NRA loses the plot

Dear NRA leadership: are you out of your fucking minds?

Supporting a ban on bump stocks in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre is a terrible idea, for all the usual reasons that there has never been any case in the history of the known universe in which supporting a ban on firearms or their gear was a good idea. You used to know this.

How often has the NRA pointed out, correctly, that criminal and crazies don’t obey these ban laws, so they wind up only injuring the rights of honest citizens?

How often has the NRA pointed out that devices like bump stocks (and high-capacity mags, and silencers, and indeed entire functioning firearms) are easily and untraceably made in any machine shop?

How often has the NRA pointed out that the instant effect of bans is to produce flourishing black and grey markets that will supply the verboten item to anyone, empowering only shady middlemen who may be actual criminals?

How often has the NRA pointed out that these little incremental restrictions have to be refused because they’re part of a salami-slicing strategy aimed at eventually making full firearms confiscation first thinkable and eventually irresistible?

I can only interpret your posture on bump stocks as appeasement, a sacrifice offered to the gun-grabbers in hopes of placating them.

You used to know that this never works, that fascists cannot be appeased, and that concessions only embolden them. The gun-grabbers’ desire to reduce us from armed citizens to powerless helots will never cease at any destination short of the final one.

Gunfolks know that bump stocks are not in themselves a big deal – they’re a poor idea except in the unusual case that accuracy is unimportant. If you had offered to trade away legal bump stocks for a more useful reclamation of our civil rights, like say national concealed-carry reciprocity, that we might have gotten behind.

But this concession? This appeasement? This unilateral surrender? This is wrong. It’s a betrayal and a blunder.

For shame. You make me glad I let my membership lapse.

UPDATE: Nancy Pelosi chimes in with “They’re going to say, ‘You give them bump stock, it’s going to be a slippery slope.’ I certainly hope so.” This is why we must never give an inch, a millimeter, an angstrom!

280 thoughts on “NRA loses the plot

  1. Much to be applauded. The last sentence is to be regretted. I trust the money and energy is going to other local, state or national gun groups.

    There is an Iron Law of Bureaucracy, often associated with Dr. Pournelle (Pere, there are others). The NRA is no more exempt than any other bureaucracy. To ask a bureaucracy to escape the iron law is indeed to plow the sea.

    I was at Cincinnati when the members took control and watched the bureaucracy reassert itself over time.

    Myself I work with and support a local club with local public range that has reasonable rules for speed and tactical work as well as my State Association and several national associations.

    Nothing gives me a greater return on support and money – I’m a Benefactor Member – than the National Rifle Association imperfect though it be.

  2. These bump stocks were an absurdly shitty idea from the outset anyway. I never understood why they were popular. Instead of keeping the recoil impulse as ‘internal’ as possible, to keep the rifle as steady as you can, these idiotic devices explicitly force you to utilize the recoil impulse ‘externally’ and make the entire rifle slam back and forth.

    For shits & giggles? OK, maybe I’ll concede that…maybe (if it wasn’t for the pointless waste of ammo). But for any actual real-world martial use? Fuckin’ hell no.

    Apparently the Vegas POS had a bipod on rifles with bump stocks. How fucking pointless is that?

    And now the NRA think that they can offer a sacrificial lamb to the hoplophobes. Dumb on stilts. Sure, the devices are rather inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, but abiding by a ban attempt legitimizes all future incremental bans. “The NRA were happy to ban this widget, so why not this one, and this one, and this one…” Idiots.

    Now let’s play Devil’s Advocate – a ban on bump stocks could be Constitutionally argued under the “well regulated” clause of the 2A. The argument being that these devices dangerously destabilize a rifle, making them unsafe for militia use. You could grandfather existing stocks (no ex post facto law) but to use them publicly would be a severe offense.

    [dons kevlar underpants]

    • >I never understood why they were popular.

      If they were ever actually popular I missed the memo. Never seen one, never heard of anyone using one before Las Vegas.

      • >Now let’s play Devil’s Advocate – a ban on bump stocks could be Constitutionally argued under the “well regulated” clause of the 2A. The argument being that these devices dangerously destabilize a rifle, making them unsafe for militia use.

        You have a point, but I’m laughing anyway.

        • Perhaps I should have said “unsafe/unfit”.

          Unsafe – your fucking muzzle is jumping around like a witless hajiis AK47

          Unfit – see above. We train for accurate, deliberate fire.

      • Admittedly, I’ve never seen one in the wild either, and never used one myself.

        My understanding of their ‘popularity’ was purely based on the sales claims.

        You’ll never see one on any of my ARs, that’s for damn sure…and if I do see one in the wild, I’ll be sure to stay away from the twat.

        • >My understanding of their ‘popularity’ was purely based on the sales claims.

          Might be a lesson there…

          As you said, an absurdly shitty idea. With a lot of hype.

        • The gun range I go to grudgingly tolerates bump stocks -‘bump stocks are allowed, but if there is ONE incident’- and I generally hear them if the place is full. I think it’s like tannerite- ‘everyone tries tannerite once’; I tried tannerite once. It was fun once.
          Next time I’m aiming and missing, aiming and missing, well, maybe try hooking my thumb in my belt loop and seeing if it’s fun to miss a whole clip fast. It would probably keep my thumb away from the magazine release. Maybe I’m a natural instinctive shooter and this is the True Way. Worth trying once? With nobody around. There’s probably a town in Mississippi where everyone shoots like that and nobody’s missed since 1889.
          The NRA isn’t perfect, but it’s what we’ve got. The phrase ‘anarcho-tyranny’ in their magazine is worth a lot of false steps lobbying.

    • Congress could legislate a blanket ban on bump stocks requiring their immediate surrender, and if there were any hope of constitutional challenge it would be under the takings clause of the 5th amendment. A 2nd amendment challenge would fail; bump stocks could practically be a type specimen for what the Heller majority had in mind when they wrote that the 2nd amendment doesn’t preclude restrictions on “dangerous and unusual” weapons.

      Not that this makes the NRA’s unconditional surrender on the issue any less stupid.

    • > Now let’s play Devil’s Advocate – a ban on bump stocks could be Constitutionally argued under the “well regulated” clause of the 2A. The argument being that these devices dangerously destabilize a rifle, making them unsafe for militia use. You could grandfather existing stocks (no ex post facto law) but to use them publicly would be a severe offense.

      That’s more or less how I see things: Rampage shooters firing into large crowds are probably the one situation where bump-stocks *are* tactically effective (they’re trying to put as much lead as they can into the densest part of the crowd before people realize whats happening and start running every which way, dispersing the crowd). Even for purpose-designed full-auto guns, my understanding is that the average infantryman’s fire discipline, as a trained member of the US military, is sufficiently poor that the military no longer considers it effective to procure full-auto weapons for general issue. Bump stocks are going to be even worse as far as tactical effectiveness. So given that the goal of the 2A is to be able to resist a tyrant, and that rampage shootings create bad press for the 2A, anything that increases the effectiveness of rampage shooters while being detrimental to the effectiveness of a soldier in the field is not a hill worth dying on.

      (To help you form a mental model of how I think about guns: I’m incredibly squeamish around guns and never plan on owning one, but if a general confiscation ever looks likely, I will, however reluctantly, go out and buy one preemptively, out of a sense of constitutional duty. And also out of a sense of self-preservation, given that I consider that a government willing to criminalize gun ownership is also likely to criminalize a number of political positions that I hold).

    • > I never understood why they were popular.

      Bump stocks were legal. Quality full-auto weapons effectively weren’t.

    • You could grandfather existing stocks (no ex post facto law)

      Not relevant. A ban on existing stocks would not be an ex post facto law. You can ban them as of the date of passage, and punish anyone who willfully continues to possess them. What you can’t do is make past possession a crime, and punish people for having possessed them before there was a ban.

      • Nope. That’s not how grandfathering clauses work.

        You cannot retroactively make the possession of an object illegal.

        It was legal to purchase and own it. It cannot be criminalized in the future.

        • IANAL, but I believe this is false. The government can declare a previously legal object to be illegal. It has happened with drugs. Roosevelt did it with gold.

        • Nope. That’s not how grandfathering clauses work.

          No, of course it isn’t. How could you possibly have got the idea that I thought it was? The point is that there is no need to grandfather anything. Daniel Franke’s notion that failing to do so would be an ex post facto law is simply wrong.

          You cannot retroactively make the possession of an object illegal.

          No, you can’t. But you certainly can make it illegal as of now, and punish anyone who willfully fails to get rid of it immediately.

          It was legal to purchase and own it. It cannot be criminalized in the future.

          BS. It absolutely can be.

          • Actually, I don’t even think you can make it illegal “as of now”, because that would effectively be ex post facto. If a thing is to be made illegal, some reasonable time must pass between the bill being enacted into law and the moment it becomes enforceable, to allow people currently possessing the banned things to dispose of them.

  3. An interesting article about how the NRA didn’t used to be the way it has been the last few years:
    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/10/gun-control-racist-present-171006135904199.html

    Some choice quotes:

    In many cases, regulations were specifically introduced in response to people of colour exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

    “Saying gun laws are always racist is just false,” [Saul Cornell] told Al Jazeera. “Saying that gun laws have never been racist is also just wrong.”

    [California’s Mulford Act and the Gun Control Act of 1968 banning Saturday Night Specials] were passed by Republicans and supported by the National Rifle Association (NRA), the most powerful anti-regulation gun lobby group in the US.

  4. The NRA is in the same position as the Republican Party and most of the “Conservative Establishment”. They have spent so much time holding the line and doing tactical retreats over the decades that they are no longer have the ability to conceive of a win. In this situation the solution (if it can be called that) is to offer small concessions each time, with the goal of extending the salami as long as possible until the day of inevitable and total defeat. While this is a bad solution it the best available in the kind of un-winnable grimdark universe they believe themselves to be in. There is even a certain nobility in Holding the Line against an unstoppable foe; giving a giant “Fuck You” to entropy even as you succumb to it. Unfortunately for them the situation has been different for well over a decade, but they can’t see it. Do they want Trump? That is how they got Trump.

    The previous paragraph is of course the charitable version. The not-so-charitable version is that the entire Conservative Establishment is a pack of would-be monopolist scum who believe they have a captive customer base and therefore have no need to provide anything the customer wants. But near-monopolies of not last forever: eventually the competition gets its act together and the monopolist goes into panic mode (see also; everything Intel is doing in response to AMD’s Ryzen).

    Once again: Do they want Trump? Because this is how they get 100% certainty of an 8-year term.

    • >They have spent so much time holding the line and doing tactical retreats over the decades that they are no longer have the ability to conceive of a win

      Which is crazy. We’ve been winning for a decade now – the Heller case in 2008 coincided with (and partly drove) a change in public sentiment. The left has lost this culture war, which makes the NRA’s behavior doubly inexplicable.

      • This actually ties into something I’ve been wondering for a while:

        I was raised in a conservative home and have been a conservative all my life (though I’ve had somewhat of a secular trend in the direction of libertarianism). And from within, it indeed looks very much like conservatism has pretty much been in full retreat for the past half century, we managed to stem the liberal tide for a while around the time of Reagan, but no significant liberal gains in the past half century have actually been reversed, the best conservatism has managed has been to keep liberals from taking ground. Now, I have depressive tendencies, and other conservatives around don’t necessarily tale such a glum view as I do,but I don’t think any of them actually believe that we’re even managing, on the average, to hold our ground.

        The thing is, when I look at the agitprop from the other side, it seems that liberals themselves *actually believe that they’re losing*. Even if the agitprop writers don’t believe that, they seem to be writing to an audience that believes that it’s losing. The liberal cause has been advancing by leaps and bounds, with their greatest defeats being mere failures to advance, for a generation and a half, and they seem to think that they’re as much in full retreat as I think conservatives are, even though they’ve managed to crush conservative morale and corrupt the public’s moral sense to the point that Trump could be *imagined* to be electable, let alone *actually electable*. They sit on the edge of final and complete victory, nay, they do not sit, they are *charging* headlong towards final and complete victory with no force that can credibly oppose them in their path, and they think that they’re actually being driven back.

        Of course, given that they seem to think that, it’s quite possible that my own impression of the imminent final defeat of conservatism is not quite in touch with reality.

        How do things look from the outside? Can you think of any factors that would cause both sides to think that they’re losing?

        • The left has lost *BIG TIME* on economics. Calling for nationalization of the commanding heights of the economy used to be an utterly ordinary opinion for people in the moderate left – Democrats in the US, Labour and the Lib Dems in the UK, Social Democrats in many countries. It was advice often given by Washington to its third-world allies, in order to prevent Communists gaining political popularity.

          The left has LOST that battle. Even calls for higher taxes on high-earning people sometimes come with the (spurious) justification that it will be good for the economy.

