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REBUTTAL: Washington Post On Suppressors

(from The Firearm Blog, in part)

REBUTTAL: Washington Post On Suppressors

Washington Post

Robert J. Spitzer, author of Guns Across America, penned an opinion piece about silencers in the Washington Post this week. Like much of what we are accustomed to reading about firearms in today’s media, Spitzer is disingenuous in his arguments against the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) – a bill that proposes suppressors be removed from the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934. He begins:

Gunfire — loud, sharp, rude, abrupt — is an important safety feature of any firearm. From potential victims who seek to escape a mass shooting to a hiker being alerted to the presence of a hunter in the woods, the sound warns bystanders of potentially lethal danger. Yet gun advocates insist there is a greater danger: hearing loss by gun owners.

I am sure Spitzer is not the first gun control advocate to suggest that the report of a firearm is actually an “important safety feature”, however it is the first time I’ve heard it used in this context. A common misconception about silencers that has been repeated numerous times, is that a suppressed weapon can be used as a “silent killer”. Just two weeks prior, the author’s same publication addressed the Hollywood perception of silencers, confirming they are anything but silent.

Proponents of the deregulation of silencers, such as myself, will repeat this one fact over and over: legally referred to as silencers, these devices do not silence a firearm. In the majority of cases, additional hearing protection, such as ear plugs, must be worn even when a suppressor is used while shooting. So the author’s argument that silencers remove a “safety feature” (loud noises) from a discharged firearm is already crumbling. Honestly, for a professor, I’d expect at least some research followed by fact-based arguments.

But don’t take my word for it, Knox Williams, President of the American Suppressor Association (ASA) introduced me to Dr. Micheal Stewart, Director of Audiology at the Department of Communication Disorders at Central Michigan University. I asked Dr. Stewart “Is it possible to damage a persons hearing when using muffs or plugs alone?” He writes:

Yes, it is possible, especially if individuals are shooting numerous rounds of large caliber firearms with hearing protection devices (HPDs) that are not properly applied. For instance, the famous yellow plug has a high noise reduction rating (NRR), but it must be inserted properly. Also, it is not well suited for small, curvy ear canals so there is not a good acoustic seal and thus individual do not achieve the tabled attenuation values. In fact, NIOSH has de-rated formable plugs 50%, muffs 25%, and most other plugs 70%. The real world attenuation values may be significantly lower than the attenuation values obtained in the laboratory. Additionally, our research at CMU has consistently found that most hunters do not wear HPDs during hunting activities and many target shooters do not wear HPDs on a consistent basis.

He continues:

As hearing conservationist, we are interested in the science regarding suppressors, not the politics. There is no doubt that suppressors (often incorrectly referred to as silencers) are effective in reducing auditory risk, however, HPDs should be used in conjunction with suppressors to further reduce risk. Depending on the type of firearm, caliber of firearm, and the acoustic environment, recreational firearm users may be able to wear HPDs with lower NRR values that still allow them to hear while protecting their hearing when shooting firearms equipped with suppressors.

Hearing Conservation, Not Politics’. Sounds familiar…

But there is a deeper concern with Spitzer’s Washington Post editorial, Spitzer makes claims regarding the HPA that need to be addressed. He writes:

The NRA is renewing with gusto its misbegotten push, begun in the last Congress, to make gun silencers easier to acquire by swiping a page from the public health community’s long-standing efforts to warn of the dangers of firearms. The Hearing Protection Act, which would remove federal registration and identification requirements for those seeking gun silencers…

First off, suppressors will only be “easier to acquire” because of the disappearance of abnormally long wait times to possess silencers which are fueled by bureaucracy and not due to a lack of background checks. The HPA proposes that the purchase of silencers be treated the same as long arms, which means that prospective buyers will still need to undergo a background check and follow all state and federal firearms laws. Let’s not forget that sound suppressors are nothing more than hollow tubes – they can’t fire any ammunition on their own.

Which leads me to another point: basic firearm silencers can be constructed from materials found in two isles of a hardware store for less than $20. If would-be criminals were so inclined, in a few hours time they could fashion a firearm suppressor that performs on par with commercially manufactured suppressors. Of course, in the process they would be violating several federal laws, punishable with a minimum of ten years in prison. But everyone knows that criminals check to see which laws not to break, on their way to break several other laws.

