Why regulating or banning bump stocks is wrong

Since the massacre at the country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada there has been an enormous amount of attention given to bump stocks and the politics of regulating or banning them. If you care about human life, this is the wrong thing to focus on – no matter how you feel about firearms or the Second Amendment.

Nearly 60 people died. Well over 500 more were injured. Some of the victims will never fully recover from their injuries. Others that were there have suffered emotional harm. Thousands of friends and families of the casualties have also been negatively affected. Measuring the damage by the dead, the injured, the medical costs, the psychological damage, the financial impact or any other way it is enormous.

Every one of those lives matter. Every person’s life is valuable. If you care at all, you would want to do something that could prevent a repeat or similar event.

Banning the bump stocks, or regulating them by making them a NFA-restricted item, would not have stopped the person intent on killing. This person spent thousands of dollars on guns and ammunition. He set up cameras to monitor those who would stop him. He didn’t care who he killed, only that he killed/injured many. Making bump stocks NFA-restricted would not stop a man like this - someone who shot holes through his hotel door, who broke the window to his hotel, who calculated aim points for bullet drop in order to more accurately target victims penned in an area hundreds of feet below and hundreds of yards away. Such regulation would not stop an evil man from executing an evil plan. And it’s wrong to pretend it would.

All of the time, all of the energy, all of the bandwidth put into regulating or banning bump stocks is time, energy, and money intentionally not spent on helping. It is trying to accomplish a political goal, while refusing to do a damn thing that will save lives from future killers. It is disrespectful to those killed and injured by an evil man. It is just plain wrong.

If another person were intent on killing a record number of people, with same set up the coward reportedly used in Las Vegas, but minus all his bump stocks (and not substituting automatic firearms), there are methods by which they could easily achieve an even higher body count than this by substituting $1 worth of other things that are in over 90% of homes in our country - things that every reader is familiar with.

The carnage from the Las Vegas killing is real. We should not be pretending bump stocks were the cause, the problem, or a magical key ingredient in the slayings. We should be looking for real solutions. The lives lost are important. Important enough to be honest about our society and the ability of sick or evil persons to do great harm. The lives that will be lost in the next bigger, more horrific attack might be prevented, but only if we focus on real solutions to real problems.

Failure to do that today is to admit defeat and maybe even encourage the next killer. It is wrong.

Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Foundation President, BFA-PAC Chairman, and recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award" and the CCRKBA's 2012 "Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award."

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