October 5th, 2017

What about banning bump stocks?

So far, I’m with this guy on the question of a bump stock ban:

…as much as it pains me to say it and with full knowledge of the potential implications for a slippery slope, I think we need to consider a ban on both bump stocks and these automatic fire conversion kits…

These conversion kits and bump stocks only exist for one reason, and that’s to allow a semiautomatic rifle to fire as a fully automatic model. You can pull out your amateur lawyer thesaurus (or professional copy for you actual lawyers) and try to talk your way around this subject, but there is no other purpose for these products to exist. If you accept that the law forbids the possession of fully automatic weapons in all but the most limited cases, then these products should also be illegal unless the purchaser already qualifies for ownership of a fully automatic weapons. For everyone else they should be banned.

This seems reasonable to me. However, I also don’t think it much matters in terms of preventing the amount of carnage in most crimes. It’s not as though bump stocks are often used in mass murders or other murders; in fact, as far as I know, this is the first time, and there are undoubtedly other ways to get around bans if a person is determined. And mass murderers tend to be rather determined.

What’s more, I have read in multiple sources that although bump stocks tend to increase speed of firing they also reduce accuracy. That means that, under more “normal” circumstances (i.e. not shooting into a densely-packed crowd) the sacrifice in accuracy might make for fewer casualties rather than more. But in the Las Vegas massacre, or other crowd situations, it is more likely than not that bump stocks enhance the murderers’ kill-per-minute rate.

Paddock certainly seemed to think so, anyway. He had quite a few in his arsenal.

In somewhat related news—what’s up with Bret Stephens? Anyone advocating an end to the Second Amendment must either be on the side of government tyranny, or of criminals, or be totally unaware of the historically-documented perils of gun confiscation. I recommend that people in that latter group familiarize themselves with the work of Stephen Hallbrook (short version here, medium version here, long versions here and here).

[ADDENDU: The NRA issued a statement supporting additional regulation on bump stocks in return for some other changes.]

41 Responses to “What about banning bump stocks?”

  1. Oldflyer Says:

    Hard to argue with the logic. If auto weapons are banned, it makes no sense to allow conversion kits that allow you to emulate auto weapons–even if the rate of fire is a bit slower.

    I think reasonable gun rights advocates, and I am one, support reasonable legislation, so long as the right to own a gun for sport or self-protection is preserved.

    I have mentioned from time to time that growing up in the 40s and 50s, the gun culture was much more pronounced, with virtually no restrictions. I just don’t believe that there was anything like the level of gun violence that we witness today.

    Therefore, I think that reasonable people would support a review of the gratuitous violence portrayed in the entertainment media, as well as that advocated on social networks. In my opinion, the fire in a crowded theater standard clearly needs updating. That is not the only answer–there is another whole culture of gang violence, and so forth; but it might affect those who perform the indiscriminate mass killings if victims were not routinely dehumanized by popular media.

  2. Paul in Boston Says:

    This is just hysteria whipped up by the press and the DC echo chamber to justify confiscating guns. Chicago had 57 gun murders and about 450 wounded in September. Is that different because it was by ones and twos instead of all at once and mostly by poor young black men, a Democratic constituency? Chicago has very stringent gun control too.

  3. vanderleun Says:

    Sigh. In this atmosphere I’m with Kurt when he agrees with liberals:

    “I don’t agree with liberals often, because I’m not an idiot and because I love America, but when they once again say, “We must have a conversation about guns!” I still couldn’t agree more. And, since all we’ve heard is you leftists shrieking at us all week, I’ll start it off.

    You don’t ever get to disarm us. Not ever.

    There. It sure feels good to engage in a constructive dialogue.”

    https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2017/10/05/nothing-makes-liberals-angrier-than-us-normals-insisting-on-our-rights-n2390586

    The only thing a move to do ANYTHING about gun rights in this culture will come to utterly nothing. Oh, if it turns out to be about “Bump Stocks” I would, should I be a maker of such itms, start producing as many of these as possible since they will quickly become (if they are not there already) the most sought after accessory in the nation.

