While anti-gun politicians and gun-ban groups continue to push lies about the Hearing Protection Act, one doctors’ group is speaking out strongly for the legislation designed to protect shooters’ hearing by deregulating the sale of firearm suppressors.
Just last Monday, Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler gave Gabby Giffords’ gun control group three Pinocchio’s for spouting the oft-repeated lie that “active shooters” can use silencers (also called suppressors) to avoid “being detected by trained law enforcement professionals.” Kessler wrote: “There is little that’s quiet about a firearm with a silencer unless one also thinks a jackhammer is quiet.”
Now pro-gun group Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership has released a seven-page position paper on why the legislation is necessary to help protect the hearing of shooters and hunters.
DRGO pointed out that while the use of earplugs and other hearing protection devices is helpful, those devices can’t completely keep users from experiencing hearing loss. DRGO pointed out that while the use of earplugs and other hearing protection devices is helpful, those devices can’t completely keep users from experiencing hearing loss.
“Hearing protection in the form of ear plugs or ear muffs, alone or in combination, can only reduce noise exposure by approximately 20-30 decibels,” the paper states. “This limitation in noise reduction may still expose a firearms user to damaging levels of noise; 120 decibels is still louder than a car horn from three feet away. Thus, inside the canal and over the ear devices (i.e., ear plugs and ear muffs)—the only current generally available protection—are inadequate for impulse noise protection, and when used together they deafen the wearer to all external sound.”
In fact, hearing loss from gunshots isn’t just experienced by hunters and shooters, but also by bystanders. Just ask anyone who has ever been near someone shooting and hadn’t yet put their hearing protection in place.
“Auditory injuries sustained by bystanders are the same as for shooters,” the paper stated. “In fact, bystanders may not be prepared with any ear protection, and not anticipate the gunshot. Dr. Gianoli [Board Certified, American Board of Otolaryngology] has ‘encountered several patients who had hearing loss from someone else shooting when they weren’t ready.’ Any intervention that reduces these morbidities, and certainly one that firearms users will gladly pay for themselves if it becomes affordable and readily available, could save billions of dollars in costly interventions. There is no treatment for this kind of hearing loss.”
DRGO also addressed numerous false statements by anti-gunners that deregulating suppressor sales would be a boon for violent criminals.
“Criminals prefer readily concealed firearms and are less concerned with the noise they produce,” the paper stated. “Homemade silencers can be made or other items repurposed very cheaply for single use, making the cost of buying a commercial suppressor even less attractive to criminals. And adding a commercial suppressor to a handgun typically doubles its length, making concealment much more difficult.”
Besides, as the DRGO paper points out, records show that suppressors are used very infrequently in the commission of crimes. “Criminals prefer readily concealed firearms and are less concerned with the noise they produce.” — Position paper produced by Doctors For Responsible Gun Ownership.
“There are over 900,000 registered suppressors in America as of 2016. In a 2007 paper, Paul Clark estimates that there are no more than 200 state and federal prosecutions each year for illegal silencer use. That’s just a 0.02 percent rate.”
The paper concluded with a resounding endorsement of the Hearing Protection Act.
“Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership strongly supports making firearm suppressors readily available to the public as a critical health intervention to prevent Americans’ hearing loss,” the paper stated. “Reducing barriers to firearms suppressor ownership and decreasing the likelihood of gunshot blast noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus in tens of millions of U.S. firearms owners will have no material impact on criminal firearms use.”
Hopefully such reasoned, well-presented information from a physicians’ group will change the minds of many who currently oppose the Hearing Protection Act.
Mark Chesnut has been the editor of America’s 1st Freedom magazine for nearly 17 years and is an avid hunter, shooter and political observer.