Jeff Knox of The Firearms Coalition writes [via ammoland.com]
The Executive Vice President of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, and Chris Cox, the Executive Director of NRA-ILA, the association’s lobbying arm, issued a joint statement in response to the horrific atrocity perpetrated last week in Las Vegas. The bulk of the statement was . . .
practical and reasonable, sounding a balanced tone between concern for the victims and determination to not let the acts of a mad man be used to undercut the rights of Americans. It also showed a willingness to at least discuss whether some action related to guns might be warranted.
There is nothing wrong with the NRA being willing to talk, as long as they stick to core principles, and refuse to allow blame for the tragedy to be dumped on responsible gun owners.
Unfortunately LaPierre and Cox didn’t stick to principles. Instead of just calling for regulatory review, they declared – in the name of NRA – an opinion on what that review should conclude, and it’s not an opinion that The Firearms Coalition can begin to agree with.
Here’s the part of what LaPierre and Cox said that we have a problem with:
“The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”
The theories from NRA supporters all suggest that the statement was part of a delay and diversion tactic to buy some time for the heated emotions dredged up by the Las Vegas attack to simmer down, so that the discussion can then proceed in a rational and logical manner, and keep that debate within regulatory channels, rather than Congress.
The suggestion is, that by putting the ball in the court of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, NRA is trying to keep Congress out of it.
A BATFE review will take some time, and if BATFE rules that they made a mistake when they concluded that bump-fire stocks were not restricted devices under the definitions of the National Firearms Act, and places them in one of the restricted categories, that would take the wind out of Feinstein (D-CA) and Schumer’s (D-NY) sails.
If the review concluded that the BATFE doesn’t have the authority to regulate the simple devices, the hope would be that the focus would be pretty firmly shifted onto these novelty devices, rather than the guns they are attached to.
That might actually be the strategy, but unfortunately it falls flat with the inclusion of the above sentence.
By stating that NRA believes the devices “should be subject to additional regulations,” they are not only abandoning bump-fire stocks and trigger-cranks – which is a pretty stupid move in our opinion – but they are conceding the notion that these devices, and full-auto firearms, are too dangerous for average Americans to own.
LaPierre and Cox have since doubled down on the statement, saying on Sunday talk shows that NRA supports the restrictions of the NFA, and thinks that rapid-fire devices should fall under the purview of that law. This is really troubling, as it abandons the critical, core principle that you cannot control criminal behavior by regulating inanimate objects.
While it’s possible that pitching this issue to the BATFE might cause some delays, and give some politicians an excuse to sit on their hands while BATFE is conducting their review – if they conduct a review – Feinstein, Schumer, and their media pals are already calling out the NRA position as a political ploy, and are pushing all the harder for immediate congressional action.
With NRA already conceding on the issue of bump-fire stocks, they have surrendered any reasonable grounds for objecting to quick congressional action. And since a ban on bump-stocks is now a given, the anti-rights zealots will set their sights on additional targets like limiting magazine capacity and expanding background checks, along with yet another run at an “assault weapon” ban, which they might use as a bargaining chip.
With NRA “leaders” having conceded that bump-stocks should be regulated, and with that concession, also abandoning the notion that restricting tools is never the answer to controlling crime, any arguments they offer against expanding background checks or restricting magazine capacity, will be pounced upon as specious and in contradiction to this stated position. After all, “if it saves just one life…”
The values expressed in that one sentence of LaPierre and Cox’s statement, represent a major shift in NRA policy, and we’re pretty sure that this shift was not approved by the NRA’s Board of Directors, which is supposed to be responsible for establishing all policies for the organization. At least we hope that the board would not have approved such a damaging policy shift.
And this is not the first time that LaPierre has shot the organization in the foot.
In a speech shortly after the Columbine atrocity, LaPierre declared, ”We believe in absolutely gun-free, zero-tolerance, totally safe schools.” A dozen years later, in response to the terror at Sandy Hook, LaPierre was singing a different tune, calling for police and armed citizens in schools, a much more sensible approach.
