Stop doing that, Annabelle

Annabelle Hargreaves (Why stricter gun laws are needed, May 10,2019) fears “we” are going to depopulate the country through gun violence.

“I’m so sorry that you can’t look at the whole picture and realize that we are killing far too many of our children and grandchildren. If we continue down this deadly path, there will be no one left to carry on in any society, socialist or democratic.”

At 39,773 firearms-related deaths per year, and a starting — and static, for the sake of discussion — population of 328,826,065, we could be in real trouble in about 8,000 years.

I’m not killing any children or grandchildren. If Ms. Hargreaves is, I suggest she stop it.

Shilling for Rights?

TinMan on Twitter thinks I work for firearms/ammunition manufacturers, since that’s the only possible reason I could defend constitutionally protect human/civil rights.

All of you fuckers are acting on behalf of manufacturers. People don’t need bumpstocks but if they don’t have them they’ll use less ammo. Bottom line hit. Rats.

I wish they’d pay me. My “income,” such as it is, is insufficient to even paying my ISP bill.

TinMan objects to bump-fire stocks, and professes to believe that only an industry shill would think banning them is a bad idea. In hopes that he was merely uneducated on the subject, I provided a collection of explanatory links.

He either ignored it.

Rather than futilely attempt to make my points in a flurry of abbreviated-to-a-state-of-nonsense, I’ll respond here, and tweet the link to him.

Ammunition and bumpstocks advocacy is not Human Rights. Play it how you want.

But the possession and responsible use is, as explained in the Bill of Rights, and elaborated on by courts all the way up to and including SCOTUS.

But, as TinHead would have know if he’d read and attempted to comprehend the source links I gave him, the issue isn’t bump-fire stocks, ammunition or even semi-automatic firearms. It is rights. And sanity.

TL;DR, TinBrain: By fiat, Trump changed law written by Congress to arbitrarily ban something. It was bump-fire stocks this time. Maybe next time it will be designating the Democratic National Committee a terrorist organization.

In the case of bump-fire stocks, he did it by shifting the Congressionally mandated definition of “function of the trigger” to finger. Fingers are now triggers.

What’s worse, if you aren’t moving your finger, it’s an automatic trigger, which under current ATF rules makes your finger a machinegun.

If Trump can declare, without legislation, your finger to be a machinegun, he can declare Tesla electric cars to be main battle tanks (but I don’t want to give Musk any more weird ideas).

If this precedent stands, there is nothing a president cannot do by fiat, no matter how irrational. He can declare anything to be anything else. Ban anything. (And for the Republicans out there: Kamala Harris is already promising to use Trump’s bump-fire precedent to impose more gun control by fiat.)

Hmm… Let’s say Trump doesn’t like GM closing plants and moving jobs out of the country. He declares GM to be a government agency and takes over. (Or Kamala Harris similarly nationalizes everything to impose the Green Raw Deal.)

Or he might redefine “particulate emissions” to be “fairy dust” and gut federal pollution standards. Or a Dem president might declare plant food to be a world-destroying poisonous ga… oh. Wait. A Dem president already did that.

And it’s very clear that you use the term “human rights” in the most flagrant way possible.

I use “human/civil rights” in a manner consistent with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, centuries of jurisprudence, and sanity.

For instance, the Declaration of Independence mentions a right to “life.” That implies a right to protect one’s life. Which in turn implies a right to defense, security as mentioned in the Bill of Rights (please note that in HELLER SCOTUS stated that outright). Firearms are an effective means of self defense.

Why do you need to fire any more rapidly than a current semi-auto or full auto weapon allows you to? For.. Fun? Do you need not only to shoot but eviscerate your deer? Is it not sensible that people are protected from this type of weapon? WTF do you want???

Tinny is still stuck on OMG! Shoot fast! Who needs to shoot fast?! Still hasn’t caught up the whole rights and reality thing.

And apparently he thinks bump-fire stocks not only allow you to fire faster than a semi-auto (they don’t; that is physically impossible, and is another part of the precedent of lying), but faster than an actual machinegun.

Perhaps — as I sarcastically suggested — he is a paid Bloomberg shill.

FFLs for Everyone!

Senator Kamala “Kneepads” Harris has apparently decided to court the gun owner vote.

Kamala Harris promises swift executive action if Congress doesn’t pass gun control legislation
Harris’ pledge lays out four points. The first would mandate what the proposal calls “near-universal background checks by requiring anyone who sells five or more guns per year to run a background check on all gun sales.” The target is to classify that seller of more than five guns as a dealer of firearms.

Thanks, @KamalaHarris. Gun owners have been trying to get the ATF to quantify “dealer” since Bill Clinton’s ’90s purge of FFLs. They always refused, because setting a definite threshold reduces their ability to harass and arrest honest folks.

