Gun Control Folks Definitely Expecting HPA to Move

There’s just too much chatter about it for that not to be the case. A common argument against: “What’s wrong with ear plugs?” But note this editorial concedes many of our points:

To be sure, the noise-reduction devices at issue do not eliminate gun noise; they reduce it by 30 decibels or so, making “suppressor” a more accurate term, and mitigating whatever additional risk the general public might face if the law results in more use of silencers, including unlawful use, as opponents fear.

Sure, it could happen. But the sky could fall too! Death, destruction everywhere! And if that’s going to happen, and WaPo’s editorial staff would prefer it be deafening, and not just kinda loud.

In fact, the harms to shooters are modest — somewhat elevated risk of non-total hearing loss, essentially — and effective alternatives to silencers are readily available.

Basically, they don’t give a crap about your hearing unless you’re driven to the point of utter deafness. Then they care. Maybe.

The problem is that firearms users generally don’t take these simple precautions. Suppressors might help, NHCA acknowledged, but not “without the wearing of hearing protection.” In other words, “manufacturers cannot guarantee that use of noise suppressors alone will prevent hearing loss.”

Again, making our point for us. You still need hearing protection, just not as much. I doubt anyone at the WaPo involved in this editorial actually shoots, or has any idea that not all earplugs or muffs are created equal. That’s also not to mention that it’s better for hunters to  be able to hear what’s going on around them. Or for instructors teaching a new shooter to be able to communicate effectively without having to shout.

I use these electronic muffs, and they are the best compromise between protection and usability I’ve found. But I still can’t get a good check weld on a rifle with them. Also note they are rated for a 22db reduction, which means they reduce to about 138 decibels, which is just below action level. Note, WaPo journalists, that muffs that take gunfire well into the safe range are a lot thicker.

Ear plugs are very effective, offering up to 30 decibel reduction for quality plugs, but my main issue with earplugs is that I can’t hear shit when I’m wearing plugs unless someone is absolutely shouting at me, and to be completely honest, I hate having shit stuffed in my ears. You want to be able to communicate with other shooters and the people around you when you are shooting potentially dangerous weapons.

I’m not saying suppressors are a panacea that will make all hearing issues and noise complaints go away at ranges everywhere. But they are another tool in the toolbox. Even the WaPo editorial staff has to concede that the only reason to restrict them are hysterical predictions about criminal use if we unrestricted them. That’s never happened when this kind of thing has been predicted by journalists before, and I don’t see why it would happen now.

Constitutional Carry in Wisconsin?

Looks like it’s on the move. Note how the media is spinning it now? “Committee to Hear Input on Ending Concealed Carry Training.” Technically accurate, but does someone want to argue the headline isn’t loaded in a way that Bloomberg’s Everytown would surely approve of?

Good news for Pennsylvania if Wisconsin passes, since the two states are somewhat similar politically. Well, with one difference: say what you want about Scott Walker, but the dude gets things done, and sits atop a throne made from the skulls of his vanquished enemies. Contrast that with Tom Corbett, who couldn’t get anything done, and was sent packing after a single term.

UPDATE: Michigan too, another state similarly situated to ours. I know we have a Dem governor, but I don’t think this is even on anyone’s radar in Pennsylvania. The GOP in both Michigan and Wisconsin has shown a lot more backbone than they have here.

More on Suppressors

This time from The Hill. Note that Shannon Watts just babbles meaninglessly about “semantics” without actually making a point. That’s a good sign they don’t have effective arguments. Everytown makes even less sense:

Gun control groups, in turn, raise concerns about humanizing silencers by comparing them to regular sounds.

“I don’t think it matters, because lawn mowers aren’t responsible for the deaths of about 90 Americans each day,” said Erika Soto Lamb, spokesperson for Everytown for Gun Safety, the group run by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Silencers not only distort the sound of a gun shot, but they also mask the muzzle flash, making it difficult to spot a shooter, said Chipman.

“It could confuse you long enough for a shooter to hit you with a second round of gunfire,” he said.

Seriously? Confuse you? Any suppressed firearm I’ve ever heard other than a low-powered .22 still sounds like a gun when fired. That’s reaching. Erika Soto Lamb also doesn’t seem to realize that lawn mowers do indeed maim and kill a fair number of people each year. Meanwhile, a suppressor is absolutely incapable of killing someone on its own unless you beat them with it.

I think this is going to pass. They’ve rhetorically emptied the gun, and now are throwing it at the monster in an act of desperation.

