Monday, October 09, 2017

Bump Stocks And Motives

A few thoughts on the reactions to the Las Vegas Massacre.

Bump Stocks

I didn't know what a bump stock was until a week ago. Now, right-wing pundits I respect are telling me that they're the only things keeping Barack Obama from invading my house and eating our dogs. Meanwhile, a gun expert says the things are a novelty at best as they make the gun terribly inaccurate. The only real way to use them is to spray bullets into crowds.

Why are they legal?

Motives and Evil

Andrew Klavan, whom I adore, penned a very unusual piece of idiocy on the matter of Las Vegas and gun control.
Mollie Hemingway said something on the Special Report panel that was so compassionate and illuminating, it cooled my outrage. "We're pretending we're having a debate about gun control," Mollie said, "but we're really having a debate about the nature of evil and whether a big enough government can contain it." It was an observation so womanly wise that a mere news discussion couldn't address it. The rest of the panel ignored her and the talk immediately turned to the utterly meaningless effort to ban bump stocks.

But of course, she was right: that's exactly what we're really talking about. The left sneers at conservatives for "doing nothing," but conservatism understands the tragedy of the fallen world: we can only choose between freedom with evil and slavery with evil, because no government is large enough to make evil go away.
One part is right, a government large enough to prevent all evil turns us into slaves. The other part is wrong and stupid. Bump stocks should be banned and taking them away isn't going to lead to progressive overseers whipping us.

Motives and Guns

Mark Steyn, another pundit I love, went full nut job on the topic of the motives of the killer. He approvingly quoted someone who said that the lack of a manifesto or a past history of extremism meant that the guns themselves were the message. The guy had a pile of guns, all bought legally. His massacre was a deliberate gift to the gun control crowd.

So a man who is that much against gun violence killed 50+ and wounded hundreds to prevent gun violence? Are you insane?

My explanation: He shot the people and kept quiet about it because that's what the voices in his head told him to do.

Gun Control

Finally, we come to the left. I won't bother to quote all the hate-filled screeds and cries for Second Amendment advocates to die, die, die. Instead, the message I hear is that the same people who want to prevent Ben Shapiro and Charles Murray from speaking on college campuses promise that they won't go full tyranny on us if we just disarm peacefully.

Right. We'll get back to you on that.

Conservatives reply to Las Vegas: You can have my Hummel 150mm schwere Panzerhaubitze auf Gesch├╝tzwagen III when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.


tim eisele said...

I gather that the only reason that "bump stocks" and "trigger actuators" are legal, is that the National Firearms Act of 1934 defined "machine guns" based on their mechanical action (more than one cartridge fired per trigger pull), and not on their rate of fire. So things like "bump stocks" are legal because they are technically still pulling the trigger just once per shot, even though they are pulling the trigger so fast that there is not much difference from true automatic fire.

I've seen it pointed out that it would be a lot more sensible to just change the law so that any weapon that can sustain machine-gun-like rates of fire (say, more than about 100 rounds/minute, which is about as fast as an actual human can pull a trigger) would simply be regulated as if it were a proper machine gun, regardless of how it achieves that firing rate. This would keep people from coming up with and openly marketing some other kluged up workaround that is technically legal.

Ohioan@Heart said...

Tim, your plan is way too sensible to ever be put in place. Further as it is *clear*, lawyers would hate it (hard to litigate over what something means when it is clear), and that means that lawyers (i.e., politicians) wouldn’t even pass it.

Personally I hope that the Republicans make a deal where they do a ban on these crazy devices in exchange for the Democrats doing a fix of the health care mess.

Mostly Nothing said...

We have a connection to this tragedy. A 1998 graduate of my son's high school was shot. He had surgery and was critical all last week. Sunday he was able to make a short walk. Lost his spleen and part of the colon. The bullet is still in his lung.

As to be ningbump stocks, extending the definition of a machine gun seems to make the most sense. But when was the last time a politician made sense?