So, we are now several days out from the Vegas massacre and the NRA has officially taken the stance that bump-stocks should be regulated to the NFA. Effectively throwing them under the bus and capitulating to Feinstein and others calling for them to be banned.
Gun owners are pretty evenly split on this. At the time of print, polling shows that 43% will still support the NRA after this move, 28% say that they are completely done with the NRA, and 28% say that they will wait to see how this all plays out before taking a stance.
I have seen both sides of this argument all over the internet as gun owners, bloggers, YouTube personalities and others have taken each side. Hickok45 has come down as essentially saying that this is not worth falling on our swords for. MAC has said that he has withdrawn his support for the NRA. And I have seen countless commenters on sites say that they don’t care about owning a bump-stock so they hope they can trade this for deregulating suppressors or something else to gain.
I personally have a problem with the NRA’s position that bump-stocks should be regulated. I think that they are caving to the demands of anti-gunners and are throwing away a right to own an accessory at a time when they hold all of the cards. It also troubles me that this may be a new direction for the NRA and a ‘slippery slope’ so to speak for them to continue to capitulate in future instances down the road.
Here is an article I read that proclaims that the NRA’s stance was “genius”. Now, I point to this article not to bash the author or the website, but rather because it pretty well encapsulates the opinion that this was a brilliant move… Yes, the author is saying that siding with Diane Feinstein’s shrill cries for gun control is pure “Genius”. I take great exception with that.
Go read the article.
Now go read it again, but this time substitute ‘standard capacity magazines’ for bump-stocks this time when you read it. Then go read it again and substitute ‘suppressors’ for bump-stocks this time when you go read it again. How about Short Barreled Rifles? How about pistol arm braces? How about a ‘shoulder thingy that goes up’? What about VFGs? What about muzzle breaks? The list could go on and on…
What exactly is the difference? Folding like a cheap tent to the anti-gun crowd’s petulant bemoaning to ban an accessory one time, and you forever will have no reasonable argument to stand on when its time to defend any and all other accessories that they will attack.
The author of the linked article is stating that the NRA made a brilliant tactical maneuver and avoided ridicule and being vilified by the anti-gun crowd by throwing them a cookie and asking for bump-stocks to be regulated. The belief is that the NRA has saved political capitol and/or saved their credibility by not fighting a fight over something that “could not be defended”. That they “walked away from a losing hand”. That the NRA has sidestepped an incoming attack from the anti-gun crowd.
I’m sorry, but that is not what I want the NRA to do at all. I didnt want them to ‘side step’ an incoming attack after Sandy Hook by saying that they believed that magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds (and many people were calling for 7 round magazine limits) should be regulated to the NFA. And they didn’t. They took the attacks head on and said, ‘No, this is not the fault of a gun accessory. This is the fault of an insane person.’
They beat the attack back and after the most heinous and gut wrenching murder in US history the blood-dancing gun grabbers got nothing to show for it. Thats exactly what I expect the NRA to do in this situation. They take the attack head on and beat it back and leave those who wish to capitalize on tragedy for political gain with nothing having been gained at all. Instead, in this instance they immediately folded, conceded the ground that the gun grabbers wanted to initially gain and got absolutely nothing in return.
The stance that the NRA is taking will not end the gun-grabbers attack. It will only allow them to quickly gain ground and then move on to their next attack. Remember that suppressors where immediately demonized in the moments after the massacre by anti-gunners who were trying to hold the Vegas attack up as a reason for them not to be deregulated. Those types of attacks will continue, as will the refusal to pass national concealed carry reciprocity (Chuck Schumer has already come out and said that this was not something that they were willing to “trade”)
Lets also not forget that the murderer in Vegas used 100 round Surefire magazines to feed his ARs during that attack. Do we all think that the gun grabbers won’t pivot to that as their next talking point and the next thing that they will want to add to the NFA?
After the NRA has taken this stance with bump-stocks, how do we know that they will also not take the same stance with 100 round magazines? Or with any arbitrary capacity number. The same argument could be made that if the media and anti-gunners make a big deal out of 100 rd mags, then maybe we should throw them under the bus to save or 30 round mags.
By the same measure that the NRA and others are taking with bump-stocks, the NRA should’ side step the attack to save their credibility.’ I mean, ‘this is not a hill we want to die on’ is it? This is not something for us to ‘fall on our sword’ over is it? Many will also use the same argument that ‘its not something I really care about owning’ so who cares if we fight for it. ‘Maybe if we can trade if for suppressors’ or something, right?
One question I really have here is “Why?”.
Why is it that when you have both the House and the Senate controlled by the GOP and you have a sitting President who is supposedly ‘controlled by the NRA’ would you ever give one damn inch of ground? You hold all of the cards. There is no ‘hill to die on’. There is no ‘sword to fall on’. You simply tell them, “No”, and then you continue with the pro-gun PR campaign that won the day after Sandy Hook and has been growing gun owners like crazy over the past 8 years.
What they are doing instead is a complete 180 degree turn from the campaign they ran after Sandy Hook… and thank God its not the playbook that they ran then! This time around they didn’t even bother to negotiate. They gained nothing in return. They completely gave up the fight before it even started.
Also, if the NRA truly does feel that bump-stocks should be regulated then why is it that they did not come out with this stance when they were first given the green light by the ATF during the Obama administration? Were they strategically holding this capitulation card back until they had to play it in a time such as this? Has this been their contrived plan since the Obama years?
My bigger concern here is that this will become an ongoing means of operation for the NRA. I certainly hope that they are not trying to appease the new Gun Culture 3.0 Millennials by slowing throwing everything under the bus that is not ‘concealed carry’ related. I have been noticing a trend in the NRA’s verbage and talking points lately, and that is to slowly become a ‘self defense/concealed carry organization’. They have been 100% focused on that type of messaging, I assume, because polling shows that as being the primary reason why people want to own a gun. It would be a horrible travesty if the NRA itself became the slippery slope that every gun owner fears will be the eventual destruction of the 2nd Amendment, and I hope that they are not turning their backs to anything not concealed carry oriented.
Gun owners need to ask the NRA hard questions after this extremely out of character move. Genius move or not… time will tell… this is completely out of character for the NRA and we need to have a firm grasp on their path forward, and we need to be certain that they are not becoming a watered down gun-rights organization that will lead us down the road to unthinkable self-serving compromise.
Gun owners need to also understand that incremental gun control is never, ever OK. Just because you have no desire to purchase a bump-stock, or you believe it is nothing more than a glorified range toy does not mean that this attempt at gun control should not be beaten back. Banning 100 round, 60 round or even 33 round magazines because 30 rounders are more tactically sound is never OK either. Just as banning AKs because ‘I’m and AR guy’ is not acceptable either. Falling for this promise that ‘they will eat me last’ will still be a death blow to the 2nd Amendment all the same.