Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: Suppressors save lives

  1. #1
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    07-03-07
    Location
    Linn County, Iowa
    Posts
    3,405

    Suppressors save lives

    "If it saves only one life then it's a good law." We've heard that many times but this time I heard it about the ban on firearm suppressors. I had a discussion about suppressors with a co-worker. (Somehow I keep getting into these kind of discussions at work.) I gave the gent a paper showing that laws restricting the ownership of suppressors was quite useless in preventing crime. While he seems to realize that criminals are criminals and will break the law regardless it seems he feels that absent proof that silencers actually saves lives (and no, saving hearing is insufficient, that's what ear plugs are for) then it is perfectly acceptable to ban suppressors on the off chance that lives can be saved by doing so.

    I think that absent any proof that lives are lost because of freely available suppressors then they should be allowed. I think I have him convinced that a ban on such hearing saving devices are unlikely to save lives but he'd rather err on the side of safety than freedom.

    Oh, just so someone doesn't go and point out that federal law does not ban suppressors, but merely controls their manufacture and sale, I'll point out that Iowa law does ban their ownership to all but a select few.

    So I'd like to enlist some help in creating the argument that firearm suppressors do in fact save lives. That more lives would be saved if suppressors were freely available to anyone that wanted one. No registration, no fingerprints, no taxes/fines/fees.

    One way I thought of making that argument is to point out a few hypotheses. There are dangerous animals out there, dangerous enough that scores of people are killed by them every year in the USA. (Not any singular species of animal, just dangerous animals in general.) These animals need to be controlled by shooting those that pose a definite danger so that they cannot be a hazard to others. These animals would be frightened by loud noises and would either run off to cause harm to others, or cause the animal to charge the shooter. Lives would then be saved since a cull could be done more safely with a suppressed weapon than without.

    I know that most rifle ammunition cannot be effectively suppressed because the round will almost certainly break the speed of sound and therefore make quite a noise even if the report is effectively suppressed. I'm not sure if the gent I chatted with realizes this also. This fact means that the use of sub-sonic ammunition will be required for my hypothesis to hold.

    I would also like to hear other hypotheses on how private ownership of firearm suppressors would save lives, along with evidence to back it up. I'm not interested in law enforcement or military uses of suppressors since there is no ban on such use in Iowa.

    I am also interested in the counter argument, please present any evidence that my friend is right and the ban on firearm suppressors has saved lives. I've heard the theories on why banning suppressors is a good idea but I want to see some evidence to support such theories.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Oh, one more thing. I have the theory that the government does not exist to keep us SAFE, it exists to keep us FREE.
    You can have free speech or you can have income taxes but you cannot have both.

  2. #2
    Senior Member   
    Join Date
    12-30-02
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    7,730
    I think I have him convinced that a ban on such hearing saving devices are unlikely to save lives but he'd rather err on the side of safety than freedom.
    What safety is provided by the current federal registration and taxation, or bans (in a few states)?
    Send lawyers, guns, and money . . .

  3. #3
    Member  
    Join Date
    04-30-08
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    1,947
    They save your hearing, which is enough reason for me to see the logic in allowing them. Often people are annoyed by others shooting their firearms loudly on their land, so owning a sound suppressor would help remedy that. The same was true with automobiles, so now sound suppressors on them are the standard.

    As to saving lives, I don't think that you can argue that, unless you are talking about shooting your firearm offensively so that the enemy that you are shooting at doesn't know where the shot came from.

  4. #4
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    01-04-03
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    643
    They were included in the NFA because of concerns about their potential use for poaching, so the actual tradeoff was hearing protection/noise pollution vs animals.

  5. #5
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    06-06-08
    Location
    Springfield, Oregon
    Posts
    686
    Potential use for poaching... What difference does it make? Poachers will still take animals without them, unless it's in a small, ranger filled reserve.

    I can see the use of a Suppressor, but in the long run I'll stick with earplugs, because I can't pick up 4 pairs of Suppressors for $2.50 Though I would love to put a can on my 1911, would look rather striking with one.
    "Lenin at least had an excuse for his mindlessness: he died of syphillis." - Standing Wolf
    "Remember, Remember The Fifth of November!"
    "It's not my Goal in life to be appropriate."

  6. #6
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    07-03-07
    Location
    Linn County, Iowa
    Posts
    3,405
    What safety is provided by the current federal registration and taxation, or bans (in a few states)?
    I don't quite understand the argument either. The claim my friend made was that criminals that use suppressors were less likely to get caught and so these thugs would be more likely to shoot someone. That logic fails real quick since criminal use is quite rare.

    I gave my friend this article to read:
    http://wcr.sonoma.edu/v08n2/44.clark/clark.pdf

    It makes a really good case, IMHO, for the lunacy of a ban on suppressors. My friend was not convinced.
    You can have free speech or you can have income taxes but you cannot have both.

  7. #7
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    01-04-03
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    643
    Potential use for poaching... What difference does it make?
    My point was that the argument for regulating them was to make poachers easier to catch, not public safety.

