Jeff Pedro on Bump Stocks, Regulation, & Productive Discussion
Video sourced from Dayton Daily News – read their full article HERE
There is currently a national discussion going on regarding whether or not there should be regulation restricting an accessory called a “bump stock.” A “bump stock” can be added onto an M4 style rifle (regularly semi-automatic), and it functionally modifies that M4 to fire with the rapidity of a fully automatic weapon.
There are two ways they could move forward with regulation. One way is to treat it like a fully automatic weapon and require individuals to apply, and fill out the paperwork and subsequently submit that in order to get a letter of authorization stating that they are lawfully entitled to own and use that device. The other option would be to essentially outlaw them all together, making it illegal for anyone to manufacture, sell, use, or possess “bump stock” accessories. The problem with the latter strategy is very obvious – there are thousands if not tens-of-thousands of “bump stocks” in circulation already. If they were suddenly made illegal, what are those individuals who already have them going to do? I’m personally not familiar enough with the government guidelines and requirements for just compensation, or the implications of passing the law that effects a product already in circulation. I can imagine it would be difficult.
Option 1 would be easier, requiring registration for those devices. That, though, raises the question about what to do about those who already have those devices. Are they required to register them? Are there going to be fees? The cost associated with such a widespread registration process could be ugly.
The bigger issue here is that we need to continue to focus on individuals and their motivations for their actions that result in death, whether it’s mass casualty situations like we saw in Vegas or, the day-to-day homicide situations that occur in Chicago or other major cities. Individuals are killing each other with all kinds of firearms, not just bump-fire adapted M4s. Regardless of the type of firearm, its the behavior that needs to be addressed, and I’m personally of the opinion that because for years and years, because of the democratic government’s inability to get a handle on such problems, the left defaults to using emotional situations like this to shout their rather uninformed rhetoric and claim that gun owners, as Hilary Clinton did the other night, somehow are responsible for this. We are told that we share the blame. That our hands are covered with the blood of those who were shot, and that’s utterly ridiculous.
The millions of gun owners who own millions of guns within the United States do nothing criminal do not deserve to even be mentioned in the same sentence as some of these individuals who commit horrendous acts of violence with their guns, cars, trucks, airplanes, knives or other forms of weaponry. That kind of stuff does nothing but further polarize the two sides in what they call a “discussion.” A discussion involves two parties, or two people, who come together, offering their opinions and views, to talk about the pros and cons of implementing certain kinds of changes. Depending upon what the discussion is related to, it might be a discussion about implementing laws or regulations or rules – but nevertheless it requires a real discussion – one that results in an agreement, reaching a solution that both sides can agree upon. Otherwise it’s not a discussion.
Right now, when people say that we need to control gun violence and we need to restrict access to firearms, that’s an emotional response. And I understand where it’s coming from, this event was a tragedy, but responding emotionally and coming to rash conclusions because of emotion is not productive. We need to move towards productive discussion to address the issues at hand, and to come to a mutually agreeable resolution.
I would personally be in favor of regulating the possession of bump fire stocks, as well as regulating the manufacturing and the sale of these. At the same time though, we need to authorize the use of suppressors, and we need to pass the SHARE act and the many components of the SHARE act that allow many sportsmen around the country to participate in hunting and fishing without unnecessary regulation. They would simply go through the process of filling out a 4473 as with any other firearm purchase. I think these two things, restricting in some way access to bump fire stocks and allowing access to suppressors with the requirement of a background check, would be a more than reasonable way to move forward.
We also need to implement national reciprocity so that individuals who choose to carry concealed weapons for personal protection and for protection of loved ones can do so without penalty, and without worry, anywhere in the continental United States and it’s territories. I think that change is long overdue. Political misinformation has guided the indecisiveness of our legislators on this matter, and now is the time for them to talk about real issues. I also think we should check things at maybe 3, 5 and 10 years out from these changes, to evaluate the impact what we’re doing now has on our society. I remember when the assault rifles ban went into effect in 1994, we knew at the beginning it wasn’t going to have much impact on crime, and as we followed it informally from 1994 through the 90s into the early 2000s we found that it had virtually no impact, in fact, no identifiable impact on curtailing crime occurred. We weren’t surprised when it wasn’t renewed.They didn’t even address it again.
There needs to be monitoring that goes on as we move forward from the approaching legislative changes, so that people have factual data they can use in these discussions in the future. That’s the key here – factual data, in two-soided discussions, ongoing two-sided discussions. I can tell you from following these issues for quite some time, that the anti-gun community relies on misinformation, emotional manipulation and outright lies. That’s a fact. I can prove it time and time again, and as a gun owner, a gun shop owner, and a person who is an advocate of responsible ownership and use of firearms, I’m sick and tired of being looked upon differently than other Americans. The 2nd Amendment is just as powerful and just as impactful in our lives as the 1st, the 3rd, the 4th, etc. and these Amendments were all put in place for a reason. It’s unfortunate that some people, particularly the left, again – it sounds like I’m being political, but this is factual data. The left likes to stop the speech, or infringe upon the the First Amendment rights of the right because it conflicts with what they think should be said. They also like to impose upon the 2nd Amendment rights, and at the same time thy pick on the 4th Amendment. The 4th Amendment discusses searches and seizures, the left frequently claims that law enforcement oversteps its grounds with aggressive law enforcement tactics that, in reality, fall within the scope of the provisions of the 4th Amendment.
I think ultimately we can come to some agreement, but only through discussion that is two-sided. We need to sit down, and yes, there will be feelings and it will be emotional, but we need to engage in rational, reasonable discussions to decide how we should be moving forward with regulation and legislation in this area, as a response to this tragedy.