Gun control remains divisive, but bump stocks are unpopular

Gun control remains divisive, but bump stocks are unpopular

Despite these atrocities, there is always obstruction in the path of progress when it comes to controlling guns and passing anti-gun legislation for the sake of healing a shattered country. "This is about emotion".

A guy mows down more than 500 people with an assault rifle of some sort and all of a sudden Congressional Republicans, the NRA and their spokesperson, Donald Trump, are willing to have a "discussion" about gun laws.

Many prominent Americans agree. Compelling motivation if you live in a country where every redneck and ne'er-do-well is armed, but sadly the evidence is that carrying a gun makes it far more likely that you will yourself be shot. Despite broad legislation which has prohibited the maintenance of purchase records and demanded that the results of all background checks on prospective gun owners be destroyed after 24 hours, there are more than a few small databases maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) which deal with the purchase and registration of guns.

But recent polls would have us believe that Americans have done an about-face and are longing for more gun control less than a year after Clinton's defeat.

The Las Vegas Strip was home of the traumatic mass shooting which occurred on the night of Sunday, Oct. 2. States that have some of the highest percentages of gun ownership have some of the highest gun-related death rates (Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, Arkansas), and those with some of the lowest rates of gun ownership generally have the lowest gun-related death rates (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island). They are tools with no magic powers to turn ordinary people into killers. From there, those who passed step one need to pass a shooting range test with a mark of 95-percent and then go to a hospital for a mental test and drug test which will then be checked out by the police. The vast majority of America's estimated 320m guns - at least 99.75 per cent - have never been used in the commission of a crime. It is a gun problem. Guns are a unifying force for my family as well as many communities across the country. People who do not own guns may not relate to owning guns or even fathom their objective but this is no reason to ban them. They are more often victims of violence than perpetrators.

This is particularly true of rifles, which are hardly ever used in crimes. Paddock used an AR-15 and a legal bump stock modification which allowed him to shoot at a minimum rate of 600 RPM. It replaces a rifle's standard stock and frees the weapon to slide back and forth, harnessing the energy from a gun's kickback. In 2014, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, they were used to kill 248 people; fewer than were killed by shotguns (262) and hands, feet, fists, etc (660). They'd rather the AFT take a look. No-one blamed the truck. Though the number of guns has gone up to around 320m, gun homicides have come down by 49 per cent since 1993. This weekend, in the wake of the mass killings in Las Vegas, the respondents in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll took similar positions to those they have taken for years: favoring some gun control measures, but not others. Congress needs to act boldly on this gun crisis and needs to do it now.

What should Americans do?

If the framers of the constitution wanted to expand the meaning of the phrase "bear arms" to include all civilians, they could have done so by adding the phrase "for the defense of themselves" to the end of the Second Amendment, as was exactly done in the state constitutions of Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.

One could argue that after a tragedy like Las Vegas, where Paddock was able to amplify the number of dead and wounded by using a bump stock that the NRA might use this moment to show it truly supports reasonable curbs, especially since it's been quite adamantly against banning other devices, including such flash suppressors, bayonet mounts, and folding stocks, as well as as high capacity magazines.

Since this country was founded, the right to own a gun has been fundamental to the American way of life.



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