  8. #8
    New Member  
    Join Date
    03-26-10
    Posts
    18

    convoluted argument

    1.even the best hearing protection, foam ear plugs + top-of-the-line over the ear type might get you a 40-45 dB noise reduction if both are fitted and working properly. Some guns create a lot of noise, so shooting them, especially in a closed environment, may lead to bad levels of excessive sound pressure exposure, resulting in hearing loss, despite hearing protection.(fact)
    2.married males live longer than divorced males. (fact)
    3.spouses get irritated when they give a command, suggestion, make a statement, etc. and it is "not heard."(fact)
    4. hearing protection leads to better spousal communication, fewer divorces
    5.ERGO, suppressors save lives!

  9. #9
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    09-26-06
    Location
    all over Virginia
    Posts
    2,367
    Poachers?

    Is there some legislative history that can be cited that would establish that the restrictions on SILENCERS has anything to do with concerns about poaching?

    (There is no such thing as a "suppressor" under the NFA - although you can call it whatever you like)

  10. #10
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    11-07-06
    Posts
    685
    If mufflers need to be outlawed on firearms then they absolutely must with automobiles.

    Automobiles are used in far more crimes. If mufflers make it easier to commit a crime with a firearm then think of all the lives saved by a muffler ban.

    It would be a lot harder for someone to use an automobile for the various crimes they're used in when they're clearly heard in the middle of the night.

    It's the same idiotic reasoning. Just another example of the hypocritical nature of our laws.

  11. #11
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    07-03-07
    Location
    Linn County, Iowa
    Posts
    3,405
    I like the train of thought you're on RevolvingCylinder. If firearm suppressors are banned because the crooks might get away then no mufflers on cars. Everyone must have steel soled shoes so people cannot sneak away. "Sneakers" are only to be used by law enforcement, military, and licensed security staff.
    You can have free speech or you can have income taxes but you cannot have both.

  12. #12
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    02-14-04
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,810
    Just tell him to go to the parts of town where lots of murders take place...and fire a few shots then wait for the police. See how long it takes them to get there (if they respond at all) and if anyone tells them anything.

    Criminals don't use suppressors (not that it matters). You can pretty much shoot whomever you like w/out the noise mattering a whole lot as to whether the criminal is caught. Certainly not worth the expense, difficulty and size penalty for criminals to get them.

    Hey, I know an absolutely silent way to kill someone! It's called a knife, let's outlaw them fast, err on the side of safety, screw freedom.
    "If you think you are going to be in a violent situation...make it violent!" -TargetFocusTraining
    NRA Instructor/Life Member, Personal Trainer
    Check out my health and fitness BLOG! effective weight loss

  13. #13
    Member  
    Join Date
    11-18-09
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    52
    Health benefits ... hell ... mandatory on closed ranges I say!

  14. #14
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    07-03-07
    Location
    Linn County, Iowa
    Posts
    3,405
    Criminals don't use suppressors (not that it matters). You can pretty much shoot whomever you like w/out the noise mattering a whole lot as to whether the criminal is caught. Certainly not worth the expense, difficulty and size penalty for criminals to get them.
    I told him that, it was spelled out in that article I linked to above. He did not seem convinced. I even pointed out that a handgun wrapped in a towel is effectively suppressed, negating any need for a commercially produced suppressor. That did not concern him either. As best I can recall his argument is that the government banned them for a reason, that reason MUST be related to deterring crime. If it wasn't to fight crime then the government would not have banned them, right?

    (Side note: I just might have to test that theory that wrapping a handgun in a towel will suppress a hand gun. Out of scientific curiosity, of course.)

    He demands proof that lives would be saved by lifting the ban on firearm suppressors. I assume that means more lives saved with lifting the ban than lives lost by keeping the ban in place. That should not be difficult since there is little to show that lives are saved with the ban in place. Emphasis on "should", but it seems his mind is made up on the matter.
    You can have free speech or you can have income taxes but you cannot have both.

  15. #15
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    06-05-06
    Location
    Army, moving often!
    Posts
    1,051
    1. Saves hearing, hence saving enjoyment of life
    2. Would stimulate the economy; heck I bet most gun owners would buy 'em, and that would generate billions of dollars in sales and associated taxes, and create many jobs.
    3. Cars are required to have mufflers
    4. Reduce noise pollution in general.
    Amendment II: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

    "An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it."

    "All gave some, some gave all; Freedom Isn't Free."

  16. #16
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    05-15-09
    Location
    upper left corner
    Posts
    2,577
    Farmboy, I think saving your hearing could save your life. Remember those carnivorous and predatory animals you mentioned before? Suppose you had shot many unsuppressed firearms and your hearing was impaired as a result. Now suppose a dangerous animal was stalking you, and you were unable to hear the crack of a twig or the swish of a tail (or the splash of the swamp water, for members in FL) until it was too late?

    Parker

  17. #17
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    07-03-07
    Location
    Linn County, Iowa
    Posts
    3,405
    Parker,
    I think a better response would be that with a suppressed firearm one would not need muffs or plugs to protect one's hearing. Having an unencumbered hearing could save one's life by being able to hear the critters that run about.