See, we used to have 286,000 FFLs, mostly small volume types & hobbyists. Billy Jeff didn’t like that and took away 142,000 FFLs from exactly the people Kneepads is trying to “force” to get licenses.

So… Thanks. Now we can get our FFLs and start interstate mail ordering our firearms again.

Like most ignorant victim disarmers, Harris didn’t think that one through.

Semi-Auto vs. Full-Auto

Lunatics and liars — i.e.- federal attorneys and judges — matter-of-factly state that fingers are triggers, and the only difference between a machinegun and a semi-auto is whether the finger is moved volitionally.

Some people don’t quite grasp that, so allow me to illustrate.

Under the new definition, this is a semi-automatic trigger group.

finger moving volitionally

And this is a fully automatic trigger group.

finger not moving volitionally

I expect the ATF to kick in my door over that NFA finger any time now.

Thanks, VNRA.

Should you be confused why the volitional movement of the off arm doesn’t count, the ATF has that covered.

Defense Arms Cost Reduction Act*

Whereas, the cost of a select-fire assault rifle exceeds the cost of a semi-automatic variant, and

Whereas, bump-stock-type devices are also low cost, and

Whereas, bump-stock-type devices are machineguns found to be suitable for military use,

We find that the Department of Defense will see a significant cost savings in replacing all existing expensive select-fire assault rifles with semi-automatic rifles equipped with bump-stock-type devices.

The Department of Defense is directed to so replace all assault rifles with semi-automatic rifles and bump-stock-type devices as quickly as allowed by current procurement laws and regulations.

The cost of the new arms will be offset by transferring all select-fire assault rifle to the Civilian Marksmanship Program, which will permanently convert them to semi-automatic-only operation, and sell them to eligible civilians, the resulting revenues to be applied to the procurement cost of the bump-stock-type device equipped semi-automatic rifles.


* Just seemed appropriate.

How Many Bump-Fire Stocks WERE at Mandalay Bay?

David Codrea‘s ATF FOIA request on bump-fire stocks has generated something that puzzles me.

The ATF FOIA dump includes this on page 36.

12 of the .223 AR-type firearms are equipped with a type of “slide-fire” or “bump-fire” device capable of simulating automatic fire (see attached photos).

That number is odd because when you go to the LVMPD Final Investigative Report you get a differing number.

14. Not 12. Somehow, LVMPD came up with two more bump-fire stocks than the ATF reported. And yet, both ATF and LVMPD came up with the same overall count: 22 AR-type (-15 and -10), 1 bolt-action, and 1 revolver; 24 total.

Of course, this isn’t the only discrepancy in weapon-type counts. The Wall Street Journal, Daily Mail, and other outlets reported that the shooter had at least one converted fully automatic rifle in addition to the bump-fire stocked firearms. Per the Daily Mail on October 3, 2017:

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said on Monday it wasn’t clear whether the full-auto gun was modified, or if it was originally made that way.

and

“…full-auto assault rifles…”

more

“At least one of those was automatic, while another two had been modified with legal bump-stock devices…”

Fast forward to the FIP of August 3, 2018, and the machineguns have disappeared from the narrative, while two extra bump-fire stocked weapons appear.

Make of it what you will. I just find it odd. And even odder, per the FOIA dump, that the ATF, responsible for NFA items like full-auto assault rifles, was not allowed to examine any of the shooter’s weapons.

Bump-Fire Ban: Protecting Yourself

With the “bump stocks = machineguns” ban now in effect, folks are looking for legal cover. For instance, the Virgina Citizens Defense League has suggested:

1. One of the other groups fighting the ban, the Firearms Policy Foundation, got the DC Circuit Court to apply a stay to their members only. The good news is that you can join the Firearms Policy Foundation for as little as $1 and be covered by their blanket stay.

Some points about that:

  1. The stay order referred to ‘current’ members. That may limit it to those were already members at the time the order was issued. Frankly, the court would have to clarify that.
  2. There is some case law that limits groups extending memberships. If you had donated/joined prior to this, you may be covered. But still don’t count on it.
  3. Whether a member or not Firearms Policy Coalition is working their asses off on your behalf. Donate. They’re trying to protect you, member or not.

While I am pessimistic about the outcome, the Guedes et al case (along with several others) are far from over. The latest unfavorable decision from the SCOTUS was only about a stay pending a preliminary injunction pending an actual ruling on the merits of the case. Either way the ruling eventually goes, it is likely to be appealed by our side or the government.

In short, there’s still a long battle to fight. I know FPC is willing to take this to the Supreme Court, if necessary, but that takes a lot of work from attorneys who need to be paid (attorneys need to eat and pay bills, too). Without you and me kicking in, their resources will be strained.

DONATE TO FPC NOW 

You can also help by spreading the word. Or maybe you have useful research skills. Let them know you’re willing to help. Because you are, right?

For your rights?

FPC is helping you. Help them to do that.

And if the VNRA asks your help… just remember those bastards caused this.