          They’ve also almost completely lost unionization, especially in the private sector.

          Locking criminals up is still pretty popular, and nobody believes in the rehabilitative power of the State anymore.

          The left is winning a number of important battles, but some of them it’s only winning by stealth, or by having the courts impose unpopular laws. So from that side, they can believe they’re losing.

          That, and people who paint the situation as critical, and needing funds to avoid another earth-shattering loss, tend to be more effective fundraisers.

      • The NRA has a perspective problem, because too much of their staff resides in DC. They are falling into the trap of seeking respectability from the establishment, which of course has none to offer.

  5. I think that this is one we were destined to lose, and there are benefits to giving in.

    Let’s face it: the only argument for a bump stock is “because we can”. They’re pieces of utter crap that no self-respecting shooter would have on his rifle. We all know that aimed fire is far more effective than spray-n-pray, and that’s all you’re going to be able to do with a bump stock. They’re unsafe and, just as bad, cause you to shoot at tax collectors and miss.

    This war is not going to be won in the courts. Like the war for same-sex marriage, it must ultimately be won in the hearts and minds of the average citizen. Right now, they’re being pummeled with messages about how gun nuts and the NRA are completely unreasonable and unwilling to give in to any sort of regulation of firearms at all. This is a battle we can afford to lose, and provides a counterargument.

    I’m not sure I can agree with that line of reasoning, but it’s one that I’ll at least admit is arguable.

    • > This war is not going to be won in the courts. Like the war for same-sex marriage, it must ultimately be won in the hearts and minds of the average citizen.

      The Left realizes this also, and acknowledges (without admitting it) that they are losing that war. Last night on the PBS Newshour, in the op-ed segment featuring Mark Shields and David Brooks, the latter stated (at 46:27 into the video below) that the social change the anti-gunners want “has to come from the people in this country who own guns”.

      Fat. Fscking. Chance.

      To get an idea of the current “thought leadership” on this from the Left, watch http://www.pbs.org/video/pbs-newshour-full-episode-oct-6-2017-1507328592/ starting at 39:41.

    • > Let’s face it: the only argument for a bump stock is “because we can”.

      Yeah, and that’s enough for me.

      Until this even I, and everyone I associated with “knew” that these things were useless. They were purchased by people SOLELY for the purposes of turning money into smoke and spent brass. People buying them “for tactical use” were referred to as “bump stock bubbas”, and they were a joke.

      Now we know they have one, albeit illegitimate use other than wasting ammunition. And that’s firing into tightly packed crowds of civilians.

      I would insert a joke about the St Louis PD looking into these, but that would be uncalled for.

      But so what? We have LOTS of things we don’t need in this world.

      No one “needs” to be able to buy Liquor. Other than amusement and enjoyment, liquor has NO redeeming nutritional content. Something like half of all murder victims have elevated levels of alcohol in their system and something like half of all *murders* are drunk. Over 11,000 people die each year in car accidents because of drunk driving.

      And speaking of cars, no one needs a car, or motorcycle that can exceed the national speed limit by two or three times.

      Etc.

      Etc.

      Etc.

      You know the drill.

      Here’s the thing, they want a national conversation on Guns? Ok. Here it is:

      You wanted to stop mail order guns. You got that. You wanted high bar on fully automatic weapons. You got that. You wanted a high bar on suppressors and short barreled rifles. You got that. You wanted background checks on all gun sales from licensed vendors. You got that.

      In short, until 1986, when you passed a law under HIGHLY questionable circumstances and made it unlawful to transfer a automatic weapon made AFTER 1986 to private hands, you pretty much had slowly gotten everything you wanted.

      Now we’re done. Until you’re going to give us something back, fuck the hell off.

      For about 10 years now all we’ve ben hearing from the NRA is “They’re coming for your guns. If you don’t give us money they’re coming for your guns” They’ve been using the UN’s Small Arms Treaty as a threat hanging over our head etc.

      So the first time something bad happens they roll over like a cheap slut on a dirty hotel bed, not even bothering to turn down the sheets, and wave their pink asses in the air for the left to have their way with them.

      Frankly, I’m in a serious conundrum. I was getting ready to join a pistol club here in town, but I think they require an NRA membership. At this point I’m not sure I can do that.

  6. The worst part of it is the implicit admission that the gun was somehow at fault.

    Once you have conceded that the problem isn’t the shooter and blamed the gun, the rest of the argument is really only a matter of degree. If you’ve admitted the bump stock has some culpability, they why won’t you admit that the standard capacity magazine does too?

    Like many others I don’t care about the bump stock. But ceding the intellectual high ground is foolish.

    • There is a non-crazy argument the gun saved lives. It was pointed out of Hoyt’s blog that he owned a couple planes; slamming one into the crowd would have utterly dwarfed the number of casualties that happened.

      Even worse: do a low pass spraying fuel, then crash the plane.

      We should be thankful that these nutters are in it for personal aggrandizement and not pure bodycount.

      • I can’t find out what the second of his aircraft was, but one was a Cirrus SR20. I can say with confidence that neither one would have likely been able to “spray fuel”, however, as light singles – and the other one was reported to be a light single, as well – are almost never built with the ability to drain the fuel strainers, never mind actively dump fuel, from inside the cabin.

        I’m also not sure that the area would have been conducive to flying a low pass over the crowd and then returning to crash into it. There are too many tall buildings in close spaces.

        Personally, my nightmare scenario would have been a Nice-style attack with a semi. Floor it, aim it into the venue, then all you have to do is hold it straight while you plow through the crowd.

        • And combine that attack with a McVeigh-style fertilizer bomb in the truck. Deaths would have been in the hundreds, not dozens. We are lucky that this attack was done with guns.

          • Just a truck would have been worse than what happened.

            Lots of things the truck could have been carrying that could have increased the body count by one (or two) orders of magnitude.

            • I suspect scrap metal would have been sufficient. I’m having trouble believing a basic concrete barricade would stop 20 tons at 50 mph.

        • The modification to make the plane able to disperse fuel just once is trivial. Probably doable in an hour or less.

        • He wouldn’t have needed to spray fuel. He had ammonium nitrate, and he had tannerite.

          Make up an ANFO bomb that uses the tannerite as a primer. Put it in the airplane. Fly low and slow over the crowd’s heads, and, when in the middle of the crowd, shoot the primer with a handgun to trigger the explosion. Instant mass casualties dwarfing what actually happened, as the bomb turns his plane into shrapnel.

          In this case, his fascination with guns saved lives.

          • Minor nitpick – handguns won’t detonate tannerite, not enough energy. You need a rifle to get the job done.

            • So he uses a rifle. In fact, that might make for a better setup, since he could pre-mount the rifle in the cockpit so that he only has to stick his finger in the trigger and push forward, as opposed to having to turn around and aim a handgun, taking more of his attention off the controls. (Which might be important if he’s flying at something on the close order of 10 feet AGL…a crash would also kill quite a few, but not as much as if the bomb went off.)

              This scenario would kind of look like Black Sunday on a smaller scale, but still more devastating than what actually took place.

        • > I can say with confidence that neither one would have likely been able to “spray fuel”, however, as light singles

          In the original post at ATH, I noted that crop dusting (aka “aerial application”) equipment is readily available and is specifically engineered for almost *precisely* this use case. So, yeah, spraying fuel could be done without much trouble at all.

          Plus, there’s no reason he couldn’t have rented a larger plane.

          • Crop dusting equipment is available, but not for your average 172. Crop dusters are specialized aircraft, purpose-built for the task, and while they’re readily available (just pick up a recent Trade-a-Plane and start shopping), they’re a far cry from taking an existing plane, make a low pass spraying fuel, then crash into the crowd. (Although they would at least be maneuverable enough to do the tight turn required to crash into the crowd after spraying it.)

    • I’m not blaming the gun. But conceding that the bump stock is a gimmick, explicitly designed to evade the law, that’s foolish if not downright dangerous, is in no way blaming the gun.

      We’re supposed to be law-abiding people. Evading the law like this is not the way to cultivate that image.

      • I thought the point was/is that the Obama ATF had ruled that these stocks were *not* evading the law, and were legal.

      • When the Federal Code complies with the 2nd Amendment, I’ll start worrying about “law-abiding”.

        Right now, I’m totally okay with having the Feds march in and disable CNN/CBS/NBC/et al. If ignoring my rights is okay, fuck em’

        • Absolutely not. You have to defend rights even for those that would fail to defend yours because otherwise you’ve conceded that your rights CAN be taken away.

          In fact, one of the scariest things I’ve seen come out of this most recent trip around the rights mary-go-round is the number of “left” people who are no longer responsive to the argument that the 2nd amendment applies to modern weaponry just like the 1st applies to modern communications technology.

          Previously they would at least argue that the rights are different, now they simply agree that the 1st shouldn’t apply to new tech either (usually referencing the Trump/Facebook thing as an example of why having respect for the “outdated” bill of rights is a bad thing.

          We absolutely can not afford to give ground on surrendering our opponents rights, we’re in dangerous waters and upholding all the laws is the only thing keeping the devil from being able to turn on us.

      • And the ATF, Obama’s ATF offered its positive belief that bump stocks are a *failure* at evading the law.

        Else they would never have approved bump stocks in the first place. It’s not like they’ve ever been shy about banning anything, for any reason, or no reason at all.

  7. Eric, what’s your take on Paddock on the Terror Soldier vs Lone Wacko axis?

    There has been almost nothing tangible found in terms of motive, but this was a well planned attack. He intuitively feels like a terror soldier to me, and I am wondering if links to a network turn up eventually. Could be ISIS, could be Antifa, could be something else.

    In spite of his father’s record, there doesn’t seem to be anything in his past behavior suggesting mental instability.

    So. Terror Soldier or Lone Wacko?

    • It could be a combination. The guy was raised by a dad who was a bank robber, con man, and “psychopath.” That’s got to leave a mark. He could also have had a brain tumor, had an adverse reaction to drugs, been an arms dealer or otherwise had contacts with the FBI, or even been a convert to Islam. None of those things exclude the others.

      • Actually, his dad wasn’t around much at all in his life, so that’s probably not it, at least not directly.

        • I may have misunderstood the brother, who said he was born while his father was “on the run.” In any case, mental illness can be hereditary.

    • >So. Terror Soldier or Lone Wacko?

      My initial reaction was “lone wacko”. All that was missing to make it the absolute classic lone-wacko profile was SSRIs. However…

      ISIS has claimed him. In the past, they’ve been truthful in these claims.

      I have a source inside the investigation. He says Paddock was a Trump-hater with an apartment full of antifa literature. He won’t come straight out and say there was a network behind Paddock, but he did say “You will be shocked” when more of what the investigators know becomes public in about a week.

      • If so, that would certainly be a good excuse to crack down on Antifa. Thomas Wictor on Twitter has been arguing, with photographic and video evidence from various recent street clashes, that the feds are quietly building a big case. I expected Trump to hold off on the crackdown until closer to the midterms, but maybe this will cause it to happen sooner rather than later.

      • I don’t think it was ISIS, if only because its not their MO. An ISIS killer would have kept shooting until he was stopped, and would not have shot himself. Suicide is not allowed under Islam, but being killed while engaging in Jihad is encouraged.

        Further, an ISIS killer would have wanted his motive known after the fact for exactly the same reason that the organization ISIS would want to claim credit: to put fear in the infidels and to add to the prestige of ISIS in Islamist eyes. As such, he would much rather have been captured, knowing that he could proclaim his allegiance in front of the whole world (and thus spread Allah’s message further!), rather than commit the (from the Islamic standpoint) irredeemable sin of suicide.

        Jihadists only kill themselves if the act itself furthers Jihad, in which case its considered an act of Jihad. So suicide bombers die _in order to kill those around them_, for example. But they don’t kill themselves afterwards, just to prevent getting caught.

        • An ISIS killer would have kept shooting until he was stopped, and would not have shot himself.

          Most believable analysis I’ve seen so far is that he was surprised when his room was found relatively early, he grabbed his revolver, tried to pick up several rifles, and accidentally shot himself (maybe slipped on a casing). The way his rifles are lying under and on top of him sure looks like he dropped them as he fell.

          • I grant that, if it was accidental, then he could well _have_ been ISIS radicalized. Probably we won’t ever know for sure, though forensics will likely tell us more about the likelihood that it was an accidental self-shooting. For example, a straight shot into the temple would suggest suicide, a shot from below where recoil could have aimed a gun upwards is more suggestive of accident. Let’s see what develops.

      • Ann Althouse cited somebody suggesting that there were too many casualties for the amount of time he spent firing, and pointing to videos that sure look to me like additional gunfire coming from a much lower floor than his.

        I don’t know whether the claim about the casualty count seems plausible to people who know about guns, and I certainly have no idea of the provenance or reliability of the videos.

