It keeps coming.
Fairfax journalists Chris Vedelago and Cameron Houston, yet more household names when it comes to firearms expertise in this country, are the latest purveyors of anti-firearm agitprop by penning a poorly researched, contradictory and downright embarrassing piece dubbing firearm suppressors “deadly assassin’s tools”.
It appears Fairfax are now the chosen house of presstitution to unleash as many anti-firearm pieces as they can to desperately sway public opinion, much like the Guardian and Herald Sun did in the lead up to the Port Arthur Anniversary. With the release of the NFA looming and the LCSC meeting next week, the timing is no coincidence.
This line sets the tone for the entire article:
“Usually associated with assassins or secret agents in Hollywood movies, silencers have become an increasingly popular tool in Melbourne’s underworld.”
Classic neurolinguistic pre-assassination of cause. It continues:
“A decade ago, police reported discovering four silencers a year in the hands of known criminals. But the number of seizures has surged to 38 in 2015-2016, according to new data from the Crime Statistics Agency”
“More than 230 silencer-related offences have been recorded since 2011, which is when gun-related crimes began to rise steeply in Melbourne.”
“Shootings have become a routine occurrence, with more than 100 incidents recorded since January last year. It’s impossible to know how many involved the use of silencers.”
“Victoria Police’s armed crime taskforce, which investigates non-fatal shootings, says it has not seen any discernable rise in the use of silencers.”
So apparently suppressor use is “rampant” and has increased since 2011, but it’s impossible to know how many shootings involved the use of suppressors and the Police admit they haven’t seen any discernible increase in suppressor misuse. What?
Mental gymnastics aside, one important little detail that was omitted from this entire article: suppressors are already illegal and not available to firearm licence holders. How much of the “silencer” crime is being committed by licenced firearm holders? None of it and this is a cheap attempt by Fairfax to conflate criminal misuse of suppressors, which even at face value if true is tiny, with lawful firearm ownership. What else is new? Guess they better make that 8 year penalty 10 years.
“Matched with a low-calibre handgun and special subsonic ammunition, a silencer can reduce the deafening sound of a gunshot to little more than the click of the gun’s mechanism. “
A click of the gun’s mechanism? Really? Fairfax also completely ignore the effects on ballistic performance and penetration of suppressed subsonic .22 rounds, because they don’t know anything about it.
“It’s incredibly quiet – you wouldn’t even know,” a firearms expert said.
A firearms expert said? Who is that expert? Jason Bourne or John McLain?
“A silencer, or suppressor, is designed to dampen the explosive sound made by a bullet as it leaves the barrel of a gun. Its express purpose is to allow a gunman to maim or kill as quietly as possible.”
No, it’s purpose to protect the hearing of the user. Apparently a 160db rifle shot being quietened to 130db, as loud as a chainsaw, is not going to be heard by those in the vicinity of it but hey, Vedelago and Houston are on a roll here, why stop there?
“Manufacturing the devices has also become an underworld cottage industry, amplified by the widespread availability of technical manuals and instructional videos on the internet. Amazon sells print copies of the The Silencer Cookbook for $10. There are downloadable versions of Home Workshop Silencers – “for reference and historical purposes only” – available on Kindle for $14
In August, a raid by the anti-bikie Echo taskforce allegedly uncovered a makeshift weapons factory hidden inside a Derrimut warehouse, including gun schematics and a copy of The Silencer Cookbook. Police say many of the silencers that are recovered are homemade.”
It’s these last few paragraphs which give away the real purpose of the article – there is a definite push to enforce forms of online firearm censorship. And you thought Facebook was bad.
NSW has already made it an offence to be in possession the blueprint of a firearm or part unless you have a firearm dealer’s licence, and I would bet my last dollar that bans or offences for being in possession of similar material are going to be attempted to thrown into the NFA. They always have to tell you what they are going to do before they do it and it’s as clear as day to me, aside from the fact AMF/GCA or a government or Police entity clearly wanted this piece of blatant propaganda in the press and more than likely paid for it, that some form of censorship is on the cards.
Because after all, the same government that couldn’t run a Census is now going to flex it’s “mad IT skills” and police every txt, doc, pdf, jpg, mpeg and cleaning mat in circulation to stop this apparent scourge. It’s the same old authoritarian control freak story of ideological bureaucrats trying to wield their only, and increasingly blunted, weapon of legislation in an age where technology has long surpassed them.
And as far as “home made silencers” go, the reality is that any Fitter and Turner or Metal Fabricator can make these in about 30 minutes. So what’s next, bans on tradies? Bans on Supacheap Autos selling oil filters?
Remember, this is Australia: where putting a tube of steel on your car to quieten your engine is mandatory but putting a tube of steel on your 160db rifle to make it 130db is illegal. Noise: it’s only acceptable when bureaucrats tell you it is.
Faifax’s article completely avoids mentioning that suppressors are legal over the Tasman in New Zealand, are mandatory for hunting in the United Kingdom, are legal in 39 states in the US, Canada, Switzerland and a plethora of EU nations. No rampant criminal misuse has been observed in any of these countries and it’s that one kinda important fact that Fairfax went out of their way to avoid discussing.
They avoided mentioning government contractors using them illegally in the ACT because it’s ok for the state to break the law. The article was also published because there is serious momentum towards suppressor legalisation in Australia, particularly in NSW, and certain people be mad.
Keep making them mad, because their argument (and journalism) is ridiculous.