The left’s new obsession: Bump stocks
By Samuel Bocetta
Take a look at the “mainstream” media after each mass shooting, and you’ll see a depressing pattern emerge. The left tends to seize on one aspect of these incidents, and exclude all of the others.
The recent tragedy in Las Vegas is no exception. The last week has seen the formation of a crusade against bump stocks. Though the incident was a complex one, raising questions about mental health provision and hotel security, the left cannot to see the woods for the trees: to hear the New York Times tell it, bump stocks were almost entirely to blame, and should now be banned entirely.
There is certainly a debate to be had. However, what is so infuriating about campaigns like this is that many of those now claiming that bump stocks are dangerous had not even heard of them one week ago.
This, too, is a repeated pattern. The ongoing debate about suppressors, items which some on the left continue to wilfully misrepresent as “silencers”, is a case in point. Without everyday experience of owning and using guns, many on the left are susceptible to powerful myths about them. It is a sad fact that those charged with making firearms policy are often the people with the least experience of guns.
With regard to bump stocks, three pieces of legislation have so far been filed in the House. The most recent is bi-partisan, a rare achievement for a gun control measure. A ban on bump stocks is certainly popular with the public, and even the NRA is supporting a review of the relevant legislation.
This might sound surprising, until you remember that the NRA’s primary concern is to represent responsible gun owners. In truth, a ban on bump stocks will make little difference to hunters or competitive shooters, because they don’t use them.
The problem is that it won’t prevent mass shootings either. “Until now, bump stocks have been a non-issue in firearm homicide (mass or not),” April Zeoli, an associate professor at the Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice, told the NY Times.
And so we find ourselves in a familiar situation. The left have rushed to politicize one incredibly narrow aspect of a mass shooting – bump stocks – despite expert advice to the contrary. Of all the insults which have been slung at conservatives over the years, this is not one. We do not lurch from one issue to the next after every incident, but have instead stayed remarkably consistent in our position.
Indeed, any dispassionate observer would have to conclude that when it comes to firearm legislation, one side is consistently better informed, and more willing to listen to expert advice, than the other. That side is the conservative right.
Ultimately, sensible gun legislation can only be implemented by those willing to take the broadest possible view, and by those with everyday experience of guns themselves. So by all means let’s have a discussion about what led to the atrocity in Las Vegas, and that includes bump stocks, but let us do it in a way that takes into account more than the left’s current obsession.
Sam Bocetta is a retired engineer who worked for over 35 years as a defense contractor for the U.S. Navy, specializing in electronic warfare and advanced computer systems. He teaches in Ottawa, Canada as a part time engineering professor and is the ASEAN affairs correspondent for Gun News Daily.