        The business about the $100K wired to the Philippines the day before, and the apparent lack of any previous politicality in the guy, are puzzling to me. How does ISIS recruit a 62-year-old white guy with no prior leanings? I’m 62 and pretty set in my ways.

      • >I have a source inside the investigation.

        Some of what my source has since told me he doesn’t want posted on a blog. But some of it is public information that’s not getting press coverage. That I can talk about.

        Paddock was found with 12 burner phones.

        For those of you in the slow section, that means he was planning to exfiltrate, not suicide – and he expected to check in with some kind of control and support infrastructure while he was doing so. (My source didn’t say this. I didn’t need him to.) The obvious conclusion, supported by the forensic evidence, is that he panic-fumbled when the cops arrived and shot himself accidentally.

        There are signs Paddock had visitors after his sniper hide was set up.

        Paddock was set up to live-stream video of his atrocity to an audience.

        That video supposedly showing Paddock (wearing a pussy hat, no less) and his girlfriend at an anti-Trump rally? Confirmed.

        • Wow… I have been following this story, including some of the extreme conspiracy theories, and I have not seen any of that information anywhere.

          I thought the pink pussy hat photo was debunked based on ear shape.

          I hope you can trust your source, because this sort of leak is sometimes disinformation meant to embarrass/confuse/hinder the opposition. Such leaks can also be intended to identify leakers.

          This certainly seems like it has the potential to be an even bigger story than it already is….

          • >I thought the pink pussy hat photo was debunked based on ear shape.

            My source says it’s him, and I found independent confirmation. Dude in the pussy hat is wearing a NASA T-shirt – and a Steven Paddock worked for NASA at Greenbelt MD.

          • >I hope you can trust your source, because this sort of leak is sometimes disinformation meant to embarrass/confuse/hinder the opposition. Such leaks can also be intended to identify leakers.

            He’s telling me what he believes. If it’s disinformation, it’s been laid on him first. I know some other facts that make this possibility seem highly doubtful.

            • OK then. I’ve always considered you a serious and thoughtful person, not likely to spread bad information on a whim or for clickbait, but this is so unusual, I had to say what I did.

              If all this is true, and it was a conspiracy (of any sort) and he livestreamed himself in the act… yikes.

              Oh, and the latest official news? That security guard did not interrupt the shooting: he was shot by Paddock six minutes before Paddock shot out the windows.

              This event is turning into a real-life mystery thriller….

              • >If all this is true, and it was a conspiracy (of any sort) and he livestreamed himself in the act… yikes

                You could almost have deduced that much from the early news that the sniper hide was rigged with cameras.

                I’ve actually left out the most sensational detail, because my source asked me not to blog it.

                The MSM is going to be very, very unhappy when the truth comes out.

                • I figured he was recording himself out of a demented sense of self-importance, which is very different from livestreaming to a specific audience/accomplice.

                  I suppose the NSA has this all on file? (Not sure if I am joking or not….)

                  If the MSM will be “unhappy,” then maybe Scott Adams prediction that he was “radicalized by CNN” will turn out to be true.

                  Well, this is certainly the most interesting conspiracy-theory-generating event since Pizzagate, which fizzled due to a lack of identifiable victims.

                  • >If the MSM will be “unhappy,” then maybe Scott Adams prediction that he was “radicalized by CNN” will turn out to be true.

                    CNN isn’t an exfiltration pipeline he can call on burner phones.

                    My source is not saying who they think was behind Paddock. But the facts he will divulge pretty much exclude anything but jihadis, a foreign intelligence service (who I doubt would touch this kind of op with a bargepole), or a hard-left domestic-terrorist group.

                    • I can’t evaluate the possibility myself, but I do have to ask: was someone leading him down the garden path and giving him the impression he’d be exfiltrated by someone who in reality had nothing to do with it?

                    • >I can’t evaluate the possibility myself, but I do have to ask: was someone leading him down the garden path and giving him the impression he’d be exfiltrated by someone who in reality had nothing to do with it?

                      It’s possible. But think about this: for Paddock’s behavior to make sense, he had to believe the network could exfiltrate him. That had to be a credible proposition.

                    • “for Paddock’s behavior to make sense, he had to believe the network could exfiltrate him. That had to be a credible proposition.”

                      Ah, but “credible” covers a multitude of sins, especially for someone not immersed in the world of covert ops.

                      Maybe I’ve read too much Honor Harrington, but I can’t discount the possibility of a false-flag operation designed to link someone to Paddock without their knowledge, much less blessing.

                • The MSM is going to be very, very unhappy when the truth comes out.

                  Is there any idea – if only in vague “soon/far” terms – of how long this will be?

                  • >Is there any idea – if only in vague “soon/far” terms – of how long this will be?

                    According to my source, not long. Like, maybe a week out.

                    • Hopefully they’ll let the Weinstein smokescreen blow off first.

  8. I was not surprised that NRA and Republican politicians came out against bump stocks. I am very surprised that they didn’t offer a trade on something else, e.g. legal silencers in return for banning bump stocks.

    Unilateral surrender is not good politics; it’s virtue signaling.

  9. Then again, I’d be delighted at the trade-off if bump stocks are in the future to be treated like auto-sears AND the registry is opened again.

    The gun culture has been pushing back with some success. Let us not be divided now. If your NRA membership can lapse you haven’t been doing as much as I wish you would.

    Imagine the complication of an effective ban on rapid fire using methods related to the bump stock. Such a ban to be effective would hardly be able to ban a piece of string and so must make the semi-auto vulnerable – that is if such a ban is really imposed and effectively enforced. A Ransom Rest or a Lead Sled is the next thing to a bump stock with a little ingenuity.

    The actual language used

    Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law. The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.

    implies what I believe to be a position of greater NRA weakness than the reality. I also suggest that folks in the gun industry/hobby who rely on letter rulings are building on weak foundations. Granting ATF powers it already has to relentlessly review and re-review until the results suit their political masters is no more than giving ATF what it already has.

    I had a Shoemaker Holster wallet for the High Standard Derringer before that issue was clarified. I’m not going to the wall for the right to disguise firearms when that battle has been lost. Letters can be lived with better than legislation.

  10. One of the tangible consequences of banning bump stocks is likely to be that the citizenry-at-large will perceive a direct threat to the 2nd Amendment and respond by accelerating purchases of firearms and ammunition (much like what happened after Obama’s election). Therefore, the opposite of the intended result would occur (typical government policy idiocy). Now would be a good time to purchase stock in firearm manufacturers. Sales may jump significantly in the months ahead.

  11. I read a statement from the Gun Owners of America opposing the NRA on this.

    There’s also the practical absurdity of (in effect) banning a spring. And it does make me wonder how hard it would be to create a mechanical device that pulls a trigger as rapidly as possible. Not to give anyone ideas, but a frame constructed to hold a number of semi-automatic rifles with large magazines and trigger actuators would have done a lot more damage.

    • > And it does make me wonder how hard it would be to create a mechanical
      > device that pulls a trigger as rapidly as possible.

      There have been dozens of these patented over the years and the BATF as ruled all of them to be not permissible.

      The thing about a mechanical or electrical device is that you activate it once per X shots. The bumpfire nonsense uses the recoil to actuate the trigger against your finger, so you are in a legal sense doing one motion to get one bullet.

      Binary triggers work the same way–firing once as you pull and once as you release. Since you *do* both actions it’s one bullet per muscle movement.

      Yeah, it’s dumb. Yeah, it’s basically The Law.

  12. It is not a reasonable proposition, if arguing from First Principle, that every citizen should be able to own high-capacity firearms similar to those used in the military, for the same reason that it’s not reasonable to let people own howitzers and tanks just because they want to. There has to be a reasonable cause to put your fellow citizens at risk by introducing deadly items on a mass scale. We allow cars to be operated under controlled circumstances, even though they carry risk with them, because they have utility to society.

    And no, libertarian legalisms along the lines of “guns don’t kill people, people do” are not valid, as there is no 100% rational actor and the brain is not some magical instrument incapable of errors of judgement. Everything has to be weighed in terms of utility vs risk, even a libertarian admits this at some level, as the above maxim is not applied to eg nukes and bazookas.

    It may have been reasonable in Colonial times to have widespread ownership of military-style firearms, but we live in a different world and the principle of citizen empowerment must be expressed in relevant ways. I would be much more concerned with cryptography, freedom of speech and the power of the media, as those are real ways citizen freedoms are being curtailed in our day and age.

    (I know, I know, you care about these things too, esr.)

    Self defense is no valid reason either, in most cases, although in locales like South Africa or Brazil it might be. Again, utility vs risk.

    Introducing guns for self defense purpose in most locales will lead to net utility loss, as criminals will arm themselves more, and as people will start fearing random crazies with access to guns.

    Clinging to the right to keep and bear arms is some libertarian emotional fetish, not a rational proposition in this day and age. If we lived in a different society, then yes, it would be rational to allow gun ownership of the American sort (it may have been rational in WW2 Switzerland, for instance).

    And starting your reasoning from emotional ego clingings is a recipe for motivated reasoning, not the objectivity of First Principles.

    Arguing rationally, it’s very common-sense that having widespread gun ownership WILL of course lead to more gun violence and accidental gun deaths.

    And no, I am not denying that most gun violence does indeed happen as a result of gang-on-gang crime, not lone crazies. It’s an empirical fact that gun violence is not all that bad among certain sub-populations (ie Scandinavian-descended people in the Midwest, I would assume). Pointing to those statistics might be a reason to *allow* the continued ownership of guns, as it doesn’t do that much harm after all, but I wouldn’t go so far as to *introduce* gun-ownership among similar groups (say, native Scandinavians, in Sweden). That would be wholly unnecessary, and do no good.

    So bottom line: society has a right to curtail ownership of deadly items, and guns are no exception. If there was a legitimate case for having them (eg resisting Brits or Nazis) then sure, I’d be for American RKBA. But in today’s day and age, owning an AR-15 has no political significance at all, and is merely a symbolic issue and not something that makes sense in any real sense.

    Disclaimer: I’m Swedish, used to be pro-RKBA libertarian-style, but am not anymore, on grounds of common sense.

    • Writing the above, I feel a pang of guilty conscience as I know many cases where people did defend themselves with guns, saving themselves and their families. I’m simply saying it’s a complex issue, and on the whole I would not introduce AR-15s into the hands of, say, the average Swede as there is no clear case for it, and I believe it would do more harm than good.

        • Strawman argument.

          I’m not thinking poorly of them, I’m simply trying to imagine in my mind the effects of freely allowing anyone to purchase a military-style firearm.

          Most people would behave, but enough would not to make it a very bad idea.

          If there was a strong enough real need to have guns, I could live with that, but I think there is not (currently, at least).

          • Actually, I would be *more* comfortable with people owning full auto assault rifles. It used to be the case that a lot of people in our National Guard had that type of weaponry at home.

            But if people had access to hand guns on a mass scale, that would definitely change my behavior, especially when considering alcohol in the mix.

            Guys, I’m just trying to be intellectually honest AND pragmatic at the same time. And I just don’t think there is a case for American-style RKBA in a modern society.

            • What is the basis for justifying prior restrain?

              Mass shootings are not unique to the USA, nor is our general level of criminal firearm homicide especially alarming when viewed among all nations, not just cherry-picked ‘developed’ ones.

              Certainly, it is reasonable to be concerned with the risk of people doing horrific things with firearms. As rational adults, we need to first realistically assess the level of risk.

              ~10-12 thousand criminal firearm homicides per year. The most significant portion of which occur in a handful of hotspots – controlling for which brings our stats in line with UK/Europe.

              Let us (incorrectly) assume that each homicide is committed by a unique individual = 10-12 thousand criminals.

              Now let us look at the 80-100 million firearm owners, in possession of hundreds (est. 350-700) of millions of firearms…present in an estimated 40+% of households. Using ammo purchases as a proxy for firearm use, we can consider that vast numbers of Americans make a great deal of use of this vast distributed arsenal.

              Yet they are not slaughtering people, nor injuring themselves at a rate the CDC considers alarming.

              When the overwhelming statistics demonstrate that nothing bad is happening by massive numbers of lawful firearm owners, contrasted with a very small minority of criminals…where does it become rational to exert prior restraint against a body of people that cannot be argued to present a credible threat? If anyone believes such an argument can be made, then formulate it in a court of law and let due process run its course.

              Aside from this, the American view of rights is profoundly different from other nations. Nobody gets to decide what my rights are…I do not concede that they are up for negotiation – I claim & assert them for myself. I am not a subject. I don’t care how big your mob is – zero authority multiplied by any number is still zero authority. The only option left is, of course, brute force…hence the value of the 2A.

              People that believe they have the right to use such force to assert themselves over the lives of others, are precisely the people that ‘my side’ find reprehensible and wicked. Our answer will always be “NO” in the face of such attempted mob rule.