    Problem remains in showing evidence of that theory working in real life.
    You can have free speech or you can have income taxes but you cannot have both.

  18. #18
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    05-15-09
    Location
    upper left corner
    Posts
    2,577
    Yeah, that. I don't know why, having shot many firearms without muffs or plugs, and played drums and percussion in high school and college, and operated power tools and construction equipment all my working life, but my hearing is still excellent. Maybe I started out with dog ears.

    Parker

  19. #19
    Member  
    Join Date
    04-30-08
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    1,947
    Hypothetically, let's say I own an AR-15 to defend my home. One night, a robber breaks into my house and threatens the life of my child. I am forced to shoot him. Due to the fact that we were in a small room, I lost 50% of the hearing in my right ear and 30% in my left ear. Why should I be forced to lose my hearing in order to defend my life or the life of my family? There's technology out there that can help protect my hearing and that of my family. Why are we forbidden from using it?

    While suppressors don't save lives, they protect against unnecessary bodily harm and should be legal and, in my opinion, they should be encouraged.

  20. #20
    Senior Member   
    Join Date
    12-30-02
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    7,730
    As best I can recall his argument is that the government banned them for a reason, that reason MUST be related to deterring crime. If it wasn't to fight crime then the government would not have banned them, right?

    * * *
    He demands proof that lives would be saved by lifting the ban on firearm suppressors. I assume that means more lives saved with lifting the ban than lives lost by keeping the ban in place. That should not be difficult since there is little to show that lives are saved with the ban in place. Emphasis on "should", but it seems his mind is made up on the matter.
    Back in [whenever], DDT (an insecticide) was banned because some birds may have died when they ate a bug that had been killed by an over-application of the chemical. The rest of the industrialized world went along with the ban. Since then, at least a couple of million people -- particularly children -- in Africa have died of malaria carried by mosquitoes which could have been controlled by proper use of DDT.

    The point being, governments ban things for questionable reasons and then never look back.
    Send lawyers, guns, and money . . .

  21. #21
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    04-30-08
    Posts
    239
    Saving lives verses taking lives is a poor way to frame the debate IMO, as neither can readily be proved. It would be easier as an overall pro vs con list.

    Cons:
    His flawed concept of criminals getting away

    Pros:
    Protect hearing
    Reduce noise pollution
    Improved communication of range safety commands*

    Cons: 0
    Pros: 3

    *I always start new shooters with a suppressed .22. No hearing protection is required so all parties can communicate easier. I haven't had a new shooter yet that didn't need to be reminder of the 4 rules regularly on their first outing.
    "Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
    -Mahatma Gandhi

  22. #22
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    12-24-09
    Posts
    520
    Back in [whenever], DDT (an insecticide) was banned because some birds may have died when they ate a bug that had been killed by an over-application of the chemical. The rest of the industrialized world went along with the ban. Since then, at least a couple of million people -- particularly children -- in Africa have died of malaria carried by mosquitoes which could have been controlled by proper use of DDT.

    The point being, governments ban things for questionable reasons and then never look back.
    Couldn't have thought of a better example if I tried. Correction, it is not millions dead, it is tens of millions. I just thought of a great example! Freddie Mac and Fannie May, the Government Sponsored Enterprises that are not effectively regulated and made a trillion dollars of bad mortgages possible resulting in the near collapse of our financial system and economy sixteen or eighteen months ago. Now we have a giant "regulatory reform" bill pending that does not address Freddie or Fannie.

  23. #23
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    06-30-08
    Location
    Blue River Wisconsin, in a little hut in the woods
    Posts
    3,530
    Okay, I am a hunter using a single shot .308 with a silencer. I get the hearing protection for myself and my companions and I don't bother the game if I mess, perish the thought, and other wildlife. That's good enough for me right there.

    Properly designed it can reduce noise and recoil making for quicker recovery time for that second shot with larger bores and heavier bullets. this has to be good for the hunter, soldier or cop who needs to shoot more than once. Good for the little kid or woman who has to use dads big boomer to fend off a boogerman late at night inside the house.

    Best argument for indoor range use besides reduced noise level from what I have read is the cooling of the gasses. LEts the lead solidify and get collected in the silencer or on the ground in front of the silencer instead of being dispersed evenly through the air we have to breathe.

    Yeah, yeah, I said silencer, if it was good enough for Maxim the inventor it's good enough for me.

    European countries encourage the use of silencers and their response to the crime problem is a mandatory long sentence added to the sentence for the crime. It's a lot better deterrent than just banning them. Idiots in 1934 somehow got it in their head that it made the gun more dangerous, duh, and apparently we haven't elected any smart people to congress since then since most seem to believe the same thing.

    Okay, off my hobby horse now.
    1934 National Firearms Act, 1968 The Gun Control Act, 1986 Firearms Owners Protection Act, 1993 Brady Handguns Violence Act, 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, 1995 Gun Free School Zones Act, NO MORE COMPROMISING

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •