There are those great lies we all know. Things like “the check is in the mail”, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you”, and “I’ll respect you in the morning.” I’d to add another that is quickly becoming all too obvious in the post-Las Vegas mass casualty event hysteria: “I’m a Republican, I respect the Second Amendment, and if you vote for me, you can be assured I’ll never vote for a gun control bill.”
Consider these comments from North Carolina Republican congressmen. All of these comments were published in the Raleigh News and Observer yesterday.
“This is a way to circumvent the law, existing law, by sloppily converting a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon. I think we ought to look at getting rid of those,” Holding said Thursday. “You’re purposely trying to circumvent the law.”
If somebody, just like any other avenue, is circumventing that law, then I think it’s something we should take a look at it. My first impulse is that could be a problem,” said Rep. Mark Walker of Greensboro, who is chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee.
“At the same time, we don’t want to get to a place where any law we pass out of this House … targets more the law-abiding citizen then the criminal. We want to make sure that we’re protecting our society.”
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC-11). Meadows is also chair of the House Freedom Caucus which makes this doubly disturbing. (I met Mark for the first time at a gun show. He needed gun owners then to win in the primary runoff.)
Meadows said ATF may be able to change a rule or regulation that could solve the problem. The federal government allowed the sale of “bump stocks” in 2010.
“What enforcement capabilities are already in statute as it would relate to this? Is there a need for additional legislation?” he said.
Rep. Walter Jones, a Republican who represents much of eastern North Carolina, said he hasn’t had much time to study the “bump stock” issue. He planned to look into it this weekend.
“I have a very great concern about all the shootings and the killings of the American people,” Jones said. “I am concerned, deeply concerned, but I don’t know what the next step should be.”
The statement by the NRA on bump fire stocks will be used by Republicans to give themselves cover. My problem with their statement is that it looks like pre-emptive surrender on a firearm accessory that has been already approved by the BATFE.
While that statement may just be a delaying tactic as Sebastian contends, I still think the optics of it are bad. Few people will actually parse the statement to see what the NRA actually said and will assume incorrectly that they are for a ban on bump fire stocks. As I wrote on Thursday, “However, if bump fire stocks are banned now what is to say that other gun parts such as adjustable stocks or standard capacity magazines won’t be banned later. If you open the door to the ban on one thing, don’t you open the door to the ban of anything firearm related?”
It is a slippery slope. Our opponents recognize this and it is a feature to them. As House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told a reporter, “”They’re going to say, ‘You give them bump stock, it’s going to be a slippery slope.’ I certainly hope so.”
In the meantime, call, write, and fax your senators and representatives. They need to hear from you now in very clear and unambiguous terms. Links for the four Republicans quoted are above. You can find your representative by putting in your zip code here.