In “Bump Fire Circular Firing Squad,” I wrote:
While I have no interest in bump stocks, they are legal under current law, and we still have no idea whether they were used in the Las Vegas attack. There is no real evidence the public is clamoring for the banning of these devices, but if the members of the Stupid Party feel it necessary to surrender to Democrats, as they commonly do, why not get something unquestionably good for liberty out of the deal? Unfortunately, this would require Republicans to actually do something good for the nation, and Democrats probably wouldn’t give up anything to obtain their objectives anyway. Why should they when they can count, as usual, on Republicans bravely running away?
Surrender, in this instance, may have a high price. Considering Republican’s failure to repeal Obamacare in even the slightest way, most Americans that put President Trump in the White House are unlikely to think Republicans are capable of delivering tax reform, immigration reform, or anything else worthwhile. Being complicit in the degradation of the Second Amendment just might be a last straw.
The concern is Congressional Republicans, as is their wont, would give a victory to Democrats, a victory that would damage the second Amendment, and would give it away gratis; they would get nothing of value in return. In this, they are like Charlie Brown, the eternal optimist, never failing to believe Lucy, who will, as surely as death and taxes, pull away the football.
I covered a good example of this in January of 2017 in Schumer And The Democrats: integrity And Honor? That article told of a deal made by Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, for the confirmation of Mike Pompeo as CIA director on inauguration day. Schumer welched on the deal, claiming he doesn’t speak for every Democrat in the Senate. I concluded thus:
Perhaps Republicans should demand every agreement in writing? One doesn’t secure gentlemen’s agreements with people that have demonstrated, for decades, they are not gentlemen—and ladies. Democrats would still lie, but at least there would documentary evidence of the truth when they lie about lying thereafter.
With this, Senate Democrats have demonstrated their intentions for the future with crystal clarity. All that remains to be seen is how quickly, like Charlie Brown trusting Lucy, time after time, to hold the football for him, it takes Republicans to delude themselves into believing Democrats can be trusted.
I give it less than 24 hours.
It appears Republicans haven’t learned a thing, as Reason.com reports:
The bipartisan gun control measure we told you would follow the horrific shooting October 1 in Las Vegas was introduced Tuesday in the House by a Republican and a Democrat, with exactly 10 members of each party co-sponsoring.
The bill drafted by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R–Fla.) and Seth Moulton (D– Mass.) intends to make illegal bump stocks or ‘any part or combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle.’
Binary triggers, which fires [sic] a round on both the pull and release of the trigger, would also likely be prohibited under this language, as would lighter triggers, and heavier recoil springs, both of which allow for a faster rate of fire.
What is shocking is just how broad the language of their bill is. The law promises to ban any part that increases the rate of fire from a semi-automatic weapon, meaning more than just bump stocks could be on the chopping block.
This is the actual text of the proposed law:
(aa) It shall be unlawful for any person–
(1) in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, to manufacture, possess, or transfer any part of combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but does not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun…
Curbelo seems rather proud of himself:
Curbelo said in a press release, ‘this common-sense legislation will ban devices that blatantly circumvent already existing law without restricting Second Amendment rights.’ The representative added that the bill was an ‘important first step to address gun violence.
Curbelo, and his fellow RINOS, are very much ahead of themselves. We still have no idea whether a bump fire stock was used in the Las Vegas attack, and if it was not, there is no known use of such stocks in a crime, let alone a mass casualty attack, so there is no “gun violence”–a deceptive, grammatically and logically fallacious term invented by anti-liberty gun banners–related to bump fire stocks to be addressed.
The law demonstrates why law written in the aftermath of an outrage is bad law, and why firearm law is not for novices. Light, target triggers, or merely triggers that reset slightly more quickly than a mil spec AR trigger would clearly be unlawful, but even this may be too optimistic, because the law doesn’t define a baseline rate of fire, or trigger specifications by which to measure any “part or combination of parts.” The proposed law does not, in any way, define “to increase the rare of fire of a semiautomatic rifle.” Does this mean cyclic rate? Effective rate? An average rate of fire for a given population and a given rifle, however measured? Would one round faster be unlawful, or would at least two be required? In what time frame? Curbelo is not alone:
Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas), a gun owner, was the first conservative to announce he would support a ban. Several other Republican lawmakers followed suit, with many more expressing an openness to hold hearings on the matter.
As I’ve previously noted, Democrats are surely delighted with the prospect of the slippery slope Republicans are, without any prompting, greasing for them. Even as Republicans charge blindly toward them, having experienced decades of democrat lies and corruption, and knowing they cannot be trusted to honor the Constitution or tell the truth to Republicans or the American public, Democrats are snickering and primed to pull the football away again. They’re not surprised by Republican stupidity; they’re counting on it.
Not only do hearings and the legislative process give Democrats the opportunity to add all manner of amendments regarding magazine capacity–don’t larger magazine increase rate of fire?–and a wide variety of their other favorite anti-liberty ideas, it opens the field to even more in the future. And best of all, Republicans still show not the slightest hint of an intention to use this issue to secure constitutional priorities such as removing unnecessary federal restrictions on suppressors–which are entirely legal–and on universal concealed carry, which is unquestionably a law that has helped reduce crime and saved innumerable lives. The Stupid Party is far too–well, stupid–to demand anything like that.
This apparently unprovoked Republican surrender is also premature in that the BATF has not revisited its 2010 ruling legalizing bump fire stocks. If Democrats want bump fire stocks, write a law–a very narrow, careful law that can’t be expanded beyond the topic at hand–but pass it only in exchange for full normalization of suppressors, and universal concealed carry reciprocity. Oh, and give them bump fire stocks only after the quid pro quo has been passed and signed into law. Don’t let them pull this particular football–again.