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My favorite example is the South Carolina law that was finally rescinded a few years back, where bars had to serve their mixed alcoholic drinks with liquor poured from single-serving 'airline' style bottles. A colossal waste of time and resources, but the kicker was the arguments against rescinding the law-- some folks arguing that DUI rates would go through the roof and The Children (TM) would all die, and others arguing that bartenders would rip off patrons with 'short pours'.

All without a single thought to stop and consider the example of the other 49 states, not to mention other countries...

Laws related to firearms are often similar.

The current example is the effort to make suppressors more available. Those opposed are already pushing tales of dramatically increasing crime rates and poaching instead of acknowledging that even suppressed firearms are still very loud or that many other OECD countries (which have more strict regulation) allow or even encourage the use of suppressors.

The sad part about using fear to support or oppose change is that you rarely end up with solutions that actually solve the underlying societal problem via a sensible compromise.

> many other OECD countries (which have more strict regulation) allow or even encourage the use of suppressors.

Now this piques my curiosity. Could you perchance name some examples?

New Zealand is one.

A few years ago, a friend took me to a firing range near Dunedin, and I watched someone fit a suppressor to an AR15 style weapon.

New Zealand firearms regulations are incredibly tight. I never verified this, but I'm told that this particular AR15 was licensed and restricted to be used by him alone. His wife was also a shooter, and if she wanted to shoot an AR15, she would have to buy her own otherwise she would be committing a firearms offense.

On the other hand, I was also told that if I wanted a firearms license and the endorsement to allow me to own pistols, I would need to be a member of the pistol club, shooting regularly for six months, before I could apply for the endorsement. However, I could also apply for my firearms license AND the P endorsement on the same day, having been a regular shooter at the range beforehand.

One reason behind the strict regulation of firearms in New Zealand is the Aramoana massacre from November 1990. David Gray, who owned several military-style firearms, used these weapons to murder a number of people over the course of two days before finally being killed by police.

Kiwi here. I'd like to add that to own a pistol you'd have to also leave it locked up at the gun club.

Our laws are based around the idea that a gun can be owned for hunting or collection but not self defence. So restrictions are in place to restrict pistols and automatic weapons to gun clubs and hunting weapons still require a license. The license requires you to pass a gun safety test and a background check. Then a police officer will inspect you have a secure cabinet to store the gun in.

Some European countries where, if you can buy a gun, you can buy a suppressor: UK, Norway, Finland, and France (rimfire only).

EDIT: Removed Germany from list

I think that's not correct about Germany: buying a suppressor is treated similar to the gun it's for. So for an air rifle that doesn't require a permit, you can get the suppressor just as easily. But if it's for a weapon you need a permit for (any real gun), you also need an extra permit to buy the suppressor, just because you can own the gun doesn't mean you can own a matching suppressor. And only a few states allow them at all, and if they do generally only for some hunters.

Thanks for the correction. I misinterpreted the wikipedia article and assumed that if you had a hunting license you could buy a suppressor, when in fact a hunting license is (in Bavaria at least) one step towards getting a license for a suppressor.

Why do some countries encourage the use of suppressors?

Think about it.

The threshold for potential instant noise-induced hearing loss is 120 dB SPL at the ear. A rifle can exceed 170 dB SPL at a distance of one meter[1]. When you're shooting a rifle, it's going to be cradled firmly against the shoulder -- a lot closer than 1 meter. Even the lowly .22lr fired from a handgun can exceed 160 dB SPL[2]. A suppressor can knock that down about 30 dB. 130 dB is still a lot, but it's out of the 'will-immedately-and-permanently-damage-your-hearing' range at least, and makes further hearing protection (earmuffs, earplugs) that much more effective.

tl;dr - A suppressor is safety equipment.

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_pressure#Examples_of_sou... 2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suppressor#Effectiveness

Maybe it should be a thing for the gun range then. Require people to attach them there and require that they leave them there.

In general, if people are shooting outside in my neighborhood, I'd rather be woken up. That's not the type of thing that should go unnoticed. And I live in the middle of San Franciso where I've watched people get shot and killed.

As someone living in a rural area, near a nature preserve, I'd prefer the opposite.

I'm tired of being woken up way too early in the morning by gunshots. Waterfowl season started last weekend, so it was shotguns going off a mile away. Rifle season for deer starts soon (it's bowhunting season now), and that will bring its own set of loud noises from even closer.

I'm all for suppressors, if only so I can sleep past 5AM without having to keep my windows closed.

Honestly, if suppressors were widely available to the general public, I'd love it for people to be using them on the range. Even if he's on the far opposite lane of the range, the guy shooting a .300 Winchester Magnum is still damn loud. But I don't think they should be limited to the gun range.

Out in the suburbs, or further out on the edge of the city where things start to get rural, if someone has a big enough backyard that they can safely fire a .22, I'd rather they use a suppressor. It's not a case of not being woken or not by the danger of violence in the neighborhood, it's a case of neighborly manners. It's more similar to me not running a guitar amplifier after 9pm. Nobody likes to be disrupted by loud noises when they don't need to be.

It's a safety issue. Suppressors do not work like the purely fictional "silencers" of the movies. They take a deafening, hearing-injury-inducing bang and turn it merely into a loud noise. Modern suppressors actually aid accuracy too, making collateral damage less likely.

Maybe so that, unlike in the U. S., if one lives within five miles of a gun range, one won’t be awakened on Sunday morning by gunfire. Me, I don’t mind it all that much, but there’s a gun range I can hear from the house. I haven’t mapped it, but it is at least three miles away. Here’s the kicker: I live smack in the middle of Redmond, WA. You know, where Microsoft is at? In case you were thinking I live in the sticks. But the gun range was here long before Microsoft showed up. (That one up by Willows Road in the middle of a subdivision, if you’re local.)

Haha! Those were gun shots? TIL!

I can't speak for those countries, but I wish my state would encourage or even require them as a matter of politeness, quality of life and public health. Suppressed guns are less of a noise nuisance to neighbors/other land users, disturb wildlife to a lesser degree, and are much safer for hearing. In the case of small calibers they can eliminate the need for separate hearing protection which increases situational awareness and thus safety. They also increase accuracy of course (longer barrel).

They are expensive, but not prohibitively so imo. It's unfortunate the movie/TV industry really seems to have poisoned the well a bit there.

Neighborliness and hearing protection are the reasons I've heard.

True, we should work on the true underlying societal problem -- a society flooded with guns, a society viewing guns as a reasonable way to solve problems.

You should take a look at Utah's liquor laws some time. Perfect example of what happens when people who don't drink decide to legislate alcohol.

>...and The Children (TM) would all die...

All the people from CA who chucked when they read this should consider the pot and kettle relationship.

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