  4. T Says:

    “Hard to argue with the logic. If auto weapons are banned, it makes no sense to allow conversion kit . . . .” [Oldflyer @ 1:40]

    True it IS hard to argue with the logic, but the argument of anti-gun activists is not logical. Their constant push for more gun control has little to do with GUN control and much to do with gun CONTROL. Such is evident in the recent calls for: Rewriting the second amendment; banning all firearms; and, once again, banning so-called assault rifles.

    As numerous people have pointed out. The left has spent the last 8 month letting us know that Trump is Hitler, yet with Hitler in the White House they still want the public disarmed. Think about the logic of that!

    Also, the left thinks that the public should be unarmed and only trained professionals (i.e., the police) should be armed, yet they constantly demonstrate against police brutality and oppression and (BLM) against the so-called rampant killing of black people by the police. Again, logic?

    The gun control contingent has not been bashful about advertising what its true objective is, thus IMO the logic of the argument notwithstanding, it is not a good idea to incrementally grease their slippery slope.

  5. steve.c Says:

    Bump stocks are silly gadgets; accurate fire is impossible with them. Trigger cranks might be a bit easier to control, but not much. Either could be 3D printed easily. True full-automatic fire conversion kits are already big-time felonies.

    I already see the trend happening; accept the proposed ban with more precise wording, but attach the 2 other proposed bills to it, one for suppressors (they’re not “silencers”, and they don’t work like in the movies), and another for 50-state concealed carry reciprocity. That would be a true compromise. Of course, this won’t be accepted, and so they’ll come away with nothing.

    I like Oldflyer’s point regarding a review of the depiction of gratuitous violence. If proposed, of course, then you’ll get first-amendment counter arguments. As it happens, those make convenient rebuttals to proposed second-amendment restrictions.

    And, as many are beginning to note, we now have a contingent of people who accuse the present leadership of being “nazis” and/or “fascists” simultaneously agitating for surrendering rights so as to allow that same leadership a monopoly on force. I find that mental dissonance both fascinating and useful at the same time.

  6. Dave Says:

    I’ve actually heard people saying what is so bad about tyranny when most of the authoritarian governments today don’t seem that violence and brutal anymore. What they are missing is that many authoritarian countries are behaving some civilly is because of the existence of the America. If you don’t America acting as the world police to hold these countries accountable how much worse do you think countries like China would be treating its citizens.

  7. vanderleun Says:

    Well well…. I stand corrected. it would seem that the NRA wants to see bump stocks busted after all.

    “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.””

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-05/nra-caves-bump-fire-stocks-says-they-should-be-subject-additional-regulations

  8. Ray Says:

    These gadgets are not high tech and are easy to make. If you ban them so what? It’s like a ban on pressure cooker bombs. Will not make any difference.

  9. AMartel Says:

    Banning bump stocks is a “do something!” move.
    It’s meaningless and will have no effect on “gun violence.” It’s just a way to say something was done.

  10. Surellin Says:

    Full auto via belt loops. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI86T8RghWY . I had no idea of bump stocks or this fix.

  11. Oldflyer Says:

    Ray & AMartel, it is possible to argue that in the current climate being able to say “something was done” is desirable. Besides, we know that is often the case whenever a negative event happens–regardless of its nature. So, accepting a minimum, “something was done” is quite possibly a good strategy. At least we have now learned that the NRA thinks so.

    Stevec, I realize that many oxen would be gored if my suggestion of putting limits on depictions of gratuitous violence were implemented; and those are oxen with deep pockets. Nevertheless, SCOTUS set a precedent with the false fire in a crowded theater ruling; and I believe that it could be logically broadened. Or, it would be statesman like if the Progressives called on the industry to exert voluntary restraints. BTW, I am not so naive as to think either will ever happen; only that it makes sense.

  12. Esther Says:

    So cool that the NYT hired a conservative columnist to share conservative opinions with their liberal audience. Because nothing says “conservative,” like rewriting the constitution.

