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A couple of weeks ago the NSSF and NRA held an event for writers and journalists in the shooting range under their Fairfax, Virginia headquarters. The goal: give writers some real world experience shooting suppressed firearms so that they could better inform their readers about the much discussed Hearing Protection Act.

Here’s the text of the letter the NRA sent to The Washington Post (and others):

Hope things are well with you. I wanted to reach out to the Post editorial staff and invite any of you to come out to the NRA on Tuesday to meet with NRA-ILA executive director Chris Cox and witness/take part in a ‘silencer’ shoot.

As you know, the Hearing Protection Act has been introduced and it aims to make what we call suppressors easier to get.

There’s a lot of misinformation about suppressors – although your paper did an excellent fact check about them not too long ago. This is a chance for anyone on the editorial page to come out and ask some questions and see for themselves what shooting with a ‘silencer’ is really like.

The Washington Post ignored the event. Instead they published an anti-silencer rant three days later. And when the NRA tried to call them out, the Post edited their comments.


When the NRA expressed their annoyance to The Washington Post they were told to write a letter to the editor. And they did. But when that letter was published, WaPo played fast and loose with the electronic correction fluid. The Washington Examiner picks up the story:

Of course, the paper suggested the NRA write a letter, which it did, including a line about its invitation to the Post: “If the editorial board had accepted NRA’s invitation to a suppressor shoot last week, they would have heard for themselves that the Hearing Protection Act is exactly what its title claims: An act that protects hearing.”

The paper, however, cut that line. The Post’s letters editor told Secrets, “We reserve the right to edit letters. As part of our normal process, we share edited letters with letter-writers at least twice in the process (including a final edited version).” Most news organizations have an identical policy.

Not good enough, said Jennifer Baker, the spokeswoman for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.

The Washington Post’s argument against the Hearing Protection Act is based on a bogus talking point from the gun control lobby that falsely claim suppressors pose a risk because the gunshots are silent. They are not silent — not by a long shot. The facts are indisputable and if the Post editorial writers had accepted our invitation to listen to a firearm shot suppressed they would know this, which is exactly why they refused to participate in a demonstration. When the NRA attempted to set the record straight and expose their efforts to spread the lies being peddled by Michael Bloomberg’s gun control groups the Post curtailed our First Amendment rights. This is a great example of fake news and why the mainstream media has a credibility problem with the American public.”

Maybe that’s one reason that newspaper circulation is at a 77-year low. Anyway, this is another case of liberal elites being satisfied in their own supposed intellectual superiority, unwilling to take even the smallest steps to gain an actual understanding of something they want to regulate.

The same people who regularly bash Congress for trying to fix the healthcare system as “old white men trying to legislate women’s bodies” won’t take a couple of minutes out of their day to better understand how a silencer actually works before publicly demanding that they remain strictly regulated.

It’s an oft-told DC story. Uneducated people, safe within their bubbles of ignorance, who think they know everything refusing to learn even the slightest bit of information lest it jostle the them free of their pre-conceived groupthink-approved conclusions. Same as it ever was.

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    • I believe that you can go to FedEx and UPS mailing locations, especially those strip-mall storefronts, and buy packing paper that is essentially newspaper without the printing on it. If not, someone should clue them in that it is a potential market since the only reason people keep buying those things is to wrap fish, train puppies and pack their belongings when they move.

      Oh, and my mother likes to do the crossword and I CANNOT figure out how to teach her to do them on the computer. She pays a bunch of money for a subscription and home delivery, throws away 90% of the paper without reading it, and complains that all they do is bash Trump!

    • Read them? No. However, they are good cheap masking for spray paint projects. Newspaper hats are always a hoot with kids too.

      • Construction or flooring paper by the roll is cheaper, much stronger, holds up better and there is no ink to rub off on everything.

  1. …and you expected what exactly from the Post, that they would somehow change their tune and sing the praises of the HPA? I’ll let you know when I see flying pigs.

    • WaPo’s Editorial Board spun a regurgitated version of DRGO’s (pro-suppressor) position paper. One really shifty tactic they used was to exclude all the information about how a suppressor practically doubles a handgun’s length making it harder to conceal. To the contrary, WaPo swapped the photo from DRGO’s paper which showed an average-sized suppressor to a SilencerCo Micro Osprey in what appears to be its shortest configuration (the Micro Osprey is modular) which is also its least effective, i.e. loudest, config.

      DRGO’s paper is here:

      I found it very helpful in girding my loins for the ensuing public debate.

