Silencers and Noise

Last week, a friend sent me this news item in which a US politician says he wants to make it easier to buy silencers for guns in order to protect the hearing of the gun owner/shooter. (Yes, that is what he says – give it a read!)  My friend asked what the NC thought of it. Here is what I wrote back to him:

“oh my , oh my.

Well, yes, less noise is almost always good. In this case, however, I would suggest that now that we know what damage noise (and that obviously includes shooting firearms) does to peoples’ hearing, the NC would suggest high quality hearing protection – NOT silencers. And if there are going to be silencers available, then the NC supports the current rules re: the tax, and the complex background check. Yes, I am quite sure that many people in the US and Canada shoot for sport.  BUT – and that has to be a VERY BIG BUT –  guns are used in a horrifyingly high number of deaths, especially in the US. Silencers play  only a tiny part of that high number, but why make it easier when there are other options to deal with the noise? This politician seems to be ‘deaf’ to the perception of his stance – I see no suggestion that he ‘gets’ why his plan looks/is so wrong footed.”

The politician says he has no idea why someone would reject his idea: “I don’t know why [Obama] would be against protecting people’s hearing. I don’t know why anybody would.”  (This is a downright goofy argument. Maybe this will become a constitutional amendment?  Owning a silencer is your right as part of your package of inalienable rights as a US citizen?)


You can learn more about the history of silencers in this article about a recent law in Minnesota that makes buying a silencer legal. (It is interesting to know that even the NRA supported quite strict gun control laws back in the 1930s and was against the sale of silencers until recently. Now silencers are marketed as “sound suppressors”.)

Wrting today, two days after that inauguration event in Washington, D.C., I have to say that this thinking about silencers weaves too nicely into the apparent thinking of the new president of the USA. The “new normal” has to be challenged. Pushing for silencers ‘on demand’ to protect hearing damage is right up there with the idea that arming teachers in schools will decrease the number of deaths from school shootings. Can’t they see that this is NOT normal, or logical, or safe? Rather it is insane?

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1 Response to Guns

  1. gmb says:

    I think that congressman’s confusion–which I will assume is honest, though one shouldn’t–explains a lot about the state the U.S. is in today. I say this as a U.S. citizen living here (though in NYC, where you can’t carry a concealed weapon without permit, which are almost impossible to get, thank goodness). Can’t they see that it is not normal? I’m not sure. I also think that they don’t care at all. The degree of alienation in the U.S. right now is palpable. Many are fighting back. Wish us luck.

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