  13. steve walsh Says:

    Wet streets cause rain.

    Guns didn’t do this, bump stocks didn’t do this, violent video games and movies didn’t do this, not Antifa violence, and not White Supremacists either.

    An insane guy determined to put himself atop the heap of infamy before he committed suicide did this. Unless we turn this into a discussion of how to address that, then we’re all just engaged in a group therapy session.

  14. AMartel Says:

    Banning bump stocks does nothing but bend to the will and feed the frenzy of gun banners. That’s not healthy for them or anyone else. Better to tell the truth; banning bump stocks does nothing to affect gun violence.

  15. Dave Says:

    How do we know the shooter was Stephen Paddock and not someone else who had abducted Paddock assuming his identity to commit this shooting then killed him at the spot, left his body in the scene for the police to find as the fall guy?

  16. steve walsh Says:

    Dave: That’s a very Martin Scorsese premise, no?

  17. vanderleun Says:

    We don’t and we never will. One way or another.

  18. neo-neocon Says:

    Dave:

    Someone shot at a security officer from inside that room, and shortly after that the shooting stopped. It is very likely some officer or officers were in that corridor the whole time, and no one was seen leaving that room. What’s more, as in most hotels, the place is loaded with cameras, and any exit would have been on video. In short, the only way someone was getting out of that room was either to parachute out or to teleport themselves out.

    It. Didn’t. Happen. But that will never stop the wild conspiracy theories.

  19. neo-neocon Says:

    vanderleun:

    Read my comment above this one.

  20. neo-neocon Says:

    The NRA issued a statement supporting additional regulation on bump stocks in return for some other changes.

  21. parker Says:

    I have no desire to own a full auto rifle or actual machine gun, heck I am a bolt and lever gun nut.That said I have no problem with private citizens owning such firearms. It is against the law to commit murder, please tell me when and where the law stopped a murderer. You can not. I am a freedom first person, I will look out for the safety of me and mine. No level of government has a duty to protect me from harm. There are plenty of court cases that prove that you are responsible for your life, liberty, and property.

  22. Dave Says:

    this could very well be the world’s biggest mystery since MH370

    The prefect locked room mystery,

    What if the real killer was one of the officers on scene or disguised as one of the officers and left the building along with other officers like Ocean eleven?

    What if Stephan Paddock was in fact an FBI undercover agent and was the good guy trying to sabotage this terrorist attack. FBI was tipped that some left wing lunatic as planning a mass attack against conservatives, Paddock was a veteran FBI undercover agent like Don Johnson in Miami Vice assigned to try to stop this attack. He first befriended the real culprit, using his name and VIP status in LV to help the actual shooter plan the attack in hope to catch him right before the killer takes action. However, the real killer had already see through his disguise, turned the situation around and used Paddock as the fall guy…

    This incident has the material to write 100 hollywood scripts.

  23. steve.c Says:

    Neo @4:09pm: “The NRA issued a statement”…

    Indeed. Note the nationwide CC statement at the end.

  24. neo-neocon Says:

    steve.c:

    Yes, that’s what I was referring to when I wrote, “in return for some other changes.”

  25. mhj Says:

    I am with those who say, in essence, we have already decided that automatic weapons need to be tightly controlled, and there is no reason why an aftermarket conversion or adapter that makes a weapon function as an automatic should not come under the same rules.

    If you want to argue that regulation of fully automatics should be relaxed, make the argument.

  26. Ken Mitchell Says:

    Since this is a POLITICAL argument, and since politics are all about compromise, I suggest that the banning of “bump stocks” be added as an amendment to the bill for nationwide concealed carry reciprocity, AND the repeal of the ban on suppressors.

    I’ll agree; “bump stocks” ought to be banned. But I’m damned if I’m going to give anything away.

    Alternatively, President Trump can, publicly and loudly, announce that he has instructed his BATF to reconsider the Obama-era BATF ruling that permitted these things.

