Why My Preference is Usually Doing Nothing

I’m not one of these “something must be done” types. I’m perfectly OK with “shit happens” and that you’ll often do more damage trying to prevent it than just accepting that. Diane Feinstein has a bill already, and its awful:

Except as provided in paragraph (2), on and after the date that is 180 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, it shall be unlawful for any person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a trigger crank, a bump-fire device, or any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun.

She’s not careful about how she drafts stuff because she doesn’t care. And neither Senator Feinstein nor her staff know anything about firearms.

What is a Trigger Crank? Can you define it? What is a bump-fire device? These things don’t have common meaning. If I get a lighter bolt carrier that goes into battery faster than a heavier one, is that “part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle?” What about if I have a buffer spring that’s a bit stiffer, and cycles the action slightly faster than another? Cycle time is the ultimate arbiter of how fast you can shoot a semi-auto. Note is says designed or functions, meaning if it does it, it’s illegal. Note that if you own it, even if you don’t have it installed, it’s illegal.

If Congress decided it did want to ban bump fire stocks, it has to meticulously define them, and not include language that will sweep in a lot of commonly possessed items that have nothing to do with bump firing, but do slightly affect the rate at which the action cycles. Any definition of “trigger crank” has to be careful not to sweep in historic gatling guns, or replicas thereof.

Nope. This bill sucks. She can go to hell. Banning trigger cranks is stupid anyway. You could 3D print one in an hour. It’s a dirt simple device.

43 thoughts on “Why My Preference is Usually Doing Nothing”

    1. Nope. “Arbitrary and capricious” comes to mind when they then attempt to carry out rescinding of that letter… I.e., confiscation and/or persecution.

      1. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Depends on how they reached the decision. But it would show “something being done” and leave the ultimate decision up to a court of slide fire’s choosing.

      2. Also, speaking as a pretty skilled regulatory attorney in DC, this would be easy for ATF to do. Slide Fire made one claim in their letter regarding BumpFire guns: It is intended to assist persons whose hands have limited mobility to “bump-fire” an AR-15 type rifle.

        Of course, there is no indication in the marketing materials on the Slide Fire web page that this is in fact how the device was marketed or intended to be used.

  1. Because this bill isn’t even going to get voted on or taken seriously outside her little anti-gun bubble, she doesn’t have to care or be precise at all.

    1. Unfortuantely Mark Meadows (Chair of the Freedom Caucus) and Tom Cole (R-OK) have both expressed at least interest in the idea of reclassifying “bump stocks” as machine guns.

      But, if we can get nationwide carry, and suppressors, then maybe giving up bump stocks isn’t a bad deal (provided we narrowly define bump stocks)

      1. “You have to have a special class of license to have an automatic weapon, and so if this is something to bypass this, I think it becomes something that we obviously need to look at in the future,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said. He added that the aftermath of a tragedy “is not the best time to look at any legislation.”

        Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who is close to House leadership, told MSNBC: “I did not know that there was technology capable that cheaply of transforming a semiautomatic into an automatic weapon. So, yes, I don’t think there’s any question we ought to look at that.”

      2. Adding more language to an existing laws banning things (922) will not help us in the long run. And those who support it should certainly not be in the “Liberty caucus”.

        And the assumption here is they would also support suppressor liberalization? Fat chance.

        When one item (plastic or metal) is banned/taxed, watch how quickly it is for these guys to fall in line for more of the same. If you support bans on more things, I don’t want you on my side.

          1. And he should be punished for it at the ballot box like any other rep. Where is Whetherman anyway to remind us who our friends actually are? :)

      3. Is anyone working on a “meticulously define[d]” ban and trying to attach it to SHARE and/or National Reciprocity?

        Because if there’s noises of “bipartisan” support of this, then getting ahead of it (well technically that’s passed) but having some alternative to, literal, Feinstein getting to ban something and us getting nothing out of it would be the better option

        1. There’s nothing but liberal overreach that ends up with this.

          1. I dunno.

            It depends on if they have the discipline to have a separate bill that’s just the “evil bumpfires”.

            It’s possible that they might have learned from their post Sandyhook gun control attempt

            1. Separate bill or not… going nowhere. This is a concoction of closet “DO SOMETHING!!” screaming plastic banning freaks who were never our friends in the first place. This one gets scored and loses GOP traitors control of the house. It only takes 24 turncoats for the House to flip.

              And BTW where is Whetherman??? Anyone check with LVPD?

