As some of our readers may know, I’m a member of the law enforcement community and I only write (badly, might I say) part time. Prior to that I was simply a fellow member of the People of the Gun and an avid reader of TTAG.
I’ve been a firearms owner for as long as I can remember, a NRA member for 23 years, and I believe that the NRA’s statement on bump fire stocks is wrong. Compromise is never a good thing. Ever.
I joined the NRA in 1994. If you’re younger, that may seem like just a random year. But for our older readers, 1994 was pivotal. On September 13, 1994, Congress passed a federal assault weapon and President Clinton signed it into law within hours.
I joined the NRA in August of 1994 as a wee pup and my membership was bought and paid for by my father. He’d been a member since 1980 and was and still is a devoted defender of the Second Amendment. He listened to the NRA that year when they were begging for donations and more members to help fund their fight against the forces of civilian disarmament like Bill and Hillary Clinton.
The Clinton assault weapon ban was built primarily on compromise…and it compromised away some of our rights. The gun grabbers soothingly claimed that we could keep our guns. The really icky ones were grandfathered in. Once the AWB went into effect, you could still own guns that didn’t have the bad features.
Those now outlawed features included things like threaded barrels, flash hiders, collapsible/folding stocks, bayonet lugs, magazines over 10 rounds, pistols that weighed 50 ounces or more or that had magazine wells outside the pistol grip, and certain guns specifically listed by name. But it was definitely a compromise. You could still walk into a Walmart or Sports Authority and buy a neutered Ruger Mini-14 with a five-round magazine or a Marlin Model 60. And that had to be good enough.
The law, however, wasn’t passed by anti-gun Democrats alone. Republicans supported the bill too. Current Ohio Governor John Kasich was then a member of Congress and voted to pass the AWB. So appreciative was the President that he sent Kasich this letter.
Back then the NRA stood up and fought againts the ban tooth and nail. It was in that spirit that then-NRA President Charlton Heston famously said…
FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS!
The NRA subsequently adopted a new slogan:
But with their latest stance on the regulation of bump fire stocks, much of the capital the NRA has built within the gun-owning community was dashed upon the rocks of political expediency.
The very words in that statement gave the green light to every gun-grabbing wanna-be despot in American politics that the NRA will fold and compromise.
A bump fire stock is a simple piece of plastic. It’s no different than a flash hider for an AR-15 or a 17-round magazine for a GLOCK 17. But it isn’t the item that’s the issue here. It’s the fact that the NRA signaled its willingness to compromise. The NRA knows — or should — that for every inch the gun grabbers are given, they’ll take a mile.
The reason for my being a member of the NRA and running for the organization’s Board of Directors prior to personal family issues complicating that is because of their no-compromise attitude that the NRA built since the Clinton presidency. I have spent my adult life trying to expand Second Amendment rights for all Americans because I believe in a simple core value. Freedom is for everyone and no aspect of it should thrown under the bus for political correctness.
I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and the rights that it holds dear. The Second Amendment is one of those and shall not be infringed.
The NRA’s statement regarding bump fire stock regulation gives the green like to Republicans like the John Kasichs of the world. It added fuel to the fire of dedicated anti-gun Democrats like Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein and will embolden the civilian disarmament movement. The camel’s nose is now very much under the tent.
Watch and wait, folks. This is just the start. Bump fire stocks are just the tip of the iceberg.
I am saddened by the actions the NRA took. I feel betrayed and hurt. I have defended the NRA for my entire life and have wanted to do nothing but make it better. But now? Now all I see is another class of political elitists trying to secure their iron rice bowls and keep the swamp that is DC happy and well stocked.
As a member of the law enforcement community I have already seen enough what compromise brings us. I know the truths of the world. I see it every day as a police officer. Outlawing items — drugs, guns, whatever — doesn’t stop criminals. Outlawing bump fire stocks won’t stop nutjobs and radicals from potentially using them either.
If you somehow manage to outlaw guns, they’ll simply use a knife, a car, a can of gasoline or a hammer. Bad people will do bad things no matter what. You cannot legislate morality or virtuousness. You cannot legislate safety. Sadly, you can legislate oppression and the infringement of rights and liberty.
The NRA has made a very big mistake. As a result, we the people of the gun will be feeling its after effects for a very long time.