Since sometimes ping backs actually still work, maybe it’s time to get back to blogging’s roots and use it to promote conversation across blogs like we used to. Herschel Smith links to my piece about the Empty Bank.
Sebastian is still arguing, seemingly, that as long as we all retreat in unison, everything will be okay (or at least as good as it can ever be given that we are likely on the losing side anyway). We just need to avoid division. If Iâ€™ve misinterpreted Sebastian in this admittedly cursory treatment of his latest post, please feel free to correct me. But on the previous [related] post by Sebastian which Iâ€™ve linked (and will do so again), commenter Stephen Wright lays out the following charge.
It’s not really about whether we retreat in unison that’s the issue. The issue is whether the ground is defensible and worth the blood that will have to be shed with a slim chance of even keeping it.
This is, of course, an analogy, but since war is just the continuation of politics by other means, it’s an apt one. Even Sun Tzu recognized there is such a thing as indefensible ground. Let us not forget what bill had been introduced and which I’m told had the votes to pass if something wasn’t done to take the wind out of its sails. This bill would have:
- Banned anything that increases the rate of fire of a semi-automatic firearm. Think about what can do that? Almost any part change you can imagine will have a theoretical effect on the rate of fire. This would have put all semi-autos at legal jeopardy.
- Banned a huge number of existing transferrable machine-guns by making drop in auto sears flat out illegal.
- Put crank firearms, which currently includes large number of historical pieces in museums in legal limbo.
The chief argument I’m hearing is that what ATF did was worse. But it’s not. Bump stocks were getting banned one way or another. The question is whether it’s better to have a narrow ruling that stretches ATF’s authority to its or near its breaking point, which can be done with oversight of a somewhat friendly administration, and which is sure to face court challenges later on that could end up prevailing.
But I supposed we could have stood on principle and let Congress give ATF and future hostile Administrations a whole new law with lots of room to create broad new powers to regulate semi-automatic firearms. I’d rather force ATF to go out on a limb with a narrow reinterpretation, buy some time, and hopefully cooler heads prevail.
I’m sorry, but if you think all ground is good to fight on, everywhere, all the time, I will tend to think that’s foolish.