Even before Hillary Clinton knew about the types of firearms reportedly used by Stephen Paddock, she tweeted against what she called “silencers,” devices that suppress sound.
“The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots,” Clinton wrote. “Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer.”
But for many gun control advocates – as well as their opponents – Clinton’s statement exemplifies exactly what is wrong with much of the firearms debate in America.
It is misleading and naive while also being shrill and divisive.
Sergey Molkov, a firearms expert, said on Monday that the idea that sound suppressors could have resulted in even more deaths is simply wrong.
Most anyone with the firepower that Paddock had – with or without “silencers,” Molkov said – could have turned the festival into a bloodbath, and a very loud one at that.
Instead of trying to ban this rifle or that magazine clip, more and more people on both sides of the gun control issue agree that solutions must be nuanced. They also strive for inclusive support.
Polls, too, support this path for a more peaceful nation.
Three years ago, Richard Martinez sent out 2.4 million postcards saying “Not One More!” after his 20-year-old son, Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, was shot and killed at UC Santa Barbara.
“I can’t accept the way my son died,” Martinez told me during a painful conversation on Monday. “We are Americans in the 21st century and we don’t have to live like this.”
As a grim reminder, Martinez offered that just as his own son was unable to telephone his parents because he was shot, scores of phones were left unused at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas because their owners were shot.
Now a senior associate for Everytown for Gun Safety,…