Suppressors in the News

You know the fight is brewing when over memorial day several outlets run stories. USA Today actually has a relatively positive piece on them. In fact, even our opponents at ARS are now helping make our point:

Chipman said silencers are not certified as hearing protection and he worries that the gun lobby argument and the bill title could dupe buyers into thinking silencers alone can save their hearing. Ear plugs and ear muffs are tested and used by law enforcement and the U.S. military for hearing protection.

“I would hate for anyone who is not as informed as a gun expert … to misunderstand that they can fire a gun with just a silencer and not use hearing protection,” said Chipman, a former ATF special agent.

All it takes is hearing a suppressed report once to know you still need hearing protection. But it’s just loud. You don’t need as much. My electronic muffs are rather thin, because I can’t get a good cheek weld on a rifle with thick muffs. What a suppressor does is make my thinner hearing protection options more effective. People who are opining about this have no idea how ear splittingly loud and disorienting unsuppressed gun fire really is.

The Dallas Morning News has a less charitable take on the issue, asking: “And what’s wrong with ear plugs?” Ear plugs are not remarkably effective. I’m happy to see that gun people in the comments are coming armed with facts and shooting down every argument opponents make. It strikes me that they don’t really have any good arguments against the Hearing Protection Act. First comment to the Dallas Morning News article is actually pretty well done:

Quote of the Day

Glenn Reynolds pretty much sums up my feelings on the whole sad affair.

But to be clear, my problem is not with people saying that body-slamming a reporter is wrong. It is. Rather it’s with the predictably hypocritical nature of the outrage. One might almost say that the political class is happy to wink at political violence, until it affects one of their own.

One of the things I really don’t like about following news and politics on a daily (hourly?) basis for so long is how cynical I’ve become about this sort of thing. I’d rather not feel this way, but it’s pretty hard to escape, given the realities.

I can really relate to that second paragraph.

Sometimes I Hate Being Right

The verdict is in on the Montana special election: “That audio made me cheer.” Though, I’m happy to see a college professor who thinks it’s acceptable to strike people in the head with a heavy bike lock is getting what’s coming to him. The stakes are being raised from both sides. What factor do you see that will lower the stakes? I see my family, family, on social media posting vile, hateful things about people that disagree with them, knowing full well they have family that does.

I’m coming to the conclusion that we’re getting beyond a political struggle of ideas, and that scares me because this country was always about a political struggle of ideas. The only time it turned violence was over the question of slavery, and one has to admit that’s a pretty big idea. Today’s meme wars are vapid, ignorant, and shallow.

I fear the future does not belong to ideas. It belongs to propagandists and marketing experts, who armed with Big Data are going to get much better at manipulating people’s emotions and biases to whip them into mindless frenzy to do their bidding. We’re already seeing it. It’s not that people have fundamentally changed, but never has so much information about so many people been concentrated into the hands of so few. I don’t think this will end well.

Help or Hurt?

Bitter and I were debating this morning about whether the latest news that GOP candidate in Montana’s special election, Grew Gianforte, body slammer a reporter who wouldn’t get a microphone out of his face. It’s my opinion that if anything, it’ll boost Gianforte. Bitter isn’t so sure. Thanks to early voting (don’t even get me started on that), about 1/3rd of the ballots are already cast.

I don’t think it’s a good thing, but the rules are changing. We were all very fortunate to grow up in a period of relative political and social stability. We’re witnessing the unraveling of the post World War II order, and it’s a global phenomena. Everything is at stake and up for renegotiation. When politicians say “I’ll fight for you,” their supporters are increasingly expecting that to be literal.

In the past we’ve been far worse. Fist fights were once common on the House floor. Prior to and after the Civil War, a lot of Members of Congress carried pistols, for their protection… from their colleagues. I’m reminded of a bit of research Dave Hardy was doing, when he uncovered this bit:

Prior to the Civil War, Sen. Ben Wade (R-Ohio) said something on the floor which was deemed insulting to Sen. Robert Toombs (D-Ga), and a friend told Toombs, “you must challenge the old wretch!” Toombs replied, “No, I mustn’t, for that old wretch is the deadliest shot in the District. Wade and I have been out practicing many times together, and he can hit a ten-cent piece at thirty paces every time, and to tell you the truth, sir, I cannot!”

Ben Wade was one of the Radical Republicans, who was largely responsible for the impeachment of Andrew Johnson, and who favored a Reconstruction policy far more punitive than Lincoln did. Are we headed back to that kind of political climate? I fear we are.

Can Someone Tell Me What This Has to Do With Gun Rights?