  27. vanderleun Says:

    Report: Bump stocks selling out.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4952150/High-capacity-magazines-sell-Las-Vegas-massacre.html

  28. Philip Carlson Says:

    Okay, we go along with banning bump fire stocks as a feel good measure. Does anyone doubt the next step will be demanding the banning of all weapons capaple of bunp firing even without an added device like the bump stock?

    That means all ARs and other semi-autos using a reciprocating bolt carrier group/spring/buffer system. Just holding tightly with the forward hand pulling forward against the trigger finger while not gripping with the rear hand causes the gun to bump fire via recoil.

    It’s a ridiculous way to shoot. The forward hand will tire quickly holding 6-10 pounds so far in front. The rear will sag and waggle all over the place spraying rounds high into the air. Virtually no one shoots their AR that way. Yet I would bet my pension the Bloomberg funded grabber groups would include banning these many millions of semi-automatics under their self proclaimed “reasonable, common sense demands.”

    File under camel’s nose, slippery slope, give ’em an inch.

  29. Dave Says:

    Don’t give in, agreeing to accept some feel good limited gun control over a mass shooting will only create incentives for left lunatics to stage an even bigger mass shooting to ban guns once and for all.

  30. Dave Says:

    This is why it is very important to find the political affiliation of the shooter, it is wrong to reward the shooter if the motive of shooter was to stage the biggest mass shooting ever to give democrats a reason to ban guns once and for all.

  31. Ripple Says:

    It shows how far we’ve fallen that someone like Bret Stephens, one of the NY Times alleged house conservatives, could write what he did and have it published by the alleged paper of record. And given that he’s not only Jewish but the former editor-in-chief for The Jerusalem Post, this is red meat for the Jew-haters on the right.

  32. TommyJay Says:

    I didn’t even know bump-FIRE stocks (all stocks bump) existed. So getting rid of them, doesn’t bother me. But…

    I agree with steve.c. This ban should be attached other “common sense” gun de-regulation. Steve mentions two interesting ones. I would be inclined to invoke the interstate commerce clause to undo state regs. like extra taxation or background checks on ammo purchases. Or get rid of NY’s (& others?) idiotic 7 round magazine limit. The industry has sort of coalesced around 10 round limited mags.

    The average number of perps in a home invasion is 2.8, so 3 is the most likely occurrence. Try stopping that with 7 rounds.

    I don’t recall anyone using the interstate commerce clause for its intended purpose of negating state regs. that hinder commerce, in my lifetime.

    And I like Oldflyer’s appreciation that Dems will need their camera face-time, and compassionate posturing, so give it to them. The more stupid or ineffectual, the better.
    _______

    The sliding bump-fire stock creates slop in the positioning of the receiver and barrel and lost accuracy. The gun in the crime scene picture with a BF stock had a no-magnification optical sight (EOTech) only good enough to target a general area at that range.

    Some TV expert claimed that he would have been more effective if he had used a scope in a semi-auto mode, estimating 5 sec. per shot. So 10 min. = 120 people shot. Another way to look at this is that 10 min. of firing reduced to 5 min. by his very slow mag. changes = about 2,000 rounds. So the vast majority of his rounds didn’t even splash bullet fragments into anyone.

  33. n.n Says:

    Let’s put this in perspective and gauge the liberal reaction to this exceptional crisis. Around one million wholly innocent human lives are, in America alone, aborted in Planned Parenthood and other progressive institutions every year. In exchange for implementing a measure under a mandate of color diversity (i.e. judging people as a class by the “color of their skin”, e.g. “gun owners”), the left and neo-Democratic Socialist Party will immediately terminate operation of abortion chambers, cannibalistic clinics, tear down the privacy walls, and affirm the unalienable right of babies to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

  34. T Says:

    Reflecting the idea of cultural degeneration rather than guns, per se, being the defining characteristic of mass shootings, I offer this quote from George Neumayr (as posted in Maverick Philosopher @5:35, 10/5/17).

