I notice with some amusement that a couple of my comments here represent a temporal paradox, in that I appear to have known and commented upon something (orange petunias, for one) before I apparently first heard about it. This is because my posts here are being arranged by the date I started writing them, not the date I actually posted them. I may be exploring more than one idea at any given moment, and I tend to switch around from one to the other in no particular order. I suppose there's a setting here somewhere for that, but I haven't found it yet.
I'm about to present another example of this, as well as an interesting example of synchronicity, because no sooner had I posted my comments on Congressman Ruiz' behavior, than I received this reply from one of my Senators, Diane Feinstein, on exactly the same bill as Congressman Ruiz. While her answer was no less disingenuous, she didn't just bend the truth, choosing instead to lie by omission and conflate completely unrelated statistics with the issue to support her apparent agenda.
"Thank you for writing to express your support for the use of silencers and noise suppressors on firearms. I appreciate hearing from you, and I welcome the opportunity to share my perspective.
In the interest of brevity, I'll confine myself to examining that 30,000 deaths figure. According to the CDC's own figures, the latest of which seem to be from 2014, there were, indeed, 33,594 deaths from gunshots that year. However, that figure includes 21,386 suicides, and 11,008 homicides. The number of accidental shooting deaths was 461. The homicide category includes an unknown number of self defense cases, including police officers protecting lives. The CDC apparently did not think it important to differentiate between lawful self defense and the crime of murder. Suicidal individuals typically seek whatever method is most convenient. There were 42,826 total suicides that year; it is reasonable to assume that access to a firearm is not a causative factor, and that those who used firearms would have simply used other methods had a firearm not been available. Notice the choice of language, however; "each year over 30,000 people are killed with a firearm in the United States", the implication being that there are 30,000 murders here every year.
Now that we've dispensed with her dishonesty with the numbers, the next question is, what do these statistics she tosses out have to do with suppressors? Were all those deaths the result of putting a silencer on a firearm? The idea that sound suppressors, which work in essentially the same way as a car's muffler, somehow makes a gun more lethal is laughable.
In fact, the only figures I could find on silencers being used in crimes came from the Free Beacon. There are roughly 1.3 million legally owned sound suppressors in the hands of private citizens. How many prosecutions has the BATFE recommended? Forty four. not forty four convictions, not forty four crimes charged, but forty four they're thinking about charging. I couldn't find a breakdown of that number, but I'd bet the majority of those are for paperwork errors. The average gang banger doesn't bother with a silencer. Why? Well, for starters, they don't go "phut phut" as Hollywood would have you believe. While sound levels are reduced to levels that are more or less safe for human hearing, there is still quite a bit of noise produced. When used in the appropriate circumstances, a suppressor can make it more difficult to locate the shooter, which can be an advantage for some military units. They also generally make a pistol much harder to conceal. Since the average law enforcement response time is in excess of ten minutes, assuming anyone calls them, criminals are much more concerned with being able to hide the weapon on their person than they are with the weapon's report drawing return fire.
So, why would Pistol packin' Senator Feinstein try to tell me that a device that, in civilian hands, serves only to reduce the danger of hearing loss, will put my life in jeopardy? Like so many of her fellow hoplophobic, less than honest associates, I can only think she's afraid of us, the citizens she swore an oath to serve. She apparently lives in a world of delusions, where a crazed killer hides behind the eyes of every ordinary American, just waiting for a bad day at the office to trigger them. Then again, perhaps she has much more pragmatic reasons for wanting us disarmed.
I am, and have always been, unafraid to voice my opinions. In fact I believe everyone needs to vent now and then, and we all have a God given right to do so. I despise willful ignorance and intellectual dishonesty, and take a perhaps perverse pleasure in puncturing the politically correct proclamations of those who have anointed themselves as our betters. I could be described as a contrarian and a bit of a curmudgeon, having now reached an age at which those labels no longer sound odd. Not everything I'll address here will be controversial. In fact, I would rather keep that sort of thing somewhat limited (and it should surprise no one that I probably won't succeed in doing so). We already have our fill of whining talking heads on the 'net. However, if you are easily offended or thin skinned, you might want to skip this blog. You have been warned.