On Oct. 5, 2017, in an unprecedented move, the National Rifle Association (NRA) published a press release in response to the Las Vegas mass shooting. Within the release, the NRA called upon the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to investigate whether bump fire stocks comply with federal law.
A possible motive behind this is that after the shooting, the Federal Bureau of Investigation discovered about a dozen of these devices spread across the shooter’s hotel room.
So, what are bump fire stocks? In an interview with CNN, retired ATF agent Sam Rabadi described what bump fire stocks do in relation to semi-automatic weapons.
Bump stocks modify such rifles as an AR-15 to “allow it to fire in rapid succession or automatic fire,” Rabadi said during the interview. The device uses the recoil effect to bounce the rifle off the shooter’s shoulder and “bump” the trigger into the trigger finger, thereby firing the weapon.
Now both sides of the political aisle in Washington are open to talks putting restrictions on bump stocks. However, I believe this is a half measure.
One modification doesn’t make this problem go away. There are countless customizations that can be made to any rifle. Going after one accessory doesn’t stop the real problem.
The accessibility of firearms is the problem. According to the ATF Resource Center for Statistics and Data, more than 2,500,000 firearms were purchased in 2016. By the end of 2017, the ATF is expecting a higher number than the previous year.
With accessibility being at an all time high, it is my opinion the probability of a future attack such as the one in Las Vegas is likely.
Is this the new American normality? This is beyond party politics or even about the Second Amendment. This is about the safety and protection of the American people. Banning guns isn’t the answer, but something must give.
There needs to be more federal oversight. If we decide that the Second Amendment is more important than people’s lives, then what do we stand for? The Constitution is a living document designed to be amended in response to present issues. If policymakers continue to avoid the gun control debate, then we are just asking for this to happen again.
It makes me sick to my stomach turning on the news and hearing that another shooting has taken place. I used to think that if our community had a problem, policymakers would work to fix it. Unfortunately, now more than ever, greed and personal political ambition have inhibited progress.
With approval ratings being as low as they are, Congress is becoming less in tune with the needs of the American people. Out of respect for these victims, the only route is action.