  2. How papers like WaPo and NYT are still able to function and command attention even when subscriptions are at all time lows makes me question how independent they really are. Normal market behavior for companies in that position would be to pivot away from unpopular opinion to attract more customers. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to find out they were partially funded by the Fed or one of the intelligence agencies.

  3. And this is why there will be another Civil/Restorative War. It won’t be aimed at the government. It will be, by design, focused on destroying the most dangerous enemies America has ever faced, the Liberal Terrorists™, as they pose an existential threat to our Constitutional Republic. Our Govt is fine. It’s the domestic enemies currently attempting to destroy our nation that is the problem. The collaborators in the MSM will have a high price to pay, when push comes to shove.

  4. WaPo lies as well as the NRA. “They are not silent — not by a long shot” Like crap. Properly silenced sentry guns are silent (jut not the typical range toy). Good suppressed guns are as quiet as a balloon pop. But then, so what. Arrows are quieter, so are knives and bats and what have you. And what percentage of murders have been solved due to the loudness of the shot?

    • You have very little experience with suppressed weapons. You should stay out of discussions you know nothing about. All unsuppressed gun shots far exceed the standard definition of hearing safe of 140 decibels. Even the best made suppressors barely manage to lower the db rating to 135. Google 135 decibels to see how loud that really is. Ammo choice is the real effective variable. Subsonic ammo (below 1100fps) won’t break the sound barrier. That’s where the real noise comes in. That’s primarily accomplished by making heavier projectiles, which are uncommon, compared to standard ammo. There’s nothing quiet about suppressed gun shots unless the shooter knows exactly what they are doing when shopping for ammo.

      • I have no experience with silencers, such as yourself so to make sure I’m hearing you right, no pun intended, the quietest any suppressed muzzle blast can get is 135 decibels. And that is the absolute quietest. Don’t matter if it’s a bolt action .22, a walther .22 THP, a 9mm pistol with a slide lock like the modified mod59 S&W auto, the Delisle carbine, etc. etc. In your exact words the quietest any of these can get is 135db. In other words, firing a suppressed .22lr or .32 auto in my apartment will be equivalent in noise level to an air raid siren ( which is also rated at 135 decibels. Wow, that’s enough to wake the entire city block with each “suppressed” shot of a .22. My next question is; Why didn’t they just use suppressed .22lrs in WW2 as air raid sirens? Could have saved a lot of money and effort.

        I just want to make sure I have my facts right.

        • No. The 135db is the average target level for suppression. Most suppressors barely get under 140db. Yes, there are bolt guns in 300blk, 22lr and even 9mm, (amongst others) that can get as low a 110-115. Still, the ammo would have to be subsonic. Integrally suppressed barrels are a bit more efficient. But again, these are the fringe outliers of suppression, right? Go search how loud 115 db is.

        • You don’t. You are confusing impulse noise sources (a pop) with continuous noise (a siren). The peak amplitude is the same, but the effect is different. The hearing damage is likewise different. It would take continuous exposure to the 135 dB pops to cause the damage that a 135 dB siren would cause. So – sarcasm aside, which was your basic purpose, they are not equivalent.

      • OK, “That’s primarily accomplished by making heavier projectiles, which are uncommon, compared to standard ammo” Really?? So all that 230 grain i shot out of my 1911 is super sonic? Or you just trying to be funny?

      • I did a little more digging. So it turns out that just the slide alone on a Sig or Beretta, I’m assuming steel frame for both is about 118 decibels.

        I think we all agree that short of boxing the entire firearm in a sound absorbing box, we’ll still hear that mechanical CLACK. I think the confusion arises that for some of us that 118 decibel baseline is what We consider to be “silent”. If there were no slide moving then all you should hear is the striker hitting the percussion cap. Heck I live in NYC so the background is about 120-130 I bet. That is baseline zero to me. I think this is where the apples and oranges confusion is leading to arguments about what is essentially a subjective sensation.

        In other words, if I were to start popping off rounds off the roof of a three story brownstone in midtown, hypothetically speaking of course, with a suppressed MP5, then it would probably be “silent” in relation to my surroundings. And no one would report hearing gunshots. In a dead quiet room, yes the 118 db clacking of the bolt would startle everyone.

        An yes, I realize that a steady siren is continuous. So is a silenced full auto 10/22. One is 135 db, the other is not.

        • If your background dB were 120, you’d be deaf. Is that why New Yorkers talk so damned loud?

