GOP Rep. confident Congress will act to ban bump stocks

GOP Rep. confident Congress will act to ban bump stocks

Gun-control advocates see this tool as a loophole around the Assault Weapon Ban of 1994 as it allows legal firearms to be shot at a rapid-fire rate, even if these bump stock fitted guns are legally still semi-automatic. I would like to be able to tell you that you can make an impact by writing your legislator.

In this October 4, 2017, photo, a device called a "bump stock" is. They're sold at places like the website (h/t Grand Junction Daily Sentinel). But that doesn't make them clinically mentally ill. He killed himself before police could reach him. Some Republicans in Congress had begun saying they should be banned.

It is we humans who anoint them with special powers, who test them wisely or turn them into wicked instruments.

Similarly, the 64-year-old white male shooter in Las Vegas, despite being a psychopath who puts Charles Manson to shame, has, even in death, reaped the benefits of his whiteness. "And they have every right to expect that Congress will finally do something about gun violence in our country". Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., introduced a bill Wednesday that would ban the import, sale, manufacturing, transfer and possession of bump stocks and similar inventions.

Since we can count on the Republicans to ensure that there will be no legislative action on the scourge of gun violence in America as long as they're in power, the only "political" outcome that follows this latest massacre is that it shows the world how terrible Americans have become and that hard-right ideologues have completely captured one of our major political parties.

But there's at least one problem with that scenario as the NRA and its congressional allies know.

Despite overwhelming support for these policies, the NRA and other gun lobbyists strike fear in the hearts of politicians by stoking paranoia in their constituents that government agents are about to climb into their black helicopters to seize hunting rifles from unsuspecting citizens.

Eight days ago, most Americans had probably never heard of a device known as a bump stock. Gingerly, perhaps, because both parties are in some ways complicit in allowing the device to become available to killers even as they seem willing to join now in restricting or banning them. Gun control measures have been essentially off the table in Congress since a bipartisan deal to expand background checks - forged in the wake of the killing of 26 people, including 20 elementary school children, in Newtown, Conn. - failed in 2013. The fewer the facts, the fewer the questions, the better. However, in a cringey interview on CNN, Franks revealed his ignorance on firearms by suggesting there is no difference between an automatic machine gun and a rifle with a rapid-fire attachment.

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U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson of Marietta, R-6th, said, "Right now, we need to be supporting the victims and the families of those affected by the tragic events last Sunday in Las Vegas".

A gun is not a toy - it kills people and now more than 300 million Americans - a third of the population- own them.

Open carry gun laws are proliferating.

Congress has refused to toughen background checks on gun buyers. We can limit the number of guns one can own, or the amount of ammunition one can possess.

My youngest son, who likes to take his Daisy rifles out to the country to shoot at tin cans and fence posts, has asked me many times why I don't own a "real" gun. That's because the recoil from simulated automatic fire would make it hard to hit specific targets at a long range. The NRA knows these numbers, too. Getting rid of bump stocks is a good idea, should it happen, but it's hardly fundamental.

Mike Littwin runs Sundays in The Aspen Times.

But the talking, that's something different. Just by opening your mouth.