              • Good points.

                I don’t know the concrete statistics, but I’m open to conceding that gun violence is mainly a matter of War on Drugs-related gang violence (and to be ultra-frank, there problably is a genetic/racial* angle as well, with IQ and inborn temperament being important variables among certain ethnic minorities, but I don’t consider the science on that to be strong enough at the moment, so I can only speculate).

                I certainly respect cultural predilections, and if guns truly are some kind of symbol issue with high politico-emotional valence to you guys, such that it influences politics as a kind of symbolic “banner” around which to rally in politics, then that certainly is an argument in their favor. I just think it’s irrational :)

                * I’m assuming the whole issue of race, IQ and temperament is known around these parts and that mentioning such is not prima facie evidence that a poster is malicious / inept.

                • Well, I’m not a Vulcan, so I must concede the existence of a certain amount of emotion on my part – I feel righteously angry when people want to dominate my rights by force. Mea culpa.

                  I don’t think it is irrational at all to be disgusted by a minority that believes it should have exclusive access to a form of technology, and that they should be able to use said technology to forcefully deny access to it to others…because they are the only ones trustworthy enough to possess it.

                  World history would suggest the opposite is true – governments and their armed agents have been responsible for the grossest proportion of mass slaughter…hundreds of millions of corpses. The yearly attrition of criminal violence in the USA doesn’t hold a candle to that.

              • “Aside from this, the American view of rights is profoundly different from other nations. Nobody gets to decide what my rights are…I do not concede that they are up for negotiation – I claim & assert them for myself. I am not a subject. I don’t care how big your mob is – zero authority multiplied by any number is still zero authority. The only option left is, of course, brute force…hence the value of the 2A.”

                That gets into basic political theory, I guess, the role of the state and such. I simply consider the state to be an extension of common interests, in place in order to prevent “tragedy of the commons” and provide for the common good. Iow, I am not a Lockean.

                I suppose if one has a philosophical conviction that the state’s only job is to uphold property rights, then yes, RKBA follows as a logical consequence of that.

                • ‘The state’ is not a magical entity. They’re just humans like the rest of us. Their job (in the USA) is precisely to uphold our rights via our system of law.

                  Or at least…that’s what their job *should* be. I don’t imagine the DC denizens actually believe that for a second.

          • It’s not a strawman argument at all. Rather, it pierces to the heart of the relationship between a people and their government.

            Put simply, if you don’t trust me with my guns, why should I trust you with yours? And the same goes for the government: if it doesn’t trust me, why should I trust it?

            You don’t need a gun until you need one very badly…and waiting that long is guaranteed to be too late.

      • Depends really. South Africa has a fuckton of guns, everybody owns a gun. I’ve never heard of one case where that was needed or neccessary. All I hear is: The criminal shot the owners and took their guns.

        I’ve never heard: The owner took his gun and shot the intruders.
        I have heard rather of properly trained and armed security guards doing some good.

        Therefore, going purely by anecdotal evidence mind you, that guns only offer limited protection, and that a good alarm and a subscription to a competent security company will protect you more.

        • >All I hear is: The criminal shot the owners and took their guns.

          What’s wrong with South Africans? Successful armed defenses against home invasions are a common enough outcome of home invasions here that the news barely covers them.

          Here’s an example. And another. And another.

          Mind you, home invasions aren’t actually common in the U.S. They vary in frequency inversely to the local percentage of gun owners. Above a certain percentage you get what epidemiologists call “herd immunity”; this is the rule in most places outside large cities.

        • From what I here in S.A. it’s fairly common for homeowners to repel boarders with fire.

          It’s just that like here in the US it rarely makes the news

          Oh, and Eric, it *does* make the news here occasionally, but usually only the local news, unless it’s a child doing the repelling.

          I suspect this is more of an anti-gun bias on the national media than anything else.

          In the US there are increasingly well developed paths around the mainstream media–enough so that they are becoming part of the mainstream. Fox news is often the one carrying the “boarders repelled” stories both locally and nationally, for example.

          Do you have a similar path there?

        • You need to watch the Active Self Protection channel on YouTube.

          Plenty of footage of armed defense in South Africa.

    • It is not a reasonable proposition, if arguing from First Principle, that every citizen should be able to own high-capacity firearms similar to those used in the military

      [citation needed]

      • You would have to argue that AR-15s are by default in the category of items with no particular “specialness” to them. Ie that they are ordinary, harmless, every day items, and so we attach no valence of “needs to be regulated to them”.

        Golf clubs are not special, and so we allow them by default.

        Cars are special, and so they are regulated.

        Nukes are highly un-ordinary / dangerous, and so we highly regulate them.

        I would argue that AR-15s are indeed special in the sense I’ve outlined above, and so they need to be regulated.

        In a society with a high need for military-grade violence, it may be rational to allow people to own military-grade guns with no licensing system. That may be the case in *some* societies today, where there is extreme crime, and it was certainly the case in historical times (such as the 18th century, where an insurgency could win with muskets). But in other times / settings, it is rational to disallow them by default, and require a due process for private citizens to obtain them.

        I suppose you could argue that there is ALWAYS a high degree of potential need to fight an armed revolt against a tyrannical government. I find that almost prima facie ludicruous, but am willing to hear arguments in that direction.

        Fighting the “establishment” is very much relevant today, but the battle-lines are primarily media and the culture we live in.

        • In which country is the ownership of cars regulated?

          I suppose you could argue that there is ALWAYS a high degree of potential need to fight an armed revolt against a tyrannical government. I find that almost prima facie ludicruous, but am willing to hear arguments in that direction.

          So arming oneself to resist a tyranny becomes legitimate only after said tyranny has established itself and is therefore able to prevent you from arming yourself?!

          Also, I’d say that the very fact that your government does prevent you from arming yourself makes it a tyranny. You’re already living in one.

        • >Nukes are highly un-ordinary / dangerous, and so we highly regulate them.

          We do? Then why do whackjob countries like Iran and North Korea have them?

    • 1) Fuck off.
      2) The FN P90 was specifically developed as a “Personal Defense Weapon” which trades off round strength for volume of fire, making it safer to use in populated environments.
      3) No, seriously: fuck off.
      4) The right to life and self-determination does not and cannot exist without the means to defend those rights. Firearms are currently the most effective and practical way to defend yourself and those you care about from those who would do you harm. Full stop. Produce a Star Trek-style phaser with a stun setting and a large firing capacity and I’ll be one of the first ones to call for getting rid of guns (in exchange for phasers). Until then, there is no other way to ensure self-defense.
      5) We’ve already been pragmatic in agreeing to give up nuclear weapons and other large ordnance.
      6) Fuck you.
      7) I’m glad you’re not part of NATO. I would hate to have any of my fellow countrymen have to risk their lives to defend people like you.

      • The first sentence of point 4 needs to be etched in stone.

        A right you cannot defend against unlawful aggression is not a right; it’s a privilege.

    • for the same reason that it’s not reasonable to let people own howitzers and tanks just because they want to.

      Stop right there. Where did you get the idea that libertarians would accept that proposition? The key question is where did you or anyone get the right to “allow” or “not allow” it? Who gave you this right? How does calling yourself “society” bestow it on you?

      society has a right to curtail ownership of deadly items

      Since when? How did it obtain this right?

      Now if by “deadly items” you mean items whose mere existence poses an unreasonable risk to others, such as unstable and improperly stored explosives, then those who are at risk have the right to prevent it in self defense. But no gun is a deadly item in that sense, so it’s irrelevant.

      I know many cases where people did defend themselves with guns, saving themselves and their families. I’m simply saying it’s a complex issue, and on the whole I would not introduce AR-15s into the hands of, say, the average Swede as there is no clear case for it,

      You contradict yourself. The fact that people can and do defend themselves with them makes the case clear. AR-15s are a useful self-defense tool, therefore preventing people from owning them inherently deprives them of the most fundamental human right there is, the right to self-defense.

    • > It is not a reasonable proposition, if arguing from First Principle,
      > that every citizen should be able to own high-capacity firearms similar
      > to those used in the military, for the same reason that it’s not reasonable

      It is entirely reasonable, if your zeroth principle is that *individuals* have rights and that rights flow up from the individual to the state–in other words the state’s authority derives from the consent of the governed.

      If you believe that then you understand that the governed, the people that grant consent to the state MUST have a way of revoking that consent.

      OTOH, if you a modern Social Democrat and believe that the Government is the font of good things that flow down to the peasants^w people, then you’re right. Only the government should have any say in when and how force is used and and the people should be kept unarmed so it’s easier for the government to get them to do what they should do for their own good.

      > to let people own howitzers and tanks just because they want to. There has to

      There are lots of people who own tanks in the US. Even a few have working main guns. They have very few accidents, compared to say motorcycles.

      Now, I’ll grant you this >1 be a reasonable cause to put your fellow citizens at risk by introducing

      We do not put our fellow citizens at risk.

      Television aside, rifles are rarely used in crime. Mostly it’s pistols, and it’s arguable that those save as many or more people than they kill.

      It’s kind of like the Black Lives Matter shitheads. They care about black people killed by cops, but they could give a flying f*k about black people killed by OTHER black people.

      People like you are all het up about people killed by guns, but you don’t seem to care at all about knifings, beatings, poisonings etc.

      > deadly items on a mass scale. We allow cars to be operated under

      You mean like the machetes and clubs that the Hutu used in the Rwandan Genocide?

      > controlled circumstances, even though they carry risk with them, because
      > they have utility to society.

      We allow cars to operate because we used to be a free people who had testicles. We are in the process of losing both that freedom and our testicles, and will soon be known by a word that indicates both states. “European”.

      > And no, I am not denying that most gun violence does indeed happen
      > as a result of gang-on-gang crime, not lone crazies. It’s an empirical fact
      > that gun violence is not all that bad among certain sub-populations (ie
      > Scandinavian-descended people in the Midwest, I would assume).

      It’s an empirical fact that if you take Chicago, New York, Washington D.C. and IIRC St. Louis or Detroit out of the statistics gun violence in the US looks like gun violence in most of Europe. So it’s not people of certain descent that *are* the problem, it’s specific cultures that may or may be strongly correlated with specific races (I think the culture is more important than the race because “we” used to say the same things about the Irish and the Italians, and they do ok these days).

      There are over 100 million gun owners in the US. If guns were as dangerous as you seem to think this country would be damn near depopulated.

      The funny thing is that when you look at *deliberate* mass shootings of civilians in this country, it was the US Government (7th Cavalry) shooting at Wounded Knee. This was, of course, the USG attempting to disarm people it should have left the f*k alone.

      Oh, and look up “Bath School House” and Happy Land Night Club. Both killed more people.

    • Two words: Anders Brevik.

      Clinging to the right to keep and bear arms is some libertarian emotional fetish,

      Clinging to the fantasy that disarming the public will make you safe is a common psychotic delusion in Scandinavia. I blame it on the lutefisk.

    • European to European: “guns” are not a unified concept. The debate raised in this post has basically nothing to do with any device useful for self-defense, except if one is trying to defend against a full frontal assault by a military detachment or something.

      There is also very much possible ground between “American-style”
      and modern-day Sweden, for example, what Switzerland has today.

      There’s far more nuance to this that “guns or no guns”.

      • I, having been trained at least minimally for both sides of that sort of assault, and for getting in touch with supporting field artillery and having them lend a hand, I will say that that is the *last* place I’d want a bumpfire stock. Someone who is trained and aggressive can, for short periods of time, fire REALLY quickly.

        Select fire weapons–especially those chambered in 5.56 or 5.45 are most often used for suppressive fire and to mark the targets the larger guns. When you’re trying to keep someone’s head down “close” is good enough.

        If you’re trying to kill specific people who are trying to kill you (instead of firing into a packed crowd) of you turn the switch to single and start to worry about your front sight and trigger more.

        Bumpstocks have *no* legitimate tactical uses. But this is America, where “need” is not the basis for banning.

        • If you’re quick on the trigger, you can spit 3-4 rounds per second from an AR15…that’s 180-240 rpm. If you can squeeze 5 off, that’s 300 rpm. Not too shabby for a meatstick.

          In contrast, full auto will dump that mag in 3 secs, compared to 10 (@3 per sec) for semi-auto.

          Since I’m already sending plenty of lead downrange, I’d rather extend the lifespan of my mags. Full auto isn’t of interest to me…now 3 shot burst fire is another thing entirely (oh yeah baby)

    • And we keep telling you that we don’t give a fuzzy rat’s ass what the rest of the world thinks of us.

      • All the wailing is so pathetic. These guns are for killing people, masses of people. So that is where they will be used for.

        • Yet they are not…unless ~20 million AR15 owners are up to shenanigans I know nothing of, and the media studiously ignores.

        • If “these guns are for killing people” then why do the police carry them? As they do in essentially all countries.

