GOP rep: ATF should re-evaluate bump stocks

They know that after absorbing the shocks of Las Vegas, Orlando, Newtown and so many others, the time to do something far-reaching on guns has come. Bump stocks were found among the weapons used by Stephen Paddock as he rained bullets from a Las Vegas casino high-rise last Sunday. My dad taught me how to shoot when I was a boy growing up in rural East Texas, where you were an oddball if you didn’t own a gun. Twelve were equipped with “bump fire” stocks. They’re sold at places like the website stackingbodies.com (h/t Grand Junction Daily Sentinel). But the fact is that the bad ones already have them. Paddock used them, of course, to make it easier to kill more people more quickly. He killed himself before police could reach him.

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The agency, describing its process in general on Friday, indicated that Congress will be responsible for decisions about regulating or banning the devices.

“I do take some comfort in the fact that assault weapons are banned in MA and we have among the toughest gun laws in the country”, said Republican Gov. Charlie Baker in the aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre.

It is we humans who anoint them with special powers, who test them wisely or turn them into wicked instruments. The NRA whips owners up into a frenzy, painting a nightmare scenario in which jackbooted government thugs raid your house at midnight, confiscating all your guns and leaving you defenseless against marauding hoards. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., introduced a bill Wednesday that would ban the import, sale, manufacturing, transfer and possession of bump stocks and similar inventions.

Gun rights have been integral to United States culture since the birth of the nation and with Trump and the Republican party in charge, that isn’t likely to change any time soon. Starting with this November 7th, make sure that every Election Day from now on, you find out your candidates’ positions on gun violence, and that you use that information every time you vote. We can no longer live in fear.

Until this week, most of us hadn’t concerned ourselves with those devices because we’d never heard of them. While prayers and thoughts are offered, flags are flown at half-mast and everyone is told not to politicise the issue, the status quo is likely to prevail.

“Yet Congress has done nothing to respond to the American people”, Bennet continued.

Are gun control advocates now being “politically opportunistic”, as the GOP charges? We need to stop hiding behind the false narrative that enacting common sense gun policies somehow limits the rights of law abiding Americans.

That’s welcome news. “I don’t know anybody who goes deer hunting that needs to retrofit a gun to fire hundreds of rounds per minute”, she said. Perhaps, instead of throwing billions at border walls, Muslim bans, and fuelling wars in developing countries, the money could be dedicated to research on gun violence and mental health.

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Unless you’re a certifiable gun collector, shouldn’t that wave a red flag that just might warrant an occasional knock on the door from the feds? Look at Chicago, if laws against murder worked, it wouldn’t have such a horrific murder rate. They noted that just amending gun control laws, and “banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks”. And gun-related suicides are eight times higher in the US than in other high-income countries. Only preliminary checks are made when a person buys a firearm: checking to see if they have a registered address and no outstanding warrants. Experts give that a 6.5 rating, too. Fully automatic weapons have been banned for a long time. If you are as horrified as I am by the events in Las Vegas, please make a vow to yourself.

Letter to editor: Massacre nothing new for America