President Trump has signed a memo instructing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to propose regulations banning bump stock devices that convert legal semi-automatic rifles into fast-firing automatic rifles. There are also proposals afloat to ban “assault weapons” or raise the legal age to buy semi-automatic rifles to 21, since the Florida school shooter was 19 and bought his weapon legally.
Considering the widespread demonization of the NRA and Second Amendment advocates, you might be surprised at how little opposition to the bump stock ban you’re hearing. That’s because most responsible gun owners don’t buy such devices, and they understand that the ban will be just as useless as all the other proposals currently being stampeded through legislatures with such urgency.
Anyone who is planning a mass shooting probably knows enough about guns to easily rig one without a store-bought bump stock. As for banning “assault weapons,” that’s a vague term for various traits that don’t make a gun any more lethal, and a ban was already tried on a national level and abandoned after it was shown to have virtually no impact on gun crime. Bottom line: criminals don’t obey laws, and most guns they use are obtained illegally anyway.
The hard, ugly truth is that schools are “soft targets” for anyone sick and evil enough to want to kill a lot of people. Declaring schools “gun-free zones” just makes them enticing targets. More anti-gun laws that fall only on the law-abiding make it easier still for those with evil intentions. There is a reason for that common headline that so baffles liberal reporters: “Crime falls even as legal gun ownership rises.”
Let me be very clear: those of us who question the emotional appeals for more gun control laws in the wake of a terrible tragedy don’t love guns more than kids. If you have any proposals for new laws that will actually stop these evil acts, then I want to hear them (making the FBI actually do its job and follow up on tips might be a start). But don’t undermine law-abiding citizens’ Constitutional rights with burdensome and impossible-to-enforce new laws that give people a false sense of security but do nothing to make our children safer. Or worse, impose wrong-headed feel-good laws in the heat of the moment that only make our kids even less safe in the long run.
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