I wasn’t sure if I should post this to the blog or not. It is a copy of a letter that I wrote yesterday to Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) who is my congressman. McHenry is also the Chief Deputy Majority Whip so he is also part of the Republican leadership in the House.
My friend Rob Morse also wrote his congressman along with Paul Ryan and posted his letter on his SlowFacts blog. His is a little shorter and more to the point.
I am putting a link to my letter in Google Docs as well so that anyone can use it as the basis for their own letter or fax. McHenry has three offices in the district in addition to his one in DC. I faxed each and every one that had a published fax number.
Hon. Patrick McHenry
Member of Congress
Dear Rep. McHenry:
I have written to you in the past urging passage of the Hearing Protection Act. It has now been incorporated into HR 3668 – the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act of 2017 – as Title XV of the SHARE Act.
Hearing is one sense that once lost can never be regained. I know as I suffer from both hearing loss and tinnitus. To those who say just use ear plugs or shooting muffs, neither deals adequately with the concussive wave of the exploding gases of the gun shot. I have attached the executive summary from a position paper in favor of suppressors by Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership. As they note, restricting suppressors is an obstacle to hearing safety.
A suppressor on a firearm is like a muffler on a lawn mower. It doesn’t make it silent; it merely reduces the noise level to a safer decibel level. To say as Hillary Clinton did the other day that it would have made the tragedy in Las Vegas even worse is to merely to show ignorance. Police, the average citizen, and “shot spotter” software could all have detected the gunfire by sound as well as its location.
HR 3668 has passed out of all committees and is now on the Union Calendar of the House as number 224. There are reports that Speaker Ryan is now determined to sit on the bill and not let it come up for a vote. As you are a member of House leadership in your role as Chief Deputy Majority Whip, let me make one thing perfectly clear to you and to the rest of the GOP.
THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.
Republicans would not hold a majority of both houses of Congress, Donald Trump would not be President, and there would not be a Republican supermajority of the North Carolina General Assembly if it were not for us in the firearms community. We have been given too many promises over too many years that Republicans are our allies in the fight for gun rights. We have given our votes and we have been continually disappointed. It is always there are more important things to handle and we’ll get to it “next year”. We are treated like Lucy treats Charlie Brown.
No more! While I can’t speak for everyone in the gun rights community, my vote will not be forthcoming unless I see good bills like HR 3668 and Rep. Hudson’s HR 38 brought up for recorded votes and passed in the House.
I attended and spoke at the 2017 Gun Rights Policy Conference held this past weekend in Dallas, Texas. Both the SHARE Act and HR 38 were discussed. A resolution was adopted on Sunday that demanded a recorded vote on both of these bills. Collectively, we have made the decision to stop playing “Charlie Brown” to the GOP’s “Lucy”.
John P. Richardson
Attachment: Executive Summary: Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership Position Paper in Favor of Firearm Suppressors to Prevent Hearing Loss
You can get the executive summary of DRGO’s position paper here. I would suggest including it with your fax or letter.