AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Suppressors aren’t particularly common. You can’t go out and pick one up at your local gun store on a whim. They’re tightly controlled and somewhat difficult to obtain.

In fact, they’re rarely used in criminal activity at all, and not because they’re tightly controlled. The truth is, they’re also easy to manufacture, which means criminals who wanted them could easily obtain/make them.

However, the Virginia Beach shooter used a suppressor, and now Democrats are scrambling to ban the devices. They’re not doing it based on what actually happened, either, but what the Hollywood version of a suppressor is like.

Cover your ears. You’re not going to want to hear this. Elected officials are attempting to set national firearms policy based on spy fiction movies instead of facts.

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, introduced the Help Empower Americans to Respond (HEAR) Act, that would ban the sale, possession and confiscate firearm suppressors. Menendez said the tragic Virginia Beach murders spurred his ban proposal, claiming suppressors masked the sound of gunfire like what is commonly portrayed in James Bond movies. Menendez once again demonstrates his anti-gun agenda instead of pursuing policies that add to the public’s safety.

Menendez’s bill ignores not just scientific facts but eyewitness accounts of the Virginia Beach tragedy.

The murderer committed his crimes using two legally purchased firearms, only one of which was fitted with a legally purchased suppressor. Menendez referenced only a single handgun with a suppressor, overlooking police accounts of the other handgun. He also claims that unsuppressed firearms would have saved more lives by alerting more to the danger, but that contrasts with the account of Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera. He explained responding police officers followed the sound of gunfire to locate and eventually neutralize the murderer.

In other words, they could actually hear the gunfire.

The truth is that suppressors don’t actually silence the weapon. There’s still plenty of noise to be heard. It simply reduces that noise to a level where it’s less likely to cause hearing damage.

Yet the Hollywood version makes the tiniest of sounds, something you don’t really even notice if you’re a character in the movie or show. For most people, that’s their only exposure to a suppressor. And despite knowing on some level that Hollywood isn’t reality, they still seem to buy into the notion that suppressors eliminate all the sound.

Menendez’s bill is predicated on that ignorance. As noted in the above quote, it also ignores reports of law enforcement officers who distinctly heard gunfire.

The truth is, anti-gun Democrats like Menendez don’t like the idea of ordinary Americans having anything that they can use to defend themselves. Suppressors are useful for those looking at home defense since it reduces the decibels of a gunshot to tolerable levels, something that’s incredibly good when you’re forced to discharge your weapon inside your home. I, for one, would rather my wife and daughter not go deaf on top of dealing with the trauma of someone having illegally entered our home.

Focusing on suppressors ignores the reality of what happened in Virginia Beach. That’s something people like Menendez are quite good at.