By David Codrea
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “Sen. Bill Nelson joined legislation today to ban ‘bump stocks,’ devices that allowed the Las Vegas killer to shoot at a far faster rate,” a Wednesday press release announced. “Legislation Nelson filed with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif, and other Democrats would close a current loophole in the law that allows for the modifications.
Forget that so much has yet to be disclosed from the massacre investigation, and so much of what has is being treated with understandable skepticism. Forget that the citizen disarmament lobby is deflecting from the fact that nothing they propose would have had any impact on the situation they’re exploiting.
The proposed legislation is S.1916, “A bill to prohibit the possession or transfer of certain firearm accessories, and for other purposes.” At this writing, no text is available, a summary is “in progress” and it has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. And it has 29 cosponsors, no surprise all Democrats – so far.
They’re posturing, but they’re also trying to get the Republicans to blink and submit to a concession – any concession. It’s not enough that both the SHARE Act with its suppressor reform and nationwide concealed carry reciprocity are on indefinite hold, Democrats also want a trophy to display.
President Donald Trump did not rule out giving ground on guns, saying only “We’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes by.” Even widely-regarded as “conservative” Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume has speculated on a palatable “compromise”:
“What he could do is reach some kind of a deal where he wouldn’t permit these conversion kits, and these other measures that make a semi-automatic rifle perform like an automatic rifle and I’m not sure how the NRA would oppose that — if they would at all.”
Many of NRA’s “A-rated” endorsees are giving us a clue. The usual establishment suspects, Senators John Cornyn, Orrin Hatch, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio are all making noises about making nice. In the House, Reps. Carlos Curbelo, and “freedom caucus” head Mark Meadows are also open to a bill, with Bill Flores calling for an outright ban.
Even “conservative” former Speaker Newt Gingrich can’t seem to resist the siren call of compromise. This business of changing the rules as technology changes is flat-out subversive. Drawn to its logical conclusion, it would relegate us all to flintlocks and forever deny to We the People all weapons “in common use at the time” needed to fulfill our rights and duties as envisioned by the Founders.
“Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law. The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”
On the other side, although they shouldn't have to be, is Gun Owners of America, which declares:
“Gun Owners of America opposes a ban on bump stocks. Bump stocks were approved by the ATF during the Obama administration to help gun owners with disabilities fire their weapons. Any type of ban will be ignored by criminals and only serve to disarm honest citizens. Perhaps that’s why 91 percent of police believe a so-called ‘assault weapons' ban will have no effect or a negative effect on crime. And given that 95 percent of cops think that a ban on large capacity magazines would be ineffective in reducing violent crime, it’s hard to imagine they would regard bump stocks any differently.”
Bill Nelson posted to his Facebook saying, “I’m a hunter and have owned guns my whole life,” Nelson continued in his self-promotion statement. “But these automatic weapons are not for hunting; they are for killing. And this commonsense bill would, at the very least, make it harder for someone to convert a semi-automatic rifle into what is essentially a fully-automatic machine gun.”
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Second Amendment is not about hunting. As for being “commonsense,” let’s explore that.
First, let’s take a look at how “bump stock” political talking points are being spread by the media to gin up ban demands from useful idiots who’d never even heard of the term until a couple days ago, and whose collective knowledge of them rivals Carolyn McCarthy’s “shoulder thing that goes up” competence.
Conversely, reports show an uptick in sales in anticipation of a ban. Unless Nelson's bill provides for registration and confiscation of currently-owned property, and provides resources to attempt compliance enforcement, what’s still out there will make appropriate mockery of any new edict. That's hardly very “commonsense.”
For even more common sense, consider a letter issued (and later retracted) by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) Firearms Technology Branch (FTB) that was reported some years back by Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership:
“In 1996, the FTB examined and classified a 14-inch long shoestring with a loop at each end. The string was attached to the cocking handle of a semiautomatic rifle and was looped around the trigger and attached to the shooter’s finger. The device caused the weapon to fire repeatedly until finger pressure was released from the string. Because this item was designed and intended to convert a semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun, BATFE determined that it was a machinegun as defined in 26 U.S.C. § 5845(b).”
As an aside, that’s’ almost as “commonsense” as classifying Chore Boy pot scrubber pads as NFA firearms.
The absurdity continues. You don’t even need a shoestring, just your finger.
After Newtown, there was no shortage of self-styled “gun rights leaders” looking to give up something in order to stall the antis from going after something worse. Throwing a scrap of meat to a pack of circling jackals and expecting them to then leave you alone is hardly “commonsense,” but the bottom line is, they’re looking for something to throw under the bus. Unlike the post-Newtown climate, Republicans now have majorities in the House, the Senate and the White House, so this is cynical political calculation with mid-terms in mind.
God forbid they support consituents who supported them, and instead focus on education and on countering the lies.
Bump stocks aren’t the issue. The principle of “shall not be infringed” is. Truth be known, we have a right to full-auto and more.
Don’t stand for any more surrender on that point. As Patrick Henry warned:
“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.”
The M.O. of the gun-grabbers is to make incremental gains and then use those beachheads to launch their next incursion, all the while lambasting “gun extremists” for never compromising (when that all every gun law on the books represents). The unbending position advocates of the right to keep and bear arms must hold their political representatives and President Trump to is:
Keep your oaths. We won’t stand for scapegoating. No new gun laws. Work with us or we will work to retire you. We will not comply. We will not disarm.
They ought to be getting that message from NRA.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.