Captured in this freeze frame from “Harvested: The Journalist Katie Pavlich,” are two of my favorite people. You probably already know Katie if you watch Fox News, have read her work on our sister site Townhall, or have read her books. To me she’s also well-respected colleague, friend, fellow Gunsite Academy classmate, and hunting buddy.
You probably don’t know Paul Pavlich, Katie’s father. He and Katie’s mom Peggy are two of the warmest people you’ll ever meet, the kind of folks you can go a year without seeing and then slip into conversations as old friends. It’s not hard to see where Katie got her values, her deep sense of caring, and her spark.
Their hunting trip to San Ygnacio, Texas, was the core of the video above produced by silencer manufacturer SilencerCo, which sought and I think successfully makes the case for using silencers while hunting, and their deregulation under the Hearing Protection Act of 2017.
Paul and Katie were hunting with a guide. Being able to put a silencer on their rifles means that they can communicate above movement, the locations of game and non-game animals, vehicles, structures or people that may be in the area, and when to take the shot to harvest animals humanely. It’s difficult to do that as well wearing most forms of hearing protection.
Hunters in many states use elevated tower blinds to get to a position to see game and fire at a downward angle so that your bullet doesn’t continue downrange. While providing a safe elevated position from which to hunt, these blinds have the effect of magnifying sound, just like shooting indoors. The concussive blast of a gun going off inside a blind like this can be violent even if your gun barrel is outside the blind, even while wearing hearing protection.
If you make the mistake of not having a silenced weapon and discharge it without having the muzzle well outside the blind, the concussive blast can still harm your hearing, as two Doomsday Preppers learned the hard way several years ago in an incident that was equal parts sad and alarming.
Despite both men wearing hearing protection and Steve only shooting an intermediate-caliber (.223.5.56) centerfire rifle, the damage to Tom’s hearing was violent and immediate. He could barely hear human voices, reported a loud ringing in his ears that would not go away, lost his equilibrium, became violently ill, and threw up. A show medic began treatment, and EMS was called as a precaution. It could have been worse if the rifle were a larger caliber and Tom wasn’t wearing hearing protection inside the blind. His hearing loss was temporary, but the incident nearly ended a four-year partnership.
If Steve had his rifle equipped with a silencer, the device would have attenuated the concussive blast of the rifle at the muzzle. There would have been less blast. Tom would not have suffered these debilitating effects in the first place. Steve, an obvious gear junkie, would have obviously added a silencer to his tricked out carbine if they simply weren’t so hard to get like they are now.
Dishonest left wing media such as the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post continue to generate fake news about the Hearing Protection Act. They claim that silencers are preferred by gangsters and assassins, despite the fact that no data at all supports this contention, and the fact that criminals can easily manufacture temporary silencers from vehicle oil filters for a few dollars if they really wanted them. Criminals don’t want silencers. They want their guns loud. They want their victims deafened, scared, and terrorized, and prefer compact weapons that are easy to conceal. They do no want a weapon equipped with massive muzzle devices that doubles the length of a common handgun, and yet still sounds exactly like a gun firing, just not loud enough to damage your hearing.
Who wants silencers?
New shooters, who are still adjusting to the sound and concussive blast of a gun going off, like one of my fellow editors who is very new to shooting, still very nervous around guns, and only truly comfortable firing silenced .22s.
Firearms trainers, who can develop long-term hearing loss even while wearing hearing protection due to the cumulative concussive effects of being around hundreds of thousands or millions of gun shots over the course of a career.
Firearms enthusiasts and training junkies such as myself, who fire thousands of rounds every year as we attempt to fine-tune the skills of our preferred martial art and increase our knowledge so we can pass it along to others.
Hunters, like Katie and Paul, and millions more just like them around the nation.
Anyone who might want to set up a gun for home defense, so that they don’t risk the hearing loss that Tom suffered in our second video. I feel compelled to mention that we’ve covered several incidents in recent years where homeowners shot a bad guy in self defense and were immediately deafened by the sound of the shot, could not hear responding police order them to drop to their guns, and were subsequently shot by cops who couldn’t tell the home owner from the bad guy. These officers were forced to respond to the simple reality of a non-compliant person turning towards them with a gun. Silenced guns may have mitigated these incidents.
There is no logical, reasoned scientific argument for keeping silencers in the National Firearms Act. All arguments against them are made by poorly-educated ideologues, anti-gun activists, and blatant liars.
It’s time to get this corrective action done.
Let’s get the Hearing Safety Act passed and signed into law, for everyone’s benefit.