Mere hours after a lunatic ended the lives of 58 human beings, Hillary Clinton took to Twitter, not to mourn with the victims’ families, but to attack the NRA.
“The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots,” she tweeted at 9:03 am on Monday, October 2. “Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get.”
Las Vegas, we are grieving with you—the victims, those who lost loved ones, the responders, & all affected by this cold-blooded massacre.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 2, 2017
Hillary’s shameless politicization of tragedy comes as no surprise.
The Hearing Protection Act, which would make suppressors available to those who can pass a background check, is one of only two major pro-gun pieces of legislation currently being considered by the U.S. Congress. As an emotionless cyborg, Hillary couldn’t pass on the chance to attack whatever GOP-backed legislation happens to be hot.
Her criticisms would have been more effective, however, if they were based in reality (they aren’t).
A new report from Politifact, a nonpartisan fact-checking organization, has this to say about Clinton’s statement:
“A suppressor would not have made a difference in the Las Vegas case, because of the positioning of the weapons and because of the distance of the shooter from the crowd. Clinton’s staff provided no evidence to suggest a different outcome.”
Suppressors suppress the sound of a gunshot; they don’t silence it. Politifact points out that even a suppressed firearm produces a sound approximately as loud as a jackhammer, especially when shooting high-caliber rounds like those used by the Las Vegas gunman.
In addition, suppressors work to lower muzzle blast volume for the shooter, not those downrange. Jeremy Mallette, who has researched suppressors for Silencer Shop, told Politifact that the sound of suppressed gunfire would go up 10 to 15 decibels downrange. While the sound of the gunshots would have been slightly reduced, it still would have been audible from the concert venue.
Other anti-gun proponents point out that suppressors reduce muzzle flash. Since it’s nearly impossible to tell where shots originate based on sound, the muzzle flash allowed concert-goers to identify the threat and run away.
But Politifact notes that suppressors don’t eliminate muzzle flash altogether. Concert-goers still would have been able to locate the source of the gunfire. What’s more, flash hiders are already available via the open market. If the shooter thought a flash hider would have helped him inflict more damage, he could have purchased one online.
The fact that the shooter chose not to use a suppressor — even though he likely could have acquired one — gets at the heart of the Politifact report. The Las Vegas shooting was so deadly because the shooter was close to his targets, and they were packed in a tight urban environment. A suppressor would have made only a marginal difference in this case, which makes Clinton’s remarks even more heinous.