Silencing the Culture Wars?

SilencerCo CEO Joshua Waldron fires a handgun with a suppressor in West Valley City, Utah, in 2016. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
A coming legal battle over firearm suppressors has the potential to cool the tribal rancor of our politics by resurrecting a more robust model of federalism.


he political fight over firearms regulation is not a matter of public safety but a matter of culture war. If you doubt that, consider a related case: We still have on the books anti-switchblade laws that were adopted by states such as Colorado in a national moral panic following the premiere of West Side Story. Without those knife-control laws, the United States surely would have degenerated into a dystopian hellscape straight from the minds of . . . Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim.

We should be so lucky. But we Americans remain hostages to the movies, as the pending fight over

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