          Are the police just intent on killing people? Or is there some other motivation?

        • These guns are for killing people, masses of people.

          No, they’re not. Until you stop repeating such untruths there’s nothing to discuss.

      • If you think everyone else in the world is an asshole, maybe the problem is you. Maybe you’re the asshole.

    • Arugmentum ad populum is a basic logical fallacy.

      Americans really don’t care what a bunch of slaves think of them.

    • > This regular returning discussion is illustrating
      > time and again to all the world that the USA is not sane.

      And proud of it. And armed to the teeth, individually and nationally.

      And the Prez hasn’t even begun building his Death Star yet…

    • > This regular returning discussion is illustrating time and again to all the world that the USA is not sane.

      Something like 60 million of you oh-so-civilized-and-sane Europeans were murdered by your own governments in the last century. Not as a result of hostilities with another government, mind you, but by your own governments.

      If that’s “sanity”, you can keep it.

      As for the U.S. being “the only country where this happens” do the words “Bataclan” and “Beslan” ring a bell?

  13. The trick here is that the bump stock actually SAVED lives – at anything other than point blank range a bump stock is going to DESTROY accuracy, to the point of not being able to put a bullet into a crowd. Thank your preferred God for this moron using one.

    • That’s not true in this case.

      He was shooting from ~400 yards out (roughly) into a crowd of 20,000 people from a couple hundred feet able them. He was getting bullets into the heads, and upper thoracic cavity. His best bet was NOT to waist time aiming as that slows your rate of fire down considerably.

      • I took a single weekend of rifle training, and was able to hit human-torso shaped targets at 100 yards with iron sights, and taking one shot every 2-3 seconds. This was my first time taking any kinds of marksmanship training, and I performed pretty average compared to other people taking the class with me.

        If he did aimed shots, and didn’t completely suck, he likely would have gotten a higher number of kills, but a lower number of injuries.

  14. What NRA called for is for ATF to look again at whether bump stocks are MGs. This will take some time, and if they come back and say, actually we can’t decide they’re MGs without an act of Congress after the public furor has died down, it’s likely nothing will get passed.

    NRA has long said we need to enforce existing laws, and this statement could be viewed as coming from that. I don’t always agree with them, but they’re the only gun rights group with any actual political clout or concept of pragmatism.

    • (Long time reader, first time commenter. YMMV)

      Jeff has correctly identified what the NRA has done here, and while I am eye-rolling at plenty that the NRA is going these days, I think they have a longer game in this circumstance.

      They have asked for the BATFE, which approved the bumpstock/slidefire stock in 2010, to re-examine the accessory. Not a ban, not a confiscation, but a re-evaluation to see if the accessory needs regulation (and taxation) under the NFA.

      I think the NRA knows full well that the BATFE confirmed the accessory did not make a weapon a machine gun because there was no way to interpret the existing law in a way to make it a machine gun.

      An early version of the bumpstock had a spring in the stock to push the rifle back forward where the trigger would be engaged by the trigger finger again. The BATFE said to the developer: the spring is what makes it a machine gun. Some people had purchased the stock with the spring in it, and they had to mail the spring to the BATFE. Just the spring. A coiled piece of metal.

      What is left does not meet the definition in law of what constitutes a machine gun, which is a firearm which fires more than once per actuation of the trigger. The bumpstock without a spring fires once per actuation of the trigger, but it is the left hand (for a right-hander) which is actuating the trigger by pushing the action of the firearm forward against the trigger finger with every firing.

      Where I think the NRA is publicly playing a ‘moderate’ position but has a better internal position is that it knows there is no way under present law the BATFE would prevail in court on an after-the-fact determination of ‘machine gun’ if the developer sued. The BATFE could spend the time to go over it again and have to come to the same conclusion, because the law and technical facts at hand haven’t changed since their first determination. I have no doubt that they wanted to classify it as a machine gun conversion kit in the first place. They had the law and facts against them then, and their own determinations and precedent additionally against them now. Losing in court could set a precedent that their technical branch doesn’t know what it is doing, or they are generally arbitrary and capricious in their determinations, and they can’t afford such a precedent (any more than has already been established in other cases).

      So the NRA is playing for time to let the hysteria die down and some other scandal of the day to take over the headlines. (The NRA loves Harvey Weinstein today.) They have long experience of knowing that gun control proposals cannot withstand analysis of efficacy and/or constitutionality in the cold light of day. Gun control only progresses on an emotional tide and exploitation of general ignorance. We know this because the gun control groups actually tell us so in their messaging strategy.

      Once the BATFE comes back and says, “Eh, we did what we could the first time”, it’ll be some time down the road. It’s be longer if the BATFE tries to reverse itself and immediately get whacked with a lawsuit. That’ll turn the matter over to Congress. For any change in law, the NRA membership is going to all over their representatives to extract maximum quid pro minimum quo. (My apologies for bad Latin.) For example, to insert something into law to make a weapon equipped with a “mechanism with uses recoil opposite the muscular tension which actuates the firearm to fire in order to reset the trigger for the next firing, and is not otherwise an machine gun” an AOW (because it is obviously not a machine gun) would require moving suppressors from Title II to Title I so the NFA branch will have the load taken off so it can handle the influx of new NFA registration, because the wait times are right on the verge of justifying due process suits… or you’d have to throw a lot of money at NFA branch to hire more inspectors, and NFA branch is already a money sink in terms of operating costs vs revenues.

      At least, I hope this is what is going through the NRA leadership’s mind. They’re either making a smart chess move… or a dumb checkers move, as your initial reaction perceived them.

      • What I worry about is that by saying the stock makes the AR a “machine gun”, we are essentially saying the AR IS almost machine gun as it sits. There have been numerous legislative efforts to get rid of semi-auto “assault rifles”. They are already characterized as fully automatic and saying that the difference between an AR-15 and an M-16 comes down to the plastic stock makes that argument easier. I worry that the end game is going to be the elimination of all but bolt action rifles.

        • Yeah, that’s what Wayne LaPierre has been saying, too. He has a point because that has been the line of reasoning he has beaten Dianne Feinstein like a rented mule with for decades.

          That’s why I think conceding that bump-stocks make a weapon more than semi-auto, but explicitly less than machine gun, is a position that is worth taking as long as that small concession is worth a lot a claw-back. Trade AOW status (legal, registered, but only $5 tax stamp, and it’s the registered thing the gun controllers want anyway) for legal suppressors with pre-emption of state laws, and national right to carry reciprocity. If they hold out for machine gun status, take back the Hughes Amendment with language derived from Heller to make it clear than banning any class of arm is unconstitutional.

          Or, no deal. Current law gives them nothing, so if they don’t come to the table with a wheelbarrow of removed infringements to get a very minor and constrained win, go pound sand. We’ve well more than half a century of bad faith from gun controllers, so this is a good time to demand cash on the barrel. Anything less, and I shall shout in a bad French accent, “Now, go away, or I shall abuse another metaphor at you!”

        • ” I worry that the end game is going to be the elimination of all but bolt action rifles.”

          No, we also need to get rid of single-shot rifles…why, they can fire as fast as you can reload and pull the trigger…hunters do not need that kind of firepower to hunt Bambi….

  15. The sociological explanation
    for why men in America turn
    to gun violence
    https://qz.com/1095247/the-sociological-explanation-for-why-men-in-america-turn-to-gun-violence/

    tl;dr
    Losers that are insecure about their masculinity

    “Mass shootings follow a consistent pattern: The men who commit them have often experienced what they perceive as masculinity threats. They’re bullied by peers, gay-baited by classmates, and often perceive themselves as unable to live up to societal expectations associated with masculinity, such holding down a steady job, having sexual access to women’s bodies, or being tough or strong.”

    • Don’t forget penis size. It’s all about teh cock, y’know.

      Phallocentric heteronormativity can really fuck with your head.

      Owning AR15s really does add inches to your dick. It’s great. Chicks dig it too.

    • The Supreme Court disagrees with that proposition, and they set forth their reasoning in DC v. Heller. I’ll take their opinion over some leftist gun grabber’s.

    • You really think the state needs special permission to have an armed army, Winter? There’s an enormous difference between a militia and an army. And in the US, by law, there are two components of the militia, the organized militia (National Guard, state militias, and naval militia), and the unorganized militia which consists of all able-bodied male citizens who aren’t members of the organized militia or certain public office holders, and who are between the ages of 17 and 45. Some states have similar statutes regarding state militias.

    • The problem with the militia argument is easily shown simply by applying the text of the second amendment to any other right. To that end allow me to introduce you to the 2nd and a Half Amendment:

      “A well educated Electorate, being necessary to the functioning of a free State, the right of the People to own and read Books, shall not be infringed.”

      In that statement, who has the right to own and read Books?

      A) The State
      B) Only the educated Electorate
      C) The whole of the Electorate
      D) All of the People

      The structure of the statement is the same. An electorate is a subset of the people just like a militia is, the electorate is qualified as well educated just like the militia is qualified as well regulated, and Books and Arms both refer to a wide category of objects. So who as the right to “own and read Books”

      • A militia is only a militia (in the Constitutional sense) if it is limited to being armed with those weapons freely available to ordinary Joes and Janes. A so-called “militia” that is armed with gear restricted/prohibited for ordinary private citizens is not a militia at all but rather a much more dangerous sort military or paramilitary group.

        In particular the National Guard is not a militia in the Constitutional sense. Nor are various State and local police departments – not when they enjoy all those exemptions for existing weapon-laws. Instead, those cops are “troops, or ships of war” that the Constitution supposedly prohibits to State and local governments.

        The principle behind the Second amendment, and in particular the militia clause, is that government law-enforcement & security agents should not ever be allowed weapons that aren’t also freely available to ordinary private persons.

        So the “well-educated Electorate” analogy only works if the definition of “electorate” includes being limited to the reading materials freely available to ordinary persons. If, instead, the term “electorate” is allowed for aristocratic elites who are exempted from censorship laws, then the analogy fails.

        • “it is limited to being armed with those weapons freely available to ordinary Joes and Janes. ”

          As the Founders made clear, ordinary Joes and Janes were intended to have the same equipment as an individual soldier in the army.

          • And this is why courts (including SCOTUS) have repeatedly held that a weapon commonly issued as a personal sidearm by the military (such as pistols for pilots) is protected by 2A in ways that “crew-served” weapons such as actual machine guns, howitzers either mounted on tanks or on trailers pulled by vehicles, etc. are not.

            Individual unorganized militia members thereby can own personal arms and maintain their skills with them (“well-regulated” refers to regular time on the shooting range to keep the skills sharp) while members of tank crews have to go to the NG Armory to do their training.

            • Extending that reasoning would imply I personally have the right to own a rocket/grenade launcher, flame thrower…any weapon that a soldier can conceivably wield.

              I like the sound of that ;)

              So if we were to organize ourselves into a private militia, we would therefore have the right to possess and train with mounted machine guns, howitzers, tanks etc ?

              As a ‘militia of one’, an individual already has the right to own a tank (some people really do) although the munitions for it seem highly restricted – I think only basic target projectiles are available, no hi-ex or armor piercing stuff.

              If I have the right to own a tank, why not a mounted machine gun, or a howitzer.

              Ahhh…but then SCOTUS gets all sputtery and starts flailing its hands around and conjuring ‘reasonable restrictions’ penumbra horseshit out of thin air

              • Of course, at the time the Second Amendment was enacted, individuals *did* own artillery. Heck, some of them owned fully-equipped warships.

    • If you’re an actual originalist, you deal in the historical context of the actual amendment.

      Things like the Founding Fathers seeing standing armies as forces of tyranny to the point they almost banned them in peacetime the Constitutional Convention; the nature of militias in practice in Britain and the colonies; the existing “rights of Englishmen” under the 1689 Bill of Rights explicitly including arms for self-defense; the Enlightenment philosophical tradition where even Hobbes, advocate of royalist absolutism, declared the right to self-defense impossible to surrender; Blackstone’s commentaries on the right to self-defense and to arms under the common law; the rights to arms enshrined in contemporary state constitutions; and the fact that the Battles of Lexington & Concord, the very start of the actual war of the American Revolution, were set off because of a British effort to confiscate arms.

      On the other hand, if you’re a lying piece of shit, you play around with the text out-of-context to invent any meaning you like. Or, say, repeat such nonsense in discussion threads where people know you’ve been informed of the context in the past.

      • You’re puncturing the imbeciles’ world-view.

        Tread a little more delicately on their snowflake souls…

    • Let’s be honest about the Second Amendment

      Yes, let’s. Matthew Walther, whoever he is, is thoroughly dishonest, and citing his lies does not give you credibility. The text of the second amendment is crystal clear, and its meaning has never been in any doubt. Until quite recently it never even occurred to anyone to lie about it.