Since silencers don’t actually silence firearms and add up to a foot of length to any weapon, an overwhelming majority of criminals give no thought to attaching a muffler to their instruments of criminality. We are talking about statistically insignificant percentages of suppressors being used to commit crimes.

Go on, Professor, you were saying:

Absent some kind of cataclysmic hearing-loss crisis by America’s tens of millions of gun owners, this political push should be recognized for what it is: an effort to provide an extremely small benefit to gun owners that willfully ignores what can happen to others once a bullet leaves a gun barrel. The lifesaving safety benefits of gun noise should weigh far more in the silencer debate. Just ask anyone caught in the vicinity of a shooting.

Since when do shooters “willfully ignore” what happens when a bullet leaves a barrel? And yes, most suffer from some form of hearing loss; no it’s not an “extremely small benefit”. In a recent post by the ASA, they reference a 2011 report completed by the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) after a noise and lead analysis at a range in California. On page five the authors conclude:

The only potentially effective noise control method to reduce students’ or instructors’ noise exposure from gunfire is through the use of noise suppressors that can be attached to the end of the gun barrel. However, some states do not permit civilians to use suppressors on firearms.

It’s journalism like this column in the Post, masked as news analysis, that makes much of America wary of what they read in papers today. The Washington Post touted your opinion piece as being written by an expert, and yet you willfully ignore facts, data and evidence to push an agenda.

For shame, Professor. A man with your educational background should understand that fact-based arguments outweigh emotional rhetoric. Almost every aspect of your opinion piece is invalid and rooted in common misconceptions.

The HPA removes unnecessary barriers to lawful suppressor ownership through deregulation. Sure, they will no longer be listed on the NFA registry (a glorified national list of tubes), but each buyer must still pass the same background check used for every other gun purchased in the United States. And remember, silencers cannot fire a single bullet on their own.

This is the part of the article where I am supposed to offer you the chance to come over and shoot a few suppressed firearms in an attempt to “win you over”. No thanks; after reading your borderline slanderous opinion piece, I’m certain there is no empirical evidence that will help you come to an informed decision.

Ironic that we are talking about silencers since it is pretty clear that you are stuck in your own echo chamber.

 

Customer Service, Part Cinco

(Here we are, revisiting a common theme in this blog.  It’s as if they are not listening!)

I was fully prepared (okay, 85% prepared) to post last night for today, as this morning I was to be occupied during my blogging time-frame.  Another medical procedure.  Sigh.

Another endoscopy.  A camera-down-the-throat (and biopsy) to see the ‘progress’ of my esophageal erosion due to chronic acid reflux.  Which might lead to cancer and/or surgery.

Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be doing it!

This was set-up by my primary physician, as she saw I was suffering from this condition, and wanted to see the progression of the disease.

SO…I was referred to a specialist who saw me six weeks ago, and scheduled this procedure.  One day, outpatient, a few hours.  Roomie J will be driving, as I will be rendered unconscious by propofol (the Michael Jackson drug) for the procedure.

Last time I had this done, the clinic-de-jour called me (and sent me a letter) a month in advance to ask me questions about medical power-of-attorney, organ donation, that kind of icky stuff.  And advised me there would be an intake charge.  Up front.

I was grateful for the heads-up, as being on disability I don’t have lot’s of spare cash lying around for unexpected expenses.  I still wasn’t thrilled at the charge, of course.

But this time, the different facility (I changed doctors as the previous guy seemed to want to get as much Medicare money out of me as possible) had not called or sent a letter.  I assumed (NEVER do that – D. Brown) that if there were a charge, they would bill me.

WRONG!

They called me yesterday afternoon at 1630 hours (I was to be at the hospital at 0700 this morning) and advised me there would be a charge of over one hundred dollars!  They would not bill me, and if I didn’t have the funds, I would have to reschedule!

Of course, I don’t have the money.  And the caller had NO IDEA why I was upset, that this was in the very least an inconvenience and poor customer service!

THEN, she hung-up on me!

But not before telling me to reschedule I had to call my specialist’s office – THEY couldn’t do that!  At 1630 in the afternoon.

(I did rant, but used no foul language.)

Fortunately, my doctor’s office was still open.

SO…it’s been rescheduled for August 16.

Grrr.

PS – While I was writing this, the hospital called to see where I was.  I advised them of yesterday’s conversation and the rescheduling.  Must I do everything?