  2. 3D print? I think you could knock one up out of plywood with hand tools in a couple hours.

  3. All I can think of is this:


    How the hell do you ban boards with a rod sticking out of them?

    I mean, it increases the rate of fire, doesnt make it a machine gun, and can be made by anyone with enough brain cells to super glue a 4 inch dowel rod to a board.

    1. Given that slam fire incident a while back, this bill would cover those coat hooks in bathroom doors too.

  4. Heck, anything that oh… reduces recoil… makes the gun easier to shoot… or improves the trigger… could be argued to “accelerate the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle”

    I mean how is this measured? By the actual mechanical cycle time?

    Or by having some tester noddle around with the gun on the range and record the splits before and after some part is added.

    By that logic better sights could be banned

    1. Bipods banned, magazines banned, rifle stocks banned, “pistol grips” banned, etc.

      It all depends on how aggressive a U.S. Attorney wants to get when prosecuting a case using this Feinstein bill.

  5. Willing to do a compromise since bumpfire etc are essentially useless. But we have to get something in return like national reciprocity. Otherwise it is the usual drill where the left gets a little bit now and then comes back later for the rest. Not that I expect a real compromise but in the absence of that, our response should be Hell NO.

  6. Arbitrary, capricious, poorly drafted? Typical for gun-control laws. And a law ripe for abuse by an aggressive D.A., or an indifferent Judge.

    That’s how Commiefornia ended up with wood sticks being defined as an illegal weapon, which are a felony crime to possess. I sh!t you not.

    And of course Commiefornia has on the books a law almost identical to the Feinstein bill. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the original draft for both came from some anti-gun organization like the VPC or the LCAV.

  7. We deride the antigunner’s ignorance about terms or for writing sloppy legislation, but that sloppiness is our greatest legal advantage. i can tell you that California state antis are getting more knowledgeable and technical, to our detriment.

    Still, if I have to sacrifice something, a gimmicky piece of plastic and metal that makes a decent weapon fire inaccurately at a high rate of fire is an acceptable loss.

  8. To me it reads that her bill bans bump fire accessories… I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that a firearm with an integrated bump stock straight from the factory would find a legal loophole.

  9. If we’re banning cranks, why does Feinstein still have a job? Yeah, I know, Kommiefornia.

  10. I’m seeing lots of Quislings here tripping over themselves wanting to make a deal with people who want to ban all guns. Yeah, that’s brilliant.

    Ok, so the guy used bump stocks. And you think you’ll appease people who want to ban all guns by giving them something that you personally don’t care much about. FWIW, people who want to ban all guns, non-gun owners, and Fudds don’t personally care about AR-15s or Glocks. More ridiculously, some of you think people who want to ban all guns will give you something in return for sacrificing bump stocks on the altar of “We should do something. This is something. Let’s do it.” Have you not been paying attention for the last 50 years?

    Get this. The guy also used semi-autos. As will the next guy. And the next. People who want to ban all guns also want to ban all semi-autos (as has happened elsewhere), and people who aren’t into guns don’t understand the difference between a “semi” auto and a “full” auto. People who only shoot ducks or deer would be happy to give up semi-autos to “do something” and get those baby-killing AR-15 machine guns off the street. You don’t need a 30-round clip to shoot a deer, you know. The anti-gunners will never stop demanding more until all the guns are gone. And when all the guns are all gone, they’ll just demand that guns be removed from statues. And so on.

    PLUS bump stocks can be 3D printed. Are we going to ban 3D printers too? And any idiot can make an eccentric cam and attach it to a motor. Are we going to ban round pieces of wood with off-center holes in them? Small motors?

    For the record, I don’t own a bump stock and wouldn’t own one because I think they’re silly range toys. And yet I’m not tripping over myself to throw your rights under the bus because I naively believe it would get any concessions from anti-gunners or do anything to prevent the next meticulously planned tragedy.

    We don’t even know what motivated this guy yet. Before you all line up to infringe my rights more, why don’t you wait until we know what happened. And maybe consider not being such Quislings while you’re at it. Thanks.

    1. Given the Republican lawmakers who are making noises about a ban on bump stocks, that’s probably going to happen whether we want it to or not.

      And to be honest, bump stocks aren’t a hill I want to die on, and if I can use that issue to get enough votes in the House and Senate for SHARE and National Reciprocity, I’ll take that deal.