In 1999, testifying in a congressional hearing, LaPierre declared, “We think it’s reasonable to provide mandatory, instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show. No loopholes anywhere for anyone.”
Like his gun-free schools statement, LaPierre’s position on gun shows didn’t sit well with many NRA members and the official position was quietly shifted back to a harder line.
Still, as late as 2005, candidate questionnaires were still stating that NRA supported mandatory background checks at gun shows. The questionnaires were only corrected to reflect NRA’s actual policy, opposing mandatory background checks for private transfers, after The Firearms Coalition pointed out the discrepancy and demanded the correction.
Now LaPierre has again shot a hole in his own foot – and the NRA’s boat he’s standing in – with his misguided statements about rapid-fire devices for semi-auto rifles. The difference is that this time the contrary statement has the potential to sink the whole boat.
If full-auto is so dangerous that it must be tightly regulated, and devices that make it easier to make semi-auto’s “function like fully-automatic” firearms are so dangerous that they must also be tightly regulated, it is a very short step to demands that all semi-auto firearms be tightly regulated since any semi-auto can be made to “function like fully-automatic” firearms with a simple improvised device, or no device at all with a little practice.
When anti-rights politicians and the media make that demand, what defense can LaPierre offer?
We at The Firearms Coalition feel that this was a serious faux pa on the part of LaPierre and Cox, and we see only one way for the mistake to be corrected.
The NRA Board of Directors must immediately issue a statement declaring the true position of the National Rifle Association, and that the statement from LaPierre and Cox did not accurately reflect that position.
They must make it clear that the NRA policy opposes any efforts to restrict or regulate any firearm, ammunition, or accessory under the false premise that such regulation will prevent the illegal acts of criminals and lunatics.
Political gamesmanship is one thing. Abandoning core principles as part of that gamesmanship is totally unacceptable.
About Jeff Knox:
Jeff Knox is a second-generation political activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His father Neal Knox led many of the early gun rights battles for your right to keep and bear arms. Read Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War.
The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition has offices in Buckeye, Arizona and Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.
This is why the Constitution needs to be thrown out and we need to start again.
Decentralization would mean that this is never allowed to happen. Sure states like MA, CA, NY and NJ would probably still be commie hell holes, but outside of those borders other States should never have to worry about blanket federal restrictions.
This is why National Reciprocity is a death knell for gun rights, not a windfall. Once you let the fedgov monster into your house, it never ever leaves. And if it can magically grant that all 50 states must recognize concealed carry permits then in 4 years or 8 or 16 or 20 or 50 years it can magically reverse its’ decision and take away all 50 states’ right to concealed carry.
Be careful what you wish for.
Yeah… That will work for all of about five minutes until refugees from the commie states start settling in your ancapistan utopia and pushing your politicians to the left. Look at Oregon for a good example of the process.
The claim that national reciprocity expands the power of the feds is wrong, it simply forces the “full faith and credit” clause of the Constitution onto the slave states.
I think I may agree with you here: “This is why National Reciprocity is a death knell for gun rights, not a windfall. Once you let the fedgov monster into your house, it never ever leaves.”
I disagree that the states you listed are “commie hell holes.” They actually are some of the most interesting states in the Union, nice places to visit and to live. It’s just a shame they have such restrictive gun laws.
“This is why the Constitution needs to be thrown out and we need to start again.”
No, we need to throw out the elected, appointed, and hired government employees who routinely and flagrantly violate the U.S. Constitution, state constitutions, and Common Law.
The U.S. Constitution is nothing more than an ideal which is powerless if We the People are not willing to enforce it.
Throw out the Constitution?! Huh? You serious bro?
Statements like this are INSANE and not helping any debate at all
It does not matter what constraints on the government a piece of paper has
if the government choses to ignore them and
the people are not willing to do what is necessary to force the unwilling government obey those limitations.
W O W, lemmings. Talk about people not having a finger on the pulse of the people.
BAN AMMOLAND, JEFF KNOX, AND THE FIREARMS COALITION, WHAT A BUNCH OF FINGER IN THE AIR, DOUCHES.
BUCK UP !