A Period Piece

from Bayou Renaissance Man (in part)

Today’s award goes to the journalist(s) and/or editor(s) responsible for this utterly ludicrous headline:

It is, of course, complete and utter bull.  Naturally (and I mean that both literally and figuratively) women are, indeed, the only people who menstruate!  It can’t possibly be any other way.  Those responsible for this absurd headline are stretching reality in such a pretzel-like fashion that it’s grotesque to the point of ridiculousness.

(…)

There’s more at the link.

Look . . . if a woman chooses to self-identify as a man, but chromosomally, genetically and otherwise is female to the point that she still has periods, THEY ARE NOT A MAN.  THEY ARE A WOMAN.  PERIOD.  (Pun intended.)  Even if the relevant organs are surgically removed, so that periods are no longer physically possible, that won’t change the reality of the situation.

This is political correctness gone mad, and should be treated as such.  To do otherwise would be dishonest – and the hallmark of a doofus.  It’s as simple as that.

Peter

I applaud Peter for his directly addressing the complete absurdity of this concept!

Having said that, I commend the company for (ahem) thinking outside the box (sorry!) to gain a larger market share.  Capitalism at it’s weirdest.

As stupid though it may seem.

Hard to imagine what is, or could be next…

(I shudder at the prospects!)

Chemical Warfare

I suffer from mild allergies.  Mostly an occasional cough and nasal drip, ameliorated by application of sugar-free cough drops, tissues, and daily use of Flonase™ (when I can afford it).

It seems to be seasonal in nature, like when something is blooming or dying in the wind.  It doesn’t affect my life much.

What does, however, is the onslaught of horrible scents, mostly from women’s injudicious application of a perfume they like, assuming all others like it equally.

Not all do.

I believe perfume or cologne should be used sparingly (if at all) so only those in hugging distance have the opportunity to appreciate it.

The Battle for Scent Supremacy took years at TMCCC, my former employer.  Many women thought their perfume smelled wonderful, and to share it with co-workers would bathe in a 55 gallon drum of the stuff just before entering the workplace!  Those of us affected by such pollution referred to them as the bathers!

I remember arriving early, parking traditionally a couple hundred yards from the employees’ entrance, exiting my car, and being overwhelmed by cough-inducing volumes of perfume.  With no one else in view!

And many a lengthy conversation with the offenders (if known) and management ensued.

After YEARS of complaint and negotiation, the company finally instituted a policy – if two persons were offended by your scent (and reported same to management) you were required to go home and shower and not get paid for your absence!

This cut down the offenses considerably.

Of course, this policy doesn’t extend to being out-and-about, within smelling distance of the public!

One of my favorite places (I don’t get to very often, since I moved) has a sweet manager/waitress.  Always takes care of us!  EXCEPT for the stench of the Jean Nate’ she bathes in!

Seriously, you are no longer in the Eighth Grade!

My first encounter with this kind of chemical warfare was when I attended the local university, and the Womens’ ROTC marched by!

this is not them

this is not they

But the quantity and mixture of scents was DEADLY!

(The legs were nice, though!)

One Thing About Life…

is we all end up the same way.

How we get there is what matters!

Tom Lindsay of Fill Yer Hands  tell us he is battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia, which is essentially bone marrow cancer.  (his words)

You might stop by his blog (or his Facebook page) to show your support!

He’s another one of the good ones!

tom-drawing

Please keep a good thought, and pray for him – if that’s what you do.

 

Badass!

(copied stolen from Bayou Renaissance Man)

One can only salute the courage and determination of this victim of terrorism.

An Israeli man who was stabbed multiple times Tuesday afternoon in a terror attack in Petah Tikva managed to remove the knife from his neck and use it to stab and neutralize his attacker, aided by the store owner, police said.

The attacker, a Palestinian, died a few minutes later, police said.

The victim, later named as Yonatan Azarihab, an ultra-Orthodox man of about 40 who suffered multiple stab wounds to his upper body, was hospitalized in moderate condition.

The store owner was not injured.

There’s more at the link.

There will doubtless be those of a bleeding-heart persuasion who try to convince us that the Palestinian was merely ‘resisting Jewish oppression’.  Bull.  As the late, great Jeff Cooper once said:

The obvious way to eradicate crime is to eradicate criminals, but neither the lawgivers nor the constabulary seem inclined to do this. The man who elects to prey upon society deserves no consideration from society. If he survives his act of violence, he rates a fair trial—but only to be sure that there has been no mistake about his identity. If he is killed in the act, there can be little doubt about whose act it was.

