Now that the Senate is on Its way to confirming a Supreme Court nominee who was backed to the hilt by the pro-gun gang, that august body can begin deliberating the next item on the NRA agenda, which is to make gun silencers as legal and easily purchased as a kitchen appliance that is used to make toast. Actually, a gun silencer is safer to use than a toaster, because a kid can’t stick his hand in a silencer and receive an electric shock. Of course that same kid might get a much bigger shock, so to speak, if the silencer in which he sticks his finger happens to be attached to a gun. But that’s a minor safety concern for the people who are pushing to normalize gun silencers; after all, guns actually keep us safe, not the other way around.
And in case you thought that there was a safety issue with silencers, according to the pro-silencer folks, in fact they are good for your health. Why? Because silencers are being touted as helping shooters and hunters avoid hearing loss, which happens to be a very common health problem as we get older, whether we have been around guns or not. And since silencers are rarely used in criminal events, why should the public be deprived of this health aid just because some liberal, gun-grabbers always want to make it more difficult to add a harmless accessory to my gun?
Silencers have been considered dangerous since the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA) which imposed a lengthy and detailed registration process as well as a $250 federal tax. In addition to silencers, the NFA also imposed the same registration requirements on full-auto guns (‘machine guns’), sawed-off shotguns and rifles, and certain other weapons. The law also required a separate registration process for any gun dealer who wanted to engage in buying and selling NFA guns and required all NFA transactions to be conducted only by such dealers.
How many machine guns and other NFA devices are in private hands? We really don’t know because anyone who owned such a device before 1934 was not required to register the weapon, and if you think that a gun manufactured before 1934 won’t work today, think again. In fact, that’s the big problem with the gun industry – the damn things just don’t wear out. So either you come up with new products that gun-nuts like me just have to have (yes, I own a full-auto gun) or you’re s**t out of luck.
And despite the commendable efforts by Donald Trump, Jr., and other silencer promoters to pretend that sticking a noise suppressor on the end of a gun barrel will save the hearing of hunters and other sport shooters, this is not the real reason that Gun-nut Nation is trying to ram this legislation through. The truth is that if the gun industry can get the NFA amended so that silencers are dropped from the regulated list, this sets in motion efforts to get other products dropped from the NFA list as well. And don’t think there aren’t plenty of folks out there who believe that the 2nd-Amendment should give them the ‘right’ to own a machine gun.
Incidentally, de-regulating silencers not only widens the market for such products, it also would generate more gun sales as well. This is because you can’t just stick a silencer on any old gun. It has to be screwed onto the barrel, which means the gun needs a barrel that is cut to accept the suppressor, which means either changing the barrel or buying a new gun.
The last thing I want to do is go hunting with other hunters whose guns don’t make any noise when the trigger is pulled. A gun going off alerts me to the possibility that another hunter may be where he shouldn’t be, and that’s a much more important health aid than anything affecting my hearing at all.