search
top

What’s Going on With Bump Stocks?

I’m always surprised by how many people think the political process involves Very Smart People of good faith gathering ’round the table to try to solve the problems of the people. They are often shocked and dismayed when the actual process is explained to them, “That’s just not how it should work. Everyone should work together in good faith.”

Usually those folks have had zero or very minimal involvement in civic society. There’s nothing quite as eye opening as being involved with an organization that is run by committee. I’ve been either directly or peripherally involved in organizations like that since I was a teen, and so were my parents, and their parents before them. Decisions don’t come about because Very Smart People work together and problem solve, decisions come about by managing personalities and their interests. Even when the organization has leaders that are effective at managing those things, decisions are usually very suboptimal.

For example, very recently at my club we had the clubhouse repainted in a very drab, neutral color, without any accent coloring. It needed to be done to protect the building. But why not do an accent scheme that really makes it pop? Have you ever tried to get a body of people to agree on a color scheme? Drab doesn’t offend anyone, and no one has strong opinions one way or another.

So I get tired of people who say, “Why don’t you get in there and write some good legislation if you know so much about this?” Are you fucking kidding? I’m not jumping into that shit show unless you force me into it.  I’m not conceding anything because “it’s the right thing to do.” People who approach democratic institutions with that attitude get eaten alive. That’s not to say I’m not willing to trade or make deals: that’s how things get done in a democratic body. But why would I concede something I don’t have to? Because it’s the right thing to do? Please. Any time you hear a politician talking that language, they’re blowing smoke up your ass. They know better, and are hoping you don’t.

It is with this in mind we approach the issue of bump stocks, which The Daily Beast is reporting is effectively stalled out in Congress. NRA needed to buy time, and kicking the issue over to ATF for a bit accomplished that. In the mean time, bills were introduced that predictably banned much more than bump stocks, and instead focused on any parts or modifications that affected the rate of fire, which includes nearly anything you can put in a semi-automatic firearm. Can a match trigger let me shoot faster? Sure it can. That might not be its intent, but it can. Can a lighter bolt carrier make the action of a semi-automatic cycle faster, theoretically increasing the rate of fire? Absolutely. These kinds of modifications are common, and while they are aimed at accuracy, they do incidentally affect the “rate of fire,” whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean in something that isn’t a machine gun.

So why not just jump in and give them better language? Because I’m not a damned fool and neither is the NRA. I’m not going to preemptively trade something because it’s “the right thing to do,” I’m going to trade for something else I want. And what if I can still get what I want without having to trade anything? I’ll do that too, and hold onto the bargaining chip because it might be useful at a later date.

On the other side of the argument are the folks on our side who think just shouting “no” very loudly is a legislative strategy. How much impact do you think Ron Paul had on the overall direction of Congress? Because that’s effectively what he did for his whole career. People who do that in deliberative bodies get ignored, and worked around. For these people, the question is this: would you rather sulk in the corner and take solace in the fact that you believe you’re right and righteous as you lose one thing after another, or do you want to actually play the game and win? The latter is what you’re seeing now.

23 Responses to “What’s Going on With Bump Stocks?”

  1. SWE says:

    “On the other side of the argument are the folks on our side who think just shouting “no” very loudly is a legislative strategy.”

    Don’t forget running around shouting “bootlicker”, “facist”, “hater of freedom”, “you’re stupid because you think the system works”.

    • Sebastian says:

      That too. I could write a book.

      • beatbox says:

        I look at what Todd V., the NRA lobbyist did in IL with CCW. He had to deal with all the “what do you mean I can’t carry open carry and AR15 pistol down Michigan Ave?” crowd to get the best possible bill at the time.

        I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that the lead proponent of CCW and the lead opponent to the current bump stock ban are both Dems. Sometimes you need to defer to the professionals who get the sausage making.

    • Thirdpower says:

      We’ve got some of that going on in IL right now w/ two crap bills going through, one ‘everything and the kitchen sink’, another ‘badly defined about bumpstocks specific’.