      1. After Sandy Hook, federal gun control was going to happen whether we wanted it or not.

        If you think people who want to ban all guns will happily – or even reluctantly – trade bump stocks for deadly baby-killing silencers or “guns everywhere” laws, you haven’t been paying attention. None other than anti-gun grandma Hillary Clinton said that silencers would have made the massacre worse. But sure, they’ll happily make that trade. Instead of giving them things, we should make it difficult for them to take anything. They’ll get fewer things they want that way, you know.

        Also, please read my earlier comment again.

        1. They probably won’t go for it, which means they get nothing. But we probably also will not get SHARE or National Reciprocity for lack of 60 votes in the Senate.

            1. I have. Several times. I get what you are saying. I don’t think banning bump stocks is going to accomplish anything. I don’t think the hard core Dems like Feinstein are going to go for it. The question whether it gets the two or three additional votes needed to pass SHARE and/or National Reciprocity from pols who aren’t all that dedicated to Feinstein’s position. Sorry, but I’m willing to trade bump stocks if it gets a significant part of the NFA and GCA effectively repealed, and we get universal reciprocity. Those are two very significant things.

              But I said when all this started, my prediction is that the anti-gun folks in the Senate and House would not want that deal, and as a result they’ll end up getting nothing. It’s not a tough prediction to make, because it’s exactly what happened after Sandy Hook: they were offered a compromise and they rejected it, and because of that they got nothing.

              If I’m misunderstanding what you wrote, or there’s some important thing I’m not understanding. By all means, explain.

              1. Man to woman: Would you sleep with me for one million dollars?
                Woman: Sure.
                Man: How about for ten dollars?
                Woman: What do you think I am?
                Man: We’ve already established what you are. All we’re doing is bargaining about price.

                By telling them you’re willing to negotiate more of our rights away, you’re telling them you’re willing to negotiate more of our rights away.

                Thankfully, you are not in a position to trade anything, so there’s that.

                1. It would be a net gain to trade a range toy to move silencers to Title I, be rid of the “sporting purposes” language altogether, and to get real interstate travel protections.

                  1. As you said, they wouldn’t go for it. But it would signal that we’re open to more infringements. I’m not. How do you prevent death by a thousand paper cuts? Surely not by volunteering for more paper cuts.

                    These people aren’t interested in anything other than disarming Mr and Mrs America, slowly if that’s all they can get. When did they ever say after a legislative victory, “Ok boys, pack it up. We’re all done here.” They are not to be trusted, and not certainly not to be bargained with.

                    1. I’ll take a step back if it offers the opportunity to take a leap forward. I would not give up anything to get nothing in return.

                    2. For decades, “compromise” has been “Well, ok, we won’t make this law as bad as we wanted to”. Basically, taking a slice of the cake, but not a “big” slice.

                      I would be more than happy to go for a true compromise — give up a small slice of cake that doesn’t matter so much to us, for a bigger slice of the cake that does matter.

                      The anti’s have been taking the cake one little slice at a time, over a period of decades. We will likely have to take the cake back the same way — a little bit at a time, over decades.

    2. THIS. Thanks, Mike. That’s about the short of it. You sum up my thoughts. Also nothing from the much ballyhooed NRA bogeyman on bump stocks. No one will care about this but the actual 2A folks.

      FWIW I do see the “paid” NRA media celebs endorsing the bump stocks for reciprocity/suppressor delisting grand deal. I doubt anyone gets a deal and I predict over reach.

      Chuck Grassley’s comments about the legislative process at hand here also predict overreach as well…

      EDIT: Here’s the Grassley link I was looking for: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2017/10/04/las-vegas-shooting-congress-gun-control-chuck-grassley/731971001/

  11. If I may inquire, Counter top or Sebastian, is there any issue of ex post facto law (Art. I, sec. 9, para. 3) relevant to Mrs. Feinstein’s projected ban on “possession” of “bump stocks” for those who had already obtained them when it was legal? Would they not be a case where by doing nothing wrong, indeed, by doing nothing at all, they are now guilty of somehow COMMITTING a crime?
    Sincerely, Arnie

    1. Ex post facto only applies when you make something a crime retroactively. You can’t say, “This is now a crime, so anyone who ever possessed these is now a criminal.”

      If you say “After X date, such and such is illegal to possess.” That’s not ex post facto, because it doesn’t criminalize past behavior.

      1. That makes sense. Thank you for clearing that up for me, Sebastian!
        – Arnie

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