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Progressives Don’t Understand How Gun ‘Silencers’ Work. Here Are Some Facts To Help Them

by Sean Davis | TheFederalist.com  |  Published on January 10, 2017

A military jet taking off with its afterburner on full blast. A jackhammer. A sandblaster. A freight train. A rock concert. What do these seemingly unconnected sounds all have in common? They’re significantly quieter than the sound of a gun being fired. Even one with a “silencer” attached to it.

Why is this important? Because there’s a growing movement to make it easier for gun owners to reduce the ear-piercing sounds of the guns being fired, and progressives are outraged by it. They’re outraged by it because they don’t have the slightest idea how so-called gun silencers actually work. Here’s the Washington Post‘s most recent take on the issue in an article headlined “Gun silencers are hard to buy. Donald Trump Jr. and silencer makers want to change that”:

The federal government has strictly limited the sale of firearm silencers for as long as James Bond and big-screen gangsters have used them to discreetly shoot enemies between the eyes.

The silencer industry and gun rights groups say critics are vastly overstating the dangers, arguing that Hollywood has created an unrealistic image of silencers, which they prefer to call ‘suppressors.’ They cite studies showing that silencers reduce the decibel level of a gunshot from a dangerous 165 to about 135 — the sound of a jackhammer — and that they are rarely used in crimes.

But gun-control activists say silencers are getting quieter, particularly in combination with subsonic ammunition, which is less lethal but still damaging. They point to videos on YouTube in which silencers make high-powered rifles have ‘no more sound than a pellet gun,’ according to one demonstrator showing off a silenced semiautomatic .22LR.

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