Suppressors: Fact Versus Fiction
Why the US military is issuing more and more suppressors to its troops
It’s generally a good policy to disbelieve absolutely everything you see on TV or in the movies. These are entertainments, not accurate guides to reality. They are designed to provide an illusion that captivates the audience, not convey accurate information. The difference between a gunfight in an entertainment (or a video game) and reality is the same as the difference between an illusion presented in a magic trick versus real life. In a magic show, the magician can saw an assistant in half without any harm befalling the supposedly dismembered victim; try it in real life and you’ve just committed murder.
Unfortunately, it seems this very obvious lesson is not easy for people to inculcate. Juries convict under the belief that DNA evidence infallibly points to a single person, never realizing that it’s a statistical correlation that singles out one person per ten thousand — so in a large city, potentially hundreds of matches are possible. Well-meaning would-be Good Samaritans attempt to restart the heart of someone who’s suffered cardiac arrest and no longer has a pulse, because this tedious and dangerously misleading trope is used by every lazy scriptwriter who’s ever put finger to keyboard. In reality, attempting to restart a non-beating heart with a defibrillator merely cooks it, much as a microwave oven would do.
The only time a person falls down after being shot by a pistol is if they’ve seen on TV or in movies people falling down after being shot; otherwise they wouldn’t fall, because the force exerted by even a .44 magnum round (which is not, Squint Eastwood notwithstanding, by any means the most powerful handgun in the world) is utterly incapable of such a feat. Handgun rounds can poke nasty holes in a human body but they have nowhere near enough force even to make someone stumble backward an inch, never mind be thrown backward as the movies and TV shows would have us believe. Only a well-placed controlled pair (the so-called “double tap”) to the central nervous system can drop an adversary using handgun rounds.
With all this in mind, we should not be surprised to discover that the illusions we’re gifted by TV and the movies regarding suppressors (aka “silencers” or…