Sounds like their circling the wagons, and we’re the Indians. Just sayin.
Kudos to The Firearms Coalition.
LaPierre Laval and Cox must resign!
Jeff makes a strong case for replacing The Wayne.
Yep, Le Wayne needs to go, and soon.
How do we get the process rolling?
Another vote to remove Wayne LaPierre.
Shouldn’t there be an upturned fork under the NRA ?
All the NRA had to do was a repeat of Newtown. A line in the sand. If 20 dead kids and Barry Soetoro couldn’t do it why would Vegas?!? The “official” narrative is changing by the day. Did the mass murderer even use a bump stock? Did he actually have a real machine gun?!? Pathetic watching all these gun orgs and folks making FOOLS of themselves…
Precisely, one doesn’t move forward while walking backwards, and all the while sticking his foot in his mouth.
The truth of the matter is, that once gun-owners agree to any further restrictive regulations, they’ve lost the argumentative foundation of logic, and it will enforce the fallacy that “things” can be responsible for atrocities. To agree with these “bump-stock regulations” is to agree that regulating “things” can work to stem gun violence, when it abjectly and patently CANNOT.
This is why the only logical stance can be “not an inch,” as capitulating bump-stocks would have been to admit to the false premise that regulating things can stop mass murderers from committing their acts of evil.
If you’re in the “we need to be reasonable and ban bump-stocks” camp, you need to take a hard look in the mirror and realize that right now, what we do, what we agree to, will dictate the direction of our Liberty. Will you aid in the necrosis that’s being pushed on it? Or will you be part of the course of antibiotics to save the life of Liberty?
That’s whats up.
Bump stocks are nothing more than a range toy…until ONE @SS decided to wreak havoc. They have absolutely nothing to do with our right to keep and bear arms.
The “Give an inch” argument isn’t applicable. 99.9999999% of the time they’ve just been a huge waste of ammo.
They literally have everything to do with the 2A. It’s the bigger picture that they represent. It’s a shame you can’t see the forest through the trees.
Hey Ed, why do they exist?
Could it be because there is an existing unconstitutional infringement of our right to own military small arms?
Besides, bumpfire stocks are perfect for improvised SAWs that last long enough for you to take an actual SAW off of the dead body of the last jack booted thug in the patrol your resistance group just ambushed and gunned down.
Having read the Heller and Hollis decisions, and finding no flaw in their logic, I agree with them that full-auto weapons are not protected by the 2A. Applying the same logic to bump stocks – if one can, since they’re not actually arms – I have to conclude that they’re not protected, either.
So, it’s a political question that will be decided by public opinion, not the courts. I’d rather not see restrictions, but I think they’re likely to happen, and the priority should be limiting the scope of regulation to devices that are actually intended to get around the ban on full-auto weapons, and avoid capturing items like improved triggers. If possible, to save bump stocks by having them regulated, rather than banned outright with possession being a felony. The NRA has positioned itself to influence that debate. If it had taken a line against any restrictions whatsoever, it would be sidelined while the bill is under consideration.
That’s my take.
The ban on full auto weapons is unconstitutional on its face. The purpose of the 2nd amendment is to give the body of the people military parity with a tyrannical government. Muzzleloaders and your grandpa’s hunting rifle won’t do that. A M240G with a few cases of linked ammo will give you an ersatz light infantry force.
I think you’d need a lot more than automatic weapons to have parity with a modern military.
You’d be surprised. Asymmetric warfare doesn’t take much. It’s light infantry tactics 101. A few RPGs, a handful of IEDs, and a few support weapons will do much more than you would expect.
A couple hundred guys with semi-autos in the right place, we can steal one of their loaded bombers and use it to bomb *them*, after which no more bombers will be loaded. What else do you think we need? If that is too tough, we could steal a couple loaded tanks to assist in stealing the bomber. But if we continue to cave, we’d have to begin that process armed with a kitchen knife.
And just by the way, what “modern military” do you expect to stand against 10 million people with automatic weapons, scattered throughout the country? Go ahead, explain to me how our government would nuke Falls Church, VA to kill a few thousand guys with M-16s. Or a few hundred thousand marching on the Capitol.