    • Richard says:

      Unless it is completely crazy, you basically have to trust the people who are on the front lines of the struggle. The legislative process is a complete furball with stuff coming at you non-stop from all directions. Tactics matter.

  2. Joseph says:

    We all need to be careful,and,VIGILANT.

    Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer (D- N.Y) has told Democrats to not campaign on gun control for the upcoming 2018 Mid-Term Elections. I can also guarantee to us all, that he has probably even told Democrat Incumbents and Challengers alike to outright LIE about their gun control stances, opinions, and, VOTES, and to even encourage Democrats to run Faux-Pro-2nd Amendment campaigns.

    I certainly hope Pennsylvania Voters remember how the “Clintonite” Democrat, Bob Casey has stabbed gun owners in the back, because I guarantee he’ll try to run a 2006 style campaign, after seeing PA go Red in 2016. He is a Clintonite whom, in the 2018 midterms, needs to kicked out of his entrenched incumbency, and into the dust-bin of political history, along with Joe Manchin, Sherrod Brown, Joe Donnelly, Debbie Stabenow, Claire McCaskill, Mark Warner, Heidi Heitkamp, Bill Nelson, Angus King, Jon Tester,Tammy Baldwin, and, Aimie Klobuchar, in the States of WV, OH, IN, MI, MO, VA, ND, FL, ME, MT, WI, and, MN.

    • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

      I certainly hope Pennsylvania Voters remember how the “Clintonite” Democrat, Bob Casey has stabbed gun owners in the back, because I guarantee he’ll try to run a 2006 style campaign, after seeing PA go Red in 2016.

      Toomey stabbed gun owners in the back, and as a Republican he was re-elected. In fact, in the “Giffords” announcement video, he specifically called out the fact that in a Red state supporting gun control didn’t hurt his election at all. Which is exactly what I was worried about.

      So Casey will happily run an anti-gun campaign, because gun owners signaled that their vote doesn’t matter.

      • dwb says:

        And gun controllers in turn stabbed Toomwy in the back. Hope he learned that lesson.

        Casey needs to go.

  3. Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

    There’s nothing quite as eye opening as being involved with an organization that is run by committee.

    You got it. Like and idiot, I tried to get involved in my club to improve their rules (including their dumb no rapid fire rule), and despite the claims of wanting more involvement by the members, I couldn’t get anywhere. They were stubborn as sin, and no matter how much I tried to convince them and compromise would change their mind. I ended up leaving the club completely I was so frustrated.

    How much impact do you think Ron Paul had on the overall direction of Congress? Because that’s effectively what he did for his whole career.

    To be fair, I think you need those no compromise people. They’ll push the compromise people to the right side, because you still need to compromise to get anything done. You just can’t compromise and hurt your side in the process.

    • Sebastian says:

      You got it. Like and idiot, I tried to get involved in my club to improve their rules (including their dumb no rapid fire rule), and despite the claims of wanting more involvement by the members, I couldn’t get anywhere. They were stubborn as sin, and no matter how much I tried to convince them and compromise would change their mind. I ended up leaving the club completely I was so frustrated.

      It’s always a worthwhile endeavor, even if you don’t succeed. Change can take a long time.

  4. Roger Wilson says:

    If Sen. Chuck S. AKA Sen. NO! thinks the anti-gun issue is not a winner perhaps it is time to push the pro gun bills in the senate. Bring them to a vote and make them stand on their record when they run in the fall.

    It might be amusing to watch.

  5. dwb says:

    Democrats are starting to move bills in IL. I am sure CA and MD are not far behind.

    There is no advantage to participating until Dems reveal their cards. Like poker, best to decide after other players have thrown their chips in.

    • beatbox says:

      The IL bill failed out of the gate due to overreach.

    • Matt says:

      MD’s legislative session runs from January through April. Gun bills generally don’t go onto the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing list until late Feb/March timeframe.

