Saturday, October 07, 2017

Fudd Me? No; Fudd You!

I can't leave y'all alone for a minute...

Appeasement is for chumps.

I see I'm gonna have to break that phrase down for some folk.

If you're being chased by a bear and you think "Gee, that bear looks hungry. Perhaps if I let him eat my pinky toe I can keep him from devouring the rest of me. It's not like I use my pinky toe that often anyway. Yeah, I'll just do that." then you're gonna die. The bear won't be satisfied with just dining upon your pinky toe, and you'll have put yourself in a position where it's much, much easier for the bear to eat the rest of you.

You'd think after all this time the concept would be taken to heart, but nope. In the calls to do "something" after the Las Vegas shooting it seems some gunowners and even the NRA are wanting to throw bump fire stocks under the bus.

 I've seen comments here and there claiming that this ban on bumpfire stocks is inevitable. That's a self fulfilling prediction. Keep telling yourself you're defeated and you will be. Others have argued that this isn't a hill they'd die on. I don't see why not though; are there better hills anyplace at the moment? Or do they merely look at the grass and scree and not think it aesthetically pleasant enough for risk, yet not see that this hill is an encumbrance to the anti gunowners? That the loss of this hill gives the enemy a firing position on our very homes? Think it's just bump stocks the enemy wants? Hell, that's not even all they're going after now.

There are republicans in congress that are always willing to roll over so that's not a surprise. The NRA is hinting at capitulation in an effort to play "Let's Make A Deal!" again. Here's their statement about bump fire stocks. I quote:

"The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.  In an increasingly dangerous world, the NRA remains focused on our mission: strengthening Americans' Second Amendment freedom to defend themselves, their families and their communities."

Now personally when I contradict something I write I try to space it out at least a few paragraphs instead of back to back sentences as the NRA has done.

They go on to urge congress to pass "Right to carry" legislation. They get on my damn nerves when they do that. they're talking about nationwide reciprocity for concealed carry permits. If you have to beg leave, pay a tax, and tote around a permission slip, you're not talking about a Right. You're talking about a privilege, or perhaps an entitlement at best. If the NRA wants to keep claiming they support the Right to carry then let them demand that permit systems be abolished along with laws criminalizing carrying weapons. Anything less is not concerning a Right, and they're dishonesty on this issue is yet another reason they shouldn't be trusted.

Gottlieb had the SAF and CCRKBA issue a similar statement, but so far he's not tried to put the JFPO stamp on it.

Say Uncle has posted about it (here and here) as has Sebastian (here and here) as have many others who think that such a ban may be inevitable and/or it's best to not fight it so as to make a deal on some other thing.

GOA opposes the notion and Rep Massie (R-Kentucky) says it's a distraction that could lead to other bans.

SayUncle also points out ways to bump fire sans a specially made stock.

Rather expectedly, that stalwart firearms technologist Feinstein has authored a bill to ban bump fire stocks. Here's a .pdf of her legislative drivel. She calls it the Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act, which is surprising as usually they name it so the acronym is something catchy, like O.M.G.W.E.M.U.S.T.S.A.V.E.C.H.I.L.D.R.E.N.N.O.W.!!! but considering her intellectual prowess stringing together a coherent sentence is asking a lot.

The main paragraph of said bill:

"Except as provided in paragraph (2), on and after the date that is 180 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, it shall be unlawful for any person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a trigger crank, a bump-fire device, or any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semi- automatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun." (edited to clean up some hyphens and add emphasis)

Pay attention to those bolded items. That means a lighter than stock trigger spring, hammer or bolt, which would decrease the lock time (the time from the release of the hammer or firing pin until the ignition of the primer) would be illegal to possess. Not just buy, but merely to have. So that match trigger in your AR? Contraband. You could still have a lighter trigger set up than factory in say a Glock pistol, but attach it to a carbine conversion unit and you're breaking the law. It'll be a felony.

I don't own a bump fire stock. I don't own an AR. I do however want to purchase an adjustable NM trigger and hammer set from ShootingSight. One of the benefits is that it would decrease the lock time from 8.5 milliseconds to 5.5 milliseconds. A millisecond is 1/1000ths of a second. So because it decreases the time from sear release til cartridge ignition by 3/1000th's of a second that would make it illegal under Feistein's bill. You would require very special equipment to measure that change (your Timex won't cut it) but because it's there it'd be a felony to possess such a set up.

Now, I'm seeing some folks say that they don't have bump fire stocks or that they think it's a silly accessory whose loss wouldn't be noticeable. "Derp" I believe is the term. The idea is that since they see no use for them they'd be willing to trade bump fire stocks for national reciprocity, or the SHARE Act, or deregulation of sound suppressors.

In the 1980's and 1990's there were gun owners that weren't willing to fight a ban on firearms they had no use for. We called them Fudds (after Elmer Fudd) as they didn't care about those wascally assault weapons so long as they got to keep their duck and rabbit guns. They were derided, and justly so, for not recognizing that the underlying principle was what they should fighr for even if it didn't personally affect anything they possessed or wished to.

