Gun Control Groups Are Losing The Battle Against Suppressors

Authored by Duane Norman via Free Market Shooter blog,

Back in March, the NRA detailed how WaPo‘s very own “fact check” had to rebut the claims from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) that a firearm “silencer” makes a weapon “quiet”:

In the meantime, although the popular name of this accessory is a silencer, foes of the law such as Gillibrand should not use misleading terms such as “quiet” to describe the sound made by a high-powered weapon with a suppressor attached. We wavered between Two and Three Pinocchios, but finally tipped to Three. There is little that’s quiet about a firearm with a silencer, unless one also thinks a jackhammer is quiet.

However, as PA Gun Blog pointed out, gun control groups (in conjunction with the MSM) went on a Memorial Day weekend push to demonize suppressors in the eyes of voters.  As the NRA also pointed out, WaPo’s editorial board went against its own “fact check”, and in the absence of facts, chose to editorialize against firearm suppressors instead:

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.

Nowhere in their article did they mention any increased risk to Americans from suppressors, and chose to use a flimsy opinion to back up its own already established factsThe NRA used WaPo’s own facts in conjunction with CNN’s to destroy their editorial narrative:

Effective how, exactly? Well, according to the Post, “Silencers are almost never used in murders and other crimes under the current restrictive law, but certainly they would be used in more crimes if there were more of them in circulation.”

 

But in fact suppressor use in crime hasn’t perceptibly increased at all, even as the number of suppressors legally owned in America has nearly doubled in the last three years (the Post itself put the current number at “about 900,000,” while CNN reported it was 571,750 in March 2014). Figure in the mountain of unprocessed applications, as ATF struggles with a months-long backlog, and the actual number legally in circulation would already be considerably higher.

 

And if the HPA were to become law, retail sales of suppressors would still have to be processed by federally licensed dealers, with the buyer undergoing a background check and filling out the associated paperwork that would allow for tracing of the device if it were recovered at the scene of a crime.

Sebastian of PA Gun Blog sums this one up nicely…

I’m happy to see that gun people in the comments are coming armed with facts and shooting down every argument opponents make. It strikes me that they don’t really have any good arguments against the Hearing Protection Act.

…because our favorite Monsanto lobbyist turned “stay-at-home mom” for gun control Shannon Watts presented absolutely no facts when The Hill prompted her to over memorial day weekend, instead editorializing a similar emotional plea to WaPo’s:

“It’s all semantics,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

 

“Focusing on the name distracts people from the real conversation,” Watts said. “They did the same thing with the debate over whether to use the term ‘assault rifles’ or ‘semiautomatic rifles,’ and then the whole conversation shifted to ‘What are we going to call these things?’”

No surprise there; in failing to use facts to support a suppressor ban, she forgot how The New York Times, one of the most anti-gun liberal MSM publications of all, very publicly rebutted the “assault weapons” she cited for The Hill, referring to the entire term as a “myth”:

But in the 10 years since the previous ban lapsed, even gun control advocates acknowledge a larger truth: The law that barred the sale of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 made little difference.

 

It turns out that big, scary military rifles don’t kill the vast majority of the 11,000 Americans murdered with guns each year. Little handguns do.

In fact, even with a coordinated push from many mainstream media outlets to get out the gun control crowd’s word, just as many are realizing the weakness of their argument.  The Hill, the very same outlet that gave the gun control crowd one of its memorial day voices, previously allowed pro-gun champion John Lott to publish an opinion piece (which actually read far more as “demonstration of facts” than opinion) on the gun control lobby’s repeated misuse of statistics:

The tally of 969 deaths is the result of triple and even quadruple counting. Michigan — by far the worst state according to VPC numbers — supposedly suffered 78 homicides and 390 suicides. Supposedly, Michigan was the site of over 40 percent of all deaths attributed to permit holders.

 

The main problem is that pending cases are counted in the same way as convictions. The Michigan State Police report the number of pending cases and convictions each year.

 

In any case, permit holders committed suicide at just 38 percent of the rate of the adult Michigan population as a whole.

 

Concealed handgun permit holders are also much more law-abiding than the rest of the population.

 

In fact, they are convicted at an even lower rate than police officers. According to a study in Police Quarterly, police committed an average of 703 crimes (113 firearms violations) annually from 2005-2007.

 

This is likely to be an underestimate since some news reports may have been missed and not all police crimes receive media coverage.

As is the problem with concealed carry reciprocity, it remains to be seen if there are enough votes in the Senate to overcome the 60-vote threshold to advance legislation legalizing firearm suppressors.  That is likely the reason we haven’t seen the legislation advanced to a vote, but Republicans could be delaying a vote until next year’s midterm elections, in the hopes of putting Democrats in vulnerable districts in the difficult position of voting against their own constituents.

As The New York Times stated, handguns are used in most murders; of the approximately eight thousand firearm murders annually, over two thirds are confirmed to have been committed with a handgun, with less than 8% being confirmed as being committed with a rifle, shotgun, or other type of weapon.  This is due to handgun concealability, which makes them popular among criminals.

Most suppressors nearly double the length of average handguns, and render them difficult if not impossible to conceal.  How many criminals do you think would voluntarily attach a suppressor to their handgun just to reduce the sound by a small fraction, leaving the firearm still as loud as a jackhammer?

The fact is, gun control’s coordinated media blitzes and less-than-factual pleas for more regulations are no longer working.  Gun control relies on emotion instead of reason, and one billionaire throwing money at gun control groups to fund their existence is not going to change the fact that the “silencer” is a creation of Hollywood movies, and it will take more than a repeal of ridiculous restrictions on suppressors to get the gun control crowd wound up. 

If only there was a guy like Obama around to get the media behind the gun control cause.  Oh wait

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