“Silencers are regulated for good reason,” Linda K. Newell, Board Member of The Gun Violence Prevention Center writes at sltrib.com. “They suppress the sound of gunfire, muzzle the flash and make a weapon more accurate. They enable a shooter to communicate with an accomplice and fire more rounds before detection.”
Ms. Newell’s Op-Ed More silencers will make gun violence more likely doesn’t just rely on fantasy speculation, it veers straight into falsehood. Like this:
Many cities now have “shot spotters” that immediately alert law enforcement when a weapon has been fired, and that pinpoint the position of the shooter, allowing for a faster response time. Silencers render this technology useless.
Not true! If Ms. Newell had taken the time to Google “ShotSpotter Silencer” she would have discovered The Washington Post fact checker article Are firearms with a silencer ‘quiet’? in pole position. Here’s the relevant text:
“In regard to gun silencers, it is more accurate to call them suppressors, as they suppress the impulsive sound of gunfire, not wholly eliminate it,” said Ralph Clark, the chief executive of ShotSpotter.
“We have successfully if not inadvertently detected confirmed suppressed gunfire within our existing deployments. Although we have not formally tested the theoretical impact to our system, we intend to do some targeted testing in the near future.
“We believe we will have various options ranging from increasing our sensor array density to developing software/firmware to address the detection of suppressed gunfire if it were to become a widespread issue.”
If Ms. Newell had wanted to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, she could have called ShotSpotter; their contact information is readily available.
By the same token, The Salt Lake Tribune could have fact-checked Ms. Newell’s editorial. And no: labelling bad information an “Op-Ed” doesn’t excuse a news org from spreading lies and disinformation.