A reality based independent journal of observation & analysis, serving the Flathead Valley & Montana since 2006. © James Conner.

4 October 2017 — 1751 mdt

Civilians should not own or possess automatic or rapid fire weapons

Stephen Paddock, the murderer who killed 59 and wounded more than 500 in Las Vegas, owned and apparently used bump stocks to turn his AR-15 rifles into the functional equivalent of fully automatic weapons. That modification would account for his firing rate of up to ten rounds a second, which is much faster than an unassisted finger can pull the trigger on a semi-automatic weapon.

There’s no reason for any civilian to own or possess any automatic or rapid fire weapon. No one has a need for such firepower. We should outlaw the manufacture, sale, ownership, or possession, of bump stocks, trigger cranks, and all like devices — and we should confiscate and melt down all that exist. We should also confiscate and melt down all machine guns now legally owned by private citizens. It doesn’t matter whether some of those citizens are collectors. No one has any business collecting hardware that lethal.

If we had a common sense Congress, and a responsible President, a law accomplishing the above could be passed and signed into law in a few days. And within a few months, the confiscations and melt downs could be almost complete, with the owners being compensated at a rate of ten dollars an item.

That would not prevent all shootings. But it would reduce the carnage by reducing the rate of fire. That’s a worthwhile goal that only cranks and bumpheads would oppose.

When will we get a common sense Congress and a responsible President? When voters stop listening to the NRA and confusing gunpowder with freedom. That might be a while.