This will be the concluding post for Full Auto Day. If there’s one thing that I’ve tried to feature in this series, it’s ordinary people having fun shooting machine guns and assault rifles, as happens in various locations around the United States every year. Why does anyone need a machine gun? Because machine guns are really friggin fun! I’ve never seen anyone who wasn’t intrinsically hoplophobic, or recoil shy, shoot a machine gun and not walk away with a big shit eating grin on their face. I’ve shot my friend Jason’s M11 dozens of times, and I still get a big smile on my face every time I send a mag full of 9mm downrange. When I first tried a suppressed H&K MP5 submachine gun, I briefly for a moment considered whether it might be a good idea to sell my car to buy one. Unfortunately, the MP5 wouldn’t be very good at getting me to work, so that idea was quickly abandoned.
So that brings me to the reason that machine gun shooting is becoming increasingly the domain of the privileged few because of the stratospheric prices on registered machine guns.; Congressman William J. Hughes, who, as I nicely added to his Wikipedia Entry, is responsible for banning civilian possession of machine guns not already lawfully registered prior to May 19, 1986, despite there being virtually no history of crime being committed with legally owned machine guns in the United States. Why’d he do it? Because he’s another gun hating asshole from New Jersey (I hope he googles his name and manages to read that too). If you want to see more information, take a look at Dave Hardy’s 1986 Cumberland Law Review article about the FOPA, or Gun Law News’ summary of the FOPA.
Because I’m really wanting to have way more full auto fun than I can currently have, I’m quite eager to be rid of the Hughes Amendment. Unfortunately, the NRA has largely given up on machine guns. As much as I wish they didn’t, the sad truth is current political climate isn’t conductive to accomplishing anything on this ground. Over the next few years we’ll be lucky just to fight off more semi-auto bans. We’re also probably not going to have much luck in the courts in this regard either. So what to do? Well, we have to keep chipping away bit by bit, until we change the political climate to the point where it’s feasible to get rid of it. In the mean time, I think it’s important that we figure out ways to present machine gun ownership and shooting in a positive light to the general public.
But if the Democrats want a fight, we can always do to them what they did to us. If those slippery bastards try to close the “gun show loophole” or other such crap, why not slip a repeal of the Hughes Amendment in right before debate closes, and pass it on a questionable voice vote. It’s a little low, sure, but what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If you can’t defeat a bill, adding a little “f*ck you” amendment is always a nice touch.
Well, I hope everyone liked today’s Full Auto Day. I’ll maybe do special interest features like this in the future. Stay tuned!