The Latest In Health-Aid Products: Gun Silencers.

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.

silencer             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.


The Gun Industry Comes Up With A New Product For Your Health.

Since I registered for Medicare, a week doesn’t go by when I don’t receive something in the mail offering a hearing aid at a reduced ‘special for seniors’ price. So when I found out about a new federal bill called the Hearing Protection Act, I got really excited because I figured that the Congress was going to make it easier and cheaper for me to start hearing again.

silencer             But in fact this proposed law has nothing to do with helping me hear at all; the purpose of the bill is to make it easier to buy a silencer and thus make it harder for me to hear the sound of a gun being shot off, a noise which, by the way, is a good thing to hear because it tells me that someone may be using a gun in a dangerous and unsafe way.

It figures that the moment Gun-nut Nation comes up with a way to bolster sagging gun sales, they would want everyone to think that what they are doing will actually protect people rather than create harm. The same bunch has been peddling the same nonsense about the virtues and benefits of concealed-carry and the value of walking around with a gun.  But the problem is that gun sales have now slumped and industry analysts predict a rocky year ahead.  Shares of Smith & Wesson (now calling themselves American Outdoor Brands I guess because they own a company that manufactures saws for cutting down trees) have dropped from $30 to $20 a share – the Obama bloom is clearly off the rose and nobody sees it coming back any time soon.

But why would anyone imagine that just because people can now put a silencer on their gun that this will help the gun industry sell more guns?  Because putting a silencer on a gun isn’t the same thing as just changing the grip or adding a laser sight.  In order to mount a silencer on the front of a gun barrel you need to machine the outside of the barrel’s end so that the silencer will screw on and hold tight. If the silencer isn’t mounted exactly flush on these rails, you’ll probably destroy the silencer with the first shot and also probably break the gun. Now here’s where things get tricky, or sticky.

Most hunting guns have barrels that will take a scope or use the iron (open) sights that are part of the barrel itself. Which means for a silencer you have to change barrels which in many cases requires changing the gun.  This is also true with pistols, some of which have barrels that are easily swapped out, others are attached to the bolt. And every pistol that might take a silencer will need a longer barrel so that the part that is machined to accept the silencer will stick out from the front of the slide.  In other words, you’re buying another gun.

Funny, but this doesn’t seem to be explained in the advertising for silencers that I have seen online.  You would think from the promotion for silencers is that all you have to do is buy one, then go through the paperwork, fork over your $200, wait six months or more for the purchase to be approved and then away you go.  That’s not true. What this new law aims to do is get rid of the current licensing process (mandated since the National Firearms Act of 1934) and thus make the purchase of a silencer just as easy and simple as buying any other consumer product that you can put on a gun.

Know what? This law has nothing to do with protecting hearing. The purpose of this law is to give the gun industry a new product line that can be sold to current gun owners because nobody’s buying new guns.  The only protection being offered by this law is protection for the gun industry’s bottom line.