Let's put a modern twist on that:

I don't own AR's. I don't even like AR's, so I'd be willing to go along with a ban on AR's to move full auto AK's off the NFA. Or perhaps to exempt M1 Garands from GCA of '68 regulations. Or at least let modified Garands (and derivatives) be Curio & Relic eligible

Or perhaps I wouldn't fight an AR ban simply because I don't care about AR's and don't see how their proscription could affect my Garands.

I'd not be called a realist, or a shrewd negotiator. I wouldn't be congratulated on my deal making ability. I'd be called a right bastard, and I'd deserve every bit of it.

So why the hell are gunowners that ought to know better so willing to let these stocks be prohibited when they know damn well that it's not the item itself but the underlying principle that has to be fought for?

The NRA disappoints me. In 2004 they seemed on the verge of making a deal to let the "assault weapons ban" be renewed in exchange for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. They got a slew of angry calls from members and didn't go through with it. I had hoped they learned their lesson. Gura tossed machine gun owners under the bus during Heller v. D.C. and sadly had folks defending his decision. Gottlieb was willing to make a deal on the Manchin-Toomey universal registration background check bill in exchange for non-violent felons being allowed to have guns.

Yet several firearms writers (Zumbo is perhaps most famous of them) lost jobs and perhaps careers because they advocated letting "assault weapons" be banned. Hasn't anyone learned anything from these incidences?

People do not like hypocrisy. They may expect it in politicians, but they do not like it. So if you say that background checks at gun stores are just dandy, but background checks for private purchases are bad, then you won't really rally the tropps to oppose the latter. Oppose both and you build a sounder base, because they can see the principle underlying the opposition.

Cutting a deal with a part of a Right as a bargaining chip? That's the best they could think up? And they want people to pay them for their decision making ability?

But putting those pesky principles aside (which is easy for Gottlieb and the NRA and most politicians - too easy) there's a big problem; remember that bear at the beginning of this post? That ravenous ursine monstrosity? He'd be a better trading partner than the antigunowners. Do you really think they won't screw us six ways to Sunday if we try to enter a trade with them? Don't try to out-democrat a democrat. Feinstein's bill is not necessarily the worst it can become. And do not count on the GoP to save you. They'll flip the bus and then toss you under it if they think it can get them more power.

Does anyone remember how "Let's Make A Deal!" works out for non-progressives? Immigration amnesty for tough enforcement anyone? Or how about tax increases for budget cuts? Remember those? And now it's thought that if we trade bump fire stocks we can get nationwide carry permit reciprocity? Yes - that'll work out well.

(Just as an aside, I don't have a carry permit. Nor do I want one. Carrying is a Right and I won't beg or buy permission to enjoy a Right. So what good would national reciprocity do for me? Yet I'm suppose to get all flush at this alleged trade that gives up something personally I don't want [bumpfire stocks] in exchange for something personally I don't want [a continuance or expansion of a permit system in place of a Right] for the loss of something I do want [trigger components that may decrease lock time] and abandoning the principle that no government has legitimate power to impose upon any person's Right to own and carry weapons, in whole or part? I've had better offers on the wrong end of a gun.)

The mass murder itself bears some discussion. There was a punk that fired at a crowd of 20,000+ in an open field roughly 470 yards away from his firing position. He presumably used AR-15's chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO (and/or .223 Remington) equipped with bump fire stocks. Said murderous punk was a millionaire with a clean record. He owned two planes.

If bump fire stocks had been banned it would have made little difference. In fact I'd contend that he would have killed more people if he had not fired so rapidly; precision aimed fire would have resulted in more deaths than what he achieved with rapid fire in the general direction of the crowd. Perhaps not as many casualties, but more deaths.

He could have purchased actual machine guns. A belt fed in some 7 to 8 mm chambering would have resulted in far more damage.

But if it came down to it he could have used one of his planes. I've heard some people speculate that he could have filled a plane with explosives or fuel and dived into the crowd, killing and injuring more people that way, but that wouldn't have been necessary. No explosives, no fuel; he could have just landed his plane on that field and caused more damage than he could have with most any firearm.

Banning bump fire stocks would not have prevented this massacre, nor any future massacres. Every gun owner should know this. So what would be the purpose then? The same purpose as it always is with anti-gunowners; to set up the next step in banning civilian possession of weapons altogether.

Yet some folks think they can play that game and come out on top.

In principle gun owners should oppose any type of restriction on merely owning or possessing any type of weapon. But because opposition is principled does not mean there's not a pragmatic component; the practical dangers of Feinstein's bill have been pointed out and I cannot envision any way to ban or regulate bump fire stocks that would not also affect components to improve trigger pulls in semi-auto firearms.

You wouldn't just be giving up bump fire stocks; you'd be saying good-bye to anything other than factory or USGI trigger pulls.

In the 1980's and 1990's a lot of people didn't see the utility in AR-15's and AK-47's, so they didn't fight the "assault weapons" ban. That was a mistake. Don't make the same mistake over something some hip and trendy folks describe as mere derp. Any attack on any part of the Right to own and carry weapons should be seen as simply an attack on the Right to own and carry weapons.

If you don't oppose bans on bump fire stocks because you don't want one, then what basis would you have to ask me to help you oppose a ban on poodle shooters?

No deals. No concessions. No placation. I'll oppose any measure that erodes any aspect of the Right to own and carry weapons. You should as well if for no other reason than

Appeasement is for chumps.

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