By Jeffrey Folloder
It’s the User, Not the Weapon
Make no mistake: the world of NFA firearms is squarely in the target sights of the gun control crowd. Take, for example, a cleverly disguised hit piece in the October 6, 2017, edition of The New York Times by Texas writer Richard Parker, penned as an Op-Ed article. Parker starts off by describing some “sensible” gun control efforts as being deficient because such things “treat[s] a symptom, but not the disease.” He’s one of us, right? Parker then goes on to describe the folly of enacting bans and controls based upon how a weapon looks, instead of how it works. He fills in some blanks, lightly painting himself as someone who is part of the gun world. He suggests that he could be a hunter and that he was issued a real M-16 by Uncle Sam. And then he turns his gaze upon simulated full-auto fire and illegal conversions of existing weapons.
We have somebody who is balanced and “rational,” weighing in on how to solve the problems of spree killers and others who would use automatic fire (genuine or simulated) in order to commit their heinous acts. Parker goes on to extol how “easy” it is to convert an AR or SKS semi-automatic to fully automatic fire. He provides bona fide working links to YouTube videos and Amazon books that show you just how it’s done. He then suggests that it might not be as easy as he paints, but that it certainly can be done with a bit of effort. It is for this reason that Parker opines that banning so-called bump stocks is a fool’s errand because … It is so easy to make the real thing.
“The only solution, it seems, is to extend the ban on automatic weapons to include gas-powered, semiautomatic rifles that are merely modified versions of their military analogues. … After Las Vegas, we can’t close our eyes to the ease with which someone can unleash automatic weapon fire on a crowd of people. Nor can we pretend that banning just one conversion technique will solve the problem.” There it is folks. Ban. Ban. Ban. Somehow, once again, addle-brained opinion writers heap their blame and opprobrium on a tool. In almost every case, it is already illegal to convert your AR or SKS to full-auto. Let’s not let facts get in the way of a good opportunity to make sinister guns vanish. We all know the proper responses to such ridiculous suggestions.
There is no gun control effort that will prevent a determined criminal or psychopath from executing his or her evil act. We do not suggest an alcohol ban when folks binge-drink and commit crimes while drunk. We don’t even suggest that we ban higher proof beverages by concluding that such drinks “get you there” quicker. Never-ending streams of homicides are committed with automobiles. No cry for bans on Ford F150’s. There is only one proper and rational response to crimes committed with firearms: swift and effective punishment. We have a litany of laws already emplaced at the federal, state and local levels that could lock up perpetrators of gun crime for a very long time. This is how it should be. Blame the person who commits the crime, not the tool used.
The NFATCA has never deviated from this view. Automatic weapons are not evil. Neither are suppressors. Or short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns or a 20mm Lahti anti-tank rifle. Lawfully created, purchased and possessed examples of these items are seldom, if ever, used to commit crimes. Yet those who would strip you of your Constitutional right because of an imagined potential will target your NFA weapons because of a misplaced perception that they are “more bad.” Illegally created, possessed and used versions are already illegal, and avenues of punishment are already available to society, in general, and law enforcement, in particular. Yet the gun control factions would vilify NFA weapons as extra evil and ripe for ostracism because of some supposed super power qualities. If simulated automatic fire is bad, real automatic fire must be worse. Ms. Clinton imagined the destruction if a shooter were using a suppressor and his shots could not be heard. She conveniently ignored the fact that there is an evil person pulling the trigger. Let’s empower the laws that are already on the books. Use any gun to commit a crime, and you are going to jail. For a very long time.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V22N2 (February 2018)