Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Please Be Quiet ... We're Shooting!

The other day in this space I wrote about the way that the language of firearms has permeated American English ... shooting my mouth off, as it were. We return today to the subject of gun worship as I draw your attention to this article from CNN Money: Gun Silencer Sales Are Booming*.

Yes, Dear Readers, it's no longer enough just to have a gun powerful enough to bring down an elk in the next county - you need to have a silencer so he never knows what hit him.

There was a tremendous burst of gun purchases, particularly of military-style assault rifles, after the massacre of children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December of 2012, because gun enthusiasts were terrified that public outrage would lead to the enactment of a ban on many types of firearms, particularly assault rifles. But, this being America, the outrage over something as minor as the slaughter of children quickly blew over, and gun sales slowed again. Now, according to the CNN article, the owners of all those guns are customizing their weapons with "... 'a dizzying array of accessories,' including silencers, flashlights, laser scopes, stocks, pistol grips, and rail systems for attaching even more accessories**."

Silencers***. Who doesn't need a silencer for his gun, after all? A gun industry analyst quoted in the article explained one of the major reasons for needing a silencer: it "give(s) the hunter multiple shots without frightening the game."

Heaven forbid you should have to wait until you have a clear shot.

I read another article on the growing popularity of silencers some time ago in which a gun enthusiast claimed that silencers were very important to protect the hearing of children at shooting ranges. I guess traditional ear protection is a lot less sexy than a silencer that can be fastened onto your weapon to make it look even more badass. The idea is evidently to make your weapon look so fearsome that bad guys with less awesome guns just give up and meekly go to jail, or game just jumps resignedly into the stockpot, saving you the expense of actually having to buy ammunition.

The sale of silencers has been regulated since 1934+, when the Big, Bad GovernmentTM and its Jack-Booted ThugsTM restricted their manufacture, sale and ownership in response to their use by criminal gangs. Nevertheless, they are legal in 39 states, and legal for use in hunting in 29 of those. Take heart, hunters - that elk will go down with his hearing unimpaired.

Got enough guns? Accessorize them! As a gun industry analyst quoted in the CNN article remarked, "It's like Barbie for men."

Silencers. Because you never know when you'll need to shoot someone in the library.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


* That's one pun you can't pin on me ... blame the author of the article.

** Real men hunt deer with grenade launchers, after all.

*** The actual term is "suppressor," as I learned from reading the article, since "the noise of a chambered round being fired is never silent, only suppressed or dampened." That's why you get that sexy "pfffttt" noise when James Bond cuts loose with that custom Walther PPK of his.

+ The National Firearms Act of 1934.


eViL pOp TaRt said...

I had no idea that silencers were the rage now. It would make for quiet, considerate drive-by shootings.

Grand Crapaud said...

Silencers, at least, should be outlawed. Doing that would not be against the Second Amendment.

Insane Penguin said...

We're totally screwed up!

Mike said...

At Sandy Hook II we wouldn't want to disturb the children in the next classroom.

allenwoodhaven said...

I think they wear out too so that promotes more sales.