Thursday, October 05, 2017


We're being told that Republicans might actually allow a new gun control law to be enacted -- but when you look closely, most of them are merely saying they'd be "open" to considering a new law, which effectively means nothing.

Here's what The New York Times tells us:
Top congressional Republicans, who have for decades resisted any legislative limits on guns, signaled on Wednesday that they would be open to banning the firearm accessory that the Las Vegas gunman used to transform his rifles to mimic automatic weapon fire.
Would they be "open" to banning the bump stock? Or would they be "open" to thinking about banning it, or pretending to think about it? You decide:
“I own a lot of guns, and as a hunter and sportsman, I think that’s our right as Americans, but I don’t understand the use of this bump stock,” Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, said, adding, “It seems like it’s an obvious area we ought to explore and see if it’s something Congress needs to act on.”

Mr. Cornyn said the continuing legality of the conversion kits was “a legitimate question,” and told reporters he had asked Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the Judiciary Committee chairman, to convene a hearing on that issue and any others that arise out of the Las Vegas investigation.

Other Republican senators, including Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Orrin G. Hatch of Utah and Marco Rubio of Florida, said they would be open to considering legislation on bump stocks.
The fact that the list includes Rubio -- the sitting senator with the sixth-highest total of career NRA donations -- tells me that saying you're "open" to "consideration" of a bump-stock ban is not the same as being likely to vote for such a ban.

CNN reports that a very pro-gun member of the House is also "open" -- but with a catch:
In another significant development, Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, the key voice behind the so-called gun silencer bill that awaits a vote in the House, said he would be open to debating the bump stock issue and plans to talk to more of his Republican colleagues.

"I didn't know they existed until this," Duncan said, adding that he and other members have been "watching videos" to ‎learn more about the device. Based on what he's gauged so far, he described the device as simple and may be "hard to regulate."
These devices are "hard to regulate," Duncan says. So after declaring his "openness" now, he's going to tell us weeks or months from now, when we've moved on as a nation from the Vegas massacre and a proposal with mostly Democratic support is up for consideration, that -- regrettably -- the regulatory complexities are just too difficult and nothing can be done. For now he's stalling -- he "didn't know they existed until this." Cornyn doesn't "understand the use of this bump stock." The gun community regularly mocks gun control advocates for not knowing enough about guns, but here are Cornyn and Duncan declaring their ignorance and it's totally okay.

It's because the gun community knows it's all an act. It's clear these guys are playing for time. A centrist Republican backbencher from Miami, Representative Carlos Curbelo, is introducing legislation to ban bump stocks, but more important Republicans will bottle this legislation up until the Vegas massacre is a dim memory.

If I were paranoid, I'd say that having this phony discussion was a way of driving traffic to gun shops. Gun sales are down this year, because there's no Democratic bogeyperson in the White House, but right now sales of bump stocks are skyrocketing. Consciously or not, Republicans in Congress are making money for the gun industry by teasing a willingness to increase regulation. And then they'll reject the ban. It'll be a win-win for the industry.

No comments: