Updated 6 October 2017 The Sounding BoardWhere you can sometimes read what I (and others) think, and why.
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I recently answered the inquiry of a long-past girlfriend who (because of recent events) reached
out to get my opinion of "the bump-stocks place in our society." Below is my response. You might find it useful and you have my permission to share it with others.
You flatter me in letting me think that you thought you'd get an "intelligent opinion" from me about any societal subject.
I'll try not to disappoint.
First, a couple of defining remarks are in order. The
"Bump-Stock" we hear so much about these days is a specific name brand
for just one of literally dozens of devices known generically as
As a group they've been in the market place since the early 80s, at
least. Also as a group they have a fairly wide range of differing
mechanical actions all designed to accomplish the same end, to allow the
shooter to fire more ammo faster. They do not and never did increase
the "cyclic rate" of the firearm they're attached to.
One thing they all have in common is that they have a
dramatic negative effect on the "effectiveness" of the gun as it relates
to accuracy. To make them work at all the firearm must be held somewhat loosely, an act that is ruinous to accuracy under all circumstances. They are held loosely because the gun must be allowed to "jump around" in the the shooter's
hands in order for the device to work properly. They can be pointed, but
not "aimed." Recent events cannot change these facts.
In our society they're in the same place as muscle-cars and
hot-rods, motorcycles and "professional" ball games. They provide the
men of our emasculated society a way to feel a little bit less un-manly.
Semi-auto and full-auto firearms have been around since the
late 1800s. Each model has a specific "cyclic rate" that cannot be
changed. The larger the caliber the slower the cyclic rate, (as a matter
of physics.) However, in all the semi-auto models that cyclic rate is too fast for a
human being to make any practical use of.
In the case of the semi-autos the trigger must be "pulled" or "pressed"
for each and every shot. A human simply can't work the trigger fast
enough to get anywhere near the speed (the cyclic rate) at which the gun
could fire. The bump-fire devices help the shooter fire the gun faster than humanly possible. It can seem very fast but it's still much slower than "full-auto."
Folks have been tinkering at building such mechanical devices to manipulate the trigger faster for many decades. In the 80s someone figured out that "others" might pay money for such
things. They were right and for awhile we were "off to the races." Most knowledgeable riflemen would not put one on their gun. That's because
they eliminate the actual purpose of a rifle, (shooting long distances
with accuracy.) A bump-fire device reduces the firearm to little more
than a noise-making device.
For practical thinkers the recent "event" in Las Vegas is a demonstration of all of the above.
Bump-fire devices can only assist a shooter in creating carnage if the
victims are tightly packed in a space from which they cannot easily
escape. That's what our recently notorious psycho did.
The unhappy reality of that scene is that nothing, that's
NOTHING could have prevented it. That guy was going to do something like
that no matter what. There's no law against being a "psycho," a generic
term. I know several. Many happen to be women. Nothing can be
done about psychos until they commit an illegal act.
In this case the guy was what's called a "sociopath." As a group they're the most dangerous kind. Look it up.
Our society is creating them in stamping-machine fashion and that phenomenon has nothing at all to do with guns.
I'll close off here by reiterating what I said above. The
bump-fire devices "place in society" are in the same realm as hot-rods,
muscle-cars, motor cycles and all the other "toys" that are used to help
men (mostly) cope with their own feelings of masculine insecurity. All
such things are harmless until in the hands of a psycho which can be
neither predicted nor prevented.
The sad truth for each and every victim of the recent psycho is quite simply that they were unlucky.
He did not "aim" at a single one of them. He aimed at the crowd, a very
big target and "some of them" got hit. The bump-fire device he
used helped him create carnage. Even so, he managed to hit less than one percent of the victims available to him.
Sad but very accurately true.
Trying to "prevent" such a thing is an exercise in
futility. It cannot be done. We're all in greater danger from being
struck by lightening which also can't be prevented.
The "problem" is with our society, not guns and definitely not "bump-stocks."
I hope this was helpful.