    • You’re trying to advance the notion that a sentence that breaks down to “A is true, therefore B is true” also means “The requirements of A place restrictions on B.” There’s not a way to read the text of the Second Amendment as a valid English sentence and still draw that conclusion. This is why SCOTUS ruled in Heller that “[t]he Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause.”

      Note also that the text of the operative clause does not establish the right — instead, it points out the pre-existence of the right and declares it off limits.

      • Indeed, not one word in the US Constitution as amended “gives” anyone a right. It always speaks of rights as already established, and says things like “shall not be infringed”.

        One of the things I despise about the song “God Bless the USA” is that it talks about “the men who died, who gave that right to me”. Those men died defending rights that are inherent in human nature. (For those of us who believe in God, that means He “gave” us those rights when He designed us the way we are, in precisely the same sense that one could say He gave fish the “right to swim” and [most] birds the “right to fly”. For the atheists, that part isn’t necessary.)

  16. Speaking of banning a spring folks who don’t remember the past don’t remember that more people died at Waco over the so called Hellfire switch than in Las Vegas so far. It’s not all hard to find prior art on Ruger 10-22 with banana clips and clockwork cams including loosely held so as to spread the impact. There has been discussion about banning a string or about using an eraser as a bump switch

  17. If you are an originalist you likely know that the founding fathers and their progeny had a horror of standing armies. Jefferson and other well known names weren’t that happy about a standing navy either.

  18. Didn’t the shooter had fully automatic guns (which are regulated)? If he didn’t follow one law (about fully automatic rifles), why would he follow another (about bump stocks)?

    ???

    • Nope. Just the bump-fire stocks. No actual auto weapons.

      I suspected as much when I listened to the cadence of the gunfire. It sped up and slowed down periodically. This is caused by adding or releasing forward pressure on the rifle.

      • That question is still very much in dispute. When listening to the civilian recordings as opposed to the “massaged” recordings we’re getting, the first burst in particular sounds very much like full auto.

        • I only saw the allegedly ‘raw’ smartphone footage. I didn’t hear any gunfire that matched the cadence of a full-auto M16. I’m pretty sure I heard variations in the [slower] cadence, making me believe it was something like a slidefire stock.

    • At least some initial reports indicated that he had some pre-ban automatic weapons which are grandfathered in as legal for civilian ownership. He didn’t use any weapons that were illegal at the time, but the bump stocks may become so in the future.

      Pre-ban weapons command fairly high (like five-figure USD) prices. This motivates an annoying trend: every time a high-profile event occurs, people rush out to buy whatever the shooter used, in case it too gets banned and becomes artificially scarce – and therefore valuable. But it’s really easy to interpret this as outfitting oneself to engage in similar misdeeds.

  19. Eric,

    Something on your blog is causing my browser to peg a CPU core to 100% usage whenever I have an esr.ibiblio.org tab open. Tested in Vivaldi and Chromium.

  20. What I read was that the NRA requested the BATFE reconsider their letter of determination that the Slidefire stock as not an accessory that made an attached firearm a machine gun (unlike the earlier Atkins Accelerator, and, legendarily, a shoelace). Which reconsideration on the BATFE’s part would end up with a logistical nightmare of biblical proportions, because nobody knows how many of these silly things are out there, who has them, or even how to legally deal with a reclassification. They’re not serialized. If the BATFE reclassifies them as MG parts, what happens to the existing ones? They have to be registered? They have to be pitched?

    If that heads off serious thought about a piece of legislation that could cover making match-grade triggers machine gun parts? So far it’s all just jaw jaw.

    • If the BATFE reclassifies them as MG parts, what happens to the existing ones? They have to be registered? They have to be pitched?

      It becomes a felony to own one, so yes, you would have to surrender the part.

        • No, there isn’t. This shit has been argued in court before and it utterly failed to hold water. See Fesjian v. Jefferson and Akins v. United States. The taking clause of the Fifth Amendment only kicks in when government takes property for public use. It does not apply when the government bans ownership of something for public safety or benefit.

          • I just looked through four or five cases styled Akins v. United States or similar, and couldn’t find one that is on point. Care to provide a citation?

            • As in the Akins Accelerator (not Atkins – I was incorrect in my spelling earlier).

              A cursory internet search says the BATFE issued an order that owners remove the spring (which would appear to make the Accelerator into an equivalent to a bump stock), not destroy the entire thing. The links I found to the BATFE letters in question are dead, so I can only go by commentary thereupon. Research indicates that Akins sued the BATFE, but not the case name, and that the BATFE’s defense was, basically, “You @#$%ed up, you trusted us” and that their initial ruling that it wasn’t a machine gun was incorrect, thus, not a taking. The whole thing having happened around 10 years ago is mildly frustrating, because I vaguely recall this going on at the time, but since it didn’t affect me, I didn’t really take long-term note, and of course now the links are rotting.

              So, Bill Akins sued, but did any owners sue? And were they actually required to pitch the entire thing, or modify into compliance by removal of the spring? (And, probably, disposal, otherwise I’m sure an annoyed US Attorney or BATFE agent could nail them for construction possession).

              In one sense, sure, a taking (especially from Akins and company), but in another, the customers still have the stock, even if it’s not quite as fun as it was. So the lawsuits still happen, and it’s not as simple a thing as “remove the spring, or it’s a machine gun.”

              I’m not exactly thrilled by the NRA right now, but I haven’t been for a while, either. I would that they had just kept their mouths shut, but I’m not the one with the ear to the ground in DC.

  21. > If you had offered to trade away legal bump stocks for a more useful reclamation of our civil rights, like say national concealed-carry reciprocity, that we might have gotten behind.

    When I read the NRA’s actual statement (as opposed to the media spin), I interpreted it to imply exactly that. But now that I think on it, why would they imply vs. just explicitly offering that horse-trade?

    I’m not yet ready to go so far as to call this a blunder, but it certainly raises questions.

    • Because the BATFE (to whom the remarks were directed) doesn’t have the ability to grant reciprocity? And, more importantly to me, how do you define bump stocks legislatively that is not either trivial to evade or overly inclusive to the point of including, say, match triggers, or reliant entirely upon the goodwill of the BATFE director or the AG?

      I’m sort of (also) leaning towards this being the opening move in a silent trade – the trade good has been laid upon the beach and the initial trader has retreated to their prepared position. Now it’s on the other side to come up and put their counter-offer on the beach and do the same. (Since the anti-gun side is a bunch of frog-riding scorpions, I don’t expect them to honor the offer appropriately; they’ll get halfway across the river and wonder why they’re drowning – metaphors mixed, but hopefully understandable).

      • The BATFE angle makes legalistic sense. I still think they could have more explicitly connected the two ideas.

        Interestingly, the NRA affiliate for my state just gave me a survey on this very issue. This is the first time in years of membership in both the state and fed NRAs that I’ve been surveyed, so it looks like there’s definitely some internal soul-searching going on.

  22. @ESR

    Interesting how the impossibility of appeasement is exactly what Moldbug is telling to conservatives in nice intelligent ways and alt-righters are telling them in ugly dumb but still technically correct ways.

    They should play some Europa Universalis IV or something.

    When you offer a peace treaty, the value of the offer is combined from how much you are offering or demand and how well the war is going and how much war weariness they have. That is, if you are attacked and losing, offering a province does not work, you must affer a LOT, nearly unconditional surrender, to appease an actually winning attacker. If you succesfully fight back and are on even grounds, then a compromise will look a lot better for them. But it still depends on if they are weary of the fight or feel like to continue pushing.

    The crappy part is that in democratic fighting, there is no such thing as war weariness for the left. Libertarians and conservatives hate politics, they want to get over it and return to normal life. Lefties often love the whole struggle, they enjoy it like you enjoy boardgaming.

    So they only way is to hit them so hard that you are actually winning. Route them. Then offer them compromises, they will take those to buy time to lick wounds and regroup and replan. Nothing else really works, compromises only happen if the left is hit hard enough to agree to a ceasefire for healing. Mostly because they enjoy it so there are no other reasons to stop.

    • Small nitpick. Knowing some leftists, they don’t ‘love’ politics, and they don’t seem to get any enjoyment out of it at all. If they did, that would be an improvement. (They put out a vibe that brings the hater thread and the 60 hz hum to mind.)

      No, they’re obsessed. Politics is a compulsion for them. They can’t not do it, they can’t stop. To them the thought that somewhere, somehow, people who disagree with them are getting away with something is like a painful wound that fills them with rage. (They descend from Puritans, after all.) All even total victory gives them is a temporary release from their self-imagined pain.

      • > ([Leftists] put out a vibe that brings the hater thread and the 60 hz hum to mind.)

        Hm…I hadn’t thought about it that way, but…yes.

        (For those of you new here, the 60Hz hum refers to this post.)

      • They descend from Puritans, after all.

        It would be very interesting to see someone document the history that runs from the 17th century Puritards to today’s Leftards, going through the “progressive” programs of attempted genocide of the plains Indians, the prohibition of alcohol, the anti-prostitution crusade, the xenophobia of the know-nothing party, the War on Drugs, today’s rape hoax witch hunts and the general vilification of men.

        There’s a common thread of Righteous Indignation running through it all, and it reminds me of Heinlein’s observation that the only political division that matters is between those who desire power over their neighbors, and those who want to be left alone.

    • >NRA back peddling a bit. Are they malicious or just incompetent?

      Judging by the clumsiness of the backpedal I’m going with “incompetent”.

      I think they got an immediate angry response from a lot of their membership. Which is good – reduces the chances they’ll go all squishy and fuckwitted for a while.

  23. The NRA is directly responsible for the existence of many ranges. Frex

    So come May of 2016, Manzer [NRA Field Rep, doesn’t live in the DC area] found himself in a meeting with MacKay [Wyoming Game and Fish Communications Director] and the SBLC [ State Board of Land Commissioners] in the Governor’s office, presenting this solution to Governor Matt Mead.
    “I pitched the whole thing to him, tying it in with Game and Fish and State Lands,” Manzer says. “I told him that we’re not asking for money to build the ranges, just for the land to be turned over, because we can apply for NRA Foundation grant support. It’s a win-win all the way around. He was on board, and at that point I was kind of on a roll and also proposed the Wyoming Top 100 competition.”
    Everyone quickly set to work to make these proposals a reality. When Governor Mead declared a Wyoming Day at the Range last August, he launched the Open Ranges Initiative to increase access to public shooting ranges, the Wyoming Top 100 Shooting Competition to recognize the state’s top 100 shooters, and the Magpul Governor’s Match—a national-level 2-gun (semiautomatic rifle and pistol) match to feature some of the best competitors in the country.

    Myself I shoot at the Fremont County Sportsman’s Club range – anybody visiting near Yellowstone Park is welcome to shoot free as a visitor [repeated use requires a daily fee or membership]. The range wouldn’t exist without cooperation between the community and the NRA. Reasonable regulations about shooting: no bringing in trash or littering with glass. Full auto permitted, working from the holster permitted, rapid fire permitted, setting up for Dot Torture or any other drill at the shooter’s choice of distance from contact up to several hundred yards permitted, any otherwise safe activity the shooter cares for permitted.

    Seems to me during the current kerfuffle that folks have given too much weight to media interpretations of what the NRA in its official capacity originally proposed and too much weight to the media reports of how the NRA has cravenly backed down. I’d say that rotation in office at the NRA would be a good thing. As it is the Iron Law of Bureaucracy is in full force.

    Speaking of the founding fathers I give some weight to the quotes about hanging together. We can paraphrase a famous quote to the effect that when they came for the semi-autos I didn’t say anything because I shot trap with K-80 Krieghoff and so it goes.

    Currently I agree with the notion well expressed by Mark Steyn that Mr. Paddock’s goal was to increase popular support for the gun grabbers. This explains why have an otherwise useless variety of firearms and other behavior that is hard to explain. (John Ringo on crazy but not stupid behavior) I fully support gun rights organizations in addition to the NRA. I fully agree that the NRA is tremendously imperfect. To repeat I was at Cincinnati because I thought the NRA needed reforming. To repeat I get my money’s worth as a Benefactor Life Member.

    • For all that people rag on the NRA, we must never forget: it’s effective, and without it we’d be nowhere close to where we are today.

      I, too, am a Benefactor Life Member.

      Does it need work? Of course it does. But, as with any membership organization, the right to have your complaints heard has a price: the cost of a membership. The folks here will likely remember Wayne Green as the founder of Byte magazine, and Kilobaud after that…but he’d been a gadfly around ham radio before SPACEWAR was a gleam in the TMRC’s eye. As the founder and publisher first of CQ and then 73, he never missed a chance to take a shot at the American Radio Relay League, the national ham radio organization…but he was also a Life Member, and would always ask someone who complained about it “Are you a member?” – and would tell them to either join up or shut up, if not.

