, doesn’t believe there has been any oppression in the country in the last century and stated: “All of a sudden it’s become a big deal now, about oppression.” ESPN suspended black female anchor, Jemele Hill,  for suggesting that people should not take this lying down and boycott sponsors of the Dallas Cowboys. Will you just shut that woman up, please? Silence her, please!

So once again, we are confronted with the awful and warped American reality, that it is of more value for people to exercise their right to purchase semi-automatic weapons, than it is for people to exercise their right to free speech by taking a knee during a football game. In America, Rat-a-tat-tat drowns out the voice of dissent.

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….oh, wait.

Even if boosters were banned, its impact would be the equivalent of being in a theater on fire and the person noticing the flames  turning to their neighbor and whispering “I think there’s a fire.”

The Republican response to what happened in Las Vegas has been the usual silence. Statements like “this is not the time to have a conversation about this, people are suffering.” They said the same thing about the hurricanes that devastated Houston, Miami, and Puerto Rico  This is not the time to talk about Climate change as there is so much devastation. That would be politicizing the issue. It is desecrating the dead and their families.

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All their talk of silence is about one thing: understanding that people have short memories and that the passage of time is the partner of inaction.

People will get on with their lives and silence will have won the day. Tell that to the people of Newton, San Bernardino, Orlando and now Las Vegas as their lives will be haunted forever by these nightmares. There will never be silence for their wounds. The devastation of these events will imprint themselves indelibly on their hearts and psyches.

And irony of ironies, at the same time that we are engaged in national hand wringing over booster busting, the Congress is boostering for the right to use silencers. Paul Ryan announced that despite rumors to the contrary, the plan to bring gun silencer legislation to the House of Representatives floor is going forward.

And guess who has been one of the high profile proponents and advocates of the need for gun silencers?

None other than Donald Jr. “It’s about hearing protection; it’s a health issue,” he said in a video he made for Silencer Co. 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 he, his father or any Republican care about.

Don’t you just feel terrible for people who kill other people who have to endure ringing in their ears? Experts have said that if the Las Vegas shooter had used silencers the causalities would have been much worse, but he would have been protected from his ears ringing. Good trade off.

Frankly, the idea of being shot in silence isn’t fair. You need to go out with a bang or what’s the point? I just don’t see why the shooters can’t where good ear plugs? Guess they wouldn’t be able to hear the cries of agony emanating from their victims? Talk about unfair!

Wouldn’t it be great for some school shooter to just tip toe around the corridors, ducking in and out of classrooms, taking out random kids without anybody really knowing it? Suddenly there would be a bunch of kids with their heads down on the desk with their teacher chiding them about sleep hygiene.

And then there are the no-fly zone terrorists who can by all the guns they want using silencers to take out a whole bunch of people in silence. It just might impact police time response as all those people on the floor could be seen as a planned rave, ( an event in which people just show up at a given time and destination and all do the same thing), in this case playing dead!

And then there is the irony related to the Republicans concern about the mentally ill who are to blame for these awful events. But wait, haven’t they repealed a law forbidding the mentally ill from owning guns. I’m totally confused.

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. That’s a coincidence: didn’t The Don say he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and nothing would happen?

Sadly, the silence on sensible gun control will continue and so will the deaths. The NRA will have its way. America will have its guns and the desecration of the dead will continue. Turns out that silence is the real killer.

Some facts about guns and death in the U.S:

  • Americans are ten times more likely to be killed by guns than in other developed countries.
  • Gun related murder rate is 25 times higher.
  • Gun suicide rate is 8 times higher.
  • Even though the US has half the population of all developed countries combined, the U.S. accounts for 82% of all gun deaths.
  • 90% of all women killed by guns, 91% of children killed by gun violence are in U.S.
  • 92% of young people between 15 and 24 are from U.S. compared to other wealthy countries
  • 15-24 year olds are 49 times more likely to be victim of gun related murder.We don’t need bans on boosters we need the repeal of the 2nd amendment.

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