Whether out of fear of reprisals by gun rights groups, a fear of an unhappy armed populace, or because Republican lawmakers held a modicum of fealty to the Bill of Rights, Republicans could usually be counted on to oppose further restrictions on the 2nd Amendment. The caveat being that all gun laws have passed with Republican votes, and 38 Republican House members and seven Republican Senate members voted for the 1994 “assault weapons” ban.
Now in the wake of the Las Vegas music festival shooting, Republican lawmakers and pundits are going wobbly, providing cover for Donald Trump to sign 2nd Amendment-infringing legislation. And even the National Rifle Association is caving.
On cue, spineless House Speaker Paul Ryan announced he had shelved the Hearing Protection Act, which was heading toward passage in the House. That act would not have legalized suppressors, which are already legal. Rather, it would have removed the burdensome process of acquiring them and eliminated the federal tax that must be paid to possess one.
Suppressors were not used by the Las Vegas shooter, and their use would not have, as Hillary Clinton and Senator Tim Kaine have claimed, made the attack more deadly. In fact, use of a suppressor would have hindered the Las Vegas shooter rather then helped him.
Two of Trump’s mouthpieces (Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway), in separate interviews, signaled that Trump would be willing to talk about “common sense” gun laws down the road. This is, supposedly, the same Trump who said on the campaign trail that no one is stronger on the 2nd Amendment than he is. But I also note this is the same Trump who expressed support for the assault weapons ban many times before he became a “Republican” and sought the nomination.
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich went on Fox News Wednesday and provided cover for Trump to support more gun laws. He said that gun modifications that convert semi-automatic guns into an automatics, such as a bump-stock reportedly used by the Las Vegas shooter, should be banned under the Federal Firearms Act.
On Thursday, Ryan told MSNBC that the House would be willing to consider a ban on accessories that can be used to increase the rate of fire of semi-auto weapons.
“Fully automatic weapons have been banned for a long time,” the Wisconsin Republican said. “Apparently, this allows you to take a semiautomatic and turn it into a fully automatic. So clearly that’s something we need to look into.”
And late Thursday, even the NRA caved, issuing a statement calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to review whether bump stocks and similar devices comply with federal law.
I add here that the bump stock does not convert semi-automatics into automatics. It just increases the rate of fire available. This is a distinction with a profound difference and not just semantics.
And banning bump stocks will not prohibit inventive and enterprising people from creating some new device to speed up the rate of fire any more than banning murder has ended murder, banning drugs has ended drug abuse and banning bombs has ended the use of bombs.
Nor will the gun grabbers stop at bump stocks, as total disarmament is their goal, even if it is unstated and even if they deny it.
Brace yourselves. The gun grabbers are stoked by the carnage in Las Vegas. They believe about guns as Representative Jerold Nadler does. He claimed in a Capitol Hill press conference in 2012:
One of the definitions of a nation state is that the state has a monopoly on legitimate violence. And the state ought to have a monopoly on legitimate violence.
If the premise of your question is that people are going to resist a tyrannical government by shooting machine guns at American troops, that’s insane.
What is insane is trusting government to have a monopoly on legitimate violence. When that happens you get some 20 million citizens murdered in Russia by Stalin and some 45 million killed by Mao Zedong in China.
Or, for a more recent example, you get what happened in Catalonia – where police attempting to stop a secession vote beat and injured hundreds — over the past week:
Leftists are trapped in a state of cognitive dissonance regarding gun rights. Many if not most of them fear that Trump is a fascist, yet if Trump were to act the fascist and disarm Americans with some type of order or law that suddenly erased the 2nd Amendment, the left would erupt in thunderous applause.
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