The NRA Responds

From the BBC:

The National Rifle Association has called for “additional regulations” on bump-stocks, a rapid fire device used by the Las Vegas massacre gunman.

The group said: “Devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”

Republicans have said they would consider banning the tool, despite years of resisting any gun control.

Lawmakers plan to hold hearings and consider a bill to outlaw the device.

The NRA called on Thursday for regulators to “immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law”.

This is odd. Before the echoes of the shots had ceased ringing around the buildings that line the Las Vegas strip, reputable newspapers and reporters were confidently telling us the NRA would vociferously oppose any attempts to change existing gun legislation. Could it be they were talking shite?

The NRA’s strategy for responding to the Las Vegas mass-shooting is now coming into focus.

By recommending that an executive branch agency conduct a review of the legality of bump stock devices, the extremely influential gun rights lobby is seeking to direct efforts towards administrative, not legislative, solutions.

This is BBC speak for: the NRA is actually responding in a calm, mature, and responsible manner that we didn’t expect, so we now need to resort to semantics to downplay it as much as possible to avoid us looking foolish.

If Congress were to start drafting new laws, the process may be more difficult for the NRA to control.

The NRA has called for additional regulations. Apparently these are wildly different from new laws.

Democrats, who have been clamouring for the opportunity to debate new gun-control laws, could have their chance. Republican congressional leadership may try to clamp down on the proceedings, but there’s a chance other proposals -like limits on magazine capacity, military-style rifle features and new background check requirements – could come up for consideration.

Ah, so the NRA wants to regulate or ban the precise equipment used in the shootings, whereas the Democrats simply want to use the incident to ram through firearm restrictions which are wholly unrelated. Is that it?

These types of provisions are popular with the public at large but vigorously opposed by the NRA and their supporters in Congress.

As if the NRA is ten guys in a dingy backroom instead of a body representing 5 million members of that same public at large.

The White House and many congressional Republicans are pledging to have a “conversation” about the issue and “look into” the details. That, for the moment, is a far cry from action.

The NRA is now suggesting an alternative route.

There appears to be at least one adult in the room, and it isn’t the media.

In the same statement the NRA urged Congress to pass their longstanding pet proposal to expand gun rights nationwide, so-called right-to-carry reciprocity.

The lobby group wants gun-owners with concealed-carry permits from one state to be allowed to take their weapons into any other US state, even if it has stricter firearms limits.

I presume the gay lobby is fully supportive of this proposal? This is the argument they used prior to the SCOTUS ruling to get states where gay marriage was illegal to recognise their marriage from permissive states.

A bill to ban bump-stocks was submitted to the US Senate on Wednesday by California Democrat Dianne Feinstein.

I bet she’d never even heard the term before Monday, and I’d bet even more she couldn’t competently describe what one is or how it works at the time she submitted the bill.

One of the most popular manufacturers of bump-stocks, Slide Fire, said they had sold out “due to extreme high demands” since the Las Vegas shooting.

And that’s the problem in a nutshell. A running joke during the Obama years was that his portrait adorned the walls of gun shops beneath the words “Salesman of the Year”, meaning his continual threats to enforce stricter gun controls caused millions of Americans to go and buy more guns and especially ammunition. I read an account the other day of guys complaining they couldn’t buy their standard few dozen rounds of ammunition because all the stores had been cleaned out by people stockpiling. America is awash with guns and ammunition, and now it appears bump stocks also. These things are not biodegradable, and confiscating them will be nigh-on impossible. And even if these devices were all destroyed, somebody would come up with a legal work-around within days. That might be why the NRA is happy to see them regulated or banned: it won’t make any difference to its members.

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14 thoughts on “The NRA Responds

  1. One more nuance: from press coverage we get the impression that bump stocks exist in a regulatory grey zone. Sort of the gun industry having exploited regulatory feebleness to work around the automatic weapons ban. Not so. Bump stocks are explicitly legal through an executive order from the relevant federal authority. Issued in 2010, i.e. by the Obama administration.

