“If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”–Samuel Adams
Before all the dead had been counted, before all the injured had been treated, and before all the families of those victimized by a deranged nut job on Sunday in Las Vegas were notified; calls rang out across the nation for more gun control. This, of course, before we even really knew any specifics in relation to the atrocity.
For example, the morning after the shooting took place, Hillary Clinton took to her Twitter account in an attempt to take advantage of the tragedy:
Clinton’s comments were obviously in reference to the recently introduced legislation known as “The Sportsman’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE Act)”. Among other things, the legislation would remove a $200 transfer tax on silencers and implement a background check in order to own one. I found her comments to be evidence of ignorance. Silencers aren’t like you see in the movies. Although they reduce noise at the muzzle, they do not “silence” the gun. Only a deaf person wouldn’t hear the shots.
As ridiculous as Clinton’s Tweet was, it worked. Not only did it drive a discussion on the subject of silencers nationwide – one that has been largely steeped in ignorance on the subject – but it resulted in House Speaker Paul Ryan (R – Wisconsin) acknowledging that the bill had been tabled for the time being.
Silencers aren’t the only sub-topic in the gun control debate that I’ve seen. You name it and I think it’s out there– extended waiting periods, background checks, the so-called “assault weapons” ban, high capacity magazines, limits to the number of guns a person can own, etc. The list is extensive. But that is the mantra of the anti-gunners… never let a tragedy go to waste. Suggest everything– in hopes of coming away with something.
The hot button topic at the moment is an add-on device known as a “bump stock” or “bump fire stock”. Quite simply, it’s a stock molded to attach to the lower end of a semi-automatic rifle where it harnesses the recoil from the gun. This enables the shooter to fire rounds at a more rapid rate– a simulation of sorts of what a fully automatic would shoot like.
Bump stocks are typically thought of as a novelty item for gun enthusiasts. Accuracy is a major issue while using them. Not to mention the fact that with the price of ammunition, it’s not cheap to use one. But with the Vegas shooter allegedly having them on twelve of his guns, the previously unknown add-on has been thrust to the front and center of the gun control debate.
And like the silencer, it appears the gun control lobby is winning on this issue as well. Not only are there Republican’s expressing an openness to discussing the issue, but a bill has already been drafted by a Republican to propose banning them altogether. And President Trump said that it is something they will be discussing soon. Many people were shocked yesterday to see that even the NRA has taken a soft stance towards the idea of regulating bump stocks. In an official statement, they said:
“The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”
Will the legislation pass? Given the current political climate, I believe that it will. And with so many Republicans seemingly ready to “compromise”, I can’t help but wonder if they’ve forgotten who they’re going to be compromising with?
Anybody that believes outlawing bump stocks will stop mass shootings is either ignorant or in denial. The NRA and some Republicans alike are falling into a trap. What they are calling compromise – in the name of “compassion” and “security” – is actually nothing less than a knee jerk reaction to a horrific and unusual event. In actuality they are giving up ground they need not give. They are agreeing with the enemy on a flawed idea that we’ve fought for years– that gun control works.
And once they give this ground, where does it go from there? If they buy the argument that bump stocks are not “needed”, what about those pesky “assault rifles” and high capacity magazines? Or maybe semi-automatic guns altogether? I mean, if they’re going to admit that bump stocks are deserving of a ban because they’re not needed, who needs semi-automatics? Especially with high capacity magazines.
Hunting purposes? No way. That argument doesn’t even fly. You can kill plenty of big game, waterfowl, and upland birds without a semi-automatic.
Does it stop there? What about bolt actions? My goodness– a high-powered bolt action rifle from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay could result in a tremendous amount of casualties.
Multiple guns? Who “needs” 47 guns? So, let’s place some limits on not only the number of guns you can buy in a year, but the number that you can own overall. Right?
Before we know it, we’re down to single shots. And even they could wreak havoc on a crowd of 22,000 plus.
And we haven’t even mentioned hand-guns. Can’t you see where this is going?
Then, of course, there’s the fact that if someone really wants to they can make their own bump stock. The high tech method to accomplish such a task? 3-D printing. And just yesterday I saw pictures on the internet of one made without 3-D printing– something that looked like it was made in a garage somewhere. Remember, even if they’re outlawed, criminals don’t care about laws– that’s why they maim and kill the innocent.
So, let’s be honest. What is this all really about? For many people, it’s about a whole lot more than bump stocks.
This week we had Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D – New York) admitting on the Senate floor that banning bump stocks is the “very bare minimum” that needs to be done to end mass shootings.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D – California) was even more direct yesterday when she said:
“They’re going to say, ‘You give them bump stock, it’s going to be a slippery slope.’ I certainly hope so.”
Her statement illustrates exactly what I’m saying. If Republicans concede bump stocks based on need, then where does it end? What are we giving up? I would suggest a lot.
And for many, it goes even further. It’s about gun confiscation and elimination. And if you doubt me, pay better attention to social media, where a place like Australia is being heralded as the example we should turn to– only they don’t tell you about the buy-back/confiscation part of what that country did.
Anti-gunners are frothing at the mouth thinking about the possibility of a win with gun legislation that moves the needle in their direction, not ours.
Heck, even filmmaker Michael Moore chimed in this week with his call to repeal the 2nd Amendment . The truth is that if some people had their way the only people that would have guns would be law enforcement and military personnel. And history tells us where that often leads.
So, is my position the old “slippery slope argument” as Nancy Pelosi suggests? Most certainly. But it’s a valid one. Especially when Democrats are on the offensive and too many Republicans appear to be slipping down Capitol Hill.
NOTE: For those interested, you can view the following video and watch a trained shooter fire a semi-automatic at about the same speed as a bump stock. And he does it very accurately.
2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/03/20/are-firearms-with-a-silencer-quiet/?utm_term=.84c6d68fba5f 3. http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/05/politics/paul-ryan-bump-stocks-gun-control/index.html