After snubbing the NRA’s offer to shoot with suppressors firsthand and learn how they really work, the Washington Post (WaPo) ran an editorial asking Congress to “turn a deaf ear” to the NRA’s claim that suppressors protect hearing.
When the NRA submitted a letter calling them out for rejecting the invite, WaPo printed the letter but only after deleting the line in which the NRA mentioned that the paper’s editorial board refused to come learn about suppressors when asked.
The original WaPo editorial ran May 29. In it, WaPo admitted the some benefits can be gained from suppressors, but presented them as marginal at best and called on Congress to stand up for the people in general rather shooting sports participants.
And it is the general public upon whose behalf Congress is supposed to legislate, not the tens of millions who participate in shooting sports. Even a marginal increase in risk to the population cannot be justified, unless the harms to the minority from current policy are very severe and there are no means to reduce them other than the proposed legislation. In fact, the harms to shooters are modest — somewhat elevated risk of non-total hearing loss, essentially — and effective alternatives to silencers are readily available.
The NRA-ILA’s Chris Cox was allowed to respond with his own letter, which WaPo published on June 5. However, WaPo editors deleted this line: “If the editorial board had accepted NRA’s invitation to a suppressor shoot last week, they would have heard for themselves that the Hearing Protection Act is exactly what its title claims: An act that protects hearing.”
According to the Washington Examiner, WaPo admitted editing out the line when asked. WaPo’s editors said, “We reserve the right to edit letters. As part of our normal process, we share edited letters with letter-writers at least twice in the process (including a final edited version).” The problem here is that WaPo did not edit out a superfluous line that ought not to have been there in the first place. Rather, they took out the line that pulled the covers back on the fact that they had rejected the opportunity to go the NRA event and learn how suppressors actually work. And then, after rejecting that opportunity, had railed against pending suppressor regulation and the NRA.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.