        • Actually yes that is why New Yorkers (NYC)talk so loud, because st times it’s like living in a night club.At least parts of the city. Ambulances screaming, fire trucks roaring, police cars bloop bloop bleeping, trains screeching, assholes honking, street performers shouting, etc. gets even louder in the summer. Fortunately my neighborhood is in a very quiet part of an outlying borough.

    • Suppressed 300 AC Blackout still rings the bell at around 126 dB. Suppressed .22LR subsonics hit around 110-115 dB.

      By way of comparison, a pneumatic rivet gun at 4′ hits 125 dB and a power saw hits 110 dB.

      Silent? Only if you’re already deaf. And dumb.

      • The De Lisle carbine is 85.5 dB. Properly silenced sentry guns are silent. . Good suppressed guns are as quiet as a balloon pop (125 db) Never said typical suppressed gun is silent, but you can get a lot closer that most people realize. I have sot suppressed firearms before. I know how quiet that can be if you know what you are doing

        • How about you get so quiet that we don’t hear from you any more? Stop talking about freak outlier guns.

          The most popular rifle today and the one that makes Wapo crap their panties is an AR15. I dare them to load up some typical 223 into a typical AR15 and put a suppressor on it and then go shoot it at an indoor range and then talk about how silent it is.

        • Stop talking about guns that are not suited to show what a suppressor can really do. Try shooting a lever action 45 LC subsonic, try and 4 inch 22 pistol. Hell at least stick to 45 acp. But you would use something that throws lead downrange at 3000 FPS and say, look it still is loud, anyone can tell that is a lie. Any idiot just needs to pull up a youtube video of Hickok 45 with that lever action, or just someone with a suppressed Mark III. Hell, even getting it down to 135 db is a big difference if shot from inside a building. The real fact is the sound of gunfire makes no difference one way or another in most crimes. That the suppressors are easy to make anyways, so if they were that effective in crime, you would see a lot more of them. That using a handgun in a hallway sucks the big one.

  5. I don’t mind the WaPo presenting an opinion, even if I disagree. 1st amendment and all. But trying to present the ideas that silencers aren’t as effective as earplugs (implying they don’t work at silencing a gunshot) and also that police rely on the sound of gunshots to catch bad guys (implying that they reduce the sound of gunshots considerably) at the same time is just stupid. Which is it? The hand wringing alarmism is bad enough, but either they are dumber than a bag of hammers, or they think their readers are. I’m not sure which is worse.

    • “…or they think their readers are.” Yup. I told a big cheese with the AP that the number one reason the right hates the media is they think we’re stupid.

      In fact, I think it’s the postmodern worldview taught in the government schools and the universities. These people simultaneously know that the facts are contradictory to the narrative, and know also that there is no such thing as objective truth, meaning that societal agreement determines truth. They honestly believe that if enough of them call up, down, often and loudly enough, it will become so, and in fact will have always been so.

      I’m not being sarcastic, I’m not kidding in any way. My readings of postmodernist, poststructuralist humanistic theory, brief as they are, make their voluntary delusions clear. Read about Rachel Tuvel for a fantastic example of collective insanity.

      • You *nailed* it.

        They decide what ‘hate speech’ is and then silence it.

        I agree with a few of the articles I’ve read recently that postulate the Left-Right split is now permanent.

        We will never find common ground on major polices like we did in years past. We had differences, but there was more of what unified us instead of dividing us.

        The 2016 presidential election will be seen in history as the start of Civil War 2. The only way out now without bloodshed is to split America into a Free America and a Socialist America.

        Welcome to the new normal. The start of a cold civil war.

        It probably won’t complete in my lifetime, but it will eventually happen…

  6. …before publicly demanding that they remain strictly regulated

    To my knowledge, all they are really doing with the hearing protection act, is diverting it from the 1920s paper method to the 2017 NICS process while getting rid of the $200 tax. They would still be regulated.

  7. The journalists already know exactly how silencers work. They have seen them in movies and on TV countless times. If it’s in the movies/TV it’s gotta be accurate, right?

  8. Editing statements is wrong, wrong, wrong!

    WAPO should just strike the statement and replace it with “FLAME DELETED.”

  9. WaPo circulation online is up. TTAG is playing the same game of cherry picking when they stoop to leaving out data.

    Both sides use fake news. Stop it.

  10. Liberal reporters are the most dishonest humans in the history of the species.
    “Journalism” hasn’t even existed for about 50 years.

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