It’s the tale of two tribes. On one hand, you have the Obama-loving leftists and Democrats who want to curtail our 2nd Amendment right. On the other side, you have the gun-toting, Trump-loving conservatives and Republicans who understand any limits placed on the 2nd Amendment will lead us down the road towards confiscations.
But this tale has a weird twist happening right now. After consulting the tea leaves and invoking his past when he supported every form of gun control legislation under the sun, President Trump is endorsing a ban on bump stocks, the attachment used in the Mandalay Bay massacre in Las Vegas just over a year ago. The attachments allow for single trigger-pull extended fire, giving a semi-automatic rifle some of the attributes of an automatic rifle. It doesn’t “convert” a semi-automatic rifle as many proponents of the legislation suggest. It mimics the effects by allowing the shooter to hold the bump stock trigger down while the gun’s trigger is depressed and released by the bump stock itself.
The attachment, used properly, allows for faster firing while reducing trigger finger fatigue. It also reduces accuracy.
This “common sense gun safety” ban is politically expedient for anyone not running on a pro-2nd Amendment platform. The leftward lurch of Democrats has allowed many Republicans, including the President and some on Capitol Hill, to buy into the “common sense” argument and still retain their 2nd Amendment edge on the competition.
Nevertheless, it’s a dangerous first domino to start tipping in these precarious times. It sets the precedent that if a firearm or accessory can be deemed too dangerous to the general public, it can be banned. Supporting a bump stock ban opens the door for further regulations against “dangerous” accessories like thumbhole stocks, suppressors, certain types of scopes, and forward grips. It also lends itself to the fodder that “assault weapons” should be banned and include a wider range of firearms.
Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile.
The debate over bump stocks has highlighted a bigger problem in our political system. Extreme tribalism has infected both sides of the aisle, causing people to adamantly embrace or oppose a person, in this case President Trump, to the point that their own ideologies shift to match the party-line narrative.
You don’t see many Republicans speaking out against the proposed ban for one reason only: President Trump supports it. You don’t see many Democrats praising the ban that they’ve been hoping to get for one reason only: President Trump supports it. Americans are so fiercely supportive of or opposed to the President that they’re willing to bend their own ideologies and remain silent on such a controversial issue.
If President Obama had pushed for the exact same bump stock ban, every Republican west of the Atlantic Ocean would be up in arms, many of them literally. Every Democrat would be hailing it as the first step to a safer America. Instead, we have crickets.