By Marc Kelley
Syndicated by: Montana News
On January 9, 2017, little more than two months after the election of President, Donald Trump, South Carolina's, Republican Congressman Jeff Duncan, introduced the Hearing Protection Act of 2017. The purpose of this legislation was to remove firearm suppressors, from the 1934, National Firearms Act; which, classified them along side machine-guns, short barreled rifles, shotguns and destructive devices. While many continue to argue, suppressors are an evil device, serving no purpose other than being a tool of the assassin; once again, the truth is just a bit different, than what Hollywood and the Fake News Media, would have us believe.
In 1902, long before the National Firearms Act was even considered, an American inventor named Hiram Percy Maxim designed a device, which could be attached to a firearm and would result in several positive features. As a life long firearms enthusiast, Maxim understood the long term harm done to an individual, as a result of being repeatedly exposed to high decibels of noise. Maxim also understood the simple act of firing a gun, results in nothing short of, an assault on the senses. In addition to the sound, the recoil of a firearm causes many shooters to flinch in anticipation, thus reducing accuracy and increasing the safety issues. Maxims true motivation for developing his suppressor has been hidden from the public and maligned to fit the anti-gun narrative for decades. The truth is, suppressors were developed with the sole intention of increasing the safety of shooters and bystanders alike.
As evidence of Maxims motivation, one simply needs to do a bit of research into the time period of the early 1900's. America was in the midst of the Industrial Revolution and with our development of industry, came the first noticeable, noise pollution. In 1903, Henry Ford introduced his Model A automobile and with it the sound of the internal combustion engine. By 1908, Ford had refined his product, introduced the concept of the assembly line, and would begin producing the Model T Ford. The sound of the engines would create a cacophony of noise in our cities. Maxim seized on the opportunity to market his silencer design to The Ford Motor Company, as a viable way to reduce the noise pollution. The result of Maxims effort, gave us the modern day muffler, an item, even the most liberal gun hating, climate change warriors would have to admit, makes our world a better, safer place to live.
It would be disingenuous, not to address how, The Maxim Silencer, came to attract the attention of our government and would ultimately be regulated by the 1934 Nation Firearms Act. Hereto, we have a wonderful opportunity to teach the lessons of economics to our children. On October 29, 1929, a day now known as "Black Tuesday", the US stock market crashed and sent a devastating ripple effect of economic hardship thru-out our country. Banks failed, unemployment rates rose as high as 30% and poverty became a reality for many of our citizens. This sudden economic collapse left very few options for millions of people in our country. The banks were increasingly seen as evil, as foreclosures on family farms across our heartland became a daily reality. As the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures, the pain and anger felt by so many, gave way to what historians call. "The Public Enemy" period. The rise of the Gangsters, Mobsters and Outlaws created by the economic downturn, was about to have a profound impact on law enforcement.
Prior to 1934, machine-guns were unregulated in the US. Weapons such as the Thompson, the Browning Automatic Rifle and the Colt Monitor, could be found in the pages of the Sears Catalog and could not only be legally purchased by private citizens, they would be delivered by the US Mail, directly to your doorstep. In contrast, law enforcement relied on weapons like the Colt Police Positive and Smith & Wesson Model 10, both chambered in 38 Special. A well armed police department, may have had a few 12 ga shotguns and a hunting rifle, but nothing to compete with the firepower used by the criminals of the day. Bonnie and Clyde, Baby Face Nelson, John Dillinger and George "Machine-gun" Kelly, were heralded as modern day Robin Hoods, as they made their way across middle America, robbing banks and giving much of the stolen loot, to suffering local families.
In an effort to restrict access to machine-guns, our lawmakers, using their self proclaimed infinite wisdom and total lack of knowledge, passed the National Firearms Act of 1934. This act in and of itself, did not outlaw the ownership of machine-guns, but rather, created the first data base of gun ownership and required an additional $ 200.00 tax, be paid by the buyers. Just as today, the politicians, could not simply do their job, but would fall under the influence of "special interest" groups, who convinced them, to add the Maxim Silencer to the list of regulated items covered by the NFA. The reason given in 1934, for adding silencers to the NFA… to prevent poaching on Federal Land. This justification begs the question, who made up these special interests groups? The truth… they were the same bankers and investors who lost money at the hands of the Gangsters and were seeking a way to punish the working class for their adoration and protection of the desperadoes.
In 1902, the retail cost of a .22 caliber, Maxim Silencer was
$ 3.50. By adding an additional $ 200.00 to the price tag, the government effectively prevented the workingman, from affording the devise. Additionally, as a result of the NFA the tax, the number of buyers was reduced to a point, Maxim was forced out of the firearm silencer business. Today, the NFA continues to require a $ 200.00 tax stamp for ownership of a suppressor and requires a background check; which takes anywhere, from 6-9 months to complete. Many firearms enthusiasts believe, the reason suppressors continue to be regulated today, is to continue the economic punishment of the working class.
To come full circle, we now are confronted with the disinformation and outright lies being perpetrated by the anti-gun left. In 2017, the Hearing Protection Act, was set for a vote before our law makers, supported by President Trump and backed by the NRA, this legislation represented a real chance to set history right, improve gun safety and win a victory for the working class gun owner. However, on October 1, 2017, a sixty-four year old accountant and self-proclaimed high stakes gambler, opened fire with a cache of AR style rifles, from his 32nd floor suite, inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas,
killing 58 people and wounding another 422. Once again, the left began pushing their narrative, it was the guns themselves, and not the action of the individual, which was responsible for this horrific act of violence. Still reeling from her loss to President Trump, a shrill and angry Hillary Clinton, once again, chose to punish the "Deplorable's" who support and voted for President Trump. In a Tweet, less than 24 hours after the shooting, Mrs. Clinton repeated the lie, Hollywood and the media have long hung their hat on, stating, "the crowd fled at the sound of gunshots. Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get." With this effective, albeit ignorant statement, the Hearing Protection Act of 2017, was effectively tabled and would never get an up or down vote.
Following the shooting and a ten month investigation, Las Vegas Sheriff, Joe Lombardo, held a press conference and related to the public, his law enforcement team, could "find no definitive motive for the shooting." The shooter, left virtually no electronic footprint, no written explanation, told no one of his plans and left no suicide, note before apparently taking his own life. In January 2019, the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit, released its final report, indicating while again, "no absolute motive was discovered, the official FBI position was, "the shooter acted in an attempt to gain notoriety." While the narrative of "another gun nut gone crazy", appeared to fit well into the anti-gun collations, pigeon hole of gun owners, the reality is, so many questions remain unanswered. This heinous act provides the ideal scenario for conspiracy theorists to point their fingers at the violent fringe element on the left; while at the same time providing cover for the feckless politicians, inhabiting Washington DC.
Will suppressors ever be removed from the NFA so they can be utilized as they were intended, no one knows for sure. However, if we have learned anything from history, it is the political class does not care about the working men and women of our country. They care not about making firearms safer; but rather, their only goal, is to remove them from law abiding gun owners. If the left should ever regain political power, make no mistake, they will punish the working class, label us as out of touch with our countries values and guarantee the only people who will have firearms will be….. Gangsters, Mobsters and Outlaws.