  2. Kjerulf,

    That is indeed interesting, and certainly changes the tone on the issue. One wonders if the media have muddied the waters through ignorance or malice. Tough call.

  3. Aw never mind. If the bump stock is banned there’s a little crank device you can buy that makes the semi-automatic work something like a Gatling gun. Yee-haw!

  4. It is fairly obvious to me that it is possible to pass gun regulations that are in line with the 2nd amendment. The problem is that there is zero trust between 2A advocates and the anti-gun crowd. The anti-gun crowd has done zero to earn the trust and aren’t interested in trying or even in looking like trying.

    As for banning bump stocks; I don’t think this would violate 2A as bump stocks are neither necessary nor particularly useful for the activities 2A is designed to protect: self protection and insurrection. I don’t think banning them would be very practical though for the reasons Tim has mentioned. Also I can’t imagine they are that hard to construct if you really want to given that there are no moving parts.

    Banning bump stocks in return for natural reciprocity would be a good deal, and also a good test of the Democrats sincerity in wanting to reduce the likelihood of similar quasi-machine gun terrorist action in future (as I said, I think it would be ineffective, but would presumably have some effect.)

    Skipping topic slightly, I am not one given to conspiracy theory, but this whole thing feels weird. Highly organised and little evidence of a motive. This doesn’t feel like some guy just going off the rail at losing his job or girlfriend or was bullied at school by country music enthusiasts. This seems more similar to the Breivik attack and my guess it is political in some sense. Motivation could be to kill people likely to be Republican leaning, or just white people, or as a ruse to push gun control.

    Last point: when on earth will organisers of events with large numbers of people densely packed together get their act together regarding security. FFS. I would be tempted to sue the organisers.

  5. The problem is that there is zero trust between 2A advocates and the anti-gun crowd. The anti-gun crowd has done zero to earn the trust and aren’t interested in trying or even in looking like trying.

    Exactly. As has been said elsewhere, the sorts of people looking to restrict gun ownership have an impressive track record of lying, doubling down on the lies, and lying again in order to advance their political aims of restricting other aspects of people’s lives, or forcing social change upon them. The NRA has realised that by giving an inch their cultural enemies will notch it up as a victory and begin campaigning for the next step. The NRA is right, but sadly very much alone, in resisting this lot. Many other organisations should have done what they are doing.

    Skipping topic slightly, I am not one given to conspiracy theory, but this whole thing feels weird.

    Yes, it does.

  6. “Highly organised and little evidence of a motive. ”

    Highly organised is an understatement, his planning was just about immaculate. For someone with no ‘apparent’ background or motive, it’s beyond odd.

    You could not write a better plot for a mystery.

  7. “Ah, so the NRA wants to regulate or ban the precise equipment used in the shootings, whereas the Democrats simply want to use the incident to ram through firearm restrictions which are wholly unrelated. Is that it?”

    Yes. When laws are written, they are primary sources, and so every word in every new law opens the possibility of completely new interpretations and definitions. We usually do not know exactly what a new law says for years after its implementation, as the courts end up having to rule on lawsuits over every conceivable interpretation. Regulations, on the other hand, are written in the context of having to serve the enforcement of laws that already exist, and so the possible interpretations must conform to those laws. Much less chance for mischief.

    The USA press consistently speaks of the NRA as the well-funded tool of the rich gun manufacturers. It actually is the most truly grass-roots political organization that exists in my country. The money contributed to the NRA by corporate sources is dwarfed by the dues paid by individual members, and its policies are generally very well attuned to the desires of its members.

    Leadership of the NRA has always been realistic about the status of automatic weapons in society. It is the deal-killer. Justification of most all small arms can be reasonably and honestly made up to that point, but automatic weapons will never be accepted by most of society.

    So, the bump-stock issue is a very tough point for them. Automatic weapons are automatic simply because of several small parts that exist in the trigger area. Such parts are illegal. A bump stock produces the exact same result, however. It still baffles me that they were ruled legal several years ago. If automatic weapons are unacceptable, does it matter how a weapon is made to fire continuously? Does it matter if it comes from trigger parts, a bump stock, or a trigger crank?

