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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Complacency is the Gun Owner's Worst Enemy

Earlier today, VSSA Executive Director, Lu Charette, forwarded to me the weekly ISRA member email. In the email, ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson talks about complacency in Illinois.  It got me to thinking.  In a state like Virginia where we haven't had a new gun control law passed or signed into law since 1993 (one gun-a-month), and since 1995 we have had many pro-rights victories, even the repeal of the one gun-a-month, it is easy to slip into the same behavior.  As Pearson noted, complacency is certain death for gun rights or any other civil right.

Pearson went on to write in his email to ISRA members, the one thing the "bump stock" controversy after the Las Vegas shooting did do is pull the mask off of gun ban leaders like Diane Feinstein.  Feinstein's admission that what they are proposing would do nothing to stop these type of events tells us all we need to know about their real goal.  Whether they are at the national, state or local level, these people are dangerous and should not be underestimated.  These people have unlimited money thanks to Michael Bloomberg and the only way to stop them is to join organizations like our sister organization ISRA and VSSA to fight them.  When people become complacent, they drop their membership in state associations like ISRA and VSSA, thinking that NRA is all they need.  As Pearson said, that is always a mistake.

Diane Feinstein's "Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act" is a prime example of what the gun ban lobby always tries to make out of something like the "bump stock."  While she says her bill is narrowly written, what is proposed is anything but narrow. In fact, the bill bans any “accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machine gun.” I've seen YouTube videos where people do exactly what the "bump stock" is designed to do, simply by placing their thumb on the trigger and placing it in a belt loop on their pants.  As Dr. AWR Hawkins writes,
This language is very crucial because it goes after bump stocks for being exactly what the ATF described—an accessory, not a conversion device.

It is already illegal to convert a semiautomatic into an automatic and Feinstein’s bill is a way for leftists to make it illegal to add an accessory that allows the gun to fire rapidly without being converted to automatic.

In other words, a semiautomatic firearm with a bump stock is still a semiautomatic firearm; it only fires one round per each pull of the trigger, period. Yet Feinstein wants to ban them and—because she has to focus her ban on accessories—it means the ban is broad enough that it already includes numerous other devices that do not convert semiautomatics into automatics either. Her legislation explicitly lists “a trigger crank” as something that would be banned as well.

Did the Vegas attacker use a trigger crank? No, he did not. Yet it would be banned because Feinstein wants to ban any accessory that allows the gun owner to “accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machine gun.”

The language of her bill would include bans on other devices, bans that are only implicit at this point. It would simply come down to a bureaucrat deciding the threshold at which semiautomatics are being fired too fast and any accessory that allowed a gun owner to meet that threshold would be banned.

Feinstein’s bill currently has 38 co-sponsors, all of whom are Democrat. But numerous Republicans—including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Marco Rubio (R-FL)—have voiced openness to gun control via bump stock legislation and/or hearings on such legislation. 
In Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe has indicated he plans to introduce legislation on the way out the door that would ban "bump stocks" and Democrat Gubernatorial Candidate Ralph Northam has indicated he will also push to ban modern sporting rifles (he calls them "assault weapons) if he is elected.

Now is the time to join or renew your VSSA membership.  We need every Virginia gun owner to fight this battle.  And, we need every gun owner engaged in this year's election to insure that a pro-rights Governor is elected.   You can find out how to get involved in the election by clicking here.

Don't let complacency doom us to another four years of good legislation dying in the Governor's Office.

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