      Keep in mind NFA items are legal in MD. Trying to ban bump stocks while having machine guns legal is going to be an interesting conversation for the House to deflect.

      Also I’ve seen the sausage making processes up close in MD. I’ve seen absolutely horrific gun control bills get watered down to Kool Aid with food coloring due to the efforts of gun owners and supporting politicians even in a blue state like MD. They blew a lot of political capital on the HQL a few years ago after Sandy Hook and the violence in Baltimore that was used to sell it hasn’t gone down, only up. There hasn’t been a lot of appetite for gun control since as now it would be seen as truly punitive against the law-abiding since their prior efforts have now seriously boxed them in.

      Having Hogan in office has helped tremendously. He has served to blunt a lot of Democratic reach and forced many people, often for the first time, to see the ruling party for what they’ve been doing to the state. All Hogan has to do is sit back and let them make fools of themselves. And it has worked. He still enjoys record-high popularity across the state and he’s a Republican!

  6. beatbox says:

    The NRA is doing the right thing here. As I’ve said before, they do defense well. (but suck at offense)

  7. Michael Bane says:

    Well put…I always assume you’re going to be providing the intelligent analysis on topics like this. As you know and I have said…repeatedly…the game is harder and more complex to play than most people believe…it doesn’t lend itself to memes.

    NRA made the right, if scary as hell, move. Say what you will about Mr. Lapierree, and he and I have had our occasionally very loud differences, but I believe both you and I had sat down with Chris Cox at various times over the years, and I have huge respect for his asymmetrical thinking on issues like this.

    That said [and with the caveat that I am Demonstrably Paranoid] I am amazed at how quickly Las Vegas has faded, or been dumped down the Memory Hole. Some of my contacts pretty high up in law enforcement feel the same way. There are odd rumors leaking out of federal law enforcement that haven’t yet bubbled to the surface.

    Inquiring minds, etc.

    Again, a good and thoughtful job.

    Michael B

  8. dwb says:

    This is why it makes sense to wait out the bills making their way through state legislatures: Just wait and see what their bid is, then reject overly broad bills. Art of the Deal 101: Never make the first offer.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/357373-bump-stock-ban-fails-to-pass-illinois-house

    “Opponents of the bill expressed concern over its scope, which they argued was too far-reaching and would have a disproportionate impact on law-abiding gun owners in the state, according to the Tribune.

    The bill failed to pass by a 48-54 vote.

    One Democrat, Rep. Jerry Costello, pointed out that the bill’s scope was too wide, as it would ban any device that alters a gun’s rate of fire.

    “I don’t view this as a bump stock ban, I view this as a ban on 40 to 50 percent of the guns in the state,” Costello said, according to the Tribune.”

    … and that was from a Democrat!

  9. Alpheus says:

    It should be kept in mind, too, that even though Ron Paul was always voting “NO!”, he was nonetheless politically savvy enough to make sure that the bills he voted “NO” on and had passed anyway had amendments that would financially benefit his district.

    There’s a bit of hypocrisy in that, to be sure, but there’s also no small amount of irony in that as well.

  10. Jay says:

    Ron Paul was a totally ineffective Rep who only set himself up to serve his own pocket with side jobs and post post retirement gold hawking and speaking fees.

  11. Dustin Doyle says:

    One issue to be careful about is the long-term effects of what we say now. Falsely confessing that objects and features can be bad legitimizes the idea of ‘assault weapon’ bans. This not only makes future progress rolling back the NFA harder but makes defending modern rifles themselves harder as well. I don’t agree with the premise that one firearm is more worthy of a restriction than another, and getting the idea of performance limits legitimized will make future tech progress harder for us to defend.

    It also legitimizes the idea that we should focus attention on the tool.

    If the NRA needs to punt to the ATF out of desperation that is fine, but the bit about further restricting bump stocks was needlessly harmful.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. SayUncle » Bump in the night - […] What’s going on with bump stocks? Not much, apparently. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

top