On Monday, congressional Republicans shelved an impending vote a measure that would relax restrictions on buying silencers for guns. The optics were clearly too troubling for the GOP to continue to push for the bill right after the deadliest mass shooting in modern history.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Duncan, a Republican from South Carolina, would loosen federal regulations on the purchasing of silencers, or suppressors, which are attached to the muzzle of a gun to dampen the sound of the weapon firing. It would also make it more difficult for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to classify certain kinds of ammunition as “armor piercing,” according to Politico.
It’s bummer timing for pro-gun nuts in the House, but it shouldn’t surprise them too much, given that this is the second time in a row that they had to press pause on the silencer bill because of horrific gun violence. The last time the bill got delayed it was because—get this—their own GOP colleague, Majority Whip Steve Scalise, was shot at a congressional softball league practice.
Here’s a thought: If you have to keeping holding your breath and hoping that a monstrous act of gun violence doesn’t make your legislation look politically unpalatable at best or monstrous at worst, it’s a very bad bill, and you should stop fighting for it.
Only in America would our elected officials even fathom talking about putting more guns into more hands after a cache of legally purchased guns were used to shoot nearly 600 people as they enjoyed a concert on a late summer evening. But you can count on the GOP to keep trying.