    (I’ve used both. They both degrade accuracy horribly, and are only good for spraying shots into approximate areas such as large crowds. Interestingly, you can duplicate the function of a bump stock with one rubber band – you can turn a semi-auto into an auto with a specific wrap of a rubber band around the trigger.)

  8. They both degrade accuracy horribly, and are only good for spraying shots into approximate areas such as large crowds.

    Indeed, firing on fully automatic is fine if you have a squad of child-soldiers with AK-47s and a village that needs massacring, but otherwise you need at last a bi-pod just to keep the damned muzzle down.

  9. “I bet she’d never even heard the term before Monday”

    Oh I wouldn’t underestimate the cunning, calculated Grand Dame Dianne Feinstein’s knowledge of any modern day divisive issue that has undermined the US as we know it. She may well be the most accomplished living hero of the progressives and has been championing the cause since her early days in San Francisco. There wouldn’t be one single minority issue that she has not campaigned on in her illustrious political career, you name it she has done it.

  10. Just in case some of your wider and younger audience are not aware Dianne Feinstein was balls deep in it with James Jones and his Californian Peoples Temple back in the good old days of the San Francisco liberal takeover.

    Yes, that James Jones of Kool Aid mass murder notoriety!

    You can only imagine how rapidly James Jones former liberal politicians were trying to distance themselves from him following the mass murder of over 900 people and senators on the job. It was all over the press.

    Fortunately, the shooting of the San Francisco mayor and his assistant nine days later quite rightly over shadowed this event and took up the front pages. Feinstein was first to see them dead. Ironically the mayor’s death by gun provided her with the opportunity to take up the role of mayor following many unsuccessful attempts.

    “The Jonestown Guyana Tragedy No One Wants to Talk About

    During the mid and late seventies, both politicians were part of the all-powerful political machine that was ruled and controlled by an ultra-liberal faction of the Democratic Party during the mid and late seventies. This group controlled the Bay Area and demanded unwavering loyalty from anyone who sought political office. George Moscone, Willie Brown, Diane Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi were some of the leaders of this group. Pelosi had become the state Democratic Party chairman for northern California came from the city of San Francisco. However, one name is usually stricken from the record whenever this group is mentioned— Rev. Jim Jones! Yes, the same and very Rev. Jim Jones of Jonestown, Guyana infamy!”

    http://blogs.christianpost.com/thinkingoutloud/background-checks-on-pelosi-and-feinstein-15603/

    “On November 27, 1978, Moscone and supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated by a rival politician, Dan White, who had resigned from the Board of Supervisors two weeks earlier. Feinstein was in City Hall at the time of the shootings and discovered Milk’s body after hearing the shots. Later that day Feinstein announced the assassinations to the public. As President of the Board of Supervisors upon the death of Moscone, Feinstein succeeded to the mayoralty on December 4, 1978.”

  11. “These types of provisions are popular with the public at large “. Maybe in the bicoastal bubble. Some of the Colorado legislators who voted for some restrictions on guns were promptly recalled.

  12. @Kjerulf, October 6, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Correct. Obama approved Slide Fire’s application on bump-stocks in 2010

    Reason: to allow disabled – those with no/restricted finger movement – to fire semi-automatic guns.

    That’s what Slide Fire said in application – with fingers crossed behind back; followed by high-fives & laughter when approved.

    ROFLMAO

  13. The problem is that there is zero trust between 2A advocates and the anti-gun crowd. The anti-gun crowd has done zero to earn the trust and aren’t interested in trying or even in looking like trying.

    It’s worse than that. They openly call us deplorables and the similarities between antifa and the SA are impossible to ignore.

    As Kurt Schlicter writes: “I, for one, am not super inclined to give up my ability to defend myself in response to demands by people who eagerly tell me they want me enslaved or dead. Literally dead.”

    I don’t own a bump stock and have never wanted to own one. I understand the NRA’s tactics, here, but think them misguided. It’s not about bump stocks. It was never about bump stocks, or so-called “assault weapons”, or anything else.

    It has been and always will be about laying the groundwork for Kristallnacht.

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