"It's the damnedest thing--I've never felt the need for a suppressed firearm. Figured if I had to use a weapon to save myself, noise would be the least of my worries. But it does look as if the process of obtaining and documenting one would be fairly arduous."
The process is very easy, it just takes a long time (for it to be processed).
I don't see the need for a suppressor for "saving myself" either. However most of us own guns for uses other than saving ourselves. And for those uses, the noise of a firearm has absolutely no positive benefit. In fact, it is the opposite, the noise has many negative aspects.
You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.