      It is in that spirit that I’m running for election to the ARRL Board of Directors this time around. (If you’re a member in the Dakota Division, which includes Minnesota and North and South Dakota, I’d appreciate your vote for Vice Director.) The League has done several things over the past few years that pissed me off, and I decided it was time to put my money where my mouth is.

      Don’t just bitch about the NRA. Join up and work from the inside to fix what you see as being wrong with it.

      • and without it we’d be nowhere close to where we are today.

        Regardless of the NRA’s merits or lack thereof this is an irrelevant statement. The subject at hand is whether the NRA is of use now, or needs to be thrown in the dustbin of incompetence. The quoted sentence is a statement that the NRA was good in the past.

        One may as well argue that Big Government isn’t a problem because it was tiny in 1777.

      • I was just about to post a comparison of the NRA and the ham radio community. To a good approximation, both are old conservative men, with all the characteristics you’d expect from that cohort. As a non-old libertarian, I sometimes feel alienated by both communities, but I recognize that–in theory–the best way to change that is to participate on my terms.

        However, this bump stock thing has me contemplating whether to renew my NRA membership for 2018. That would be my 6th year, and I believe I’d get voting power from then on.

        Concerns I have with life memberships are that they a) take away a valuable financial weapon (“change or I’ll stop paying you”), and b) they make it easy to rationalize continued support, even in situations where I wouldn’t join if I wasn’t already a member.

      • Back in the early 2000s I was a member of the NRA. I was a licensed NRA Instructor (Pistol, Rifle and Personal Protection).

        I worked with the “Silicon Valley Memebers Council” and was on a first name basis with the guys who ran that organization (At the time Don Kilmer, and Daryl Davis, IIRC. There were a couple other guys there). We would meet with the California NRA rep a couple times a years.

        What a miserable weasel he was. He had his little entourage of fanbois who were like him–60 watt bulbs in a 100 watt fixtures. They were full of can’t can’t can’t. Given that it was California they were probably right, but at least they could have tried to get good people in on off year elections.

        Oh, my membership lapsed because they never sent me the renewal notice, and couldn’t get my magazines to me half time time. Which is to say they were incompetent at their *main* competency.

      • Ok, you got me to finally get off my butt and join the ARRL. I’m a newly minted ham (last December), and have been meaning to do it, but never got around to it.

  24. Seems to me there’s a chance to test whether we’re having a discussion and negotiation or a shout-down. Would legislators favoring regulation on bump stocks be willing to consider deregulating silencers/noise suppressors? If so, we’re having a discussion. If not, then there’s certainly no point in getting into details about how to define “bumps” or “noise”.

    It would be nice to establish the general concept. If semi-automatic weapons with high-capacity magazines scare you and you want to make them harder to buy or trade — would you be willing to discuss relaxing the restrictions on mechanical action weapons, (revolvers, lever- or bolt-action rifles, pump shotguns) with internal capacity of say six rounds? If in general we can talk about it, then we’ll talk. Otherwise I’m walking away.

    If “concealed” weapons scare you can we horse-trade on open carry? If you insist on federal intervention on gun laws can we prohibit different cities from making different and complex variations on such laws? If you want some sort of training requirement, will you federally fund such training, perhaps as much as we fund abortions?

    If we’re talking, having conversation, negotiating, fine. If not, you’re wasting my time and your own breath.

  25. Lest there be any doubt I argue that the NRA has been of use in the past, is of use now and will continue to be of use in the future. I have offered existence examples sufficient to settle the point in my own mind. I can demonstrate by going to the range later today.

    Someone who wishes to argue that the good NRA is the enemy of the hypothetical better is invited to point to or at minimum work to create an actual better.

    Speaking of facts, in 1777 Big Government was such a problem there was an armed rebellion in eastern North America with the Second Battle of Trenton to begin the year. In 1783 the armed occupation of New York by the British ended. Eventually the issue of big government dominated the election of 1800 as the big government Federalists were turned out in favor of the then small government Republicans (not the same Republicans we have today.)

    If not quite reverting to the subject of the OP at least referencing some of the same issues it still seems to me that the NRA official statement read in full is defensible. I am not surprised that out of extended interviews folks associated with the NRA have said things to give aid and comfort to the gun grabbers.

    If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.

    I would prefer words to the effect that until something comes along that will do some good the NRA will oppose any infringement past or proposed. But I would prefer that some of the idiocies proposed lead to folks being laughed out of office. I’m not going to hold my breath pending Utopia.

  26. Everything that needs to be said about “gun control” was spelled out in one sentence by L. Neil Smith:

    The one and only reason politicians, bureaucrats, and policemen want to take your weapons away from you is so that they can do things to you that they couldn’t do if you still had your weapons.

  27. I know you all loath these pesky slaves from Europe who think they are free without weapons. These Europeans return the favor with ROFL about you. From the man who brought us the “America First, Netherlands Second” promo video, here is:

    Nonsensical Riffle Addiction

    • The Trump video was funny. This one is just sad. The only ones being mocked are the maker and the brainwashed audience who think they’re so sophisticated but they’re really not.

            • Yes! There you go with teh cock again!

              You’re obsessed with others’ peckers

              What a peculiar little beta-specimen you must be

              • Those “Alpha” males are so easy to bait.

                I have met enough real Alpha males to know that they never ever talk about being an Alpha male. (the same as really brilliant people never talk about their IQ)

                To tell me you are an “Alpha Male” is to convince me you are not.

                Also, these Alpha Males never needed crutches like guns or cars to instill their dominance.

                • You’re the only one obsessed with penises around here.

                  Pretty sure that eliminates you from the ranks of alphas

                  But hey, you do you

      • “The Trump video was funny. This one is just sad”

        Looking at the download stats and posts, it seems very many people disagree with you. The video seems to be quite popular in the States.

    • Some Russians think Americans are silly because they don’t know who’ll win an election half a year before.

      Some Kenyans think Americans are silly because they actually think they went to the moon fifty years ago.

      Some Europeans think Americans are silly because their government can’t just ban a book by declaring it hate speech.

      As for Americans themselves, let’s just say wolves don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.

      • But we only want to help?

        Sorry, just kidding. We are also mocking the US for being unable to set up universal health care, give everyone a decent education, stop the shooting of unarmed citizens by police forces, get decent mobile phone and broadband coverage,…

        And about wolves. Aren’t wolves next to extinct and only survive in protected parks?

        • Enjoy your ‘mocking’ if that’s what it takes to get you through the day while bearing the shame of your castration.

          • >Enjoy your ‘mocking’ if that’s what it takes to get you through the day while bearing the shame of your castration.

            You left the “self-” off of “self-castration”.

            • I am curious. How do you do “self-castration” without dying? And what would be the effect of a castration after puberty?

              • And what would be the effect of a castration after puberty?

                Enter the Public School System, stage left.

              • I’m pretty sure you could figure out how such could be done if you thought about it. I’ll leave that to your imagination.

                As for post-pubescent effects? Decreased sex-drive, muscle loss, fat gain, potential breast development, et. al. Look up the side effects of orchiectomy or testosterone depletion if you’re curious.

                • All well and clear. But how does the testosterone level qualify someone to participate in second amendment discussions.

                  It seems that airing certain opinions, or being of certain regional origins, seem to be enough to be identified as testosterone challenged and therefore to be unqualified to discuss the topic.

                  So the question reduces to, why should it matter what my testosterone levels are?

        • I remember in the last firearm thread, when asked about the lack of evidence for the lifesaving effectiveness of the policy he was supporting at the time, Frosty said he didn’t want to get “hung up on numbers”. This was after saying he wanted to see “evidence”.

          As for the benevolent Dutch state, when it comes to ethnic cleansing they can’t decide weather to stand by impotently or to actively abet it, see Srebrenica. As for Dutch sheep, sheep-dogs and wolves; Anne Frank is unavailable for comment.

          Take your moral posturing somewhere else.

        • The only reason you guys can do universal healthcare is because we pay for your defense. As for the rest of your fact-free comment, you continue to mock us and we’ll continue to ignore you.

          • >The only reason you guys can do universal healthcare is because we pay for your defense.

            What you say is true, but we also subsidize their healthcare. Europe in effect offloads most of its drug validation and clinical trials to the U.S., accepting FDA approval as a go-ahead for sale in their countries. Domestic consumers pay for those compliance costs, then the drugs are sold cheaper outside the U.S. This is why smuggled prescription drugs from Canada are a thing.

    • Jihadis ROFL at your ROFL

      Enjoy your vacuous laughter. It will come with a heavy price. You’ll stop laughing when you get the bill.

      • Even with jihadis, the Netherlands had less than 1 murder per 100k people in 2016. (US 4.5). And that is in one of the most urbanized countries in the world.

        I do not see how more automatic rifles will improve that.

  28. Again with some relation to the original post.

    See Michael Bane currently of Outdoor Channel and impeccable pro gun credentials pointing favorably – with some support from his own usual crowd – to an opinion piece on The Truth About Guns favoring the NRA official statement The NRA’s Position on Bump Fire Stocks was Genius by Johannes Paulsen. At worst points to ponder and at best useful suggestions.

    I hasten to add that myself I am much more disturbed by Wayne La Pierre. This weekend speaking as Executive Vice President and CEO Mr. La Pierre clearly said on national TV and to be repeated and replayed all over that the NRA position is that full auto by rights ought to be barred to the general public.

    There is an argument that the NRA got some concessions in exchange for supporting closing the registry – this despite the almost perfectly clean record of legal full auto firearms in the hands of the general public. Full auto owners, users and wannabees were and are the chosen sacrifices in the Court of Public Opinion to allow Mr. La Pierre to virtue signal that he is a – vastly overpaid – reasonable man.

    I’d be in total agreement with folks here or elsewhere who expressed dissatisfaction with Wayne La Pierre. And I hasten to add that carrying that dissatisfaction over to condemning the NRA is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

  29. Marion Hammer, no longer an official spokesperson but respected has published a piece with her own reaction to the official statement and discussion of how she things.

    • >Marion Hammer, no longer an official spokesperson but respected has published a piece with her own reaction to the official statement and discussion of how she things.

      URL?

  30. things supra should be thinks No idea where it was first published, it’s showing up on related semi-official NRA affiliate sites such as https://www.facebook.com/NRAMembersCouncils/posts/10155170922912582

    DATE: October 9, 2017
    FROM: Marion Hammer, NRA past president
    RE: Misinformation and Distortion Anger Me

    In 1934 the first federal gun control law in America was passed. The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) became the law of the land. The NRA was asleep at the switch. Most of us hadn’t even been born then. It is not of our making but like all good, honest, law-abiding Americans, the NRA obeys the law. The NFA regulates fully-automatic firearms and has done so for 83 years.

    The “bump-stock” device, used by the killer in the Las Vegas shooting, converts a semi-auto rifle to a full-auto rifle. Anyone who has ever used a bump-stock or watched a video demonstrating its use, can only conclude that it is a converter.

    If you listened to an audio recording of the shooting during that horrific massacre, you must have concluded that it was full-auto fire. You were not alone, many firearms experts and law enforcement professionals came to the same conclusion. It was not until later that information was released disclosing that bump-stocks had been used to convert semi-automatic firearms to perform like full-auto firearms.

    In spite of the seemingly noble reason the manufacturer claims for developing it, the bump-stock circumvents federal law. Regardless of the quality and reliability or lack thereof of this device – it converts a semi-auto to full-auto when installed.

    Do you have any idea how many people were shocked out of their minds when ATF decided bump-stocks were not subject to regulation and APPROVED them for sale and use? That was under the Obama administration for crying out loud. Your mind is forced to run wild wondering why.
    Once the ruling was made, what would you expect NRA to do? Do you think NRA should have said, Oh! No, ATF is wrong, ATF made a mistake?

    It doesn’t matter what laws the NRA doesn’t agree with or doesn’t like, the NRA must abide by the law. For decades, over and over again when the enemies of the Second Amendment have tried to capitalize on tragedies by calling for more gun control, NRA has called for enforcing existing law. That is exactly what we are doing now.

    Make no mistake, the NRA has NOT cleared the way for more regulation. If it were not for ATF’s wink and nod to the manufacturer of the bump-stock, it would already be regulated under federal law. NRA has tossed it back into ATF’s lap where it belongs. NRA has not agreed to any new legislation nor has NRA said we agree with any existing NFA legislation. NRA has not agreed to a ban. NRA has not agreed to anything. NRA simply insists upon enforcing existing law.

    The enemies freedom and the Second Amendment are spewing hysteria from the podiums they have planted in the blood of innocent victims. These anti-Second Amendment heretics are using these victims as their stalking horse to get some new gun control legislation on the floor of the Congress.

    These victims have fallen and are suffering because of the evil acts of a deranged madman who could have carried out his destruction even if bump-stocks were not available under ATF’s approval. He would have found another way.

