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New Outrageous Lie from NRA: Gun Silencers Protect Kids' Hearing

Silencers could give the next Adam Lanza even more time to kill -- but to the NRA, it's got to be protected.

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A decade later, the NRA has cozied up to the industry view that everyone should have a silencer, and that the days are over when WerBell’s toys were the accessory love that dare not speak its name. The NRA now sees the widespread negative view of silencers as a branding problem to be corrected through advertising and public relations.

Toward this end, the gun lobby is on multiple fronts advancing the argument that silencer-phobia is the product of popular culture demonization and sensationalism.

“Unfortunately, too many Americans (including some gun owners) still fall victim to the unfair portrayals of silencers by Hollywood,” the NRA-ILA gently chides its members. Gun World’s Jim Dickson, meanwhile, prays for an America that allows its film industry to assist in “the transformation of an innocuous safety and noise-reduction device to a sinister assassin’s tool in the public mind.”

If anybody reading this needs one more nudge before abandoning in finality the idea of any kind of “dialogue” with the gun lobby, I suggest reading the NRA and the gun press bleat about the way violent movies have besmirched the good name of the honorable American silencer. They’re pointing to the same Hollywood gun makers routinely employ to product-place its wares, from  best-selling pistols to fully automatic shotguns. (In 2011, Glock handguns made corporate cameos in 15 percent of No. 1 films.) The gun lobby pointing to Hollywood is as rich as Wayne LaPierre censuring video games, which thrives at the service of the gun-industry in ways we’re just now beginning to understand.

If the current campaign succeeds in delisting silencers from NFA regulation, the gun lobby likely won’t wait long before targeting the remaining regulatory regimes limiting the circulation of fully automatic machine guns and even hand grenades. Do not be surprised when you see a 2014 Gun World feature extolling freshwater blast fishing as a great way to connect kids and nature, while reducing the risks of fishing with sharp steel hooks, some of which have dangerous double jags. If you can’t see the safety rationale here, or the Freedom Logic that undergirds it, then you obviously do not care about America’s children and their millions of young tender fingers.


Alexander Zaitchik is a journalist living in New Orleans.

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