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· American
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"You know what protects your hearing better than a silencer? Ear plugs."
- Americans for a Responsible Solution, in a tweet, March 13

"When someone gets shot by a gun with a silencer, it's quiet. Witnesses might not hear. Police will be less likely to track down the shooter."
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), in a [URL="]tweet[/URL], March 14

Is how the Washington Post article starts. It then goes on to do fact checking on each assertion above.

Funny thing, the article concludes with some rational and reasonable statements:

The Pinocchio Test
We can understand the irritation of gun-control advocates about legislation with a benign-sounding name such as the Hearing Protection Act. Clearly the main impact of the measure would be to loosen restrictions on the purchase of suppressors that have been in place for decades. It would be better called the Paperwork Reduction Act, especially because the use of suppressors does not mitigate the need for hearing protection.
But that title does not give opponents the liberty to stretch the facts.
It's debatable that ear plugs protect ears better than a suppressor - and meanwhile, no self-respecting gun owner would use an AR-15 rifle without ear protection, even if he or she had a suppressor. Certainly the two in combination would provide better ear protection than one type alone, especially because the NRR of earplugs in regular use is probably overstated. So ARS's tweet is rather misleading.

In the meantime, although the popular name of this accessory is a silencer, foes of the law such as Gillibrand should not use misleading terms such as "quiet" to describe the sound made by a high-powered weapon with a suppressor attached. We wavered between Two and Three Pinocchios, but finally tipped to Three. There is little that's quiet about a firearm with a silencer, unless one also thinks a jackhammer is quiet.
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