    Don’t blame bump-stocks, don’t blame ATF, don’t blame anybody but the evil people who perpetrated this crime. No law, no regulation stops those with evil in their hearts.

    The frantic cries from antagonists who want to take your freedom are intended to stampede you and Congress into supporting more gun control.

    But it doesn’t stop there. Is it not clear to you that, just like the media, some members of the NRA Board are misinterpreting what the NRA has said?

    Additionally, there are “Trojan horse members” who are deliberately misinterpreting what the NRA has said. Just like having an (R) after your name doesn’t make you a conservative Republican, having an NRA membership card doesn’t make you an honest member.

    Be very careful of anti-NRA people claiming to have many supporters who are merely standing in a hall of mirrors and seeing their own reflections. Don’t be fooled.

    This fight is not about the personal financial interests of NRA Board members. This fight should not be used by any individual Board member to attack NRA as a means elevate their own popularity with dissidents and “Trojan horse members.”

    This particular fight is about following existing law. If you don’t believe that bump-stocks convert semi-autos to full-autos then you have not seen what I have seen. While the conversion may be reversible by removing and replacing the device, it none less makes a semi-auto perform like a full-auto when installed.

    We do not need new legislation, we do not need new regulation, we simply need ATF to review its previous approval and enforce existing law. That’s what NRA said. That will render bump-stocks irrelevant. There is no need for Congress to be stampeded into doing anything else. No matter how you twist it, or what your own personal agenda may be, the NRA has not compromised.
    If ATF won’t do it on its own, President Trump should order ATF to review its ruling made under the Obama administration.

    We should stand united. We need to enforce existing law. We don’t need any new gun control legislation. Any member of Congress who wants to sacrifice more of our freedom under the pretense of providing safety should know that we don’t forgive the betrayal of freedom or the Second Amendment and we won’t give a wink and a nod to political eye wash as a substitute for backbone.
    The only legislation we need to see on the floor of Congress right now is carry reciprocity and elimination of suppressor regulations.

    Marion Hammer
    NRA Past President

    • Yeah, I disagree with his premise. A bump-fire stock doesn’t make a semi-auto full-auto under the legal definition. The legal definition has to do with one projectile per trigger pull (with exemptions for shot-shells and the like). What a bump-fire stock does is enable you to pull the trigger faster. Under this legal framework, banning bump stocks is no different than banning Jerry Miculek’s fingers.

      If you think this ought to be included in the definition, the law needs to be amended. I’d absolutely be for amending the law, classifying bump stocks the same as lightning links or drop in auto sears, especially if they’d open the registry again, and allow law abiding citizens to get them as NFA items. Or if the bill added concealed carry reciprocity. Or removed suppressors from the NSA and treated them like car mufflers: something you can just buy at the store.

      • Marion Hammer is a chick. An old chick, admittedly, but with a name like Hammer who’s gonna mess with her?

        The only way she could be more awesome is if her middle name was Cock

      • I don’t agree with Marion on this one.

        The bump stock does not make a semi into a full auto. The fire control group is unchanged. It still operates in a semi-auto fashion just as it always did.

        All bump-fire does is use recoil to enable more rapid actuation of the semi-auto mechanism. The stocks were designed to make doing this easier.

        An AR15 with a slidefire stock is still a semi-auto weapon.

  31. “There are signs Paddock had visitors after his sniper hide was set up.”

    That directly contradicts what’s being said anywhere so far as I’ve seen.

    • >That directly contradicts what’s being said anywhere so far as I’ve seen.

      So, what would be evidence for that negative?

      I can imagine what would be evidence for “Paddock had visitors”. Say you dust for prints and find some that don’t match Paddock or the cleaning staff. (Note: my source didn’t say this or anything nearly so specific.)

      I dunno what would be evidence for “No visitors.” Remember Paddock seems to have been holed up there for some time before the massacre.

      UPDATE: It is public information that they found a charger in the room that didn’t match Paddock’s phone.

    • >[Had visitors] directly contradicts what’s being said anywhere so far as I’ve seen.

      It has been on the news that there was a phone charger in the room not matching Paddock’s phone.

  32. I’m not saying that isn’t there; I’m saying it isn’t showing up anywhere else. Which means that it leads somewhere hostile to MSM / Deep State interests.

    • >Which has since been specifically retracted.

      Interesting!

      Story does mention multiple phones. Which is at least somewhere in the direction of confirming “12 burners”.

  33. One reason for slow-rolling the information flow and keeping things ambiguous would be to avoid tipping your hand while you pursue other suspects. CSI 101 would include counting and cataloging all the brass in the hotel suite, which likely would have shed light on a lot of key questions during the first 24 hours of the investigation. If other players were involved, that would have become the main focus of follow-on actions by the FBI and may still be in play. And if so, this could either explode as a national story or get buried as solely a lone gunman, depending upon who and why. Either way, the paradigm seems to have shifted, with lots of recent terror attacks becoming more unpredictable. As in the days of the Wild West, an actively armed citizenry is the only real mitigation.

    • The longer we go without The Big Reveal on Vegas, the more convinced I become that there isn’t one. An investigation this big has too many players to keep bombshell secrets. If ESR has a source on the inside, then the media has better ones. At some point, scooping your competitors trumps sitting on stories that don’t support “the narrative”.

      I can just–just–buy that the media are still embargoing certain facts at the behest of the investigative team, but I think we’re on the tail end of such an agreement holding up.

    • I can tell you that the Metro Las Vegas Police Dept continues to seriously investigate this matter. The problem here in Vegas is no one has figured out the magic question why. We may never know…. the shooter was very private and didn’t seem to want to tell us much.

    • I’m mildly surprised that hasn’t been banned already. That seems to be trying to split hairs on ‘one shot per one trigger pull’.

  34. YouTube has already announced they are going to remove any videos having anything to do with “bump stocks” or other methods to fire semi-autos faster.

  35. “Extending that reasoning would imply I personally have the right to own a rocket/grenade launcher, flame thrower…any weapon that a soldier can conceivably wield.”

    I agree with the logic of the statement. I would extend it to include the right to keep a sporting firearm or a weapon on the person at all times preferably but not necessarily concealed at home or in an owned vehicle or a place of business with the permission of the real estate owner.

    However I also agree with an article by Tom Kratman when he was still writing a weekly piece at Everyjoe. Paraphrasing the classic “the heart has its reasons…..” to “the mob has its reasons which aren’t particularly reasonable” the argument is that pushing logic beyond public acceptance fails. The failure mode is likely to be painful for the individual who has pushed logic beyond the mob’s acceptance. Therefore don’t try to take logic beyond the mob’s acceptance.

    Mack Reynolds who was once a tremendously popular SF writer with an ideological bent (did marvelously well in Astounding’s Analytical Library) wrote something of a shaggy dog 3 part serial/novel story in the 1970’s in which a former red diaper baby highjacks a nuclear weapon and passes it around among radical extremist organizations. The shaggy dog portion is the reveal that now reformed he does so deliberately so the mob will destroy them.

    We know the gun grabbers are both ignorant and illogical. Hence the argument that discussion is a WOFTM. It is demonstrably impossible to argue a gun grabber out of a position that wasn’t reached logically.

    And that leads to the point that there are any number of legal trigger modifications with legitimate sporting purposes. Release triggers for sporting shotguns, release pull and pull release all are in current medal winning sporting use. Long ago now I remember joshing about a Thompson Center Contender with an auto sear that emptied the gun with a single trigger pull. I cited above a Brownell’s sold Guissele made trigger for full auto AR series when otherwise legal and meeting all NFA requirements.

    Guissele and many others make replacement triggers for many other arms that are an awfully lot like the full auto modification from the same maker. Certainly dropping the pull weight by an order of magnitude facilitates faster firing and could be so argued by gun grabber in times to come. Current reports are that proposed legislation will indeed have the effect of banning trigger modifications that are logically legal but emotionally scare the gun grabbers.

    It follows that there are real considerations in the current battle as in the entire campaign and indeed the factional war with gun grabbers that has endured more than our respective lifetimes.

    I support GOA and others. I have no quarrel with not charging uphill into prepared positions and trying to reopen the NFA registry right now just as I hope the option is kept open. Fighting a battle we can’t win is foolish. There’s a difference between advancing when we can and holding when we can’t advance and surrendering a position unforced. For those who prefer not to support the NRA, there are local and national organizations offering many alternatives. GOA is prominent, local and state affiliations are not so well known but they are out there. I belong to my local, state and multiple national associations myself.

    Again it seems to me in the present circumstance that the official statement by the NRA is a reasonable statement in the current circumstance. For that reason I will continue to support the NRA and encourage others to support the NRA now and in the future as I have in the past.

    • >About gun control discussions in general, do you think a platform such as Kialo could actually improve the quality of the debate?

      I don’t know. I’d have to experiment with it to see.

    • If the discussion you linked to is any indicator, the answer is “absolutely not”. In order to even participate in good faith, you have to accept at least two big gun-grabber premises right up front.

      And I don’t trust a centralized, corporate platform to remain neutral. We’ve seen time and again that they’ll actively censor views they disagree with.

  36. Pingback: Bumped – Daily Pundit

  37. I live in Las Vegas. I drive by Mandalay Bay twice a day. I grieve, along with my fellow citizens, the senseless, unbelievable massacre that happened on October 1st.

    The founding fathers, in their wisdom, saw the utility of giving the citizens the right to defend themselves against tyranny – including homegrown tyranny from the government. There was never a direct or implicit restriction on the phrase “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”.

    I’ve never heard of bump stocks until this tragedy. Even If everyone who was at the concert were packing full auto assault rifles and 40 round banana clips, it would not have changed nothing – except that there might have been more casualties given the angles and distances.

    And while we may never know what motivated the shooter – I’m not willing for _anyone_ to give up mine and their rights in exchange for a false sense of security.

    Taking away _any part_ of the 2nd amendment protections we all enjoy is not a solution. Thank you Eric!

  38. > I have a source inside the investigation. He says Paddock was a Trump-hater with an apartment full of antifa literature. He won’t come straight out and say there was a network behind Paddock, but he did say “You will be shocked” when more of what the investigators know becomes public in about a week.

    It’s been over a week now and all I’ve seen is official confusion over the timeline. Any word from your contact?

    My fear is that unless evidence of a motive is released soon, it never will be.

    • >It’s been over a week now and all I’ve seen is official confusion over the timeline. Any word from your contact?

      He says “Soon”. I noted a couple days ago that he trashed the multiple-shooter theories that have been going around.

      • The LVMPD and FBI have now officially gone on record as stating that they will not provide any further press conferences or new information on the Las Vegas shooting massacre. The Weinstein fiasco has completely dominated the news cycle during the past two weeks, and now a new Clinton scandal is brewing which promises to further obscure the information black-out in Las Vegas. The security guard and maintenance man interview on Ellen was a contrived joke, and both have now committed (paid off?) to remain silent henceforth. If this isn’t a cover-up of epic proportions, I don’t know what is.

        I don’t know what the credibility of your source is, but I doubt that there will be any major announcements in the near future. My guess is that this story is about to devolve into mist of conspiracy theory very soon. As such, the cover-up will be far more damaging than the crime.

        • If this isn’t a cover-up of epic proportions, I don’t know what is.

          A combination of an investigation in progress and a business doing CYA in anticipation of gigantic lawsuits.

  39. Like the NAACP having to promote racism and inequality in order to perpetuate their existence, so the NRA has to promote some form of gun control to perpetuate theirs.

    The NRA is not your friend.

  40. Unpopular opinion – the NRA roll over was a 4 step trap (emulating Trump’s style) laid for the left.
    1) NRA lays out “reasonable” position to urban liberals, some of who believe that gun control isn’t about gun confiscation, while pointing out Obama’s ATF approved the bumpfire stocks

    2) Lefty pols over reach and write bill that would ban most guns that won’t pass angering their “do something” base

    3) NRA points out that the lefty politicians over reach and lost support for the kind of “common sense” gun control measure that gets effete Liberal beta’s dicks hard

    4) Nothing gets done and the left fractures more as “the resistance” keeps getting more and more violent as “mainstream” lefties look more and more ineffective. That violence will boost gun industry as more and more Average Joes start seeing the need for standard cap mags to defend from mob violence.

    My two cents feel free to call me a Trumpkin Fudd – but I wrote for the so-called conservative Internet for years in the early days of this industry. If you think for a second any group doesn’t have action plans to “never let a crisis go to waste” you’ve never paid attention to the planning sessions at places like CPAC etc.

    NRA isn’t perfect and are ham fisted, but maybe sometimes they’re purposely ham fisted. Just a thought

  41. Pingback: Linkapoloosa Fest: A Two Week Cross Section As The Roll On Order Consequences of Trying To Destroy The West Accelerate – Dirt People

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