You’ve got to give the Washington Post a certain amount of credit for tenacity; once they’ve chosen a lie, they run it into the ground no matter how many times they’re called out for it.
The Post‘s reporters—whom I’m willing to bet have never fired a silencer-equipped firearm in their lives—have spent the last few weeks making fools out of themselves as they howl in opposition against the Hearing Protection Act of 2017, which would pull silencers out of the National Firearms Act.
Michael Rosenwald was the first Post reporter to dishonestly attack silencers as tools for gangsters and other criminals, and we quickly shut him down. His piece was so bad factually that another Post reporter—one who has actually fired guns—called me to help the Post write a correction for Rosenwald’s screw-ups.
The Post‘s editors, apparently more committed to ideology than facts, then refused to run the retraction.
Gluttons for punishment, the Post then had a New York college professor named Robert J. Spitzer essentially regurgitate variations of the same stunning lies.
The NRA is renewing with gusto its misbegotten push, begun in the last Congress, to make gun silencers easier to acquire by swiping a page from the public health community’s long-standing efforts to warn of the dangers of firearms. The Hearing Protection Act, which would remove federal registration and identification requirements for those seeking gun silencers, has received the blessing of President Trump’s son, Donald Jr., and the welcome of the gun-friendly 115th Congress. Even though silencer purchases are legal in all but eight states, advocates want to sweep aside background check and record-keeping requirements, such as photos and fingerprinting, first enacted as part of the National Firearms Act of 1934 , a law passed to curb gangster weapons such as submachine guns and sawed-off shotguns.
As noted in our previous debunking, silencers were added to the National Firearms Act not because they were being used by gangsters, but were instead being used by starving hunters during the Great Depression to poach depleted game herds so that their families could eat. The Post was called on the lie once before, but decided to run it again because they apparently feel that espousing the “correct” rhetoric is more important than reporting facts.
But Spitzer’s not done being dumb and dishonest just yet.
Beyond the familiar political imperative to eviscerate any and all gun laws — so why not this one? — the goal is clearly to boost silencer (advocates prefer the term “suppressor”) sales, which have already become a gun industry boomlet. Further proliferation of silencers would also have the commercial benefit of boosting gun sales, because most existing guns do not have the threaded barrels necessary to attach them.
If Professor Spitzer had done even an elementary school-level Google search he would know that you don’t buy an entirely new gun to use a silencer. For rifles you simply have your gunsmith thread the barrel to to take a suppressor or suppressor adaptor. For shotguns, it’s even simpler, just a matter of using the same barrel and a choke adapter. For handguns, it’s a simple matter of buying another barrel at the fraction of the cost of a full gun.
Spitzer then goes on to cite long-ago discredited anti-gun groups, asserting that the fact that silencers aren’t used in crime is proof that the NFA is “working.”
To put it mildly, that’s a steaming pile of feces.
Basic silencers are dead-simple to manufacture using common machine shop tools. Functional silencers can be made by the graduate of any welding class, or even made from a simple car oil filter, for next to nothing. If criminals thought silencers were worthwhile, they’d easily manufacture them. Here in reality, we know that criminals like loud, large-caliber guns because they are much easier to conceal, and the way they sound terrorizes their victims.
If Spitzer had done basic research he would know that, but apparently research is frowned upon at SUNY-Cortland.
All it would have taken is five minutes looking at social media videos to discover that “silence” is a relative term, as all a silencer does is reduce the sound of a gunshot to a level that it won’t cause permanent hearing loss.
How do I know?
Take a look at this aerial gunnery video (below) at a recent Daniel Defense Writer’s event. I’m the first shooter on the left side of the helicopter. Both rifles being used have high-quality, military-grade Surefire silencers attached.
You’ll note that the sound of the Surefire-silenced Daniel Defense 5.56 rifle I’m shooting is still so loud you can hear it over the deafening sound of a helicopter going overhead. You can still distinctly hear us shooting when we’re hundreds of yards away!
Here’s another look at a suppressed AR-style rifle, as Dave Badhe of Tactical Life puts a silenced Daniel Defense Mk18 through it’s paces (below). Does it sound like anything other than a gun to you? Of course not. You’ll also note that everyone around the rifles in the videos above and below are wearing hearing protection with silencers, because the supersonic crack of the bullet can still do hearing damage.
Maybe Professor Spitzer should have spent time in a real science classroom, instead of wasting his life teaching political science.
Here’s another industry friend of mine, Chris Cheng, shooting another “stupid quiet” silenced handgun (below).
Again, while is certainly much quieter and will no longer cause hearing loss, it sure sounds like a gun to me.
The editors of the Washington Post clearly don’t care for the Hearing Protection Act.
It’s too bad they care even less for the truth.