GOP Might Do One Tiny Little Thing About Guns, But Only If NRA Says It's OK (It Won't)
And country music fans, and churchgoers, and theater patrons, and...
If you're not a member of the Gunhumper-American community, before the massacre in Las Vegas, you may have thought "bump stocks" were some kind of method to cheat in financial markets. But they've been around for a while now (at least 2005, when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives rescinded approval for one such device. It was later re-engineered without springs, and then approved again). These handy little toys use the recoil of a semiautomatic rifle to allow a high rate of fire with only a single pull of the trigger:
The molded piece of plastic or metal — a ‘bump stock,’ as it has become known to assault-rifle enthusiasts — harnesses a gun’s natural recoil, allowing it to bounce back and forth off a shooter’s trigger finger and unleash up to 100 rounds in seven seconds, according to an ad for one of the devices.
Since the bump stock only harnesses physics and doesn't modify the internal firing mechanism of a semiautomatic rifle, the ATF ruled in 2010 that it doesn't violate Congress's ban on converting semiautomatic weapons, which fire one round with each pull of the trigger, to fully automatic weapons, which spray out bullets as long as the trigger is held down and there's ammo in the magazine. Here's a bump-fire enthusiast showing off what wonderful fun they are:
Bump stocks (some calls it a "slide stock," but I calls it a sling blade, mmm-hmm) have no real purpose other than turning a semiautomatic weapon into a bullet hose. Guns equipped with them become notoriously inaccurate for anyone but an expert shooter with excellent control, so they're mostly useless for hunting unless you really like pre-shredded venison. But if you're 32 stories up in a hotel and have 22,000 people across the street from you, you can rain down enough rounds that you're guaranteed to kill and injure a hell of a lot of people just by pointing in the crowd's general direction.
Now, since bump stocks were cleverly designed to circumvent the ban on buying fully automatic machine guns without a special, pricey license from ATF, a lot of lawmakers are talking about banning the things. California Democrat Dianne Feinstein has introduced a bill to make the things illegal, and a number of usually-ardent NRA-hugging Republicans are saying they might be open to regulating bump stocks like other devices that convert a semiautomatic weapon into a fully automatic one. See, for instance, Texas Senator John Cornyn:
It is ordinarily illegal to transform a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon, and it’s illegal to buy an automatic weapon unless you have a special license and undergo a special background check [...] I’m not sure how these bump stocks fit into that scheme, but that’s certainly something that’s got my attention and I think we ought to get to the bottom of it.
[wonkbar]<a href="http://www.wonkette.com/623810/gop-senator-john-thune-on-not-getting-murdered-by-guns-try-not-to-get-murdered-by-guns"></a>[/wonkbar]South Dakota's John Thune, whose main takeaway from Las Vegas had up until now been that Americans need to learn to "get small" (to present less of a target for bullets sprayed by wild and crazy guys), said he knows several Republicans are interested in at least looking into the matter:
I don’t know a lot about them, and I’m somebody who, I’d like to think, is fairly familiar with a lot of firearms and you know, the use of those. And that incident out there is something that I think we need to take a look at.
A regular low profile in courage, that guy.
Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson got downright radical-sounding:
“Automatic weapons are illegal. If that facilitates that, to me it would be subject to the same ban,” Johnson said. “If that actually gets on the Senate floor, I’d vote for it.”
Even Paul Ryan said on CNN today that because the devices make possible a high rate of fire, "clearly that's something we need to look into."
Most Republicans, like Ryan, are treading cautiously. None have actually joined Feinstein and over two dozen Democratic senators in supporting a ban, and most are simply saying it's a thing to be "looked at." In other words, they're waiting for the NRA to tell them what it thinks about bump stocks. And what they will eventually come to think is likely to be that any attempt to ban a currently legal accessory will inevitably lead to tyranny and possibly Barack Obama seizing power and executing all the patriots. And to fight that, The People will need huge-capacity magazines and rapid, if dubiously accurate, fire.
For a preview of the pro-bump stock arguments we'll be seeing in coming weeks' Dear Shitferbrains columns, look no further than this love letter to bump stocks by Breitbart's AWR Hawkins:
Looks like somebody never learned the difference between a "fact" and an "opinion." We're especially impressed by item #3, where even Hawkins acknowledges there's no real practical use for bump stocks, since they actually make semiautomatic rifles less accurate. Number 5 is a laugh, too: Discrimination against the poor and their absolute constitutional right to "at least pretend to be shooting the real machines they will never be able to afford."
Health care: Not a right. Being able to spray bullets as rapidly and indiscriminately as possible? Clearly what the Founders had in mind.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.