A Bump Stock Ban Is a Joke

A little-known device called a "bump stock" is attached to a semi-automatic rifle at the Gun Vault store and shooting range Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, in South Jordan, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/AP

Even a crumb is a gift to the starving. I don’t want to be misinterpreted. But the seeming bipartisan rush to pass a ban on “bump stocks” is a joke. For clarity, “bump stocks” are the aftermarket devices which can be used to change a semi-automatic weapon into the functional equivalent of a machine gun. 

Obviously, the ban isn’t a bad thing in itself. Why such a product should be so sold commercially is a mystery. But it is being put forward as taking some kind of action on the gun issue when in fact it’s almost a reductio ad absurdum of our collective paralysis on the gun issue. The fact that only this – outlawing something that lets you use a semi-automatic as a fully automatic machine gun – meets the standard of regulation or bans shows how off the mark, sick and vacant our gun debate is.

I’m not trying to make good the enemy of the perfect. Everyone should vote for this. But after voting for it, everything should say to themselves: I fully agree we are still doing nothing that matters on the gun issue and we do this knowingly and with eyes open.

Please note that there’s currently a push to pass a law called the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. That means you can use your concealed carry permit from ones state and use it in any other. So someone from a state that gives permits to anyone can take their concealed weapon into your state with more restrictive gun laws. And that’s okay. It’s like driver’s license reciprocity, except it’s guns. In a way it’s like a fugitive slave act of gun laws, allowing the most aggressively pro-gun states to make law in every other state. So you can get a concealed carry permit from one of these states that issues permits to non-residents and bring it into a state that doesn’t. Here in New York that would mean that Arizona and Tennessee are now in charge of our gun laws.

Don’t fool yourself. We’re going backwards and going backwards fast.