He was a terrorist – a criminal by any other name.  Thanks to a courageous, determined – and, yes, probably very angry – victim of his terrorism, he ended up paying the price for his crime right then and there.  Congratulations to Mr. Azarihab.  I hope and pray he makes a speedy and full recovery from his wounds.  I don’t know whether Orthodox Judaism condones the drinking of beer, but if it does, I’ll gladly buy him one (or any suitable beverage of his choice) anytime I get the chance.

Peter

Reminiscent of the tales of late regarding Ghurka warriors, in another part of the Old World, dispatching bad guys with aplomb!  Not one-on-one, but one-on-many!

But here we get told engagement is a no-no, it might make the attacker (more) angry.

Obviously, one needs to know oneself and one’s abilities (and limitations), but we need to stand up to any bastards who confront us with potential immediate harm and stop them!

And yes, I know I’m stating the obvious and preaching to the choir.

Nope, Nothing Here!

(My doctor, after examining my head(!)

correction – My EYE doctor, after my eye exam!  🙂 )

Part of my annual medical exam involves a visit to the ophthalmologist.  You know, the guy who dilates your pupils to see what he can see.

Being a diabetic, there is always a concern.  Diabetes, as it limits proper blood flow, can cause neuropathy (which I have) and even diminished flow to the eyes, which can cause blindness!  Even with my ‘good’ blood work numbers.

I don’t like having my pupils dilated, and even more so do not like paying for the privilege.  My eye doc does take Medicare (which I am on, due to my being disabled).  Of course, every year there is the deductible.

And, it is the beginning of a new year.

Sigh.

So, I’d been putting it off until I could cobble some funds together.

My regular physician – knowing my predilections in this matter – sent a referral to the eye doc, who set up an appointment, and they called me with the date and time.

So there’s no avoidance…

Good news!  They take payments!  There is no sign of diabetic damage in either eye!  AND my prescription hasn’t changed.

Until next year…

What Is Wrong With American Health Care?

I’m fond of referring to my trial and tribulations with clinics, doctors, specialists, back-offices, et al in this blog as BUREAUCRATIZILLA.

Truth be told, I’ve encountered many fine medical professionals who have actually treated me, prescribed medication for me and followed-up with me.  I’m a diabetic and two-time cancer survivor (not to mention arthritis, tinnitus, bad knees, ‘old person’ problems, etc.!)

Sadly, it seems many doctors, while medically skilled, cheapen when it comes to staffing the back office. Numerous record and billing snafus, misunderstandings and scheduling problems have been the result.

And, if this chart is to be believed, it’s not going to get any better!  I suspect the ACA hasn’t helped streamline things, either.

‘Free’ health care?  At what cost?

Sigh.

h/t Doc in Yuma

What About Bob?, Part Quatro

In our last episode…

My friend Bob (of the many friends named such) – my former P.I. boss and gun store boss – was losing weight and on a feeding tube due to the inability to eat due to esophageal cancer (!)

And he (and we) were awaiting approval from on-high (his health care insurance) to begin chemotherapy and radiation for the throat cancer.

And the insurance company was balking at beginning treatment, as he had yet to gain any weight (or to save themselves money – you decide!)

And now…

I heard from him yesterday, as I reached out to him for the Thanksgiving weekend.  He has been receiving ‘treatments’ going on three months, with the last one scheduled for this coming week.

THEN, we will see the prognosis…

He says he is very tired and is maintaining (mostly) a good attitude.

Please keep a good thought, and pray for him (if that’s what you do).

Please, Keep Another Good Thought

Mary, my former wife and mother of Molly, is going under the knife, today.  While it is outpatient surgery, is remains surgery.

She remains a dear friend, and while she moved 3000 miles away for 10 years after Molly’s accident for schooling, she returned a few years ago and quite-by-chance now lives about 1/4 mile N.E. of me!

Please. keep a good thought, and pray, if that’s what you do.

Thank you for her.

We will amend this post when we have a prognosis.

I just got off the telephone with Mary (0915 11/12) and she says she is recovering well and has been told they removed all they needed.  Prognosis excellent, although she does sound a bit exorcist-y!

And she thanks all for their good thoughts and prayers.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…