    Conspicuously absent from all the sanctimonious lectures on gun control this week was any grappling with America’s cultural meltdown, which is the most comprehensible explanation for a spike in mass shootings even as laws and restrictions multiply. Indeed, the loudest voices for gun control come from the degenerate cultural forces most responsible for that meltdown. They demand that America “get serious about gun control,” even as they get less and less serious about the values and institutions most essential to the preservation of civilization.

    The Link to Maverick Philosopher (Bill Vallicella):

    http://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com/

    The direct link to Neumayr:

    https://spectator.org/the-unserious-serious-discussion-about-guns/

  35. Richard Aubrey Says:

    As an old Infantryman–I wasn’t old when I was an Infantryman–I think full auto in a handheld weapon is overrated.
    The military has taken it away and substituted “Burst” with a three round burst in the M16/M4.
    In the other mass shootings, it’s hard to think that the toll would have been greater if the shooter had had full auto available.
    But this was different. Spraying a wide area, which is what would happen with a hand-held weapon past maybe 200 meters will allow you to hit the wide area every time. And if it is, as one observer noted, a “flesh-filled kill sack”, you wouldn’t be missing the people, either.
    So, auto or no, I don’t see much difference in any mass shootings going forward. Unless, of course, somebody decides that outdoor concerts are the place to go.
    Hell, a pickup truck with brush guards–to help deal with gates–and a bed full of sandbags for mass, could be a devastating weapon. That’s even if it isn’t rigged to blow up.

  36. vanderleun Says:

    “It is very likely some officer or officers were in that corridor the whole time, and no one was seen leaving that room.”

    From the layout of the suite as given the entrance was at the end of the corridor, which would make the corridor a kill zone. Hence, I doubt they were in the corridor but checking it out instead.

  37. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “In somewhat related news—what’s up with Bret Stephens? Anyone advocating an end to the Second Amendment must either be on the side of government tyranny, or of criminals, or be totally unaware of the historically-documented perils of gun confiscation.” neo

    Valid points but I think there’s an even deeper issue here, in that advocating an end to the Second Amendment reveals not just misunderstanding but an individual’s antipathy toward the very concept of unalienable rights.

    But first, a bit of context; a privilege can be rescinded. Plus, the basic premise and philosophical basis for our Constitution are the concepts contained in the words; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —”

    Our Constitution is clearly an attempt to codify a government that protects those truths.

    But “unalienable rights” cannot be said to exist, if they can be repealed. As, a ‘right’ subject to repeal is a privilege granted by the State to its citizens and subject to revocation.

    The right to life is the most basic of rights, for without life all other rights are moot. Eliminating the means to defend our lives, effectively repeals the right to life.

    Any American who advocates the ending of unalienable rights has forfeited all rightful claims to being an American.

    A society that denies the right to life and the right to defend our lives is a tyranny.

    Should Stephens and his leftist ilk achieve their desire, they shall discover that another unalienable right is the right to abolish a tyrannical government.

  38. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Americans are weak, that is why they desire a Trum or Hussein or HRC. Because in their heart of hearts, when the Left offers a compromise along with Lucifer’s evil seed, many will actually consider taking it.

    Not a good idea, but weakness begets weakness.

    It’s just a compromise, right, what harm could it do…

    These are our fellow countrymen, Loyal Patriots in this Exceptional America, what possible harm could come from this Loyal Opposition?

  39. GRA Says:

    Has this article been linked or addressed here since the Las Vegas shootings?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/i-used-to-think-gun-control-was-the-answer-my-research-told-me-otherwise/2017/10/03/d33edca6-a851-11e7-92d1-58c702d2d975_story.html?utm_term=.9bf7b9f505e3

  40. SLR Says:

    The danger of full auto fire has always been a boogie man. Its only use is close range (the army only adopted it after China entered the Korean war and was using human wave attacks)… and it only works for a couple seconds and your magazine is empty. No one is shooting 400 rounds a minute. You can’t change the 30 round magazines fast enough… and it would damage the rifle.

  41. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Thompson machine guns, WW2 trenches and bunker warfare.

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