Ironically, three shots from a suppressed Remington 700 damaged my hearing. So those of you seeking an “ear safe” firearm (as the Remmy was described to me) best file that term away with the phrase “it’s not loaded.” ALWAYS wear ear plugs when shooting a gun. Any gun. Ever. Unless, of course, you’re firing a gun in self-defense and you don’t have the time or the equipment handy. But if you do have the time and ear pro — say, you stash some electronic ear muffs next to your home defense shotgun — wear it. A shotgun blast generates up to 165 dBA (an air raid siren generates 135 dBA). The shotgun’s sonic wave penetrates the ears’ cochlea to break, bend of shear off thousands of hair cells. That’s permanent damage – unless you fork out $60k for a cochlear implant. Which makes me wonder: why aren’t suppressors – such as they are – mandatory? Or, better yet, freely available?