…Or so says the industry group representing silencer manufacturers, and parroted by the NRA. They also apparently protect the hearing of children, greatly reduce the costs to american healthcare from hearing related injuries (I guess this is more important now thanks to Obamacare?), and make children less afraid of guns.
The silencer manufacturers have their own propaganda (advocacy I’m sure they’d say) site here, where on their front page they proclaim that silencers are legal, at least in constitution upholding states unlike California. Odd they single out California since 11 states in total bar silencers.
And really- the federal government had though they had essentially banned them more then half a century ago. They required them to be registered, and imposed a $200 per silencer “tax”. Which at the time, was essentially as effective as a ban. But the tax amount has never been adjusted over time- so what was once an extremely prohibitive amount is now a fraction of the cost of a gun. (a good quality handgun probably starts at $400 and a good quality assault rifle starting at $1,500 or so).
Let’s face it. Silencers may be a “fun” item for some. Those influenced by everything from the lore of mafia hitmen to james bond to assasins. But they have no meaningful place in the modern civilian world. Good hearing protection, from earplugs to earmuff styles are as efficient, safer, longer lasting, and much cheaper then a silencer.
Silencers may be an interesting, and amazingly simple piece of engineering. But the reality is they have no real purpose in our current society. They have one, and only one, real purpose- killing while drawing as little attention as possible.
article over at Salon here.