Silencer Op-Ed From Someone Who Clearly Knows Nothing About Silencers

Dr. John Anthrony Herring should stick to treating kids’ sniffles and leave gun policy to people who actually understand the topic:

A silencer is a device that is attached to a gun in order to virtually eliminate the sound of the gun and the “muzzle flash” that accompanies the bullet. If the Las Vegas shooter had used a silencer, people would have just continued to fall over with no evident cause for heaven knows how long. No one would have known in which direction to look, and no flash would have been seen.

Did the writer of this article bother to do even the most basic of research? No, of course not. This is what he learned from movies, and it’s completely untrue. Gunshots fired from a silenced firearm are still very loud. Bullets breaking the sound barrier are very loud.

I am a novice at political writing. I am a children’s doctor.

You don’t say?

I have young patients who have been shot accidentally. I have patients who have committed suicide with guns. I have patients who are teenage children who have been shot in their neighborhoods.

What does this have to do with silencers? How do the current regulations on silencers help any of these things? I’m sure he could come up with examples, all of which will be completely ignorant of how the devices actually work.

Also there are clear examples of successful gun control. Australia, a country with as high a percentage of gun owners as the U.S., was able to implement effective and fair gun laws that dramatically reduced gun violence.

They did this by banning every semi-automatic firearm in the country, and then confiscating them. Do you think this is even remotely achievable in a country where tens of millions of people own them, and you can’t even get the ridiculous pseudo-ban that existed from 1994-2004 reimplemented?

19 thoughts on “Silencer Op-Ed From Someone Who Clearly Knows Nothing About Silencers”

  1. In terms of sound … when those very first videos popped up of the LV shooting and you could hear the distinctive supersonic “crack” of the bullets overhead followed some seconds later by the distant report, I understood why people didn’t initially understand they were shots. That “crack” is very distinctive and those of us who have worked target pits at older shooting ranges where the shots were flying over our heads know it well. It’s loud, it’s distinctive, and a silencer doesn’t affect it (if you’re working in the pits you still wear hearing protection even though the rifles are a couple hundred yards away).

    And of course we all know if you’re down range a silencer has little effect on the sounds or flash as well.

    But hey … he knows more about lancing boils. So there’s that …

  2. If this guy knows 100 times more about pediatric medicine as he knows about guns or gun laws he has no business even talking to a child let alone practicing medicine on one.

  3. actually if you look at Australia’s numbers they do not look great. Since 1994, Australia homicide rate is down 23%. Since 1994, USA homicide rate is down about 45%. Meantime, we more than doubled the number of guns out there. They did see a drop from 1996 to 2001 (5%), but then so did the USA (25%).

    Australian gun laws have not had a meaningful impact on murder or suicide rate.

    I am getting my numbers from here:

    1. And they had no where near the gun ownership of the USA- another thing he was wrong about. They confiscated 600k semi-auto, pump action, and lever action rifles, and handguns. There’s maybe 200 million of those in the US.

  4. I can’t help but think this is a canned letter put out by a left-wing organization. ( I say left-wing rather than antigun because the last two paragraphs go off on a tangent about Trump and Kim Jung-Un.) Someone made a copy/paste error?

  5. When doctors start talking about guns, it’s a lot like when macrame wearing hippies start talking about the healing power of pyramids and crystals they bought at the mall…

  6. Still no Weatherman. Long vacation now. Did he get promoted to trolling a bigger blog? Saw something over at Insty that looked like his style. Or did the big Soros financial transaction turn off the money?

  7. Again with the “needs.”

    “No civilian needs a high-powered repeating rifle like the AK-47.”

    No human “needs” ANYTHING except air, water, food and shelter. Everything else is a “want.”

    Nobody “needs” Nike sneakers, they just “want” them.

    Nobody “needs” an espresso machine, they just “want” them.

    Nobody “needs” a Mercedes-Benz, they just “want” them.

    Nobody “needs” golf clubs, they just “want” them.

    Nobody “needs” a Boeing 777, they just “want” them.

    And now that we have established that everything beyond the four legitimate “needs” is a “want,” tell me why the hell you think your “wants” are any more legitimate than mine.

    1. “The language of need is the language of the Kommissar”, is how I put it.

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  9. Australia, and many other countries, have demonstrated very nicely two things: (1) when guns are made hard to get, murderers simply switch to other weapons, and suicides switch to other methods. So the TOTAL death rate goes up. Saying that the gun death rate goes down is merely an attempt to mislead the gullible. And (2) the total crime rate in fact goes up, because criminals are more confident that their intended victims will be defenseless.

  10. This is a medical ethics violation, specifically a “Boundary Violation”.

    Using your status as a doctor to promote a political position or a commercial product.

  11. “effective and fair”

    I don’t think those words mean what he thinks they mean.

  12. The thing all of these people are ignoring is that instead of pushing for restricting guns, which they nearly always admit when pressed that it wouldn’t have prevented these shootings, they should be using their experience and influence to teach people how to better protect themselves. Why doesn’t this doctor start offering free classes on first response medicine? Why don’t the know-it-all politicians public awareness campaign to teach people how to put together a GSW first aid kit and encourage them to do so? Why don’t the MSM talking heads bring on ANY experienced soldiers or Marines to analyze and discuss why so many in Las Vegas failed to recognize the danger and react appropriately. Those servicemen could use the direct line to every living room to educate folks on the realities of gunfire in an urban environment, how to potentially ID or narrow down a source, and how to effectively use cover for protection and egress. These are simple steps that could actually save lives in the future but they’re not interested.

    Well that’s what I’ve been doing to actually help in the wake of such a tragic event. Instead of arguing with the gun-grabbers I’ve been talking about and teaching these things to any of my family, friends, or co-workers who will listen. Anyone from any background can and should learn these concepts. And these ideas and skills can all be passed on for free, at least on the individual level. And I encourage all of you to do so as well if you have the experience or knowledge.

  13. Is there any truth to his statement that “Australia [had] as high a percentage of gun owners as the U.S.?”

    I wouldn’t think so.

  14. Doctors: Cautious idiots with extensive medical training who sometimes try to leverage their medical experience to gain political advantage, despite their ignorance of politics.

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