Guns, Fine. But Why Do You Need a Silencer?

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The Texas International Firearms Festival is coming to Austin the weekend of August November 8. Of course, we are no strangers to gun shows round here. There is one in the Houston area practically every weekend. There, dealers and manufacturers ply their wares and provide educational programs for fellow enthusiasts.

While gun control remains a hot button issue in American politics, these gun shows are mostly made for collectors and hunters. They also tend to be cautious of the laws governing the use and sale of firearms in Texas.

But one thing has always confused me about these events. There are tons of gun accessories available at these shows. For the most part, they make sense. If you are a hunter, for example, you might want a good scope for your rifle. But there is one accessory I do not get: the silencer.

Among the vendors at the upcoming Austin firearms show are Silencerco and Silencer Shop. On the Silencerco website, it describes a new creation: the world's first shotgun silencer. That's just one of a number of products aimed at silencing rifles, in the case of a couple silencers, the kinds of rifles almost exclusively reserved for combat. Silencer Shop has suppressors for both rifles and for pistols. These are accessories that run into the hundreds of dollars.

I have no issue with hunting rifles. I'm not even terribly opposed to hand guns for personal protection. Cases, straps, ammo and all manner of options for the gun enthusiast don't seem far fetched to me.Some items are even practical.

But, I simply can't figure out, for the life of me, what anyone would want with a silencer, I mean other than an assassination attempt. I guess there could be an argument made for staying as quiet as possible while hunting to avoid spooking other game nearby, but even that seems like a reach.

There are plenty of good arguments made by those who collect weapons of all kinds for why they need or want them. I still have a hard time being convinced an assault rifle is something any non-military personnel member needs for any reason, but tack on a silencer and I am going to assume you are training to be a covert agent. I can find no other good reason for sticking a muzzle on the end of any weapon, let alone an AK.

Maybe there is a good reason. Maybe you can help me understand. Until then, I can only conclude you must be someone interested in taking up murder for hire.

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