Thursday, October 05, 2017


Do you think President Trump will go for a bump-stock ban or some other gun control measure? Do you think enough Republicans will join with Democrats to get such legislation through Congress? Before you answer, check out the headline of the lead story at Breitbart:

The story is a brief account of Kellyanne Conway's conversation with CNN's Chris Cuomo this morning. Conway sang the praises of the Second Amendment and attacked Democrats, but all that matters at Breitbart is that she said the White House "always welcomes thoughtful conversation" about guns.

The word "WEAK" is a warning shot not just from Steve Bannon, but from his sugar daddy and mommy, Robert and Rebekah Mercer, who are eager to finance challengers to insufficiently extreme Republicans. Jane Mayer notes that Robert Mercer is a gun enthusiast with a private pistol range at his Long Island estate, adding, "He is also a part owner of Centre Firearms, a company that claims to have the country’s largest private cache of machine guns, as well as a weapon that Arnold Schwarzenegger wielded in 'The Terminator.'" HuffPost's Vicki Ward reminds us of the Mercers' statement to The Washington Post after Trump's Access Hollywood tape emerged:
“If Mr. Trump had told Billy Bush, whoever that is, earlier this year that he was for open borders, open trade and executive actions in pursuit of gun control, we would certainly be rethinking our support for him.... We are completely indifferent to Mr. Trump’s locker room braggadocio.”
(Emphasis added.)

These folks are coming after any Republican who wavers on guns. And I assume that includes the president.


UPDATE: I'm sticking with this despite the surprising NRA news:
In its first public statement since the deadliest shooting in modern American history, the National Rifle Association on Thursday called for new regulations on bump stocks that rapidly accelerate a weapons' rate of fire.
That news is less that it seems because the NRA didn't really call for "new regulations on bump stocks."

Here's the wording of the statement:
"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's Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox said in a joint statement.

"The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations," the statement continued.
Do you see the catch there? The NRA is saying that devices that "allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles" need more regulation. But in the gun culture it's widely argued that bump stocks don't allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully automatic rifles.

Let's ask Breitbart gun writer AWR Hawkins:
Some reports actually claim the devices “enable automatic fire” (CBS News) while some pundits claim evidence suggests a bump stock allows a person to “convert [a semiautomatic] into an automatic weapon (Newt Gingrich). Such misconceptions and/or misinformation fuel calls for a ban on the devices.

But the devices DO NOT convert a semiautomatic rifle into an automatic one.

... bump stocks were legalized by Barack Obama’s ATF in 2010. Rick Vasquez, former acting chief of the Firearms Technology Branch of the ATF, told USA Today that a bump-stocks were legalized because they are “an accessory, not a conversion device.” In other words, the devices are add-on accessories that allow a gun owner to briefly mimic automatic fire but they do not convert the gun into an automatic weapon.
What the NRA wants is a review that will come to the same conclusion: Bump stocks don't convert a semi-automatic into an automatic -- they just convert it into something that mimics an automatic, imperfectly.

Weeks or months from now, when we're no longer talking about Las Vegas, and when the biggest gun group to the right of the NRA, Gun Owners of America, is holding firm in its vow to resist any legislation banning bump stocks, I think that will be the GOP Congress's conclusion.

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