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It's OK, Honey, His Gun Has a Noise Suppressor

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The NRA wants to protect your kids... hearing. by Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

The NRA and other gun lobbies want to deregulate silencers, which would make it easier to kill the wife without waking the kids, or shoot up a school playground without disturbing the peace. The NRA says it's all about healthcare and protecting the kids! If you believe that, I've got a rubber gun I'd like to sell you. 

One week after the gun massacre in Newton, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre gave a speech that promised to offer "helpful" solutions to gun violence in America. Many were convinced that the NRA was "feeling the heat" and realized finally that they had been a bit out of touch with the rest of the country and perhaps had been going around with their heads up their Glocks.    

We thought the NRA might have realized their head was up their Glocks or something. by Jesse Sublett

LaPierre showed up and what he offered was his "Absolute Plan of Protection" (which sounded more like improved, leak-proof Depends, or perhaps a reusable titanium condom), a k a "National School Shield Emergency Response Program" for armed guards to be posted every school in America, and an end to the evil come-on of "gun-free zones." Gun-free zones, he said, are to gun-bristling wackos as all-you-can-eat buffets are to gluttons. But you probably knew that already.

LaPierre also railed against media and their evil twin, the film, television and video game industries, for coddling mass murders and gun psychos, and also because, you know, they're always frigging hypnotizing you and me into going down to the local Bazookas & Stuff, or better yet, a gun show, where we feel compelled to buy a bunch of guns so we can massacre a bunch of innocent strangers at a school or movie theater, just because we just love us a little mass-murderer-media-love.

I mean, what wouldn't you do for a shot at being Rachel Maddow's guest? by Rachel_Maddow_in_Seattle.jpg: Paul Schultz from Kenmore, Washington, USA derivative work: upstateNYer (Rachel_Maddow_in_Seattle.jpg) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

I know, I know, this is all old news, but think about it. If it meant five or ten minutes on The View or The Rachel Maddow Show, would anything in the world keep any one of us from taking out a couple dozen kindergarten kids, maybe some nurses or whatever?

With this terrible problem of the media beating up on them all the time (insert visual of Wayne LaPierre tied to chair, being whipped by leather-clad Rachel Maddow), I was shocked as hell to learn that Lil Wayne, the NRA and some of their close colleagues have even more ideas for protecting the health and safety of young people. If you're a regular reader of Gun World , you may have seen the February 2011 article by gun-writer Jim Dickson titled "Silence is Golden." Nice title. Dig this line:

One has only to look at children in the rest of the world learning to shoot with silencers, protecting their tender young ears, to see what an innocent safety device we are talking about. To use an overworked propaganda phrase, legalize silencers 'for the sake of the children.'

"Silence is golden?" by КРdegreesРРР''' КРР' [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

To clarify, the "silencer" or "innocent safety device" Dickinson refers to here is also known as a "noise suppressor," those tubular devices fitted to the muzzle of a firearm which reduces the loud bang of a gun report to something between a slapping sound or, as commonly heard in action films, "pffft."

A noise suppressor on a life suppressor also known as a Uzi submachine gun. by Cortland, cropped and retouched by Atirador derivative work: Beao (Uzi_silencer.jpg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The idea of doing away with legal restrictions on ownership of silencers isn't just an idea in a magazine article, either, it's a growing movement being vigorously promoted by the NRA and other gun extremists. There's even a trade association called the American Silencer Association, which is abbreviated ASA. I do wish they would have chosen a name like American Silencer Syndicate, because ASS is so much more fitting.

I was alerted to this strange scenario by Alexander Zaitchik's fine article in Salon, "Silencers: The NRA's Latest Big Lie," from December 30, 2012. Speaking to the most recent gun massacres, Kaitchik asks us to "imagine the means by which coming Auroras and Newtowns will be made more deadly." Two things could make any of the recent rampages of madmen with assault weapons more deadly. One is "the ability to shoot more bullets faster," i.e., a fully automatic weapon. Another would be employing a noise suppressor.

"By muffling the noise generated with every shot," writes Zaitchik, "a silencer would provide a new degree of intimacy for public mass murder, delaying by crucial seconds or minutes the moment when someone calls the police after overhearing strange bangs coming from Theater 4 or Classroom D."

And if you, like the NRA's mouthpiece or the gun-happy Libertarian's bumpersticker, like to say, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people," then you are probably thinking, "Silencers shouldn't be illegal, because they don't kill people; people with guns kill people."

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Jesse Sublett is a regular contributor to OpEdNews.com. An author, ghost writer and musician in Austin, Texas, he has published crime novels, eBooks, true crime, memoir, essays and journalism. His work has appeared in New York Times, Texas Monthly, (more...)
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