Holding ourselves hostages to NFA.

We are suffering what I call NFA-Induced Memory loss with a lack of pragmatism.

After Las Vegas and Parkland, the Left and Democrats did not target just bump stocks, but had a huge list of targets: “Assault weapons” (including pistols), magazines, universal background checks for gun and ammunition, the end of online sales of firearms, the ever popular gun registration and maybe a couple of others.
It was a brutal attack against gun rights. The media were 99% against us, they colluded (love that word) in creating a lopsided town hall with the Broward Sheriff who knew by then (and did not say shit) about the failed performance of his deputies.
Tens of thousands of people marching in DC for gun control. Media darlings created, Kids from Parkland paraded around the country as new revolutionary heroes.

This was it. This was supposed to be the end of Guns in America…but they did not get it.

Our bill came due to a piece of plastic that can be substituted by a rubber band, and people are losing their shit as if they were about to be forced to give up their rifles at gun point tomorrow. Mind you, you can go now and buy an AR15 for under $400 but apparently the ability to go fast pew can only be achieved with a gadget that is treated as the Holy Grail and ignore the rest?

I understand the principle, but I cannot divorce reality from the stupid Wishlist of some “gun groups” more interested in getting some of the NRA’s money than actually be “bloodied” in real life gun rights fight and the only thing they actually do is ring the bell of NFA and promise an auto sear in every pot. The sad part I how many and how loudly lots of loud folks believe it.

The best thing to do if you ever want to see full auto weapons and the rest of the NFA accessories is simply to stop giving it the loud importance you want it to give. The games played with NFA items, and specifically machine guns has been one of the most damaging things for Gun Rights, decades later we are still fighting the branding of the fake term  “assault weapons” to any semi auto rifle by Gun Control so the public believes they are actually machine guns. Every week, Hollywood  shows on TV and the movies how easy is for the average gang banger to lay a hand on the super fast murder gun, apparently available at every corner bodega and when people on our side come out chest thumping about full auto, we get tagged as the morons that really want to see MS13 doing drive-bys with an m-60 sticking out of the window of the Impala. We need to be detached enough to simply tell anybody who ask “Hey, that is Hollywood bullshit. What I have is different, here shoot mine.”

“But Miguel, it is the principle!”

Bullshit. Principles are fin and dandy in an honorable exchange of ideas. They are not so hot in a knife fight inside a phone booth where you need hard-nosed tactics. Principles are great only if you win the war. 

But Miguel, if we give up on bump stocks, they will come for our AR15s!”

Hey Sparky, wake the hell up. They are always coming after out AR15s. They have been doing so for the last 35 years with no plans to stop any time soon. Where the hell have you been that you have not noticed that? Bump Stocks is not going to be the downfall of the Republic, no matter what the fundraisers of other gun groups are telling you will happen.

Perfect is the enemy of good. And in this case, Perfect is the enemy of Almost Perfect and some people want to see the whole shit burn down to the ground on a philosophical tantrum.

10 Replies to “Holding ourselves hostages to NFA.”

  1. Agreed. People seem to be raging about “the precedent” that this sets and how easy it would be for a Democrat President to simply legislate away all semi-autos. But I think those people are being naive. I’ve said it before but I’ll repeat it here again. When a Democrat President comes to power and the Democrats find themselves with majorities in the House and Senate, they aren’t going to bother ordering the ATF to re-interpret law, they are instead going to pass a full semi-auto ban. It’s coming, it’s just a matter of time.

  2. I’ve not got a clear understanding of where you’re coming from Miguel.

    So we don’t fight it now in the courts, where we stand a decent chance of this idiotically written regulation being ruled against?
    I don’t care for bumpstocks one bit, but the precedent, not principle, needs to be dealt with.

    Also, HP don’t be so sanguine about a demoncrap majority being able to just simply pass any law they want. It still takes 60 votes to ‘end debate’ on bills in the Senate and I don’t see that rule going anywhere for laws because it’s as much an advantage to one side as the other.

    1. @Miles, forgive my cynicism, as I watched a Republican majority state senate approve the “SAFE Act” here in NY. Add to that the whole Harry Reid nuclear option that is increasingly being used, and all they’d need is a simple majority. For that reason, I don’t think the Democrats have the foresight or care enough about what the Republicans might do when the tables are turned. That said, I hope you’re right.

