Earlier this week, an op-ed piece appeared on the US News and World Report website. The piece, by Lanae Erickson Hatalsky and Nathan Kasai began with a huge erroneous misconception in their title: Deadly Silence. The piece focuses on an effort to relax restrictions on purchasing gun suppressors. The two authors display their ignorance and therefore their bias by referring to suppressors as silencers.
The truth is, that there is no such thing as a gun silencer. All the alleged silencers they are referring to do is to suppress the initial sound of a gun firing; they do not silence it. A response piece to the US News post describes it as:
“Authors Lanae Erickson Hatalsky and Nathan Kasai, using the disingenuous misnomer ‘silencers’ to refer to suppressors, misled readers by intimating the devices silence muzzle blasts, instead of merely reducing the noise level to that of a jackhammer. By their reasoning, we should remove mufflers from cars so we can hear them approach before we cross the street.”
That’s a pretty good description of the effect of a muzzle suppressor. What it didn’t describe is the nearly eardrum shattering sound most guns make when fired, which is the real purpose behind the effort to make suppressors easier to purchase. One of the main arguments used to support the effort is that many long-time gun enthusiasts lose some or all of their hearing after years of shooting. This has plagued many military personnel, hunters, target shooters and those that participate in trap and skeet shooting. This is also why most, if not all, gun ranges require shooters to wear some kind of ear protection when on the firing range.
Arguments have been made that hunters should wear ear protection when out hunting, but those that make such an argument know nothing about hunting. When hunting many game birds and animals, a great deal of the hunting success is hearing the birds flush from the ground, bushes or trees; hearing the birds flying at a distance, hearing a deer or elk stepping on a dry leaf or twig or hearing the sound of a rabbit as it scurries through the undergrowth.
A good friend of ours was not only an avid hunter but he participated in tournament skeet shooting and did very well. He would shoot 1,200 to 1,500 shotgun rounds a month to hone his skill and accuracy. He did this for a number of years and now has to wear hearing aids because of how much hearing he lost.
Allowing suppressors would not eliminate hearing loss for many shooters and hunters, but it could greatly reduce the damaging effects caused by a lot of shooting.
However, the two naïve and liberal authors of the US News post posit:
“Right now, silencers are regulated by the National Firearms Act, which requires background checks, registration and fees before you can buy a silencer. If the NRA has its way, anyone who can buy a gun could buy a silencer. But there’s a reason why we have stronger regulations for silencers than the guns whose sound they disguise. Silencers make guns much more dangerous. They don’t just make the gun quieter for the person who is firing the weapon, they make it harder for everyone to hear, including those at whom the gun is aimed.
Think about the impact that could have on the mass shootings that have become tragically common in American society – there have been over 1,300 since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. An influx of silencers could make them even more deadly. Survivors of these shootings have said that they were able to escape with their lives because they heard gunfire before the killer got to them. [Emphasis mine]
First of all, had either of these two twits been around a gun equipped with a suppressor would know that they are still louder than portrayed on television or in the movies. If a suppressor equipped gun still sounds nearly as loud as a jackhammer, then how is that going to give the shooter an advantage? Ever hear someone using a jackhammer a block away? It’s still quite noticeable.
Secondly, if any mass shooter in the past had used a suppressor, it has been very rare and something I’m not aware off. They are positing a hypothetical situation not based upon real experience. Using their logic, no one should be opposed to President Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees, especially since there is a wealth of facts to support his position and need for such action. Based on their logic, everyone should be required to drive with their windows down and radios off so they can hear other traffic coming to help them avoid accidents. Based upon their logic, there should be a ban or registration required on the purchase of all knives, hammers, baseball bats, plastic bags, telephone cords and electrical wiring since a number of people really are killed with all of these things.
People like that could ‘what if’ us all into living in a climate controlled plastic cushion bubble that would protect us from many of the dangers we face in today’s world. The ignorance and poor logic of the two authors display that they are writing based on their personal anti-gun and anti-2nd Amendment agendas and not on any real facts. In most pro-2nd Amendment circles, they would not only be ridiculed and shouted off the stage, but they would be laughed out of the area due to the naïve illiteracy.