Specific features have been restricted or banned before, such as the Clinton AWB that restricted to not more than one of a list of features.
And on bump fire stocks the courts of public opinion and trial by media are not on our side.
The Heller dicta which claimed that it was fine if government restricted full-auto firearms violates the 1939 United States v. Miller decision which protects citizen ownership of firearms that are ordinary military equipment.
And that is saying a lot since there was no defense council present for the Miller case.
Miller, though, did not specify a citizen’s individual right, but was focused on equipment that a state militia might find useful. It essentially meant that the Feds couldn’t interfere with what a state allowed its residents to own, but in no way prevented states from restricting weapons.
Post Heller and McDonald, an individual right is clearly defined, which neither fed nor states can violate. The definition protects weapons in common use for lawful purposes, not all military weapons (as confirmed by the Fifth Circuit in Hollis).
Also, if there is a conflict, the more recent ruling wins. The Supreme Court doesn’t have to abide by previous Supreme Court decisions.
The 5th circuit doesn’t set national precedent. National defense is a common lawful use for automatic small arms.
You mean the same Supreme Court that said blacks were not citizens and therefore their rights could be violated who then said that blacks and whites being segregated was okay as long as they were equal (which they clearly weren’t) to finally come full circle in 1954 that segregation was not okay? The same Supreme Court that legalized Obamacare because it was a “tax” even though there is nowhere in the Constitution granting the government power to regulate healthcare?
Yea I take the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court with an extreme grain of salt since they seem to change their decisions on a whim. The Constitution and Federalist papers are more accurate in determining intent than 9 biased judges politically picked.
“Having read the Heller and Hollis decisions, and finding no flaw in their logic”
Ah! So, have you read the Second Amendment? Logic does not trump the clarity of “shall not be infringed”.
Of course the board of directors approved the message. The NRA issued no statement at all for several days. During that time, they pulled everyone together and came up with their response, good or bad as it may be.
Send the board members a message if you’re a member or know someone who is.
If you want to ban bump stocks then everything is up for grabs.
If azzhat had used a lever action rifle to attack the innocent would that be ok. Just because SCOTUS decided that it is ok to limit the 2A, does not mean we should accept it.
Either you have a right to bear arms or not, be it suppressed full auto or your grandpa’s double, the right not limited because SCOTUS is acting like a committee, and afraid to act. Would we accept the same limits on our 1A, no government does not dictate unless we let them.
Never give up, never give in (couldn’t resist)
Like grains of sand in an hour glass, each one slipping through represents just one more yield to another ban on some part of our gun rights. This time, it’s the bump stock. And as long as the liberals, democrats and anti-rights jackasses are allowed to continue to feed the hour glass, there will be no end to it. And it must stop now! Not one more grain! Not one more ban. The NRA should immediately reverse their published stance on this. For once that grain of sand has passed, it cannot be recovered!
Once again, people who think the NRA is right on this are missing the entire reason for the 2nd Amendment. They are also missing the fact that the “no one needs” argument is a direct infringement on freedom in general.
It’s pathetic that people who think they support the 2nd Amendment can’t understand how much they undermine it trying to play politics or reacting with fear.
The fact of this divide in the gun-owning population is more serious than the efforts to ban bump fire devices.
I don’t understand how Bump stocks fit into “being necessary to the security of a free State”.
Then you don’t understand the importance of man portable automatic weapons in insurgent operations. Come back when you realize the purpose of the 2nd amendment. Hint: It has nothing to do with shooting deer or criminals.
Well Ed, here’s the deal brother… Just about any way you want to look at it, bump fire is irrelevant to the security of a free state. It neither contributes to, or detracts from our security as a nation.
Bump fire stocks are a gimmick, a range toy, a noisy distraction, which has been promoted and elevated by gun haters, and their left media lapdogs as a bludgeon to destroy the 2nd Amendment.
You’re confused about the issue because the left is very good at a well practiced shell game which shuffles your attention from actual criminal perpetrators, and criminal acts, to whatever tools they happen to be using.
Placing the responsibility for atrocity of this nature on a bump fire stock is no different than blaming a common hammer and nail for the consequences of shitty carpentry.
“I don’t understand how Bump stocks fit into “being necessary to the security of a free State”.”
Are you fuvcking *serious*?
The *value* is a in a combat tactic known as “suppressive fire”.
It keeps the enemy heads *down* while you maneuver in to take them out. It doesn’t have to be accurate, but there does need to be a *LOT* of it:
Given the other devices currently on the market to simulate auto fire, this device is one of the best. The tactical use is a short burst of suppression fire to defend one’s life, family or home if ever assaulted during a major crises when the police cannot respond. And in the last few years, that has happened all TOO often. Roving gangs of thugs breaking and entering homes because they know the police force has been disabled and cannot respond. We saw it during the major hurricanes. It would not be smart of course to use full burst all the time as that wastes ammo. But one or two would make them rethink their decision! Even more important if you’re living in a rural or more remote area where you know help won’t arrive in time. Just one more critical item to have in your inventory and it should not be up to some dumbassocrat to decide what you may or may not need to protect your life, family or home. Ret. Navy 21 yr.
Bump stocks should NOT be necessary, you are correct. However, due to unconstitutional usurpations of enumerated personal freedoms, we cannot legally acquire select fire weapons, which would be a MUCH cheaper alternative to a bump fire stock.
I get the premise of military parity. I also understand there are those misguided individuals who would gut the Second Amendment.
I also know that battles are won and lost by logistics. In my 27 years of service in the USAF, I never fired an M-16 in burst. Ammo is expensive and heavy. IF our government becomes too burdensome, I don’t think full auto will affect much…unless THEY waste too much ammunition.
We are also waging a political battle for the hearts and minds of our fellow citizens. Clinging to a range toy may be construed as, well, wacky.
“I also know that battles are won and lost by logistics.”
Ask the Russian Army about their combat experience in Afghanistan around, oh, 1980 or so, Ed.
How did it go for them?
” Clinging to a range toy may be construed as, well, wacky.”
The *problem* is, there is no way to craft a law against them *without* all forms of auto-loading firearms being targeted, including effectively any form of trigger work or modification.
You’re pragmatic enough to realize where that will lead, Ed…
Well, it’s about what I would expect from the chair force and not a branch that actually has to face the enemy. Take it from a Marine. Suppressing fire is possibly the greatest thing to have in your pocket short of artilery or an air strike. In asymmetric warfare, an L shaped ambush doesn’t require the automatic component to be accurate, merely present and persistent. Since bump fire stocks are one of our few remaining ways to get said automatic fire, I’ll be holding on to my “range toy” thanks.
Modified semi automatic weapons? WTF does that actually mean? Paddock was by all official accounts a multi millionaire, with ‘.gov’ and at least some engineering background. How hard would it have been to purchase or have fabricated drop in auto sears?
Why ARs, much less 23 ARs in .556, and .308? With bump stocks, rather than simple drop in auto sears? Really? Was Paddock an AR snob, with no other resources? Logically, if you’re going for reliability, and want to use a bump stock – you want an AK platform, right? 7.62 X 39 Ammo is a bit heavier, but if you’re sneaking 4,000+ rounds, and hookers into your room in a freight elevator, over several days, who cares?
Paddock was a planner. Meticulous. Thorough. Purchased many, and no doubt trained with many high calibe semi auto rifles over more than 20 years, and then slapped bump stocks on them, and sprayed a crowd at 1,000+ yards, with 1 in 4 rounds reportedly finding a target, and in some cases multiple rounds hitting the same target (individual) at 1,000+ yards from ‘bump stocks’? Really?
No one saw this guy at the range, or in the desert, training, practicing? Ever? He just showed up on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay with 23 ARs, thousands of rounds of ammo, broke out a couple of windows, and went ‘postal’ on a concert crowd?
I just can’t buy it.
In case some of you havent heard yet, the NRA has officially changed their position on the debate, and have specifically stated they will fight any proposed bump stock bans. MAC was talking about it last night.