It’s one thing for NRA to take a black eye over something like “Can you believe NRA wants to let people buy silencers?” or “NRA wants old ladies to be able to carry guns in church. Church!” But why the fuck does the NRA need to take a black eye over the Manchester Bombing?

Is NRATV a means to spread news about RKBA arms issues, or it is conservative entertainment akin to Fox News? Look, I get if you’re pressured to produce hours and hours of content, it’s hard to only talk about RKBA issues. I share the struggle. But this is getting out of hand.

You can say these people don’t actually speak for NRA all you want in the disclaimers, but the fact is they do. Dana Loesch was speaking for NRA as far the public was concerned long before she had any official sanction.

I don’t expect this will blow up into anything major, since I’m not seeing it spread in the media beyond Salon, but the day NRA suffers a major setback to its core issues because it’s bringing along a lot of ancillary issues with their own baggage that don’t need to be brought along is the day I start joining the malcontents.

Half True is the Best We Ever Get

Yes, our friendly neighborhood fact checkers are at it again. The people who want to be the final arbiters of fake news struggle to even give us a half-true for something that was entirely 100% factual. Here they are “fact checking” Ted Cruz:

“Anyone know the first gun control laws in the United States?” Cruz went on. “The first Congress passed a law mandating that every able-bodied man must own a musket. That’s gun control Founding Fathers’ style.”

Apparently our steadfast journalists had never heard of the Militia Act of 1792 and had to turn to an expert. Not that I’d expect them to have heard of it, but let me Google that for you.

Seriously, if you can’t use Google, I’d strongly suggest giving up the profession of journalist and find some dank corner of a bar to hang out in to work on your drinking problem. You might find you’re more successful with that career choice.

It’s my impression that many of these people honestly aren’t very smart, and thus have no real expertise on much of anything to be pontificating on what’s true and false. What Ted Cruz said obviously wasn’t the full text of that bill, but if anyone expected he’d say:

“Anyone know the first gun control laws in the United States?” Cruz went on. “The first Congress passed a law mandating that every able-bodied man must own a musket. Well, except for black men, Indians, ferrymen employed on ferries along post roads, the Vice President, Congressmen and Senators, some federal employees, Quakers, or any other contentious objector where allowed by state law. That’s gun control Founding Fathers’ style.”

you need to get your head out of your ass. What Cruz said was an accurate summary of the Militia Act of 1792. For the most part, males of military age were required to be armed. The statement is not half true, it’s true.

Weekly Gun News – Edition 60

I know it’s been quite some time before we had a news links post. Things are just slow. Not that I’m complaining. No sir. Bad things happen when I complain. But lets see how clean I can get my tabs:

I’d note this dude is writing a book about his indoctrination into America’s gun culture, yet he admits in this article he’s not a gun owner. If you want to write a book on gun culture, maybe you should treat it as something more than an anthropological study, like we’re some kind of remote tribe in Papua New Guinea that’s never seen Europeans before.

I think this is a fairer coverage of NRA Annual Meeting from someone who is pretty clearly left of center.

NSSF responds to that latest lead study I linked to a few weeks ago.

NRA and CRPA are suing California over their newest ban on “assault weapons.” Even if changes to the Supreme Court are coming, it takes a long time for a case to make its way up.

Not coincidentally, the California DOJ has finalized the regulations surrounding their new ban on “assault weapons.”

San Francisco is suing magazine seller who don’t make it clear you can’t ship to California.

John Lott: Murder isn’t a nationwide problem.

Looks like I’m not alone in having anti-gun relatives.

Bearing Arms: “Progressive Rapper Explains Why he is a Gun Owner, NRA Member

Not gun related, but good news: “Court strikes down rule forcing toy drone users to register with govt

Mark Warner comes out against concealed carry reciprocity.

April gun sales were still pretty strong, which goes against the media narrative of a severe slump in gun sales. I’ve been shooting more again, given that prices have come down. So clearly there has been some cooling. I did not stockpile during the Obama years, and even I’m still shooting off the stock I bought years ago.

Why Do Gun Haters Want Shooters To Lose Their Hearing?” I think we know the answer to that. Suppressors have started showing up at my club. A suppressed AR-15 is still too loud to shoot without hearing protection under a covered shooting line. But you can get away with much less hearing protection!

Inside Manhattan’s Lone Gun Range.

Bloomberg is engaging professional lobbyists. I’ve seen rhetoric turned up too, which is making me wonder if the Hearing Protection Act and/or National Reciprocity will be moving soon.

Daily newspaper columnist who defended NRA quits after suspension.