The Ludicrous Claim That Being Loud Makes Guns Safer

posted on January 24, 2017

On Sunday, The Washington Post published a column opposing efforts to remove federal barriers to suppressor ownership. The author based his argument on the ridiculous claim that the ear-damaging level of noise created by gunfire is actually an important safety feature. 

Political science professor Robert Spitzer wrote, “From potential victims who seek to escape a mass shooting to a hiker being alerted to the presence of a hunter in the woods, the sound warns bystanders of potentially lethal danger.” He fantasized about walking “straight into the line of fire” of a mass shooter using a suppressor.

There’s so much wrong here. First, the 130db noise level of a suppressed handgun falls somewhere between that of a jackhammer and an airplane taking off—loud enough to be heard at distance. Second, Spitzer fails to explain how current excessive regulation has ever kept citizens safer. Third, only the ignorant would call protecting our hearing “an extremely small benefit to gun owners …”

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