Friday, September 2, 2016

Gun Silencers

“It’s easier to buy a silencer…..”

Yes, it is.  It is very easy to buy silence about gun violence.  The NRA has been doing it for years.

Actually, the NRA has made the US Capitol building its marketplace and a few key members of Congress its silencer sales force.  You would never know that gun violence is a major public health crisis in this country if you checked the statistics of any state public health department or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Even though there are more gun-related deaths each year than fatal cases of the flu, you can probably find the data on the flu, maybe even displayed by location or the age of the patient.  But a search for information on gun deaths will just yield silence.

That silence has been bought and paid for by the National Rifle Association through its influence on the way Congress allocates the tax dollars for research.  From Daily Kos:

     “The research 'ban' is one of the most pernicious impacts of the extremists in charge of the National Rifle Association. NRA arm-twisting led to the rider the senators talk about in the letter being passed in 1996. It was first added to an appropriations bill by Jay Dickey Jr., then a Republican Congressman from Arkansas. Congress followed up by shifting $2.6 million that the previous year had been budgeted for gun violence research into traumatic brain injury research, instead.

     After that first vote, Knight-Ridder investigated and found that 75 percent of the lawmakers who backed the Dickey Amendment had received $1.6 million from the NRA that same year. Only six of the 158 members who opposed the measure had received support from the gun lobby.”

Questions:  why so little info?  No maps of gun violence, no mandated collection of data from states, or from coroners, ER's, police responding to domestic violence calls?  Why no documenting of cases of gun violence involving mental illness? no "duty to report" for pediatricians (as in the case of other forms of child abuse)?  no map of the geography of gun violence by type of weapon, source of weapon, age and circumstances of the shooter?  

We don't have this information because the  NRA has found the silence easier to buy than a refrigerator.  Just like the ad says:

"Now that our [brand name] kiosk units are becoming accessible across the country, we feel it's divine intervention that our Silencer Shop mobile app is now ready for use, too. (Thank you, suppressor gods!)"

"With our new kiosks, we've gone digital!"

"Take your time picking the right suppressor for your needs"

"Fortunately, buying a [silencer] is a simple process that generally requires less paperwork than buying a refrigerator!"

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