        1. The downstate Repubs, yes. RINO’s, the whole lot of them. Turncoats. Scum. Upstate has some rock solid Conservatives, though. We just need to have about 3 times more of them.

  3. Miggy,
    I agree with your logic. Well said!
    We need to be nuanced on our side, and not strident, like the “nevertrumpers,”
    Calm, deliberate, and rational.

  4. The bumpsrock thing is important not because the silly things were something people need to have but because they were allowed due to the ATF admitting they had to follow the letter of the law. Now their justification for banning it is by following the spirit of gun law and that is something I don’t trust them with at all. I would rather work on getting silencers off the NFA then ask for a bump stock but what would be the point if the ATF has the precedent of being able to ignore the letter of the law to enforce whatever they feel the spirit of it is? Imagine the 94 AWB if the ATF had been able to enforce rulings base on the spirit of the law? I am fine with lousing bump stocks but it needs to come from a law not a precedent setting ruling. Hell I would gladly see bumpsocks banned by a bill sponsored by our side if the same bill also limited the ATF from following anything but the letter of the law.

  5. I’ve taken a few days more than I should have with this–I hope you and Jkb still read it….

    First, I don’t care a whit about bump stocks. IMO, they’re useless toys that amount to a lousy way to waste increasingly expensive ammunition.

    That said, I have three points to which I have not seen a reasonable response in anything I’ve read here.

    1. I have yet to see a proposal that will ban bump stocks without pernicious side effects on things like competition triggers, or even routine trigger jobs. Leaving it in the hands of the ATF to ignore the letter of the law seems a recipe for future disaster, unless there is a way to regulate bump stocks that affects ONLY bump stocks. I have yet to see anything that would meet that criterion.

    2. I think if we are going to “give” on something, we should “get” something in return. I’m *really* tired of “compromise” meaning “we give up less than the left wanted.” I wouldn’t mind giving up bump stocks in trade for the hearing protection act, or national reciprocity, or even, as was suggested above, legislating that the ATF MUST follow the law, but giving in on ANYTHING without getting something in return MUST STOP.

    3. I have yet to see anything addressing the “takings” issue. Taking property has two parts–one about “public use,” and one about “just compensation.” The latter is actually the subject of a lawsuit filed a few days ago by Josh Prince and Adam Kraut, of the Firearms Industry Consulting Group. Specifically, if government is going to take privately owned property, it cannot do so without offering “just” compensation in return. The ATF can’t force people to turn in or destroy bump stocks without buying them.

    The Kelo decision notwithstanding, the part about “public use” gets even more interesting. (I’m not sure if Prince and Kraut addressed this, but it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that they did.) Kelo allowed that private property could be taken for “public purpose,” but the constitution clearly says “public USE,” which would mean that bump stocks could only be taken (essentially, purchase by the government from their owners) if the government was going to put them to some “use.” If this one gets to the Supremes, it could amount to a revisiting of Kelo, which might not be a bad thing for a court willing to keep more to the text.

    So, in summary, I don’t care about bump stocks per se, but there are a number of quite important issues tied up with this one–it appears to me that it’s not nearly the “hill not worth dying on” that the NRA and many others seem to think.

    1. “So, in summary, I don’t care about bump stocks per se, but there are a number of quite important issues tied up with this one–it appears to me that it’s not nearly the “hill not worth dying on” that the NRA and many others seem to think.”

      ATF like DEA and others are agencies empowered by Congress to regulate their fiefdoms. That is, they get to declare what is what by executive fiat of a bureaucrat.

      The fight is not bump stocks but ATF’s ability to create laws under the shadow of regulation. And it is not in courts where that power will get removed but in Congress. We are like the drunk guy arguing with the puppet and ignoring the ventriloquist.

      But the same “Fighter of the Second Amendment.. NO COMPROMISE” loudmouths know it is a long road without any publicity perks and little chance of success because they do not have the infrastructure and never will. So they take the easy way out, shit on the NRA and ask you for your money to do exactly what they have been doing for decades: Squat. (OK, maybe get an intern write a Amicus Curiae for the court in between six packs)

      You eliminate the regulatory power of the ATF and you guarantee destroying NFA at least 50%.

      If you are going after the Holy Grail, you have my support. If you are going to defend Tupperware, you are on your own.

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