Saturday, September 30, 2017

New Deb Fischer bill makes it easy for felons, domestic abusers and the mentally ill to buy gun silencers; prohibits state, local control

On April 17, 2013, Senator Deb Fischer voted to help the NRA kill an amendment limiting the size of firearm magazines. On May 20, 2015, Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco died at the hands of a gang member wielding a Glock 9mm pistol with a high capacity drum magazine (pictured).
     Now Fischer is at it again. one of 18 cosponsors of the Share Act and so-called Hearing Protection Act, NRA/gun manufacturer initiatives. The Hearing Protection Act (How laughable is that? Shooters can't wear ear muffs?) "amends the federal criminal code to preempt state or local laws that tax or regulate firearm silencers."
The SHARE Act would remove silencers from the National Firearms Act, and for the first time in more than 80 years, make it easy for anyone — including felons, domestic abusers and people with dangerous mental illnesses, like the gunman at Virginia Tech — to buy silencers without a background check, simply by finding an unlicensed seller. [Nearly all private gun sales are by unlicensed sellers.]
Jeff Twig, a survivor of the Virginia Tech massacre, is disturbed by what Senator Fischer and her Republican colleagues are doing. In a USA Today piece entitled Say no to gun silencer bill. I survived Virginia Tech because I heard shots he wrote:
     I was sitting in class at Virginia Tech when the gunman opened fire down the hallway. I remember the sound of the gunshots. Despite becoming accustomed to the loud masonry work around my classroom that semester, I knew that this was different. The loud and piercing sound of the gunfire let me know that something terrible was happening. My professor quickly braced himself against the door as my classmates and I opened windows from which to escape.
     It was a 19-foot drop from the windows to the ground. As the gunshots grew louder and louder, I knew it would be dangerous to jump, but even more dangerous to stay put. So I jumped. When I hit the ground, I broke both the tibia and fibula in my left leg. I got out, but 32 people were shot and killed that day, including my classmate and professor.
     Simply put: For me, hearing the sound of gunshots meant the difference between life and death. They were so loud and distinctive that my classmates and I knew to take action immediately. Law enforcement officers rely on the sound of gunfire, too. Police and first responders are expected to hear, locate and react quickly to gunshots.
     As a survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting, I know that gun lobby-backed legislation being pushed through Congress could make mass shootings even more deadly, and make it more difficult for law enforcement to do their jobs and  keep people safe.
     It’s worth mentioning that the Virginia Tech shooting was far from the only time that survivors heard gunshots and knew they had to react quickly. More recently, in Alexandria, Va., members of Congress were practicing for the congressional baseball game when a gunman opened fire. Those who were there said that they,  too, recognized the sound of gunshots, and knew to take cover in the dugout.
     Omaha's ShotSpotter system, already miserable as a tool for actually catching shooters, if you believe Forbes's stats, may be compromised if Fischer's bill making it easier for violent criminals to acquire silencers becomes law.
If a silencer is used or shots are fired into a car and the vehicle absorbs the acoustic energy of the blast, the sound may elude the sensors, said Ralph Clark, ShotSpotter’s chief executive.

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