The anti-gun furies have been out in full force since the Parkland high school shooting. The Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex is calling for everything from banning rifle sales to anyone under 21 to requiring gun buyers be 30 years old to purchase an AR to the outright repeal of the Second Amendment. The calls and the political pressure to DO SOMETHING have been fierce and unrelenting.
President Donald Trump says he’s signed a memo directing the Justice Department to propose regulations to “ban all devices” like bump stocks used in last year’s Las Vegas massacre.
The political calculation here is obvious, if fundamentally flawed.
Trump can say he's "done something" in response to the Parkland massacre with the minimum effect on the vast majority of gun owners. He'll be able to point to an actual gun control measure taken by a Republican administration, something as rare as a logical argument made by Shannon Watts.
Trump knows that ninety-nine percent of gun owners will be completely unaffected by the move, at least for now. The fact that a bump fire stock has been used in precisely one mass shooing in the history of the world is entirely beside the point.
But what Trump and his advisors apparently haven't taken into account is the long term effect of this move. By facilitating the arbitrary prohibition of a firearm accessory that isn't -- by any definition -- prohibited by a law currently on the books (as the ATF itself has determined), Trump is setting a precedent and opening the door for further arbitrary regulation and bans of other legal firearms and accessories by future, less gun-friendly administrations down the road.
There's also the fact that, by their very nature, gun control advocates won't be placated one bit by this move. He'll get exactly zero credit from his political enemies. That's because no action the Trump administration takes in their direction will ever be enough for the gun grabbers. Our moral and intellectual betters in the civilian disarmament movement will only be truly satisfied when the Second Amendment is repealed and every one of America's more than 300 million civilian-owned firearms has been confiscated and destroyed. In other words...never.
In short, by ordering the DOJ to figure out a way to ban bump fire stocks, he's chosen a course of action that will satisfy precisely no one and could lead to further, more radical moves against Americans' Second Amendment rights in the future. And if anti-gunners thought they saw a tragedy last week, we hate to think about what could occur if that happens.